When I fell in love with music
Music and I have a bond, a relationship that’s grown and evolved over the years. There wasn’t really just one moment when I fell in love with it; it was something that started when I was young and then developed with each phase of my life.
My earliest memories of music involve my parents. They’d listen to all that oldies style stuff—Motown, Al Green, Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Kool Moe Dee and Cameo. My dad also listened to music as a way to relax, especially as he headed home from work in the car. He’d tune in to “The Oasis,” a smooth jazz station in Dallas, which introduced me to musicians like Wes Montgomery, Sade and Kenny G. And his record collection was eclectic—everything from old school rap to rock and roll, Led Zeppelin and ACDC.
After my parents introduced me to their music, I started to expand my tastes and learn about different genres myself. Growing up, I listened to a lot of hip hop and R&B on the radio with my brother and friends. I’d say that’s kind of my musical foundation. The first album I bought with my own money was “Enter the Dru” by Dru Hill and it was a cassette! Then in the late 90s and early 2000s, I got into alternative music and some of those songs and bands from MTV and the movie soundtracks of the time. As I traveled, music revealed more about the culture of each new place. For example, in Toronto, soulful music with a reggae and Caribbean influence was everywhere, so I discovered a whole new genre while I was there.
My relationship with music then grew alongside my relationship with my wife, Adrienne. While we were dating, we’d send each other a “song of the day,” which usually clued us in to how the other person was feeling that particular day. I shared some of the hip hop and jazz I knew and loved, and she exposed me to a lot of pop and classic rock, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, White Stripes, Fleetwood Mac. She also loves 90s era alternative, so because I’d had a taste of that genre earlier on, we had some common ground too. Music was a conversation starter and a way to learn about each other’s backgrounds and interests.
More recently, I’ve become really interested in live music—concerts, festivals, other venues. Seeing performers and bands like ACDC, The Weeknd, Florence + the Machine, Drake and others and hearing their music live has given me a completely new approach to experiencing music. We recently went to Glastonbury, a huge multi-day music festival outside London, and got to see so many incredible performances—from Kanye West to The Who. We saw Steel Pulse live and they’re awesome! And I found out about an artist named Tricky out of England. The music is electronic mixed with hip hop, and even though there were only a few people in the crowd, it was a good show.
Beyond that, I’m also learning more about electric music and great DJs. I got into electronic/trance music when I was going out a lot more and hanging with friends. I still enjoy it now—though I don’t have to be at a rave or a club to enjoy it—and I’m finding out about more DJs too. This genre and culture is newer to me, but I love that the world of music is so large and varied.
There’s always something new to discover. The lyrics, the melody, the harmony, the rhythm—it all works together to communicate something. If you just open yourself up to it, you too can fall in love.