Music is personal; let’s talk about it

If I’ve learned anything from trial and error in exhausted pursuit of conquering social etiquette, it’s that there are steadfast conversational murky waters. Tread at your own risk—and if I may—tread gently with music.

“So, what kind of music do you like?” Blame it on my naivety, inept social graces, or inclination toward painful sincerity, but I used to ask this question as part of my nice-to-meet-you ritual. Responses varied from an exhausted “Oh—I don’t like to identify with genres” to “Katy Perry”. Horrible is subjective. Then again, isn’t good music?

My favorite thing has become taboo. Music, what I often consider a universal driving force, seems to be shackled by a modern interpretation laced with status and pretention. Although the fine arts has always held hands with an aura of exclusivity, our visual world of Internet fanaticism breeds it.

If music makes you feel something, if it takes you to another place or simply makes this world remotely more bearable, then listen. Truly, even as someone who tries desperately to poke at my essence in hope of becoming my most legitimate form, I’ve steered clear of mentioning some of my most beloved, influential artists for the fruitless sake of acceptance. I hate myself for it.

Judging musical taste feels a little bit like judging someone’s happiness. Music is technical. It’s science. But it’s also what makes the drive to work easier. Some people set their morning alarms with a specific song to indulge in just a couple moments of tranquility or anger or sadness that would’ve been lost. Music pierces you and tells you how you feel or what you want to feel or why you feel it.

So, let’s keep the conversation going and stop being cool.

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