Throughout the first week of school, I was asked what my favorite song was no less than a half dozen times. It’s a good question, honestly—it helps people find common ground, giving them something to bond over and talk about. But whenever I’m asked, I have no idea what to say. My first instinct is to say “anything,” but it’s usually written off as a lazy answer. After all, doesn’t everyone have a favorite song? But no matter how disingenuous that response may seem, it’s actually the truth for me. I listen to and love all genres of music.
The music from my childhood featured an eclectic mix of genres and decades; my parents exposed me to everything from Beethoven to Beyoncé, from the West Side Story soundtrack to Kanye West, from Stevie Wonder to Stevie Nicks. Without knowing the difference between melody and harmony or even what a chorus was, I learned to savor each new song as much as the previous one. Since then, I’ve kept an open mind to any and all music that comes my way.
Over the years, as new artists rose to fame and all kinds of music became available at the click of a button, I’ve been introduced to every genre under the sun, and I’ve been able to appreciate every one. Jazz? Absolutely. Country? Love a steel guitar! EDM? Of course! K-pop, R&B, heavy metal, and indie? Sign me up! In fact, I have an ever-expanding playlist dedicated to archiving a chaotic melting pot of songs I’ve listened to and relished.
Music, as they say, is a universal language, so anyone can learn to enjoy listening to unfamiliar and foreign music. Even if there are lyrics in another language or an instrument that you’ve never heard before, I think it’s always good to give it a try. If you don’t like it, that’s okay! But if you do, then you’ve just discovered some new music that you have under your belt. I love being able to share that feeling with people so they might learn to cherish it as much as I do.
On the other hand, many of my friends remain adamant about their favorite genres and artists. That kind of devotion is admirable, and I’ve seen how people can find communities where they share and discuss their common musical preferences; despite this, I can’t help but think that an affinity for all kinds of music opens the door to a world of endless possibilities. Every song I listen to is a new experience, and, even though it might sound cliché, I think each one tells a different story. It’s a privilege to have all of these artists and their individual expressions available to me, and I get to go on a new adventure with every song. I get to put myself in their shoes, even if it’s just for a few minutes, and experience something that I might never be able to otherwise. Each piece of music evokes a distinctive spectrum of emotions that can’t be recreated, which is why I’m always open to new songs, new artists, and new genres.
So if you ask me what my favorite song is and I don’t have a concrete answer, it’s not because I’m taking the easy way out. Whether it be a new discovery or something I’ve heard a thousand times, each listen takes me on a unique journey and deepens my appreciation for all types of music. The truth is, every song is my favorite song.