You can tell a lot about a person via their Spotify playlist.
Flashing a curated mix tape on social media is akin to baring your heart and soul to everyone. It’s almost as if you’re revealing your most intimate secrets. And it can be a scary, yet wonderful thing.
Approaching people on the streets for an interview is no small feat, let alone having to quiz them about their favourite song. But this is exactly what Jonathan Lee is doing during his spare time. A self-confessed audiophile, he has started a Facebook community page called “Stories About Songs” to document people from different walks of life and their taste in music.
The Inception Stage
Jonathan divulged that the concept came from the desire to find good music and share it with people. “I looked online and realised there were thousands of new songs being released every day and it wouldn’t make sense for me to curate them. I then realised that perhaps it wasn’t me who should be sharing songs, but others instead; hence, the original idea,” he said.
“The style was influenced by Humans of New York, which I felt was a great and simple way of communicating a message.”
— Jonathan Lee, Founder of Stories About Songs
1 in 5
Out of curiosity, I asked Jonathan how he juggles managing a Facebook page while in school (he’s a full-time student at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information). He explained that he’s trying to commit one day a week to conducting street interviews. “I try not to visit a place more than once but my first set of interviews were done at Orchard Road due to the crowd.”
He continued, “Most recently I managed to interview a guy on the bus, which is one of the less common places to approach someone.” He also disclosed the difficulty he faced in posting frequently: “Approaching people on the street is often a gamble, usually 1 out of 5 will agree to the interview.”
“Mainstream bands such as Boys Like Girls, Good Charlotte and Green Day are staples on my iPod.”
— Jonathan Lee
It’s clear that Jonathan is a mega music fan, and he cites punk and pop-punk as his favourite genres. But what about his favourite song — does he have one?
“My favourite song is titled ‘The World’s Not Waiting ‘ by Fall Out Boy. It’s a track from their first album in 2003 and has a line that goes, ‘This might just be a waste of time, but there’s no one I’d rather waste my time with than all my best friends’, which sums up the relationship with my closest circle of friends, some of whom I’ve known since Primary 1.”
Jonathan’s Favourite Interview
I’d thought it’d be difficult for Jonathan to pick out his favourite interview, but I couldn’t be more wrong. As if it was a no-brainer, he said, “My favourite interview is with this girl called Kim and her boyfriend Ren Yi. Her favourite song was ‘If You Could See Me Now’ by The Script, and she explained how it was about one of their band members losing his parents and to be thankful about what we have.”
“It left the deepest impression because it made me reflect on the relationship I have with my parents and how, despite a busy and hectic life, I have to make time for them.”
Music Brings Us Together
The way I see it, Stories About Songs is a facebook-community-page-slash-music-ezine. Not only does it spill recommendations from music enthusiasts, but most importantly, it also gives us a peek into a stranger’s life story. Chalk one up for Jonathan. I’m in.
You can find out more about Stories About Songs here.