Scrolling through my iPod and Spotify playlists, I’m quite proud of my taste in music, it really does varie. I’m pretty sure it has a wider varirty more than others. Everyone says they are eclectic when asked their favourite type of music, but looking through my list of artists, I’m pretty sure this is what eclectic is. From Westlife to Skunk Anansie and Janis Joplin to Jay Z, my taste really does depend on my mood at the time, and sometimes even the weather, weird I know.
My issue though, is that people seem to think they have a right to judge me by musical taste. Certain people who claim to “love music” and have musical clef tattoos on their wrist (usually surrounded by stars) and act like they have music going through their veins, seem to judge me on the music I enjoy. I’m going to use this space to rant about that.
I’ve always been very much into music. I’m pretty sure this has a lot to do with my upbringing. My Indian born Dad was always playing Punjabi songs in the car and around the house or was watching a Bollywood movie where music played a huge part. I’m also very lucky to have a British born Mother who was very much into Motown and Madonna. We had all the Jackson 5, early Michael Jackson and Madonna vinyl’s at home whilst growing up and they were on constant play. My love for music started at a very young age – I’m pretty sure I knew all the words to Jackson 5 – ABC by the age of six.
With music television at its peak in the 90’s, along with my brother and sister, I would watch channels such as The Box, MTV and VH1. We all had different preferences in music; my brother was more of a Bhangra fan but was also partial to a bit of Jungle and Hip Hop. My sister was more of an RnB and Pop kind of girl, and I was the same. I copied my sister a lot when I was little – odd, I know! We all had our separate videotapes “Ballys Songs” where we would record our favourite music videos as they came on; summer holidays were a hoot in our household. (Intrigued to see if we were the only kids to do this by the way.)
As I grew up, I wasn’t embarrassed about the music I enjoyed. I was often called a girl in school for my love of pop music. It didn’t faze me much; it was music, not like I was donning a frock and calling myself Betty, chill out. Then came high school. I listened to the music I wanted and, again, was ridiculed for it. I was a fan of all music, but I was a bit of an S Club 7 geek. Pretty cool aren’t I? It wasn’t just pop music I listened to though. I listened to Limp Bizkit, Skunk Anansie, Aaliyah, Destinys Child and was still open to new sounds and because of my older siblings, was always listening to what they were blasting in their rooms. It’s because of my brother actually that I know all the words to Juicy by the Notorious B.I.G. However, people at school decided to cling on to the fact that I was listening to a CD compilation of “gay music” as they would call it. Right, so because I’m listening to a bit of chart music that is popular, I’m either girly or gay. Charming! Through high school, I felt the need to hide my music taste in fear of being judged. It was horrible.
This is why I get really annoyed now when people put labels on those who want to be a fan of a certain artist or for those whoe like a certain song. Judging people on the music they like is one of my pet hates. It really drives me mad! I’m really open with my music taste and love that I have been bought up with different sounds and have been privileged to hear music from all genres. When I hear people judging those for liking Justin Bieber or being a fan of one of his songs and saying “OMG what is happening to me?!” it really gets to me. It’s a song, you like it, get over it. When people call me “gay” or say that I’m a “girl” for listening to legends like Tina Turner or Aretha Franklin or say that I’m a “greebo” for listening to Skunk Anansie, then quite frankly, take a seat and listen to your one genre of music which you think makes you cool. I’d rather be a “gay greebo girl” than a rat following the pied pipers one tune.