Being a first generation student, I struggle to find the balance between the two cultural traditions I partake in. My parents expect me to explore Mexican customs. I have never really been a fan of Spanish music as a child. I remember being dragged to parties and wanting to go home. The more I had to wait the more I disliked everything going on. I feel it is because of these early childhood experiences that I began to dislike Spanish music for a large part of my life.
Overall, the music I listen to has changed so much throughout the years. In elementary school, I would listen to anything on the radio such as hip hop and pop. I remember getting home from class and going to my grandparents to listen to the radio in the living room as I did homework. I would solve math equations with one hand and tap to the rhythm of Bruno Mar’s “Grenade” on the other. This continued as I went into middle school where “Can’t Hold” by Macklemore was my anthem. Yet, everything changed when I got my own phone in 8th grade.
Having access to all types of music was amazing. Of course, my parents wanted me to listen to Spanish music and artists such as Los Bukis, Los Tigres del Norte, and Aventura. For me though, that was not even an option. I came to enjoy pop punk music. I fell in love with bands such as My Chemical Romance, Simple Plan, Mayday Parade, and Imagine Dragons. All this music was very influential on me as I could relate to what was being said. Although I felt good about it, my parents were still upset that I “rejected” my Spanish origins.
My brother had returned back home from his four years in college when I entered my freshman year in high school. He introduced me to some hip-hop and rap songs, which I would, in normal circumstances, dislike. Yet, the songs he played were better than I expected. They were a bit slower and had meaning. It is because of him that I listen to artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco and Drake. Their lyrics speak of actual problems and have meaning behind it. Lupe’s album “Lasers” is incredible. To this day I still enjoy this music.
Throughout my experience in high school my tastes in music consisted of a mix of all the artists mentioned above. It was not until my senior year that I opened my ears to all types of music. I decided to give Spanish music a chance and fell in love with bachata and Spanish pop music.
In my family, we never played music in the car because someone would always complain. But to my parents delight I turned on the radio and listened to some Spanish music. Artists I now enjoy a range from Luis Fonsi, Aventura, Enrique Iglesias and Reik. The beats were great, and I realized that I could understand the lyrics. I enjoyed the music as much as my usual music, if not more then.
Finally, I have left my comfort zone, and I do not regret it. As a first generation child, I was expected to listen to Spanish music but these expectations caused me to reject it. It was not until I opened my ears to new possibilities that I finally began to enjoy it. In all, one should explore their culture. It is because of this, that I have become closer to my family and others around me.