Ears Up! There is a New Taste in Music Now

By Ryan Hartley, Photography Editor

The music industry has been influential throughout the years, but now, more than ever, it is sinking into the lives of today’s youth in the most diverse ways.

Listening to an average of 2.5 hours of music a day, according to Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times (https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/under-the-influence-ofmusic/), modern teenagers constantly hear new rhythms, notes and beats.

Young adults have an affliction for the music scene, and here’s why:

The immediacy of modern lives today has allowed for the addiction to flow into music.

With a new album release almost every day, new singles and videos to accompany themand sell-out stadium tours, the music industry is alive and well.

In fact, the music scene is so apparent that high school teenagers like senior Gillian Smyth have the music scene sinking into their friend groups more with each passing day.

When asked about the amount of friends she has that may have their own playlists, or digital collections of music, she stated, paraphrased, that all of her friends had at least one playlist of their favorite songs. 

The work done within the music industry is more than just numbers, business and marketing ploys.

It involves intensive artistry, emotion and creativity from the performers themselves. 

Tyler Mitchell
Beyoncé, often labeled “Queen B”, is known for her elaborate, exciting performances. 

This sentiment sinks into the mindsets of teenagers today, much like sophomore Reagan Gorham.

Gorham uses music to destress or even focus in class.

Yes, I am listening to music 24/7. Sometimes in class to help me focus…,” Gorham said

“…I know this sounds weird, but I actually use music to help me focus a lot because it drowns out all background noise…”

While some use music to help focus, others can use it for the more common pleasure of having fun.

“Yes, I am literally always listening to music. There’s so much of it and I have this thing where I like to know songs really well…I like to show off all the lyrics to a song or just have fun with it,” said Smyth.

The power of music has had this same effect on many generations: happiness, calm and fun.

“People can now talk about whose music they like the most or what kind…it really shows your personality and what you are like,” said Dill.

Dill then goes on to explain just how people talk about the music they like.

Immediate communication and sharing allows teens today to explore new genres of music never heard of before on the mainstream.

This new world of mass media also allows them to expand their music catalog and library to new heights, often having collections of music at the age of fifteen larger than that of their parents for their whole lifetime.

“I think we have a broader selection of music and more ways to access music… You have all sorts of streaming platforms now, and older generations had to go out and buy records, you know?” said Gorham.

The new system of dealing out music has made a gigantic impact of the effects of the music industry, especially on the adaptable, quick-to-learn youth.

“[Older generations]  have a couple albums that they could listen to, but we have everything at our fingertips.”, said Gorham. “ We also have more people getting involved in creating it [music] with outlets like soundcloud…”

Outlets like Soundcloud are currently at the forefront of this adapting industry, with all new ways to create, share and find music all at the speed of a song or two.

The mass communication and modern media has allowed for the ease of exposure of different types of music in the world, often spurring up new genres never before in the mainstream like indie R&B among others.

“Mass communication helps with like, when artists drop an album they can tweet it and everyone can see it at once, letting them gain more recognition.” said Smyth. “For the people who listen, there’s spotify, soundcloud, apple music, amazon prime music, vevo, and others. These are all the ones I have, there’s so many ways to get music.”

Spotify Inc.
Spotify is a well known, popular music streaming platform that pervades through the music library of almost all teen’s music collections today.

With all of this exposure to music, comes the taste in the music.

Most modern styles tend to lean towards rap and hip-hop with some R&B flare mixed in.

However, the joy of the younger generation is the acceptance of true diversity in the sense that any music is appreciated and widely listened to.

When asked what their favorite music genre/style is, students often have a lot to say. Gorham says, “So, I don’t really have a favorite music taste. I listen to a lot of things, I can’t get into one particular. Like, right now, I think I was last listening to…Nicki Minaj; but, another day, I will be listening to BORNS and Lana Del Rey…My music taste that specific day just depends on how I feel…” 

Nicole Bentley
Lana Del Rey is a popular artist in the collections of many teens today, featuring new styles along with older flares of past decades.

Other favorite artists today can include Brock Hampton, Drake, Rihanna, the often titled “Queen B”: Beyonce, Troye Sivan, Ariana Grande and many more according to the interviews conducted for this piece.

Overall, teenagers today feel the same “magic” that has always been derived from music. Most will agree with Dill when she states, “…I honestly can’t even put it into words.”

Modern music taste is most certainly a more progressive, accepting range of styles of the common notes and rhythms that have been loved for generations; but, teenagers today have so much at their fingertips that this generation truly makes it easiest for them to become invested into the age-old artform of music.