The AUX cable is perhaps one of the biggest examples of trust between a group of friends. If you can trust a friend with an AUX cable, you can probably trust them with everything. AUX is obviously synonymous with Bluetooth now. Basically, the guy who plays music in the car full (and at times, overloaded) with friends is under a lot of pressure.
That is because no more than three people can have similar music taste. I came up with the number. Sue me if it’s wrong. Trust me when I tell you, friends can be really nasty if they don’t want to hear what’s on your phone. Here’s my life as the de facto AUX guy.
We push ourselves in the car which is usually a small hatchback. Thighs over thighs, people over people, it’s a mess but it’s a beautiful mess. It’s a mess filled with random jokes about giving each other the dance and about “Oh fuck, you’re so heavy”.
Suddenly, I see the AUX cable dangling there and I’m like, “Hey man, pass the AUX?” and everyone holds their breaths. Why? Well, because I can play anything since my library has every kind of music ever made. In fact, I’m one of those hopeless retards who have no music taste. I even wrote about insulting such people once. I became such people.
Anyway, if I play some indie or one of the classics, anything from alt-J to Nirvana, Kunal is going to love it but the three girls who are into what’s on the charts won’t. If I play something Indian, everyone except Kunal and I are going to sing along. That’s changing for me but Kunal, let’s just say he’s a tough nut to crack.
So, out of pleasing everyone in the car, I go for some modern electronic pop and well, everyone loves it but then, I want to please myself so I push in an alternative track in between. We’re talking the Chainsmokers or Kygo followed by some Good Charlotte.
As soon as the music changes from scintillating xylophones and beat drops to guitars and drums, Ridhima would go, “Damn Deepansh, what the fuck is this noise?” and I’ll have to change the track almost all of a sudden. Forget mellow or country, friends don’t want to introspect. So, no Mat McHugh or Stu Larsen.
Then, since I have two friends who are into Punjabi music, I play one of the very few Punjabi tracks that I have in my library. That’s checking all the boxes. I throw in a soft electronic track, something of the sorts of Vallis Alps for Rohit because he loves them. Not that he’d ever say that out loud, he never says things out loud anyway.
Every ride is a plethora of music shifting genres faster than the designated driver is shifting gears. It’s fun. It’s odd. Also, it’s taxing. However, it’s worth it. Somehow, sharing music with friends in a car that is jam-packed while in a traffic jam has its own vibe.
When I’m in Dehradun, everything changes. Most of my friends scream to loud Punjabi music and well if I can’t do that more than half the time, what kind of friend am I? So, that’s what we begin with.
Atal and Prashant (who rarely hangs out) share some sort of liking to the music that I listen to; so does Somya. Prateek and I have a common vibe with the Weeknd, Post Malone and other artists that just set the mood right for a ride in the hills. Yuvraj can roll with anything so he’s a brother.
I know you don’t know these people but if you’ve ever played music for your friends in the car, I know you can see your own friends in these names you don’t recognize. That’s the idea.
It’s almost weird to imagine how quickly we shift moods and music in a car and how quickly everyone adjusts to it. However, I really feel people are starting to trust me with the AUX cable and I guess that’s one of my biggest personal achievements I’ve had since the restart I gave my life back in 2014.
I can say this with surety because well when a friend who’d usually scream at you for playing boring music gradually starts appreciating your taste, you know you’re doing something right. The trick with playing music for people? Give them bits of what they like and sneak in the better ones like the sly person you are.
Trust me, they’ll want you to have the AUX cable and start listening to better music. What’s even better? You’ll start adapting to their taste and with that, appreciate that all music can be and should be listened to despite how trashy it sounds at first.
P.S. Want to listen to what I listen to? Follow me on Instagram, I post music recommendations regularly as Stories. Also, you get updates on the blog and some behind the scenes content from my life.