Most people know of the importance of music in my life. I almost do everything with my earphones plugged in my ears as it always brings the best out of the context of the task at hand. Whether I am working, studying, exercising at the gym, using public transport or just chilling in bed, the idea of having something playing in my ears helps me enjoy the task even and often think in a more efficient way. For all the literature enthusiasts, it is no secret that famous British detective Sherlock Holmes always turned to his violin and to classical music in order to calm down and think. I would definitely not elevate myself to the level of that man when it comes to intelligence, however I have to recognize the effect of music on my level of concentration and reasoning process.
In order to provide a clearer idea on that matter, Spotify releases during the first week of December of every year a program called Spotify Wrapped: a short summary of the user’s journey throughout the year with the music streaming platform, by showing the amount of time spent listening to music on that app, the most played songs and artists, and so on. In my case, it seems that I have 52,898 minutes (36 days, 17 hours and 38 minutes) of 2021 listening to music via this application. The number would probably double if we factor the amount of music listened to on YouTube as well. I believe this is enough to show how much importance I give to music in my life. Something that has turned into the person who is always there for me no matter what happens at any time of the day, may it be at noon or at half past 3 in the morning. The importance of music increases when I enjoy playing my guitar and writing my own songs.
I have always found peace in the purest and most beautiful form of art I got to discover in this lifetime. However, that thought got put back in perspective when an artist I enjoy listening to, posted a particular video online.
Sandro Cavazza, a Swedish artist from Italian origin, decided to put an end to his career as an artist after having been in the business for seven years (2014-2021). The artist is mostly for his duet songs with Swedish compatriot Avicii (Without You and We Burn) and Norwegian DJ Kygo (Happy Now and Forever Yours) According the video mentioned a few lines earlier, Cavazza decided to stop pursuing this path due to the amount of pressure put on his shoulders in relation to social media and the general competition in the industry. During various interviews, Cavazza also revealed that the death of his friend Avicii has left him questioning the entire music sector and the effect it has on a person’s mental health.
As weird as that sounds, Sandro Cavazza is not the first artist in history to make such a decision at such an early stage of their career – and probably will not be the last. One of the most famous artists who took a break from music in the middle of their career is – you probably guessed it – Avicii back in 2014. At the time, people thought the Swedish DJ was retiring from the world of music after such a promising rise to the top. One of his songs describes the entire struggle of working as a music artist.
In his song Peace of Mind (in duet with Vargas & Lagola), the people involved talk about the need to go offline for some time in order to recover and find tranquility, away from all the noise surrounding the music they entertain us with. Due to the constant need to perform, the gossip circulating on social media, as well as the increasing pressure from agents and sponsors, it is no wonder that music artists have to rely on certain sources of inspiration, ranging from tranquility and comfort to drugs and alcohol. Needless to say, the environment creates the optimal conditions in order to affect one’s mental health. Maybe this is why there is something known as the 27 Club.
The 27 Club is a pop culture reference that regroups a set of famous singers, artists, and actors who died at the age of 27, often as a result of drug and alcohol abuse or violent means such as homicide, suicide, or transportation-related accidents. Some of the most famous singers to make that list are Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, world famous guitarist Jimi Hendrix, The Doors lead singer Jim Morisson, and of course English singer Amy Winehouse. Although there is no causation on that matter, the entertainment industries have noticed a spike in deaths around that age. This has not stopped artists from writing songs about that particular club, such as 27 by Fall Out Boy.
“Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club. I told him not to join that stupid club”
– Wendy Fradenburg Cobain, Kurt Cobain’s mother
Having specific music tastes is a subjective personality trait, as there is no right or wrong in that domain. Everyone is free to listen to whatever type of music, song and artist they feel like listening to. Music is the only thing that does not care who we are and where we come from. It is one of the rare things helping humanity set aside its differences and come together in order to enjoy some good time. Music is one of the easiest and most positive things we can share with those around us, whether we know them or not.
Everyone is entitled to their taste. To their opinion. If you do not like a particular song or artist, just do not listen to that music. Learn to change the channel. Nobody is forcing you to listen to that, just like you should never force anyone to listen to your music taste if they do not want to. There is no need to start ranting and disrespecting a human being – whether it is the person sharing the song or the artist themself.
Those artists provide us with something beautiful.
Let us just be grateful for their work and enjoy it if we like it.
Let us at the very least respect people’s tastes and the artists creating their music, by not falling into the social media hate and entertainment gossip traps.
“Music is what tells us that the human race is greater than we realize.”
– Napoléon Bonaparte