All things shall perish from.
Under the sky.
(Music alone shall live.) x 3
Never shall die.
The above was a voice practice verse that we used to do when I was in the mixed Alliance and Alliance Girls school choir. I know it’s hard to imagine I ever sang. Actually I still do. However, with a very raspy voice, thanks to years of screaming at rock concerts, football matches and of course the accompanying cold Milele (that’s Kenya’s greatest beer – Tusker – for those who might get lost early on in this post.)
I listen to very many genres of music. I have a favourite in at least each one that I know of. However growing up, this was not always the case. I grew up in the MCM and Channel O era. They say if she does not know of this, she’s too young for you but hey, girls my age are married or having kids 😀 . This meant the choice of genres of music was not that much and we did not have that fast internet we now pride ourselves in nor the easily available torrents and music DVDs. So do not judge the fact that I had a crush on Aaliyah, Mariah Carey (used to call her Maria then not Maryah), Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. I really did not have that many singers to choose from. However, in a weird way, my greatest crush was always one, the Late Lisa “left eye” Lopes. I have a thing for tomboy-ish girls like Keri Hilson, the old Rihanna etc. WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT THIS??
It is no wonder that R n B was most predominantly my genre in my primary school life. I knew of the existence of Hip Hop but growing up in a household where the word kiss was almost taboo, how were you going to be singing along to Ice Cube, Dre, Mack Dre, Xzibit and Lost Boyz? You would probably spontaneously combust and end up in a heap of cussing ashes. (Yes I love writing curse that way). By the time I was joining high school, the Godfather of Genge (Nonini) , the best there ever was (E-Sir), Mr Lenny, Mr Googz, Vinny Banton and of course Nameless were becoming part of my life. We had the girls too. Wahu, Amani and I remember one Melissa de Blok. She was awfully cute. She still is. 🙂 Local Kenyan music became a big part of me and my patriotism made me shun foreign music. There were older groups before that but I was too young to have known their music like Limit X. And can someone remind me who sang that “Niongeleshe” song?
I especially hated rock music by then which I deemed noise. That was up until the beat dropped on the chorus to “It’s my life” by one Jon Bon Jovi. I am not good rather not great with rules and here was a chorus I could relate to. And thus my love for rock was born. In came Matchbox Twenty, Creed, Blink 182, The Corrs, The Calling, Maroon Five etc. I still hated Hip Hop. It was not as poetic as I found rock to be. Someone should have pointed me in the right direction.
This was to change so fast. I was barely out of high school when I encountered a Jay Z Album followed by a Nas one, A Common one and Talib Kweli’s “Beautiful Struggle” afterwards. I could barely believe how much I had missed all these years. All genres were dropped as I got accustomed to Hip Hop. I was listening to everything. From local to international Hip Hop. Even French Hip Hop. I started writing poems with punch-lines and I could hear the beat in my head. Its fiery lightning buzzing in my ears.
I am that guy that goes physically and internally crazy when parts of a certain song come up. I have had other songs that make me clench my fists and almost scream as the beat drops since Jon’s old rock song. I don’t know how many of these are anyone’s favourite but I will list them just as well.
- Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive the first verse part where they make a breathing in sound.
- Maroon 5’s Harder to breathe. The first drum set just before the song starts.
- Macklemore’s Can’t hold us . The first 4 lines that go like: “
Return of the Mack, get up!
What it is, what it does, what it is, what it isn’t.
Looking for a better way to get up out of bed
Instead of getting on the Internet and checking a new hit”
- The Script’s If you could see me now at these lines:
Take that rage, put it on a page
Take the page to the stage
Blow the roof off the place
- Creed’s Lullaby
- Nas’ Hate me now as the beat drops at the start of the song.
- The last line in Jay Z’s What more can I say?
- Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t you worry child. The whole song because of the fact as the group was splitting up. I felt like this was an ode to their fans. Telling them not to worry as they left the world music scene.
- Avicii’s Wake me up when the beat drops after these lines:
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know (didn’t know, didn’t know)
Of course, after all is said and done, the most current, blood-heating, bone-chilling, heart-bursting, dopamine-gushing, insanity roof-breaking song remains Idina Menzel’s Chorus from Let it go in Frozen immediately after these words:
My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back; the past is in the past!
For goodness sake there’s the word “fractals” in the song!!! I had to Google the word when I heard the song for the first time.
I have been in this world for over quarter of a century. I have listened to as much music as I can. From the best of Bob Marley to the Waterworld of Handel and the New Age of Enya. I have gone insane listening to Mozart, playing an invisible violin to Lindsey Stirling’s Crystallize. I am a child of the world. I exist in colour, in words, in art and most importantly in sound. They do not speak of the earthly bodies in heaven, these dust to dust bodies. There is no talk of paintings or murals there too. But they talk of harps, trumpets, singing etc. One thing is for sure. Music alone shall live.
I seen a rainbow yesterday
But too many storms have come and gone
Leavin’ a trace of not one God-given ray
Is it because my life is ten shades of gray
I pray all ten fade away
Seldom praise Him for the sunny days
And like His promise is true
Only my faith can undo
The many chances I blew
To bring my life to anew
Clear blue and unconditional skies
Have dried the tears from my eyes
No more lonely cries – Lisa Lopes/ TLC