My music matters

Youth homelessness charity Depaul UK is raising awareness of young people experiencing homelessness by using Spotify playlists to tell the stories of George, 20, Kristina, 20, Fatos, 25, J. Cocoa, 19, and Emma, 21. As users read the song titles, the playlist reveals that young person’s experience of homelessness. A final “track” allows the listener to hear directly from the individual, giving a unique insight into their previously unheard story.

University of Sheffield Department of Music PhD researcher, Kate Wareham, interviewed each of the young people asking for their own playlist, not of the music that tells their story, but of the music that was significant to the time they were homeless, that helped them cope with being homeless, or reminds them of what it was like to be homeless.

 
 
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Depaul Unheard: Playlists against Homelessness

The campaign, created in partnership with Publicis London, was launched on 7 December 2018 at Facebook’s London headquarters. The campaign has been developed with the support of Creative Solutions, Spotify's internal creative agency for brands.

As users read the song titles, the playlist reveals that young person’s experience of homelessness. A final “track” allows the listener to hear directly from the individual, giving a unique insight into their previously unheard story.


The interviews

Through interviews with four of the participants, Kate uncovered some of the ways that homeless young people use music to manage the daily realities of homelessness, from finding ways to relax and minimise anxiety to expressing sad or angry emotions to literally escaping from reality for a bit. Read more here.

"getting lost in that world was like a distraction. I would listen to music ... and I’m suddenly in that world instead of the reality I’m living in"

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