The Daily Northwestern

From reggaeton to K-Pop, broaden your musical horizons

Sofia Rada, Blogger

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People like to be passionate about music. Whether the DJ changes genre, artist or song, someone at the party will have a reaction. Maybe multiple people will. Sometimes that means people will stop dancing and instead stand still, look up at the ceiling, clench their firsts and proclaim that they “came in like a wrecking ball.”

Music taste tends to vary largely among people based on personality, age, ethnicity or what have you. But ignoring individual taste, certain types of music dominate at certain events, certain places and, yes, certain countries.

I’ve had multiple conversations with other international students about the music people play at parties here.”Here” could mean Northwestern, the Midwest, college in general or this entire county. One recurring comment is about how we’ve listened to more rap, hip-hop and trap now that we’re here than ever before.

Latin American students tend to miss reggaeton. If you don’t know what that is, think of “Gasolina.” You’ve probably heard it. It was the first reggaeton song to be nominated for Record of the Year for the Latin Grammy Awards and was heard far from Puerto Rico. Reggaeton is not completely foreign to the United States. In fact, many songs are actually produced and become popular here. But they don’t often make it to the mainstream.

Generally students from abroad tend to miss electronic dance music, or EDM, even though the genre has some popularity here. People tend to know the lyrics to songs like “Clarity” and “Wake Me Up,” but these are some of the few, more pop-friendly songs that do make it to the top. Listing the genre in your favorites isn’t quite so common here, although it is elsewhere. Especially in Europe. In fact, if you look at the big names — Avicii, Alesso, Afrojack, Calvin Harris — they’re mostly European. Many of us international kids are excited that EDM is increasingly more popular here. Don’t you worry, children. You’ll love it soon enough.

Some international kids may miss hearing K-Pop or other Asian pop music. Some could miss sertanejo or another genre of the many that exist in Brazil. Hits like “Gangnam Style” and “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” (or “If I Get Ya”) have helped bring music from around the world into the American spotlight. If anything, they serve as a reminder that there’s more to non-U.S. music than Justin Bieber and One Direction.

If you’re ever sick of Miley and Lady Gaga, try to get ahold of someone from a different place. They might introduce you to music you’ll grow to love.

Email: sofiarada@u.northwestern.edu

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