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Anything But Country

Who has been the biggest influence on your taste in music? Possibly your parents, probably your friends. We've all been led to praise or reject an artist to fall into line with the opinions of our peer group.

As a long-haired teenager I lauded the great rock bands, and expressed contempt for nearly all electronic music, along with a lot of classical, R&B, metal and... country.

(Now, taste is a fascinating thing. Why do two siblings grow up with wildly different opinions about what's good? Is it all down to association, or are we genetically predisposed to liking certain things? Is there a death metal gene? I've discovered that I can take control over my tastes to a degree, and encourage myself to enjoy something more through increased exposure along with an open mind. I've done with with a few foods I used to avoid: olives, tuna, black pudding, coleslaw.)

I married a girl who shared my love of Bon Jovi, but who was also deeply moved by both trance music and various country artists (Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton). I kept a distance at first. I even felt the need to tell my colleagues "this isn't my choice" when some country music slipped out of the car speakers as I drove us to work.

I could say this two ways: It has grown on me. Or, I have decided to find reasons to enjoy those genres of music I previously didn't. Andy Mineo says it better than me on his track Anything But Country.

I have about 60 different Spotify playlists by genre. Many genres are represented (Musical Theatre, Punk Pop, Ambient) and as a music producer I'm sure my output is enriched by swimming in such a rich soup. Still not a fan of death metal though.

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