Music industry insiders get a bad rap for being too snooty, too pretentious, too invested in the arcane, too dismissive of what's popular. And that rap is not exactly untrue. But we wanted to see what would happen when we asked some of the industry’s most prominent members to talk about their guilty pleasure song, the one they kind of can't believe they really love.
While many of the artists, promoters, label heads, and producers we spoke with were really quick to say that there's no such thing as a "guilty pleasure" (because why feel bad about something you enjoy?), they were still happy to dive deep into their listening libraries and come up with some unexpected gems.
The following songs range from obscure deep cuts to early aughts pop songs recorded by reality stars, but they have one major thing in common: the nostalgia factor. That’s right, just like the rest of the world, it turns out that even the biggest music snobs still hold tight to the tracks of their youth. The only real surprise on this list is that nobody mentioned Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind," but what can you do? See what everyone opted for instead, below—and turn up the volume.
Brandon Stosuy, Cofounder/EIC of The Creative Independent
Bon Jovi - "Runaway" I don’t feel guilty about loving Bon Jovi. I grew up in the pine barrens of southern New Jersey, and as a pre-internet, metal-loving teenager in a small town, I didn’t really have the context or care to discriminate between Slayer, Metallica, Black Flag, Minor Threat, and hair metal—it all felt better than Top 40 to me. Bon Jovi’s early albums—and associated videos of them walking on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore or playing in tiny shitty clubs—left a real mark on me. Year after year, especially as the weather gets warmer, I find myself mixing 1984’s Bon Jovi, 1985’s 7800° Fahrenheit, and 1986’s Slippery When Wet into my regular rotation of dark electronic music, black metal, noise, [The Cure's] Disintegration, drone, and Grouper. In fact, I'm currently listening to "Runaway" on repeat.