A person’s musical education is fascinating; it shapes and develops personality, ideas and opinions. It influences clothing, friendships and relationships and can unite a room full of strangers.
Over the years I’ve come to enjoy the way people pigeon hole you by your music or presume to know your taste. There’s a certain smugness to be had when you reveal your vast and varied catalogue. I like to do this during conversations about bands or artists it’s assumed I won’t or shouldn’t like or know about.
I grew up listening to everything, from the likes of Kylie Minogue and Sonia (that’s right, Sonia), to Buddy Holly and The Beatles, Bon Jovi, Green Day and Notorious B.I.G to name but a (very) few. I’ve discovered new old bands, have a soft spot for the New Romantic period in the early 80s and more recently even surprised myself by downloading tracks by DJ Fresh, Example and Chase and Status.
The downloading of the above artist’s tracks is, I think, to do with the fact that individual songs get stuck in my head and I fixate on them. I find that I’ll be consumed by certain songs for weeks – at the moment I can’t get enough of Baby I Need Your Loving by The Four Tops. I’m sure many of you will know what I’m talking about – which songs are you obsessing about right now?
In my teens I was once told by a male classmate “you don’t look like you’d be into Warren G, I thought you’d like classical music and s**t.” This, I guess, was on account of my insane shyness and lack of vocalisation in any social situation. What I didn’t say after this exchange was that actually I do listen to classical music, as well as rap, indie, Hip hop, Rock, pop and just about every other type of music – except metal, apart from the odd song it’s just not for me. That’s not to say, metal fans, that I don’t appreciate it.
It’s a number (and I shan’t say how many) of years later and these assumptions continue. The stereotype that ‘indie kids’ don’t wash, don’t speak and shoe gaze on the dance floor is off the mark. Yes, there are a few of ‘these types’ roaming the ever disappearing independent record stores but a lot of the time people aren’t aware just what genre of music they’re listening to, no matter what their bathing habits, they just like music.
A couple of years ago I commented to a friend (positively) on the new found main stream popularity of Kings of Leon, after the club I was in had gone mental to Sex on Fire. The reaction I got was “what’s the problem with it?! You indie lot always hate it when your bands make it big.”
I chuckled to myself, firstly because of the ferocity of the reaction but also because I was being put into that category, I was ‘one of them’ so I took a sip of my drink and went off to dance to Britney.