It is and is not odd that I have not written about my love for music considering that my tsunami is an artist in the music realm and I sing soprano. But not when you consider my relationship with music. So let’s go through that history in this essay.
As a child, I enjoyed the raised voices of my local classical music channel. It is odd considering that I was in the Baptist church at the time so raised voices for the deities were not denied to me. I just preferred the arias of the classical realm. It was like enjoying Whitney Houston to a degree. I stan for a well-supported long e musically. It vibrates in me. I personally do not have the stamina to go longer than a 4 to 7-second count presently but that does not stop me from trying on occasion.
But I was eight when the show Star Search was a thing and I belted out my first notes for my family. It was entertaining to them but not enough to have them submit me to the program. Our family had other talented musicians in it but for some reason, the collective family I was raised in lacked follow-through on the dream realm. It was as if dreaming was nice but not something one would support outside an odd afternoon. At least until there was someone else talking about an opportunity. Then and only then would my parents make a move.
Take for instance the time I applied to the School of the Arts in my city. I was just shy of my teens and had a decent singing voice. My father’s sister graduated from this illustrious institution. No one bothered to check in with her about how to audition. My family attempted some last-minute coaching but I did not get in. I was told by this same aunt, who if she really wanted me to stand a chance should have reached out to me instead of waiting for me to think like the adult in need, that it was my clothing that stopped them from accepting me. Not my talent it seems. At least that is what she chose to tell me. Considering the aunt, she may have chosen to be soft about the rejection since she was not involved in the preparation.
I moved on from that insistence and enjoyed the music classes of my chosen high school. My voice was powerful enough to garner the attention of both of my music teachers. I was chosen to sing the goodbye song for my high school graduation. I was awarded the music scholarship award before I parted for college. I flirted with going to the music conservatory in my city for a while but the price tag on the education made me seek other options. In my chosen colleges, I took voice lessons. It was the beginning of my lust for the classics in a sense. I learned to breathe control and more about my range. I never soloed in these places but I was told I help carry my vocal section.
It was karaoke that made me sing again and expand my passion for music beyond the top 40s and the classical station. Or rather it was sharing music with friends that made me like certain artists when I was not listening to the radio. I learned about Florence and the Machine from a co-worker that thought I may enjoy her violent song about being in a hitting relationship. I fell in love with Kimbra after her vocals on the Gotye single that put him on the map. It was the best friend that introduced me to Janelle Monae.
Alice Smith was another gem that I follow from her summer hit to this day. I took to Esthero while in South Korea and a suggestion from Amazon. Jamiroquai was my travel music since my introduction to his political hits via MTV. I still enjoy him to a degree. I have outgrown Jewel since she went full country. I still enjoy the vocal stylings of En Vogue despite them releasing nothing new. But looking at how I acquire new artists, it is usually through a movie or a friend. I missed the listening parties era of the late 90s.
Being a part of the LGBTQIA community, I was exposed to the tunes of Broadway. I never watched or went to see many of the shows but I grew to love the show tunes. It speaks to the belter in me. It takes me back to the big band sound of the 1950s. It also helped that I assisted the college jazz band for a period. I enjoyed the education in that space. I liked learning about the prep work for making a band work successfully in that space.
Since tsunami’s passion is music, I wonder if we will do listening parties to broaden my tastes. I think I can use it.