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Desert Island Disc Challenge: A Custom Made Boxset

This personally constructed boxset is distinctive in nature and defines my overall being.

Brianna Vacca



Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to take on the age-old challenge of choosing one piece of music they would like to have with them if they were stranded on a deserted island. It’s an absurd notion, but also irresistible. See all the different approaches they took to the challenge right over here.

“What one album would you bring with you if you were on a deserted island?” A timeless question. Honestly, it’s a convoluted one, too, because not only does a foolproof playlist have to be intricately designed, the mentality of a derelict has to be correctly understood: who wouldn’t go crazy being stranded on a deserted island?

First, conceptualize individuality.

Alone with your thoughts, anxiety, and desolate surroundings. No means of communication and the the prospect of not getting rescued. A catastrophic absence of technology — especially in today’s internet age. No Google Mapping your way out of this one.

Countless questions come to mind: Where am I stranded? Is it prone to bad weather? Is the water warm?  Was I shipwrecked or did I survive a plane crash? Will I even survive long enough to thoroughly wear down a soundtrack? Why didn’t I ever contemplate being on Survivor?

After viewing Cast Away, it is understandable that one would undergo a transition in personality and character, depending on pending conditions. Developing a personality disorder will be unavoidable.

A number of factors would effect my changing personalities and mood: a well-satisfied or lack of food,  the weather, and fundamentally, my sanity — or lack thereof. My soundtrack should fit any mood alteration and instance.

With the scenario and concerns considered, I am bringing four albums for every feasible situation:


Free by Gavin DeGraw

The album has an intimate, stripped down nature which is suitable in a balmy ambience. I’m envisioning myself in my well built shack, basking in the heat of a roaring fire.

The title track, “Free,” is relatively coincidental, yet taken for granted given my shipwrecked situation. Not necessarily the exact way I want to experience these songs, but it’s an impeccable soundtrack for making believe.

“And I wanna be free / Wind in my air / Salt on my skin / Sun in the air”

Christmas by Michael Buble

I’d fancy a Christmas selection, in preparation for an unaccompanied holiday season.

Of course, I would presumably have to resort back to the sundial to track my calendar days. Buble, at least, is a companion that gives back to me in a cheery, excitable manner.

Living Room Worktapes by Tenille Townes

Although this record only contains four tracks, Canadian Townes delivers a powerful voice and acoustic guitar set that feels like a few length album. Short but powerful.

This is a piece I’d want to have because it reminds me of my own nature.

I’m a singer/songwriter, and playing showcases is impossible when it is just me, myself and I. After awhile, the fictional stadium audience will fade away and I will be stuck again with my alternative, delusional personality.

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack

This peppy assemblage of anthems would distract my lonely being and transform my experience into a musical.

This metaphorical circus sums up the roller coaster of feelings I will be experiencing. Every musical piece should advance the plot, and I believe that each one of these tracks will eloquently sum up each and every one of the multiple personalities I will certainly be developing.

This personally constructed boxset is distinctive in nature, and defines my overall being to accompany me through this ordeal.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Brianna is a sophomore at the University of the Arts studying Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology and Creative Writing as a minor. She is a Grammy U Campus Ambassador at the Recording Academy, VIP Ambassador at CID Entertainment and a Promotions Assistant at Townsquare Media. She has a passion for the Music Industry, Entertainment, Radio, Writing, and being an active Singer|Songwriter.

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