How are you this week? I hope you're enjoying October so far. Last year I suffered from hayfever in the autumn but I haven't had any problems yet this year (touch wood)! Do you know anyone with autumn hayfever?
Anyway, today I'd like to talk about a topic unrelated to the season! The topic is music. I often talk about what kinds of music I like and what I've been singing lately, but I don't often talk about where my love of music started and how it progressed! So here's the story of my music journey.
Before secondary school, I wasn't an avid listener of any kind of music. I liked it, but there was nothing I was actively interested in. One day though, in a school assembly, somebody gave a presentation. I can't remember what the presentation was about, or who gave it, but I remember the soundtrack they used. It was a song by Linkin Park, a famous rock band whose popularity soared in the early 2000s. I was only about 12, but the power and emotion in the song really moved me, and I realised that rock/metal was a genre of music I really liked. At the time, I had never experienced any strong feelings of sadness or joy and rock music became a great way to explore these feelings.
As time progressed I became absorbed in bands like Linkin Park, Bullet for my Valentine, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Death Cab for Cutie, 30 Seconds to Mars... the list goes on! The music may seem quite depressing to other people, but for me it was exciting and emotional. I still like this genre today! But I don't listen to these artists as often.
As time went by and I turned 15 or 16, my taste mellowed a bit and I got into British rock bands more, like Oasis, The Smiths, The Arctic Monkeys, and so on. These bands weren't as loud or emotional - they were more moody and reflective.
At the same time, starting age 13, I was entering the classical music scene. It might sound strange to like classical and rock music at the same time, but I suppose I appreciated the emotional nature of classical music and opera in the same way as I appreciated heavy rock! I started to love choral music and romantic/late romantic composers like Wagner and Mahler, and I performed a lot of this music with my choir. I always tear up listening to symphonies and operas by the great German romantics.
So throughout my teenage years, I pretty much exclusively listened to classical and rock music. I didn't like pop music, because I thought it was too shallow and didn't have any thoughtfulness behind it.
However, when I began university, I started to get into pop music. Sometimes pop music isn't emotional or thoughtful, but I realised that I didn't mind - it was just fun! I enjoyed the quick rhythms, and it made me feel upbeat energetic. I got into Lady Gaga specifically because, as well as the fact that her songs are fun, her work is really conceptual and artistic.
One day, my Chinese friend showed me the music video to 'Gee' by Girl's Generation, the Korean pop group. My ears pricked up immediately because it was so cute and bubbly, and made me feel great! After that, I ended up deep in the world of K-pop groups, whose perfected performances and catchy bops had me hooked. Now, I've been listening to K-pop for about seven years, so I'm quite an expert! My favourite artists are the ones who are about my age, who have been on the scene for a long time. For example, I like Sunmi who used to be in Wonder Girls, and Taemin from Shinee. But there are some new groups who interest me too.
Nowadays, I have a strange array of music tastes. I like K-pop, western pop, classical (particularly romantic, late romantic and modern classical), and rock. Although I don't listen to much hard rock now, I still listen to a lot of bands from the UK. Of course, these days, living in Japan, I also hear a lot of J-pop. Although I prefer K-pop (sorry!) there are also a lot of J-pop songs that I like, so I have a lot of fun at karaoke.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my strange, varied journey through music! If you don't listen to a lot of genres in your daily life, I encourage you to branch out - you never know what you'll like!
Have a lovely week, and start planning your Halloween costume!
All the best,