Some context: I like (but am not a hardcore fan of) rock and metal music such as Metallica, Halestorm and Evanescence, while not particularly fond of music from Justin Bieber, One Direction and the like. Based on my immature logic back then, I would vehemently tell people that “Justin Bieber is an atrocity to music.” I really want to give myself fifty slaps across the face. Maybe more.
This is because I was forced to not realise, but acknowledge, that there are songs I enjoy, even if they are not purely rock or metal. Songs from Disney movies, classical, video games, a cappella…anything.
I think the bigger question is whether or not one’s taste in music reflect ones character. Perhaps it doesn’t apply to everyone, but it’s something we might not realise. What we do realise, though is how we tend to react to other people’s tastes in music.
I don’t know if it’s a thing in society — or at least, in adolescence — to judge people based on their taste in music, but…it’s definitely happening. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with judging people — we tend to do that, for it’s a part of human nature. But when we start to go all Simon-Cowell-American-Idol and whatnot, i.e. determining a person’s character based on his or her taste in music, then I have a problem.
Recently — and I mean yesterday — I’ve started listening to Thirty Seconds to Mars. Reason? Because I find Jared Leto strangely attractive. Although I still haven’t watched Dallas Buyers Club yet, he’s pretty much the only reason I’ve started listening to the band’s music. And to be honest, I like some of its songs. I can’t stop raping my rewind button for City of Angels or Kings and Queens. But when I told my classmate (we’ll call him MH for metalhead), he scoffed. “God I hate them: their lyrics are so pop. Why do you even like them? It’s like, music for idiots.”
Not that his grammar completely bothered me (it did), but I cringed when he referred to a singular band as “their” or “them.” What really did get under my skin, though, was his claim that it’s “music for idiots.” It didn’t feel like a personal attack, but it made him appear obnoxious. Sure, he has his tastes in music that are probably vastly different from mine (which really isn’t; he’s just more hardcore). At the end of the day, however, who is he to say that it’s music for idiots, much like how I used to say that Justin Bieber was an atrocity to music?
To answer my question by asking another question: what does it mean to have a taste in music? Is it simply a label or a way to relate ourselves to others? Is it really something for us to judge? Or is it a way to find ourselves and give ourselves an identity, even if the music doesn’t really reflect who we are?