Music, to me, is by far the most important thing in the world – it can make me feel happy, sad, longing, love, bitter, lost, sexy, angry, excited. I listen to sad music when I feel down, party hits when I do the cleaning, mellow songs when I need to work.
I firmly believe that one’s music taste isn’t set in stone – even if I always proclaim I’m an avid classic rock and blues fan, you will often find me listening to artists from a broad range of genres, from hip-hop to indie. So I’d like to think that I’d be able to listen to other songs and also share my favourite songs, thus extending our musical knowledge.
But what happens when someone you love listens to music you hate?
It depends entirely on the nature of your relationship.
My cousin and I listen to the same kind of music – and this is why we are such good friends. I saw more than 250 artists live, and I’ve attended about 95% of these concerts with my cousin. We bonded during the concerts, when we waited in line for 7 hours to get into the venue, or when we sang our favourite songs together, or when we queued for beer. But we also have loads of other common interests – the same TV shows, books, video games, comic books.
Most of my other friendships started during parties, bonding over the same songs. Even so, we are now different people, and music is not the defining part of our relationship.
I’m not exactly sure what a friend of mine even listens to. But she seems to accept when I take over her playlist, so she probably doesn’t mind my music taste. She’s an endless supply of weird music videos – I know the best parodies on the internet (or simply just weird videos) from her. And we’ve attended blues concerts together, so we have this in common. We’re great friends and talk about everything – from our darkest fears to our greatest dreams – so how can music change anything between us?
I have another friend, and I’ve been great friends with this amazing and creative friend for years now – and the hardest thing to do is to listen to music when we hang out. Listening to deep house, electro, dub, and other related genres is not my cup of tea. I even avoid clubs, due to these genres. So guess what my friend listens to – exactly. But we just pick a band we had in common 10 years ago and go on with our lives. We tell each other the weirdest things – things we wouldn’t tell others – so music incompatibility won’t stop us.
But on the other hand, what happens when someone listens to your least favourite genre, but until you found out, you got along well? I don’t think I’m a shallow person – I always go for personality over looks. So music taste surely shouldn’t dictate the success of a relationship. Right?
This happened with a love of mine, years ago – he was against rock music and I hated his house music. I even tried to find some music ‘in between’, hoping we could compromise. But chill nights turned into quiet – too quiet – nights. We had nothing in common, as much as we tried. And music was a deciding factor to depart ways.
The opposite can happen, too. Another great love, but this time we listened to the exact same thing! It seemed like a match made in Heaven! Listening to the same music, dancing to the same songs, going to the same concerts. However, this fizzled out as well – we had nothing else in common. And there are so many interests one can fake until one cannot anymore.
I am not a woman with a wild past – but music has always been an important part in my interactions.
I currently am in a great place – as great as we can be when we’re 2,500 km apart. But everything started at a dreadful party with horrible people – they were being so nasty we had to bond over something. And that’s how we found out that we both love classic rock and the blues and that we cry when we hear amazing songs. And we also love the same nerdy stuff. And whiskey. And we enjoy going to the same places and doing the same things. And it’s perfect.
So sometimes, music is an important factor in a relationship, romantic or otherwise. Other times, it’s an obstacle. But most times, it doesn’t get in the way.