Embracing individuality

Jose Gamboa, Staff Writer

I am a person who loves individuality. I always advocate for the different. For being different. For being the opposite of the mainstream. I have never been a fan of or fancied the idea of, to sound as hipster as possible, becoming solely invested in popular culture.
I am aware of how lame this claim sounds, but it is true. I prefer more underground music. I prefer lesser known artists.
Then the baffling of my mind begins: millions of people listen to the same music. Millions of people dress the same. Millions of people become lost sheep waiting for the next shepherd to pass by to guide them to the next big thing.
How is that okay? In my opinion, people have a right to stand out and be themselves. As corrupt as this may sound: I firmly believe that two people are not created alike.
Then how can so many people be similar without ever knowing each other? How can two people have the exact same likes and interests – specifically those that are evident in popular culture? I realize this is all sounding very “hipster” but it is what it is. Individuality, individuality, individuality, at any cost.
When I hear the music that my favorite artists create, without a doubt, I cannot imagine how someone could not appreciate their art. They create music for music’s sake; not for the radio, like many pop artists nowadays.
With the discussion of music, I enjoy, appreciate, and flat-out love music that is just different. I am not scheming to bash mainstream music, because clearly it is doing something correct with all of its clear success. But can an endless amount of people just listen to the same brand of music over and over and over again?
I have a plethora of artists to listen to that are absolutely unknown: VV Brown, Kerli, Anna of the North, Nao, IAMX, and many more. These artists create music that is not blatantly designed for mainstream audiences.
And at the end of the day, these artists are not well known. Yes, I am cognizant of the fact that my favorite artists are unknown because they have not reached a level of fame that is necessary to have one’s song played on the radio. Which is a crutch because they are not supported by a record label, and therefore they have to budget their funding from their own personal accounts.
But I also believe that a clear benefit of being an underground artist is the waiting period until you’re discovered. I know when I discovered my favorite artists, and listened to the music they create, I immediately showed their music to a bunch of my friends. Now my friends are loving the artists that I have shown them. And that is a beautiful thing.
At the end of it all, I love being different. I love finding different music, art, or literally anything. I cannot seem to jump aboard the pop-culture-loving boat.
Can people really be okay with just being so monotonous with their society that they are numb to the idea of finding something new? Perhaps something that is different?


Jose is a senior English major and a Staff Writer for The Voice.