UMW students are no different than the rest of society; music is very much a part of their everyday lives. UMW students listen to music as a means of providing motivation, relaxation or just entertainment. It can provide stress relief, a boost of energy before physical activity, during a drive home or just a means of socializing with friends.
Do you ever find yourself walking on campus and spot someone heading to class with their phone out and their headphones snug in their ear? Or have you been at the gym and seen a guy that looks like a bodybuilder bench press 250 pounds while nodding his head to the music on the speaker system? Have you ever wondered what kind of music certain people listen to and why? Everyone has a certain artist that they enjoy listening to regularly, an all-time favorite song or album that they would recommend, or a genre that is unbeknownst to the rest of the world.
So, what is on UMW student’s current music playlist? Many students said they love rap. Drake’s “In My Feelings” was one of the more popular songs of the summer and spurred a dance which became a social media sensation. Drake is one of the more popular artists that UMW students are currently listening to.
When asked about his favorite song and album this year, UMW student Zane Burk replied, “Mob Ties and the album Scorpion, definitely those two.”
Demarco Nelson, a senior economics major said, “[My] top 3 [rap albums] right now are Eminem’s album, J. Cole’s KOD, and Travis Scott’s Astroworld”. A few of the honorable mentions included Kendrick Lamar, Lil Uzi Vert, Jay Z, MF Doom, and 2Chainz.
But not everyone who is a student at UMW has the same enthusiasm for rap. JJ Santagada, a graduate student at UMW, said, “I’m not a big rap guy, just some lyrics aren’t that great…. they don’t portray a good message for society, so I try to stick to songs that have a good message for society.”
Should we latch on to the belief that music is an inescapable extension of how students live their lives? Students listen to music while they’re driving, during their walk to class, a midday workout, or even ambient music to help focus on studying or instrumentals to help them sleep.
When asked what is on your current music playlist; Katherine Connor, a freshman psychology major, said that the music that she listens to is essentially based upon what mood she’s in. She said, “I have a bunch of different playlists, I have one playlist titled “Rockin and Rollin” and so that’s a bunch of 60s, 70s, 80s music…and then I also have a playlist called “Adventure is Out There” and that’s like Mumford and Sons…Bluegrass music…I have a playlist titled “Cheer Up Buttercup” and that one has Pop music and some early 2000s stuff”.
For the most part, students believe that UMW does a decent job of integrating music into the everyday activity of students. The radio can be heard while eating at the University Center Dining Hall as well as the fitness center, bingo night provides DJs, and music is provided by the sound crew for students dining at the Underground. While talking to students at UMW, they seem to appreciate the university’s effort, but they feel as if more could be done regarding preference.
Senior Leah Corts said, “I feel like I hear a lot of the songs multiple times, and a lot of the songs are very repetitive…they can put a lot more effort into finding different genres of song…because it’s all pop…I would very much like if they could find different genres.”
When it comes to seeing their favorite artists, many UMW students have never been to their concerts or just can’t afford it. One thing that many students do look forward to is the Spring Concert provided by the Campus Programming Board. Last Spring 2018, UMW was able to provide students with a concert by T-Pain and We the Kings. While some students commended the effort provided by the university, there were several students who were not interested in seeing those artists.
Everyone has their own distinct musical preference. But if you look closer you will find that some UMW students use music as a means of keeping them going. Some may believe it’s just a means of shooting the breeze or that it’s unnecessary. But the connection between musical artists and fans is a quandary better left in ambiguity.
Student Hailey Randle said, “There’s a quote by the lead singer of Green Day that says, ‘Music is the air that I breathe, it’s the blood that pumps through my veins’…Music is the soundtrack to people’s lives.” And that sums up the attitude towards music that most students have.