Music is, in some way, transcendent. How can one explain the way a song means so many things to millions of people, whose experiences are unlikely to be a hundred percent the same as anyone else’s? How does one truly capture the gritty beauty that concerts and music festivals bring, unless you’ve experienced one for yourself? How is it that you don’t even have to know how to play a single musical instrument or be able to sing to understand just how great music is?

If it’s not obvious yet, I’m kind of disgustingly in love with music.

My earliest memories revolved around belting out nursery rhymes in the living room, replaced by Disney movie soundtracks, and then I hit the teens and it was a mixed bag of alternative rock and soothing acoustics for a good few years. Right now, I’ve been dipping into the waters of Korean hip hop after a solid half a decade of listening to KPop on and off, and I’m always filled with elation every time I find a genuine treasure in the midnight hours of trawling through YouTube. It honestly doesn’t matter what genre it is, because fantastic music is beyond the boundaries of language and a good hook.

And one of the greatest things technology created for us, in my opinion, is how easy it is to access music from the world over, and how it’s so simple to curate your own musical preferences according to how you like them. Another beautiful thing that technology has brought to the table in regards to music is how portable it’s become; you could easily be listening to your music from your phone, your iPod, your tablet, or even your laptop. And if you commute with a personal vehicle, well; I do believe I’m not the only one who’s blasted their music in the car late at night after a grueling day at the office, just needing to sing my lungs out and let the stress wash off of me.

Songs serve as placeholders during certain moments of my life; anthems for different eras, if you will. And whenever I come back to these songs, it’s almost as if I’m transported back in time, facing a younger, more naive, more passionate version of myself, which propels me to think; what had caused me to let go of such emotion? This never fails to simultaneously drive me to search for more inspiration whenever I’m in a slump, as well as reminding me that I’m this close to being on the wrong side of my twenties.

Music drives my creative side as well, obviously. Lyrics inspire me and beats influence my current mood; sometimes, more than a catchy rhythm, the words that song-writers choose to include in their pieces leave me in awe at how letters strung together could leave such a great impact on one’s life. And the music that accompanies that dialogue serves to drive that magic home, and it’s not a wonder that millennials listen to way more music than our previous generations, not when it’s obvious just how much of our core beliefs are directly influenced by the music we listen to.

Much of my personal epiphanies came about from the music I’ve listened to, and honestly, without music, I don’t think I’ll be the person I am today. So thank you, music creators. Thank you, for speaking into our lives with the gifts that have been bestowed on you, and I hope that, more than just understanding the weight of your responsibility of the effect you have on the consumers of your talents, you also know that your voice is always greatly appreciated. So, keep on creating. Keep on speaking. Keep on living, through the songs you give to the world.