In the past few weeks, I’ve tried to update my blog every Thursday, but that doesn’t always happen, so bear with me. It’s happening this week on Thursday night because I’m studying for a very difficult History of American Journalism exam and I need a break (just being honest!).
I’ve been thinking about the theme for this weeks blog basically all week. I was inspired by a post from my good friend Kevin Modelski where he talks about how music has been his go-to stress reliever when life gets busy. I agreed with him, and for me, music is my stress reliever, too. I love when music says what I want to say out loud, but maybe I don’t have the outlet or time. I would much rather write or sing a song than give a speech. There’s something about putting the specifics of your troubles behind and finding your happy place in a melody; it just feels right.
The music you listen to tends to say a lot about who you are and how you feel. If someone were to ask me my favorite artist, for the past two years I would have probably answered Amy Winehouse.
I know what you’re thinking: “How could Amy Winehouse be her favorite artist when she was such a mess?” Let me explain. I realize how controversial Amy’s life was. She was an alcoholic, a drug addict and posthumously her brother revealed she also had an eating disorder. But, the struggles in her short life (she died at age 27) were both a blessing and a curse. Amy sang mostly sad love ballads (and also the infamous “Rehab”) that came out as brilliantly written material.
When Amy died, I was 17 and angsty. People kept talking about how she was a legend and had this incredible voice, and I wanted to see for myself. I remember the first time I saw the video for “Tears Dry On Their Own,” which is put to the tune of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” I was floored, and that’s not even Amy’s best work. Somehow, through the sad love songs (especially on Frank), I became happier. Amy’s voice took me away from it all. That’s what music is meant to do: make you forget your troubles and give you hope. That’s what Amy’s music meant to me.
Nowadays, I’m less into British depressing, jazzy-soul music. My Amy Winehouse phase also consisted of Adele, Duffy, Leona Lewis, Corinne Bailey Rae, etc. Now, I’m more into pop vocalists with R&B flares. I’m so extremely happy for the comeback of one of my childhood favorites, JoJo, who was a secret guest feature on Pharrell’s new album G I R L. I adored Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly, and “Honeymoon Avenue” is still one of my favorite songs. I’ve also been listening to Mariah Carey, Tori Kelly, Justin Timberlake, and new-comers Kat Dahlia and Kenzie May.
The point I’m trying to make is that no matter what you listen to, music should always be an outlet. Journalism is great and I feel like I’m living out a dream, but no one thing can consume your entire life. Away from interviews and writing articles, I like to spend my time nose deep in music that frees my soul. It’s inspiration for the motivation of what I do in my career and my life. I have my favorites, but no matter what genre, I always love a feel-good song. There comes a time where I just have to escape the stress and let the music do the talking for me.