The Sounds Moving Me…
I love my music. And I love it mostly loud. Yea, I perfectly understand the implications of ‘listening’ to deafening decibels via 12-inch direct radiating Klipsch Heresy III speakers or clasping its kid brother; the 110dB Image One enhanced bass audio headsets to your ears. Don’t worry, I’m not getting deaf soon, sorry to disappoint you. Of course, I can’t be loud at all times of the day for very obvious reasons and also for the fact that not all genres of music can actually be enjoyed loud. If I had my way though, I would be playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on 8- ohm 5000 watts Titan Moon audio system speakers; at least that would make up for my not being able to witness a live orchestra. But then, that won’t be possible too since the Devil himself fixed the prices of those twins, (a whopping $500, 000). What’s the sum in naira? Erm… I’ll convert that later.
My music does not live in a box and does not belong to a single voice. Oftentimes, after being lost in a particular tune, I sit back and laugh at the ‘strangeness’ of actually enjoying that kind of music. But then that’s me and I’ve never ceased to surprise myself. I grew up listening to phonographs of Skeeter Davies, Willie Nelson, Eric Donaldson and good old Kenny Rogers and the homegrown tastes of Victor Uwaifo, Rex Jim Lawson and Prince Nico Mbarga. Then, I remember angling for a chance to hear some of Sting’s Fields Of Gold and also some of The Police, The Commodores, Madonna and much later, The Mandators. On my way to school, I hummed Marley’s Redemption Song and drifted to Eric Donaldson’s What You’ve Done on my way back. Alpha Blondy came in when I needed some distraction from my homework and yes, Ras Kimono took over when I’ve totally lost any interest in doing any academic work afterwards.
I remember buying tapes of Chris Okotie, his sister Lorraine and Blackky from my pocket money. In those days, the radio talked way too much and I hated all that talk of what government would do and not do. I hated the dry classicals NTA Channel 6 belched on Sunday afternoons; that never ending drone could kill a poor soul. Nowadays, when I look at my CDs of Tchaikovsky, Albinoni, Mozart, Brahms, and Chopin, I ponder on how some things could change drastically once one is still alive. I couldn’t have imagined Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves caressing me to sleep 24 or so years after. Then it was Oliver De Coque, Ebenezer Obey and Osadebe on Sunday evenings, but never Pericomo Okoye’s Ikeji Music. It’s still not it.
Today, you’ll find me waking up to a Darlene Zchesch CD, a Sade, Jennifer Hudson or Madonna after the news at 7 and Usher Raymond/Jeremih/Lemar just before lunch. You might see me do a jig to remixes of Kelly Rowland’s Motivation (ah, I love that song) or nod slowly to Nas and Marley’s Patience while tackling a fat wrap of Bole and Croaker. If you’ll remain patient enough, you might still catch me waltzing to Ricky Martin’s latino beat or mime a Kanye West/ Lil’ Wayne verse.
The other day, I tactfully avoided the fight that would follow her “why do you Igbos always play these songs” after she had obviously endured my putting Joe Nez’s Business Trip on repeat for 2 straight hours. The other day it had been Osadebe’s Ije Awele. In appeasement this time, I simply slotted in a copy of Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday; win-win, I equally enjoy that too.
I love new music. I love Barbie Girl. I love Weezy (heard he calls himself Lil’ Tuneche these days). I love Chrisette Michele. Yea, I love the whole of the Young Money Cash Money Billionaires. Give me Drake, Jay Sean, Gucci Mane, James Fauntleroy, Travie McCoy, Bruno Mars, Lupe Fiasco, T. I (whenever he can afford to stay out of prison), Jay Z, Jessie J., Sugarland, Pussy Cat Dolls, Ludacris, Nas, Bey, Riri and Ye, and you’ll get a fat thank you. Of course, I still have my MC Hammer, Coolio, Dr. Dre, 2 Pac, Eminem songs and will also dance to my Nigerian P Square, Tu Face, Dr. Sid, Ice Prince, Timaya, Naeto C. and the best of them all, M.I.
It doesn’t end there. I believe I might be one of the very few who actually listen to rock…well, alternative rock and pure pop in this country. I have CDs of Linkin Park, Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin, Nickleback and collections with songs of Kings of Leon, One Republic, Savage Garden, Coldplay, Artic Monkeys, Greenday, Tribal Ink, Maroon 5 and of course the lords of the ring, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (the last two largely as some form of connoisseur). You’ll also catch me listening to stuff from bands with some strange names like Arcade Fire, Alice in Chains, Age of Chance, 30 Seconds to Mars, Bedhead, The Melvins, Foo Fighters, The Bluebells, Slipknot and The Home Of Love.
However, there are times the body and soul seeks greater peace and an urge to engage in some form of music inspired dialogue with its Maker. Then, I seek to be one with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Mass Choir or the soul lifting crooning of a Shirley Ceasar, Fred Hammond and Bishop Clarence McCledon. Add that to the comtemporary stomping sounds of Kirk Franklin (picked that in the University), the voices of Nicole C. Mullen, Mary Mary (wonder what’s happening to them), Winans Phase II (wish they had another album after that classic first), Israel Houghton, Yolanda Adams, Kierra Sheard, and good old inspirator-in-chief Don Moen. True confession, only recently did Jadiel, Frank Edwards and Sinach strongly stir my interest (I know am not alone) in the local gospel scene, even though I’ve had CDs of Paul Nwokocha and Njideka Okeke; I believe tapes of Voice Of the Cross and Agape Love Band are still lying around somewhere. Maybe, I’ve not built a steady interest over the years because that’s one genre I think is relatively static and grossly plagiaristic. Maybe, because oyibo been dey too enter ma mouth… not sure which one.
Right now, musical tastes can be like the sea before a storm; all calm and peaceful then, suddenly so chaotic. Currently, I’m listening to some Angolan music I found and copied from a friend’s PC. The artiste bar says it’s by Lulas da Paixao. I don’t think I’d be listening to it again; that album by Irmaos Almeida is enough torture already. Crazy head I think I am. Did I say Crazyhead? That would make a good name for a rock band… Weird.