Since its premiere a couple weekends ago, Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series Master of None has been a huge hit. While some might say it panders a little to its target demographic (late 20-something and early 30-something year olds), the truth is it’s just a disturbingly accurate representation of our lives – from disastrous Tinder encounters to guilt about ignoring parents’ requests for help with their iPads.
Another big part of the show’s success is arguably its soundtrack, where they use both eclectic selections from Aphex Twin to Arthur Russell and vintage cheese like Toto’s “Africa” to perfectly set the mood for particular scenes. It turns out that the song choices are thanks to two people in equal amounts – music supervisor Zach Cowie and Ansari himself.
In an interview with Pitchfork, the pair admitted to being huge music nerds and vinyl collectors. Cowie’s recent gigs seem to have set him up perfectly for the job: in addition to supervising the music for the feature films Public Enemies and Celeste & Jesse Forever, the former label exec previously teamed up with another music-obsessed actor, creating the vinyl-only DJ team of Wooden Wisdom with Elijah Wood.
Ansari, however, has made many key picks himself – from pitting “Don’t Worry Be Happy” against the theme from Halloween to illustrate the difference between a late night walk home for men and women, to having former Fleet Foxes member Father John Misty perform as himself in an episode. And even though the tune itself is only snuck in momentarily, the show’s title actually comes from a Beach House track which you can check out below in all its spaciness. Side note: the show was nearly titled A Little Lost after a tune by the late Arthur Russell.
If you happen to have a Spotify account, you can check out the economy-sized 77-song soundtrack playlist the guys dropped as a companion piece – or else check out one of the incomplete but commendable attempts on YouTube. I guess when it comes down to it, it’s not really a surprise that Aziz Ansari and his cohorts get deep with their musical knowledge. And considering the results, thank God for that, ammarite?