Essay: Music Journalism and Me

By Maya Alfia

I always knew that I liked to write. It’s easy, fun, and comforting. You don’t need a degree to attempt it; all you need is to put something down on paper and send it off for the world to see (or not).

The world of writing is so broad- you have poetry (which, in itself, divulges into hundreds of different forms), essay-writing (which, for me, usually turns into a long rant), storytelling (which I’ve never had the attention span for), and much, much more that can’t be shoved into this tiny space. These genres and techniques, when used in my style of writing, have always had an awkward fit, no matter how hard I tried to appeal to them.

I actually started to like what I was doing. In the years prior to the project, I had to write about books I didn’t like or topics I didn’t care for. Music was different.

My sophomore year of high school was eerily similar to the above description, a.k.a. me trying to do things that I knew weren’t right for me. I took an advanced English class, which was said to shape lives and change perspectives- I knew those myths were all fictional and exaggerated. Those kinds of classes only happen in movies where the teacher is Robin Williams. This class did indeed shape some things for me though. One of our main projects for the year was to create a website that was based on a certain topic; we would have to update it every week with new self-written articles and news. My group chose a simple topic that was impossible to dislike: music.

I actually started to like what I was doing. In the years prior to the project, I had to write about books I didn’t like or topics I didn’t care for. Music was different. Who doesn’t like music? It’s so widespread, so general, so vast, that everyone can find at least one genre they can stick to, if not multiple. I started getting excited to write album reviews and music news, even aside from the schedule we were following. Music was something I always loved, especially finding new pieces and sharing my thoughts on them, so it was refreshing to place my thoughts somewhere rather than having them wander off in my mind. At that point, I’m not necessarily sure people cared what I was talking about, but it was nice to think that they did.

It takes an unbelievable amount of courage to hold up something you’ve made and welcome all types of criticism towards it.

It might be ironic that I don’t actually read much music journalism from others, but instead I just like to write it. I don’t care if no one reads my writing. The point of it all is that you are writing about something you care about and have strong feelings for, whether it’s an album you hate or a track you love, and that you are displaying it for the world to see. It takes an unbelievable amount of courage to hold up something you’ve made and welcome all types of criticism towards it. Artists do it to the world, I do it to the artist, someone does it to me. The cycle goes on, and that’s how the world spins.

My sophomore year, as well as that project, is long gone now. My interest for music writing, however, is not. It helped me get a sense of who I am as a person when I was lost in a void of self-reflection. I listen to new albums from artists I’ve known through and through and artists I have completely never heard of and found on some random SoundCloud. It’s a nice hobby to have. It gives me something to do with my time, and it’s something I enjoy. It’s as simple as that! ✿

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