Music is a medium of the mind and the heart entrapped in melody. If I had to choose my favourites of all these, it would never be adequate to make a few choices because I continually change my mind about what kinds of music have the most impact on me.
Coming to Mozambique was a challenge not just because of the exotic nature of where I live but who the people are that I see, speak and listen to each day. These experiences inform the music I listen to because I am in constant flux – adapting my moods to the ups and downs that arrive each moment. I’ve always been a fan of mellow, more easy tunes. My Californian days were filled with live shows of the acoustic variety and college angst spent listening to ‘Just a Phase’ on repeat off the Morning View album. Break-ups never felt so good.
I also love the one-two punch of rock music in the form of the Stones, Pink Floyd – modern as well as, indie interpretations like Incubus, Cold War Kids, and Shiny Toy Guns. Of course there is also the occasional dance rock like Two Door Cinema Club.
So instead of writing about the African diaspora that I live and breathe in, I will share moments that are given to me by the breeze that filters through rhythm and dance in a soundtrack that follows me where-ever I am. We’ll begin with the light romance of the ocean and wind in a song that seduces me every time from Chris Isaak’s earthy voice in Wicked Game. People often believe this kind of music is outdated, but I don’t think I could ever get tired of this light, simple sort of dreamy music. It’s like dipping your toe into the cool blue of a swimming pool. (You can find in the video below)
Isaak may not be the only one who sings well, but this epitomizes some of the heavenly sounds that make walking along simple. Just swings like one should be humming already to an easy beat. He reminds me that folk singers aren’t the only ones with some nice melodies (In the vein of Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Johnny Cash – who are all on my list of course, too.) and it brings a lot of colour to that je-ne-sais-quois of a life’s soundtrack.
I was also brought up in a conservative home and listened to a strange variety of Christian music that most people shrug off as indifferent to the ‘scene,’ but I disagree. Not only are the lyrics often peaceful and offer a great perspective, there are a few songs that particularly pique my musical taste. Here’s one from oldie 90’s band DC Talk that talks about living in a world of racism. Something the African diaspora conveniently forgets from time to time:
On that final note, I will leave you with the temptress Florence and the Machine’s incredibly talented singer who has traversed different genre boundaries. I have a soundcloud mix embedded here which has some lovely electronic vibes that I can certainly get behind whether it is a Mozambique summer or a California Winter. Always beautiful. Always with a voice like sunshine.