VPA (Voices Producing Allegiance): More Than Melody

When I was just a baby, I distinctly remember two songs my mom would play for me whenever we’d drive anywhere: “I Miss You” by Blink-182 and “Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz. When I was about six or seven, I began to acquire my own music taste and developed a liking for such 2000s songs as “My Boo” by Usher or “Too Little Too Late” by JoJo. Now, my music taste knows no bounds and is broad and accepting of many different genres. Every time my music taste has adapted, and every time I’ve changed alongside my music taste, I ask myself: How has my growth and my musical decisions made me who I am today?

To the younger me, music was just something I could jump around to. It was something I knew I enjoyed and took delight in, but I never actually thought about all the work that went into it, or the meanings behind songs and lyrics. I never considered the creative process, creating new and unique sounds and lyrics, getting the band members together, all while holding true to how the song should function; these are all incredibly taxing and time consuming notions! By the time I was in middle school, I understood lyrics and chords, but that’s still all I saw them as. I was in awe of a songwriters lyrical beauty and what the meanings that the words contained, but I never considered how frightening it is to share your creations with the world.

Right before I was about to graduate from middle school, I was in an incredibly self-destructive and volatile place. After many many different attempts to become more emotionally articulate (something I still struggle with to this day), I did something that would absolutely change my life: I wrote my first song. In all honesty, it was terrible. It had no structure, the lyrics were clunky, and it was too long. With all that in mind, it was still my song. It was something I treated from my own experience. And after doing that, I’d go on to write a song called “Masterpiece,” which I have never thought was my best, even to this day. Little did I know, I’d record that song as the first track of my first demo, and go on to perform it on the Warped Tour at seventeen years old; three years after writing it!

Music has become my safe haven, and I’ve made incredible connections because of it. I can’t believe how meaningless music really used to feel, and how I never really appreciated it, especially now that it has become the most pure and authentic part of what I do, who I am, even how I interact with people.

Let yourself fall in love with what makes you happy. You’ll never know what it may lead to!