What Taylor Swift, Zayn Malik and Clarkson's Faces Say About Their Spotify Tastes

By Kate Solomon on at

One of the best things about Spotify is its open API, which means developers can come up with all manner of ways to recommend you songs. But a hackathon in Los Angeles this Easter weekend resulted in the creation of MusicFace, which uses your actual face to recommend tunes.

It’s a mashup of a few different services, using Face++ to analyse your photo for age, gender, ethnicity and mood, then parsing it through a bespoke algorithm and The Echonest to recommend you a genre which, if agreeable to you, you can hit up for a full Spotify playlist.

Of course, you and I have faces and they are fine, but you know who has really good faces? Celebrities. So we put a random selection of them through MusicFace to see what we’d be listening to if only we had their enviable bone structure.

1.) Taylor Swift

Six year-old Taylor Swift, pictured here in 2014, should probably have scored a mood rating of more than 17 out of 100 given her swimming pools of cash, excellent cats, hot new boyfriend and super cool celebrity friends. Do they party to popular indie rock music? With Haim, Lorde, Paramore and Dashboard Confessional in her latest roster of Instagram pals, we’re going to say: yes.

2.) Jeremy Clarkson

Close your eyes. Put on some mellow jazz – nothing too left-field, keep it Radio 2. Does everybody’s favourite Man Who Can Drive swim into view, shirt open at the collar, head cocked somehow down and up all at once, smirking slightly and speaking a little bit too loudly, a fine mist of spit settling aggressively on your cheeks as you try to back away? Yes, thought so. Mellow jazz. Spot on.

3.) Jay Z

Big in the streaming game, but how does his face measure up? The “Young Forever” rapper and business, man will be pleased to hear MusicFace puts him at 27, and can it perhaps interest him in some mellow hip hop music? Yes, we imagine so – but probably not on Spotify.

4.) Beyoncé

According to MusicFace, Queen B is an eight-year-old white girl who might be into a bit of popular indie-rock music. Can’t see Beyoncé getting home and sticking on Mumford and Sons, but you never know what goes on in the Carter household when they’ve finished having sex in the kitchen and counting their Grammys.

5.) Hodor from Game of Thrones

It’s a tough life, being Hodor. You’ve got a one-word vocabulary and a kid on your back who keeps warging into your brain. But you know what can improve any journey beyond the wall? A bit of Jamie T. Maybe some The Killers. Mix in a bit of Electric Six and you’ve got yourself a party to drown out all the horrors you’ve seen and don’t have the mental capacity to process.

6.) Ada Lovelace

What would the Mother of the Algorithm have been listening to if Spotify had been around in the 1800s? Electronic music, appropriately enough. The Enchantress of Numbers would be into Moby and The KLF. She’d have a bit of Bonobo with her Babbage and some Groove Armada with her algorithms. She’d also be Asian.

7.) Nigel Farage

"High Energy Jazz"? That sounds a bit ethnic for Nige. He’s a simple man. He knows what he likes and foreigners coming to the UK with all their high energy jazz and AIDS and stuff do not make the cut. In fact, Farage has apparently been listening to “a lot of French rap” on the campaign trail which doesn’t sound like something that’s been made up by a harangued press officer at all.

8.) Betty White

I wouldn’t be surprised if the ex Golden Girl does spend most of her time listening to high-energy disco music, to be honest.

9.) Zayn Malik

We like to champion little-known artists here on Giz UK, so meet Zayn Malik. Just 13 years old, he’s an up-and-coming singer songwriter who’s into mellow rap music and could do with cheering up after a recent break-up. We’re predicting big things for this guy. Keep an eye out for him.