100w100d: Cher

cher

Day 84: Let’s get this out of the way: Cher is not Madonna. She’s actually not a lot of things. She’s not as short, submissive, nor young as our society limits her as a female entertainer. And then there’s her voice… not at all what you expect in a woman singer.

It really is too easy to make fun of her. But through everything she’s not, she’s undeniably Cher and she’s built one of the most renowned and prosperous careers in entertainment in the past 50 years and counting.

She perseveres because of what she’s not, and I admire her because of it.

100w100d: ARTPOP

Day 79: I’ve never been a fan of Lady Gaga. Fame Monster to me was generic and thought Born This Way to be full of clichés — she was but another artist hopping on the It Gets Getter bandwagon popular at the time.

But I’m pleasantly surprised by Artpop despite what everyone’s been saying. No longer is she tirelessly trying to convince everyone how much she cares for equality or that she’s totally not copying Madonna, this album has the space to express who she actually is.

As a result, Artpop unveils much more personality and diversity than any of her previous work.

100w100d: Bad Habit

Day 75: For someone who’s shamelessly frugal, one of the things I do buy on a regular basis is music. I’m big on personal growth, so I’m always curious to see how my favorite artists have grown through their latest work. Adding to the fact that I follow both English and Chinese music (Cantopop), I often end up spending much more than I realize or should.

Because I’m constantly buying new music, there are albums I’ve purchased but have fell completely off my radar. Fiona Apple came on the other day and I had no idea I even have her 2012 album!

100w100d: Darren Hayes

Darkness

Day 72: Darren Hayes has and always will be the artist I can most relate to.

Admittedly, it’s a little delusional to imagine how one can possibly relate to someone who doesn’t even know your existence. I know it’s silly. But through his songs there’s also this sense of openness; his songs are something I can hold onto.

From his Savage Garden days to his four albums afterwards, he’s taught me how to endure tension for the spark, when to fight a losing battle and when to let go, and that selfless giving is not a sign of weakness but of strength.

100w100d: 4'33"

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Day 71: I like to listen to music when I write, usually with headphones. Shrinking me into a smaller world, music sets me away from my daily worries and allows me to focus solely on the choice and order of my words.

But today is different. I’m at the library and there’s no talking. Instead there’s all these ambient sounds surrounding me — paper turning, keyboard typing (that’s me), backpacks unzipping, chairs squeaking, all unknowingly working together toward a crescendo that will lead up to the piece’s biggest drop: a cough.

It’s not unlike 4’33”, except it’s on repeat without ever repeating. Bravo.