What do Skyline Students Listen to? Survey Says: EVERYTHING!

Hasan Alsamerai

Through a highly scientific and very precise survey asking 105 Skyline students to share their favorite song and genre of late 2021–early 2022, The Skyline Post has discovered that students’ music tastes differ greatly. Almost every song students named was unique, and many students named genres that differ from the “big ones.”

The responses held many different stories. There were almost no repeats in songs or artists, and everyone’s reasoning behind a favorite song differed.

The only real repeats in favorites were two artists and two genres: Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo. Both had five students (10.5% of the total responses) list a favorite song of theirs. 

These two artists borrow techniques from each other, such as putting in “Easter eggs” in her music and music videos – hidden features which can tease new albums, or in Rodrigo’s case, even directly reference the introductions to Swift’s music videos.

Happier by Olivia Rodrigo was junior Nina Taleb Bendiab’s, favorite song.  “I love this song because it is so emotional, and the type you can scream to in the car and make the best memories from.”

One sophomore stated, “This was a big year for Taylor Swift because she is slowly earning the rights to her songs back by rerecording them. This is perfect for every Taylor fan because we get to experience the old songs in a new way.”

Swift is also producing longer songs.  “The new lyrics are very poetic and raw, and 10 minutes of Taylor gets no complaints from me,” said Halle Woodard, a sophomore.

The genres that were chosen as favorites more often were Hip Hop and Pop, 59.1% of students enjoyed these genres over others.

25.7% of students enjoyed genres that aren’t considered “big,” ranging from J-pop, Neo-soul, Lofi, to even Disney Soundtracks. 17 students mentioned very small genres, such as shoegaze and art pop.  

Shoegaze is a subgenre of indie and alternative rock that focuses more on volume and guitar distortion. 

Art pop is a form of pop that emphasizes a mix of gestures, signs, and high and low vocals; there was an “art pop movement” in the mid 1960s. The most popular artist from this genre is Kate Bush.  However, earlier, the Beatles began to incorporate the ideas of the art pop movement into their recordings. 

Two students put Taylor Swift as their favorite genre. Swift is a very popular artist, but a whole genre? That’s impressive. Swift even has a 10 minute song.  Whether this classifies her as her own genre remains unknown.

Many students also liked in-between genres. These genres can include mixes of two genres or a different style of one genre. The in-between genres that repeated were Indie and rap.

Matthew Christiansen, a freshman, liked “Hurricane” by Kanye ft. The Weeknd and Lil Baby, which features both rap and vocals because “it has an amazing rap verse by Kanye and The Weeknd’s vocals are outstanding.  Also the glitching effect with the backing track tie[s] the song together!”  

The indie genre had many students who liked variations of indie. These included Oxford indie, indie rock, and indie pop.

When asked why she likes oxford indie in the survey, junior Shelby Basset responded with perhaps my favorite response in the whole survey:I honestly don’t know.” 

It was really enjoyable to see all the variation in musical tastes among Skyline students. I am both happy and proud that everyone’s taste is so different. It makes conversations fun and keeps friends learning new things about each other. 

This survey was eye-opening, seeing as many people including myself would have thought that high-schoolers only listened to rap.

I’m glad that it turns out that this is not the case.