Music. An art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and colour. I dare you to read it again, this time out loud. These words are amazing and a pure and simple explanation of one of life’s most beautiful aspects. Although I have never classified myself as musical, it has played a big part in my life and while I was on the train on my way to work this morning it suddenly hit me how music has played such a massive role in my life. This is a quick trip down memory lane with my ‘old friend’ music, which comforted me, amused me and helped me in so many ways.
Growing up is not easy as we all know but there are certain moments that stick in our heads and when you think back about it as an adult, they tend to make you smile meaning it’s a good thing that happened although it might have been devastating for you as a teenager. One of my favourite memories of being a child is Boney M. Yes, I was “Rivers of Babylon”-ing through the house, pretty much on a daily basis and of cause at the highest level I could push my singing capabilities, much to my parents’ dismay. I remember how my dad had a few Boney M cassette tapes that I used to adore. I had them everywhere, in the house, in the car, at my grandmothers’ – everywhere! Needless to say “Daddy Cool” was top of the charts on any family road trip.
My house was always filled with music growing up so while growing up my most loved genres changed pretty much on a daily basis. Chart hits came and went until I finished school which is when it kicked back into my life. I left my parents’ house at the age of 18 to live the life of an adult, on my own, in my own flat, with my own car and of cause the responsibility to feed myself and actually stay alive. It was easier said than done I found out but somehow music helped me through it. Funny enough, Britney Spears’ debut single “Baby One More Time” seriously became a massive favourite and thank the Lord I lived on my own because many nights has seen me dancing and singing away like a diva on crack. At the same time I developed a liking for Steps and oddly enough and almost quite the opposite, rave music started worming its way into my life and thinking back about it now, it was full on party time during my student years. Bouncing between music genres was no problem at all but during this time a lot happened in my life. While trying to find my feet in this crazy world music helped me see how difficult and fragile life can be.
As I became more used to this adult life of having to look out for myself whilst trying really hard not to give in and go back to my parents, I went through a Diva stage with the likes of Whitney Houston, Madonna, Cher and Janet Jackson becoming a massive part of the force that helped me deal with adulthood so to speak. I started my first job as a video store assistant and thankfully me and the store manager got on a like a house on fire and guess what, she is a HUGE Whitney fan! We started socialising together and I will never forget how we Madonna’d and Whitney’d (The catchy “It’s not right, but it’s ok” and the smooth “Heartbreak Hotel” in particular!) our way to parties and events in the car. We lived for the moments in the car where we could sing and lip sync as if our lives depended on it. It was an amazing time and without those powerful words from these sensational songstresses I would probably not have lived through the difficulty of getting used to adult life.
As time passed by and things change, so did my taste in music. Having been a full on pop and rock lover, I changed to the more calming and relaxing type of music and so the likes of Enya and Mario Frangoulis entered my life. Till this day nothing comes close to the power of Mario’s “Nights in White Satin” in Italian. Even writing about it gives me goose bumps. It was at this time of my life where I and my best friend moved in together. Both being single and ready for adulthood, we found comfort in the same music. It provided comfort many nights after awful dates or when it’s time to talk about matters of the heart. We served up ‘good music’ at parties and we were known for ‘bringing down the house’ with our wide selection of music.
2008 was a very important year in my life. So much changed and so many dreams came true at the same time. Again music added so much more dimension to these events. I landed a job with a Chinese company which was absolutely amazing and at the time X-factor winner Leona Lewis’ first album debuted globally, Katy Perry “Kissed a Girl and liked it” and Coldplay basically exploded onto the scene with some amazing tunes. This was the first time I really started using iTunes and downloaded so much groovy songs that year that I am sure now I will be shocked if I have to find out how much money I have ‘given’ to Apple. Along with the new stuff I also discovered old favourites like Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”, Lebo Morake the South African songstress who blew everyone away with her rendition of “Circle of Life” and the heart-wrenching “Disconnected” by Will Young.
Also in the same year I got married to the love of my life, my soul mate. “Black and Gold” by Sam Sparro and Katie Melua’s “Nine Billion Bicycles” was our songs and both those songs will always have a special place in our hearts. Whenever we hear them, it makes us both smile because it reminds us of a time when our life’s changed for the good. In 2009 Lady Gaga’s weird and wonderful ways appeared on the radar and very quickly I became a massive fan. At the same time Beyonce’s “Halo” hit the charts and before anyone could even say ‘Halo’, I knew every line of that song and made it well known much to my other half’s dismay.
Today music still plays a big role in my life. The sounds of Alexandra Burke, Amy Winehouse, The Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars, Cesaria Evora, the China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra, Diana Vickers, Ellie Goulding, Estelle, Evanescence, Florence and the Machine, Hurts, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Nash, Kelly Rowland, Kings of Leon, Kylie Minogue, Lilly Allen, Marina and the Diamonds, Mika, Nickelback, Scissor Sisters, The Script, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, The Ting Tings and many more other amazing artists will play in my house and life for years to come. Every single day I listen to music, whether it is on the train on my way to work or whether it is connecting my iPhone to the radio for some amazing melodies while we’re tiding up the house (that happens every single Sunday by the way!) or whether it’s just putting my head phones on while reading a book, the fact of the matter is, it is always there. Although songs will come and go and some might be better than others and artists will rise to fame while others go ‘down the drain’, it will always be part of my life and it’s like food for my soul. There’s a song for every kind of mood. Thanks to music I am able to recall moments in my life that changed me, that made me who I am today so as ABBA said in the early 80s “Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing, thanks for all the joy they bringing. Who can live without it I can ask in all honesty, what would life be without a song or a dance, what are we? So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me.”