So, this year has been weird. In the last seven months, many of us have spent more time alone than ever before, and as much as arts and entertainment can be a great way to bond in person, they are just as important when we’re stuck in our rooms. This term I’m going to be asking Lawrentians what piece of art or media has gotten them through quarantine what captured their imagination or made them feel less alone during these hard times. From the silly reasons to the serious ones, what is it and why is it important to them?
I, like senior Cristina Sada, was what she refers to as a “pick me girl” in middle and high school: that “I’m not like the other girls” type of personality, too good for all the things the popular kids were into. Unfortunately, this high and mighty attitude in our youth has prevented us from enjoying the simple, fun things in life. So, over quarantine, Cristy “very thoroughly” dove back into something her younger self had been averse to: One Direction.
“I was a late bloomer,” said Sada, “and I deeply regret that.” She avoided pop music in an effort to stay cool in her youth, but when One Direction’s final album “Made in the A.M.” came out in 2015, she fell in love with the music, the boys and everything else One Direction. However, after they broke up, her love for One Direction and their music sort of fizzled out, which was the case for many Directioners after the band split up. Over the years, the members of One Direction started releasing solo projects, with Harry Styles and Zayn Malik becoming the most prolific members to come out of the group. Sada adored these releases, especially Harry’s most recent album “Fine Line.” Then quarantine hit, and Sada’s love for One Direction was reignited by the Harry Styles fanbase. “TikTok and extreme boredom,” she said, “and an inability to do my homework.”
Sada loves One Direction for many reasons. “I like boy bands,” divulged Sada. “Boy bands are historically really undervalued because they are mostly liked by young teenage women, and so their value is diminished. Like, The Beatles in the beginning weren’t taken very seriously.” Sada enjoys how One Direction started as a cookie cutter boy band and broke out of that mold, pointing out that “they’re all really different boys, and they didn’t want to dress the same or act the same.” She likes the chaotic energy this brings to their performances, movies and music. “They just joke around with each other and make you feel happy.” The camaraderie is something that endears her to the One Direction boys. “And the music!” she exclaimed. “Their last two albums especially … There are just some perfect pop songs in there; they’re just so fun.”
One Direction has also helped Sada bond with her girlfriend. “It’s been great because she’s a huge music lover, and actually, while I was courting her and majorly crushing, I brought her coffee down to WLFM and she played a Harry Styles song! She played ‘Kiwi’ and said, ‘I never wanted to be a Harry Styles fan, but I really love that song!’” With this, Sada’s inner Directioner jumped out, and over the course of the summer, she sent her girlfriend Tik Toks of Harry being funny or the boys cracking jokes. “Then, you know, I showed her the songs and she’s enjoyed it.”
Anytime I spend with Sada these days, One Direction is playing in the background, as it is in my room as I write this. I figured I would ask Sada for the intro to a One Direction playlist she curated for me so that you, dear reader, can get sucked in like the rest of us. “I’d start with the song ‘What a Feeling;’ it’s very vibey, kind of Fleetwood Mac-y. It was written by two of the boys,” says Sada. She is very particular about the songs that were written by members of the group versus ones written by outside writers or the record label. According to her, the ones written by the boys are always the best. Then she suggested “Stockholm Syndrome,” which is a great synth-y ‘80s style rock song. “[There are] beautiful harmonies on that one,” she gushed. Mostly, she encouraged people to listen to their last album, “Made in the A.M.” My favorite so far is the song “Olivia,” which was meant to be an homeage to The Beatles. It, like most One Direction content, is so much fun. That is it for Cristy Sada: fun boys, fun songs and good TikTok content. So, go back to that boy band you were too good for in middle school, and you might find some comfort in them.