Everything about meeting this new, wonderful, interesting person was like a breath of fresh air I had been craving for longer than I would care to openly admit; but it wasn’t until, one evening as we drove back from our favourite late night Açai spot, he asked, “I’m thinking of getting Apple Music, do you know if it’s any good?” that I got that electrifying buzz of excitement down my spine.
It meant we would be using the same music streaming platform, and that meant that a thrilling two-way road of sharing our music with each other would open up for public use.
I used to treat my music library like the juicy, secrets-drenched diary of a dramatic 8th-grade girl. I even remember purposely, aggressively, hiding the name of my favourite song with hands, torso and elbows from my cousin as it showed up on MTV, for fear of her over-listening to it and subsequently ruining it for me (it was No Air by Chris Brown Ft. Jordin Sparks… I’m sorry.)
Years later, the prospect of sharing my carefully curated music library with this person had felt like a new way of sharing a piece of myself without us having to say a word. He’d never heard of Angus and Julia Stone, only knew the most over-played song of Dua Lipa’s and those of Lorde’s too. I was eager to expose him to Writer In the Dark and Garden. I couldn’t wait to introduce him to Jorja Smith’s enchanting vocals and relatable words in Lost & Found.
We shared our love for Bombay Bicycle Club and Arctic Monkeys, but I was enthralled by the thought of telling him how ‘505’ was the best song to drive home to as the sun went down.
So, he signed up to the platform, and not long after, I made him a playlist. Carefully picking the songs that would make the cut had felt like choosing which journal entry to allow his eyes to land on and analyze. It was like unfolding my thoughts and allowing him to judge them… liberally.
Sharing music opens up conversation about your memories.
If you’re any wiser than a 4 year old, you’d know that, in essence, our identities are made up of piles upon piles of memories solidified and eternalised in the form of scents, sights and, most movingly, sounds.
I was anxiously watching my grandmother’s wall clock weeks later, contemplating the right time to peel myself away from precious family time to catch my flight at the airport when I got sent a jumbled link and a message saying, “for your airport and flight, you better like every song!”
Instead of sleeping on that 2am flight, I was whisked away to a world that sounded like Kendrik Lamar, J Cole and Oasis, but smelled of him.
My mind felt that euphoric burst that finding a band that’s just right for your taste provokes when Blossoms came on. Majid Jordan’s crooning wrapped me in a cocoon of soft melodies as I spread my legs on the empty airplane chair next to me, just in time for the cabin lights to go a little bit dimmer. He matched my ‘505’ with ‘Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You’ and my heart skipped a couple of beats- and not because of the turbulent flight.
I always thought that the people I surround myself with had to have the same taste in music as me. I thought it was the only prerequisite that matters. But sharing music with someone who doesn’t necessarily follow the same bands on Twitter as you do opens up a whole new Terra Nova of sounds to move your thoughts, body, head and toes to.
It’s like visiting your friend’s home and tasting their take on your favourite dish. A little more salt than you usually add; a spice that you’d never heard of; an extra dash of love added to the recipe; the same old way to your music-loving heart.