Spotify has curated playlists reflecting the local flavor of each stop on HuffPost’s “Listen to America” tour using location-based data to find out what people are really listening to in 20-plus cities. Check back for more from Sept. 12 through Oct. 30.
Asheville is for artists, and you’ll find a lot of them in this quaint community of makers and doers snuggled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There is no River Whyless in the area (it’s the French Broad River that twists and turns alongside the city), but an especially-popular folk group of Asheville natives is named after it anyway. Tyler Ramsey, the Band of Horses lead guitarist with his own solo career, also hails from the area, along with Florida Georgia Line collaborator Chase Rice, who was raised on a farm here. Other musically inclined locals include “Scandal” actress Bellamy Young (she also sings), hip-hop artist Jermaine Dupri (born here), singer-songwriter Roberta Flack and traditional Appalachian folk musician Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Not too far away, the great Nina Simone was brought up in Tryon, North Carolina.
Artists that cropped up as more popular here than in surrounding areas reflect a creative type of place with whimsical urges: a mix of standards and indie fare. Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra cropped up alongside FKA Twigs, Whitney, Phantogram, Regina Spektor and Wilco. Enjoy the list below:
Spotify playlists for the “Listen to America” campaign were created by looking at each location’s most popular songs (streaming in the highest numbers at time of publication), distinctive songs (currently being streamed more in this city compared to all other cities in the world) and tracks from local artists. While many picks are data-driven, some songs are handpicked from data lists to assure the playlists reflect a variety of genres and decades, as well as a healthy gender balance.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article identified Tyler Ramsey as Band of Horses’ lead singer; he’s primarily a guitarist.