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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

A musical journey, from Beethoven to The Fat Rat

Richard Fan
My current mish-mash playlist.

As a kid in elementary school, I was heavily influenced by my parents’ taste in music. Some days I would listen to classical piano, enjoying the light scales and chords. Other days, I would listen to the grandiose harmonies of orchestras, artists such as Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven. One of my favorite songs was “Marriage D’amour” by Paul De Senneville, with super light scales that sounded like heaven. I developed an almost religious reverence for classical music. 

Eventually, my musical interests expanded into other genres. I  dipped my toes into pop, rock and electronic dance music (EDM). 

In 5th grade, I experienced the shock of my life when I carpooled with one of my friends on the way to school. Every morning, his family would play 98.1 FM on the radio during the 15-minute car ride. I vividly remember when “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons started playing, a unique beat I  was unfamiliar with. The song was very upbeat and immediately got my blood pumping. From that moment on, artists like Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran became favorites 

Around that time, I also gained an interest in a few rock songs that my dad occasionally played, including “Hotel California,” “Stairway to Heaven” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” At first, all I could hear was the chaos and disruptiveness of the music, but gradually I grew to appreciate those songs as well. 

After later falling down the rabbit hole that was pop for another 3 years, I stumbled across an EDM artist called The Fat Rat in eighth grade. As I sat curled up in the backseat on a 4-hour road trip to Lake Tahoe, I came across the launchpad cover for his song “Monody.” Two hours and many songs later, I had developed a liking for his songs, specifically “Upwind” and “Hiding in the Blue.” 

One of my friends shared their EDM recommendations with me shortly afterward, allowing me to delve deeper into the new genre I had just discovered. I was initially skeptical of EDM, enjoying less than 20 of the songs in the 150-song playlist. However, after listening to the songs I liked on repeat, I came to appreciate the genre, specifically the wide range of upbeat sounds that could be generated, and found my place among electronic music. Some of my favorite songs include “Nevada” by Vicetone, “Castle” by Clarx, “Where we Started” by Lost Sky and “Seasons” by Rival.

After listening to various artists, I believe The Fat Rat is the best artist in the EDM genre. The combination of tracks between numerous different instruments and different sounds made listening to the songs much more entertaining than pop songs. 

More recently, however, I have circled back to classical music. While my music interests have been very segmented phases in the past, they have blended over time, now allowing me to simply hit play on a mish-mash playlist and enjoy all the songs, no matter what genre they are. 

As I grow older, I’m sure that my tastes will continue to evolve as I learn about new artists and songs that suit my shifting interests. Due to coercion from friends, I started listening to many Taylor Swift songs and gradually found myself liking them more and more, which would’ve been unimaginable to me from 4 months ago. One thing is for sure:  A year from now, my Spotify playlist won’t look anything like it does today.

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