Walking around Castleton’s campus, you will find countless people wearing headphones or ear buds. Music is clearly a common interest among students here.
But what are they listening to? It depends on who you talk to. However, one constant among students interviewed is a desire to hear music that has a meaning to them.
Junior Kinyenje Ngigi has been listening to a wide variety of songs recently. When asked what his favorite song has been, he had a hard time trying to pick just one.
“Well, lately I’ve been listening to “Pick It Up” a lot, but I don’t know if it’s my favorite,” Ngigi said. “I like this song called “Chirpin’” but that’s not really my favorite right now either.”.
Ngigi went through a few more songs he liked, mostly rap songs or R&B, before finally coming to a decision.
“No, I know what song I’ve been listening to the most lately, it’s this song called “Thursday in the Danger Room.” The song, by the rap duo Run the Jewels, is a departure from their typical sound.
Run the Jewels is a group known for its fast pace, eclectic, industrial sounding beats and lyrics of extraordinary crime feats and social commentaries.
However, the song “Thursday in the Danger Room” tells two stories of different friends being killed suddenly. When asked why he liked the song so much, Ngigi explained how his grandfather had recently passed away.
“I think the song does a good job of…explaining the feeling when someone passes,” he said. Ngigi explained how he first heard about the song from a friend a few years ago when he suffered another loss in his life.
“It’s crazy how music can, perfectly match how you’re feeling,” he said.
That connection was mentioned frequently when students told of their music preferences. They were excited to talk about what they were listening to and what it meant to them.
Connor Brahmstedt had a completely different response when asked about his music preferences.
“I hate any of that emo-type sad music,” Brahmstedt said. “Like the type of stuff you would listen to after a breakup, I hate hearing things like that on the radio.”
Brahmstedt said lately he’s been into alternative and classic rock. After hip-hop, classic rock and alternative rock seemed to be the most liked genres across campus in an informal survey of six students.
“I think if I had to choose a song to describe my life, it would be “Water Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chile Peppers,” Brahmstedt said, half-jokingly. “I just feel like that song I can really connect with. I listen to it all the time.”
Gabrielle Coons, another junior, explained how her preferences in music had been changing lately.
“I used to listen to mostly country music, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of hip-hop,” she said. “I’ve been going to the gym more now so definitely more hip-hop.”
When asked about what songs she didn’t like, Coons laughed before saying, “I hate to admit it, but I hate the song Havana,” she continued. “I feel like it’s too repetitive. I like songs that have a meaning to them, not ones that just repeat the same thing over and over.”