Hey there 👋

I’m incredibly excited to share more music with y'all this year. My experiences last year have further solidified my belief that everyone is a creator and artist in their own way, trying to capture and share with the world where they see beauty, in whatever shape or form that may take. This monthly playlist and newsletter has been one of the vessels for me to put back into the world more of what fills my soul and I hope to continue to paint with these brushstrokes as long as you’ll have me.

This past month, I had the pleasure of meeting some of you–listeners of my playlists–in-person, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that some of you may not be listening to the playlist as intended. Don’t worry, I’m not mad, I’m just motivated to find a way to continuously clarify the vision behind this playlist for both new and old listeners.

As a friendly reminder, here are two settings to have in mind for you to make the most of 25 on 25: 

  1. This playlist is curated to be listened to in order! So please make sure you have the shuffle 🔀  turned off.

  2. What makes a playlist special is that it’s bigger than one song. It’s the collective experience: how each song transitions and fuses with one another to create an experience greater than itself. That’s why I always curate with a 7-second crossfade setting. If you have trouble finding that setting, you can get help here!

Theme of this Month:
🇹🇼 A Day in Taipei

I spent the past month and a half in Taipei and my days there still feel like a reverie. With COVID being very much under control in my native Taiwan (unlike in the U.S.), all the treasures that the city could offer were at my fingertips and more; I made sure not to take any of it for granted. I roamed the old haunts and neighborhoods of my formative years while listening to albums that had passed me by. I bellowed old Taiwanese love songs in karaoke lounges. I shared a round-table meal while catching up with friends that I haven’t seen since middle school. I wore my new tailored suit for the first time all year to attend the wedding of my childhood friend where the best man stole the show with an oscar-worthy performance that was his speech. I hiked through walls of thorny pandanus plants to arrive at the Dragon Cave where I climbed magnificent terraces of rocks that were at least thirty meters high. I savored the red snapper sashimi that a warm and attentive chef recommended to us, all while chatting with him about philosophy around food and happiness. I attended my first concert of the year where I teared up as the singer crooned the words “I don’t know where I’m going but that’s okay.” I’ve spent countless warm nights with my family sharing spicy hot pot filled to the brim with my favorites, followed by rounds of mahjong and an inevitable dessert break.

I’m back in New York now. Even though I won’t be able to enjoy the same luxuries as I had and am thrown back into an environment where the waves are still turbulent and uncertainty has become a part of the horizon, I can’t help but smile–out of my yearning for life and what’s yet to come. I don’t know where I’m going, but that’s completely okay.

Listen now!

I hope you enjoyed this!

I'll be back next month on the 25th with a newly curated playlist on Spotify. If you're getting value out of this newsletter consider sharing it on Twitter!

- Andrew Tsao

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