“You listen to what, Tony?!” (Photo by Jason M Hammond)
I have a confession: I’m embarrassed to tell people what music I listen to. Like, really embarrassed. I freeze up every time I get asked. I damn near threw my laptop out the window once I saw Spotify was showing my facebook friends my songs. And the reason I don’t like to tell people what I listen to is because the response is usually something like, “What?! You listen to Miley?! That music is crap! You gotta listen to some Zeplin. That’s real music!”
Have you ever had this conversation? Someone decides that your style of music isn’t “right” and they go on to tell you the type of music that you “should” be listening to. I’m tired of this. And I’m ready to make a loud, internet confession:
I listen to pop. I listen to music that some people label as “garbage.” I like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Taylor Swift, Brittney Spears, Justin Beiber, Nikki Minaj, Selena Gomez, and many others. I’m sure you have a list ready for me about all the wrong/stupid/illegal things these celebrities have done. But you know what? I don’t care. They play good music, and I like listening to it. And as long as they aren’t physically harming other people, I could care less what they do with their personal lives (Though for the record, let’s chill with the Miley references on facebook).
Admittedly, I also like music that a lot of high schoolers and even middle schoolers probably listen to. I was huge New Found Glory fan back in the day. I still enjoy listening to them every now and then. I also like Simple Plan, We The Kings and lots of other pop punk bands.
If hearing these artists make you cringe, you’ll probably need a barf bag for this part: There are Nickelback songs that I like.
“Okay Tony. We get it. You listen to terrible music. Why are you telling us?” Because I realized recently that it’s not a bad thing. I’ve just always assumed it was a bad thing because from what I’ve been told, I’m the only person who likes these artists. First off, not true. I guarantee you I can find several readers who will collectively like all of the singers/bands I’ve listed – maybe not Nikelback. Second, your opinion of my music is, in fact, an opinion. And nothing more.
What about this whole thing where I’m the odd one out? Again, I don’t think this is necessarily true, but let’s say I am for a moment. I’ve had my share of circumstances where many people told me not do something that I liked/wanted to do. Here are some instances where I was the minority and had others disagree with me:
-Moving to Chicago
-Moving to Chicago for acting
-Going to school for acting/trying acting as a career
-Waiting tables as a side gig.
I originally intended to talk about how I accomplished many of these things. However that comes off cocky, and I also haven’t accomplished all of them. There’s a good chance that I won’t accomplish some. (Though I am CRUSHING the whole waiting tables thing!) And maybe that means those who told me not to do go after those goals were right. But you know what? That’s for me to figure out.
And you know what else? Maybe I’ll realize someday that the music I’m listening to now is actually garbage. That’s for me to figure out too. My hope is that if you’re in a situation where people are telling you not to do something that you really and truly want, you’ll go after it or do it anyway. Within reason. Let’s not do anything silly like hurt someone, or root for the Yankees.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Taylor Swift to listen to before bed.