Music has always been my saving grace. No, I don’t sing or play any instruments. However, I did try and play guitar for about six years, and I pretended that I could play to trumpet when I was in 5th grade. Yes, I did say pretend, my parents really just wanted me play a band instrument. I am so tone deaf it is not even funny. That doesn’t stop me from singing like any other person that has a horrid singing voice. I don’t know how many of you are with music, but I listen to everything. By everything, I mean the typical music genres like rock, rap, pop, r&b, country, etc. and even some of the atypical ones like, big band, jazz, or classical. At one point or another, each genre has played a huge part in my life.
This week, I will be picking one artist from three music genres, and explain why that particular artist had such an impact in my life. Music has gotten me through a lot in my life, and it still does. Fair warning though, some of the artists that I am about to mention are pretty out there and are all over the place.
1. Country: The Band Perry–I haven’t always been the biggest fan of country music, and when I was younger, I used to say that I would never listen to country music because it was very “honky tonk”. However, as I grew up, I started listening to very sporadic country artists, such as Sheryl Crow, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, and Shania Twain, but I was very much a closeted country music fan. That was until this I heard “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry just about two years ago. If y’all haven’t heard the song yet, listen to it here, but it’s basically about the sadness of dying young, and how dying at young age you really don’t get to experience love and worrying about how your loved ones will miss you. When I first listened to this song, I wasn’t at terribly troubled time in my life, I was just at a point in which I had just come out as trans, but I still hadn’t come out to my family, I was spending the summer helping my parents move to North Carolina, and since they didn’t know, they were still calling my by my birth name and with female pronouns, so it just put a lot of doubt in my mind, and I had thoughts of ending my life. Then I heard that song, and it really brought things into perspective for me, and helped me realize that I still had so much life ahead of me that I should continue on strong, and to not give up.
2. Soul/R&B: Adele–What can I say about this gorgeous, soulful, and talented artist? I would like a second to geek about Adele. She has one of the best vocals I have ever heard. Second’s over. Like most people, the first song I heard from Adele was “Rolling In the Deep,” but it wasn’t until I listened to her song “One and Only” did I realized how much I really loved her musical talent. You can listen to that song here. I listened to this song over and over again before my partner and I started dating. I’m not really sure why I considered it fitting to my situation, but it did. I think it was more for me. It was kinda like Adele was basically saying to me, “Lukas, it’ll be okay. You can give her your heart. She won’t break it like the others.” Obviously, I know she wasn’t actually saying that to me, but “One and Only” definitely helped me sort out my feels for my partner. Adele’s music also helped me at an earlier time in my life, but only it wasn’t an original Adele song, it was her rendition of The Cure’s “Lovesong.” When I was about to have that first conversation with my parents after coming out to them, I had that song on repeat. I just listened it to over and over again, and it just calmed me. It’s really not about the lyrics with this song, but how soft Adele’s voice is with the beautiful music accompanying her. To this day, Adele’s cover of “Lovesong” still soothes me.
3. Pop/Rock: P!nk–I have loved P!nk since she burst into the spotlight with her hit single, “There You Go.” P!nk’s music has been with me since I can remember. Her music has helped me get through so much. I love all her music, and she has songs that can fit any mood that I’m in. The two albums of hers that got me through my worse times are M!ssundaztood and I’m Not Dead. From the M!ssundaztood album, she had songs like “Don’t Let Me Get Me” and “Family Portrait” that helped me get through some bad times with myself and with my family. I believe that I interpret “Don’t Let Me Get Me” completely different than anybody else because I took it as my mother comparing me to all these women, trying to get me to be someone I’m not, I was trying to be like my mom, I was trying to morph myself into someone she wanted me to be, and after I heard this song and watched the video, I realized that I don’t have to be this person my mom wants me to be. I can just be me, but unfortunately, I didn’t know who “me” was at the time. Off her I’m Not Dead album, the song that really spoke to me was “Nobody Knows,” which is a song P!nk wrote about depression, and at the time that I listened to I was on the brink of taking my life. Once I listened to it, and I mean really listened to it, I realized that I wasn’t alone, and I wasn’t the only one going through a hard time in my life.
Music has always been my saving grace, and those three artists just mentioned are just a few that at one time or another have helped me through a hard time in my life. P!nk, Adele, and The Band Perry may not know it, but they have saved this little transguy’s life on more than one occasion. Adele said, “I don’t make music for the eyes. I make music for the ears.” Well, Adele, P!nk, and The Band Perry have made music for my heart.