When first deciding what college to go to, I knew that music was near and dear to my heart, but I wanted to focus on schools that had great environmental science programs. I visited Colorado College, sat in on a science class, chilled under some trees talking about life, and knew that CC was the school for me.
It was only months later, after my permanent arrival as a freshman student, that I realized that there was this booming music culture full of funky student bands, bluegrass ensembles, and students working to bring artists to this bizarre Colorado city.
I went to a few parties. Some were complete with electronic music and kids head-banging until the point of concussion, but others were just in an entirely different arena. Never had I ever been to a party where the sole musical entertainment was a bluegrass ensemble with inebriated students jumping up and down, clapping their hands in less than perfect beat, and singing songs aloud in unison. My first thought was, “How do I dance to this?” But I’d be lying if I said that it did not grow on me. Eventually I found myself jumping up and down, clapping my hands, although I still do not know any of the lyrics beside those to “Wagon Wheel.”
Although my music taste has not drastically changed, I probably listen to a bit more Indie, bluegrass, and folk music than I had before. It made me wonder if other students went through similar experiences, slowly absorbing the different sounds around them into their own music library. I interviewed senior biochemistry major Gabriella Makris to get some insight.
Q: What is your favorite music genre?
A: My favorite music genre is hip-hop/rap hands down. It always has been and always will be. It’s what I grew up on, so it will always be an important part of my life.
Q: What are some of your favorite artists at the moment?
A: I would say one of my favorites right now is Migos. My current favorite playlist is “Southern rappers killin’ the game rn” (Future, Ace Hood, Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan) mainly because I’m back home in the South for the summer. It’s weird because when I go to CC. I feel like the music that my people at home listen to isn’t played as much (or at all), so when I come home it’s like, “You really haven’t heard this!” At that point, I really notice how CC has affected my taste in music.
Q: Has your music taste changed since coming to Colorado College?
A: Before CC, I was on hotnewhiphop.com every day trying to stay up on what’s good so I’d know my shit when I went to the club. When you go to clubs in my city all you’ll hear is hip-hop. Before “twerking” was a hash tag, that’s just what we called dancing. I’m kind of going off on a tangent here, but it’s really interesting to me. I’ll always remember my first CC party… I was like, “WTF.” No one was dancing how I was used to, and the music was something I had never heard of. I remember someone playing a MGMT song and I was like, “Oh, that’s pretty different sounding. Who’s this?” and they literally laughed at me and thought I was kidding. I’d pray for the parties where they’d play some old-school stuff where our circles overlapped and I’d feel like I fit in. I didn’t really want to accept the new culture at first. Then, I wanted so badly to fit in that I began only listening to the music that my CC friends listened to and tried really hard to be “cool.” I started calling the hip-hop that my people at home would listen to “trash” and would make fun of them for listening to it. I would try to force the music that CC taught me onto my friends in Florida. After an intense talk with my friend from Florida, he made me realize that my music is a part of who I am and where I came from that I was trying to deny in order to “fit in” at CC. The hip-hop that my friends at home listen to speaks of the culture we grew up in and describes our experience. The music I brought back from CC speaks of a culture that’s foreign to my friends, and I now understand that. I also understand that it’s okay to be bilingual and know the languages of both cultures, not allowing there to be a barrier between the two and knowing that one isn’t superior to another. Music is such a large part of my life that the cultural music shock that I got at CC took a big impact on my life at CC.
Q: If you had to create the ultimate middle school playlist, what songs would be on it?
- Whistle While You Twerk by Ying Yang Twins (this will always remind me of all night skates at the rink Saturday nights)
- Aw Naw by Nappy Roots
- Da Dip by Freak Nasty (another song that always played at the skate rink, still the best dance song in my opinion)
- Zoom by Boosie (I’ll always remember when this played at our eighth grade dance and people went crazy! This was definitely the hit before ninth grade and everyone was joc-in)
- Inside Peanut Butter, Outside Jelly by Cadillac Don