Like the music you hear as you check-in or hang in the lobby at The James? Then thank DJ, music curator and producer Jared Dietch of Music Matters. Jared is the man responsible for musically connecting us to each of our locations, creating city-specific mixes inspired by the places we call home.

Sound like a cool job? Learn more about Jared and how he got his start in the music business, below.

1. How’d you get your start in the music industry?
I got a job answering phones for Suzanne Vega’s manager. This was a few years post Tom’s Diner so the phone was still ringing with industry heavy weights. I was not exactly the best assistant in the music industry, ha!

2. What’s your process for selecting the playlist for The James?
I typically take big folders of music from my library that would make sense at the hotel. I then edit, figuring out what I want to keep. Once I have a folder of appropriate music, I divide it up by time of day. We also have events throughout the year like Lollapalooza where we do specialty programming. This is actually my favorite because the programming of the festival is so good, I’m able to use the lineup as a study tool for what’s hot and what will be hot in the future.

3. How much does the city where the hotel is play a factor in what’s selected?
It depends on the brand but with a property like The James Chicago, where the local experience is front and center, it means a lot to highlight and showcase Chicago artists. I also try to think about why a particular city “sound” exists and where it comes from. From a cultural perspective, these aren’t random and I love to dig for answers!

4. Who are some great up-and-coming musicians people should check out?
I’m loving Anderson Paak, still listening to Kamasi Washington pretty often, and for relaxing Duval Timothy is on repeat right now.