Music has always been a big part of my life. Whether it has been songs from my Pakistani roots or those from growing up in America, music has served as a constant companion. When I was little, my dad would play CDs of Bollywood songs whenever we were driving somewhere. As I grew older, I began to discover American artists — the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato — many of whom hold a special place in my heart today. After all, once a Swiftie, always a Swiftie!
My love for music has only grown since then — the older I become, the more I appreciate music. I can confidently say that music has become one of my love languages over the years. A love language can best be described as the way one prefers to communicate and express their life in both platonic and romantic relationships. While I consider words of affirmation as my conventional love language, I rank music as my second — rather untraditional — love language.
During middle school, I found that many of my friendships were based on shared musical interests. I still remember jamming to Little Mix and Fifth Harmony at the back of the bus with my friends. In high school, I was exposed to different genres, and I found myself fascinated by the multitude of music I had yet to discover.
Over quarantine, this love and appreciation of music has significantly increased. As an introverted individual, I was hesitant to spend hours on FaceTime or on the phone with friends and family, despite missing them immensely. Because of this, I found comfort in listening to podcasts, reading books and listening to music.
These activities — although not the same as genuine human interaction — felt like I had people to lean on. Whether it was the characters of “Harry Potter” I reminisced about as I reread the books or the voices of my favorite artists such as Chelsea Cutler, I knew I was not alone. Most notably though, I found solace in listening to music.
For any emotion or any situation, I could find the perfect song to match my mood or to set the mood!. Whether it was listening to classical music to alleviate stress from online classes or blasting One Direction songs to cheer me up after reading the news, I always had music to match my vibe. During a time that feels so isolating and lonely, music has been there for me — even more so than it ever had before.
To make finding the perfect music for a specific situation a little easier, I decided to make playlists. It started off as a relatively low-key task — for example, I made playlists for when I was feeling sad or when I was in the shower. However, I slowly began to put more work and dedication into them, and this coincided with my switch in music platforms.
Previously, I was using Apple Music, but I made the switch to Spotify after a lot of peer pressure from my friends. This ended up being for the best because I fell in love with the way Spotify was set up. Not only can I create playlists, but I can do it in an aesthetically pleasing way, which I had not figured out how to do with Apple Music.
I soon began to dedicate much of my time to curating the perfect playlists with the perfect pictures and descriptions to go along with them. Currently, I have over 20 playlists on my account that I have poured my heart and soul into. My personal favorite has to be my “Pride and Prejudice” playlist. It is titled “i love you. most ardently” in honor of Mr. Darcy, and I find it to be an accurate representation of my love for the 2005 film featuring Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. It includes instrumental music and modern day hit songs that I believe are representative of the enemies-to-lovers trope. If you are a fellow Spotify user or a lover of period pieces, I highly encourage you to check it out.
Along with making my own playlists, many of my friends and I have been exchanging playlists. This has been one of my favorite things to come out of quarantine. As previously mentioned, I am not the biggest fan of communicating virtually due to my introverted tendencies. Thus, I have found exchanging music to be an excellent method of communication as well as a great way to be exposed to new types of music. By sharing playlists or seeing what my friends were listening to through Spotify’s “Friend Activity” feature, I have been able to see how my friends are doing or feeling throughout quarantine. By the amount of people I saw listening to “‘tis the damn season” by Taylor Swift over break, I could tell we were all going through something together despite the physical distance between us.
The joy I have felt curating, listening to and sharing music has been a light in these rather dark times. It has truly been a pleasure reconnecting with my love of music as well as preserving it in memorable playlists. While COVID-19 has not brought too many joys in my life, I am glad that it has allowed me to further develop and connect with one of my love languages — music!
Zoya Zahid is a Life Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at email@example.com.