Surrounded by towering skyscrapers, waiting for your train, sipping coffee from your balcony; living in a big city can be both exciting and daunting. That’s why every city girl needs a good playlist to power through her day, and I’ve put together 15 songs that definitely help me. There’s something different for everyone here, and I hope you’ll find one or two good jams to add to your own playlists.
1. Sleepless in NYC – Autograf
This was definitely the first song that came to mind when I thought of a big city; after all, the title pretty much gives the message away. The song is chill and groovy, with lyrics such as, “Neon lights come and set me free // Close my eyes and I know I’ll be sleepless in New York City,” perfect for getting you in the mood of living in NYC. After all, it is the city that never sleeps.
Longer than I Thought (ft. Joe Jonas) – Loote
Loote always comes out with relatable, catchy bops, and this is no exception. Although the lyrics are about getting over someone, the fast-paced tempo and beat drop give the song a fun, lighthearted vibe. It’s a perfect song to listen to on the subway or while walking to your next destination. The song does slow down near the bridge, with the lyrics, “I think I’m gonna take the long way home // I guess it’s gonna take me longer than I thought to get over you.”
Lost (ft. Chelsea Jade) – Jai Wolf
A fairly new song by Jai Wolf, this laidback tune is all about living in the moment with no regrets. Moving to a new city is often about self-discovery and beginning anew, and listening to this song will definitely get you in a hopeful mood. “The truth gets tired when we lie awake // so we dive into dreams that they can’t sedate”; Chelsea Jade’s vocals are smooth and gentle, perfectly encapsulating the feeling of starting over in a big city.
Tokyo – Jinco
You don’t have to be in Japan to enjoy this powerful song about waiting for a loved one. The beats are the real focus, though, as Jinco brings out an intense build up and beat drop. “Drifting into foreign scenes // Will you come and follow me? // Different places we can go // Why don’t you meet me up in Tokyo?” Tokyo represents a desired place, and can be any big city.
Too Original – Major Lazer, Elliphant, Jovi Rockwell
Here’s a noisy, fun bop to add to your playlist. Don’t listen too closely to the lyrics; their messy diction is part of the fun! Major Lazer brings the fast-paced, unique beats to the table and you’ll definitely feel like dancing in your dorm or apartment while listening. Sometimes, we all have to unwind, and this song is the best song to jam to while your roommate is out.
F.F.F. (ft. G-Eazy) – Bebe Rexha
Bebe Rexha’s vocals and G-Eazy’s smooth rap make this a groovy, savage song about ignoring those fake friends and focusing on the love. Whether you’re getting over a recent breakup or experiencing some friend troubles, this song will convince you to let those who don’t care about you go. You’ll tell yourself, “I ain’t got the time, money on my mind // I’ll say it to your face, fuck fake friends” and keep chasing your dreams with those who you truly love.
Really Really – Honey C
Another song to make you feel like a bad bitch, Honey C delivers with her powerful lyrics and beats. “You ain’t never had a real bitch // I think rap really really needs a real bitch” Honey C speaks the truth and you’ll soon feel her passion. Sometimes, we all need a bad bitch to tell us we can do it.
Not Yet – Veorra
Another fast-paced bop, Not Yet is the perfect example of an EDM song. The lyrics will also get you: “Living for the little things these days // Catch up to the bigger dreams, not yet // Yeah I gotta find my way, they say” You might feel like you’re never going to reach your goals, but this song will give you confidence and encouragement; sometimes good things come later, just not yet.
Crush – Tessa Violet
A lighthearted, cutesy song, Crush is all about dreaming about your future significant other. Tessa Violet’s slightly serious tone makes this song a fun tune that will get you lost in thoughts about your own crush. The chorus also comes with emphasized beats that will match with your steps as you head to your next destination. Tessa’s catchy lyrics include lines such as “I got a fascination with your presentation // Making me feel like you’re on my island // You’re my permanent vacation.”
Youngblood – 5 Seconds of Summer
We’re back to a emotional, powerful song with Youngblood by iconic boy band 5SOS. I highly recommend you watch the music video for this song as well; it makes the song just that much better. The song is all about young love, the tensions in a relationship. For the youth, love can be confusing, and this fast-paced song perfectly captures that: “You push and you push and I’m pulling away // Pulling away from you // I give and I give and I give and you take // You’re running around and I’m running away.”
Slow Down – Taichi Mukai
This song is just like its title; it’ll slow you down in the big city. Although it’s a mellow Jpop song and you might not understand the lyrics, you don’t need to in order to appreciate its chill vibes. Sometimes, we all need a little breather in the midst of chaos, and Taichi Mukai definitely delivers with this laidback tune.
Ma City – BTS
You know I gotta include some kpop on the list with BTS’ Ma City. The title explains itself; this is the type of song you’d hear in the opening sequence of a show set in a busy place. You’ll find yourself singing along to “Come to ma city!” and “Know how to party” as you jam along to one of BTS’ catchiest side tracks.
playboy shit (ft. lil’ aaron) – blackbear
blackbear is known for his dark, moody tunes, but this song is all about flexing and feeling your wealth. Although you might not be able to relate, listening to blackbear sing, “Woke up rich, real bad bitch, playboy shit that’s some playboy shit” will raise your confidence and feelin’ yourself energy.
Seoul (ft. Killagramz) – Lee Hyori
Here’s a last chill, quiet song for those days you just want to stay in and curl up under the covers. Lee Hyori’s smooth vocals will relax you as she sings about her hometown. Watching the city lights from a high vantage point with a mug of cocoa completes the experience; you’ll feel at peace with the world, knowing that there’s some quiet in a city that never seems to take a breath.
No Money – Galantis
In this popular song, Galantis puts a colorful spin on the experience of being frugal in an expensive city. For a broke college student, this is the perfect bop to jam to in your dorm room. While playboy shit made you feel like you were loaded for a second, No Money hilariously brings you back to reality while still making you feel like you’re having fun.
Which big city song is your favorite? Comment your thoughts below, or feel free to recommend other songs!