Victor Hugo once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” Music holds a power no other form of entertainment does. It provides inspiration when times are dull, hope when times are despairing and joy in a world of chaos. All genres can help people through the trials of life; that has been the case for me, as well.
I was first introduced to my favorite genre, metal, around two years ago when a friend put it on the radio. I remember falling in love with these new bands almost instantly. A new world was opened to me, and with that new world, I made new friendships, both inside and outside of school. Something as simple as a music genre introduced me to a brand new people group. I made connections that never would have been possible if not for the music. I had the chance to help people through life and their struggles, and I never would have met them if I didn’t ask them about a mutual band we listened to.
Sure, maybe I’m overthinking things. Maybe I was just obsessed with music that was raw, energetic and loud. Maybe I’m just a sucker for electric riffs. But, looking back, I see where music gave me experiences I might otherwise not have had. I wouldn’t have been there for a friend of mine during a time of uncertainty in his life. I wouldn’t have been able to work with someone through his depression. I wouldn’t have formed the bonds with the friends I have now, and I would not be able to rock out with them, taking life just a little less seriously.
Music is an expression. No one genre should be praised on a pedestal, and no genre should be looked down upon as simply noise. It means something to someone out there, and, in the end, that is what matters. Music can help all of us in times of anger, sorrow and excitement.
Musicians from a variety of genres care about their fans and communities, too. Brian “Head” Welch and Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, the two lead guitarists of KoRn, use their position in the band to spread their faith in God to their bandmates and to provide support to those at their concerts who need it. Top country singers Trace Adkins and Miranda Lambert play concerts for the military and for organizations that benefit veterans. Chance the Rapper has raised millions of dollars for the Chicago public school system.
As Hugo said, music puts into words what cannot be expressed. I’m grateful for the friends I made, the experiences I lived and the memories I have made through music. To those reading: appreciate what you watch, and listen to and the connections you make because of them. People can find value in all genres and experiences, even those that may not be “mainstream.”