Music has always been a big part of my life – as a child I took piano and dance lessons, and it was an important part of my gymnastics career as well. In my 20s, I made music as my career for about 7 years – first as a musician (singer) and then on the business side. Unfortunately, working on the business side crushed my passion for a while and I had to distance myself from it for a bit. Over the past year or so, that passion is coming back and I’m loving it.
It was sad when I started to dislike music (it was almost a disdain), I think it was because of the state of the music industry at the time I was involved in it. Untalented musicians were getting radio play and making thousands and sometimes millions of dollars, while naturally talented musicians were getting passed by because they didn’t look the part and/or weren’t willing to “sell-out” in order to get ahead. It disgusted me. Also, the hipster BS music drove me bonkers. I had to get out.
First, I will say that I love Pop music. How can you not? It’s so fucking catchy and it touches on superficial feelings – happiness, sadness, revenge. That’s what it’s supposed to do. Every once in a while it will have substance, but most of the time it’s just feel good music to get you by.
Most of the time it bothers me that I am a very sensitive and deep person (only because other can’t handle it), but when it comes to music, I feel that I am blessed. It allows me to feel the emotions of the artist and the musician, the rhythm of the song, the notes of the melody. My emotions give me a deep understanding of what it takes to write and make music.
This brings me to Donny Hathaway. Sadly, he only had about 32 years on this planet before he took his own life (it is said that his schizophrenia and depression caused him to jump out of a window). Every note that came out of his mouth or that he played on the piano was full of passion. Although we may not understand the type of pain he was in, you could feel it. It was hauntingly beautiful. His music makes me feel complete. When I put on my headphones and turn it up, his music encompasses my whole body – emotionally and physically.
I wish more musicians these days wrote music like they did before computers. I wish more musicians recorded with live bands and not over computer programs. However, there is a time and place for that sort of music (e.g., dance music which I also freaking love). It is hard to get that deep passion when recording over computer programs. The feeling I would get performing live with a band does not even compare to how I feel when recording to a track. It’s just not the same.
Mainstream music these days is so blah. There is no meaning and all they sing about is drinking, getting stuff and gettin’ some. Fuck, I sound old. But it’s the truth! Now, before everyone gets upset, this does not pertain to EVERY musician today. However, there is an overabundance of crap out there and it’s upsetting. Whether we like it or not, music has a huge effect on us, especially younger people. It makes me so unbelievably uncomfortable when my Little sings that stupid “Talk Dirty” song or says to me “Girl, your booty don’t need explaining”. Yes, it is quite funny, but what are we teaching our kids?
I grew up listening to Motown, jazz, and what is now considered classic rock, with some Pop radio sprinkled on the side. Is the music from the new millennium going to hold as strong as those from the 20th century?
Back to Donny Hathaway. Check out these two songs: “For All We Know” and “Giving Up”
These songs are beautiful, sad, and depressing, but they can still make me feel good. These songs touch on real emotion and feelings. I feel that society today is so quick to pass over our true emotions for the instant gratification of a superficial one. Why are we so afraid to feel what is truth?
Music is love. Love is music.