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Amarachi Okeh: What Does Music Do To You?

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I had gone to school that day normal, happy. No worries. No thoughts. But by the end of the day, I was already depressed, kind of. Why? I listened to music. A particular kind of music. Blues, romantic songs. Back street boys, Westlife, Celine Dion, you know them. The songs got me thinking. Thinking about what I didn’t have, how it feels, what it feels like having someone, why I am still -1 you know them nah. All those thoughts that hadn’t crossed my mind in a long while just with full force flooded back by just music!

Music affect us in various ways. You can’t deny the times you started crying for no particular reason, but a song. Music has this overwhelming hold on us. It speaks to us, speaks against us, even speak to us against something, somebody or for anything. It goes from the instrumentals to the wordings. Different things attract people to songs. It can be the lyrics or the instrumental. Whichever one it is affects us deeply – very deeply – much more that we can actually accept or agree. It’s like an involuntary response that we are not even aware of its effect until someone tells us or we are sharp enough to observe ourselves.

Have you ever had this funny but true thought: that you can actually guess the kind of songs a person listens to by just observing his or her behaviour? Why don’t you try it on someone for fun? That goes further to show the kind of influence music has on people which they may not know they are exhibiting.

Music elicits certain responses in us that we actually act out with or without our knowledge. Here’s an example: some songs just make you happy, some remorseful and so on. I’m sure you are no stranger to the cases where someone committed suicide because of a song, got born again because of another, got motivated to do something because of a type of song. All these go on to show the power inherent in music. Songs speak to us.

Earlier on in life, a once upon a time friend told me that certain songs can make you think ok… that was how he put it. He’s good at that, not finishing sentences leaving you to fill in the gap. I laughed it off without realizing that truth at that moment. Music controls your thoughts. Take for example someone trying to stay chaste till marriage, listening to a certain kind of song can definitely get you longing for things… or someone who just had a break up or someone like me who’s single and hopeful. Hmm, music has power!

A quote says ‘never underestimate the power in music.’ Music is food. Music is so many things to different people. To some, it gives consolation, others it brings hopeful thoughts, others happiness and yet some depression. Music can be food for your soul or poison to your heart.

No truer is this statement that, ‘with the right songs you either forget everything or you remember everything.’
Back to my cheerful day at school turned gloomy, I realized I was safer without such songs, my emotions in check and safe. For the time being, while I’m still waiting for Mr. Right (hehehe), perhaps I’ll be safer not listening to blues, romantic songs and life. No, I’m all good.

As we are always cautious of what we eat, did you know that it also applies to the type of songs we listen to?
So you, what music do you listen to and how does it affect you?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Photographerlondon

A media enthusiast. Book lover and big time thinker! I love life, love, laughter, family and fun! Freelance content writer. Can be reached via email [email protected]

22 Comments

  1. Tosin

    December 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    gasp. breathless.
    i can’t handle this all at once.

    • Musicisexpression

      December 13, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Music is life to me. That’s the only way I express my sadness, happiness, love, dance, laugh etc
      The best genre of music for me is gospel/Christian music. Not to sound cliche but it’s healed me in my darkest mood, times when I felt hopeless, helpless, when I hear worship songs, it gives me hope. It’s indescribable.
      Then when I feel love. From jazz, soul, country, R&B, rock Etc I don’t discriminate with music as long as it has meaningful lyrics, relaxing tone.
      I enjoy music so much. I wish, I have a powerhouse voice. When I sing, people say I don’t sound bad as I make it out to be. Maybe if I nurture it, go for lessons, I will become better.’

  2. Beht why

    December 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I listen to R&B/Soul, Jazz and then others but not so much. Music! What it does to me? I actually can’t explain. I’ll be so melodramatic if I go on. I told someone recently that if I can love a person half the way I love soul music, then I truly love them…

  3. Yuma

    December 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Music makes me happy! Music is life!

  4. ziti

    December 13, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Absolutely, Amarachi! Like you, I decided not to listen to certain songs as they weren’t helping me reach my goal (to deveolp a pure mind). Not just slow romantic songs but even some catchy pop songs. I made this decision about 3 years ago and I have definitely seen an improvement in my thinking.
    I also spent like a year listening to only Christian songs but got tired of that because a lot of them sound so similar and all that (no offence please). I benefitted from hunting for new meaningful songs though.
    More recently, I decided to spend less time listening to slow songs (you know the supposedly calming types) because I discovered that if I’m in a sad mood, they tend to make things worse. So upbeat music is the ting for mi nau 🙂
    Finally, when I’m homesick or feeling unwelcome in a foreign land, I plug into some Naija music. Shakiti Bobo ‘ministered’ to me in a big way some time ago 🙂
    Long comment, sorry. Didn’t know I had a lot to say about this matter hehehe.

  5. IB

    December 13, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Music is actually life and it helps start my day, but one morning I was listening to Christian songs n I started crying uncontrollably,I started feeling cheated, why hasn’t God answered my prayers and it motivated me. I actually wrote the story of my life that day.

  6. Ebele

    December 13, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Music is hope in sound..
    onlinecounsellinghob.blogspot.com

  7. Frosh

    December 13, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Music is THE Second most powerful force in life… After love is music…. I could go on and on but the truth is the launguage that music Speaks cannot be expressed with words…. Music is my life, my truth, my everything….

  8. deb

    December 13, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    MUSIC!!!!!! The rhythm of all souls. Music is all about rhythm. The whole world rhythm. The wave of the sea, the movement of the leaves on the trees, the running of water, the quiet whisper of our breath, our heart beat.
    I listen to all kind of music except for hard core rock. Music is my best friend. It consoles me, it inspires me&triggers my inner creativity. Music is me, music is in me…

  9. ify

    December 13, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    I love good music, but I stopped listening to any song dat reminds me of the death of my only brother, one time they re playing it in a bus I was crying uncontrollably, life is deep

  10. Suwa

    December 13, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Music is the only thing that makes me happy.

    • ElessarisElendil

      December 14, 2015 at 1:21 am

      The only thing?????? That’s not healthy. Try videogames, if for nothing more than a little variety.

      ????You’re exaggerating right?

  11. ElessarisElendil

    December 14, 2015 at 1:19 am

    “What doesn’t kill you makes you wish you were dead.
    Got a hole in my soul, growing deeper and deeper.
    And I can’t take one more moment of this silence.
    The loneliness is haunting me.
    And the weight of the world’s getting harder to hold up.”

    “It comes in waves, I close my eyes.
    Hold my breath and let it bury me.
    I’m not okay, and it’s not alright.
    Won’t you drag the lake and bring me home again?”

    ????EEsh, I really should listen more to the lyrics of my favourite songs, to be honest, I consider music simply one of many ways to avoid being bored.

    I end up only knowing the chorus,

    “Who will fix me now? Dive in when I’m down?
    Save me from myself, don’t let me drown.
    Who will make me fight? Drag me out alive?
    Save me from myself, don’t let me drown.”

    You guys are overthinking it.

  12. chi-e-z

    December 14, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Amarachi did you just finish reading the Naked convos blog or something before writing this 😀 I loooove music my fave are inspirational, hip-hop, highlife and rnb. 2 things that’ll always get me inciteful lyrics + singing guitar. My fave naija musical artistes are fiokee, yemi sax,Asa,Brymo,Itunu Pepper,BEZ,Timi Dakolo,Omawunmi, POE,2face,burna boy. Music keeps me alive,makes me feel alive, and lets me me celebrate,contemplate,and cherish life. Music is story with rhythm, music is a book you can’t put down cause it’s meaning gets revealed and deeper the more you read, music is a time capsule, it’s a culture capsule, it’s a feeling capsule. Music is the heartbeat of art 🙂 what sonnets inspired the marches for freedom of america,france,csuffragets,civl rights activists, builders of cities, nations ,and worlds. music is raw force of inspiration to build or ddestroy to love or hate, to live or die, to celebrate or mourn.

  13. me

    December 14, 2015 at 7:48 am

    @ify, I am with you on this one. I stopped listening to all the songs my late brother and I used to listen to and any time I hear any new song from his favorite artist, I say to him in my head, guy u need to hear this song. Oh and one time, I heard a song titled “God must have been with you”. It’s a song about someone who survived an accident or something. I cried and cried and asked God why he wasn’t with my brother. Thank God for worship songs in any Nigerian language. They give me life.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      December 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

      As in, that’s another great way of staving off homesickness – just playing indigenous Naija praise & worship for hours on end. Right now, I’m currently in love with Chioma Jesus as the woman is just giving my early morning worship playlist some serious life.

  14. Mz Socially Awkward...

    December 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

    In the eternal words of The Lost Boyz (I’m showing my age now), “I’m so high, music makes me high…” Just as a point of note, the rest of that track isn’t as PG as the chorus…

    Like someone said above, I’ll resist the urge to get overemotional about it but I don’t think I ever want to find out what life would be without music … Right now, I’ve got Christmas playlists from YouTube (imagine how late in the day I am to have only just discovered Pentatonix! Just imagine…) playing all day long on my iPad in my office and I think it’s safe to say my work colleagues know this about me – that I can’t really exist without singing happening around me in some form or the other. Apparently, I do it out loud as well when I think no one is listening…

    And my love extends to the making of those good sounds, in the choirs and other musical projects that I’m part of. Been soaking up fantastic tunes from when I was little with my dad indoctrinating me early into his love for 70s rock and afro-beats, in equal measure so I grew up listening to Jimmy Hendrix, Dire Straits, Osadebe, Oliver de Coque, etc. wafting from the speakers in the car or the living room and it definitely affected my musical tastes. I’m now very eclectic about what I listen to from mainly gospel to contemporary, rock and rap (I can still rap to “Gangsta’s Paradise” in my sleep, after cramming that track for a talent contest in my first year at Uni) but for some reason, it’s Motown that gets me the most. Lord, have mercy!!! All of those crooners of the 60s/70s can just make me fall in love then out of love, then proud to be black, then wanting respect, then wanting to love again… Much respect and plenty doffing of hat to the giants of that genre who would be too numerous to mention here.

    Agree with the writer about monitoring your playlists though as your soul certainly reacts to what you hear repetitively. For instance, the was a notable surge in certain crimes in the U.S. at some point, as a result of misguided youths just taking death metal too literally… And also agree with discovering people’s character through their musical tastes – it’s one of the things which can attract me to or repel me from a love interest… I mean, I like a nice dose of pangolo music as a great way of staving off homesickness on the days I blast it in my car when I’m out and about but brother man, if you’re older than 21 then you should be able to demonstrate other meaningful numbers on your playlist.

    So back to Pentatonix… Abeg, how do these people do such things with their voices? Kai, God really blessed people with talent, sha.

    • The real D

      December 15, 2015 at 12:18 am

      I wowed when I saw your just found Pentatonix, there was a talent show in the U.S that discovered the group, it was all accapella singing and you would duff your hat to many of these groups, they defy the laws of all things singing, sounds and everything in between. Somehow the show did not garner much of a following, despite introducing us to Pentatonix.

      On another note I am currently listening to Boney M’s Christmas songs on YouTube and yes I am showing my age too.

  15. whocares

    December 14, 2015 at 11:51 am

    music does for you what you want it to do. sure some types of songs will make you sad and think but that is only if you are disposed to be in that mood anyway. For example, if I feel sad, I avoid all rnb, jazz, blues like the plague as I am not looking to think or prolong that mood. instead Prodigy, faithless, dance anthems and other alt- rock starts. In 15/20 mins I am good and I switch to calmer music. All that heart pumping and jumping around cannot be sustained for long really. That is my surgery. lool. Music is therapy. My first breakup.. I had an exam coming up and had to deal with that breakup nonsense. It was orrait. I listened to the same song over and over again for a month straight. “Mika- Emily”. The lyrics was something “Emily can’t you write a happy song, get your ass to number one, you could try a little harder…emily you can’t leave your life to chance, get a boy and learn to dance be a girl like any other” etc etc and then the bridge pretty much advises Emily to dance. . Great song, look it up. It was the fact that he was echoing everything that I was thinking at the time and the things people tend to tell you, but some of it were true about it, but at the end of the day, It is my life etc and oh well what can you do but dance and let it go? Underrated song that, so is Mika as an artist .. Got a first class in the exam.. Good times. lol

  16. Efua Dadzie

    December 15, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Music, like poisonous pollen grain.
    It will affect you. Negatively or positively. No matter how strong or weak you are. It has a receptor site inside of us,that makes sense. Some just strikes a powerf6chors within you, that makes you gloomy for days…seriously. Music is and integral part of us but we’ve * ignored its potenacy. It’s therapy to me. Some.songs make me hyper, some calm down, some makes appreciate my path (process ) in life. Thanks to the different genres we have. Sound has information at any given time. Unlike me, everytime i aing a song in my head, i hear another sing out of the blue…..that wows me. The connection is real and powerful. Deny it or wait till a miracle happens with you.♡.

  17. mabel

    December 15, 2015 at 8:23 am

    What is life without a song I ask? Music is life and life is music. My best has and will always be RnB thank you. When I’m at that very high level, that nothing else will do? All I need is a Joe and a Barry White reaching out to me. Different music for different time. I love gospel music too, Jazz and o how I love Bob Marley. I realized that I love RnB more. Maybe because it’s the best music for….. and what’s life without that? *please don’t judge me*.

  18. Nzube

    December 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I love music…it speaks to me…yea its got advantages and disadvantages but overall Good Piece, ‘if u cant handle wat music does to u, refrain frm listenin to it!’

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