It’s not easy to know what type of music has the power of getting to us. Everybody has a different perception of the world, making us attracted to different vibes and flows. However, once we really dig into the genre of our choice, we discover that a great part of ourselves has merged with the style we like. When this happens, we get goosebumps. It’s as if we’re engaging with a part of ourselves that we didn’t know existed. By listening and letting it wash over us, we start to become our true selves. Music that was made for us gets to our core after listening to one of its melodies. Yet, we’re in constant reinvention, and we need to desperately seek for new shelters in different types of music. However there are some particular tunes that continue to speak to us throughout the years.
Jazz is all about freedom. It started as one of the many cultural movements from the Harlem Renaissance of the twenties, with the likes of the masterful Duke Ellington playing at the Cotton Club. Nowadays, much of the genre has been deformed and depreciated to a genre fit for elevators, lounges, and corny saxophone covers of pop songs. However, the core of jazz is built around the concept of being rid of boundaries and limits. Each jazz performance is different from the next. It’s a constant to-and-fro between musicians who, through virtuoso arpeggios and syncopated beats, enfold the audience in an ever-flowing atmosphere filled with a galvanizing energy that fills us with power and vigor. Jazz is messy as it is classy, and it just might be what you need to find a new home. To give yourself a clean start, listen to Duke first, drown in Coltrane’s sensitivity, and feel the power of Mingus’ harmonies. You’ll feel as if you never left home.
Although stigmatized as a vulgar genre by narrow-minded critics, the truth is that hip-hop is one of the most interesting music genres out there. Throughout the last few decades, its evolution has been fast and multilayered, paving the way for the power of rhyme to reach enormous audiences. Though most of the genre’s power resides on the lyrics and the skill with which rappers pull out most their verses, the art of beat-making has expanded the horizons of the power of synthetic music. Thanks to this, hip-hop has spread around the world, not only because of its verbal dimension, but also because of the engrossing beats that now come along with it. Listening to a clever hip-hop song that has the capacity of threading the most unimaginable verses is an experience that can’t be compared, and it’s all the better when the beat-maker excels at his craft. It’s a type of music that has gone beyond its first niche and conquered the world in spite of being countercultural. And why has it managed to do so? Probably, because both musically and lyrically it has the power of stirring the floor we’re standing on. To dig deeper into it, you should start by the basics: Tupac, Biggie, Wu-Tang, Nas, and even a little bit of Snoop Dogg and Dre. Once you get acquainted with the genre’s roots, listen to the three current greats: Kanye, Drake, and Kendrick. Listening to them in a new light will only make you appreciate more that you’ve gotten to live through this era.
There’s no genre out there that can capture a raw and visceral emotion as well as the punk genre. Invented during the late seventies by bands from all over the world, the genre has become the home of all those kindred spirits whose reckless attitude has taken them towards a deep hatred of the establishment and a love for simplicity. Dig in it if you’re looking for a genre that has the power to fill you with energy and channel the most rebellious of your emotions. You should start by the basics of the genre: Ramones, The Clash, NY Dolls, Dead Boyz, The Damned, Buzzcocks… Any of these guys’ strong and raw tunes can fill you with the pump you need to gather enough courage and destroy the boundaries that have restricted your life for so long.
Naturally, rock is one of the world’s most popular genres. Ever since the days of Elvis and The Beatles, it has been loved by the masses. Probably, your parents found comfort in rock music, recalling the golden days of their youth and the incredible parties that they lived through thanks to the electrifying songs that they listened on a daily basis. Nonetheless, even if by now you already associate the genre with your family, you can also find a home in it that’s very different to the way that you listened to it. Once you manage to truly dig under the catchy surface of rock, you will find its countercultural essence and how much it can speak to you. Rock is all about finding your own voice and claiming your own free will. There’s nothing that can make you regard that more than some mind-bending guitar solos, tight drumming beats, and steady bass patterns. Put your headphones on and listen to the likes of Clapton and Hendrix. By doing so, you’ll go down a rabbit-hole few are willing to come back from.
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