Avid music listeners express how they feel about the art form

Victrola+record+player+and+Michael+Jackson%27s+%22Thriller%22+album.

Victrola record player and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album.

Whether it is playing video games or doing homework, junior Kyle Basher is constantly listening to music.

And when Kyle is listening to music, he will put on a playlist from his YouTube Music account. 

“Genre isn’t that important to me,” Kyle said. “It’s more about the individual songs.”

Though genre may not be a vital criteria point when it comes to his music taste, Kyle does have some favorite artists—those of which include Insane in the Rain Music, Powerwolf, and DM Dokuro, all liking them for different reasons.

Kyle explained that he likes Powerwolf because of their use and interest in Christian themes. Insane in the Rain Music is on his list of favorite artists because they do many different covers for video game music and jazz, and Kyle also loves DM Dokuro because they have many artistic creations in multiple genres.

Being repulsed by silence is how Jack was drawn into music.”

Though Kyle listens to these artists daily, his emotions for their pieces are not always exact. His disposition does not stay the same, and neither does his feelings for the songs.

“[My feelings] vary from song to song, and day to day,” Kyle said. “Not every song gives off the same feeling, and not every time I listen to the same song do I feel the same thing.”

Kyle finds time to listen to music many times throughout his day; mostly, he listens to it while playing video games. 

“Music is just a huge part of [playing video games],” Kyle said. “Going from [just video game music] to listening to music a lot of the time was a pretty easy transition [for me].”

Kyle is not the only avid music listener at FHC. Junior John “Jack” Woods is also very fond of this specific art form.

Jack listens to artists such as Jack Harlow, Tame Impala, MGMT, and Kid Cudi. He explains how he has a certain way he decides which artists are his favorites.

“These artists convey their emotions [very] well,” said Jack, who judges how good a song is by how strongly it exudes emotion.

Being repulsed by silence is how Jack was drawn into music. Now, he listens to it habitually; whether it is in his car, at school, or playing video games.

When he is listening to music, Jack enjoys playing certain things for certain events. When he is doing school work, Jack plays more melodic songs to assist him in concentrating. When he drives, he listens to, as he describes it, “anything and everything.” When Jack works out, he will listen to louder, more upbeat music to motivate him.

There are many different ways to listen to music in this day and age. And unlike Kyle, who uses YouTube Music, Jack uses Spotify to play all of his favorite songs.

“I have a lot of different devices and Spotify syncs up with [all of them],” Jack said. “So I could be listening on my phone in my car, then I can come home and it starts playing on my computer, and I could be playing video games and it goes straight to my Xbox; it just syncs up perfectly.”

During the hours accumulated by Jack listening to music, a few songs spoke louder to him than others. “When You Die” by MGMT, “Cudi Zone” by Kid Cudi, and “Morocco” by Moon Taxi are a few. Yet he cannot pinpoint his reasoning for being so fond of these pieces.

Jack’s good friend,  junior Thomas “Tommy” Rutherford, is also a fervent music listener. Having listened to over two thousand hours of music in 2020, Tommy is a music extremist.

He enjoys a wide variety of music genres including rap, underground rap, R&B, soul, and some classic rock.

“[Music is] like background [noise] for all of the things that I do,” Tommy said. “It just kind of calms me down—it’s a good escape.”

Tommy’s adoration for music kindled when he was younger and had a friend whose dad was a DJ. The dad owned a scratch table, an equalizer, sound equipment, and speakers, which all fascinated young Tommy. He and his friend would always go to his house and play around with the equipment. 

“It is what made me fall in love with the culture,” Tommy said.

One of both Tommy and Jack’s favorite musicians is a former student at FHC and a friend of the two named Kenji. Last year, Kenji flew to Los Angeles to create more music and grow as an artist.

“If no one told me that [Kenji] went to our school, then I wouldn’t think that he is in my age group,” Tommy said. “I would think that he is a huge deal.”

Along with Kenji, Tommy is also a fan of artists such as Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Childish Gambino, Eminem, 2PAC, and the Notorious B.I.G. 

“I really like the music that [those artists] make,” Tommy explained. “It kind of connects with me.”

I think music’s roots shouldn’t be forgotten, and that ties into that ‘old-school’ culture and raw music sort of thing.”

— Tommy Rutherford

Just as he has favorite artists, Tommy has songs he prefers more than others. Those being “When I Found Out” and “Daydreams” by Kenji, “Best Part” by Daniel Caesar, “Angels” by A$AP Rocky, and “21C/Delta” by Jack Harlow, saying that he likes these songs because of their flow.

“If the lyrics connect with the bass and treble, or just the beat, [it] really speaks to me along with the lyrical value,” Tommy said. “If [the songs] are telling a story, or if they are falling in love or something—I really like those. Or [even if the songs are] abstract.”

Like Jack, Tommy prefers using Spotify over any other music platform, saying that he feels it is better at giving people new artists and songs to listen to.

Even though Tommy does enjoy using Spotify, he also loves using the older devices: record players, cassette tapes, and MP3 players.

“I really like the old stuff,” Tommy said. “I think music’s roots shouldn’t be forgotten, and that ties into that ‘old-school’ culture and raw music sort of thing. I do have a record player [and] a scratch table, [which] I am always playing with because it has an mp3 player and a cassette tape.”

If Tommy ever sees an interesting album or project that is in the form of a cassette tape, he will instantly buy it; not just for playing, but also for the vintage look they have.

Whether it is to feel calm, relaxed, and centered like Tommy, to fill the void of silence like Jack, or to have some background noise while gaming like Kyle, music has many different powers, but the strongest is how it can instantly change someone’s mood.

“[I love music because] I enjoy the state that [it puts me] in while I’m listening to it,” Tommy said.