This past Wednesday, The O2 in London housed the annual Brit Awards. Among many other worthy nominees was my personal favorite band, The 1975, who won Best British Group. The four friends from Manchester have been making music together since 2002. They are mostly referred to as a pop rock band, with heavy gospel and synthesizer influences (kind of all over the place, I know). Their sound is one thing, but their message is what strikes me. The lead singer, Matty Healy, writes lyrics that encompass the human experience using raw emotion. He speaks on sexuality, mental health, addiction, death, and of course, love. As part of their Brit Award acceptance speech, Healy urges those who have a platform to use it to talk about social issues. Part of why I believe this band is important is simply the uncensored material; they are undoubtedly themselves and it is liberating to witness as a fan. While watching their Brits performance, I found myself reflecting on the impact this particular band has had on me. I found myself writing about why I think they absolutely deserved this award.
I feel that when I reflect back on my “college years,” it will be full of this band. I like to think about in the future, when I give my children my old t-shirts, this band’s will be so worn and well loved. Their message, aesthetic, and intellect have all fueled me. Watching them get lost in their music taught me to not be afraid to be myself. They have taught me confidence and self assurance. They have taught me to love fiercely and to be unapologetic for the way I am, the way I feel, the way I create. All of it. They have become an inspiration; they have become a muse.
One of my favorite kinds of social interactions between humans is a band and their fans. Mutual adoration. Because they do adore their fans just as much as we adore them. It is apparent in the dedication they have to their art; they prove themselves with the non stop touring and the intoxicating atmosphere of the live shows. They continuously remind their fans that they are important, and they have a voice. I attended one of their concerts the day after the election results, and I can honestly say that I might not have gotten through that day had it not been for The 1975. During the show, Healy spoke on the issues surrounding the election, essentially calling the fans into action. He is constantly encouraging his fans to be loud, to be emotional, and to be loving. To be real. I think, these days, that is hard to find in an idol. These days, this unique relationship is something that is important to hold onto.
The 1975. Nov. 9, 2016. Eagle Bank Arena, Fairfax, VA.
Other than just being an opportunity for me to rant about my favorite band, I also feel compelled to write about this experience because everyone has their things. Everyone has their own inspirations, their own muses, their own idols, and I believe this is an important part of becoming who you are. So, as a take away, do not allow others to put down your things. Do not allow others to make your interests or obsessions seem insignificant. If they are significant to you, they matter.