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Friday Playlist by Adán Varela

Adán's Serotonin Playlist

My name is Adán, and I have dubbed myself a renaissance queer: I work as an actor, singer, director, graphic designer and video editor. Let's just say I have a hard time sitting still or working a 9-5 Matrix job. As much as I tried, I could not come up with any clever theme aside from music that has helped produce serotonin in my brain in the past (Especially the last year). This compilation will hopefully bring you some joy and make you tap your feet. It's kinda gay but so am I. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Vogue - Madonna

When I am asked what my favorite songs are, Vogue always comes to mind. I never get tired of it. The 1990 Grammy's performance was transformative. I watched the live broadcast with my cousins when I was six (I'm dating myself here, I know).

La Cigarra - Linda Ronstadt and Mariachi Vargas

My mother would constantly play Linda's Canciones de mi Padre Album when I was growing up. I actually didn't know that Linda sang in English until I was ten. In this piece you hear her exquisite tone and amazing range.

A Wink and a Smile - Harry Connick, Jr.

This little ditty is so flippin' charming...and I wanna marry Harry Connick, Jr.

Believe - Adam Lambert

This cover is unbelievable. Just look at the reactions of the audience and how Cher is completely transfixed. The orchestration! The vocals! GAH!

Boys Don't Cry - The Cure

I am a sucker for British pop. This song is a provocative diatribe on how men are forced to hide their emotions. I try to laugh about it/Hiding the tears in my eyes/'Cause boys don't cry

Friend Like Me - Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo is incredibly underrated. He can sing and dance like a mofo and does not disappoint ihn this Disney homage.

Guavaberry - Juan Luis Guerra

Here is another one of my favorite songs. It's joyful and makes me wanna dance.

Born Naked - RuPaul

This catchy track has become an anthem for me as I become more comfortable in my own skin. Who do you think you are?/I'm telling the truth now/We're all born naked/And the rest is drag

Love That Girl - Raphael Saadiq

You don't know Raphael Saadiq? You NEED to know this vintage-inspired, honey-voiced crooner. For those older than 35: He used to be in the band Tony! Toni! Toné!

Spill the Wine - War

I just really enjoy this throwback. Nothing beats the wurlitzer and acoustics!

Close Your Eyes - Live for Burberry RHODES As you may have guessed, I love many aspects of art. In particular, I love fashion and the fusion of music. Burberry invited musicians to perform live with a small orchestra to accompany their runway collections. This song by RHODES is evocative on its own but becomes next level in this collaboration.

Si Una Vez - Selena Quintanilla

How can I not include Selena? This insanely talented vocalist delivers this power ballad with visceral intensity. If I once said that I loved you/And that for you I'd give my life/If I once said that I loved you/I won't do it again/That mistake is something of yesterday

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I: Prelude No.3 Johann Sebastian Bach - Martin Stadtfeld

I've become increasingly charmed by Baroque music. This dazzling little ditty makes my heart happy.

Then He Kissed Me - The Crystals

This is the pinnacle of 60s-girl-group-excellence...and then he kissed me.

Simply the Best (From Schitt's Creek) - Noah Reid

As you may have guessed, I love innovative covers. This one in particular has become a staple in my musical library. Aside from the comedic genius that is Schitt's Creek, the show truly succeeded in the honest, vulnerable moments. This series helped get me through the pandemic.

Honey Eryn - Allen Kane

You should know Eryn Allen Kane and this energetic number. It's a drag queen's dream number.

Dance for You - Beyoncé

IMHO, Beyoncé is one of the defining musical voices of the 21st century. My favorite album is 4; she explores a variety of range, texture and stylings. This ballad is complex and intimate.

Never Going Back Again - Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac is in my top ten groups of all time. This track has one of the best acoustic guitar arrangements in rock history. It also reminds me of seeing joy arise in my parents' eyes when they hear the first few licks.

Charl du Plessis Trio - Christoph Willibald Gluck: Mélodie from Orphée & Eurydice

I love fusion! This jazz arrangement of Gluck's dance of the spirits is transformative.

Maybe God Is Tryin' To Tell You Somethin' (From The Color Purple) - Quincy Jones, Tata Vega

I finally got around to reading The Color Purple by Alice Walker during the first lock down. Very few books have made me cry. I have been a fan of the film since I was a child but the book brings forth more beauty from the souls of the characters. This song is one of the most beautiful moments in the film: it's a sentimentally joyful Gospel number.

Old 45's - Chromeo

Chromeo is currently the leading electro-funk group. The prominent baseline makes my hips move. Also check out Fall Back 2U, Jealous, Momma's Boy and Ezra's Interlude. Screw it... just listen to their entire White Women album.

Same Drugs - Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper. Iconic...such a great composer and singer! This is seriously one of the greatest break up songs. There are also muppets in the video!

No Way (From Six: The Musical) - Renee Lamb

If you know me well, you know I am a "history puff." The musical Six is a modern take on the strife of each of Henry VIII's wives. They come together to have a pop diva contest to decide who had the worst life with the robust monarch. This particular piece is Catherine of Aragon's (My favorite wife) power ballad in the style of Shakira and Beyoncé. Seriously. Go see SIX when we are out of incubation.

You can listen to Adán's Serotonin Playlist on Spotify.

You can also check it out on YouTube.

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