Music is one of the most diverse art forms out there, and there truly is something for everybody. If you’re somebody who daydreams, there is music made for that. If you enjoy loud, fast-paced music, there are artists that just do that. With how much there is to offer, everybody has a genre (or style of music) they tend to gravitate towards. This week, the music directors share what their favorite genre is and why.


Hip-hop is my favorite genre because it is beautiful and full of so many visionaries and artistic visions. The history of hip-hop goes so deep and is so rooted in culture and art, it truly is a human genre if that makes sense.


I grew up in the Midwest where the only thing on the radio was country. Musicians like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert were the reason I become so passionate about music. When I moved to Washington when I was in middle school, I completely rejected it. But now as an adult, I absolutely love it. I think my favorite thing about this genre is the values the songwriters weave into the stories they are telling. The values of family, community, and reliability are super important to me, and this genre, more than any other, represents those.


Why is it my favorite genre? For starters, I grew up listening to it. My mom would always have some John Mayer or Jack Johnson playing on her i-home while I was in the other room trying to study. It was so relaxing and gentle… It made me feel very vulnerable. Listening to Jack Johnson‘s raw and relaxing vocals over his gentle acoustic guitar always makes me feel like I’m back home. Currently, some of my favorite easy-listening artists include Jack Johnson, Michael Franks, Bread, and Norah Jones.


I feel like this is my favorite genre for the same reason it is most people’s favorite genre today. At risk of writing some cheesy allegory, we live in a world where music has become increasingly over-saturated due to the popularity of streaming platforms. This leaves most of the youths of today searching for something that makes them “different”. No one wants to fit into the norms of an increasingly homogenized world, and so when tasked with finding music, many people try to differentiate themselves by listening to artists that the general public (whatever that means) doesn’t. The only problem with that is that indie is starting to become the new pop. If I stood on Terrell Mall at WSU during the midday rush and hucked a rock at random passersby, I’m sure that the person it hit would be able to tell me more songs sung by someone like Clairo, Mac Demarco, or Mitski than songs that are currently in the Billboard top 40. However, despite these facts, the rush that I feel when I find an artist that has less than 1,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, or a song that I feel like I want included in the soundtrack of my life is still present within this genre. That’s why I love it so much, because despite the loss in indie music actually being “independent”, the genre still provides some of the best artists of our time.


Imagine: You go to the beach, you put a little piece of paper with a smiley face on your tongue, you sit on some rocks, you put on some Grateful Dead, and you wait. I promise you, that will be the greatest experience of your life. Absolutely nothing beats getting way too high on something you probably shouldn’t have had, and vibing the fuck out to some good ol’ fashioned jam bands. Arguably the heart and soul of the 60’s and 70’s, jam bands were a musical revolution. Everything people thought they knew about music was thrown out the window when hippies started popping up all over the country, eating LSD like candy, and playing unstructured music for hours on end in the middle of the street. Now *that* is a jam band.


My favorite genre switches from day-to-day, but alternative rock was really the first time I fell in love with music. I talk about Arctic Monkeys a lot and their influence on my personal taste, but alternative rock is such a broad genre of music. You could listen to music that brings you back to 2014 Tumblr, Well-known artists from the 90’s who paved the road for modern rock, some truly weird stuff, and more. The options are endless, and the artists that call themselves “alternative rock” are really some of the best in the game.

Some personal favorites (other than Arctic Monkeys): Blur, Narrow Head, Tigercub, The Smashing Pumpkins, Stuck in the Sound, Jeff Buckley, Desert Sessions, and Wunderhorse.


First off, I’d like to say that I really enjoy every genre to an extent but no one which have influenced me more than grunge music. It is a genre that I can randomly play and enjoy every song with no fail. Within the genre of grunge, I enjoy bands like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam. Of course it goes without saying that I also can enjoy Nirvana‘s discography. For me, it’s the combination of the virtuosic vocal techniques and the hard hitting guitars. It’s essentially everything I like in the band ‘format’ with the punchy drums, the raspy yells, the dirty bass tone, and distorted guitars. *Chef kiss


For a very long time, I didn’t even know what electronic music was. My only exposure to any electronic elements in songs were the synths in 2010s pop. One day in 6th grade, I was listening to a mixtape someone had burned onto a CD and I heard the song Papercut by Zedd. I was immediately captivated, and it remained one of my favorite songs for the next several years. Outside of Zedd, though, I still didn’t have much exposure to EDM. My real defining moment as an electronic music fanatic was watching a WatchMojo video. Yes, you read that correctly. I decided to click on a video called Top 10 Deadmau5 Songs, which kickstarted my long-term interest in Deadmau5 and EDM as a whole.

What I really love about electronic music is that I feel like we are only in the very early stages of the genre. Its only limiting factor is technology. Every time a more powerful computer, better software, or more advanced synthesizer comes out, the sonic capabilities of artists everywhere is expanded. EDM is also incredibly diverse. You have genres like Breakcore and Riddim juxtaposed against Ambient and Vaporwave. I truly think there’s an electronic genre for everyone.

Some of my favorite popular EDM artists right now are Skrillex, No Mana, Porter Robinson, Eyeliner, Flume, Madeon, Zedd and Deadmau5.


Not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a city that possesses a distinct musical sound. Nashville has country music, and Austin may be known for any number of generic indie-rock bands, but Seattle has grunge. People often inherit musical tastes from their family members, and, in my case, it is no different. As I began to explore the world of 90s grunge music, I came to discover that my dad not only listened to the same music in his youth, but that he had also personally known some of the members that would go on to make the movement famous, such as Ben Shepherd of Soundgarden and Andy Wood of Mother Love Bone. The discoveries did not stop there, either. As I explored this newfound passion of mine, I learned that it was shared by countless members of my community, such as younger teachers in my high school, coworkers, and random individuals that life graciously allows us to meet (proof that the movement had deeply and profoundly impacted not just Seattle, but Western Washington as a whole). This music became remarkably attractive to me due to the importance that it had on shaping the community that I grew up in and love… roots that can still be seen and heard to this day. Grunge is also a profoundly human genre, with weighty and despairing lyrics that are relatable to all people, and with a musical style that does not care about being polished or refined, yet still displays impeccable musicianship. It is a unique, personal, and impactful genre that forever creates a connection between me and my first home, and this is why I fell in love with grunge.


Midwest Emo is my favorite genre because it combines my favorite characteristics of other rock subgenres I love. It reminds me of the aggression I love from punk, but a slowed down, cleaner, and intertwined with newer indie tones and melodies. Another thing I love is how flexible 4th Wave emo is. Some of my favorite bands are considered 4th wave emo but lean on another genre like Loathe borrowing from Nu-Metal, Tigers Jaw borrowing from Slowcore, or Title Fight borrowing from Shoegaze. Lyrically, 4th wave emo heavily relies on vulnerable and introspective lyrics regarding feelings of anxiety, depression, heartbreak, feeling left out, and isolation. The album that got me into emo was The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me by Brand New. This led me to getting into bands such as The Hotelier, Joyce Manor, Citizen, and Movements. My favorite Midwest Emo bands are Title Fight, Thank You, I’m Sorry, Forest Green, Sunsleeper, and Basement. If you’re interested in giving Midwest-Emo a try I would recommend listening to the album Colourmeinkidness by Basement.

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