by WRBB Media Team
Interviews by Annika Eske, Jace Arrigali, Aidan Cocchiara, and Fenner Dreyfuss-Wells.
Photos by Jace Arrigali and Fenner Dreyfuss-Wells.
On April 11th, we embraced the lo-fi aesthetic for this semester’s very last Community Connections. Armed with a very cool Canon point-and-shoot plus some Kermit stickers for the masses, we set up for a tabling session in Curry Student Center. Are this month’s photos erroneously dated “22/01/13”? Yes, yes they are. But was it worth it for the vintage/lo-fi look? Obviously.
This month, we asked people passing by, “What is your favorite music genre?” We’ve compiled genres that received more than one vote in a lovely little bar graph below (many thanks to our statistics professors), and we also made a Spotify playlist of all the recommendations we received this month. Finally, we asked a few people to further defend their answer to see if they could convince us that their favorite genre is the best. Read on to hear what they had to say!
*The people spoke, and apparently Taylor Swift gets her own genre.
**Other genres mentioned that only received one vote included indie pop, Midwest emo, grunge, Bollywood, psytrance, country-gaze, new psychedelic rock, and electronic music.
Jacob’s first answer was jazz, but we soon realized his music taste spans just about every genre out there.
Jacob studies world history and cell biology, but he’s quite the music expert as well. His first answer to this month’s question was jazz, as he finds the genre very relaxing. Then, he told us he also listens to “metal blues, lo-fi, bedroom pop, lo-fi punk, regular punk, hip hop, trash metal, speed metal...” As the list went on, we eventually decided the better question to ask in Jacob’s case was, “Is there any genre you don’t like?” Jacob answered that black metal is hard for him to get on board with. “I appreciate what it’s trying to do, but it’s hard to listen to when it’s just screaming,” he reasoned. Still, he was able to point out that he does like the black metal artist Sunbather. Finally, underground sub-genres aside, he also appreciates more mainstream artists like Taylor Swift and Lana del Rey. Jacob has been on a mission to find the music appreciation club here at Northeastern, but they’re apparently a bit hard to get in contact with. If anyone from that club is reading, we can definitely vouch for Jacob’s music-appreciation prowess!
*Upon further investigation, we noticed that most bands with the name Sunbather were dreampop bands. Since that’s pretty far off from black metal, we figure maybe Jacob was thinking of the album Sunbather, by Deafheaven. In any case, we added both the dreampop and the death metal to this month’s playlist: so be prepared for a rollercoaster-style listening experience!
Bobby told us his favorite genre would have to be “80s hair bands.”
In response to our questioning looks, he explained, “They all had the big hair.” When asked why this genre is his favorite, Bobby responded, “It’s the best – no one’s killin’ no one, it’s just feel good [music]...I’m partial to the 80s since I grew up in the 80s.” Out of the big hair bands of the 80s, he would especially recommend Led Zeppelin and Mötley Crüe. As his second choice, Bobby added that he would also say country music is one of his favorites. When asked what he likes about the country genre, Bobby explained, “Well I live in the country up in New Hampshire.” Out of the country artists he listens to, he would recommend Trace Adkins. Yet, Bobby concluded that he really listens to everything – he even listens to a few playlists with music from the 40s and 50s, as well.
Sharmelee and Sakshi talked with us about the psychedelic trance, or psytrance, genre.
Sakshi’s favorite music genre is psytrance, and she first heard this niche music style in Goa, India. When we asked her what the genre sounds like, we found out that Sakshi is something of a music production expert since her boyfriend is a DJ. “The bpm [beats per minute] is around 30-150,” she explained. She then told WRBB, “One of my favorite [psytrance] artists is going to perform in Boston” – the group is called Infected Mushroom. When asked what she likes about the genre, Sakshi answered, “It makes me at peace.” Her friend Sharmelee quickly questioned this. “Really?” she asked incredulously. Sakshi admitted it was a surprising take considering the energizing feel of psytrance, but she stands by her opinion nonetheless. Sharmelee, on the other hand, said that psytrance is not for her, but her listening rotation tends to consist of any recommendations she gets from her friends.
Mathivannan told us that his favorite music style is Indian music.
“In India usually songs come with movies. There are not a lot of independent artists,” Mathivannan explained to WRBB. He told us that, out of the Indian music he listens to, he would recommend Thaikkudam Bridge. The band creates songs in both the Malayalam and Tamil languages. Mathivannan told us that he used to listen to this music a lot during his undergraduate years, so the music now carries a nostalgic weight for him. When he first heard the music genre, he “hadn’t heard anything like it before.”
Katie was tabling right next to us, so we figured we’d bug her about her music preferences.
When asked what her favorite music genre is, Katie explained that she loves anything by Taylor Swift. In fact, Katie hosts the Taylor Swift Power Hour show at WRBB (listen live at wrbbradio.org on Thursdays at 8am!). She explained that she loves Taylor Swift because “The lyrics are relatable.” We noted that Taylor Swift’s discography touches on many different genres of music and asked Katie if she has a preference among the styles that Swift has experimented with. Katie immediately responded, “No, I like them all the same!”
Friends Kourtney and Sneha stopped by with a stack of stunning Garden Club posters in hand.
Kourtney told us her favorite genre is alternative RnB like Arlo Parks and Orion Sun. She backed up her answer by describing the genre as “soulful, soft, and soothing.” Sneha then said her favorite genres would have to be country-gaze and new psychedelic rock. Sneha said that she likes being able to hear the music and history that bands are influenced by. “I like it when music is like you can hear a thread of where it's coming from,” she clarified. She agreed that she is the type of person who will easily get sucked down a Wikipedia rabbit hole while researching her favorite music artists. Sneha would recommend the bands Wednesday, Mazzy Star, Slowdive, Hole, Unwound, and Pretty Sick. Sneha excitedly asked us whether she and Kourtney could have their Garden Club poster in the photo. “You have to hold it from the side then, so you don’t block the words!” Kourtney admonished Sneha jokingly.
Dev strolled up to our table eager to talk, and quickly gave Hindi/Bollywood music as his answer to our question.
For Dev, this music was a big part of growing up – it was always playing on long car rides and during hangouts with friends. He told us that one of the things he likes most about the genre is how there’s always someone new to listen to. Dev’s favorite Bollywood artist is Arijit Singh, who he’s seen once a few years ago and would love to see again.
Jun Woo’s current favorite genre is Korean hip-hop.
Jun Woo told us that, at the moment, he would specifically recommend Korean hip-hop. He recommended the group Epik High and explained that the genre in general is “pretty energizing,” particularly when at the gym. He also told WRBB that he really appreciates the genre in terms of its lyrics. When asked if Korean hip-hop has always been his favorite genre, he replied that his favorite genre changes all the time – “It changes even within the day,” he laughed. When asked if he thinks genre preferences give away anything about a person, Jun Woo considered and then answered that it “reflects something about the person, but not necessarily any pinpointed attribute.”
We asked for a fun pose and Holly delivered.
Holly stopped by with arguably the best pose we saw at this month’s tabling session. They answered this month’s question by saying that they particularly like the indie pop and Midwest emo genres. Holly would recommend Origami Angel, American Football, Gus Dapperton, and Peach Pit. When asked what they like about these music styles, Holly told us, “I really just grew up on them.” They added, “I discovered them in high school, and sophomore year was a tough year for me – so I used it as music therapy.”