To Keep a Relaxed Atmosphere in His Car, Michael Turns on Jazz


Born and raised in Nigeria, Michael immigrated to the United States in 1998, settling first in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before moving to Houston, Texas. He’s been driving with Lyft for a year and says he’s learned a few important lessons.

He always makes sure he’s well-rested. He likes to prioritize airport rides, since they tend to be longer trips and riders often tip well. And he does whatever he can to make his riders feel comfortable — right down to choosing his music carefully.

But be strategic about setting that volume level, Michael adds.

“What you think is a normal volume when you’re driving may be too loud for some riders.” Because some riders immediately get on their phones, Michael always first sets his volume to low.

As for what he plays, he’s found that lots of people like jazz. “It cuts across the spectrum — men, women, people of different cultures.” He subscribes to Spotify to pull from a diverse list of artists.

Here’s one of his go-to Spotify Playlists.

Michael recently picked up a woman from the airport. “We didn’t talk during the whole ride, but just before I dropped her off she said, ‘I can’t tell you how relaxed I am listening to your music. I got into your car so stressed, but I feel like I just went through therapy.’”

It made him feel good to put his rider at ease.

“Music is important.” Michael explains, “because it sets the atmosphere.”

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