My Playlist With… Sarah Story

Looking for some new music inspiration? From the artists worth following on Spotify to the one tune that always gets her on the dancefloor, Radio 1 DJ Sarah Story shares her favourites – as well as her top five playlists for easy listening.

One of my favourite music genres is… dance. A classic Sarah playlist is full of music that makes you feel good – dance and house do that for me. I like to mix this up with techno, disco and breakbeat, so my playlists have a mixture of vocals and soul. Old favourites and new hits often work so well together. 

Before I get out of bed in the morning I always… put on the radio. I feel like I can’t move until I’ve heard some music. I love hearing tracks I wouldn’t necessarily choose myself, and I love the ‘go-to radio’ option on Spotify – I’ve discovered some absolute gems there. I’m also very privileged to curate all the music on my Future Dance radio show so I generally listen to music via my inbox – a great way to discover new artists – and Spotify

Artists I’m currently playing on repeat includeEdd, Anish Kumar, Amy Dabbs and Ammara. They’re all tipped to be Radio 1’s Future Stars of 2022 – you might not be familiar with their names yet, but I really believe they’re all on the rise. 

During my DJ sets I like to… mix things up with new and old songs. Right now, I’m loving Husko, a cool artist from Malta. I’ve also been playing a lot of Avision, Floorplan, Human Movement (an Australian artist) and Jordan Nocturne.

The track that always gets me on the dancefloor is… ‘Bourgie Bourgie’ by LF System. Everyone from young family members to grandparents can get down to this.

Some of my favourite UK dance artists and DJs include India Jordan, Ewan McVicar, Anz, Elkka, Nia Archives, Tibasko, Dance System, Meg Ward, Mella Dee, Anish Kumar, Emerald, Fred Again, Denis Sulta, and ABSOLUTE. I also love TSHA, Skream, and Matrefakt.

When I’m getting ready for a night out, I listen to… everything from disco to pop songs by Dua Lipa – she’s definitely my favourite pop star from the last few years. ‘One Kiss’ with Calvin Harris will forever be in my head. When we couldn’t go out during lockdown, my housemate and I would have living room raves and jump on the sofa to ‘Hallucinate’.

My favourite album right now is… ‘Another Chemical Love Story 2: The Symposium’ by Elliot Adamson. It only came out a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been playing it non-stop. I really love what Elliot’s doing right now. He puts his heart and soul into everything he makes, whether that’s music or art. He’s passionate and it’s infectious. 

My favourite album of all time is… ‘Travelling Without Moving’ by Jamiroquai. It’s timeless, classy and full of funk. My older brother always used to listen to Jamiroquai and I remember thinking he must be really cool. I was listening to the Spice Girls at the time, so this seemed trendy AF. I stole all of his CDs – sorry Lee! 

My favourite song of all time is… either ‘The Man With The Red Face’ by Laurent Garnier or ‘Loaded’ by Primal Scream (the Andrew Weatherall remix). Both of these have had a massive influence on me. ‘Man With The Red Face’ always reminds me of summer seasons in Ibiza – watching the sunrise on boat parties and feeling like the world was my oyster. ‘Loaded’ makes me think of new beginnings and sunshine, and I always play it to celebrate big milestones in my life. I played it on full blast when I bought my house, and in Hackney Marshes when I found out I’d been signed to my DJ agency. 

I absolutely love… old-school tunes. Some of my favourites include ‘Anthem’ by N Joi, ‘Keep on Pumpin’ It Up’ by Visionmasters, ‘Dreamer’ by Livin’ Joy (everyone loves this tune), and ‘Reach For Me’ by Funky Green Dogs. 

For a great house party… put on some garage and R&B. Mixed with some pop classics and a bit of house, it’s bound to get everyone moving.

On holiday, I always listen to… Nightmares On Wax. When I hear his music, it instantly makes me feel warm and relaxed. His music has got me through many heavy hangovers in Ibiza. 

On a girls’ trip, I always play… house and disco. On holiday, the girls let me take charge of the music. My go-to tune to get them going is a pretty unknown record by Donna Summer called ‘Sunset People’. It’s a classic girls’ holiday vibe. 

If I’m playing poolside tunes, I put on… chill house and 80s classics, which everyone loves. Pikes Ibiza makes me think of Crazy P, Soul Clap, Kolsch, Grace Jones, Leon Vyenall and PBR Streetgang.

I’m so excited for… this summer. It will be my first one as a Radio 1 DJ and I can’t wait to get out there and play. I’m playing at Lost & Found, Secret Garden Party, Fields of Fantasy, Boardmasters, Creamfields and some Ibiza shows! 

My favourite UK festivals areGlastonbury, Lovebox, Houghton and Secret Garden Party. The UK really knows how to do a festival – even in the pouring rain. I love everything about them.

My top three start-of-the-weekend tunes are… ‘Sizzling’ by Daphni featuring Paradise for disco vibes, ‘Yomanda’ by Synth & Strings, and ‘Goodnight’ by Husko, which makes you feel recharged after blasting it on loud. 

At the end of a long day, I like to listen to… chilled music like Maribou State, Jungle, Nightmares On Wax, Joy Crooks or some smooth chill. I also love podcasts like Shagged Married Annoyed which always has me in stitches – I’ve never missed an episode and there are more than 150! Changes with Annie MacManus is great too.

When I want a good cry, I listen to… ‘The Last Goodbye’ by Odesza. It only came out a few weeks ago but it brought me to tears the first time I heard it. The vocals are incredible. I also love ‘Can’t Do Without You’ by Caribou, which is quite emotional. 

To unwind, I play… ‘You Wish’ by Nightwares On Wax, ‘Want You In My Soul’ by Lovebirds, ‘Teardrop’ by Massive Attack and ‘American Dream’ by Jakatta. 

My guilty pleasure has to beLittle Mix. Their song ‘Move’ is so fun. Give me a hairbrush and I’ll make up a dance routine right now in the mirror. 


Inspired? Here Are 5 Of Sarah’s Favourite Spotify Playlists...

You can listen to Sarah’s ‘Future Dance’ show on BBC Radio 1 at 8pm on Fridays. Follow @SarahStory

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