We were at the publications office doing presswork for the school newspaper. It was free time, so everybody was watching Youtube videos, eating or goofing around. I was doing my own thing — looking for good reads at Postaweek2011, earphones attached to my ears. One of them asked what I was listening to.
“She’s listening to speeches!” another said.
“Foul!” I replied.
I honestly didn’t know what to tell them. It’s (almost) always been like that. When people ask me what kind of music I listen to, I usually give them blank stares. Sometimes, my pessimistic self tells me that the conversation would lead to no where if I tell them.
I am one of the few (or many?) who doesn’t listen to mainstream music. Little do I know the tunes my classmates sing along to (well, except when it’s Justin Bieber or that One Direction song).
I don’t know the reason why I don’t. It’s probably because my siblings don’t either, but I don’t think we do it on purpose. Well, I’m not one who’d tell people straight that I don’t listen to mainstream and consider myself “hipster” or “cool”. I don’t know If I’m supposed to be proud or embarrassed not listening to the hits of today. Of course, I do have knowledge on a couple of songs, especially those that play endlessly on the radio.
When I was younger, I would sing along to the jazz and 70’s music being played on the defunct radio station, Joey 92.3 FM, during car trips. I loved listening to my parents’ music (anyone who says they don’t know the music their parents listen to is lying!) I remember my dad telling me that I used to sing “Baby Come Back” a lot when I was a toddler. Seawind, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sergio Mendes and The Stylistics were household names to me. Yeah, I got along with my parents’ cousins more rather than my peers when talking about these things. Pathetic, right? Joke. When I got a music player as a birthday gift in grade six, it was loaded with a hundred jazz, soul and 70’s hits.
Here’s an excerpt from my diary:
Friday, January 21, 2011
It was report card distribution… we were supposed to bring Mika home… I suggested to Dad that we’d eat out… I suggested Amici’s… you know, “unusual” songs were playing at that place such as Reasons (Noel Pointer) and The Key to You (David Benoit). Binuko ni Dad kay Mika na ‘yun yung mga klaseng kantang pinapakinggan ko (My dad revealed to Mika that those were the songs I listen to). Sabi ko, “Why did you say that?!” Then Dad said na napaka-secretive ko raw… (then dad said that I was so secretive)
So you see, I never had my “own” taste in music.
2011 is the year I’ve developed new skills and interests, and one of them is watching Asian drama. With a little research and a few random clicks of MV’s and KTV’s on Youtube, I became open to new music –yeah, you guessed it, Chinese music (or known as Mandopop). It all started with the theme songs of the dramas I’ve watched, fell in love with them and learned to play them on the piano. And the rest is history.
These songs would be stuck on replay, me singing fragmented Mandarin. You’d probably ask me if I understand the music I listen to. Of course I do! Eh… no, not really. Kinda. Well, I could sing along when I would watch a music video with Chinese karaoke since I can read and write Chinese characters. I always wondered why my fellow countrymen listen to K-pop hits when they don’t speak the language. Same question I ask myself today.
I don’t know, there’s just something about the Chinese language — the radicals used in each Chinese character that depict “deeper” meaning. Or plainly the fact that I don’t completely understand what I’m listening to, so what I listen to remains a mystery. It amazes me that I don’t really understand what I listen to, yet I still do.
Unfortunately, not a lot of Taiwanese singers have a following here in our country (I mean, compared to K-pop and J-pop) so yes, I don’t usually talk about them with others. I have yet to meet a fellow who listens to the same music I listen to. You will be my best friend for sure!
In a nutshell, here are a few artists I listen to: 周杰伦, 大嘴巴, 罗志祥, dance flow, 杨丞琳 and Vae.
I love the songs I listen to, but there are times I’d choose to listen to Filipino or English songs just so I could really sing along. And understand the lyrics. I’ve listened to jazz classics ever since and I won’t deny that I haven’t forgotten them yet. Earl Klugh‘s music is still the best, especially when it comes to studying. Hehe. I guarantee you 100% relaxation, concentration and easy listening.
To each his own.
What music do you listen to? Do you listen to music you don’t really understand?
And to end, here I share with you a few of my favorite Mandopop songs. Tell me what you think: