In defense of popular music.

Back in 2009, when I was a fresh-faced, naive 22-year-old, I used to dj with some friends of mine. I had recently acquired a record collection, fancied myself to be some sort of 'music expert' and was reeeally good at being a musical snob. If I deemed a piece of music not 'indie' enough, I wouldn't listen to it.

The music I listened to had to be rough, somewhat unkempt - just like the men who made that music. Britpop, garage rock, anything made by skinny white guys wearing leather jackets and tight skinny jeans. That was my jam. The Beatles and Bob Dylan were my gods, the record shop my church and Noel Gallagher was my special guru (Well, some things never change: The special guru position is still in Gallaghers hands...).

And oh, how I laughed at all the stupid folks that listened to Norah Jones and Lady Gaga. Who whistled along to Bruno Mars and danced to whatever came on the radio. Stupid, tasteless folks. They had no idea what good music really was.

It didn't exactly help that I started working in a record shop a few years later. And it didn't help that deep, deep down I had a terrible secret: I too whistled along to Bruno Mars!!! Oh the shame...

It started innocently enough with a barbecue in a park one summer night. When my friend had brought along an mp3-player with a speaker and played Norah Jones. We lay on our backs, tipsy on lukewarm beer and looked up into the starry sky, while Norah sang "Don't know why I didn't call".  And I shed a tiny, secret tear, because it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. I believe that was the turning point. After that, there were car rides during which I unashamedly screeched along to "The Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars or "Pokerface" by Lady Gaga. There were secret dance sessions in my sitting room, where I invented new dance moves to glossy, sugary pop music.

And it wasn't until recently that I realised what a massive fool I had been. When I - after several Gin  Tonics stood on a sticky dancefloor and shook my hips to some David Guetta tune. Because there is no shame in pop music! There's nothing wrong with listening to mainstream pop. Rihanna isn't the devil. She's actually the best remedy for a crappy mood. So are the Spice Girls. Or even a bit of Sir Mix-a-lot. And BeyoncĂ© - oh boy, don't even get me started on Queen Bey!

At the very wise age of 28 (cough), I have now discovered what really makes great music great: The fact that you love listening to it. There are no guilty pleasures, no shame in dancing to One Direction. And even the Beatles were once just embarrassing, sugary Charts pop...

No comments:

Post a Comment