Part of what makes music beautiful is its universality. Even if you don’t understand a single lyric, the melodies, rhythms and energy can make you fall in love with a tune. For that reason, sharing music is a great way to get to know people.
In high school, I decided to let my Instagram be a conduit for people to share music with each other. Every week, I would post a collection of songs, dubbed the “(un)Official @callhim.adri Songs of the Week,” to my Instagram story.
These songs would be posted weekly, with five tracks sent to me by friends, strangers and family highlighted on my story and the rest discoverable in an Apple Music playlist. Each week, the theme of the highlighted songs would change, encompassing every vibe from “Songs of the Summer” to “Songs to Have a Good Cry To.”
After a year, I decided to take a break from posting every Sunday. Life got hectic with college preparations, my eighteenth birthday and different academic and social engagements. I forgot about SOTW for a while, until a high school friend of mine reached out during our first year of college asking what happened to “those music posts.”
A few months after that text, I decided it was time to recommit. I started “Year Two” of the project entering summer 2021, after an 18-month hiatus. That experiment ended this June, but people still send me new songs to share.
As we move into a new school year with new challenges, goals and experiences in store, I thought it would be a perfect time to collect some songs to prepare for that new beginning. To officially close out the old and move into the new, I posted one last question box on my Instagram story, asking followers to help build up a playlist for a final Songs of the Week theme: “Songs for a New Beginning.”
Here are some highlights:
"Window Seat", Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu — an artist whose insistence on self-expression sometimes leaves her at odds with the public— has always been an image of freedom to me. For this reason, this song about liberating yourself from what holds you back feels like such a natural highlight of a playlist about fresh starts. Melancholy yet hopeful, the “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh” track walks the line between the past self you want to outgrow and the future self you want to become.