You know how the lyrics go, "I gotta feeling, that tonight's gonna be a good good night feel, tonight's the night, let's live it up, I got my money , let's spend it up". We all have a song that makes us feel this way, a moment where we forget everything, let go and just let the vibe completely take over. There are so many different genres of music, Rock, Classic, Gospel, R&B, Country, Jazz, Folk, Rap, Funk Fusion, Neo-Soul, Hip Hop, Reggae, and the list goes on and on. I typically listen to my music at deafening levels, but depending on the mood I sometimes keep it nice and mellow. If you have never shouted "huh" over your headphones then you have absolutely no idea what I mean! Music has a way of speaking for itself and it will let you know just how the song should be treated. Finding that perfect balance of bass and treble will create an unforgettable combination and you have now entered into what I like to call musical euphoria.
The link between music and memories is very real. A song plays and you are instantly taken back to a time and place, no matter how long ago it was. The first conversation you had with that girl who you have been anxious to talk to. The day you arrived to a new city. The end of a relationship, the beginning of something new, or the last time you talked to someone you loved. You can guarantee that each and every time it happens you will be faced with the same question, 'how is it possible this song brings back a flood of memories to the very first time I heard it?' Some of those times were happy and some of them may have been sad, and the moment that song plays you stop and smile or remember a time that once was. Either way, the connection to music will forge a bond so deep that it can never be broken.
Growing up my dad played records on what was a cross between a record playing, 8 track inserting, radio tuning futuristic looking metal machine. The knobs were shiny and black and there were buttons everyone. I had no idea how to work it but I think that was the idea. I'm sure there was a sign somewhere that read, 'no kids allowed, don't touch!' The music my parents listened to made absolutely no sense and it sounded nothing like what I thought I should have been listening to. I used to ask my mom what it was and her smile let me know it was great, so I took that non-verbal cue and proceeded to shut my mouth. My first real radio/stereo was a huge monstrosity encased in a wooden box that you simply plugged into the wall. No CD player, just an AM/FM tuner that had dual cassette tapes. If I was never sure of anything, at that very moment I knew that I had finally made it in life and my music would sound better than everyone else's. I mean not one cassette player, but two! I absolutely adored that weird looking radio. That is, until it stopped working. What on God's green earth am I supposed to do with my life now??? Someone please call 911! (If you just sang that verse, you are alright with me.) At that moment there was no turning back because I had fallen madly and completely in love with the art that is music.
Anyone who has a true appreciation for music as much as I do has pictured themselves as a singer at some point in time. Right? I am certain I am not the only person who has given themselves a personal car concert or a breathtaking shower encore. It's amazing how good you sound when you are singing over an artist who actually makes money for what they do. Just for a second you wonder why you haven't been discovered. Only a second though. Somehow when the music stops your voice starts to crack and you realize you actually sound horrible. Crazy how that works huh? I'm well aware that my days of becoming the next middle-aged pop star have passed me by but a girl can pretend.
Taste in music is similar to taste in food. You like what you like and not everyone has to enjoy it. My musical playlists have become rather eclectic over the years and I have found a new appreciation for a multitude of artists. A car ride with me will have you shouting, "He has given us new life" to singing, "I'm in love with the shape of you, we push and pull like a magnet do" followed by trying to recite the latest rap lyrics, and I almost never get that right. My creative mind allows me to escape into my love for music, I don't let it define me but I do allow myself to become engulfed into the vibes.
I cannot quite remember the year I heard the song that immediately took me back to those days my dad would play his music. I didn't know the name of the song or the artist but by this time there were so many ways to find out the name of a song so it was quite easy to find. The group was called The Manhattans and one of the songs was called, "Kiss and Say Goodbye". I bought the CD and let the songs play over and over. I took that walk down memory lane and I ended up in that little red house in Indiana. I couldn't get enough of the very songs I never quite understood and I'm sure at some point vowed I would never like. Life is funny like that, it comes around full circle and music is always a part of that.
I have some type of music player in every single room of my house. At any moment I might feel the urge to break out into a dance routine or sing at the top of my lungs. If my neighbors catch me at the right moment they will either think I'm crazy or know that I have great taste in music. I'm betting on the latter. I have accepted that it is a part of my daily life. I don't know what I would do without the ability to groove to something amazing, learn of new artists on the rise, old artists who I've just discovered and recycled songs that make their way back into my musical library.
For as long as I can, I want to dance to great music, vibe to dope beats, rock out in my car, sing in the shower, create my own personal moments, share them with others and forever turn the music up in my headphones. 🎧
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman