Editor’s Corner: Keeping an open mind to new music

With no artist or band selected by the end of September, rumors flew about who would headline the annual Fall Concert this year. Personally, for at least two weeks, I was convinced it was going to be singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha. I heard a rumor about it, and the inner Rexhar in me desperately wanted it to be true.

When I found out the lead act would be a hip-hop artist for the third year in a row, I shrugged my shoulders. We’d already had two hip-hop concerts in the last two years, Big Sean and Travis Scott, so this year’s choice of R&B artists Ty Dolla $ign and Tinashe left me craving a little more variety — maybe a pop artist, a rock band, or even a country singer. I almost fell into a trap of blocking myself from discovering new artists, but I reminded myself to keep an open mind and consider the fact that some of my friends and peers are probably fans of Ty Dolla $ign or Tinashe, and that I could end up liking them. Plus, the Fall Concert is free.

As a frequent concertgoer, I always appreciate the chance to attend a show I wouldn’t normally go to. I’m certain that Ty Dolla $ign and Tinashe won’t be the last concert I go to in my life, so why miss out on an experience just because it’s not the one I wanted? Sometimes, concerts I was initially hesitant about led me to discover a few of my favorite artists and bands. Last summer, I went to see a British band called The Struts perform at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park. I left the concert not only wanting to see The Struts again, but also checking upcoming tour dates for their opening act, a hard rock band from Los Angeles called Dorothy.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I only know Ty Dolla $ign from his feature in “Work from Home” by Fifth Harmony, and I only know Tinashe from her duet with Nick Jonas. But that’s no reason for me not to expand my taste and explore their songs. I grew up in a family of classical musicians, and I’ve also lived in another country. Both of these life experiences have shaped my taste in music and taught me to appreciate diversity. I’ve had a lot of moments where my friends ask me “Why isn’t this song in English?” or “Why doesn’t this song have words?” I always tell them it’s OK to explore a genre you’re not used to. Even if you haven’t been exposed to a certain kind of music, or no one else you know is talking about it, doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it or relate to it.

Living in between New York and Philadelphia, our possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to entertainment — last week, I went to an indie rock concert just 40 minutes from campus, and next month, I’m off to see a violinist. If you limit yourself by only listening to music you already know, or only following the artists you think are “cool” or “relevant,” you can miss out on a world full of amazing art.

—Gianluca D’Elia

News editor of The Rider News

Printed in the 10/25/17 issue. 

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