Music can tell you a lot about yourself and others. It could even be argued that music has become one of the most vital elements of the world.
Asking what music you listen to is a question often asked when first getting to know someone and attempt smalltalk – amongst other impossible questions such as ‘what’s your favourite film?’ or the awkward to answer ‘tell me about yourself?’. A regular response is ‘bit of everything actually’. Everything actually? Everything counts as DMX to Three Days Grace all the way down to Paris Hilton’s failed music career. Its simply not true… Then I find myself considering my favourite type and I think to myself ‘mmm, bit of everything really’.
The point being is that no matter what kind of person you are, we can all agree that everyone likes music – except that Watch me Nay-Nay bloke who’s vocal chords deserve to be stretched into a slingshot to catapult him and his stupid sunglasses into the abyss. Seriously, how can he claim to enjoy music after that monstrosity?
From a young age your musical taste is moulded by your surroundings like your social class, your peers and amount of exposure to music. I’ll be honest, I lied about the music I listened to at a young age up until the ripe old age of 14 (around the time Rihanna’s ‘umbrella’ came out). Before that I never really listened to new hits or anything, only really exposed to the likes of Oasis, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra from my dad and Robbie Williams, Dido and Michael Jackson from my mum. At that age it wasn’t cool to express what kind of music you enjoy, often lying when asked in fear of being excluded for not liking ‘Shifty’ or ‘MC whatshisface’. So it was that age that I decided to learn something about this vast world rather than hearing Robbie’s ‘Angels’ for the trillionth time from my mum’s CD player. I was happy to enter the world of modern music albeit a tad late – going through a stage of liking Akon, Black Eyed Peas, Darren Styles as a teen (I know, I know…the shame), to enjoying music that I’ve grown to love more like The Smiths, Hans Zimmer and Stromae. Not that it’s any better these days to some ears.
Music can both decide your mood and reflect it. Whether you’re running at the gym listening to Swedish House Mafia or calmly washing the dishes to Nat King Cole – music can set the tone. Its sunny? Shove some Jazzy Jeff on! Bit chilly? Maybe Buble will help out. It can accommodate clichés like the aphrodisiac that is Barry White in the bedroom or LeAnn Rimes after a breakup. Feeling sorry for yourself? Get some David Gray on and reflect on your life. Out tonight? It’s JT time! Maybe you just want to feel like a bad ass so you throw ‘The Lord of the Rings’ soundtrack on. There is a song and an artist for every scenario you can possibly name.
Music can help with memory too, for example I have a vivid memory of singing Eamon’s ‘I don’t want you back’ at my primary school fair on the karaoke. Every time I hear 10cc’s ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ I have flashbacks of singing along in the car with my mum driving to the Trafford Centre. Music can be your best friend or worst enemy at times when you feel alone – bringing out emotion in you that perhaps a friend could not. It can destroy you, it can liberate you, it can piss you off, it can make you laugh. Music is an entity that we don’t appreciate enough. But then again, I’m forgetting about Katie Price’s rendition of ‘A Whole New World’. Disregard everything.