As a kid, I never really strayed from listening to whatever was topping the charts on iTunes or being excessively overplayed on the radio. My first iPod consisted of songs that I could probably turn the radio on at any time and listen to for free. And yet, deciding which songs I was going to buy on iTunes was literally the most exciting thing to me. I had a special notebook that I would write the titles to all of my favorite songs in and I would spend literal hours narrowing them down until I had the perfect list of songs I was going to buy using my $10 iTunes gift card.
Thus, like most children, my initial music taste definitely consisted of pop music and radio hits, and I’m not ashamed of that. I still listen to songs that I had on my iPod when I was 12, like Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” or Kesha’s “Tik Tok”. While nowadays I don’t particularly listen to songs like these for their lyrical genius or exceptional melody, I think pop music brings out a sense of nostalgia in all people, and has the ability to bring everyone back to when they were just a 12 year-old looking for songs to put on their iPod.
In saying all of that, there’s a definite stigma around pop music that I don’t particularly agree with. I’ve seen so many people express their distaste for pop music or “music that plays on the radio” simply because it’s overplayed or uses backing tracks rather than real instruments. While there are always popular songs or artists that I truly dislike, I would never write off the whole genre of pop as bad just because of a few untalented artists. I think pop artists like Ariana Grande or Demi Lovato have incredible vocals and some truly great songs if you give their music a listen outside of their most popular songs that play on the radio.
While my main focus was on pop music when I was a kid, as I progressed into my teen years I began to explore music genres outside of what was playing on the radio. Using music streaming apps like Pandora and 8tracks, I was able to discover a whole new world of music and ended up finding amazing bands that I still listen to to this day. I found my favorite band, The 1975, who are described as an “English rock band” on Pandora, and with the simple feature of “Find Other Artists Like This”, I was introduced to so many genres I had never even heard of- indie rock, indie pop, pop rock, alternative, the list goes on.
So, while I’ll never be ashamed to say I can still turn on a One Direction album and completely jam out, one of my favorite things about being a music lover is that I never have to stick to one genre. I am open to listening to music from all different horizons, and that will be extremely prevalent in my blog. After all, music is about how it makes you feel, not whether or not it gets overplayed on the radio.
For other opinions on the meaning of pop music to people of all generations, I found a great article about why pop music still is and will always be important.