I believe in asian music…

Ronald - Carol Stream, Illinois
Entered on January 7, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Everyday now, it seems that I can’t get through the day without music. It surrounds me, so it’s natural that I would love music. But now, more so than ever, I find myself addicted to music. Every waking moment, I have some music playing. Whether it’s through my iPod, a CD, or even using the internet, having my music playing brings a level of comfort to do anything I do.

Happiness is easy to come by, but it’s also easy to lose. However, if the day is going just right, even the littlest things can cause that feeling of elation. It may be a visual, a smell, or something a friend says, but it’ll be sure to bring a smile to your face. We may not know why it makes us happy, be it sight, smell, or sound, but we’re content nonetheless. In my case, Asian music is what brings me joy. It may not be understandable, but I still find happiness in it.

I was first introduced to Asian music at the age of eleven. I had just started to play the latest game on the video game market. As the opening scene began to unveil itself, I could feel the excitement building. While the graphics were nice, and the storyline seemed interesting enough, the one thing that had my full attention was the theme song. As soon as the action died down, and the song faded away into silence, I frantically searched for the credits. What was that song? Who sang it? I needed to know, and sure enough, I found it. “Simple and Clean”, written by Utada Hikaru. I made a note of it, and promised myself to look her up later. She was bound to have more music, just as good or even better. Little did I know what this would start.

Upon further research, I discovered that she had sung a Japanese version of the song, for the Japanese release of the game. Not thinking much of the fact that I wouldn’t understand it, I decided to try it out. I instantly fell in love. Something about the song appealed to me. Days later, I found myself singing along, despite my complete lack of knowledge concerning the Japanese language. With the song fully stuck in my head, I tried some of her other music. It turned out, she was actually a really big artist in Japan, with multiple albums already released. I had taken a plunge into the world of Asian music, and I only fell deeper into its sea of sound.

Here I am, years later, an avid fan of various forms of Asian music. Now, Korean and Chinese artists have joined Utada, along with the multitude of Japanese artists I’ve grown to love. To this day, I’m still confronted about and considered by many to be weird because of my musical tastes. “Dude, what are you listening to?” A friend will inquire, upon hearing bits and pieces of my music. “Is that even English?” I smile at their curiosity, taking a moment to explain myself. “Nope, it’s Japanese.” I proclaim proudly. Most have expressed a dislike for it, some won’t even listen to it. But in those rare moments when I can have a friend listen to a song, see them smile, and hear them honestly say “I like that. That’s nice,” I see this all as worth it.

There’s happiness to be discovered in the world, even without fully understanding why we enjoy it. I truly believe that. That’s why, I believe in Asian music.