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Gillian Farber Headshot

New Age Music With A Side of Meat Loaf

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It felt like yesterday when my father would routinely pick up my friends at 8 a.m. Monday morning and drive us to school on his way to work. But a car ride with my dad wouldn't be the same if he wasn't blasting some oldies tune from the '60s and '70s while singing along at the top of his lungs.

My father was absolutely certain that he was right on pitch with Bruce Springsteen or perfectly harmonizing with John Lennon. While I'd sink my head in horror, my dad would rock out to his favourite tunes imagining the car to be some sort of mobile recording studio Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Thank god there was no such thing as Canadian Idol or The X Factor when my dad was a child because I can almost guarantee you he'd be the first in line.

My parents would try so hard to expose some of their favourite bands from their day to my brothers and I, bribing us with a dollar if we could name the lead singer of whichever musician was deafening through the car speakers. I have to admit, our family road trips wouldn't have been the same without the vocal presence of Meat Loaf, The Rolling Stones and Queen. Although my parents tried hard to deliberately influence our musical palate we let them reminisce about the good old days, the pot-hazed music festivals and the live concerts -- all while my brothers and I sat peacefully in the back of the car with our headphones tightly tucked in our ears.

It's quite clear that musical tastes change with each generation and so do the outlets which allow music to be heard. I can understand why new age music might not be readily accepted by the older generation and there was probably even a parental complaint about how that Beethoven guy was too loud and unruly. Our ever changing music industry is constantly expanding into various avenues which make it easier for the average singer or talented artist to be discovered.

As much as some people are against the idea of gaining fame through the use of social media channels and televised singing competitions, they can be useful mediums that ambitious youth use as catalysts for their dreams and through which to spread their positive messages. X Factor finalist Josh Levi, for example, is a 15-year-old singer who uses Twitter with his staple hash tag #LeviNation to reach out to his fans which are now in the millions! We are also beginning to see a trend of younger anti-bullying artists like rapper Rezzi and singer Isaac Basal, spreading a more optimistic message, following in Macklemore's footsteps.

Unlike many other teenage artists these days, Rezzi is a 16-year-old rising Canadian musician whose music is all about positivity and has been viewed half a million times on YouTube. He has even published an anti-bullying story of his own on BullyVille, a community where celebs vent about their experiences with bullies. Similarly, Isaac Basal a 15 year old YouTube pop star from Montreal has used social media to advocate anti-bullying which has led to performances worldwide with his positive message taking centre stage. Social media has helped both these budding musicians gain fans worldwide and increase their profiles into the stars they are today. Many young celebs are embracing their fame and social media in the most genuine way possible -- to spread love, acceptance and dignity... and a little bit of self-promotion doesn't hurt either!

Music is a powerful medium which has always been at the centre of many cultural movements and nowadays the heart of many popular online social interactions. So for all those oldies, like my father, who revel in their self-professed "trendy dad" stereotype; describing how rebellious they once were and using their dissident past to relate to their kids music taste -- I say thank you for leading the way. While our tastes may differ and the outlets may expand, the song still remains the same.