Updated: Jun 3, 2022
Note: this blog article was originally published on 4 July 2016 on the Mezzo, Legato! WordPress blog.
It’s very weird to actually be releasing something I wrote to a place where other people can read it, but anyways, I am so proud of myself for doing it. And what better time to do it than the 4th of July, Independence Day?
Speaking of independence, I’m about to be thrown in the deep end of life shortly. I’m going away to college in the fall, to a place where I will be responsible for my learning. And that, over the last couple of months, has included my learning about myself.
To briefly explain it, I sort of hot-potatoed between America and South Africa during my life. I was born in the U.S., moved to South Africa a few years later, and just recently moved back. (I made the independent decision to come back here to continue my education.) My brain has been buzzing for the last sevenish months, not only with life lessons I learned at the dreaded place called high school (and they could have been explained without the friendship dramas and late night sob sessions, but with a little more honesty. Thanks for all the support anyway, Mom), but also the twisted way in which I’d been seeing the world. And much more importantly, my music. And my performance.
Performing is a huge part of my life. But earlier on, when I started writing my own songs and singing them and playing the guitar, I thought Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez and other mainstream artists were all there was to music (this is coming from a girl who spent most of her life listening to Michael Jackson, gospel and a lot of lyricless jazz). I mean, I was actively YouTubing whatever blasted on the radio, not thinking twice about the fact that I barely understood the concept of what music is really supposed to mean (apart from the fact that I won’t be singing about getting drunk in a club any time soon). So before I came back, using that iTunes card I got for Christmas, I did a hefty amount of research, stayed up all night playing and replaying songs from across the whole span of music, and right now as we speak my playlists are some higgledy-piggledy thing ranging from very old like Cher and Aretha Franklin to Taylor Swift and way-too-recent indie and folk artists nobody in my generation seemed to have even heard of. (A lot of people I know don’t know who Melanie Martinez is.)
I’m still on some very strange journey to find my sound and discover all these funky cool genres I never even knew existed before, and it’s involved a lot of weird and interesting sources so far. Whether I’m over here immersing myself in culture (I bought a Mongolian CD a few days ago) or chilling in my garage trying to perfect the reggae skank on my guitar or struggling to maintain control while I get a grip on that Cyndi Lauper rasp, I think it’s about time I started documenting what I’ve learned so far, even though the journey starts much further back than the last few months.
I’m glad I’ve found you.
Happy reading and listening!