Okay so this is something that I have felt before, come across in other people and generally been thinking about it a lot lately. Genre Claustrophobia.
‘The feeling that you are stuck listening to one genre because you feel as though you have to due to family upbringing or social surroundings’.
Yes I made that definition up in my head HOWEVER- it fits doesn’t it? It makes sense to me and probably does for you reading this. This idea came about to me last night, as I was listening to ‘Bang Bang’ by Jessie J. I’m not gonna lie, I LOVE that song, and it lead me to listen to a bit of Beyonce and then onto Lady Gaga. I now have a playlist on Spotify of my favourite songs from them. Now I used to really like Lady Gaga about 5/6 years ago, but felt like I shouldn’t listen to her because my Dad was (and still is) into heavy metal, death metal, hard rock etc and my friends were discovering bands such as My Chemical Romance, Green Day and Fall Out Boy. I still adore all three of those bands and got into them very quickly, which I am glad I did even though I initially listened to them to try and fit in to the big social group in my high school (even though that didn’t go well but made me a better person which I am today).
When I was first getting into them I threw out my Lady Gaga CD’s (regret that now -sad face-) and stopped listening to chart/pop music and fully immersed myself in rock/metal, going through that awkward little emo phase and wearing a whole stick of eyeliner round my eyes each day. After a while I started to feel suffocated by how I felt like I had to listen to certain bands and certain genres within rock and I fell out of love with music for a little bit. I didn’t want to keep listening to heavy metal, I got tired of hearing the same song topics and competitions of who could scream the loudest and scariest. I didn’t get a kick out of it anymore. So I delved back into punk (see post ‘Tori is a Headbanger’) and through that discovered pop punk and the band Patent Pending (here’s a little YouTube video of theirs- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6D6j_e3FmE). I view this as the moment when my tastes expanded again, as their sound was much happier, fun and easy to listen to. Plus they are AMAZING live and genuinely lovely people. I felt the genre claustrophobia start to lift a little…
My next breakout was when I watched the film Rock of Ages. Oh that film…I have a very deep love for it and have seen it many, many times and I am proud of it. It is what got me into classic rock bands such as Poison, Def Leppard, Journey and loads of other odd songs here and there. Classic rock is comforting to me, and it gets me motivated, excited about things and wakes me up in the morning. It sounds different enough than normal rock or hard rock so it doesn’t feel like I am still stuck listening to the same thing. I also have a Spotify playlist especially for classic rock and I am not ashamed in the least.
So now we come full circle back to last night. I was not in the mood for any of my usual listens, and just really wanted to hear something that sounded fresh. Dancey. Upbeat. So cue Beyonce and Lady Gaga. I felt completely free from being stuck in one place, I realised that I can listen to anything I want if it makes me happy. I have that option to switch between FrnkIero andthe Cellabration to Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’ and it has made me feel invigorated and enthused about music again. We are in a society where there are still those who will judge you for not listening to what they think is the ‘right’ sort of music (i.e any band they listen to), but if you look at the bigger picture, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO YOU LIKE IT SHOULD NOT DEFINE YOU. It should merely be one of the many interesting parts of you.
I hope this post makes sense to you and if you can relate to anything then that’s amazing. Don’t feel suffocated in one genre, its your life and you choose the things that make you happy.