MUSIC was there for me when no one else was. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/CDX-PDX
My earliest memory of being addicted to music was singing and dancing butt naked to the songs of Westlife at four years old, particularly the hit 2000s song “Uptown Girl” from the band’s Coast to Coast album. Mom didn’t know exactly how I grew to love the Irish boy band, but I did.
I would pester her awake until she put their CDs in our DVD player. I would quiet down then and she would resume sleeping. (Well, of course, until I got hungry.)
“That’s what calms you down,” Mom said. “When they’re singing on screen, you’d always go quiet.”
I had all their CDs. My grandmother told me I liked the blond one, Brian MacFadden. That love for the band lasted until I was in elementary. I used to bring friends over and we’d talk and fawn over their poster in my room.
In second-year high school, I fell in love with a different band, One Direction. It was the same process but was met with a lot more crying. I also liked the blond and Irish one in the group, Niall Horan.
I had a lot of tears to spill at the time. I cried when mom didn’t get me their album when we were at the mall. I cried when my little cousins tore my posters of them apart. I cried when I didn’t have enough money to watch them perform in the Philippines in 2015, and bawled when I eventually did.
IT paved the way for me towards new worlds, new people and new feelings.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/BLOCKS
(Yes, I cried the hardest when I got to watch them in the flesh. I almost fainted from the excitement, my parents had to search the concert grounds to find the medical tent I was rushed in after the show).
“You even woke me up at two in the morning to go and buy the ticket at MOA Arena. We rushed there, only to get in around 12 in the afternoon,” she remembered. “You cried a lot for that band.”
In college, a lot changed. For one, the language.
I got (deep) into the Korean pop scene courtesy of a friend, Keziah, who I used to go home with almost every day. One afternoon, while waiting for the train, we talked about the group EXO. She was a huge fan while I had just heard a few of their songs in passing.
Keziah used to quiz me on who’s who. EXO was a lot for me (I didn’t know then that I would later ‘stan’ a group with 13 members on it, funny) and I had troubles at first. It was different from what I was used to, but it was great music, nonetheless, despite not having the pleasure of accurately singing along to their songs (but if one tries hard enough, it’s possible).
From EXO, I learned and “stanned” different groups first because of their music that also later became their personalities — from SEVENTEEN, Monsta X, GOT7, ATEEZ, ONEUS, PENTAGON and a lot more — that taught me, not just the fact that there is no barrier when it comes to good music, but made me realize many things, especially in life.
(It also made me realize that three hours can fly by really really quickly even while you were standing up through it all. I, for one, felt everything the moment it ended, aching joints making themselves known as soon as I stepped out of the venue).
My boyfriend Jordan used to say that their music healed me. And it did, probably.
Even if it’s in a language I don’t understand, their lyrics, which are all beautifully weaved between great melodies, became a source of inspiration, strength and comfort when I was alone and words weren’t enough. I even found a friend there, Jee, who I have exchanged song recommendations with since meeting her.
THEIR music, with stories beautifully woven in with melodies, not just cheered and comforted me but also made me realize a lot of things in life.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/JAMES STAMLER
She gives me almost a piece of everything: Original Pinoy Music, Korean, Japanese, Chinese — it doesn’t matter because music, throughout the years, has always made me feel things.
What all of the bands I admired before have in common is their good music. These are individuals I have looked up to for making a difference and touching other people’s lives through their music, no matter how old or new, foreign or not.
After all, music is a universal language. It brings people together, no matter the tune or the language — and it does more than just that. According to studies, music does not touch the heart with its striking and deep lyrics that hit close to home, but can also affect the mind for the better. It can improve one’s productivity and ease anxiety and stress — a total brain workout.
A song can fit like a shoe and bring me the mood I need: calmness for commutes to and from work, a surge of energy whenever I write or when I can’t sleep and the moon is the only one awake. I’d put on my earbuds and listen to music. At any given time of the day.
They say music makes the world go round. In my world, at least, they are right.
Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph