Photo by Martin Belam.
If there is one factor that played a major role in my household while growing up, I would have to say that it would be music. Often times what we listen to or gain appreciation for stems from our parents, and the music that they were brought up on. This can be due to the part it plays within their culture, or the era of their younger years. From there, it is spread to their children, from the eldest all the way down to the youngest.
I come from a household of five children, and luckily for me, I happen to be the youngest. Being the youngest has always allowed me to learn from my siblings, and to gain insight on various genres of music and style. My parents are originally from Ghana, West Africa. All of my siblings excluding myself were born there also so they already had that same native African musical influence embedded in them as my parents. We all know that younger siblings tend to look up to their older siblings, and mimic every little thing that they do. In turn, elder siblings use their parents as a source of influence. With all of these factors, I became the melting pot of musical influences, so to say, due to the amount of people I gained my musical taste from.
Growing up I realized that my brothers followed the musical taste of my father, and my sister followed that of my mother. My dad was into more mainstream music; whatever was popular at the current time, my dad had a fancy for it. So from there, my brothers also listened to popular music ranging from hip-hop, to pop, and techno. Ideally, it made sense for them to like these genres since they were young, and this was the type of music that younger individuals were into. My sister however, was never a big fan of hip-hop or anything current. Like my mother, she always enjoyed listening to oldies from the ‘70s. However, if the artist was from the current era, my sister preferred artists that had an old-soul feeling in their music. Examples of these artists are Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey etc.
Often times there would be an argument between my brothers and sister over what CD to play, or what music video to watch because of the musical differences between both genders. Although I am a female, I tended to like all of the music that I was introduced to by my siblings, and often had to play peace maker to appease both sides on what song should be played at the moment. I can remember in junior high and high school when all of the boys were in shock that I knew all the words verbatim to a hip-hop song, or when an older family friend would be surprised that I could name more than ten songs by the Bee Gees off of the top of my head.
The varying musical tastes of my siblings allowed me to have a deep appreciation for music of all genres, since there were so many to listen from. If my siblings mutually listened to one genre of music, I wouldn’t be aware of how powerful and intriguing other styles of music can be. On that same note, I also would have been a close-minded individual due to this as well. All in all, my musical taste stems from the differences of musical preferences of my brothers and sisters, and I thank them for their impact.
Written by: Audrey Nyarko