Creative Creative Writing

An Open Letter to Everyone Asking “What Kind of Music Do You Like?”

“What kind of music do you like?”  

Immediately, I can feel the perspiration trickling down my neck as I immediately forget every song I’ve ever heard.

“Actually, to make things easier, I just wrote a letter explaining what kind of music I like so refer to that then get back to me, okay?”

To Whom it May Concern,

I’d like to start by thanking you for your interest in my music taste, and yet, I’m terrified to answer your question. Considering my track record with music and lack of enthusiasm at school dances, the chances our tastes align are minute.

In case you’re interested, I did not develop my own ‘music taste’ until I was about 12 years old. I grew up in Switzerland, and the closest I got to discovering popular music was watching Disney Channel and American Idol.

That all changed in 2010 when my cousin played “Love Story” by Taylor Swift on her iPod for me. I was obsessed! By time I moved back to America, I was a full-blown Taylor Swift fanatic. So there I was, finally with a developing music taste of my own. By sixth grade, I was listening to Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, and any ‘country’ music I could find.

On to seventh grade, when I moved to New Jersey and developed polar opposite interests. You have to understand that I was extremely bitter and upset by this move, so much so that I lived in a deep and intense ‘emo’ or ‘scene’ phase. That’s right, I discovered my niche community in pop-punk music and continued into the deep emotional depths of ‘metal’ and ‘screamo.’

You’re probably wondering why I feel the need to put ‘quotes’ around these genres. That’s because I disagree with the labelling of music. If you have not yet realized, my ‘music taste’ cannot be defined.

I believe that there is no limit to musical interest and there is no shame in having supposedly juxtaposing tastes. I listen to music that means something to me; a better question for you to ask might be if I care more about the music or lyrics. Then again, my answer to that would be both. Music can be a timeline, especially for teenage years, and there is no rational reason to look down on others for their opinions. At some point in my senior year, I had to ask myself why I felt ashamed for being a Taylor Swift fan (you never forget your first love, okay?) or why I felt embarrassed to still love that pop-punk early 2000s music.

The truth is, I was afraid of you. I was afraid you would judge me and think I was lame and unworthy of your time. Well guess what? I am lame! The only songs I know at school dances are the Cuban Shuffle and Single Ladies!! I’ve never been up to date with popular music, and quite frankly, tend to not see the appeal. I hope you can appreciate my honesty and understand that I still want to be friends. It would be truly tragic for us to fall apart because of music. Music is supposed to bring us together right?

I am 18 years old and my Spotify playlists consist of Original Broadway Cast Recordings, Taylor Swift, ‘emo’ music from 2005, Dmitri Shostakovich, and soft alternative indie music.

What I hope you can understand, friend, is that I am thrilled that you’re interested in the music I like, but I do not think I can give you an easy answer. One week I’m headbanging to Green Day in the school parking lot and the next I’m crying in the bathtub to Josh Groban.

Do not let this difference come between us, as the world is a far better place with music in it. But enough about me, what kind of music do you like?

Sincerely,

The Anxiety Ridden Musical Aficionado

Photo Credit: Kendra Olson

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