Can sharing a family playlist bring harmony at home?

There’s rarely a day that passes without music being played in our household. It’s the backdrop to everything from Saturday-morning pancakes to extended family get-togethers.

I grew up with my Nigerian parents, listening to a mix of jazz-infused African highlife, UB40 and Madonna. Along with my sisters and brothers, I loved to go through my dad’s vinyl collection in the living-room cabinet – while Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday would be pulled out for every anniversary celebration.

My husband and I met dancing in a West End bar to 90s R&B – think Faith Evans, Blackstreet, Puff Daddy/Diddy and Ginuwine, interspersed with a touch of house, dancehall and reggae. Yep.

So it was more than interesting to spend the week using Spotify’s Premium Family plan, where our music tastes and those of our two children could come together on the exclusive Family Mix feature.

With the Premium Family subscription you can have up to six Premium accounts for family members living at the same address.

The Family Mix then picks a selection of songs and genres that anyone on the plan has listened to, and creates a playlist.

To a certain extent, my Jamaican husband and I have similar tastes when it comes to music – he will basically listen to anything with a reggae “riddim” put over it – whether it’s Beenie Man, Celine Dion or Westlife.

But alongside the likes of Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men and Mark Ronson, a few surprises did pop up and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a hidden message he was trying to convey. Like most people, the type of music I listen to depends on my mood, so when the Family Mix revealed hubby had been listening to You Win Again by the Bee Gees, I couldn’t help but smile, taking it that he had conceded defeat after a recent disagreement.

The last time I played the Bee Gees to my daughter, she was six and it was less How Deep Is Your Love and more Tragedy. Their infamous high-pitched singing style did not sit well with her and she recoiled in horror asking: “What is that?”, followed by “Make it stop!”

She’s now the grand old age of 10 and teetering on the edge of that weird “not quite a teenager but I want to give you the attitude of one” stage. Luckily, this time around, she had less of a profound reaction and allowed the song to play until the end.

Her personal taste in music is the result of a mix of influences: her peers, favourite YouTubers and what’s popular on the online interactive gaming app, Roblox. Being younger than 13, I’m still choosing the songs for her on my profile, and that definitely came in handy when she attempted to add some of Melanie Martinez’s more unsavoury-themed songs to her playlist. Whatever she does choose still feeds into the Family Mix, so nothing is lost from her sharing my account.

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My youngest recently turned three, and we had a little boogie to the Family Mix in the dining room as he enjoyed his birthday breakfast. The planned barbecue was put on hold thanks to the good old British weather, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. The Family Mix was in full flow, throwing up hits from Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson, 112, Ariana Grande, Anne-Marie and Years & Years – a mix of old-school classics which my tweenager enjoyed, and some more current hits for her to sing along to at the top of her voice.

She always fails to reign in her surprise at seeing me singing along to artists of the moment like Billie Eilish. I mean, as her mum, I couldn’t possibly be that cool, right? We also had fun with the option to change up the tempo of the Family Mix depending on your mood, or the occasion.

A moon sign represents the option for a chilled and laid-back selection, then simply tap on the sun for something a little more upbeat and fast-paced – clicking off either takes you back to the standard mix.

Our week is up, but you can guarantee we’ll still be tuning in for some family listening.

Spotify Premium gives you music without the interruptions. To find out more, click here