Make the Music Matter
No matter how fall-off-the-bone tender your pork is or how painstakingly perfectly your cocktails are mixed, you aren't going to bring people together without the right music. If you want people to fall in love, or just to feel all the glee a party in the sun should engender, you must provide the soundtrack. "It's 85 degrees and the sky is blue and the sun shines down on you, and you feel the warmth, the glow," says DJ Cassidy, who has spun for President Obama at the White House and at Beyoncé and Jay Z's wedding. "There is music that makes you feel that."
A party playlist, Cassidy says, should be an "emotional journey with hills and valleys, ups and downs." And while his tastes range wide, the music he believes gets to the heart of that summery feeling most is classic 1970s-style soul. "It's joyful, it's sexy, it makes people happy," he says. Sprinkle these 10 songs in your mix, or use one as the basis for a playlist on Spotify or Pandora. Start here and your party can go anywhere.
DJ Cassidy's Songs for Summer
- Stevie Wonder "All I Do"
- Naughty by Nature "Feel Me Flow"
- Arrested Development "People Everyday"
- Earth, Wind & Fire "Sunshine"
- Bob Marley "Could You Be Loved"
- Prince "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker"
- The Weeknd "The Hills"
- Donna Summer "I Feel Love"
- Lenny Kravitz "Dancin' Til Dawn"
- Miguel "Adorn"