I SAT on the sofa on Sunday night and watched the One World: Together at Home concert on TV and it made me reflect on how much music I listen to and the power it can have.

I thought it was an amazing idea by all the artists involved and sent out a really powerful and positive message. I was gripped by the improvisation and skill of bands like the Rolling Stones and the Killers. 

I’ve never had a musical bone in my body – I remember in music classes at school, I was always the one playing a single key on the keyboard or blending into the background. Learning to play the piano or drums never really appealed to me either as I was too busy kicking a ball around the house and accidentally knocking over my mum’s fireplace ornaments.

However, as I’ve got older and especially in my years as a professional footballer, music has become more and more important. I listen to it while I train in the gym, I listen to it in the dressing room before games and I listen to it in the car to and from training.  

Daily Echo: Canadian rapper Drake features heavily on Alex McCarthy's playlistCanadian rapper Drake features heavily on Alex McCarthy's playlist

I find music allows me to switch off from everything that’s going on around me. It enables me to get in my own little zone. So many songs have a meaning or remind me of a period in my life, good or bad.

I think this is massively important in football. There is so much noise. It’s on the TV 24/7, all over the radio and social media, in all the newspapers – you have to gather your own thoughts and escape what everyone is saying. I’ve seen so many players wear themselves down because they can’t escape, they can’t find this way to release.

I tend to listen to quite a bit of rap, so anything like Drake suits me down to the ground. If I’m doing a bit of gym work, then house or dance is a definite. M-22 is not a bad one if we’re being put through our paces on the exercise bikes. While I’m driving or at home, then I’ll have some indie or alternative rock on in the background – I am a big fan of some of the stuff Blossoms have produced recently - would recommend them if you haven’t yet heard of them. 

The range of music within the dressing room varies, though most of us enjoy the same artists. You’ve got a lot of different tastes within the team; Nathan Redmond and Ryan Bertrand are big on their rap and Reggaeton, Danny Ings likes his acoustic stuff and both Moussa Djenepo and Sofiane Boufal will be introducing you to their French genre music.

You do get some interesting music choices within the team and I wouldn’t say we’ll be letting Jannik or Ori near the speakers anytime soon!

Nathan Redmond tends to be the team DJ, so he’ll be in charge during the week at Staplewood and also be on duty on a matchday when we first get into the dressing room. I’ll say this quietly, but he does do a good job. 

Daily Echo: McCarthy is also a fan of BlossomsMcCarthy is also a fan of Blossoms

There are actually a few talented musicians in the squad. Shane is tidy with a guitar and has a very good voice. Danny is having lessons to play the guitar too so maybe we will see those two take their partnership on the pitch into the recording studio.

I’ve even heard Jack Stephens is trying his arm at the guitar but I’ll give that a miss and save my eardrums the agony.

On a serious note, these last few weeks have seen music pull the nation together in many ways. I’ve been enjoying what different artists are doing on their Instagram accounts, by going live and doing ‘quarantine sessions’. It may be a short half an hour session, but it gets everyone involved and engaged, and that’s what music is all about.

I’m always open to exploring new music and artists, so if you guys have any recommendations then send them over via social media and I’ll add them to my Spotify playlists.

Stay safe everyone and I’ll be back later in the week with another column for you all.


Twitter: @Alex_Macca23/Instagram: @alexmccarthy