Music saved my life


Logan Flake, Satire Editor

I was starting to feel empty.

It’s something I can honestly say I’d never truly felt before. If you know me well (or, if we’re being honest, have heard basically anything about me at all) then you’d know that I’m one of the most pessimistic and negative people on the planet. For as often as I make jokes about depression and suicide, starting to see shades of those mindsets actually working their way into my mind and taking control was something that had never happened up until this point.

Gone was my motivation to create or play video games or to really do much of anything at all. Gone was my typical personality and coupled mannerisms. Gone, in essence, was the real me. The person I’d spent my entire life developing.

I was at a complete stand-still in life. I had no idea what to do with myself other than to sit around and mope about what was going on.

One day during this saddening span of time, while playing Pandora on my phone and scrolling mindlessly through social media, a song came on that I’d never heard before. Since it was something fresh for once, which is a rarity on the Pandora stations that I frequent, I decided to zone-in on it.

It didn’t take long for me to be entranced by the lyrics of the song. Suddenly, scrolling through my Instagram feed didn’t seem massively important anymore. As I listened, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Never did I think that a single song could encapsulate a set of feelings so well.

“Deep Inside of You” by Third Eye Blind essentially saved my life. It made me realize that other people out there in the world had gone through what it was that I was going through. I wasn’t some emotional outcast that nobody could understand after all.

Before this experience, I’d only ever thought of music as something to have on in the background. Never did I think that it had much value as a center of focus. Instead, it was always something I’d have playing while doing something else that I felt was more important. Afterwards, my mindset has been a little different.

From that point on, I’ve looked at music from a completely different perspective. Music has the potential to spark tremendous influence and change a person’s life if that person is willing to embrace it as something more than a party favor, or an accessory to other events. Lost sometimes in the hustle-and-bustle of life, is the power behind the lyrics of music. It’s a whole heck of a lot more than just a beat, and I learned that through deep personal experience.

The force behind music has shown itself to me multiple times since I decided to embrace it. A few months ago, I stumbled upon a video where parallels to someone else’s music style were made to elements Kanye West used in his album “808s and Heartbreaks.” Intrigued by the small sample that I had heard played in the video, I decided to set out to find the song in it’s entirety, which ended up being a track titled “Say You Will.” Long story short, I ended up binging the entirety of the the album that day and proceeded to listen to nearly all of Kanye’s discography in the following weeks.

His music has taught me that rap is more than just expletives and sex and drug references. Rap can have some serious meaning and value to it if it’s done with that purpose in mind and executed correctly, and Kanye is a master at this craft. To say that his music has changed me for the better is an understatement.

I plan on doing a more in-depth analysis of his entire discography at a later date, so be on the lookout for that if it’s something of any interest to you.

Not long after discovering the power of Kanye’s music, I had a similar experience with the band Paramore. Their music is drastically different, but it too has had a positive effect on me.

The discovery of the full lengths of Paramore’s discography (past the 3 popular songs of theirs that everyone knows and gets stuck in their heads if they happen to play on the radio) wasn’t coupled with a bold realization for me like my embracing of Kanye’s music was. But, more of a good thing is almost never a negative, and having 5 entire Paramore albums worth of new content to explore and experience certainly isn’t “the only exception.”

If anything, prancing around the vaster pastures of Paramore’s music has made me learn that the band is far more than the edgy emo-punk rock stigma that their more advertised songs suggest. They are able to express vividly-deep messages through their music in styles that far exceed the one they’re best known for. Their most recent album, “After Laughter,” is a perfect example of this. This newest creation that was released in May of this year strides as far as it possibly could from the band’s norm. I highly recommend you check it out if you’re looking for a dose of some new experimental stuff.

All things considered, it’s clear that music has abilities beyond being something to help someone get through an otherwise perilous work task. It’s a refuge for those who feel helpless and a means for serenity in times of deep peril. Have an intense emotion you’re feeling about a situation right now that you just wish someone could truly relate to you about? There’s probably a song for it. You just have to be willing to look. Happy hunting, my friends.