Soundtrack for a generation

Fargo author Kyle Bylin and Minot contributor Derek Pinnick create ‘Song Stories’

Allan Blanks/MDN Fargo native and “Song Stories” author Kyle Bylin, left, sits beside Minot native and contributor Derek Pinnick.

Two friends from North Dakota have captured the universal power of music in the newly titled book “Song Stories.”

Author Kyle Bylin, a native of Fargo, alongside contributor Derek Pinnick, a native of Minot, collectively write about the transformative experiences provided by music.

With over 20 contributors listed, “Song Stories” creates a unifying bridge that features the connection between life changing events and musical encounters.

“When I was growing up, I felt a connection to many songs,” Bylin said. “In many ways, the music that I listened to became the soundtrack of specific moments of my life. So, when I decided to create the book ‘Song Stories,’ I was asking people to write a story about a song that had a personal or deeper meaning to the milestones they experienced throughout their lives.”

For Pinnick, music continues to shape his personal identity by impacting his community socially and culturally.

“Music has the ability to provide a sense of community,” Pinnick said. “Music creates a space for personal and artistic expression.”

Throughout “Song Stories,” readers can experience the musical journey expressed by a diverse core of contributors possessing a broad range of personal emotions.

While growing up in Fargo, Bylin admired the powerful vocals and emotive lyrics conveyed by American rock band Linkin Park.

Moved by their musical versatility, Bylin found a combination of strength and solace when listening to the multifaceted performers.

“Linkin Park played a huge role in shaping both the music I listened to and the way I represented myself,” Bylin said. “Their music just opened my world. Linkin Park was one of the early hard rock bands to combine hip hop, rock and new metal stylings together. Linkin Park also shaped how I dressed.”

During his youth, Bylin recalls purchasing skate shoes, wearing bootcut jeans and frequenting Hot Topic to buy black T-shirts.

As an adolescent, the Fargo native witnessed the unifying power provided by music.

“When I looked in their album booklet, I saw the ways to dress so I could identify with that type of music,” Bylin said. “Knowing how to dress helps you connect with fans of their songs. For me, Linkin Park had a significant role in shaping my taste in clothes and helping to change my identity.”

“When you’re a teenager, you’re constantly thinking about your emotions,” Pinnick said. “It’s all about what you feel.”

To explore the powerful connections displayed between personal milestones and music, visit