Before really beginning on this podcast, I didn’t realize how great the effect of nostalgia evoked by particular media could have on me. Being that I was born in Ecuador, the things that I was exposed to when I moved to America were vastly different from what I was used to. Growing up in the States, like most children, I would assume, I simply absorbed all the images and sounds around me without really questioning much of the psychology behind them. I remember lots of movies, music videos, TV shows, and music from my childhood, but there are particular ones that really elicit a strong sense of nostalgia within me. Some of my earliest memories of music include Avril Lavigne, Eminem, and JLo. I remember having an Avril Lavigne CD, which I listened to on repeat, while writing down as many song lyrics as I could (this was before lyrics were readily available on the Internet). I would play, pause, and rewind for hours trying to understand the lyrics, and then proceed to writing them down on a piece of paper. I have a particular memory of listening to Avril Lavigne’s “Don’t Tell Me” with my mom.
Eminem has also always been a huge love of mine. I started listening to him when I was about seven—I know, something seven-year-olds should probably never be exposed to, but one of my close friends used to listen to him and I couldn’t help but start listening myself. I would do the same thing for his songs, starting with “Mockingbird,” which always brings me back to sitting at my sister’s desk, writing down as many lyrics as I could understand from the YouTube video with blue ink right before bedtime. I then slowly got pretty good at rapping along with him, ha!
My most prominent memory of both music and visual representations is a JLo CD that my older brother got for my older sister. In the beginning, I was pretty jealous that it was hers, but she quickly outgrew it, and I continued putting the DVD into the DVD player in the living room and learning all the songs and watching all the music videos. (I would also totally copy her in the music videos, and pretended to be her in them). One of the songs from that DVD that stands out most to me is “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” and every single time I hear it now, I am taken back to the days after school when I would watch the DVD religiously instead of doing homework. Once I outgrew the JLo CD, even though I thought that would never be possible, I started listening to other artists and developing my taste in music, which is ever-changing, I’ve learned.
In my teenage and adult years, I haven’t listened to many artists that I used to always listen to as a kid—except for Eminem, yet I still get very nostalgic when I listen to “Mockingbird.” Even though I have been re-exposed quite frequently to that specific song, its original meaning and feeling remains with me throughout the years. Other songs, however, still provoke specific memories, but I think overall, their meaning has changed and their memory is no longer as close to my heart as it once used to be. I guess that’s part of the magic of the immortalization that songs and movies fall into: they will always be there and be the same, but the viewer will grow and evolve around it.