A lot of people tend to use music as a means of self-representation. For instance, some listeners insist that heavy, loud and aggressive bands like Metallica or Slayer are “the best”, with little-to-know knowledge or insight into what actually makes a band or artist “the best”.
Now before you start grilling me, keep in mind that I am not bashing bands like Metallica or Slayer, but merely trying to illustrate the ways in which people attempt to create their own identity through musical preference.
For example, a person who wants to appear strong, dominant and manly (whatever that means) will insist that the aforementioned bands are “the best”, while someone who likes to think of themselves as a spunky, strong, independent woman will relate more to an artist like Beyoncé.
Basically, what I’m getting at is that musical preference, more often than not, is nothing more than an attempt to appear a certain way when it should really be nothing more than a natural reaction to a collection of sounds, melodies, and vibrations.
So are there artists out there whose music doesn’t feed into stereotypes and self-constructed imagery? The short answer is yes. But they’re incredibly hard to find.
One that instantly comes to my mind is American songwriter Ryland Bouchard. For the longest time, I had no idea what Ryland looked like, how old he was, what kind of people enjoyed his music or what types of things he believed in. All I knew was that I enjoyed his musical creations and their ability to make me think and feel things both dark and beautiful.
Yet despite my almost instant obsession with his music, I never felt the need to push it on other people. I felt as if his music should be discovered naturally, and not forced down people’s ear canals.
Over the years, a handful of musicians have entered my life in a similar way. Artists and musicians such as David Karsten Daniels, Eef Barzelay, Drew Danburry, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, T. Hardy Morris, Hacienda, Mac Lethal and many, many more.
But these are just reflections of my own personal opinions.
Maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe Metallica and Slayer really ARE “the best”.
All I’m saying is that musical preference shouldn’t be influenced by looks, stereotypes or other potential connotations.
Let the sounds define a musical experience, not anything else.
What bands/artists have you discovered organically over the years?
Have you had similar musical experiences?
Am I just a huge douchebag with too much time on my hands?
Let us know in the COMMENT section!