It really bugs me when I ask people about what music they listen to and they say something like “Oh, I don’t have time to listen to music.” I always think: How? How do you not have time to listen to music?
Ask anyone who knows me even slightly, and they will tell you that I am listening to music 97 percent of my waking hours. I may even have something playing while I sleep. Music is a staple of my day.
I distinctly remember my mom would play her own music whenever it was just me, her and my brothers driving somewhere. I remember she was playing India.Arie and I was shook. Truly, I couldn’t comprehend the feeling that acoustic guitar and vibrant voice was engendering within me, but it was lovely.
My brain felt like it was being slowly covered in glittering honey; my chest was full of this indescribable warmth; my breath caught. Whenever we went for drives, I begged my mom to play certain artists from her collection. India.Arie, Joss Stone, Alicia Keys and Jill Scott. She had Maxwell, Lauryn Hill, even Kanye West. There were some gospel artists in there too, like Mary Mary. Speaking of Mary, Ms. J. Blige graced my ears, too.
This music was full of passion, sorrow, joy, sass; the rhythm was irresistible. It wasn’t too long before I was listening on my own while I did homework or journaling in my room. I had no experience with their stories but it moved me, somehow.
My dad introduced me to Sade and I’ve been in love ever since. Interestingly, he also introduced me to Pink Floyd, but they were too conceptual for my young mind initially. “The Wall” was too advanced for my eight-year-old brain, but I felt cool knowing who they were. He also listened to U2 and Metallica. Talk about eclectic.
My stepmom was into Motown, so Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Al Green helped her be my first dance teachers. Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Etta James were also in rotation for a fix of Jazz and Soul.
Fast-forward to now; I’m in school, working, and still finding time for music. Everyday I’m listening to an even wider scope of artists – I’ve even made friends through music!
Jackson Smith, a fifth semester MCTC student who has briefly studied Music Production had this to say: ” Music is so emotionally involving, it allows anyone who’s had that emotion to relate to it; it allows people to relate to each other.”
When I asked him his favorite genre, he simply replied “It’s impossible to choose.” I totally relate to that.
The more music you listen to, the more relation you find between genres. You realize there are some artists today like Drake, Thundercat, even St. Paul’s own Lexii Alijai that realize the benefits of old school music and its ability to inspire the new school.
Music connects because it is so human. It is emotion that you can move to. There are songs that make you think about your ex, there are songs that you just have to dance to; there are songs for doing work and for being angry to. People become friends at concerts; there’s that one person you spontaneously had a duet with and then never saw them again.
Music is a point of connection that we all have time for, and we’re better for it. It’s so easy to make time for, and it’s a great way to meet people and make new relationships.