Listen to New Music


Julius Perez, Reporter

At its core it’s a trap, that’s the simplest way to describe it. However, It’s not a steel box that you’d do anything to get out of. It’s more of a comfortable bed on a Saturday morning you don’t want to ever leave, but by staying in bed all day you are wasting time and potential for a great day. It’s called your music taste, or maybe what you like to listen to. It might be your favorite playlist or your “purchased” on Apple Music. You don’t know what you’re missing by not adventuring out from it. There are 50 millions songs on Spotify, with tens of thousands added each day. You should listen to more music.

According to Glenn McDonald and his website there are over 5,000 genres of music. Think about your favorite genre of music. Chances are it goes back decades, centuries even, with some maybe even longer. It probably has multiple sub genres, for example, “Rock” has 42 genres, with thousands of artists and hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of songs. Point is, you haven’t heard it all, not even close.

Besides the fact that the odds you’ve refined your music taste to know exactly what you like are nearly impossible, there are plenty of other benefits to listening to new music. Music plays an immensely important role in culture. Try to picture African-American culture without jazz and hip hop, or Korean culture without the recent influence of K-pop. Music allows you to perceive and appreciate different cultures. You open your eyes (but really your ears) to unseen culture when listening to new music.

There are scientific reasons as well, “People usually lead fairly routine lives and they don’t experience intense emotions that are almost cathartic to us, as we age we lose opportunities to experience that.” said Valerie Salimpoor the author of the book The Brain and New Music. As we listen to music we experience these powerful emotions due to chemicals in our brain being released, and pleasure centers are activated. This is especially strong when listening to new music. In other words, new music can make you happy. It has even been shown to combat and help with mental illness. 

You may not necessarily enjoy a huge genre shift your first time listening, but I urge you to keep trying, keep listening. Streaming services have plenty of ways to get you to listen to music you’ve never heard. Ask your friends for a new playlist, ask your parents what music they listened to growing up, find an artist you’re interested in and press shuffle on their Spotify profile. Do whatever is easiest for you, listen to a new song a day on the way to school or work, make it a goal to listen to a new album each month, have someone else choose the music when you’re hanging out with friends. You’ll thank yourself when you find your new favorite song.