Song: Youth by Locksley
Location: Lincoln Hall, Chicago
Production: Golden Fleece Media

I have always been into music. I mean, really into music. But I am not a musician, I am a listener. I do more than hear music, I feel it. I know that I am different in this regard because when I comment on music (like, this is too fast or too soft or not the right music for this place…) my friends just stare at me, as if to ask, “Why does it matter so much to you?” But it is this critical ear that allows me to bring the best music to valslist.

I made playlists long before they were called playlists. As a teen, I made music mixes for my friends. We grew up on rock and roll, garage band music, disco, protest and folk songs. My music collection (which I’d organized all summer) rode on the front seat with me to college. As an adult, I have created the sound for school videos, sports teams, weddings and anniversary parties. Since the advent of modern catalysts like internet and satellite radio and the iTunes music store, the breadth of my musical discovery has grown exponentially. I began sharing my playlists with friends and family, and they had a single message: turn your hobby into a business.

Enter valslist.

I’ve created this boutique music website to function as a “music concierge” service – where I find the best cutting edge music for busy people. My taste is anything but Top 40. You won’t hear most of my selections on regular radio. I organize tracks on each playlist to flow effortlessly and set a mood. I surprise you with two vintage oldies to make you smile (always tracks 5 and 10.) I’ll throw in a world tune to expand your horizons. I have been told my music is predictably good, not predictable music.

To me, music is the spice of life – it should be everywhere. When music is missing, life is flat. What makes valslist music good? The best music moves you, causing a visceral effect in you. That’s the music I like. That’s the music I bring to valslist. No matter who you are, no matter what your music status, you will enjoy discovering valslist, and I will enjoy bringing to you that rare feeling of hearing the right song.



  • Val Haller is founder/CEO of the music website Valslist.com (launched 7 years ago – first music site specifically created to help busy adults keep up with new music
  • She writes the music column for Make It Better magazine, authored a weekly music match series for the New York Times, has a personal blog mini music note, and is a regular guest on the morning television show “You & Me This Morning” (WCIU “The U”)
  • Her business has branched out in myriad directions, Val interviews bands, does press at music festivals, started a music club for adults, hosts house concerts in her home, took 30 adults to Lollapalooza, and recently launched a mobile app ValslistRadio (Valslist playlists for your phone).
  • Val has been vetted by Oprah, Katie Couric, WGN, FOX, Chicago Sun-Times, WNYC public radio, NYT, NS Magazine, and music industry moguls, Bob Lefsetz, Norm Winer of WXRT, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, and more.
  • But her mission is simple: she wants to get the best new music to an audience who doesn’t have time to find it on their own. You.