What’s up, World?! I mean other than a global pandemic and all…
It’s been a while. I’ve actually started two other blog posts since my last one, which didn’t get much further than the title, so third time’s the charm I guess! (And the two attempted posts will eventually be completed when I can summon the inspiration and motivation for them.)
As you can probably guess from the post title, today I will be talking about why I love music!
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? When I was a kid I had a “child minder”, which is essentially a nanny or a babysitter type of situation. She was a lovely older lady who would take me to school and pick me up again, and I would stay at her house until my muma finished work and could come pick me up. This woman was a huge influence on my life. We watched TV together (Murder She Wrote, anyone? Excellent show in my opinion), we would complete puzzles together, and sometimes we would listen to music together.
She had a proper record player. Not like those tiny, compact things that they sell now. This was a giant record system that took up almost the entire wall. And given that she was an older lady – I would guess in her 50s at this point of my childhood – she had all the classics; Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, you know the drill.
My childhood best friend – who also happened to be my child minder’s grandson – was into Linkin Park and Green Day, and I remember a game he used to play had Run-DMC on it, among many other epic songs!
I also had my own music taste, which was really just a bunch of boy-bands and girl-bands from the time. Let’s face it, it was the late 90s/ early 2000s. S Club 7, Steps, Hearsay, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, McFly, and I can’t go without mentioning the absolute love of my childhood, Busted. I had both their albums, their singles, and I remember crying when I saw on the news that they broke up. Don’t judge me, it was a traumatic moment at that age!
And then of course I’ll have to mention my parents and their music tastes. My dad listened to a lot of 80s and early 90s stuff, because that was the music he listened to in his late teens and 20s. Any time I went on a long-ish journey with him in the car he would put on his CD that he burned with all his favourites on – could that sound any more 2000s!? I still listen to a lot of those songs now! My muma was more the type to listen to whatever was on the Hit 40 UK list and then decide what she liked from that. Honestly the only thing I remember muma actually listening to was Will Young and Daniel Bedingfield, so we’ll move swiftly on…
The Teen Years
Ah the teen years. All those hormones and teenage angst. Such a magical time.
During the teen years you generally fall into some kind of category: emo kid, chav, the populars, the nerds, etc. I was an emo kid (and honestly for anyone who knows me in person I still kinda am. It’s not just a phase, emo kids for life!), so as you can imagine there was a lot of Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, Simple Plan, Panic! at the Disco… honestly we could be here a while if I listed them all, so we’ll just leave it there for now!
This music taste and lifestyle was heavily influenced by my friends in school. I can’t honestly remember how most of the bands I listened to became part of my playlists, but there are two bands in particular that I know exactly who to thank for them. Shout out to Jay for All Time Low, and Sophie for Simple Plan! There were many people involved in influencing my emo side during this time, and honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Despite me being an emo kid, however, I was also a bit of a drifter – I had friends in different social groups, so I would also listen to music with people with different tastes. My “sister” (not actually related, but basically we are) is the reason I listened to things like Chipmunk, Jay Sean, Sean Kingston, Pitbull, etc. Whenever she slept at my house we would constantly have the music channels playing in the background.
Of course, the teenage years are complicated. It’s hard enough to deal with all the usual school drama and puberty anyway, and then throw in social groups and your “identity” and you feel like you have to fit into a specific box! Due to this, I never listened to anything other than my stereotypical emo music when I was around people that weren’t my close friends. The fears of being branded a fake emo were real people!
That brings us on to the young adult years, and can I just say, THANK GOD FOR THAT. I do not miss the petty drama and stress from school and college. I do miss having such simple problems though. They felt like such life and death things at the time, but honestly they were the most basic problems.
Being a young adult was a lot of change for me – the start of my mental health issues, starting real employment, the beginning of actual adult responsibilities, first serious relationships, and of course, my muma’s diagnosis and death. But there were also positive changes, like more freedom, true friendships, and the beginning of my self-discovery!
I no longer had to fit myself into a specific box and only reveal certain things that I loved and enjoyed to people. I had so much more freedom and confidence to be myself. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a work in progress. I still don’t show 100% of myself to everyone. But I also don’t deliberately hide stuff away either. This meant that I could enjoy all of my different music tastes and not worry as much about what people thought of me for it (I have anxiety people, there is still some worry involved regarding being judged… we’re working on it).
I should probably do a special mention here for my current boyfriend – thank you for introducing me to a load of new bands and artists (here’s looking at you Imagine Dragons and Lukas Graham), for reinforcing my interest in artists I already liked (what’s up Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi), and for reminding me of how much I love musicals. Our many, many roadtrips have always been filled with music, singing, and laughter. So once again, thank you!
So this brings us to now. Right here. In the present. I still listen to a whole load of music from my past. I still listen to my favourites from the classics, I still listen to some of dad’s songs, and I definitely still listen to my emo music and the absolute bangers from my teen years. But I also listen to anything new that comes out that I like the sound of. If I hear something on the radio that I think sounds good – or even sometimes a song on TikTok that I find catchy – you know that I am not even hesitating to add it to my playlists on Spotify. Forget fitting into a box. I’m going to be me and allow myself to love the things I love. You do you boo!
So that brings us to the second part of this post that I wanted to bring your attention to. I am so, so sorry for how long this is already! Honestly if you’re still reading, I appreciate you! I promise it’s not much longer.
Why do I love music?
I love music because it’s so powerful. The right song can make you feel so many different emotions. The right playlist can determine your entire mood. Music is such a huge part of life, connecting people over any distance.
Music can get you pumped and excited for a night out, give you the energy and motivation to complete a workout, or be background sound for studying. It can remind you of a certain person, a certain time, a certain place. Music can make you miss someone, or make you feel closer to them. Music can make you feel happy and loved, or make you feel sad and emotional. It can make you nostalgic. It can make you focused. It can make you want to sing and dance. Music can help you get your day started right, make your commute more enjoyable, or be your wind-down for the evening. It can set the mood for a romantic dinner, or be the outlet for your feelings. It can give you the words to say to someone when you’re unable to say them yourself.
So that’s it! That’s why I love music so much, and why I rarely go a day without listening to any. Music is life.
Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you feel like you know me a little bit better! Let me know if you can relate to how I feel about music, tell me your favourite bands/ artists/ songs, or just say hi! My comments are always open, and you can even message me directly using the contact feature or via my social media pages.
I love you all, and I will see you again soon.
Music is life itself.Louis Armstrong