Something for Everyone: Finding Your Music Genre

Whether you’ve been a music connoisseur since you were young or you’ve only recently started exploring and refining your taste, the journey to find your genre is almost as tenuous as choosing a college. Finding the one or multiple genres that appeal most to you can be helpful in discerning which concerts and events to attend, but also allows you to narrow down your hunt for new artists. While most of us listen to a whole range of genres every single day, shifting effortlessly from hip-hop to pop to country, it can be a daunting process to find your favorites. With unlimited access at our fingertips, how do you establish a unique music taste? 

Start with the classics. 

It’s important to listen to a whole range of genres before deciding what you do or don’t like. A good place to start is finding the classics of whichever genre you intend to explore. For example, if you’re trying to get into hip-hop and don’t know where to start, Spotify’s “Gold School” playlist is a great introduction. Utilizing your music platform’s curated playlists is great tool, even if you don’t have a music subscription, you can easily search YouTube for “hip-hop classics.” This exploration will likely be the most time-consuming part of your journey, however, most music lovers know that the hunt for a great artists is fulfilling t. Listening to the classics of each genre can be a great introduction, but don’t be shy in asking ask friends for recommendations. 

Use streaming platforms to your advantage. 

As previously mentioned, streaming platforms, most notably Spotify, provide excellent curation and opportunities to discover new music. Their algorithms are designed to recommend new music for you based upon your previous listening and provide a range of playlists for every genre, time period, and mood. You can even search a range of terms such as “Summer Mix” or “Morning Mix” to find curated playlists based on your recent listening. Apple Music also has a similar feature, though not as extensive as Spotify’s, the platform provides personalized playlists such as “New Music,” “Favorites,” and “Chill.” 

Spotify’s curated “Chill Morning Mix” for me

Experience it live. 

Experiencing music live is an essential part of supporting the artists you’re exploring, and it provides an immersive experience. Live music can also be affordable and accessible if you are exploring smaller artists based in your city. Attending these events is a way to create memories and potentially find a community with aligned interests. The collective experience of attending concerts is crucial to appreciating the genres that you are streaming, and it might introduce you to something new. 

Sit down and listen. 

Finally, the most time-consuming but gratifying part of this journey is sitting down and listening. Take the time to explore different artists and listen to their discography all the way through. It may take weeks to even scratch the surface of what you’re looking for, but as you listen more, the more your streaming platform can work alongside you to produce better recommendations. Trust the recommendations of Spotify’s “Discover Weekly,” and always be open to listening to something new. Spending the time and energy to explore genres will ultimately be rewarding for your musical journey. 

While I can only speak to my own experiences, these were the four tips I found most helpful as I explored my music taste through high school and college. If you spend half of your life with headphones on, trust me, finding songs you love is important. 

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By Georgie Fleming

Georgie Fleming is a recent graduate of Fordham University with a BA in Communications and French and Francophone Studies. While at Fordham, she frequently published articles in a music publication and worked as a barista. She grew up in Newport, Rhode Island. She spends her free time going to the beach, reading, and baking. 

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