“True music, true art, it chooses you.
It lights a fire inside of you that you can’t explain.
It lives in your heart, your mind, and your soul.
We are the guardians of its creation,
And it is the beacon of our inspiration.
The music survives if we keep the songs alive.” -Alesana
Leave it to one of the greatest bands of my life to encapsulate my sentiments towards this art form in such eloquent and succinct terms! That exact “fire” which the quote refers to is ignited inside me every time I hear music that speaks to me on some emotional or spiritual level, or when I see one of my favorite artists perform a live show. And let me tell you, it is one of the greatest natural highs in this world. Music is not just a form of entertainment; for a lot of people it’s their motivator, their medication, their release, their passion… The list goes on. My intention for this article is to give mad props where mad props are due by hopefully conveying a sense of what music means to me and how it has impacted my life, and the lives of countless others!
Although I’ve already referenced a specific band, I don’t want to focus so much on a particular genre, but rather just music in general, why it is important and why I feel as strongly as I do about it. Let’s face it, if I start elevating one genre I will inadvertently start bashing another simply for the sake of argument and comparison. But that’s not why we’re here. We want to build something up, not tear it down (no matter how warranted said ‘tearing down’ may be). Ok, I’m gonna stop.
Anyone who knows me, or is somehow associated me, knows that I am “that person” that will get into a heated discussion about good vs. bad music, and will argue my point of view with the ferocity of a prosecuting attorney at a murder trial! Not because I’m a music snob or hater, as my friends so lovingly like to call me, but because that is how strongly I feel about the subject. I understand that everyone genuinely enjoys music (if you don’t, please get yourself looked at), but I’m talking about really appreciating it in its entirety; to truly contemplate what went into writing a set of meaningful lyrics or composing a well-crafted song. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation that has gone something like this,
-Me: Oh my God, this song is fucking amazing!
-Person: Really, why?
-Me: Well, when I first heard it I felt like the world momentarily stopped, and the song just reached inside my soul and shook it around until my heart exploded! The melody is superb, the lyrics are gorgeous, and even though I know better, it feels like this song was written for me! It’s like it’s telling me that everything’s going to be alright, and I don’t need to worry so much about certain things in my life! To this day I’m not tired of listening to it!
-Person:…Yeah I guess I can see that. Let me show you a song that I’ve been listening to a lot lately.
*New song plays*
-Me: So what is it that you like about this song?
-Person: Umm… I don’t really know. It’s just a cool song I guess.
Really? I just bore my soul to you and THAT’s all you have to say in response? Well, don’t I feel stupid… But I shouldn’t. No one should. We shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling something that, for all we know, was what the artist intended for us to feel when we hear their songs. Instead of feeling like our reactions are over the top, bordering on the dramatic, we should embrace the happiness, or sorrow, or anger incited by the music we love. I cannot emphasize enough how important that is. If a song makes you feel an intense emotion, run towards it, not away from it!
If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about right now, I sincerely hope that one day you will… Or at the very least my extremist views will encourage you to seek out the experience for yourself.
Really, I could talk about this until the sun burns out, but instead I shall conclude with one last fangirl paragraph attempting to sum up what music means to me and why I couldn’t go a day of my life without it. Music, in its most genuine form, doesn’t judge you, or make you ashamed of how you feel. It encourages you to embrace those feelings until you understand them, figure out where they originate from, and accept them for what they are. It assures you that you are not alone. It’s a healthy source of comfort and a cathartic release. For some it is the mirror of the soul, the anchor to sanity. It has the capacity to be so more than just entertainment. This article is my shout out to the music that has awakened that inner fire inside me, the fire that lives in all of us. Major CyberProps to any and all music that has made someone else out there feel the same way!