Submerged: Gabriel’s Playlist

Submerged: Gabriel’s Playlist

I mentioned how important playlists are to me as a writer. I use them to inspire certain scenes within stories. Sometimes, I even assign characters their own theme songs or anthems.

Sometimes, though, playlists give me some insights into who a character is.Gabriel is one of those characters I needed to develop a playlist for. He’s relatively difficult to get a handle on, which makes it challenging to tell the story, since it’s all in his perspective. He’s the main focalizer.

Introverted, Quiet

Gabriel’s not exactly a warm and fluffy character. In fact, he’s fairly closed off, which is what makes him difficult to write. He can be both incredibly perceptive and incredibly blind. He’s aggressive, but not in an overtly outward way. He tends to be sharp-tongued, but doesn’t like to talk a lot.

In short, he’s a character of contradictions. Writing him is sometimes like writing two separate characters.


Gabriel is, essentially, a serious character. He tends to overanalyze things and prefers logical and rational to emotional reactions. He doesn’t like to boast or talk very much. He’s a character who very much prefers to keep to himself and believes his actions speak louder than his words.

He’s dedicated, which comes out in his training. He has a habit of throwing himself into things headlong. “Passion” for him is doing things over and over again until he’s perfected them.

Musical Choices

Gabriel struck me as being into hard rock and metal, moreso than Reese. I felt that fit with Gabriel’s more pensive and serious nature. When he has emotions, he tends to be angry. He doesn’t always know what to do with that anger. These music genres tend to appeal to him more.

He also use music to pump himself up before competition and get into the right “headspace.”

So, I decided to throw together a playlist for him.

Gabriel’s Competition Mix

I myself am a fan of EDM and pop, although I listen to classic rock and the occasional rock track. I’m less familiar with metal. Nonetheless, I can appreciate a good song when I hear one.

So I asked around and discovered what people thought were the best songs to get “pumped up.” Scrolling through this list, I can hear Gabriel reflected in it.

A competition mix for Reese would have been much easier for me to put together. After all, Reese likes pop and EDM, the same way I do. I use these tracks to tackle workouts regularly. Since Gabriel prefers a much different genre, it was much more difficult to put his competition mix together.

What’s on It?

A lot of classic tunes here: everything from Metallica to Slayer to more popular tunes like “Eye of the Tiger” and “Thunderstruck” from AC/DC. Some of these tracks are acknowledged sports anthems. Others routinely make lists of the “top ten metal tracks” and other such lists.

Tracks with titles like “Strength after Strength” and “You’re Going Down” speak to Gabriel’s mentality and inner mantra as he’s preparing for competition. He’s effectively using these tracks to psych himself up to take down his competition, to refuse to break.

Oh, and obviously, we had to include the final track: “All I Do Is Win,” by DJ Khaled and Co. Because we all know that’s what Gabriel wants to do.

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Submerged is out now!

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