A new project has been announced between YouTube and the community-driven media company Genius, called Song Stories, that aims to provide insight into the life experiences that helped shape the music. The concept itself is not necessarily anything new and is actually reminiscent of a product that began airing on TV's VH1 music channel in 1997 – namely the Behind The Music video series. The primary difference is that there's no music video playing in the background to distract from the meaning of each song. Moreover, this doesn't appear to be limited to songs that have had hit music videos associated with them. Visitors will also be able to get in on the discussion about the songs, offering their own takes on the songs and what the lyrics mean to them personally. That adds a social angle that simply hasn't been a part of the approach before.
Genius is already well known for its encyclopedia-like collection of music, music-related interviews, and other media in a similar vein. That content is the primary source of the content for each Song Story. That means that a substantial portion the content, regarding the meaning behind the lyrics and trivia about the music that's layered behind those, comes directly from the artists themselves. For example, the Song Stories entry for Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart explores songwriter Ian Curtis' struggle with emotional detachment and his resulting failed marriage. Each line can be clicked on individually, to reveal the sentiment the artist is trying to convey. Many visitors to the site may be surprised to learn that a significant number of songs cover an array of topics rather than focusing on a single one of life's moments or experiences. Sticking to the Joy Division example, one line, in particular, appears to be a reference to Curtis' medical history with epileptic seizures – bringing a new dimension to the expression of his personal struggles.
It goes without saying that this service is kicking off with a relatively small library of songs being covered. However, YouTube's announcement also indicates that the library of available tunes on Song Stories is going to grow over time. So anybody interested in checking it out will probably want to bookmark the site – accessible via the button below – for future reference. The site can be visited on any device, Android or otherwise.