I grew up in a family where my dad was a sucker for music. He listened to music every single time he had the opportunity. We always woke up to some loud blaring music from the stereo in the sitting room, courtesy of my music loving dad. He also had a number of portable radios in the house. Some were rechargeable, so when there is power outage, he would have a radio he could still operate. He also had radios which worked with Tiger battery so if the rechargeable radio was down… And my dad’s favourite kinds of music were folk and Gospel. When he wanted to go to bed at night, he would leave the radio by his bedside and the channel would be one playing music. So I grew up in a setting where I had to listen to music, whether I wanted to or not.
As I grew older, I started taking after my father without being conscious of this. I placed a radio by my bedside every night. I loved listening to late night music shows, especially those playing soft music. As I grew much older, soft music also grew on me. I became a sucker for soft music. My favourite genre of soft music was (still is) R n B – short for Rhythm and Blues. And some of my favourite artistes at the time were household names like Shania Twain, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Lemar (I just found out he was born to Nigerian parents!!!!), Lionel Richie, Westlife, amongst others.
It did not matter what mood I was in, whenever a good R n B song came on, I would listen. These songs in turn influenced me. If I was moody, these songs would uplift my spirit. If I was angry, they would calm me. If I was happy, they would make me happier. If you looked at any of my music playlists (on my phone, iPad, Laptop), you would find that they are made of 80% R n B.
Some months ago, I stumbled on some rock bands which played a type of music different from what I thought rock bands were all about. They aren’t into that heavy metal sh*t (yuck!!!). They play good, soft, deep lyrical music! These bands are Sleeping At Last and Lady Antebellum. Weird names, right? Yeah. I don’t know what it is with rock bands and weird names. I am currently listening to Sleeping At Last as I write this. My favourite tracks are “Chasing Cars” and “Turning Page”.
You might be wondering why I haven’t mentioned any Nigerian act. Well, the thing is, I think there’s been a dearth in R n B singers from Nigeria. Most of our artistes are into those kpakpa ti kpa type of music. Afropop/dancehall or some genre like that. Although I like some of these songs, they aren’t my type of music. I just listen to them when, maybe I want to work out or dance. Not when I want to have a deep reflection about life or some serious thing. Some of my all time favourite Nigerian R n B tracks are “Ego” by Djinee and “Love Truly” by Iyanya. Currently (although I am not listening to it as I write), I enjoy “Akara Oyibo” by Niniola. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s just soft. I also love Asa (she’s not an R n B act, though. Her music is just deep. And soft. Most of them are.) When it comes to Gospel music too, I am a sucker for “worship” songs as against “praise” songs. I love songs with mellowed beats, soft rhythm and melody and deep lyrics. Songs which afford me the opportunity to reflect.
What’s your type of music? And why do you listen to it?
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