Let us hop in a time machine for a second.
Remember when you were in grade school, your teacher would go around the classroom and ask everyone what he or she wanted to be when they grow up? Fireman, doctor, and attorney were the popular ones. And the one kid, who always saw himself as the class clown, would say superhero. Everyone would laugh, of course, because kids are dumb and laugh at anything. Just kidding, mom — they’re adorable.
Why didn’t anyone say musician or singer? And, more importantly, why didn’t we all become music artists?
If you are thinking to yourself right now, “Well, maybe because I can’t sing?,” I am here to tell you that is the wrong mentality. Talent is overrated these days. Listen, I love rap music as much as the next frightened Caucasian, but talent is not a requirement as much as you think it is anymore. I mean, have you seen Migos perform live? Ooof. (That being said, I still very much listen to them when I’m drinking. I’m a hypocrite.)
Remember Britney Spears? In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Britney Jean Spears was a global pop icon, and, uh, she is not exactly known as a good singer. Although I do love Everytime. Whatever, it’s super catchy.
Anyway, my point is this — Britney Spears became a massive pop icon because, in her prime, she was exceptionally hot and put on a fun show, not for her vocal talent. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
Anyway, here is the thing music artists have long figured out — their music is not nearly as much about them as it is, ultimately, about us. As you go through life, you associate certain songs to memories — many times these memories are overwhelmingly positive ones. Let us think of an example. You are 24 years old in 1987. You just got married to the love of your life and your best friends have planned a crazy bachelorette weekend. The soundtrack to the weekend festivities is Cindy Lauper’s debut album, She’s So Unusual. You and your friends must have listened to that album a good, I don’t know, 85 times in the span of three days.
It was the weekend of a lifetime with your best friends.
In 1992, Cindy Lauper is touring. Naturally, you, along with your friends, buy concert tickets to go see her. Once there, you sing your heart out to every single song. You still remember every word. It is a magical night with old friends.
Do you see what is happening there? It is not about Cindy Lauper. Sure, she’s a great artist, but the night is about you, your friends, and your shared memories. No wonder music is so important to us. No wonder we love music. Simply put, songs remind us of some of the greatest times of our lives. So I ask again — why didn’t we all become music artists?
I shall leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the lead singer of Cigarettes After Sex, one of my favorite bands — “Music makes life worth living. It gives you good feelings and helps you cope with the bad feelings.”