Photo by Lucian Himes
Growing up, I was always singing. Always.
When I was nervous or afraid of the dark, singing made me feel better every time, without fail. For me, music has always been a constant. If something stressful or sad happened during my school day, I would listen to music before bed. It made me feel better and recognize I wasn’t alone. When life is hard and things change, music is there for me when others aren’t.
Music is something that gives me hope — it makes me feel more connected to God, others and myself. For me, music is undeniable happiness.
As I grew up and began taking music more seriously, I took music classes, joined choirs, wrote songs, started a music YouTube channel and recorded my songs in a studio. I have always struggled with vulnerability, but I found, early on, writing songs broke that barrier, and I finally felt comfortable.
Music truly brings nostalgia — as you will read about later in this edition.
I can’t hear “Beyond the Sea,” by Bobby Darin without thinking of my Amma — my grandma — or U2 songs without thinking of the many different concerts with my dad over the years, or “Best Song Ever” by One Direction without remembering moments with my mom I will never forget.
I also can’t hear virtually any Disney song without crying and reminiscing on the frequent Disney trips during my childhood. I also feel warm inside when I hear “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri — one of the first songs I learned on guitar that has followed me throughout life.
When someone loves an artist, song or album, it is not just the quality of the music they hold dear: It’s the moments it brings them back to. This happens when I hear certain songs that remind me how easy childhood was in Rancho Cucamonga, listening to my CD player dancing on my bunkbed with my stuffed bunny Bella.
I have experience in entertainment and music writing and feel it is an important part of serving the community, which is my driving force in wanting to create this issue. Music journalism, to me, is a form of good news. It is my hope for this edition to bring our community together, after a few very hard years, through our shared love of music.
I remember this quote because I truly believe music unifies us — I tend to believe in the best, and I adamantly refuse to let anything crush my spirit. Music can be a factor in helping us achieve a world with no violence, no hate and no division.
These unbelievably talented writers decided to take the plunge with me and tackle something important. For that, I thank and commend them. I thank my advisers, Elizabeth and Courtenay, for always believing in me from day one. I thank my mom and dad for always encouraging my dreams of both music and writing — from sitting in the studio while I record, to reading every Life & Arts story I wrote and edited. Most of all, I thank God for gifting us the power of storytelling — I intend to use it throughout my entire life to glorify Him.
In this edition, we will look at music’s role in society, the power of singing, the world of worship music, the modern pop star and more. I am extremely thankful to all the talented staff, students and those working in the industry who are featured in this edition. This community is lucky to hear from them.
I also thank you, reader, for indulging in your love for music with the Graphic team and myself.
As my favorite quote by Friedrich Nietzsche says, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
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Email Beth Gonzales: email@example.com