Around the World

Beauty and the Beat

Harley Viera-Newton shares the perfect soundtrack to strolling solo through the streets of Tokyo.


The sci-fi skyline, futuristic fashion and exhilarating energy of this Japanese metropolis are an inspiring combination, especially when set to a soundtrack curated by fashion darling and DJ Harley Viera-Newton. On a recent trip to Tokyo to celebrate the opening of the new Michael Kors flagship in the dazzling Ginza district, we asked Viera-Newton for a personalized playlist perfect for playing tourist in this bustling city.


Q: What are some things to consider when making the perfect playlist?
A: A playlist really depends on where and when it will be played and who will be listening. The environment is so important and can make certain songs sound completely different. There's something magical about the right song at the right place at the right time.  
Q: What music do you listen to when you travel?
A: When I'm on planes and trains I like to listen to soothing, calming music as traveling can often be overwhelming. Recently I've been listening to Leon Bridges’ album Coming Home—the whole record is amazing.  
Q: Is DJing in Japan different than in the US?
A: The song choices don't necessarily change because Japan is very respectful of and very much caught up with NYC culture. But the response can be different— often Japanese clubs and events are less hectic because the audience is carefully listening to each song and appreciating the music, rather than trying to rage.  
Q: What’s your favorite venue in the world to DJ at?
A: I've had epic nights DJing at Raspoutine in Paris.  
Q: What’s your go-to outfit when you are behind the decks?
A: Almost always a comfortable dress, and I'm getting pretty good at hours in heels now!


Shopping in the glamorous Ginza neighborhood 
On Her Playlist: Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order This Must be the Place by Talking Heads 
“Daytime on the streets of Ginza is quite crowded and buzzing, and definitely a bit chaotic. I'd love to walk down the street listening to a classic New Order song like Bizarre Love Triangle or a song from Talking Heads—This Must be the Place comes to mind.”


Taking a break with a bubbly at the Palace Hotel 
On Her Playlist: Currents by Tame Impala
“The view from this balcony overlooking the Imperial Palace gardens was so incredibly beautiful. I would listen to the latest Tame Impala record Currents while having tea with friends to create a lax but upbeat mood to complement the stunning location.”


Lighting up the night on a Marunouchi street 
On Her Playlist: A Real Hero by College and Electric Youth   
“For some reason the first song that came to mind while we shot this was A Real Hero by College and Electric Youth. It's a moody and pensive song but has powerful energy, whichis how the Ginza streets at night feel to me.”


Getting the party started at Ginza Music Bar 
On Her Playlist: The Supremes    
“The sound in this tiny music bar is incredible because they have a crazy (and very envy-inducing) McIntosh setup. You really hear every detail and instrument in each song. I'd love to order their specialty fruit martini and hang out on their sofa while listening to a full Supremes album. How ideal does that sound!”