Each installment of The Friendship Files features a conversation between The Atlantic’s Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship.
This week, she talks with three students who have an elaborate system of collaborative Spotify playlists that they’ve been updating weekly for five years. They discuss how the playlists kept them close through the transition from high school to college and how they’ve shaped one another’s musical tastes, and they share their “certified” playlist—the songs all three of them agree on—which currently clocks in at more than 1,500 songs and 92 hours of music.
Sonny de Nocker, 20, a student at Chapman University studying screenwriting
Jeremy Marsh, 21, a graduate student at George Washington University studying political management
Ryan Town, 22, a student at the University of South Carolina studying real estate and marketing
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Julie Beck: How did you meet and become close?
Ryan Town: We all went to the same middle school. Jeremy and I, we met playing basketball in sixth grade. Sonny joined the drama production in eighth grade and that’s where we all became friends.
Sonny de Nocker: Our friendship continued to expand in high school. We started playing Grand Theft Auto V together, which was, as strange as it sounds, the thing that brought us together most of all. We would get online and talk to each other the whole time. It really strengthened our friendship.