There was always that awkwardness that came with our parents listening to our playlists. Worse, when it came to music videos, they had serious reactions. When dealing with the majority opinion, we cannot fight some things.
Our parents (most of them), hated our music. They described it as rushed, and shallow. They believed that our generation ruined good music and had no taste. At the time, I could not understand it because the latest music made sense to me.
As a result, whenever my parents were present, everyone listened to 80’s and early 90’s musicians. They considered the rest of it as trash. We were lucky to have technology that allowed us to have our own “playlists” that we kept safe.
They did not understand our songs
When I think about it, the reasoning is simple. Our parents were uncomfortable with our music because it was new and different. Humans like familiar patterns and are drawn to the safety of what they know.
When they did not understand the music, they rubbished it and picked out the flaws. Although not every 90’s parent did that, a majority was enough to influence the common ‘truth’. They said that the youth had lost the essence of good music. They overlooked one thing.
In their history (circa the 40s – 60s), our parents were also youth who hated our grandparents’ music. History repeats itself more often than we think. Sadly, we forget and focus on ourselves, forgetting that the patterns are just the cycle of life.
I do not understand their music
Most millennials now have kids and these kids are growing up. In a quest to embrace creativity and give children space to grow, they allowed the young ones to experiment with art and music. The result? Art that some older millenials do not understand.
YouTube has a brilliant recommendation algorithm that allows you to choose a song or two and similar songs queue and play after your selection. I am a fan of Electronic Dance Music and my recent selection included Kygo and Avicii. Everything went well as I did my work and listened to the music, occasionally glancing at the videos.
Also, YouTube sort of know if you are immersed in your videos because they often stop the music and ask if you are still watching. They can know your activity level by how frequent your mouse cursor moves on the site. I had to click yes to resume my playlist. A few minutes later, I heard strange music that made me want to check. The song was “When the Party is over” by Billie Eilish.
Who is Billie Eilish?
I had no idea who that was so I opened another tab and summoned Wikipedia magic.
Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell (/ˈaɪlɪʃ/; born December 18, 2001) is an American singer, songwriter, and model. She gained a following in 2016 when she released her debut single “Ocean Eyes” on audio distribution platform SoundCloud
First, she has an interesting name. Second, she was born in 2001 and had nearly 300 million views on YouTube. Clearly, someone (many of them) love her music.
The video was bizarre to me. It took a while before I wrapped my head around it. The music had a calming effect on me and that’s when I dived into a rabbit hole to find out everything about her.
Most Billie Eilish fans are around her age
In most of her live shows, I could easily tell that the audience were kids from 16 to around 20 years of age. I am way past that.
At that moment, I thought of my agemates and realized that they would probably not like her music. They would have mentioned her. She is different. It is a sound that many of them would not relate to. People are drawn to music that they can relate to.
And now, just like that, we find ourselves in the same position our parents were. This new music is strange and so we tag it with adjectives such as “weird”, “mental” or “unremarkable”.
Unfortunately, this bias often makes you disregard an otherwise talented artist. If one song was not good enough for you, you assume she is probably not any good.
All around the world, teenagers are producing new music
It is happening all over the globe. In our perspective, musicians are getting younger. In some markets, the new musicians are taking over playlists buoyed by internet and music platforms. They are rich too. Very rich, I may add.
Billie Eilish is already worth millions and she is not even 18. As this new generation continues to create space for themselves in the market, some disgruntled parents still say “you have no taste”. Yet, it is just a different time and they have not taken a chance to appreciate the art.
I will head over and enjoy any music that I find interesting. Whether done by a 60-year-old or by a pre-teen, beautiful arrangement in music does it for me.
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