• Janita Purcell

you are what you listen to | music



For as long as there has been the ability to make a mixtape, a compilation or a playlist, anyone can curate who they are in a neat little space, physical or digital, personal or purposeful.


‘I made you a playlist’ ‘I thought of you when I heard this’


It’s a gesture that is both platonic and romantic. We place a lot of faith in the music we listen to. Something to have but not hold, but maps out formative years of our lives. These three-minute soundbites all added up into hours, days or even weeks of plays map out where we came from to where we are headed. Pretty cool, pretty nostalgic.

As music is informed by the world around us, it informs ourselves of who we are likely to become. The phases you went through in high school can be reminisced in certain tracks and the people you love (and maybe even don’t love a little) will come to mind when a certain song is played because they’re the ones who showed it to you in the first place.

Clearly a part of our brain immediately takes us back just like it does with an old cologne. But unlike a scent that passes us by we can consciously remind ourselves of the good and the bad when we plug in and click play. There aren’t many forms of self-expression that allow you to do that so conveniently.



As music resurges itself to be political we’re reminded that music’s impact is always far-reaching in identity and meaning. Bob Dylan led us to believe the times were changing even if they still so drastically need and the very reason artists are refusing Trump to play their music at his rallies is because of the idea that their music association/ their association is not far-reaching to the far-right.


Your current playlist says a lot about you, I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules. It’s not to take too seriously though. Not everything has to be serious for it to be good, people are more multi-faceted than that.


(So, let me post my love songs without thinking it means something, I beg.)

But if you do meet people with the same music taste as you do hold onto them. Just as we should surround ourselves with good people, I hope you surround yourself with good tunes, because in ten years’ time you’ll be remembering who you were when you first heard them.

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