You may have noticed that we’re into helping our listeners find something new. A combination of beloved personalized Spotify playlists like Discover Weekly, editorially-curated standouts like Fresh Finds, new playlist-enhancing features like Smart Shuffle, and our listeners’ thirst for auditory adventures means that nearly two billion music discoveries happen on Spotify every day.
But we’re not the only ones who love discovery. Every day, creators around the world share their favorite playlists, products, and people with their followers, helping their fans, in turn, fall in love with the next best thing. In For the Record’s new Discovery Monday series, we talk to content creators about recent discoveries, covering everything from music to podcasts, as well as food, fashion, TV, beauty, and more.
We’re kicking off with iJustine, a tech creator, podcast host, and dog mom. The lifestyle vlogger dives into new trends, tech, and hobbies—her latest is literally diving—speaking to entrepreneurs and attending product launches.
Your videos help build understanding of the tech world. How did you make this your niche?
Finding tech, for me, and creating content around it was sort of just an extension of something that I naturally did growing up and in my everyday life. A curiosity and wonderment of how things work is what brought me to tech. When I was younger, I used to take things apart and then my parents would be like, “Oh no, now we have to figure out how to fix this.” Till now, that approach has been amazing because there’s never a shortage of things to make videos about. There’s always new tech, and especially recently with AI. And I like to create; making videos is fun for me, and I really genuinely love all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes into the videos. There’s just so much to talk about, and it really is a never-ending source of content.
Why do you love introducing your followers to new tools, products, and people?
I love having the opportunity to interview a CEO or an entrepreneur—people I look up to. It’s been so fun to hear their journeys and then bring them into my world.
I have a very interesting audience. A lot of them are younger women and girls who are kind of trying to figure out their way. I want them to see somebody in a space that makes them feel safe. Because when I was younger, playing video games and doing things that I am into now—it wasn’t cool. And I was being made fun of for it. But now I’m like, “Man, you guys got it made!” Because being into tech is cool now. So, I just want people to be able to explore that. Even if it’s not cool now, you never know. Might be later.
What tools or resources do you use in your research?
I always ask my audience for suggestions. Even recently, I was asking for good diving spots in Oahu, and I would much rather hear from a person directly. I find almost all of my things from my viewers or audience or friends who are following me. It’s kind of awesome because it’s like, yeah, I could have Googled it, but I would rather hear from someone who actually has been there and experienced it and knows if it’s something that I would like.
What have you been listening to lately? Old favorites? Something new? Or somewhere in between?
I’m definitely open to discovery, but recently, I do feel like when I open up Spotify, I go to my favorites. Recently, my sister and I went on a trip and we went back to our 2018 Hawaii playlist, and we were basically reliving the trip through our music from 2018. So, it’s kind of fun to kind of go back, and the fact that, like, we’ve both been on Spotify for so long meant we were able to go back to all these playlists and kind of relive that piece of history and memories through music, and that’s always so fun for me.
What’s your favorite way to discover on Spotify? Do you use playlists like Discover Weekly, features like AI DJ, or tools like Smart Shuffle?
I’m a huge fan of Smart Shuffle because I love being able to go back into my old playlists and use Smart Shuffle to reinvigorate them. You do spend so much time curating those, and it does bring you back to a specific moment. So, being able to just add some new songs in, and, I mean, some of my playlists are super short, so being able to add in stuff that I’ve already done is really cool.
I also almost always go to the top new songs playlist, Today’s Top Hits. I love being able to just scroll through it because it’s all genres. And, I mean, I definitely love pop, rock, and I used to be really into heavy metal, but that was, you know, a little bit of a phase during high school and college. But it is fun to kind of go back to that playlist because I love so many genres of music and that playlist does have a little bit of everything. I’m also always going back to the 90s playlists because I love nostalgic music.
What Niche Mixes playlist would you search for?
Classical heavy metal mix. That would be pretty awesome to hear. We’re gonna be head-banging out!
A rapid-fire round of your favorite recent discoveries: Let’s start with artists or genres.
I am obsessed with OneRepublic, so I’ve been really enjoying remixes of some of my favorite songs of theirs. It’s a good way to break out of my normal listening habits.
Any new podcasts you’ve gotten especially into lately? How did you discover them?
I just started listening to Heal Squad x Maria Menonous. She always has so many helpful tips about healing your body, and she has so many incredible guests on. She actually invited me onto it and that’s how I found out about it, and now I’m obsessed.
Are you an audiobooks fan? What’s your favorite way to listen?
I am addicted. I will cycle through audiobooks so fast because I need to stay distracted to keep my brain focused on things. When I’m doing laundry, cleaning, I’ll have an audiobook on. I recently got into nonfiction audiobooks, and I love listening to history and self-help. I also watched the Daisy Jones and the Six series and then have listened to every single Taylor Jenkins Reid audiobook over the past few months.
What’s your latest obsession?
That’s usually every single random new hobby that I get. And recently, I got into diving. So now I’m buying all the diving gear; I’m looking for diving creators, places to go. I’m definitely one of those people who’s like, when I start doing something, I go 100%. There’s no backing down.