Students enjoy learning about different cultures behind the music they like

When walking through the hallways of our campus, it is common to see students listening to hip-hop or rap songs.

At the same time, it is not uncommon to hear students, or even teachers, listening to foreign music. Whether it’s Asian, African, or even German, numerous fans of these genres can be found around school.

Sophomore Chana Moeur has grown up around Cambodian music ever since she was born. Moeur enjoys Cambodian music because of the content of the songs and says that the ideas and history behind the lyrics, songs, and music videos are what attract her to this genre.

She says she prefers Cambodian music because the content is more meaningful to her than the lyrics of American music.

“It’s different from American music because with Cambodian music, the songs really talk about the history of the country,” Moeur said.

Across the east and south seas of China, Korean pop, better known as K-Pop, has developed into a genre that is listened to all across the world.

It has also been gaining more popularity over the years.

Junior Nadia Dutra has been immersed in K-Pop since she was a little girl. She enjoys listening to K-Pop because it’s something different from what you normally hear around school or on the radio.

“It’s in completely different language, so it’s refreshing to hear things like in foreign languages such as Korean or other languages after listening to American music,” Dutra said. “It’s also really fun to watch the music videos because they have lots of awesome dances.”

Dutra likes K-Pop because she feels as though it takes her down a road less traveled than some other students at school.

“I feel like everybody wants to learn Spanish or French or something, but when it comes to K-Pop, Korean is such a different topic so I feel like it’s different from other countries’ music.”

From Korea, traveling 7,000 miles across the entire continent of Asia and most of Africa, will bring you to West Africa.

Sophomore Yalie Ceesay’s parents were born there and she grew up surrounded by the music of this region.

Ceesay likes that when she’s with family and this music comes on, they are able to connect with it since it’s music from where they came from.

“Every time we would go to a family gathering, they would always have the music around and it sticks in your head,” Ceesay said. “It’s fun to see them singing and dancing to the music when it comes on.”

Ceesay says that the music differs from American music that is often about women, drugs, or alcohol. In African music, on the other hand, they talk more about the cultural aspects of Africa such as food, dancing, and parties.

Music teacher Joseph Updegraff enjoys listening to and teaching students about all types of foreign music ranging from opera to German rock.

He believes that it is important for his students to learn about and appreciate foreign music so that they can get an understanding of how different countries interpret music.

Updegraff says that if you are casually listening to music and a song comes on that you haven’t heard, you will try listening to what the words are.

He says that one of the good things about listening to music that is in a foreign language to you is that you don’t have to worry about trying to understand what the artist is saying in the song and can instead focus on other things that might of been hidden.

“You get to listen to the true beauty of the music that’s being performed rather than trying to understand the words that they’re saying,” Updegraff said. “You get to feel the passion and emotion when you aren’t worrying about what they’re saying.”