Last Friday, I appeared on a local radio show. The host, Janis Hough, invited me to the show to discuss an introductory Capoeira workshop I will hold tomorrow at the Sugar Ridge Resort in Antigua. During the broadcast, I talked about my background, the history of Capoeira, and sang a song while playing the berimbau.
Before the show began, she gave me an assignment. She asked me to choose three songs to represent an aspect of my identity or position in life. It appeared easy, but I found the request hard.
As someone who loves music, I found it difficult to select just three songs. If you read my book, you know about my appreciation for hip-hop’s conscious emcees that began when I was in the sixth grade. I continue to hold an affection for select hip-hop artists, but I also have a love for other genres.
A day does not pass without me listening to the motivational speech compilations on YouTube. These videos include some of the best talks about success ever recorded over great instrumental tracks. The words combined with music enable me to program my mind to make actions aligned with progress.
I also enjoy listening to jazz when I write. On my iTunes playlist labeled, “write genius,” you will find tracks from John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. Jazz puts me in the zone to think and tap into divine creativity.
I could go on and on about music. The songs in my library reflect my highs, mediums, and lows in life. Somehow I found a way to narrow down my list to three songs that I resonate with today. They will air on the radio tonight.
These three songs could serve as the soundtrack to my current position in life.
1. Hopeless by Dionne Farris
Hopeless is the opening song played in the 1997 film Love Jones. I chose Hopeless because whenever I feel stuck with writing, I play this song. It clears my mind and takes me back to the time and space when I began to write poetry.
2. Berimbau de Ouro by Mestre Acordeon
Berimbau de Ouro is a Capoeira song written by one of my teachers, Mestre Acordeon. This song is the first of its type that I memorized and learned to sing while playing the berimbau. Hearing it encourages me to continue growing as a student of Capoeira.
3. Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp
Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp helped me through some difficult times. From the financial challenges related to my entrepreneurial affairs to moving abroad, along with other obstacles, this song reminds me of a purpose greater than myself. This song’s chorus, “I am stronger and wiser,” reinforces that the journey to where I am is worth the struggles. I have matured in ways that would not have been possible if I stayed in Chicago.
Now I pass this challenge to you! What are the three songs that reflect you and your current position in life? Leave me a response in the comments.
If you're in Antigua, I would love to see you at my introduction to Capoeira workshop tomorrow at 10 AM at the Sugar Ridge Resort. If you're unable to make it, explore Capoeira for yourself at this link!