My Life In Music, with books editor Chloe Smith

For most people, music is one of the most important things in life. It can inspire you, fill you with joy or even make you cry. But different music affects us all in different ways. Each week, I interview one of our writers or editors about the impact music has had on their life. This week, I talk to books editor Chloe Smith about her life in music. 

Describe your taste in music in three words.

Pretty much indie.

What’s your favourite musical genre?

It’s a tie between indie-pop and indie-rock.

Your favourite band?

Right now? Bastille.

Your favourite song of all time?

That’s a difficult one! Right now it’s either ‘Roman Holiday’ by Halsey or ‘Kitchen Sink’ by Twenty One Pilots.

What was the first album you ever bought?

Taylor Swift’s debut album.

First gig you went to?

Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2010 was my first set of gigs/festival ever, and then a few years later I went to my first gig, which was to see Christina Perri.

What was the last song you listened to?

‘Cliff’s Edge’ by Hayley Kiyoko.

Which musicians do you admire?

I really admire musicians who are honest, who make music that they love but also use the medium to speak to their audience. I really admire Twenty One Pilots and The 1975 as musicians for those reasons.

What’s your opinion on music videos?

I really like them, especially when they tell a story or give a new interpretation of a song’s lyrics.

In your opinion, what’s the most annoying song of all time?

Probably Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’, but there’s some strong contenders.

Who do you think is the most overrated band/artist out there?

I don’t really think that any bands and artists are overrated – everyone likes different things.

Where do you find new music?

I used to just browse the suggested bit of YouTube, but now I have Spotify I love finding new music through there.

Do you play any instruments?

I wish I did! I’ve tried lots of different instruments, from the harp to the guitar, but because of my disability I’ve found it hard to play them and keep them up.

Rock or pop?

If I had to choose, probably pop.

Classical or heavy metal?


What song will always cheer you up?

Anything by Owl City! ‘Sunburn’ is a favourite, though.

What song always makes you cry?

‘Kitchen Sink’ by Twenty One Pilots and ‘If I Believe You’ and ‘Nana’ by The 1975 have made me cry once or twice.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures, but probably Taylor Swift.

What does music mean to you?

To me, it’s a way to lose myself in other worlds and moments (I like to listen to music when I’m writing and it helps me visualise new stories and characters).

What do you love most about music?

It’s a beautiful, versatile, expressive art, and listening to it is a great way to lose yourself for a few minutes.

If you could sit down for a chat with any musician (dead or alive) – who would it be?

Good question! I don’t think I’d like to meet anyone in particular. As the saying goes – ‘don’t meet your heroes.’ I’m happy just knowing them through their music.

Tell us your best musical memory.

Going to Radio 1’s Big Weekend and seeing so many great artists live. It was my first ever experience of live music and gigs so I’ll never forget it.

What’s your best musical memory? Tell us about your life in music in the comments below!