When it comes to originality in music, you either have it or you don’t. Musicians can embed their personalities into their own work but they often echo pre-existing sounds and themes. When everything seems to have been done or sung about, it can be difficult to push boundaries. Modern artists put their own twists on past tracks but many don’t capture the essence that the originals possessed.Vanessa Forbes, 15, from Boston Community Leadership Academy, believes that in music, staying true to who you are is a part of the process. “It should come from you,” said Forbes, who listens to hip-hop and R&B. Modern music can be traced back to several sources from decades ago, but the credits are not always directly stated. For example, Trey Songz’s “Na” (2014) is based on The Fugees’ “Fu-Gee-La” (1996), which contains elements of Teena Marie’s “Ooh La La La” (1988). Sonia Omwenga, 17, from the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, said that not citing one’s major infl ences can tarnish an artist’s reputation. “I would lose respect for them,” said Omwenga. Zannatul Zannat, 16, from Boston Latin School, said that originality means artists crafting authentic pieces about their own lives not creating work solely for popularity. “It’s not about pleasing everyone,” said Zannat.