My uncle often told me that you can figure out what a person is like based on what music they listen to. The first time I heard this, I thought he was just pulling up some superstitious phrase he heard at a beach front fortune telling machine. But of course, I came to realize how true this was. I personally listen to a fairly unknown band called The Strokes. I have done such since seventh grade, and I have never once stopped loving their music, but I thought that I was the only person in a 500 mile radius that listen to them. I truly believed this and I kept my music to myself since I figured nobody would like the music that listened to.
Fast forward to the summer of my sophomore year at high school. I was hanging out with some of my closest friends and one of The Strokes’ songs came up on my friends playlist. At that very moment, I felt my heart leap across the moon. Most people simply enjoy music, but at the time I had festered this obsession with a band that I assumed would only ever hit my ears in my lifetime. Seeing one of my friends listen to the same band that had carried me through middle school and high school. I couldn’t believe it. I freaked out and shouted “NO WAY! YOU LISTEN TO THESE GUYS!” And just like that everyone I was with casually responded “yeah.” It hit me that my closest friends all inherently listened to the same music that I did. I wasn’t the only person that listened to The Strokes. And somehow I had ended up befriending some of the only other people in my school that listened the them. I was amazed. This wasn’t just chance, there was some mystical force bringing us together.
Side Note: Those friends gave me this album as a Christmas gift just this year. That just shows how much of a fan boy I am.
After that day, I truly appreciated my uncle’s strange little theory. Everybody listens to music that describes their behavior. Close friends listen to the same music because they act the same. People who listen to more mainstream music are naturally more social and popular since they listen to more well known music. People who listen to underground music are the opposite. People who listen to soul expression emotions more deeply. People who listen to rock have that slightly rebellious side. Every genre of music has its own stereotypical set of characteristics that come with it and everybody is a mix of the various genres of music they listen to.
Another crazy little thing that comes about with music is how we don’t have our “own” music until we are teenagers. As kids, we listen to the songs that come up on the radio, and it’s during a certain point in our lives, when we are finding out who we are, that we find the music we listen to. Kids don’t abide by my uncle’s magical rule because they haven’t established an identity. It’s not until they start finding out who they are that they find their music. But even more recently, something occurred to me.
I never started listening to the strokes because it matched my personality. My music shaped who I was. I thought that people choose music that reflects themselves, but I have come up with my own little theory. I believe that people stumble upon music they like. And as that music grows on them, it changes who they are. Its a sort of selective process. We choose music that we like and as we listen to it on repeat, and look up songs by the same band in the same genre, that’s when the music roots itself into our personalities, change the way we act.