All The Pretty Colors: An Evocative Playlist

Image from Pixelbay, used with permission under Creative Commons.

by Kaylee Rodriguez

Music and colors are both evocative. They make us feel things and see images in our minds. I asked students and teachers at The Chicago High School of the Arts (ChiArts) about their favorite colors, and made a playlist of songs that matched those colors. 


Here’s a link to the Spotify playlist.

Imani: Diamond

“Shine Bright Like A Diamond” by Rihanna

Diamonds will always remind me of this song because Rihanna is a legend and that’s that on that.


Caleb: Black

“Love Me Forever” by Lil Yachty

This song reminds me of the color black because it’s sad; the lyrics — for example, “Love me today / love me forever” — are reminiscent of love that isn’t working out. There’s an emptiness to this music. The color black is both deep and empty, and this song reflects that beautifully. 

Luke: Turquoise

“Alright” by Marlin’s Dreaming

The instrumentation and voices sound like an ocean-scape. This song is also somewhat melancholy, but also salty; matching the color of the turquoise sea. 


Harmony: Purple

“Need U Bad” by Jazmine Sullivan

The color purple is associated with magic and mystery and the message of this song reminds me of that too since it’s about needing somebody in their life romantically. The specific shade that came to mind was royal purple.


Aliah: Red

“#Bad4Me” by Etta Bond

This song is about a love that isn’t healthy and that reminds me of red because that color is toxic and dangerous, which is what unhealthy love reminds me of.


Mika: Lime Green

“Tokyo Drift” by Teriyaki Boyz

This song lyrically is straight-up lime green as can be. For example, “I wonder if you know / how they live in Tokyo / if you see me / then you mean it / then you know you have to go.” Those are some of the only lyrics in English, and if they don’t remind you of a juicy green citrus, I don’t know what will. (Also, in “Tokyo Drift” there’s a lime green car. This song is from that movie.).


Elizabeth: Warm colors, like red, orange, and pink

“Juke Jam” by Chance the Rapper

This song floods the listener with warmth. It’s layered with different colored evocations; it can make you feel simultaneously wrapped in a blanket and embarrassed and as though it’s summertime. Chance is a multi-layered artist, and this song comes in lots of shades.


Ms. Goalson: Yellow

“Pocketful Of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield

Sunshine is yellow and so it’s like a pocketful of bright yellow and I can imagine sunshine pouring out of pockets.


Ms. Graff: Lilac purple

“Edition” by Rex Orange County

This song and color both make me feel like I’m being hugged after a hard and long day.

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