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The Various Impacts of AJR’s Music

Adam%2C+Jack%2C+and+Ryan+performing+live+in+Australia+%28sourced+from+AJRs+instagram%29
Adam, Jack, and Ryan performing live in Australia (sourced from AJR’s instagram)

   The term neurodivergent is an umbrella that many people and students, including myself, fall under. People who are neurodivergent often have a different way of processing information that is considered to be abnormal. Neurodivergency can come in many forms including Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD), Dyslexia, Autism, and Tourette syndrome.
   Personally, I was diagnosed with ADD or Attention-deficit disorder without hyperactivity, when I was in middle school after years of struggling with everyday activities such as learning. While dealing with this diagnosis and learning difficulties, music has always been an outlet that made me feel better and, at times, understood. It is very common for neurodivergent people to feel misunderstood, overwhelmed, or anxious, but music therapy has shown to be beneficial for people with various neurological disorders.

   AJR, which stands for Adam, Jack, and Ryan, is an electro-indie pop band of three musically inclined brothers. Many of AJR’s listeners tend to be neurodivergent as the sound of their music tends to stimulate the brain while others may find the unique combo of sounds used in their music annoying or overwhelming.
   Other than the unique stimuli of AJR’s music, they also tend to write songs about feelings that many people can relate to but would have trouble putting into words, me being one of them. AJR’s music provides an outlet for these emotions that those with neurological issues and people in general may have trouble expressing to others.
   As far as the sound goes, the way they layer instruments that would otherwise not go together is fascinating to the brains of those who will accept it. Altering certain sounds and placing them in areas of songs catch you off guard, blow you away, and make your heart physically feel what the song is about.

   In breakdown videos for some of their songs, AJR has described how nearly everything in their songs is a hybrid of both live and midi. Every trumpet or song heard has at least 10 layers. Every kick, up to 4 different things. Snares, 6. They mix and match midi sounds, and layer them alongside real recordings, to make it sound extraordinarily unique.
   Lyrically, they turn small insignificant ideas into something big. For instance, turning a song about Legos into something special and emotional. Or turning the childhood story of Humpty Dumpty into a song about suffering in silence through hardships. They truly tap into the mundane parts of life. They breathe awareness into the painful parts of life as if it’s truly normal and okay to not be happy–essentially, it’s okay to not be okay.
   AJR’s songs discuss themes such as; not fitting in with a specific group, fear of growing up, not being happy but being better than before, dealing with constant hardships and lack of good karma despite how hard you try, and the drama that comes with rumors.

Jack of AJR performing live during their OK ORCHESRTA album tour. (sourced from AJR’s instagram)

   In the article titled, “AJR Is Committed To Making Music That Reflects Their Values & Here’s Why”, posted on the elitedaily.com website EXCLUSIVE (elitedaily.com), they state, “Adam, Jack, and Ryan consistently work real-life experiences into their songs, which is why they resonate so much with fans. Their 2018 song “Pretender” addresses social anxiety and insecurity, while their single “Bang!” creatively explores the ups and downs of adolescence.”
   Started on September 19, 2014, the It’s On Us campaign partnered with AJR to premiere a new charity single to change the conversation around sexual assault. 

   “It’s On Us” by AJR aims to highlight how we can all be a part of the solution to end sexual violence and be better allies and supporters of survivors. The song sheds light on the damaging and pervasive victim-blaming that survivors face, and calls upon all of us to fight against rape culture and in support of survivors.

   They’re just such genuine people. They make relatable, unique music, that despite being an acquired taste, makes people feel things that no other band does and that can be hard to express, especially for those in the neurodivergent community. All of the charities and movements that they help support, their wonderful personalities, and their exceptional musical talent all make for the truly perfect band. 
   
   AJR is truly a unique band with their personalities, pranks, weird senses of humor, and their style of music mixed with jazz and hip-hop/pop. They go to show with every song and album touching up on a different topic, just how different everyday is for all of us. How different all of our lives are, but there’s one song to describe everyone’s negative days. Sometimes days just aren’t going to be okay, and that’s okay.  

 

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  • C

    CarllaMar 31, 2024 at 10:24 am

    My son absolutely loves AJR. He has everything from t-shirts to jackets, all kinds of merch. He has been listening to them before they even blow up. I think on YouTube indie. I can’t wait for them to come to Las Vegas or anywhere close so he can experience the awesomeness in concert. Funny thing, he does have Autism and he relates to every song. I think their music has gotten him through depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Thanks so much for writing this, AJR…we need more!

    Reply
  • K

    KristinaMar 15, 2024 at 11:21 am

    I relate so much to ARJ, being neurodivergent myself. I love this article! So informative and tough me something I never knew about myself. Music is my life and always will be. Keep writing. I will keep learning!

    Reply
  • D

    DoodleTheNoodleJan 5, 2024 at 7:36 am

    AJR is my FAVORITE band! I went in Raleigh 2022 to see their OKO concert! It was a blast!

    Reply
  • K

    Kofi O.Oct 17, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    A really informative and interesting article about a topic I knew nothing about. The writer does a great job relating her personal connection to the subject matter and creating awareness.

    Reply
  • E

    EthanOct 14, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Great article on the band and awareness!

    Reply
  • D

    Dapper AOct 14, 2023 at 4:32 am

    Very nice article. Onward and Upward

    Reply
  • A

    Adriane DudleyOct 13, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    This excellent article focused on learning disabilities helped me to understand why this band is so popular.
    Well-written, Braynon!

    Reply
  • E

    Eddye S. GayOct 12, 2023 at 11:11 pm

    Excellent writing, showing the impact of music on feelings and emotions

    Reply
  • S

    Sharon GayOct 12, 2023 at 11:00 pm

    Your article was wonderful! It was well written, concise and brought attention to a topic most people aren’t aware of. You are truly an outstanding writer, and your writing skills will take you far in life. Take care and continue to enjoy your role as the editor of MHS Times!

    Reply
  • E

    Eddye S. GayOct 12, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    Excellent article, it makes one reflect on how music impacts feelings.

    Reply
  • E

    Eddye S. GayOct 12, 2023 at 10:27 pm

    This article really made me reflect on music and how it makes one feel. Excellent writing and I would loved to see more about all kinds music.

    Reply
  • V

    Veronica D RahmingOct 12, 2023 at 9:50 pm

    The article was very interesting and informative. The details about the topic were written in such a way that could be easily understood. Well done!

    Reply
  • M

    Marc GayOct 12, 2023 at 5:04 pm

    This is a well thought out and very developed content that explains the condition while helping society to understand your feelings and very existence… So proud of you as always BG, our niece and cousin…. Continue to excel at all levels

    It’s senior year!!!

    Reply
  • G

    Gene JohnsonOct 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Excellent! Very informative.

    Reply
  • D

    Donny GonzalezOct 12, 2023 at 9:14 am

    Very good. Spreads awareness

    Reply