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Why Remi Bader Listens To Heartbreak Ballads Despite Being In A Happy Relationship

The influencer chats about her music taste and how the AUX cord impacts her relationship.

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Remi Bader's music taste involves '60s jazz, show tunes, breakup ballads, and more.
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No one knows you better than your Spotify algorithm. From making breakfast and commuting to work, to heading downtown for drinks and unwinding for the evening, the algo knows exactly what you’re in the mood for at all times, even when you don’t. In TikTok influencer and model Remi Bader’s case, Spotify knows the influencer enjoys kicking off her mornings with some Dark Academia and Poetry Cottagecore vibes, before motivating herself with the music of the 2000s most iconic pop stars.

“I just went to LA for a shoot all day, and every time I do a shoot, they're always like, ‘What do we play? What's going to make you feel good and empowered?’ And I always say, ‘Just put on old Rihanna,’ because I just feel like that's the best,” Bader tells Bustle.

When she’s not channeling her main character energy with classic Rih Rih hits like “Work,” “Where Have You Been,” and “Only Girl (In The World),” you can expect to find the content creator vibing to other early aughts hitmakers like Beyoncé, Usher, and Alicia Keys, to name a few. “I just loved all the songs from that time,” says Bader, 28. “I feel like I'm the perfect person to be in control [of the AUX cord] if we're playing throwbacks.”

Bader’s grandmother was a music teacher, so it’s not an exaggeration to say she’s been surrounded by music her entire life. That’s probably why she’s always blasting tunes while she completes her daily tasks, whether she’s working out, cooking, or getting ready for a night in New York City. Her friends put her in charge of the music every time they’re together, but if she’s with her boyfriend, it’s a different story. “My boyfriend's a huge controller with the music,” says Bader. “The second we get an Uber, I'm almost embarrassed, he's like, ‘Hi, can I have the aux?’"

When it comes to her consistent queue, The TikToker names Etta James and Frank Sinatra as two of the artists who will always make an appearance on her playlists, as 60s jazz music never fails to put her in “the best kind of mood.” Oh, and don’t forget the Broadway show tunes. “I'm all over the place when it comes to music,” Bader confesses.

Her eclectic range of genres, eras, and vibes has likely only expanded since Spotify launched its new, ever-evolving “Daylist” playlist on Sept. 12. Personalized to every user, the list updates throughout the day to reflect your listening habits in the morning, noon, and night. When I spoke to Bader, the creator’s Daylist featured a bunch of Y2K bops like “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield and “Knock You Down” by Keri Hilson. TBT alert.

Considering she’s amassed an impressive 2.3 million followers on TikTok with her honest reviews of plus-sized fashion, Bader recognizes the relationship that fashion and music often have. But that doesn’t mean Bader lets her daily song selections inform her OOTDs. Instead, Bader relies on “whatever is available” and makes her feel comfortable to determine her look for the day.

Still, she’s able to incorporate her love of music and fashion into her viral realistic try-on hauls, usually by spontaneously breaking out into a song. “I see what comes to mind at the moment when I'm trying on a specific outfit and just truly improv and go with it,” Bader says.

Despite her undying devotion to the music she grew up with, that doesn’t mean Bader doesn’t enjoy the new generation of artists as well. In fact, the influencer spent most of the plane ride back from a recent LA trip listening to songs about intense and emotional heartbreaks from Reneé Rapp’s and Olivia Rodrigo’s latest albums — despite being in a happy relationship. "How can you not? The songs are good,” Bader says.

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