This past week, the Review issued a music survey to Oberlin students. One hundred people responded to questions about their favorite musical artists and current top song. Using this data, we created the Review’s first-ever playlist: ObieWrapped! Below is a list of the five most popular musicians among Obies right now. 


1) Taylor Swift

Twelve of the 100 students who responded listed Taylor Swift as one of their top three favorite artists. Swift has long held critical acclaim for seamlessly marrying the genres of folk, pop, and alternative rock. The 32-year-old star from Pennsylvania has released nine original studio albums and has won 11 Grammy Awards. Although some may be surprised that such a mainstream artist is at the top of Oberlin’s list, College fourth-year Aniella Day believes “there are a lot more people on this campus who love Taylor Swift than are willing to admit it.” The Experimental College class SwiftCo, co-taught by Day, received over 50 applications this semester. In SwiftCo, students meet every week to discuss one of Swift’s albums and the events that surrounded that point in her life.


2) Mitski

Mitski Miyawaki is a 31-year-old Japanese-American singer and songwriter. She first skyrocketed into indie stardom with her 2018 album Be the Cowboy. Mitski has been described as a private person with an aversion to fame, preferring not to be on social media or even publicly share the names of her pets. Double-degree fourth-year Kenji Anderson describes his love for Mitski, saying, “She creates striking lyrical and sonic worlds for each album, and her output is enormous — she has something for every feeling.” Two Mitski songs — “Your Best American Girl” and “Love Me More” — appear on the ObieWrapped! playlist.


3) Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is an alternative rock singer-songwriter born and raised in Pasadena, CA. The 27-year-old has released two studio albums and is currently part of two bands: Boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center. Her single “Garden Song” has been described by Pitchfork’s Sam Sodomsky as having “lyrics [that] bind fantasies and nightmares, burning houses and blooming flowers, … [with] slyly psychedelic arrangement.” Bridgers is known for her Halloween iconography, often appearing on stage in a skeleton onesie. Her fan base calls themselves the “Pharbz,” a cheeky nod toward Nicki Minaj’s fan base, the “Barbz.” Eight survey respondents listed Bridgers among their top artists. 


4) Ye

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, is an American rapper from Chicago. The 44-year-old is regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop musicians of his time. West has released 11 studio albums and has won 22 Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone has credited Ye for establishing “a style of introspective yet glossy rap” and drawing on a wide range of textured sounds while producing. Ye has maintained his status as an elevated pop culture figure with success in the fashion industry, such as his Yeezy shoe and clothing line, and high-profile romantic relationships, such as his recent divorce from socialite Kim Kardashian.


5) SZA

Solána Imani Rowe, also known as SZA, is a neo-soul singer and songwriter from Maplewood, NJ. Her name SZA comes from the Supreme Alphabet, inspired by Wu-Tang Clan member RZA; the acronym SZA stands for “savior” or “sovereign,” “zigag,” and “Allah.” The 32-year-old has released one studio album and has earned 14 Grammy nominations. Her 2017 debut album Ctrl  was described by Billboard’s Reggie Ugwu as “agnostic utopia dripping with mood” that coalesces “minimalist R&B [with] ’80s synth pop and soul.” Her song “Broken Clocks” appears on the ObieWrapped! playlist. 


Click the link for a playlist of Obies’ favorite songs!