This series highlights two of our passions: our unique company culture and music. Born organically out of a hobby Slack channel, The Sound of InterWorks reveals the music that powers our work and how we share that with others.
I began working for InterWorks in March of 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in full force and everything began shutting down. Because of this, I only had one week of in-office time to connect with people and go through the onboarding process. Since March, my only contact with other InterWorks employees has been via Slack, email and Zoom calls. This has made the beginning of my journey here an interesting one to be sure, but it has also taught me that people are endlessly creative in our pursuit of connection with one another.
The Art of Connection
I have seen many brilliant ideas surface from my coworkers, such as “Water Cooler Chats” where people can connect and have casual conversations over Zoom and “Merry-Go-Zoom” calls in which you randomly get placed on a Zoom call with another employee and get to know them. Of course, there’s also a variety of Slack channels around different hobbies and interests people share.
One Slack channel that I have really enjoyed being a part of is #hobby-music. Music has always been a huge part of my life and has helped me learn to connect deeply with myself and those around me. One of the first questions I tend to ask people when getting to know them is what kind of music they’re into. This almost always provides a common ground for us to stand on, even if we don’t enjoy the same genres of music, because we know at least we both share a love and appreciation for music in general. I also greatly value our differences in opinion because this often introduces me to new music.
So, since I haven’t been able to have these conversations in person, I’ve had fun getting to know people via their answers to the prompts thrown out in the #hobby-music channel. Finally, I decided to throw one out to the group myself: What songs or albums remind you of summer?
A Socially Distanced Summer
I asked this because one of the things I love most is curating playlists on Spotify. I have already created a variety of playlists for different moods, seasons, genres and more on my personal account, but I thought it would be fun to create a collaborative playlist with other people’s song choices in it, rather than just my own. Plus, I wanted to know what my coworkers were listening to in this odd summer season.
I think the motivation behind my passion for curating music is the same drive that brought me to InterWorks— I love organizing things! Nerdy, I know, but it’s true. Finding a connection between different things and organizing them in a way that helps others easily see that connection is something I’m passionate about. Whether we are talking about data, music or people, I think everything and everyone is a lot more connected than we realize. If we just open up a little, those connection points become a lot more visible.
Getting to hear people’s unique answers to my prompt and placing those answers into a playlist together felt like a fun way to connect us all, even in the midst of a pandemic. I think that’s the beautiful thing about music: it has a way of transcending all of the things that normally separate us— language, age, personality— even social distancing.
See the responses to the prompt below, and give the playlist a listen!
Garrett Sauls | Communications Manager
- I’ve been coming to this track every summer since 2016. It’s just got this driving-with-the-windows-down-at-sunset vibe.
“Drugs” by Private Island
- And a newer one I found this month that’s nice and summery.
“My Swimming Brain – In Isolation” by Blossoms, Miles Kane
Carter Link | Graphic Designer
- A friend sent this the other day and it’s a BOP.
“All I Need” by Jacob Collier feat. Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign
- And a very different vibe, but Kevin Morby is great for those slow summer mornings.
“Oh My God” by Kevin Morby
Ricki Thompson | Multimedia Coordinator
- Mac DeMarco serves major summer feels always but also this track is 100.
“Nobody” by Mac DeMarco
- On a more upbeat note, this is fun.
“Buttons” by meija
Andrea Avey | Content Coordinator
- This feels like summer to me right now.
“Easy Baby” by Denyah
- This feels like summer to me forever.
“California Roll” by Snoop Dogg feat. Stevie Wonder
Rachel Kurtz | Analytics Consultant
- This one marries some nice, soft electronic with a Frankie Valli classic, so it definitely caught my ear.
“ily (I love you baby)” by Surf Mesa feat. Emilee
- The Weeknd has definitely taken an ‘80s route with his recent songs, and I’m telling you, they make me want to ride along the California coast in an ‘80s Mercedes Benz convertible with the top down.
“In Your Eyes” by The Weeknd
Keith Dykstra | Analytics Lead
- This one showed up in my Discover Weekly last week and felt like it had some backyard BBQ soundtrack potential.
“Baby Let’s Stick Together” by Dion
- This one, too.
“Ozma” by Shannon and The Clams
- And here’s one more from me.
“Thunder” by Imagine Dragons
Brooks Barth | Analytics Consultant
- This Ezra Furman rips!
“Lousy Connection” by Ezra Furman
Kendra Allenspach | Analytics Consultant
- Here’s one of my new faves.
“Who You Lovin” by LEON
- And this one! Summer night cooking and wine and late sunsets.
“Do You Wanna Do Nothing with Me?” by Lawrence
Sarah Dorfman | Analytics Consultant
- This is from 2019, but I’ve been hearing this one from Of Monsters and Men on the radio when running errands, and it’s fun!
“Alligator” by Of Monsters and Men
Kirsten Hoffman | Business Intelligence Operations Manager
- My go-to summer jam.
“#Beautiful” by Mariah Carey
Angus Eady | Analytics Consultant
- For summer jams, this is great. Basslines for days.
Confident Music for Confident People by Confidence Man