Whoever said that music puts words to the emotions we feel is spot on. Music is such an integral part of my life. I may not write or compose it, but I do love butchering my favorite bops in the shower. I realized this when I was waiting impatiently in the shower for one of the Spotify ads to finally pass. You know your addiction is bad when you memorize the ads word for word. I’m sure a lot of people know what I mean by that. I decided to invest in Spotify Premium, and I thought I would instantly regret it, considering I’m a college student and five dollars is a lot of money to me. However, I have determined it was the best investment of my life so far. I love creating playlists and listening to a wide variety of music whenever I like. Why? Music is not only a form of communication but it is also an expression. Music is powerful. Music channels emotional energy and puts a track behind it. Music is not just a form of art. It is a form of mass communication and expression. Music can deliver important messages and uplift millions. Look at Ariana Grande or Logic, for example. Ariana Grande used her musical platform to host the One Love Manchester Benefit Concert to help promote unity and positivity after the Manchester terrorist attack occured at one of her concerts in May. This tragedy took the lives of twenty-two people and wounded more than one hundred. The benefit concert that Grande decided to host about a week after helped raise thousands of dollars for the families who lost loved ones in the Manchester terrorist attack. Logic, also using his platform, created a song in partnership with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline called ‘1-800-273-8255’ featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid. The title is actually the phone number of the NSPL. He recently performed this song at the Video Music Awards, and afterwards, calls to suicide prevention hot lines increased by fifty percent. As Ariana Grande and Logic’s examples show us, music can help, heal and save lives.
The power of the playlist goes way beyond what most people realize. Not only can it help people on a massive scale, as seen with Ariana Grande and Logic, but on a personal level as well. I have multiple playlists for my different moods. I have playlists for when I’m feeling sad, lonely, inspired, relaxed, uplifted or even angry. I have playlists for when I’m feeling proud of who I am, which for me includes having a feminist playlist for when I’m feeling proud of being a woman. I have playlists for when I want to get certain tasks done such as studying, meditation or even sleeping. I’m sure many other individuals can relate to this. Music has this amazing power of connecting people with like minds or similar situations. Music emotionally connects people in ways other forms of communication cannot.
I once heard a quote by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; “Music is the universal language of mankind”. I believe that with every fiber of my being. Whether it’s through our playlists or some other method, we can all connect to music. Even songs in different languages have a tone which we can all recognize or relate to. Even if you cannot understand the language of a certain song, you can always pick up on the tone. You can tell if a song is sad because it may be slow and use more instrumentals. In the same way you can tell if a song is uplifting because it is very fast paced and you can move your body to it. Although playlists are amazing, it is not playlists that ultimately have the power, it is the music in those playlists.