Hypothetically speaking, press the play button and try to relive your first ever reaction to a Drake record or a The Weeknd bop. Were you instantly arrested by the melodic cadence? Did you experience a sudden admiration for the artist’s artistry? Was the music so enthralling that in jaw-dropping fashion, you paused to ask, “who is this?”, or was it a slow burner kind of response?
Whichever your experience, it was personal, subjective and your first time. If there is one thing that we all can agree on, it is the recurring fact that music is a global phenomenon. Music transcends culture and environs. In fact, it is the very mediator; breaking geographical and intercultural barriers through sound waves and signals.
This article further attests to this synopsis, as a sort of mini experiment was conducted. The idea was basically to document the reactions of our five oblivious but ecstatic “Guinea pigs” by playing an African song to these listeners who before now had never listened to an African song, at least not consciously.
Citing Burna Boy‘s smash hit On The Low as a point of reference, here were the responses:
I did really like it, I don’t know if it is the American Music that is influenced by this or vice versa, but I did see a lot of similarities in the beats. Yet, it’s unique. So unique!
I really like it. It has that rhythm every Spanish dance music has. You know what I mean? I like percussion a lot.
It was really calming and relaxing, you can kinda just vibe to it.
Our fourth and fifth candidates were twins – one has a flair for Mathematics, and the other is in a rock band. The first wasn’t so expressive, but he gave a cursory gaze now and then as he listened, while the other half was more intrigued by the sound, even asking for the name of the artist.
As aforementioned, music is subjective and each of these five foreign volunteers experienced an African sound, each relating to it in a unique way, which is ultimately valid to its listener. This is one of the dynamic and endearing trajectories of music.