Seen through rose-tinted lenses, pop music can take on a polymorphous sound with lush vocals and plasticine production and the conductor in this case is sakehands. Led by producer and songwriter Aris Maggiani, sakehands is an LA-based collective who first garnered recognition for a 2015 Soundcloud demo “TOY,” which led to their signing to Majestic Casual Records.

Maggiani’s new single “PLASTIC” features sakehands’ latest recruit singer/vocalist Lauren Boncato aka Lo. The track pulls from a bevy of sources: 8-bit chiptune, ‘90s boy bands like N*SYNC, and the likes of the late R&B siren Aaliyah and producer Timbaland.

We asked Maggiani’s to put together a playlist of tracks that inspire sakehands’ music and it’s no surprise that ’90s / ’00s stalwarts like N*SYNC and Destiny’s Child make the cut. Check it out below.

1. Destiny’s Child – So Good
One of my favorite Destiny songs. I’ve been hooked on Kevin Briggs production since 4th grade, along with Rodney Jerkins. I still can’t get my snares this perfect.

2. 702 – You Don’t Know
This is one of the first songs that started using beats like that. It’s cool too because I think this came out in 1999 and a year later a lot of rnb moved in this direction. I love that sense of urgency in the drums.

3. N*SYNC – Do Your Thing
This song goes so hard and it’s basically just vocals, percussion and probably the best re-intro harmony I’ve ever heard. Plus that rap verse is wild…

4. O-Town – Sexiest Woman Alive
The lyrics are ridiculous. During this time boy bands would always sing about how girls “blow their mind”. I swear it was in like every song. I actually watched the first Making the Band with my mom and sister every week so we always kind of felt like we “knew” O-town. My mom liked Ashley.

5. Destiny’s Child – If
Despite the sample being completely overused, this generation of Destiny’s Child interpolated the original track better than anyone probably ever will.

It’s easy to think of it as just a pretty song when in reality it’s a diss track with so much attitude and sass. I love writing songs this way.

6. Spice Girls – Holler
For me Rodney Jenkins’ style is timeless. This track is 18 years old and I literally just try to copy it every time I work.

7. O-Town – Right Kind of Wrong
Not much to say about this other than it is a BOP

8. N*SYNC – The Two Of Us
This is my ultimate middle school crush track. It’s my leave on repeat during a long car ride while wearing headphones and staring out the window thinking about a girl track.

I doubt that I will ever know if I achieve this but one of my goals with sakehands is to give the same feeling to people that was given to me at a young age.

9. Natalie – Goin’ Crazy
Another good crush song, except for when they don’t feel the same about you. It’s nice to feel sad and listen to this song to feel more sad. It’s really a vibe, especially if its raining.

10. Isyss – Day & Night
One of my favorite chord progressions. This is one of the only tracks that isn’t from the 2000’s but it’s too good not to include. Personally I’m not into much 90s rnb/pop. People sometimes try to associate sakehands with 90s music but it’s whatever they probably like Next – Too Close

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