This past week I was in Canada for my girlfriend’s brother’s wedding. I was chatting with the bride’s brother, doing the whole “getting to know you” bit, when he asked the question “so what kind of music are you into?” I answered “oh, hard rock and metal,” which isn’t actually correct, although those are two of my favorite genres. I realized then that it was just that easy to pigeonhole one’s self into listening to one certain range of music.
The truth is, I’m a fan of all kinds of music. My favorite rock groups range from Nirvana to AC/DC and from Metallica to Bôa. t.A.T.u. and Justin Timberlake are among my favorite pop artists, while Cypress Hill and Eminem round out the list with their awesome hip-hop and rap. Apart from those main three genres some country, dance, ambient and international music help to add some flavor to the mix. The point to all this is, no matter what you like (or what you think you like), there’s always something out there that’s different from your normal music that you’ll enjoy.
For instance, I hadn’t listened to The Beatles until roughly eight months ago and now they’re one of my favorites. In addition to discovering mainstream music that’s slipped by, finding more eclectic music is as simple as browsing your local shops or using a music discovery service. And by “local shops,” I don’t mean Best Buy or Sam Goody– I’m talking about small music shops like Record and Tape Traders or Trax on Wax (both local to Baltimore, MD). What’s cool about these places is that they usually aren’t crowded and you can spend hours in there, listening to and browsing for music and talking to the employees about different bands. It’s really a unique thing that folks nowadays normally don’t get to experience because of (not to be a hippie about it, but) how very commercial music has become.
What I’d like you to do is pick a genre– any genre of you don’t typically listen to, and give it an honest try. You’d be surprised at how much great music is out there, just waiting for someone to listen. And if you like it, tell your friends and encourage them to do the same.
Broadening your horizons is an important part of loving music, and it’s so easy to do that it’s a shame not to.