I’m pretty sure it was the music historian Simon Frith who said “Every generation has the biological right to believe the music of its use is the best music ever made.” (If it wasn’t Simon, I apologize. But it’s too good a quote not to use.)
There’s a musical sweet spot between the time you enter high school and when you enter the workforce. You come of age musically. Not only do you listen to plenty of music and attend untold numbers of gigs, you use music as a way of projecting your identity to the world.
From this flood of sounds, a couple of voices inevitably rise above all the others. Every generation has someone of its own age and attitude who manages to express the right hopes, wishes, fears, concerns, angry and dreams for his/her peers/
For example, Baby Boomers embraced John Lennon and Bob Dylan to speak for them. Gen X, the sons and daughters of the Boomers, gravitated towards Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder. Millennials, the group demographers used to call Gen Y have…I don’t know. Kanye, maybe?
But what about Gen Z? This is a giant cohort currently between the ages of 13 and 24. Because they’re growing up in an always-connected world, these people have some of the most ecumenical musical tastes since…well, maybe ever.
For this group, it’s all about the song not the album. And because they’re able to access 40 million songs instantly through their devices (often distressingly context-free), it’s exceedingly hard to pin down what they find meaningful with long-term importance.
So here’s the survey question for the week: If you are between 13 and 24, who is the voice of your generation? No fair saying blink-182, Jay-Z or The Beatles; they’re not OF your generation. Whoever you chose must be from your age group.
Consider this sociological/demographic research.