Music - a Catalyst of Change
By Yukta Ramanan
I was introduced to music at a very early age by my mother. Although I have always valued it as a quintessential part of my life, I only recently began to realize the influence that it held. Music has always had an abstract power in society; in ancient times, it was used as a method of communication, and it has expanded to serve various purposes as the generations go by. Singing, in particular, is not merely lyrics strung together, but rather an amalgamation of thoughts and feelings. Although I’ve always appreciated music of all genres, I couldn’t help but feel that most of the music I was listening to lacked meaning. They were indubitably catchy tunes, but they were written to attract a wide demographic of listeners - not to spread a message.
This led to the creation of my very own Youtube Channel, where I post videos of myself singing covers and originals about issues that I’m passionate about. My Youtube Channel has given me an outlet for my passions, emotions, and thoughts about the world. It allows me to convey deep truths through my songwriting. Youtube has given me a platform, and I am determined to use it in the best way that I can. My song topics will explore not only normal teenage musings, but also various socio political and humanitarian issues around the world - such as the Black Lives Matter movement.
My song about the Black Lives Matter movement was inspired by personal experiences. Although I cannot fathom the hardships that black individuals have to face, as a person of color I can certainly empathize with them. I found a lot of internalized racism in the South Asian communities, and wanted to make sure that in a time of such turbulence, I was being a true ally. Music is a catalyst of change and I wanted to make sure that my lyrics conveyed a sense of purpose. I think that the murder of the George Floyd goes beyond bipartisan arguments to an extent, and was a violation of basic human rights. My song goes to show this. It’s called the American Dream, because from the outside, this country seems so open and flawless but there are definitely deep rooted issues that need to be solved immediately that especially negatively impact underrepresented groups (minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged).
About Me: My name is Yukta Ramanan and I am a rising junior in high school. I am incredibly passionate about human rights, international relations, public policy, and biochemistry. I am heavily involved in my school’s Model United Nations and Relay for Life clubs. I also serve as the Director of Strategic Planning and Public Outreach at The Greater Good Initiative, a youth think tank seeking to write equitable, nonpartisan policy to the nation’s most pressing issues. Outside of school, you can find me dancing Bharatanatyam (an Indian classical dance) or posting on my Youtube Channel!
To listen to my songs, please check out my channel on Youtube (Yukta Ramanan) or visit
bit.ly/musicforblm. It would mean the world to me, if you subscribed!