Being an intern for 88Nine Radio Milwaukee means you’re constantly surrounded by music. Every week there are new songs that we can’t stop listening to. Yet there is always one song that stays with me and becomes my favorite song.
When listening to your music, do you ever wonder what makes a song your favorite?
I sure have.
I never understood why I gravitated toward liking a certain song or artist. I’ll find myself discovering new music, and every atom of my body joins in agreement that it’s something I like. There really isn’t any logic to my decisions.
Lately, I’ve been asking myself, “Why do I like the things that I like? Will I be satisfied with liking just one thing? Or do I need a variety to function as a human being?”
To get answers, I figured why not take listening to my favorite song non-stop to a literal level. I am challenging myself to listen to my favorite song for eight hours straight. Exactly 480 minutes. That is 28,800 seconds spent listening to the same song
In order to do this right, I needed to set a few rules. I have to listen to the same song straight. No breaks. I can switch between listening from my phone via headphones and my speakers at home. I need to write about how I am feeling each hour.
I can’t promise that this will end well, but I can promise that you’re going to embark on a journey of self-reflection, the meaning of music and, dare I say, madness.
My favorite song at the moment is “Two Nights” by Joy Crookes. Crookes is a 20-year-old rising artist from South London of Bangladesh and Irish descent. “Two Nights” is featured on her second EP, “Reminiscence.” Crookes states this EP was inspired by her first trip to Bangladesh and the women in her family.
The song is a fun, fresh track about the fear of love and fear of being hurt. Crookes has a powerful voice — deep, warm and sometimes gentle. She carries a velvet tone that’s so smooth it’s almost effortless and nonchalant.
The 8-hour challenge
This song is so fresh. Her voice is soft, yet strong. It’s sweet and simple. It’s light and vibrant. It’s a catchy song that has a rich texture. I would be dancing around my apartment if I weren’t lazily scrolling through Instagram. So far, it’s a piece of cake. 10/10. Would recommend.
This hour went by fast. I can’t eat breakfast this early in the day, so I decided to do some dishes and clean my apartment as a form of distraction. “Two Nights” is still a jam. I honestly feel like this is going to be easy.
I have the urge to change the song. I’m sensing myself zoning out and not hearing the song and then being like, “oh yeah, this song again.” You know, just agonizing dread mixed with a headache, a perfect recipe for a good time. Remember when I said this is going to be easy?
It’s starting to get to me now. I just want sleep and have this be over. I’m getting a little sad and irritated. However, I still like the song, but it’s melting into one song, and I can’t tell where it ends or begins.
Okay, I just want to say, I once thought getting bangs was a good idea. And at this point, take me to a salon and let’s do a chop! Speaking of bad decisions, I am really happy I didn’t go through with getting that septum piercing or getting a tattoo saying, “The devil made me do it.” To take matters in my own hands, I decided to try the “look good, feel good” approach, take a shower and try to relax.
The “look good, feel good” method has failed me. I am not in a good mood. My window blinds decided to malfunction. Instead of bursting into tears, I did the adult thing. I held it in and “accidentally” broke my blinds. Remind me to call maintenance to fix that.
I just came to have a good time and, clearly, this isn’t it. I am convinced I will turn this around, so I am going to do something that always calms me down, creating art. Art always brings me peace and, hopefully, it will cure this empty feeling I have inside.
Who knew the right mindset could fix almost anything? Maybe I should stop going to therapy? I’m kidding, who goes to therapy? IN THIS ECONOMY? This has been by far the easiest hour and perhaps the most enjoyable. Possibly because the song became background noise, and I was focused on my project. Or maybe because I was closer to the finish line.
I could tell you this challenge didn’t affect me, but that simply wouldn’t be the truth. That night I was uncomfortable and a little sad. It could’ve been because of this challenge or because my friend’s cat wouldn’t let me pet it for more than five seconds. Who knows? But with sadness came knowledge. There are two things I learned throughout this whole journey.
Maybe this isn’t how we should consume this medium. Life is short, wear those shoes that you’ve locked up in your closet for that special day, and order another taco. Today is that day. Seize it and maybe don’t spend it listening to the same song on repeat.
I also learned the reason why I love Joy Crookes. Beyond her soulful music and her elegant sound, Crookes is a storyteller. A representation of what it means to be a brown woman – unapologetic. Although I am fortunate to have grown up in a family that values independence and affirmation, I’ve realized being a Middle Eastern woman sometimes means living in a hush culture. Sexuality and sex always seemed taboo. This is why I love Joy Crookes. She is genuinely sincere and open. Her music reveals her honest truth — her libido, relationship with her ex and being a descendant of immigrant parents. Music is an art form that reflects a way of life, and she is one of the first artists I’ve come across who tells her own story. It’s a story I found relatable and one you don’t often hear.