They say it takes a whole village to raise a child, this must be true since almost every member of my family at some point in time have all pretty much took a hand in raising the some 15 cousins or so in my immediate family. So the music that I grew up with I guess is somewhat diverse and that very well might be the cause of my musical tastes and preferences as an adult now.
I think it only right to start with my grandpa, Amos, he was probably our families patriarch and all my cousins father figure at some point in time during our childhood. He was an insane lover of jazz music. I was forced to listen to jazz music in my grandpa’s Chrysler 300 when he would drive me to ballet classes as a teenager sometimes after school and we never talked during the 30 minute drive. He would gently drum his thumbs on the steering wheel at every red light and occasionally I would glance over thinking, in my teenage, still developing mind, ” seriously, this song again?” lol Which is hysterical at best because my teen idol was Mariah Carey and every boy band cd that I was fortunate enough to get my hands on in order to make absurd dances to in the basement with my cousins. 🙂
My mother drove a baby blue Buik for a bit during my eighth ninth and tenth years. A detail I still can’t understand why I remember. And she would listen to Luther Vandross constantly and Sade. She said once that it was the sultry slow seduction of the artists voice that made her fall in love with the music, and ultimately you just had to dance slow and you’d find your rhythm. I do not exaggerate this even a little by the way. My mother was one for the flair and dramatics and never once in her life I think did she ever just simply answer a question, well … simply. So you know, her answer was in response to me finding her one night dancing alone quietly in the big green house we lived in once when I couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t sleep either. We were both in rare form that night having shared such a moment with each other.
I have wonderful memories of being surprised at myself embracing the Method Man and Tupac cd’s that my older brother would leave on top of his cd player when I was younger. Some of it I liked for reasons I wouldn’t understand until much later having spent my entire life a ballet dancer and later discovering the different facets of dance that stem from diversity in music.
So I guess I was incredibly effected by all these types of music. There is literally a single playlist of songs from at least 5 or 6 genres of music spanning at least 4 decades that , unknowingly, well until I wrote this, have helped shape my tastes in music today.
– slow or fast, dance on! 🙂