Getting back into music and my musical identity

Totally unrelated photo but I needed something to use as a cover (LOL)

After getting out of my teenage years, I’ve spent almost a decade of my life in a sort of musical identity crisis. For years, I’ve lived through those CD compilations exchanged with friends and I treasured every single one of them because music was expensive and difficult to find back then. Then Spotify came and I’ve basically spent YEARS listening to the same old stuff (with occasional new entries) because every time I listened to something new I never liked it.

I even had some arguments with friends during the years because I didn’t want to spend money on live concerts since I liked maybe 2 or 3 songs from those popular artists. I was angry with myself because I couldn’t pick a favorite band or a favorite singer, I didn’t have a “style”, I didn’t have a musical identity. I was listening to just about random genres and songs without feeling specific emotions.

A couple of months ago I had a similar conversation with my friend Habbi, she kindly shared with me her compilation and I started saving songs I really enjoyed. This brought me on a memory lane and I don’t even know how but I ended up looking at the Spotify profiles of old Scandinavian metal bands I listened to while in high school.

My then-boyfriend introduced me to Nightwish back in 2005 (I think) and I remember listening to their songs in pure awe. I even enjoyed the new album with the new vocalist when it was released in 2007 and I remember buying random metal magazines only to be able to read some articles about my favorite band (you know, when the internet wasn’t very accessible yet). I don’t know what happened then, but basically, after high school, I stopped listening to music and I went through that unfortunate decade I mentioned above. I stopped following my favorite bands and keeping myself informed on their album releases. Until a couple of months ago.

Finishing my thesis has been such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I felt like I was finally free to pursue my long-time interests now buried under years of university studies and useless social media usage. I went back digging the history of piracy and similar nautical history stuff and, surprise, surprise, I went back and listened to the complete Nightwish discography (now into Sabaton since their new album is out in July!). And I kinda felt myself again.

I wouldn’t label myself as a metalhead but it turns out that what actually makes my bones shake (in a good way) is symphonic metal.

I still listen to just about everything (pop, rap, Celtic music, music soundtracks, etc.) but I feel like I’ve finally found my musical identity and I know what band I’d love to see live in concert. It just took me a decade.

Here is a playlist of my absolute favorite Nightwish songs.

14 thoughts on “Getting back into music and my musical identity

  1. oh my, those compilation cds back in the day! call me old-fashioned, but there’s nothing really quite like that, isn’t there?
    reading your post reminded me of a friend of mine who clung to her minidisc player way past the heyday of minidisc. while i was excited to get my first mp3 player – most of my at-home music listening already was mostly done on my computer, so i finally didn’t have to burn files to cds anymore – when i quizzed my friend why she kept her minidisc player, she said she had fond memories of the format’s promise, and it looked like it’s the last format that allows you to make someone a mix tape.
    and yay finding your way back to the music that resonates with your heart! it’s a way too good feeling to want to see a band live because they mean so much to you, to make live concert visits into those semi-enthusiastic ‘i guess…’ kinds of things.

  2. I think we have the same age… because I had those complations cds JAJAJAJAJ
    I was a huge rock head since I was like 11… My father hated it but I looved to watch videos on MTV and on VH1 of old metal bands (still being my favorites) when I finally could have some money (around 17) I bought my first CDs and I still have them. I have 5 of GNR, Led Zeppelin (my favorite band of all time), Pink Floyd, Def Leppard… like 20 cds. Then came what you exactly said… I was playing guitar at 18 but then I left all that behind… until a year go. I realised a big whole in my life and I needed to get back to my musical self. I guess I focused myself too much on reading and having a book blog. Now I am planning to save to buy a bass guitar and learn to play (I realised I loved blass more than guitar jaja) I want to persue a career on music and writing, I will do it anyway 🙂

    1. I was born in the glorious year of 1990 and I still managed to listen to audio cassettes with my favorite Sony Walkman before CDs! 😀 I used to play the keyboard (but as a self-taught clumsy hobby) and this is something I’m really considering to get back into, especially now that there are so many available resources online. Good luck with your music goals!

  3. I can relate to listening to only a few songs by a popular artist here and there. It’s taken time for me to find my music niche, though I still listen to maybe a few songs from an artist here and there, and I’ll ask friends for recommendations. One of my friends makes wonderful playlists that draw from different artists 🙂

  4. I miss CDs and even compilation tapes.. The rarity of available music in those days somehow made the experience of listening to music more special. Then I remember when Napster came along, and I was able to discover so much more varieties of music – but at the same time there was some decision paralysis too.

    My favorite music these days is still pretty much the same (The Smiths, The Cure, some punk, goth, etc) as it was when I was in my twenties 😀 And speaking of symphonic metal, maybe you’d like Tiamat if you haven’t heard them already?

    1. Yes! Those personalized compilations were completely different from Spotify playlists. I’ve heard Tiamat’s name but I’ll definitely check them out, thank you for the recommendation!

  5. So you listen to scandinavian metal (I find myself steering towards the Swedish bands for some reason, I guess it’s in my blood haha), loves archaeology and planners and blogging and is an introvert. Well, I know what my partner till say. “It’s fate”. He’s a fluffy fate-kind of person. But seeing as I found your corner when googling a problem I had, I’d say the e-universe shoved us together. Nice!

    Also, I guess you’ve been surfing around the metal scene and is aware of lots of bands, but if you want to pick my metal-brain, you’re welcome haha.

    1. Yeah, I guess I was born in the wrong part of the world because, besides pasta and some regional food (that I couldn’t live without!), I don’t feel very connected to my country. Not to mention that my skin is SO white (as if I’m affected by albinism) that people can’t help but staring at me and making comments all the time and I don’t even have red hair to “justify” it. I like glow (Twilight vampire style) under the sun, haha!

      We could exchange Spotify playlists if you have an account there!

    1. I only went to 2 live gigs in my life because it can be quite expensive and metal bands simply ignore my hometown. But I’d love to see Nightwish, Sabaton, Wind Rose and Turisas live 🙂

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