My Summers Of Music – A Nostalgia Trip

My Summers Of Music – A Nostalgia Trip

Growing Up 1999-2014

Growing up during the 2000s, my childhood was littered with a range of music that has left a big impression on me: it was full of 90s nostalgia and whatever family members were listening to. My earliest memory is waking my tired Grandad from his afternoon nap, so he could press the button of an electronic singing trout that sang Bobby McFerrin, Don’t worry, be happy, so I could dance to it.

I think, for every child, car journeys are where you learn about your parents’ music. For me, my early childhood was full of Queen and listening to “Wobbly” Williams.  My mum, after church, would be singing at the top of her voice songs from Bob Marley to Neil Diamond. On the other hand, I used to think I was so cool when I was in my dad’s car; my dad would loudly play Led Zeppelin, Cream and Pink Floyd. Maybe Dave Chappelle was right about white people and guitar music.

I think I must have been 8 or 9 when I was given an MP3 player and my sister put her music on it as I had no idea what I liked. Until relatively late on, I would just listen to whatever was on that MP3 player. My sisters would sometimes update it for me and, as laptops weren’t really a thing, we had to use the family computer which I was far too young to figure out.

Later on at school, the music of my childhood changed again. Now, everyone remembers the school discos: you probably wore terrible shirts with flames or surfboards on and too much gel in your hair, and drank juice boxes like a sugar rush was the same as being drunk. The DJs were always in their 50s and were called Baz and Karry or something similar, and you all went mental when Crazy Frog came on. Wow the 2000s, ey.


We skip ahead a bit because my music taste did not really develop until I was about 14/15. I was that kid who only showed his jaw on Snapchat and did finger guns to some song; we all know them and we all hate them. I admit I liked pretty different music as a teenager, I was an angry kid and my music reflected this. I was one of those “edgy” kids who now just make me cringe.

I went to my first concert, $uicideboy$, and it was crazy, I loved it. I was not a big fan of the group at the time, nor was I a fan of Lil Peep who came out later on, on one of his last songs before the end of the night. We queued up for about an hour, these London rappers handing out their mixtape CDs for pennies. Although my friend had been punched in the stomach and had thrown up on the crowd that night, I loved the music’s aggression and intensity. It probably influenced me later on when I got into the Brighton rave scene.

When I left school, I went and studied music technology. I wanted to escape my small-town, middle-class existence. So, I went to a town near Brighton, which made my life 100 times more exciting. I am still friends with the people I met to this day and the experience really summed up my late teens. I started getting into sports, which I used to hate. I watched boxing and UFC. I also went to Muay Thai classes for about a year before I could not afford them. I worked every Sunday, just waiting for the next night with my friends.


Nights were full of beach parties, occasional raves and then onto the club scene. I had just learnt to drive and really expanded my music taste, anything that could be played loud and obnoxiously was my sort of thing, with Dizzee Rascal and Skepta being some of my favourite artists. At the time, like every 17 or 18-year-old, I thought I was the coolest guy. I would meet up with my friends at spoons every week and every Friday night I would be out clubbing in Brighton or Crawley.

I had my hair long, slicked back with so much hairspray and wax that it looked like I had a facelift

Although I used to wear joggers every day at college, I started taking my style more seriously, well “seriously” for a 17 or 18-year-old. I bought this old leather jacket, which I wore all the time, and was obsessed with gangster movies and nights out. I had my hair long, slicked back with so much hairspray and wax that it looked like I had a facelift, with a hairline that is still haunting to this day. My “polo shirt phase” I would like to call it now. I think, since the 90s, every teenage boy has owned one of those types of polo t-shirts.  

Brighton was an amazing change from the small town I came from, it was made for nights out and the clubbing was never a disappointment. J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar were the soundtrack to my time there with 50 Cent’s In Da Club being a solid crowd pleaser. Whether I ended up waiting for a taxi or lift or walked back to my friend’s house, I was always freezing and completely under-dressed for the cold sea breeze. But I would still be singing Bohemian Rhapsody the whole way home. Many mornings started with being woken by the gruff voice of my friend’s Scottish dad, my hair all over the place and my face forlorn. Then trudging to McDonald’s to stuff my face with shitty food. The joys of youth.


In recent times, due to COVID, I haven’t had much exposure to new music. However, I was lucky enough to still have a regular Freshers experience. The first year of university was mainly party music; however, in second year, it was more music I could chill with my friends or housemates and drink to. Future’s Life Is Good and Burna Boy’s Ye are just some of the many tunes that have kept me company throughout my university life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my quick nostalgic trip through the music of my youth and can relate to just how big a part music has played in my life up until this point.

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Jamie Styles

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