Please don’t stop the music

Exploring new music genres

Once we become interested in a certain type of music, it’s hard to change your preferences.

We let stereotypes, or the fear of judgment from peers, stop us from venturing into different realms of music.

We often criticize the music industry for not taking musical risks, but some of us are often unaware of unique artists and genres. Classical, ethnic music, techno, and soundtracks are often forgotten.

Phillip Trenthem (10) enjoys the whimsical melodies of harpist Joanna Newsom. Trenthem finds Newsom’s unique voice and her odd lyrics enchanting. Newsom sings about fairy tales and literature transporting the listener to magical places.

Trenthem didn’t believe the artist had many fans. “If any, [Newsom’s following is] weird group of hipsters,” said Trenthem.

Trenthem thinks people should at least give the harpist a chance, “You don’t have to like it. Just appreciate the musician for her creativity.”

Sheyla Afina (12) is a long time fan of Korean pop or K-pop. She thinks the music provokes her thoughts and emotions. “If it’s an upbeat song, I want to be happy. If it’s a ballad, I usually end up crying myself to sleep. It makes me want to do something.”

Afina claims K-pop is all about the visual presentation—the clothes, hair, good looking people, and of course, the intricate dances.

Afina believes everyone can find a K-pop sub-genre they like. She marginalizes the language barrier. “Language shouldn’t stop you from loving music. There are translations everywhere and, if anything, you’ll pick up some Korean phrases and expose yourself to a new culture.”

Kenji Nikaido (10) is a metal enthusiast. “No one thinks that someone like me would listen to metal,” he said.

Nikaido also uses metal to focus on tasks and as an emotional outlet. “Sometimes when I get really angry, I just kind of zone out with music playing and it helps me to relax, especially when I’m freaking out about schoolwork,” said Nikaido.

Nikaido thinks many people are turned away by the screaming, the growling, the loudness of it all, or they don’t understand the lyrics. He says people don’t appreciate the difficulty of playing this kind of music or its originality.

Not all popular musicians are bad, but they lack talent. Think of Rihanna. Sure she has an absolutely amazing voice and sounds great, but many of her songs are bought,” Nikaido said.

Nikaido wasn’t always a fan of metal music, “I [thought] all metal music was about death and generally negative stuff. I hated metal because I never gave it a chance.”

Now Nikaido finds joy in discovering metal bands, such as Of Mice and Men and Disturbed. Nikaido said, “Listening to metal is always an adventure.”