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This year’s Spotify Wrapped will reveal the ‘real’ you, whether you like it or not

In a year of AI advancements and deepfakes, Spotify Wrapped 2023 wants to ground you in reality.

This year’s Spotify Wrapped will reveal the ‘real’ you, whether you like it or not
[Source photo: Spotify]

Spotify Wrapped is back, and in case you had doubts, it wants you to know that you are real.

Despite a new design look that is extremely Tron (think neon rainbows and pixelated squiggles), this year’s Wrapped is all about the real stuff, like the feeling you get when you hear your favorite song, or the tingles in your chest when you find out your crush shares your adoration for that obscure artist you discovered last month.

This year’s Wrapped is all about the real stuff, because well, AI-generated content and deepfakes were sort of a big deal this year. So, the company is introducing two new features to ground you in reality. The first is called “Me in 2023” and it assigns you one of 12 “listening characters” that best describe your listening habits this year.

[Image: Spotify]

The feature is a spin on last year’s “zodiac signs,” in which you were bestowed a personality based on the kind of music you listen to. This year’s version is more about how and when you listen to that music. If you’re the kind to replay the same song over and over again, then you’re a “Time Traveler”; if you tend to indulge in sad music in the dark, then you’re a “Vampire;” and if you create your own playlists more than others do, you’re an “Alchemist.”

As Spotify’s global group creative director, Marie Rönn, explained, the idea is to identify a listening behavior that deeply resonates with you even though it may be mildly embarrassing. “It’s really going to describe the realest way you listened on Spotify,” she said.

[Image: Spotify]

The second feature is called Sound Town, and it zeroes in on one particular city that is connected to your music preferences. For example, if you listen to a lot of música Mexicana (a genre of Mexican music that has exploded in the past few years) then Mexico City might pop up on your map. Or if, like me, you can’t get enough of French pop, then you can expect the Spotify globe to spin towards Paris.

[Image: Spotify]

Aside from that, you can expect the usual data packaged in decidedly whackier ways. Your “top 5 genres” are now stacked in between two buns for a bizarre sandwich made of americana, folk, classical, indie, and pop. And your “top 5 artists” lets you see which month your listening peaked for each artist, so you can relive Succession’s season 4 premiere through the main title theme song you had on repeat that month.

I, for one, did not need the soundtrack of my 2023 to be displayed in the form of a burger, but I enjoyed traveling back to the moment I heard the song that defined my year for the first time. If only Wrapped could rewire my brain and make me hear it again for the first time.

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