Music for Surviving a Pandemic

| April 23, 2020

What Trojan engineers are listening to during this period of self-isolation


These are turbulent times. USC students have moved back to their hometowns around the world to continue their studies during lockdowns while they struggle to find new modes of connection. Luckily, social distancing doesn’t stop us from bonding over entertainment that we enjoy, and music is one of the most universal art forms.

Sharing a song with a friend is like sharing a piece of yourself. Maybe you’ve danced to it alone in your room when no one was watching, or it simply played in the background while you completed a homework assignment. Either way, your experiences are intertwined with that song forever, and you can pass it along to someone else to add to that history.

Take a look at a few songs that Trojans engineers have hand-picked for you. Hopefully, they can provide some comfort, relief, or joy in these uncertain times.


 Noor Alriyami

Environmental Engineering ’22
Quarantined in Muscat, Oman

“Everywhere” – Fleetwood Mac



“Everywhere” is a song that represents all that is old and familiar to me. It gives me hope and comfort during some of my difficult times in self-isolation.

View Noor’s full playlist below:


Jessica Minsol Kim

Environmental Engineering ’22
Quarantined in Hsinchu, Taiwan

“Growing Pains” – Alessia Cara



“Growing Pains” is a great song to listen to now because so much of coping with the pandemic has been coming to terms with the fact that our existing social and political infrastructures are so vulnerable and underdeveloped. This is one of the first adult problems we have had to endure. It’s frustrating to be forced to grow up through this problem, and it’s even more frustrating not being able to solve it.

View Jessica’s full playlist below:


 Matthew Jeon

Chemical Engineering ’22
Quarantined on campus in Los Angeles

“4 Impromptus, D.899, Op. 90: No. 3 in G Flat Major” – Franz Schubert



The thing about classical music is that if you know how to play an instrument, you can play the music that you’re listening to. The Schubert piece is difficult, but it has a lot of color. It begins with calm tranquility, intensifies in the middle, and ends quietly. To me, it feels like even when things can become hectic and dramatic, we begin and end in calmness. And in the meantime, the melody is so beautiful.

View Matthew’s full playlist below:


 Asang Mehta

Chemical Engineering ’20
Quarantined in Tenafly, NJ

“Chalo Chalein” – Ritviz



“Chalo chalein” has been my go-to song during quarantine. It roughly translates to “move on” or “carry on” and I listen to it when I’m not feeling motivated to do anything.

View Asang’s full playlist below:


  Emma Morrissey

Mechanical Engineering ’20
Quarantined in Los Angeles, CA

“Leisure Bees” – Tacocat



“Leisure Bees” has such quarantine vibes. “Wear your pajamas til the end of time.” We can’t travel the world right now, but we can still come out on top listening to alternative/indie bops. We could all use a bee-t of leisure.

View Emma’s full playlist below:


 Amandeep Singh

Aerospace Engineering ’23
Quarantined in Staten Island, NY

“Shoota” – Playboi Carti ft. Lil Uzi Vert



“Shoota” is a song that I listen to whenever I might be feeling a bit down. It’s a song that I associate with a lot of good memories, and it helps me look forward to life post-quarantine.


View Amandeep’s full playlist below:


   Mady Tung

Biomedical Engineering ’22
Quarantined in Pleasanton, CA

“Good in Bed” – Dua Lipa



 It’s validating to know Dua Lipa supports my decision to stay in bed.


View Mady’s full playlist below:


Want all of these songs in one place? Check out an overall playlist you can follow on Spotify here:

Published on April 23rd, 2020

Last updated on April 27th, 2020

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