Expanding Tastes in Music

Unbeknownst to me, there is much more music in the world than I had thought.

If you were to ask me for a song, I’d likely give you a song from The Weeknd. Was it because I liked The Weeknd? Yeah, but it was also because I only knew songs from The Weeknd and a few other radio favorites from 2017-8. During this time, I regularly tuned into the morning radio as I went to school. I only had time to listen to one song so I tended to get upset when the radio hosts were talking about some random caller special they had going on. However, when they did play, those songs became stuck in my head and played as I went through tests and the fun shenanigans of middle school.

The Weeknd

Occasionally, I would play video games with my friends where I would have access to a Discord bot that played music in the background of our call. You can expect to get it pretty annoying when you hear the same songs every time you play. I certainly did and with the fact that I was playing those same songs, I’d get pretty disappointed that I knew such little music. My only problem was I didn’t know where to start until a certain day near the start of my senior year.

While I was eating lunch with my friends, one of them exclaimed that “Trance” by Metro Boomin, Travis Scott, and Young Thug was something they couldn’t stop listening to. He played it out loud, but I didn’t get why he felt the way he did. Noticing my reaction, he told me to try and listen to it with headphones as it would sound better that way. During work time in class, I opened Spotify and navigated to the album Heroes and Villains by Metro Boomin. I slowly went through each song, finding myself amazed that I hadn’t listened to this album sooner.

Heroes and Villains

At the time, my favorite songs were "Superhero (Heroes & Villains)" and "Too Many Nights.” To be honest, I am not the best at reviewing songs, so I’m not sure what terms to say to explain how I felt when I listened to them for the first time, but try and hear me out. These songs had some amazing instrumentals and vocals. Each song played off each other via a transition and even by themself, they played well. A few months back, I watched Across the Spider-Verse. During the end credits, a violin played as “Am I Dreaming” by A$AP Rocky, Metro Boomin, and Roisee started. Just like then and now, it was as if I had become an astral projection. The music was an out-of-body experience.


This would become my starting point for finding new music. Looking in my library, I saw the two playlists I made throughout high school. Both contained songs from my childhood or the 2017-18 radio. I wanted to make a playlist better than both combined. Something with songs I hadn’t heard before. To begin, it would be with Don Toliver. The songs from his 2020 album Heaven or Hell were the first to go on my playlist. "Can't Feel My Legs” and "No Idea" would probably be my most played. The way his voice goes with the beats of the songs is something I haven’t felt from many artists. That's why if I need a go-to artist that isn’t The Weeknd, it would be Don Toliver.

My next artist to go into the playlist was Travis Scott. I had heard a few songs from him here and there like “Sicko Mode,” but for the most part, I didn’t know why he was popular. I decided to listen to his 2018 album “Astroworld.” As I went through the album, I kept note of the songs I especially liked such as "Skeletons" and "Can't Say." After finishing, the songs in my notepad would be constantly replayed. They were able to bop my head and stop whatever I was doing just to vibe along which sometimes became a problem as I had homework due in a few minutes.


Either from friends or curiosity, I found new additions to my playlist. There were artists I never thought I would listen to, but now I’m wondering why I stayed under my rock for so long. This experience of trying out new music even allowed me to find more songs by The Weeknd and try out genres I didn’t necessarily like. Yet, with the mindset of trying to find new music for my playlist, I was able to stick with them to find out that I do enjoy these types. As a result, music became a huge part of my senior year and I hope to continue listening to the new albums of the artists in my playlist. Especially The Weeknd’s last album which still has dropped.