Employee of the Month Playlist: Aaron Clements

Our October Employee Playlist of the Month comes from seasoned playlist expert and DJ Aaron Clements, an iHeartRadio Systems Administrator. Clements is well-versed in musical subgenres and loves hearing new things. His eclectic playlist features drum and bass—if you aren’t familiar with it, now’s your chance to get in the know. Check out the playlist and get hooked!


Why did you choose the songs on your playlist?

I started DJ’ing on AM radio 20 years ago this month, so I thought I’d take you on a tour of the first electronic genre(s) I truly focused on: drum & bass jungle. I was one of about 15 or 20 people dressed as 'The Crow’ for a 'Buzz' Halloween party at The Capitol Ballroom in Washington, DC when I heard it for the first time. If memory serves, it was all thanks to the DJ in the front room that night—Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite.

When do you listen to this playlist most?

It’s been awhile since I went crate-digging in this genre, so the process of narrowing it down was a huge trip down memory lane. Consider the list an intro. If I included everything I wanted to, it would be about four times the size. Each track still sounds as great as the day it came out.

Who is your dream artist to meet and why?

In the land of the living, I would love to meet Poe. (If you don’t know who she is, fix that.) I still listen to the Hello and Haunted albums today! It’s also interesting that the question includes the word "dream.” Poe once asked fans for sound-clips about a dream they had, presumably for an upcoming project. I’m not sure what happened with it, but I remember recording a clip and sending it in. Anxiously waiting for that third album, whenever it happens!

And I’d feel remiss if I didn’t mention the dearly departed Dolores O’Riordan. It would have been such a privilege to meet her. She had a massive influence on my listening as the lead singer of The Cranberries. She recorded two really solid solo albums and more recently recorded with the band D.A.R.K. Seek out Morgan Page’s remix of her song “Ordinary Day,” or The Orb's “Camel’s Hump” mix of “Zombie.” The Cranberries is one of the most formative bands of my musical past, so I created the playlist at bit.ly/RestInRadio-DoloresORiordan to help you catch up. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always will!

Can you share your most memorable music moment experience?

Long ago, I worked at the event “Super Sting 2” at The Capital Ballroom in Washington, DC. That night, Roni Size & Reprazent performed their genre-setting-album New Forms in concert!  No sequencers. Live instruments. Live vocals. Live everything. His concert was a brilliant primer for the new drum and bass listener.

More recently, I showed my grandmother and great aunt how to ask Alexa for music. Watching them ask for early-1900’s war-era tunes and seeing the reactions on their faces when the songs played was...pleasantly haunting.  It occurred to me that much of what we thought was hard to find in physical media might just be hiding over in digital if we dig for it. It didn’t matter that night whether the song played on a Victrola, a Technics deck or a digital player. Reactions like those are why I DJ.

What is the best part about working at iHeartRadio?

I’ve certainly learned more than I ever expected about the thirteen hundred (or so) micro-genres of music in the world...and I still haven’t even scratched the surface. (If you haven’t, check out everynoise.com.)  I'm also fortunate enough to DJ for some of our tech and product events. I also curate some of our featured playlists.  All of that is pretty humbling, considering how many DJ’s we actually have on staff! I feel like the luckiest DJ on the planet to get this kind of perspective out of my work.

Check out my purchase-tracking mega-playlist at bit.ly/A-Ron-the-DJ and our tech-driven bit.ly/iHeartHackRadio, which is jointly programmed by the entire tech staff!  I keep track of *all* the lists I’ve worked on at bit.ly/A-Ron-the-DJ-PLAYLISTS.  It’s a list I plan on making much larger with time.

A fun fact about myself is…

Fellow DJ and one of my dearest friends, The Music Librarian, recently asked me to name one thing a lot of people might not know about me.  The first thing I said to her was, “I actually...listen to a ton of music without beats.” (Check out Brian Eno’s "Thursday Afternoon,” Tosca’s Dehli 9 (Disc 2) and Harold Budd’s “Perhaps.”  And anything by Jeff Pearce or George Winston!)

Aaron Clements Playlist​​​​​​​​​​​​​​