In a large world with so many cultures and countries, some would say that music is the universal language. In moments of trouble and darkness, music can shine positivity and promote healing for many.

The year 2020 has brought so many a lot of heartache and stress. The global COVID-19 pandemic took over the entire world at the beginning of the year and caused the majority of it to shut down almost entirely for a few months.

Many businesses and services that were deemed non-essential were forced to close and that meant many people that worked for these companies were either fired, laid-off, or furloughed and meant to be staying at home.

With all the closures, streaming services in all areas of entertainment had an increase in usage overall as people had much more time on their hands than before.

According to stastista.com, a survey taken in mid-March showed that 47% of Generation Z’s and 58% of millennials reported listening to more music due to the pandemic.

Results of a survey measuring music consumption in mid-March.

Results of a survey measuring music consumption in mid-March. Photo credit: Karina Macias

The results of the survey differed immensely depending on the generation but Generation Z and millennials showed a clear increase in music consumption during the extra time spent at home.

Fullerton College student, Leah Mathews, explained that for her, music has been a major tool in getting her through the pandemic.

“Music has impacted me more than I ever thought it could this year,” Mathews said. “Since everything is closed down and we are all doing school online I have found that music has helped me study better, has been a form of entertainment, and kept me company in lonely times.”

Luke Combs performing "Six Feet Apart" on Youtube.

Luke Combs performing "Six Feet Apart" on Youtube. Photo credit: YouTube

Mathews explained that she consumed a lot more music than usual this year and was able to use it to connect with herself more than ever before.

“Beforehand, I would listen to music occasionally and didn’t really see it as a way of connecting with myself,” Mathews said. “But now that I have more time on my hands, I have found new artists, genres, and songs that connect with me on a deeper level. My relationship with music has changed tremendously and I now realized why music is so important to many people.”

Lucas Aguirre, another Fullerton College student, explained that music impacted him significantly in a much different way this year because he and his family bought and opened up a record shop.

“This year we bought our first store in downtown Bellflower and during our time renovating and getting set up, we had music playing all day,” Aguirre said. “I feel like music helped bring me, my parents, and my sisters closer together, especially during the pandemic when we were hard at work getting ready to open up the shop.”

Music artists were also inspired by the pandemic to create uplifting songs to try to lift spirits in the best way they know-how. Songs like “Six Feet Apart” by country artist, Luke Combs and “Better Days” by the pop-rock group, OneRepublic are just a few of the songs that were inspired by the pandemic.

Some artists even re-recorded or remixed songs that have already previously been released to reflect on the pandemic.

Avril Lavigne singing "We Are Warriors" on Youtube.

Avril Lavigne singing "We Are Warriors" on Youtube. Photo credit: YouTube

Pop-rock artist, Avril Lavigne re-recorded her song “We Are Warriors,” originally written about her battle with Lyme disease, to honor front-line health care workers. R&B artist, Alicia Keys rewrote Flo Rida’s song “My House” to promote social distancing.

Another memorable moment in time in 2020 aside from the pandemic involved the protests that ensued following the many racial injustices happening around the country.

Songs that have already previously been released became big staples in the likes of the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Individuals demonstrating their First Amendment rights at a Black Lives Matter protest in Washington in June 2020.

Individuals demonstrating their First Amendment rights at a Black Lives Matter protest in Washington in June 2020. Photo credit: CNN.com

The song “This is America,” by Childish Gambino that was released in 2018 was remixed and became a widely used song on social media in videos of the protests that demonstrated police misconduct and brutality. The political symbolism in the song made it the perfect song to try and get the intended message across.

For many, music has the power to uplift and inspire in even the toughest of times.

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