Music is a force that connects us all and that is an essential part of our communication with other people and with our inner selves. People have made music for thousands of years, every culture making its own special kind. Even after the original foundation of music, it still grows and changes, along with humanity, bringing to life different styles and feelings. In just about every person, you will find that music has made connections and bonds, even if you don’t realize it at first. Music is an extraordinary thing that feeds our minds and memories and is a crucial part of both the personal and public worlds.
Music works as a stimulant for memory. You know that one jingle that you can never get out of your ear? That was done on purpose, just to make you remember that company or brand. Memories are stirred with music. Even if a song is playing faintly in the background of an event, hearing that same song later will cause you to remember that event. Certain songs make us nostalgic for the past, reminding us of days long gone, just as a photograph does. Songs are tied to places, people, and things with an invisible bond that can never be erased. A certain song that used to play on the radio might make you remember sitting with old friends listening to the songs one by one, dreading the imminent repetition of the playlist, or some other memory, both notable and forgettable. Songs make us remember certain feelings, especially the feelings we experienced in the event we associate with the song. For example, whenever something is taking a really long time or you are waiting for something or someone, the iconic Jeopardy theme song just comes into your head, just as it plays when the audience is waiting for the contestants to answer the final question. Songs associated with memories also can connect us to people with those same memories. Perhaps there was a song you always played with your family or a song from a television show you watched with your family. You would associate the people with the song and the song with the people, singing along together as a unit. Music and sound is an important part of our memories.
Our own emotions are connected to music. As well as being connected to memories, music connects with our deepest psyche, giving a feeling that is hard to describe. Some of us have an absolute favorite artist, or multiple favorite artists, and others have favorite songs scattered among the millions of artists that exist. Each person has their own taste in music, which is different from, even if similar to, everyone else’s taste, and with the myriad genres and artists to choose from, or even just to stumble upon, it’s only a matter of time until you find something you like. When you do find that special song or special artist, it is hard to stop listening to them, and your life becomes infatuated with music. Even as a singer and musician, I didn’t really have a favorite song or artist until a year or so ago, and when I did, it was like a whole new world had moved in next door and invited me in.
I have found lots of songs that I really enjoy listening to, some of which really strike a chord that seems to be of the very essence that I am made of. Two of the songs are written by the same artist, Amber Liu, and they are “Love Run” from her first mini-album as a solo artist in SM Entertainment, an agency in South Korea, and “Need to Feel Needed,” a single. She has other songs that I really like, and her voice just really resonates with me, as well as the visuals in her music videos. I also found a group that I really love now, called 볼빨간 사춘기 (Bolbbalgan Sachungi), usually shortened to just Bol4. Bol4 is a South Korean band that makes Indie K-Pop and folk rock music. The group originally debuted with two members in 2016, Anh Jiyoung and Woo Jiyoon, but Jiyoon left the duo in the spring of 2020 due to concerns about her career, leaving Jiyoung as a soloist still under the name Bol4. I think that their songs are so cute and soft, and I feel as though I am surrounded by soft plush and all things nice when Jiyoung’s honey-voice melts all around me and Jiyoon’s soft guitar fills the space. They have a lot of songs that I really enjoy listening to, some of which being: “Galaxy” (Red Planet), “To My Youth” (Red Diary Page. 1), “Tell Me You Love Me” (Red Planet), and “Stars Over Me” (Puberty Book I), as well as a lot of others that I haven’t mentioned. Some miscellaneous songs that I really love and wanted to mention are: “Don’t Wanna Cry” by Seventeen, “Make It Right” by BTS, “Psycho” by Red Velvet, “Oxygen” by Twice, and “Hip” by Mamamoo, all with different vibes but nonetheless with a reserved spot in my heart. There are, of course, hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of other songs that I adore that sadly can’t be mentioned right now because it would take up pages, but there are many more songs that you can find just on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms to find what you like and how many songs you will find yourself falling in love with. These streaming services have really helped me find music to listen to, and they will suggest songs to you based on what you like and listen to. The internet has opened a world of music that just about anyone can have access to, giving people the opportunity to find and listen to music they love.
A big part of finding music you like and being comfortable with your music is the community you share it with. Whether it is just a few friends or your whole family or even just the people in the comments section of the YouTube video you’re watching, the community that comes with music is crucial. Feeling that sense of belonging and acceptance is part of listening to music, even if no one you actually know listens to the kind of music you do, and this is such a large part of how you feel about music and how you feel when you listen to music. The feeling of home your favorite song or artist gives you is unmistakably comforting, and it is a feeling we want in our lives all the time, which is why we listen to music. And the same can go for being with people you like when you listen to music. You can be listening to songs you really hate and still be having lots of fun if you are with people you like. Listening to music with friends, even if you don’t like the music, is something that is enjoyable. Music is something that can unite the world and bring those listening onto the same wavelength, even for just a moment.
Music is an invisible, but not inaudible, part of life that shapes our memories, emotions, and relationships with others. Finding your own preference of music can be difficult at times, but the options are endless and somehow in the midst of everything else in the media and on your phone, you can find something you like. You don’t need to go hunting for music or an artist in search of music to listen to. Be open-minded and ready to try listening to music you may not be familiar with as it might be something you really vibe with. Get suggestions from your friends, what is popular, or what is on your Recommended. Look up random artists you see online or expose yourself to many different artists and genres. Finding music you really love can take time, and there is no need to rush. Preferences can change, so playlists can change too. My friends are the ones who introduced me to much of the music I like, and some of my friends became my friends because I liked the same music as them. The music world is ever-changing, so go explore what is out there. It may just change your life.