Former President Obama surprised twins Tim and Fred Williams on their YouTube channel, “TwinsthenewTrend,” after they reacted to one of the songs off his memoir playlist.

In a video posted on Thursday, the twins began by listening to “The Times They Are a-Changin'” by Bob Dylan. The song was included in a playlist Obama shared earlier this week, calling them “memorable songs from my administration.”


After listening to the song, the pair begin a video conference when Obama then calls in, apparently surprising them.

“Hey people, what's going on? I hear you guys were asking questions. I decided I'm just going to go ahead and come here live,” said Obama.

The former president explained his approach to cultivating playlists, saying, “I do playlists all the time just for fun, and I did that when I was president. But one of the things I did was do a playlist because I released my book about the first part of my presidency called ‘A Promised Land’ and music’s kind of a theme in the book.”

Fred Williams asked Obama why he included Dylan’s song on his playlist and the significance of the song for him.


“I've been a Bob Dylan fan for a long time, partly because I'm just older. He was part of that kind of social conscience that was in rock music and then later in hip hop music,” said Obama. “Look, I'm like everybody else; I like music about girls and cars and ... but whenever you can find some musicians that really have a message about how America might be, how the world might be that always is something that I pay attention to. And then he's one of the greatest examples of it.”

Obama was also asked what advice he would give to young people now.

“One of the most important things we can do as people, but especially young people, is opening our minds to how other people feel, what their traditions are. You know, trying to make common cause with folks, even if they don't look like us, or didn't come from the same neighborhood. The country is so divided right now,” said Obama.

“On the internet and a lot of times, everybody's just mad. And you guys are doing, which is being open to new ideas, new experiences and reaching out to different traditions, that's America at its best. And I think you guys, sending that message is powerful. So keep on doing what you're doing.”