This post is a collaboration with Kia, but all thoughts and experiences are my own
Music has had it’s influence on my life ever since I can remember. I can recall my mum singing a lot when I was tiny, she would play songs by David Essex and Chris De Burgh, my father’s favourites were ELO, Queen and Dire Straits and my two Uncles ran a mobile disco. One of the prime places to listen to music is on a drive, so whether it is buses, electric cars, long-distance lorries or a taxi, your favourite tunes can be a great way to make a journey better.
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Driving Music Matters
As I got older, I found great pleasure in going for a drive to listen to my music – and that feeling has carried on throughout my life. If ever I needed some space, I would choose my favourite music at that time and go for a drive. If I ever I got a new album, I would prefer to listen to it for the first time in the car. When I became a driving instructor, I would always have music playing the background as the student progressed – it meant that they learned how to deal with distractions and could play their music without an issue once they had passed their test.
When I met Ross, we discovered a mutual love of driving with music. Each year since the age of 14 he had compiled a top 100 playlist – and I have joined him on this venture so, when we know we have a big road trip, we put our favourite 100 songs together and take it in turns to share with each other. As a result, there have been emotional tears, joy, laughter, and reflection – as well as seat dancing!
Over the last few years, we have both become radio presenters and Ross, appropriately, is the Radio Ninesprings drive-time host – so we know a thing or two about what affects music has when you are behind the wheel.
Kia Studies Music Impact on Your Drive
With all this in mind, I was interested to learn that testing led by Kia cars shows that the type of music playing through the audio system of an electric vehicle (EV) can impact real-world driving range. Together with a leading authority in acoustics, they found that playlists featuring well-known classical music from the likes of Beethoven can help drivers prolong the battery power for their vehicle over other music genres and artists, including The Weeknd, Kanye West and Adele.
Listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 can make drivers four times more efficient whereby The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ depleted battery power quickest!
When putting together their Drive Style Playlist Campaign, Kia found that up-tempo pop, hip-hop, and even soul ballad pop impacted the EV range due to the effect these genres have in influencing driver behaviour and driving style.
Our Top 10 Spotify Driving Playlist Songs
We have decided to choose our 5 top road trip tunes – 5 from Ross and 5 from me – and explain why we have chosen them and how they affect us.
Ross’ Top 5
C’Mon (Catch ‘Em By Surprise) – Busta Rhymes, Diplo & Tiesto
This song is best for motorway driving with an eye on the speedometer! If you don’t watch it, you’ll end up doing about 120mph without realising it but the quick pace keeps you awake when potentially monotonous roads might become overly dreary.
Mr Blue Sky – ELO
A complete classic sing-along which gets toes tapping and spirits raised whenever, wherever (unlike that Shakira song!).
Feel the Same – Olly Murs
Cheerful, bouncy, easy listening from one of the most consistent artists of the past ten years.
2 Hearts by Kylie Minogue
Another easy sing-along, especially with the “OOOOOH” call-back, and the extra oomph that kicks in during the chorus gives the song internal variety, for lack of a better phrase, from calmer verses to raucous keys in the chorus, and that’s helpful for driving focus.
Into You – Ariana Grande
It was tempting to go for Ariana’s FOCUS here since that’s what we should probably be doing on the road but the production values of ‘Into You’ combined with her flawless vocal to make something which, like Kylie’s song, switches in intensity during the tune and sound phenomenal in the surround of a good car stereo system.
Vicky’s Top 5
Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
What better song can you drive to than a song about driving? This originally came to my attention in the appropriately titled Disney film ‘Car’ and is not only a great driving tune, it is also a real feelgood song.
Determination – Go West
Determined to get somewhere, despite all the traffic jams and obstructions? Then this song helps you to remember that you will reach your destination, even if things take a little longer than they should!
Have It All – Jason Mraz
This is the perfect song for any family to get behind, sing along to – and feel the love. A car full of adults and kids need a song that they can all relate to. This is perfect for me.
Need You Tonight – INXS
In a very similar vein to Bohemian Rhapsody, you can nod your head to this one – not so much Wayne’s World style though! It is a much more sedate nod than that. You wouldn’t want to take your eyes off the road (hence the lack of BoRhap!). Need You Tonight slows things down a little and takes things at a calm pace whilst keeping the beat.
Madness – Muse
A fantastic song which builds and builds – but you do need to watch your speed as it does though! It is a great song to practice your harmonies to and there is an element of classical strings to this tune which adds to its layers.
Fancy listening to the whole playlist? Find it below on Spotify: