The Stats:
: Ashley Plinzke, MOOD:, Charlotte, NC
Programs: Brooks Brothers, Crate & Barrel, Sunglass Hut, Ulta

Q: How do you find music for your programs?
With so many resources literally at my fingertips, it’s impossible to NOT find music. I have always had an interest in discovery and that natural curiosity makes it pretty easy for me to find what I need. There are obvious outlets like iTunes, Spotify, Songza, and Billboard and websites like Stereogum, Pitchfork and Pigeons & Planes, but I have a long list of blogs that I’ve followed for the last 15 years when music was just a hobby and they’ve served me well on my quest. Some include The Burning Ear, Birp.FM, The 405 Music & Culture zine and, which has different charts where listeners can vote a song to the top. That allows me to see what’s making the rounds and what sound appeals to the masses. Additionally, I program a lot of EDM, either for clients or for our catalog programming, so Beatport and Enhanced Music are tremendous helps to me! Of course, lastly, the Shoplifter submissions are always on-trend and have been a fabulous resource for my programming.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite track that you think works in just about every retail program?
This is a tough question! What’s interesting is I definitely have to separate myself from what I like to hear personally and what I program for clients who very often focus on high energy. The two are most likely mutually exclusive in my world and choosing is like picking your favorite pet! No doubt here lately Disclosure is the most played artist in my programs. They have mass appeal and clients like that energetic, danceable beat. So it’s got to be Disclosure feat. Lorde – “Magnets” or Kygo feat. Ella Henderson – “Here For You.” As far as older tunes that tend to make it into my programs, “Pretty In Pink” by The Psychedelic Furs, “Atomic” by Blondie, “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie and “Real Love” by Mary J. Blige (see! I can’t choose just one!).

Q: When you’re not programming music for stores, what are your interests and hobbies?
I’m so fortunate that one of my hobbies became my actual job. That leaves room for other stuff, which includes reading thriller novels, watching horror movies, writing, watching all my “stories” (The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones, Banshee, and Orange is the New Black, just to name a few), hanging with my husband and our 4 cats, and taking wine classes.

Q: What Shoplifter release are you currently loving?
Hands down, Petite Noir “La Vie Est Belle/Life Is Beautiful” is an excellent album. I love the percussive Afrobeats, the shimmery textures, the electronic aspect and, of course, Yannick Ilunga’s sexy voice.