Ilustration credit: Courtesy of @ Miranda Iracunda
I want to start this article saying that my only intentions in here are to bring you some fresh air in the hard situation we’re living and my love for music. And dedicate it to all who lip-synced in the bathroom.
I grew up listening to pop music and dancing in my living room with a two meters long skirt that was from my mother and that I struggled with every time I tried to spin around. Or singing out loud in my bedroom with the deodorant can A thousand miles by Vanessa Carlton. You know what I mean, we’ve all faked that piano part. And don’t even get me started with all those afternoons listening to sad music and crying for love. Oh, man, what a time.
The thing is that we need music. Classical, tribal, rock, pop, heavy metal. It doesn’t matter. Its something inherent in ourselves. Its like a little personal God for each one. But, as every cultural phenomena, it carries some ideas.
As a girl who was born in the late 90s and raised in the 00s, I spent my days singing to lost loves, asking to save me and meeting the love of my life. And innocently dancing to Barbie Girl by Aqua without knowing what I was saying. I grew up envying all those 90s bands and looking them as if I lived in a crystal ball. But, why?
The 90s were the era of N’Sync, the Backstreet Boys and, of course, of the Spice Girls. One of the ﬁrst bands that spread the concept of Girl Power, and even more, that created a space in the music industry where they made a lot of teenagers feel part of something. That not everything was about going out and meeting a boy. That was something more. And aside from the girl bands, we had huge pop stars as Christina Aguilera, Shania Twain or, of course, Britney Spears, the one who started a movement in the music industry that lived until it ﬁnally had the “boom” in the ﬁrst decade of the 00s.
How in the world a decent girl would listen to somebody that shaved her hair in a total mental breakdown? Oh, and songs about going out? Do whatever you want? ¡Oh my god, blow off boys and breaking their hearts! No way. To be honest, I’m blaming nobody. I set some standards only because I believed that those things were a scandal when, nowadays are something that I would admire. I lived in an environment that taught me that all of those girls didn’t know what they did, so provocatives and challenging. But I didn’t really understand why was so bad that a 10-year-old girl danced to Toxic and was funny that she imitated Pitbull.
Those 90s stars started the path that others would follow, like Beyoncé or Rihanna, followed later by Dua Lipa, Ariadna Grande or even the so-known “new girl bands” like Little Mix or the dissolved Fifth Harmony. And we had the grace that many children listen to them.
We have little girls singing that they stablish the limit, that they know what to do with their lives, that their bodies are theirs. I know that many of them don’t even know what they are saying, but they’ll know. And it seems nonsense but it’s important. Believe me, I’ve seen a four-year girl singing that she can’t be tamed, that she is the only queen and I know that she’ll be. Because since a child, there are songs with four or ﬁve cords and a vitiated rhythm that are telling her that she can do it.
All that commercial pop-rock seems meaningless but it’s important. Its our actual culture. Tell me someone that didn’t feel empowered by Beyoncé -no joke, I have a friend that in a romantic emergency case she always says that “you have to be Beyoncé”- who didn’t stop their heartbreak with New Rules by Dua Lipa. Who didn’t sing Toxic loudly or felt sexy with Man, I feel like a woman or, for the love of god, who didn’t run across all the club just to dance Wannabe? All those songs make us feel united, unique, empowered. Call it dopamine or call it beat. They made us belong to something else. They make us belong to us.
So I hope that music follows its preferences and gives us with some more disco hits like that. But, until then, we’ll have to sit down and wait, creating some good playlists on Spotify when we feel alone. And why not with some music that make us feel empowered? You know what they say: stay safe, keep dancing.