Music on the Mind


Natalie Nichenko

Charli Pierson in the hallway

Natalie Nichenko, Media Team Member

Music is a widespread and diverse form of art that captivates our interests as humans and appeals to our senses in ways nothing else can. Students at Rocky seem to be invested in pop culture and especially music right now. With Air Pods in their ears and music blasting, you can’t help but wonder what they’re listening to. Is it bubblegum pop or alternative rock? More importantly, is it reflective of popular music today? To dive into the minds of students and learn more about their music taste, students at Rocky shared their opinions on mainstream music and their own favorite songs and artists.

The Questions:

Do you like listening to music and why?

What’s your favorite music genre and why?

Who’s your favorite artist/band and why?

Do you see any artists/songs you recognize on the top 10 list and how do you feel about them being or not being on the list?

Do you agree with who is on the top 10 chart and why?

Do you listen to any of those people on the list? If so, who?

Why do you think these songs are so popular right now?


The Top 10 Billboard Pics:

  1. “Like Crazy” by Jimin
  2. “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus
  3. “Last Night” by Morgan Wallen
  4. “Kill Bill” by SZA
  5. “Creepin’” by Metro Boomin, The Weeknd & 21 Savage
  6. “Die For You” by the The Weeknd & Ariana Grande
  7. “Boys A Liar, Pt. 2” by Pink Pantheress & Ice Spice
  8. “Calm Down” by Rema & Selena Gomez
  9. “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift
  10. “Players” by Coi Leray

Freshman Allie Stovall stated, “I like listening to music because it always makes me happy. My favorite genre is probably modern or indie rock, and my favorite band is the Arctic Monkeys because their songs are fun and very catchy. I don’t know many of the artists on the list, but I have heard “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus. I don’t listen to the radio very often, but I think most songs that are probably on this list have blown up because they have a large fan base like Taylor Swift, or they have blow up on TikTok, like Miley Cyrus.” Allie expresses her love for music and describes that even though she doesn’t listen to all these artists, they are popular due to their exposure from social media.

Another perspective on top music these days comes from another freshman, Tristan Milam. He explained, “Yes, I like listening to music because it’s just something to do. I mainly like rap and country because it’s what I grew up on. I agree with the top 10 list even though I don’t know all the songs/artists up there. All these songs are probably popular from TikTok.” Tristan is laid-back with his music taste and thinks social media is why these songs are popular.

Macie Dubie, a sophomore, replied, “I love listening to music! It’s my way of escaping reality for just a few minutes. I’m really into upbeat pop songs right now, mostly ones you would play with the windows down in summer. I’d say my favorite is JVKE, he’s an underrated artist with amazing songs. I absolutely love SZA, and I think she deserves to be up there 100%. I feel like a lot of these songs only made it to the top because they’re constantly played on the radio which gives them all the streaming benefits.” Macie is a great example of someone who has fun listening to upbeat music and believes that the radio assists in bringing songs to the top.

Junior, Anna DaBell, enthusiastically answered, “Music makes me happy, pumps me up for sports games/practices, and I have so many memories with the people I love from listening to music! I love country music and Morgan Wallen. I agree with the list other than I have no idea who Jimin is! So, since I don’t know about the #1, I don’t know if I can agree because I don’t know who Jimin is. I listen to a little Miley Cyrus, a lot of Morgan Wallen, and a little of everything else! I think a lot of these songs are popular because of their meaning and relatability!” Anna is easy-going and is always elated when jamming out to music. She appreciates the depth that goes into songwriting.

Hailey Ranstrom, a senior, responded, “I like listening to music because it’s fun to sing, and it entertains me while I drive, clean, or do schoolwork. I enjoy pop music because it’s super upbeat and is easy to connect with. I love Taylor Swift and Harry Styles for their cute and fun songs that remind me of summer. I recognize a lot of the songs and artists simply because they are trending on TikTok. I think that social media is where a lot of people find new genres that they like which is super cool. I think that if you make it in the top ten then you deserve it because all artists work hard on their music and the songs may not be my favorite, but they all deserve to be there because a large group of people probably like their songs.” Hailey likes listening to music because it helps her accomplish tasks and agrees with Allie and Tristan on how social media plays a big part in a song’s popularity. She thinks everyone in the Top 10 is up there fairly.

Another senior, Hudson Judge, acknowledged, “I love listening to music, and I’m always surrounded by it so it’s comforting. My favorite music genre of this year is folk pop, and my favorite artist is David Kushner because of his entire vibe and his insane voice. I know most of the people on the list except for Jimin and Coi Leray; I think they all make sense on the list, but I’m surprised Taylor Swift isn’t ranked higher. Those artists either got on that list because they are already big artists with huge fanbases, or their song went viral on TikTok.” Hudson mentions his love for the folk pop genre and a similar theme of social media connecting to a song’s fame.

Senior, Grant Hedgpeth, commented, “I love listening to music because it gets me ready and prepared for games and races. I don’t have a specific music genre, but I don’t like country music. I like NF because he can be so relatable and has a good clean beat. I recognize 3 artists I’ve heard of before, but I don’t know them well. I somewhat disagree with who’s on the top 10 list because there are so many older artists and amazing guitarists who should be on there. I feel like some of the trending music on the list doesn’t connect and influence people in the ways other amazing artists do. I think the people who made them just have a large fan base across multiple ages which increases their popularity.” Grant has a great take on how modern-day music rises to the top when there are still many talented underrated and older artists who may not be in a favored genre that miss the chance of being fairly recognized for their work.

After discovering Rocky students’ opinions on music today, it is evident that there is such a wide range of music taste, genres, artists, bands, songs, etc. that it is difficult to pinpoint a consensus from these answers. However, a major theme that developed from these questions was the relation between music and social media. The state of society is changing so rapidly with how information such as music is spread and consumed. Now, with assistance from large social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok, underground artists can share their songs to an audience all around the world. There are still instances where music fame can happen naturally, but the social media factor has altered and influenced the way music becomes mainstream these days. Another realization is that even though not all the songs and artists on the top 10 chart were recognized by students, they still have a level of appreciation for them. These facts show that music remains a prevalent, engaging, and enjoyable source of entertainment for all, especially teens. Music is unique in how we can express and experience feelings that cannot just be put into words. It allows us to escape away from our reality and into something euphoric. It is there for us when we just want something to listen to but also in times of pain and happiness. Music is always on the mind.