Columns

Shuffling to a new beat

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by JUSTIN KANG

As I browse through different music genres Spotify has to offer, not a single playlist entices me the way my own personal playlist does.

Aptly titled, “Favorites,” my playlist houses the array of music that I chose and actually listen to. But it is my playlist, and it is from my random collection of Steve Aoki, Frederic Chopin, BigBang, Queen, Michael Buble and other musicians that I find the joy one can only get from listening to music. It is as though I am in my personal musical world and nothing can disrupt the state I am in; that is, until that music becomes stagnant.

Choosing to only listen to music found on my playlist, however, presents an issue: eventually, it starts to become repetitive and uninteresting. With no variation, it creates the habit of listening to a limited selection. Then comes the realization that I have to emerge from my musical atmosphere, break this habit and tell myself, “I seriously need new music.”

This kind of dilemma can occur in other life situations. When we become too invested in ideas, perspectives, mentalities and things in general that comfort us, it ultimately restricts our ability to grow, at the very time in life when we should be immersing ourselves in new available avenues.

Breaking out from any comfort zone is a difficult task, but deciding to do so is even tougher. Music may not be an extremely climactic or pivotal example, but the choice to make any change, especially when there is uncertainty, is something no one should take lightly.

However, once that initiative to make a change is taken, the number of opportunities and resources to engage in new endeavors is limitless. Similar to how Spotify and other music playing services constantly add and update their music, opportunities are always being updated and created. It’s just a matter of making the decision to want them.

With this new mentality and openness to change, the overall thinking process becomes different. Gone is the opportunity to diminish barriers that form from a lack of variation. Instead, we have a chance to broaden attitudes, judgments, experiencing something we had never considered.

For me, if I hadn’t decided to expand my musical playlist, I wouldn’t have been able to come across Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and its various subgenres such as tropical house and trance music (my personal favorite). Compared to what I was listening to, EDM was completely unfamiliar and different, but it was a genre that didn’t turn me away, becoming a type of music that I enjoy listening to.

Having made that choice to change, I broke my habit of staying with one musical selection that can become so easily uninteresting and, quite frankly, boring.

Looking at my current playlist, I know that the variety of genres in the playlist will grow, but only if I’m willing to make changes. There are thousands of songs and artists around the world and the thought of limiting myself within the confines of my comfort would be a waste of valuable resources.

It is up to me to take the initiative, be open to change and attempt to expand my musical knowledge while ultimately improving myself.

Categories: Columns, Opinions, PRINT EDITION

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