Music: A Universal Healer

2020 Vision

The year 2020 changed life as we know it. No matter your race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic background, relationship status, or job status - the pandemic turned normality upside down. For many, the height of uncertainty and anxiousness may feel like it is over.

Even the procedures of public transportation were drastically changed after COVID-19 hit.

However, this is not the case for all - the pandemic is not over, and the fog has not entirely cleared. With that said, the initiation of healing that we have collectively fought and strived for is awe-inspiring, and the healing process will only become stronger as we continue to learn from COVID-19.

In March of 2020, so many fears were exacerbated, so many questions were left unanswered, yet humankind came together to unite and to heal. The fundamentals of familiarity and positivity became what we all looked to. Suddenly, reuniting with family members and loved ones we are close to was becoming the norm. In lockdown, many of us sought to find uplifting daily routines, connect with original passions, or discovered newfound passions. When the hardest moments of quarantine sunk in, I fell in love with music again.

An empty airport in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic

When initial lockdowns and quarantine measures took place within the United States, I scrambled for answers to my various questions. However, life and its various phases do not work that way. No one would have answers to what I wanted to know for my own comfort. What was vital was reminding myself of answers and comforts I already knew to get me through.

Refuge in Restlessness

The stark, intense socio-political division of 2020 was disheartening to witness. A pandemic is enough to cause widespread panic and heartbreak. Racial discourse and disagreement simultaneously occurred in light of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd. I wholeheartedly know that each and every human life and presence on this earth is invaluable, loved, and divinely placed.

For the majority of us, witnessing a health crisis and a humanitarian crisis occur on top of one another seemed too much to process at once. There is still much social progress to be made, and I know for individuals like me, practicing true sympathy and love by actively listening and loving others is an important first step.

A June 2020 Black Lives Matter protest taking place at Washington Square Park, NYC

Uncertain of how to emotionally process things, I found refuge in music - a universal healer, and my life’s central passion. I had the privilege of working at a talent agency prior to the pandemic, where I saw the spiritual and emotional impact of global music on a daily basis. Although my perspective is biased, I believe music is the most powerful force on planet earth.

Cross-Cultural Connectivity

Music transcends language, race, ethnicity, culture, and customs. So many of my work colleagues and my lifelong friends have a vested interest in the music of various different languages, including Spanish pop, Japanese pop, French alternative music, and so on. The passion of music is a common thread that runs between me and my closest loved ones too, and seeing how the music of other languages influences us is a captivating phenomenon. There is something motivational and moving that lies at the heart of music we love.

Isn’t it incredible to see what music can do?

Fast forward to Fall 2020, where music has become a comfort staple for me in the midst of pandemic-related chaos and disruption. The start of each morning entails reaching over to my noise-canceling headphones, pressing “play” on my workout playlist, and getting my tasks of the day started on a high note.

Certain artists that held a special place in my heart such as Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Fleetwood Mac, Justin Bieber, and others had re-entered my soul in a much more sentimental way. Their voices, their writing, and their style of music once again became “home” for me.

BTS: A Band that Changed my Life in Quarantine

One artist in particular that revolutionized my quarantine experience was the K-Pop boy band, BTS. BTS (short for “Bangtan Sonyeondan”) is currently the world’s biggest and most sensational Grammy-nominated boyband, appropriately dubbed as the “21st Century Beatles” by their global label, HYBE.

So what exactly is so special about this group?

Photo from Pitchfork

Besides BTS garnering Four Guinness World Records within the course of their eight-year career (one of which includes BTS collecting 108.2 million YouTube views within 24 hours for their new single “Butter”), this band is making an invaluable impact on the world with their positivity.

Another dimension of this band that makes their sensationalism so special is the fact that their viewership and their label’s revenue doubled in quarantine. BTS’s undeniable positivity and image of self-love shows exactly what so many of us sought and genuinely needed in such a challenging time.

Gil Kaufman at Billboard writes on the BTS/Unicef partnership to campaign for anti-bullying around the world, and why BTS is spearheading this campaign. At the heart of the campaign lies BTS’s most evident message they convey to fans - loving yourself first and spreading that love to others is what makes us better.

Why Music, A Universal Healer, Matters

Unexpectedly, the music from powerful artists like BTS gave me newfound motivation, perspective, self-love, and sympathy in 2020. Letting the current issues of the world pile upon us will happen in life. It can seem impossible to find the light in such a dark time.

In spite of this, I believe that investing in our unique and varied passions to launch us into communal change. It doesn’t matter exactly how those passions look - they don’t have to be glamorous, “popular”, or unique. For me, music makes me happiest, and that happiness ultimately helps others. Since I see music as a universal healer, no band, song, or album is insignificant or “outdated” to me.

As long as your organic passions uplift you and uplift others, that passion is worth chasing around the world.

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