Autism: The importance of pop music

By Tyler Ody - 6 October 2022

Opinion and Features
  • Tyler Ody (taken from a recent holiday in Cornwall)

    Tyler Ody (taken from a recent holiday in Cornwall)

Living with Autism - a column by The Autistic Journalist Tyler Ody. North Swindon resident Tyler Ody has been working for Swindon Link for the past three years. From the age of four Tyler has been diagnosed with Classic Autism. Here's his new monthly column.

Hey everybody and welcome to the seventh instalment of Living With Autism.

This time I will be talking about Pop Music, and what it means to me.

I have always loved music - especially pop/R&B music - since I was little. The first singer I heard was the legendary Whitney Houston. This was through my nan, who played her music and Whitney has always been a favourite of ours.

I am still a huge fan of Whitney to this day, and proud to carry on her legacy.

Two pop girl bands who were the soundtrack to my childhood, and whom I still listen to are Sugababes and Girls Aloud, and I still own all their albums. 

Out of the two of them, I probably heard Sugababes first as they were out longer than Girls Aloud but got into them around the same time. 

My favourite was in 2007 when Girls Aloud and Sugababes joined forces for Comic Relief and made a cover of Walk This Way.

Another singer I got into in my mid teens was Mariah Carey. I was around 15 when I started listening to her music and I have also bought every album she has released.

I don’t know how I got into her music, I just heard a song one time, and from then on I was hooked. I consider her as one of my idols, as she was the soundtrack to my life during Year 11 and beyond.

Still to this day, I listen to her music, and when I watch her interviews she never fails to make me laugh. I love how she can go up to five octaves while she is performing. 

As well as Mariah Carey, I am also a Celine Dion fan as I like the vocal ranges of artists who can blow you away while their perfoming. Celine, Whitney and Mariah can do just that. 

I love all different kinds of pop music. Another performer I admire is Joss Stone, who is a soul singer. What I like about her is her fab vocal range, and that she never takes anything to seriously and always giggles in interviews.

Another style of music I like is Opera. My favourite has to be the beautiful Katherine Jenkins, who I have to say has amazing vocals and always gives her time to charities. She has also become the Forces' sweetheart. 

Katherine went on to have all 13 of her studio albums go to number one, making her the first female classical artist to do so.

Some singers change musical direction, and I quite like that as it shows they can sing anything and not just stick to one style. 

One singer in particular is Charlotte Church, who was once an opera singer with the voice of an angel from 1998 to 2005. When she decided she had had enough of classical and went into the Pop world, Charlotte gained some new fans. 

I first knew her as a pop singer, and the first album I owned of her discography was her Back To Scratch album when I was about ten years old. Since then, I bought her first pop album and got her opera albums.

I have to say I love her singing classical and pop, but I would love her to do a rap album.

Moving on, heavy metal music is something I wouldn’t listen to, but I have listened to Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Guns and Roses, Meat Loaf, and Iron Maiden, courtesy of my dad who is into that type of music. These bands/artists I mentioned, I do quite like.

I will sometimes listen to rock music such as Evanesence, as my dad introduced me to their music a few years back. I do love their songs Call me When You're Sober and Going Under.

One of my favourite male bands are East 17 - best known for their 1994 number one single Stay Another Day. I love their song House of Love as it never fails to get me up dancing.    

The popular 90s band are still gigging and releasing music, with Terry Coldwell being the only original member left.

I am also a massive fan of Steps and S Club 7. I got into them in my last year of primary school. I was very excited when Steps reunited, and I went to see them at London’s 02 Arena on Thursday, 19 April 2012.

I have not seen S Club play live but I did interview Jo O Meara from the band this September.

On the basis, I would say I listen to anything but I am a Pop music fan, and to be honest I always will be. Listening to music helps to lift my mood and keep me happy. 

I think I have a different relationship with music because of my Autism and I find I really get into certain artists or songs, and albums. When I really get into music stars or albums, I find I want to listen to them repetitively.  

Tyler's last column on Social Experiences and Community Clubs can be found at

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