A high school nerd’s secret weapon: the irresistible serenade By John Legend
WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, NOBODY
would have guessed I’d end up engaged to one
of the world’s most beautiful women. I was a
nerd, the youngest in my class, and 8 inches
shorter than I am now. I had no game.
But I did have music. I could sing and I could
play piano, so my go-to way of establishing my
cool was a good old-fashioned serenade. And it
usually worked. These days, I sometimes sing
for my fiancée, Chrissy Teigen. (Not too often,
though—it’s like talking shop at home.) Some of
my songs are about her, and she loves that she
can hear them first, at home. That’s romantic.
But if you don’t have any musical chops, you
can still use music to romance a woman. Say
she’s coming over for dinner. Make a playlist
reflecting your taste and personality, but then
aim a little higher—with songs that have the
coolness you aspire to. Show her that she
should want to be part of the “you” experience.
I used mix tapes when I was young, too.
That’s a way for you—or any guy, regardless of
his musical talents—to be romantic and show a
woman that you have good taste, that you put in
some effort, and were thinking about her. But
don’t just pick current songs. Go beyond the
obvious and surprise her. Show her that your
musical knowledge extends beyond the Top 40.
A good love song is an audio landscape—
it’s gorgeous, it’s lush, and it takes you places.
Marvin Gaye did that. It may be a little cliché to
have Marvin on your mix, but the man made a
lot of sexy music—his voice was beautiful, his
arrangements sensual. He remains one of my
primary influences. Great music has the power
to put you under a spell. When I’m writing and
arranging music, that’s what I’m aiming to do.
That said, you never know how your music is
going to affect people.
My first hit, “Ordinary People,” has shaped
a lot of relationships. Seven years later, people
still tell me that song saved their marriage.
They’ve used it as a point of conversation, like
therapy. There’s a new song, “All of Me,” on my
upcoming album, that couples will appreciate.
It’s about Chrissy, and it’s honest and real.
Anyone who has been in love will relate to it.
Chrissy certainly loves it.
OF WOMEN SAY THEY WOULD
ENJO Y BEING SERENADED
OF WOMEN LIKE THE IDEA
OF HAVING “OUR SONG”
What If You Hate Her Music?
Or if she hates yours? You can work it out
SHE LOVES KE$HA, YOU LOVE
Chesney. Are you doomed? A study from
Taiwan found that sharing musical tastes
can intensify attraction, but a clashing of
tastes has no effect. In our survey, 37
percent of women said it doesn’t matter if
your playlists sync up (only 16 percent
said it’s crucial). So share your songs and
listen to new stuff together, says Gail
Saltz, M. D., a New York City psychiatrist.
Joint exploration can be exciting. “Women
are more likely to be sexually turned on
when they feel like they’re mentally
connecting,” she says. —LILA BAT TIS
POP AND RAP
AND LOVE SONGS
Most likely to put out on a first date
Kanye West;;;Gorillaz ;;
Daft Punk;;; Eminem;;;Pink Floyd
PEEK AT HER iPOD
Least likely to put out on a first date
Katy Perry;;;Kings of Leon ;;
The Strokes ;;Radiohead;;;Muse
WHAT SHE WANTS, WHEN SHE WANTS IT
WOMEN TOLD US R&B AND ROCK WORK FOR BOTH CASUAL AND COMMITTED RELATIONSHIPS.
THE JOURNAL OF EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY ANALYZED THE SEXUAL CONTENT OF POP, R&B,
AND COUNTRY SONGS, AND THOSE THEMES (SHOWN ABOVE) CONFIRM WHAT WOMEN SAID.
Source: Tastebuds.fm survey