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How niche can you get?

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The desire to be more niche is especially common in music taste.

How niche can you get? I first noticed this trend when I saw how people rank each others’ Spotify Wrapped–the more niche you are, the higher you stack, and vice versa. I’ve seen people post their wraps like beacons of their individuality, a testament to their uniqueness. This phenomenon made me wonder “Has the fear of being basic made it harder to genuinely enjoy music?”

I remember being in eighth grade and specifically curating a playlist that I would loop to offset any non-presentable music in preparation for Wrapped season. I felt the constant need to be as distant from basic as possible; I took pride when people told me they didn’t know an artist that I listened to, and a wave of fear washed over me when they did. This individualistic mindset is very prevalent among new-age music lovers and is especially prominent in music spaces on social media.

The more you look into these spaces, the more you realize that everyone who takes part in them is in silent competition with the other members. Take Wrapped for example. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s fun to share what you like and see your stats. On the other end of the spectrum, the typical social media-dwelling music jockey sees it as data. They collect it and compare it to their own, deciding whether or not their superiority complex can hold on another day–if everyone else is basic, they win. As well as this, this need to be as niche and therefor cool affects other people as well because they can end up feeling like their music taste isn’t good enough, like it’s something that needs to be fixed.

The only way to avoid being basic in the eyes of these music jockeys is to find new music–sounds easy right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The vast majority of these people are so dead set on having the most underground taste out of everyone they have ever spoken to that the idea of sharing music is basically unspeakable. To me, the spread of mindset has become the catalyst for the death of music as a communal exchange.

I’ve learned about how music was spread before social media through people older than me, and I’ve noticed that the community aspect is basically lost on our generation. The constant fear of being seen as basic has taken away from my favorite part of loving music: sharing. Personally, all the best music I know has come from other people. I love being able to associate the music I love with the people I love. 

It’s time that we turn over a new leaf in terms of music appreciation. Being basic has never been a bad thing–things are popular for a reason. Letting go of the elitism that is currently plaguing the music scene will let us finally rediscover the joy of music as a shared experience.

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About the Contributor
Isha Savi, Staff Writer
Isha is currently in 10th grade and this is her first year on the Emery’s staff! Isha is part of the Sexual Assault awareness club and in her free time she likes to listen to and read about music, watch Wes Anderson movies, and doom scroll until her eyes fall out. Isha’s favorite movie is either Moonrise Kingdom or a Silent Voice and her favorite flavor of ice cream is cookie dough.  
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