By: Sarah Danley
Spanning from Harry Styles to Doja Cat to Nirvana, every high schooler has a diverse taste in music. Though popular artists find homes in many student’s music libraries, this is where the similarities usually end.
Mainstream artists are not the only artists high schoolers enjoy. Senior Taylor Carpellotti described her music taste as “complicated,” enjoying music from The Weeknd, Rex Orange County and Harry Styles.
Although these pop-leaning artists are considered popular amongst teenagers, they are not the only artists making waves through high schools across the country.
“Anything that sounds good,” junior Jeremiah Myers said. “I really like female rap, like Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. Not Nicki Minaj though, her last album was a flop.”
These household names are not the only artists found in student’s Spotify playlists.
“I listen to music from the ‘70s and ‘90s,” freshman Riley Campbell said. “I also like Alice in Chains, Sublime, The Grateful Dead, Cake and Greta Van Fleet.”
The time during middle school and high school allows students to cultivate their music taste and decide what artists or bands they like with exposure to many different genres of music. Despite this differentiation, societal influences might be imposed upon students, whether that
be from the radio or friends.
“I was influenced by friends and family and what they liked,” Campbell said. “I used to listen to P!NK, and a lot of 2010’s music. Gradually, I moved more into rock music.”
Students in all grades struggled with influences on their taste in music.
“In middle school, I listened to a lot of pop and rap,” Carpellotti confirmed. “Now, it’s all over the place.”
While friends and family can be a major influence over the music teenagers enjoy, there are several other ways one’s music choice is influenced.
“It’s changed politically,” Myers said. “I won’t listen to an artist if they are against my political views. They have to face the effects of cancel culture.”
The largest influence over students and their taste in music is what is considered popular at the moment. Artists such as Harry Styles to Nirvana, Taylor Swift to Greta Van Fleet, are able to stay popular in student’s eyes for many different reasons.
“So many people love [Harry Styles’] albums because they are all different,” Carpellotti said. “Even in One Direction their albums each sounded different.”
Harry Styles and the former One Direction were not the only ones changing their sound over time.
“Kanye West also does this with his albums,” she said. “His are all over the place, but a lot of people like him because he’s always changing it up.”
By changing their music, mainstream artists are able to remain in the public eye for longer. Though this is one way to stay relevant, many artists use different methods to gain traction among the younger generation.
“It’s not necessarily the music that I’m interested in but the lyrics,” Campbell said. “[Greta Van Fleet’s] experiences are relatable, they’re more realistic than a lot of people in the public eye that other people want to see.”
To many, lyrics are a big factor when considering what music teenagers enjoy.
“Mother Mother – I just really like their music,” Myers recommended. “There’s a deeper meaning behind their lyrics, like sometimes it’s political, sometimes it’s funny.”
Although everyone has a unique taste, it is important that students stay open to many styles or genres of music. Music is a media that is constantly changing with time, and any music can become popular at any time.
“If someone is looking to try something different, I definitely recommend Rex Orange County,” Carpellotti said. “It’s more than likely that someone is going to like at least one or two of his songs. He has alternative music but also pop songs.”