I like to think this is the one thing I have in common with, say, Mormon missionaries. You love something. And you genuinely think other people will love it too and it would make their lives better. So you push it on them to like the thing you like.
But people never seem to buy it. It’s very difficult to convince someone to listen to a song you like, much less get them to like it. It’s frustrating, because to you, the song is awesome and you want to spread its awesomeness. You genuinely think its awesomeness could benefit other human beings. And it’s not like you’re delusional. Your song has thousands of other fans from across the internet-universe, all singing its praises.
So why doesn’t your friend love it? And how can you convince them to love it?Sadly, you really can’t.
If you think about it, what drew you to the song in the first place? Personally, most of the songs I like I didn’t get from other people. I find songs from background tracks to videos or movies, or from the biography an artist I highly respect. But usually not from a friend’s YouTube link. Sometimes I like a song simply because I’ve heard it so many times I just surrender to it. “Alright already, I’ll enjoy this damn song.”
And when other people try to get me to like a song…well, usually I don’t really like it. For some reason. There’s something about discovering a piece of music by yourself that adds so much to the song. It’s as if music discovery is an integral part of music. It’s also a very private, independent thing that has be done naturally – kind of like emotional puberty. And you can’t force someone into emotional puberty. Some people will develop – say, crushes – earlier, while other people don’t get their first crush until much later. It’s all circadian rhythm. Nature-takes-its-course-like.
Music is like that. Because music is so personal. The same piece of music can speak to us differently. Bob might like a certain song because the lyrics really speak to him. I might like the exact same song as much as Bob, but it’s the guitar solo that gets my heart pounding.
So how do you get people to like the songs you like? You can’t. Not really, at least. Encourage people to discover, share music, put it in the background in the car, but don’t evangelize it. You can put music in people’s paths, but people have to choose for themselves whether they want to stop by or not.
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