I am no longer surprised by the incredible amounts of British and American music played in clubs and bars all over Spain, and from what I have heard, Europe. Okay, the songs that are played aren’t quite up-to-date with the UK charts, but they aren’t far off.
I have now lived in Spain for eight months, and it is difficult to find a bar where they are only playing Spanish music. If any is played, it is between English songs, and it is always the same music. Don’t get me wrong, I live for music, and I love it when a song I know is played – who doesn’t love dancing to the latest chart toppers? But for me, part of living in a different country is immersing yourself within the culture, and culture definitely includes music.
I find it especially surprising that in a region like Cantabria, and in particular Torrelavega, the small ‘city’ I live in (where there are only a small number of British people), that there is so much influence from Britain in the music here.
I don’t know if it is because Spanish music isn’t as good, or as popular, as British music, or simply because the people here love it so much, but I personally like Spanish music. I would love to sit in a bar in the evening with some friends and a cold glass of wine, listening to Spanish people, Spanish music, and talking Spanish myself. This is what I thought of when I imagined my Year Abroad – not endless nights listening to Brit Pop. (Although sometimes I do quite like those nights!) And I don’t necessarily mean the traditional, flamenco-style music; any Spanish music would be good!
Even the Spanish ‘Top 20’ is full of British songs. As I write this, the current chart has eight Spanish songs, one Portuguese and eleven British or American.
I’m not saying that there should be no British music over here, as in my opinion it is always a good thing when cultures mix and people are able to experience other aspects of foreign life, but I think it is also important to keep your own identity, in this case through music.