Music is a funny thing. It has the ability to change our thought process, our feelings, and even our behavior. If it’s important to you and a real part of who you are, you can remember specific points of your life through what music you were listening during those times.
I still remember the first two albums I ever owned. I will admit that I am a child of the 80s. I don’t remember 8-tracks, and I have a vague recollection of my grandfather still playing records, so it was cassette tapes during my time. It was 1987, I was 7 years old and my uncle had given me George Michael ‘Faith’ and Madonna ‘True Blue’ for Christmas.
Now you may believe this says alot about my taste in music, but really it was his taste in artists. Nonetheless, I absorbed both of these albums. I listened to them non-stop. That may have been because they were the only two albums I had, but I still was in love with the music and the lyrics, and the message, whatever little a seven year old mind can comprehend. I wore out Side A and Side B. I actually remember my favorite tracks off both albums. Of course, the title track from George Michael, ‘Faith’, and ‘Open Your Heart’ by Madonna. I don’t know why, even now I cannot think of a good reason, but even today I can recite every word of each of these songs.
I consider myself a fan of most types of music. I have my favorite genres of course, but I will give any music a chance, until I just can’t any longer.
At a young age I was more subject to what my parents listened to, which actually shaped my view of music. There was a lot of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Otis Redding, Jim Croce, James Taylor, Queen, Chicago, etc… I still love this music today.
In early Highschool, I was introduced to Pink Floyd, The Doors, and Bob Marley. I confess that I remember long makeout sessions with my girlfriend at that time, while ‘Dark Side of The Moon’ played in the background. We even went so far as to line the album up with The Wizard of Oz to see if the rumors were true. *It was an interesting outcome. To this day I still try to see Roger Waters The Wall tour if it comes to the U.S.
In my later Highschool years I really got into country. I cried every time I heard ‘Don’t Take The Girl’ by Tim McGraw. I blared a lot of Alan Jackson from my 1988 Ford F-150, and Garth Brooks was by far my favorite. Trying to get ‘Ain’t Going Down’ perfect was as tough spitting out R.E.M.’s ‘End of The World’ without incident. I even went so far as to buy the Chris Gaines album, and I admittedly liked it. I expect some judgement on that one.
I quickly got away from my Country music phase. In college, I thought myself cooler than I actually was and I used to sit in the living room of my apartment with all the lights off, smoking camels and staring out the big picture windows while listening to classical music and movie scores. I played to a lot of Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, and John Williams. *I no longer smoke.
All these times in my life have lead to where I am today in my appreciation of music, in my efforts to help good music get to the masses. I may not like an artist’s music or a particular genre as much as another, but I recognize the time, effort, stress, and love that go into making a record. In order for me to work with artists or bands now in any capacity, I need to feel that love from them. I need to see that grind and that hustle to make the best music they can. If artists can’t take critique or feedback, they have no interest in growth, and while their music may be good, it needs to be great.
In some ways it’s easier to get your music out and in some ways much harder. Competition is stiff and in order for your music to affect someone’s life in a way that they will remember it and the way it made them feel years later, your music has to crush the competition.