Sad Music

Recently I’ve been thinking about the differences in the music we all listen to. For some, folk music is their preference. For others, heavy metal. Some like a mixture of things, but generally there is a primary fixation on one genre. Maybe the fixation waivers and switches to an entirely new genre all together, but for the time being, they are enamored with the genre, or particular artist. I think the common theme is that no matter who you are out of these people, or what music appeals to you, we all have one common motivation that draws us to our preferred genre. We listen to and seek the things that we identify with, but also the things that make us feel empowered. Now for those of you glancing at the screen with skepticism, I’ll explain what I mean by empowered exactly. You may think that it is surely not possible that everyone’s choice of genre could truly provide empowerment. Such as for the women who listen to sexually degrading rap and enjoy dancing/ singing along to it. Even if there seems to be an underlying conflict between the content and the audience, I still believe it can provide the empowerment that I am referring to. It isn’t the topic of the songs that is important in this instance. It is the melody, the beat, the way the voice in the song sounds, the emotions it evokes from the listener. Though, it may also relate to the topic in particular instances. Such as when that sexually degrading music is being produced by someone who has their own set of difficulties. No, I’m not saying that any misogynist should be let off the hook if they are going through a small difficultly. I’m talking about an underlying emotional turmoil of the artist. Say for instance that artist fell in love. They fell in love so deeply, and found someone that makes their life complete, there is no one else out there more perfect for them than that person. Then the artist makes a choice, or perhaps a mistake, and they are torn away from their love. Either way, or whether or not that was what led them to where they are now, they find themselves so famous, that they don’t know who talks to them for them or for their fame. There is also that factor that they’re constantly put on this pedestal by all of these people they meet. Given these circumstances, they can’t connect with anyone. No one cares to know the true them. All these people assume they already know everything they need to know about the artist as a person. They’ve listened to every word they’ve ever sung, read up on their wiki page, and saw a few interviews online, so they’re an expert on them, they know everything there is to this person. So when they meet them, there is only this bland, mundane, obsessive admiration. All of this is thrown at a person who has no clue as to a single detail of the admirer’s life. The artist may appreciate their fans very much, but I highly doubt they’d ever say they enjoy the one-sidedness of it all. Considering all that must be going through their head, mixed with regular sexual urges, you may come to the conclusion that there is a bit of disconnect. It’s no longer the sex that everyone has come to know as the norm in music— It’s not making love, It’s purely physical for this person. Mostly because those surrounding them regard them in the same light. Neither seeks to discover more about the other. So the lyrics come about from these encounters. The things they sing sound detached, because they are. They are no longer regarded as simply another soul. They live in a bubble of solitude, away from everyone else. It’s not because they started out with this detached view towards women initially, it is because they are describing all it is to them anymore. It is only the acts, only the body parts involved, only the pleasure, that they can see. My point is that even underlying lyrics that come across crude or disrespectful, there lies a back story that with the comprehension of, one could come to find themselves enjoying the music of this person. Such could also be said for music containing just about anything initially offensive. So, with all of these things, no matter what genre it is, it could happen to be the genre that leaves you feeling your most empowered.

Music can also provide catharsis that leaves us with the impression of empowerment. If you haven’t experienced or felt a sense of catharsis by listening to music, then I suggest you go searching for the music that will enable you to feel it, because it is invigorating. You feel and sense every detail of the song, every nuances with your entire body. You feel as though happiness and bliss is flooding through you. You are entranced by it, and find yourself becoming at peace. After the release, your mind is at rest, and the things that generally weigh on your mind have been lifted for the meantime.

The point of all of this random babbling is that I have come to acknowledge that the music that provides me with this feeling isn’t always everyone else’s cup of tea. Some think it is sad, overly sexual, and depressing. Well they are correct, it is all of those things and more, and I love it for each one of its components. For some reason, the music that brings me the amazing feelings I just described is the kind that possesses a sullen, dark, and sexual tone. The songs I like seem to resonate within me because they are a reflection of my energy. The more I listen to it, the more energized I begin to feel, and it feels as though I’m replenishing the energy that courses throughout my body. For me, the sadness doesn’t bring me down, it makes me feel alive. I like to hear theses kinds of songs, because you can feel the emotion. It reminds me of what it’s like to be human, where sadness is a reality. Sure, happiness is as well, but that can be faked easily. No one enjoys feigning sadness in the same manner, and even if they do fake it, there still lies a genuine ounce of hurt in their voice. I guess what it is that I love about sad songs is the potency of them.

Switching filters

Just today I was scrolling through instagram’s main page, and I continued to see pictures of my favorite musician and his new girlfriend. The first time I saw a picture of them I was instantly happy for him; he finally was with a girl who he couldn’t stop smiling around. There has been lots of talk by the fans about how sad they are to see him with a girl (because they’re kinda obsessed with him…), how these photos were all supposedly stolen and then leaked, and how this new girl can’t possibly compare to the girl he was singing about in all of his previous songs. None of that really matters though. For someone who can resonate with the somber tone portrayed in a lot of his earlier work, it makes me happy to see that even when you’ve appeared to sink so low, there’s the possibility that there’s someone out there that could possibly change that–maybe not forever, and perhaps not the same way you’ve felt before–but at least enough to get by for just a while. Enough to change up your tone and give you the perspective you need to be yourself once again. I know we don’t necessarily lose ourselves when we’re depressed and introspective, but we lose that light in our eyes. Everything singes your soul so much that you’re numb, yet feelings still flood onto a page and appear as though you feel every inch of them. It’s not that you don’t feel them, it’s that you feel them so intensely, it’s hard to sense the change. Through this, the line between happiness and sadness seem to blur. You can feel glee one moment, and in the next, you’re unable to recall what it’s like to be happy. Then one day, something, or someone snaps you back to reality. For my favorite musician, it’s his new muse. For the mean time it appears as though his old ghost (old heartbreak/ ex) no longer haunts him. He’s been set free. He found a girl who seems to help him forget his past heartbreak. It’s quite fitting that he will be releasing a more upbeat album soon, because it is exactly the kind of music I’ll be looking for. In the next few months I’m going to experience some change. In about one month precisely, I’ll be settled and ready to make some changes in my love life.

Currently I’m still single, like you all probably know. I’ve had feelings for guys, but nothing has happened yet. Here in France, I have less than two weeks, so I surely won’t be starting anything with a french guy. Once I get home I have two more weeks before I head off to college. Who knows if anything will happen. If it does, it will most likely be a no-strings-attached goodbye fling of making out and cuddling. Who knows. All I know is that I’m ready for a new tempo. My last posts have been hinting towards a sense of not letting go. Well now is the time that I must. I’ve gone on too long with my unpredictable emotions affecting my choices (when it comes to dating) and my writing. From now on, I intend to simply focus on treating everyone with love and kindness and see where it goes. I’m going to purge anger, resentment, sadness, and any other negative emotions from my system.

Now I won’t make any promises that this blog will be purely all about thoughts of positivity and happiness, cause we all do still have our down days, but I’m going to make an effort to look at life through a new filter.  

 

Misunderstood

At the moment I’m listening to music in my favorite setting- head phones in, music blasting, laying on my bed, typing this post on my phone. Recently I’ve found myself intrigued by the music of Abel Tesfaye. For those of you don’t know, he is the singer who goes by the name “the weeknd.” The first song I heard of his actually rubbed me the wrong way, but a few weeks ago, I heard another song of his that I liked a lot, and I decided to further investigate his music. Now his style is just the same in all of his songs as the first song I heard by him, but my outlook has changed. The messages in his songs are a little derogatory and misogynistic at first glance. Though I believe there is an underlying tone to his songs that hold some validity to them– then again, maybe I’m simply trying to find a reason to justify why they appeal to me. Though I don’t appreciate how he sings about sleeping around, and with multiple people at a time, I feel that his motives aren’t simply black or white. As many musicians probably experience, he’s faced with the prospect of encountering women who put him on a pedestal, or chase him for the status or money that comes along with him. In this situation, most could probably see how it would be difficult to truly connect with people, because it’s not very often that he’ll encounter someone who sees him for who he truly is- Abel tesfaye, the guy who skipped town one weekend, never looking back. He wasn’t raised in a perfect family- he earned his fame by being uniquely him, it wasn’t handed down to him, he wasn’t simply the son of people who had connections in the industry. He’s a complex character, and quite secretive on top of that. Though, he exposes little parts of himself, his personality, and his nature, in every single song. He doesn’t produce songs for the entire world to approve of. He creates them to express what he’s gone through, and what he’s going through. 

But back to how he alludes to sleeping around with many women at a time. For all we know, he could be hung up on one girl, and since her, he’s been unable to connect with anyone in the same way. Maybe no one takes the time to truly get to know what comprises Abel tesfaye. I don’t know about you, but that would lead me to just sleep around for the rest of my life if I didn’t believe anyone cared to know who I was, or could even begin to compare to the love and connection I once felt for someone else. 

I will say one thing though- even though his music is overtly sexual, and conveys an appeal of the forbidden, I actually enjoy that aspect of it. Like in his song “where you belong.” In this song, he basically tells this girl, it doesn’t matter who she’s with when he’s gone, because when he’s back in town, she belongs to him. There is a possessive tone the entire song that screams that she is all his. In general I would say that a loose grip on the one you love is the best approach (like how you wouldn’t want to grip to tightly on a handful of sand), but he approaches this differently. It’s not out of insecurity that he grips on tight. It’s more in a passionate, ownership, lustful kind of way. And though in some instances, ownership isn’t necessarily a positive thing to everyone, because autonomy and all of that, it’s in a different way. He doesn’t “own her” own her. It’s kind of like in the werewolf books. How they all have the one person that is their soulmate that they were destined for, and they say “mine” while gripping on tightly to their love. It’s ownership from a place of passion, not aggression or control. 

I would say that “the weeknd” is an acquired taste for sure. He is dominant, overtly sexual, and uniquely himself, not bending for the approval of the masses. 

The only complaint I would have is that he doesn’t do many interviews. Though that kind of adds an appeal to his whole persona. It challenges people to get to know who he is through his music, and not simply through random words he said in response to an interview question designed to trigger a controversial, or tabloid worthy answer. 

What does music mean to you? 

Recently I heard a few people’s perspectives on music, and why they listen to the certain type of music they do. I also read an essay that a comic book writer wrote about very graphic, violent comics and their affects on children. He mentioned a few stories about how comics actually bettered the lives of children, rather than leading them to violence. He also mentioned one particular story, where someone listened to gangster rap, because it made them feel empowered, and helped them get through a rough patch in their life. The author wrote about these particular forms of entertainment that gave the illusion that music, fictional stories, and all of the entertainment we participate in, could provide an outlet for people to express or indulge suppressed feelings. At the moment I’m sitting in a dark room, listening to music in my earbuds, with only the light of my computer screen penetrating the serenity I have created for myself. This is the way I unwind. The music is resounding in my ears, and I let it take me through a journey with my thoughts and senses, with every beat and lyric. 

At the moment I’ve left the song choice up to whatever happens to be on my spotify playlist. There is one common theme to all of this music though… It all is about people… Mainly relationships, yearning to be with someone, or heartbreak. I know many may say “well all songs are about people” that is very true… But none of these songs are talking about getting laid, partying, drinking, or celebrating the simple fact that it is the weekend (“oh my god it’s the weekend, put your hands up for the weekend” Eden xo, I’m referring to you…). 
These songs each provide their own little story, and I feel myself brought along on the journey of their relationships. If some of you may not have realized through prior posts, I am very fascinated by interactions, relationships, and the like, so these types of songs really appeal to me. Now there is one song that just straddles the line between being about hooking up or an actual relationship, that I like to listen to as well. I’m sure those of you who listen to mainstream music on the radio will be familiar with it, it’s Tove lo’s “talking body.” Now even though she may simply be singing about hooking up with the guy, there is a particular lyric that stands out to me in the song- “Now if we’re talking body, you’ve got a perfect one, so put it on me.” She’s not simply saying his body is sexy, she’s saying it’s perfect…. There is something about the true appreciation of the human form that resonates with me. The thought that no matter who you are, someone looks at your body and thinks you’re perfection, because everyone has a unique definition of a perfect body. Tove lo likes her guys thinner and more alternative looking, other women like their men in between thin and bulky, and then there are those who like bulky guys. No matter what shape or size your healthy body is, it is admired in the rawest form, by any lover who chooses to appreciate it with their hands or mouth… It may seem superficial to put any weight on random physical flings, but when you look at it in a deeper sense, no matter what your feelings are towards one another, you are savoring every touch, sight, taste of that amazing one-of-a-kind body, that lay before your eyes. To me, that’s quite an amazing experience we go through as humans. Many people don’t look at their body and think perfection, but when evaluating someone else’s body, they can go to the extreme of declaring it’s perfection. 
But back to the vague main point of all this rambling…
The power that fictional writings and music has, to create such vivid images in our minds is spectacular. The ability that these things have to evoke emotions is purely priceless, and I think it should be acknowledged more often. Simply reading or listening to music could serve to possibly be one of the best forms of therapy one could ever provide themselves. 

I don’t want to go to bed mad at you…

     I just finished listening to a song I recently discovered by NE-YO, titled “mad”. Tonight though, I watched the music video that went along with the song for the first time. It was sad… :(. The video had an important message in it, that you may have not caught by just listening to the song it’s self. It seems to me that the message he is trying to show is that you don’t know when will be your last day. A loved one of yours could storm out the house in middle of an argument between the two of you, and get hit by a car. If you watch the video you will realize that this rash situation is not something I just thought of, but rather the situation in the music video. 

     Something I hadn’t noticed in the beginning of the video, was that he died. It would have made a lot more sense, and would have been even sadder to watch the video, if that detail hadn’t gone right over my head. It was such a small detail, but it made a difference as I watched it over again. Surprisingly I got goose bumps and felt very saddened by the video once I understood what was going on. 

     This music video reminded just how important it is to say goodnight to your love with words of kindness. Rather than waking up still with the rage you had with one another. We should cherish our loved ones dearly, because we never know when we may loose them. I recommend watching the music video, it may not be your particular style of music, but the video and song, mix in just the right ways to give you the chills (goose bumps :P). The song is named “mad” by NE-YO, if you forgot ;P. 

      I wish you all a good night, and may you tell your loved one “je t’aime! <3” with a smile on your face, as you say your goodbyes tonight :D!