“Music can be a lot of things for me,” Daniel Ricciardo tells Apple Music. “It can put me in the zone and enhance my focus.” The Perth-born Formula One driver knows a thing or two about keeping his eyes on the road, but he also knows how to unwind and look back. “It’s an escape, it can take my mind elsewhere,” he says. “It’s got lots of memories, like a photo album: You hear a song and it takes you to a moment in time, and a picture of where you were when you heard it or what you were doing when the song came on.” And while he uses music to stay focused, it’s equally powerful as a means of escape. “I think seeing music live is probably one of the only things in the world that actually allows me to 100 percent switch off anything else and have pure focus,” he says. Here, he selects songs that get him in—and out of—the zone, and speaks more about some of his favorites below.
Loyle Carner, “Loose Ends” feat. Jorja Smith “I spend quite a bit of time in England and I’ve got quite a few English mates who passed me on to Loyle Carner. I just love it. The last verse really caught me—it sounds very deep and sad and beautiful, all at the same time. He’s got an amazing voice and it’s an awesome combination with Jorja Smith.”
ford., “Bedford Falls” “ford. is on ODESZA’s label, Foreign Family, and when ODESZA posted this artist on Instagram, this song just got me. There’s something so magical about it. It’s very simple, it’s just got a powerful feeling. I can relate a lot to it with my own life and the message and experiences that he’s gone through.”
Gang of Youths, “The Heart Is a Muscle” “I first heard them back in 2013—for years, they were pretty unknown to most people. I love the sound; they had something about them which I thought was really cool. I saw them live for the first time in 2017 in San Francisco. There weren’t many people there, and I was like, ‘Shit, how has no one heard of these guys yet?’ The energy and the story that they tell through their songs is so powerful. I got to meet the guys after, and we’ve created a friendship since then. They really spread across a broad audience—my mum loves them, friends my age love them. And I love supporting Australian music. This is one of their biggest songs for sure, but I love the buildup.”
RÜFÜS DU SOL, “Treat You Better” “I travel a lot and this is the perfect scenic song, while you’re looking out the window of an airplane. I remember listening to it while driving through the desert to Coachella. It carries something about it; it’s just beautiful.”