The Evolution of Students’ Music Taste Over the Pandemic

As events are cancelled and people are stuck in their houses, everyone has time to fill. Some people are spending their time discovering new interests, maybe finding a new hobby or watching more TV shows. One of the most popular new interests during quarantine is discovering new music. Quarantine has given people the time to discover new music that they likely otherwise would not have found.

Before COVID-19, many people interviewed were just listening to what came on the radio or popular music; they didn’t spend much time searching for music that was unique to their interests. Although people did listen to some more obscure music before the pandemic, the majority of people interviewed described their music taste pre-pandemic as “pop” or “mainstream.”

Out of the roughly ten people interviewed, almost all of them said their music taste changed pretty drastically. “Before I listened to mostly classic rock and music from the ’70s and ’80s and some experimental stuff from the ’90s, but I’ve started listening to more modern indie music,” explained freshman Jack Farrell.

There was also a very wide variety of current genres among the interviewees, and the genres that they listen to now ranged from hip-hop to country to indie to rap. Many also said that now they listen to many different genres, rather than one or two. 

When asked about influences on their music taste, there was one pretty common answer: TikTok. Despite the app being made up of short videos, junior Leah Belber and freshman Lola Bouquet-Gragnolati both explained that TikTok helped them find songs they liked, and they went to find the songs later to listen to them off of the app. 

TikTok was not the only app referenced when asked about influences. Freshman Adara Williams mentioned Pinterest and multiple people mentioned Spotify. The ability to create different playlists for different moods and share them with friends was something that Belber said influenced her as well. “I’ve made a lot of Spotify playlists for all my different moods over quarantine, and also really loved looking at what my other friends are listening to,” she said. 

Belber was not the only one to refer to friends as an influence. Farrell also said that his music change was influenced by his friends, new and old. 

Sophomore Edie Carey’s changing political views was another influence on the type of music she listened to. “I’ve started listening more to artists like Noname and even the Clash whose political views are reflected in their music,” she said. 

Overall, the biggest influence on people’s shifting music taste is just having more time. Because of the pandemic, people are able to find music that they enjoy and that makes them happy. They have time to seek out music that matches their new interests and their moods, and because of this many people’s music tastes have changed. 

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