Those were the kind of artistes I listened to as a kid. I mean, I have siblings 12 years older than myself, so what do you expect? That’s not to say I hated the music. I enjoyed them immensely! Of course I did have a hard time relating to stuff Anita Baker sang about, but I sang along with my sister when the songs came through our pepper red radio. Phil Collins’ “Another day in paradise” and Amy Grant’s “Something’s wrong in Heaven” gave me a lot to think about, and I suppose they had an influence not only on the kind of music I wrote in the future, but on my perspective on life.
TuPac’s ‘Dear Mamma’ was one of my first introductions to hip hop. My eldest brother took the time out to write out the lyrics of the song and he taught me and my kid sister. I couldn’t apply the same “pause-write-rewind-play” technique to bone thugs n’ harmony, but other hip hop/rap songs got a good dose, until I could pick out the lyrics by ear and rap along.
I listened to the Cranberries and Alanis Morrisette and was so enthralled by the uniqueness of the music. Same went for Enigma and Deep Forest.
Surprisingly, I had an aversion for R & B. Agreed, I did listen to a few (and still do), but on the whole I found it boring and unsuitable for my highly imaginative mind, if you get my drift!
What actually defined my love for music? The lyrics, for one. I had to have an instant connection to the story behind the song, and believe me, I’ve had lots of connections. The drums and strings were the second part. Give me a good progression and I will give your song a second chance. I expect these to be the basis for everyone’s preference, so its no biggie.
Music became my life. It told me stories of people living in distant lands; of love found and lost, challenges surpassed, anger and hurt and pain re-defined. Its gave me testimonies of joy and success, focus and confusion, precision and misdirection, life and death.
It understood exactly how I felt and gave me what I needed. Brandy gave me a reason to love, Madonna gave me a reason to mature. Linkin park was my escape when I was angry, depressed or ecstatic. Evanescence too. I listened to Eels and Green day when I wanted a dose of happiness. With the right volume and mood, music got me high.
I also began to understand the effect of music on one’s life as well as one’s choices. I can now understand how someone can listen to a particular song, pick up a gun and shoot down his classmates in school. I can also understand why someone can listen to another song and give her life to Christ. Music is much more than a combination of chords and lyrics. In creating music, one gives out a little piece of himself, and in a ‘mini-god’ like way, breathes his own spirit into the song. If you carry that line of thought, what’s not to absorb or practicalize in a song?
I don’t have an unlimited access to music these days but when I do, I concentrate on the tons of gospel music given to me by Pastor Segun, my Spirit of David Dance club president. Its been a source of inspiration and strength. Don’t get me wrong, It’s nothing personal as I still listen to contemporary / pop music, but I listen like I’m on a diet – in moderation. At this moment in my life, when I am faced with so many challenges, and coming from a past when so many issues (such as self esteem) was an issue, gospel music is all I think I need to make it through.
Here is a list of what I’m currently dieting on:
1. Hillsong United: Avalanche
2. Deitrick Haddon: Church on the Moon
3. Casting Crowns
4. Mali Music
5. WOW hits 2011
6. WOW hits 2009
7. Tonight – Toby Mac
8. The Rising (EP) Stage One – These are hot Jos guys… check them out:
9.The Lost get Found – Britt Nicole