Music is a universal phenomenon that graces all generations in various ways. Will we ever understand it’s seemingly magical properties? Probably not. For Generation Z, our music has morphed into something indescribable. The different genres and musical outputs have connected, inspired and resonated with people, in ways never thought possible. It has sparked friendships, consoled the broken-hearted, and inspired the dreamers. However, a recurring theme is present in the Top 100 HITS, local radio stations, and the mainstream media. Us teens have often heard parents, or someone older than us, whisper about the ‘sex-drugs-money’ aspect in the music “now-a-days”. Well they aren’t entirely wrong. The bulk of the music that is being pushed into the mainstream focuses on getting money, banging chicks and snorting whatever drug makes them ‘fly high’. Contrary to popular belief, not all music promotes bad intentions. Artists are starting to break from the narrative and create content that not only addresses social issues, but issues that we battle with internally as well. Music is slowly transforming into a constructive outlet that teaches good values and ideas that should be repeated in our day to day lives.
An up and coming musician named Shawn Mendes is taking the world by a storm. He uses his enormous platform to spread awareness on serious issues that are happening to millions of people around the world. His featured single, Treat You Better, on his sophomore album Illuminate, exemplifies the struggles of a man who knows that a girl is in an abusive relationship, and outwardly struggles with that fact that he is ‘seemingly’ powerless in the situation. At the end of his music video, Shawn places the number to the National Hotline of Domestic Violence to make a statement declaring that no one is powerless. We all have the potential to stimulate change and help others for the better.
Daya, a Pennsylvania native, penned an iconic song, Sit Still Look Pretty, that breaks the mold stating a queen needs a king when in fact, she is just fine without him. She addresses the ridiculous standards that society has set for women. The absurd notion that girls should be trophy wives or work 9 to 5’s. That girls are always raving over the newest clothes and being submissive to the opposite gender. She sings, to call all who want change, to dare to be different and not just be a substanceless figurehead when it’s all said and done.
On her 20th birthday, this Canadian singer released the music video to her song Scars to Your Beautiful. Alessia Cara is arguably one of the most important singers in the industry today. It’s not her singing that puts her above the rest, it’s the mere fact that she is one of us. She understands how hard life is, how lovely life is, how nostalgic it is. Her song was made to tell us that it’s OK to love yourself, to be yourself and to be one with yourself. Scars to Your Beautiful is simply a self love anthem, that everybody needs to appreciate and sing with passion until they accept the words for the truth they are. This monumental shift towards making music with meaning, music that will spark positive constructive ideas into the minds of all people is crucial to the development of a more accepting society. A revolution is just beginning, and these artists are on the front lines, leading us into a new era. One that will hopefully hold self-love, acceptance, and inspiration for generations to come.