I was with a really good friend of mine one day, we were jamming with another friend of ours (Ray Flores, a co-host of “Mr Cadillac Fancy Pants“), and in between sessions we’d talk about music. We’d exchange songs, artists, bands. We got pretty deep about it, and naturally the subject of the relativity of art came up. More specifically, we discussed if there is such a thing as music that’s “bad” for a person to listen to.
Obviously this is relative to the individual, and because art is relative and subjective, there’s really no such thing as “bad music”. But I’ve always felt that something as beautiful as music should serve a higher, more profound purpose than just to entertain. And my friend, Elliot was his name, brought something very interesting to my attention. He described how he chose his music, how he viewed and sifted through the seemingly endless reservoir of music that the world has.
If I were to explain the essence of what he described simply, it’d be that he chose music that he liked, which isn’t anything special, it’s what most of us do right? But what made it so special, was the emotion and self-knowledge that came along with choosing music that, to him, was worth his time and emotional investment.
Ultimately, his goal was to accumulate a collection of music that accurately represented his attitude, his life experiences, his emotional and psychological makeup, who he was as a person. He wanted music that made him happy when he was sad, music that made him sad when he wanted to be sad, music that helped him to understand his emotional state when he didn’t know what or even how to feel. He said that when you find music like that, it doesn’t matter what kind it is, or how others view it, or even how you yourself view it, it’s you, you own it, it’s a unique embodiment and representation of your personality and character that nobody else can have, touch, or experience.
That’s what your music collection should be, that’s the kind of playlist we should have for ourselves, something that only we know, that only we can relate to on a personal level. And to get to that point, a lot of self-reflection has to take place, but not in a emotionally exhausting, “Oprah moment” kind of way. It just takes time and honesty to choose music that means something to you and that you can relate to like no one else can. For me, I had to cut a lot of music I found meaningless out of my diet, and took time and thought to choose what I had the most fun with and that made me feel what I wanted, when I wanted. That’s the kind of music that doesn’t get played out, the kind you never get tired of. And trust me, this kind of search is a lot more fun than it sounds.
Understand yourself, reflect on what you know so far about yourself, and let your music fill in the rest! What’re your thoughts? Should music choice be simpler than that? Voice your thoughts below!