“Without music, life would be a mistake.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Can you for a second imagine life without music? I know I couldn't stomach the infinite silence. Music can be many things for different people. For me it has been a way out of my own darkness; music haunts me, yet fills me with wonder. There are hundreds of categories of music and like language music has evolved over time, as more and more genres have been developed. My varied taste in music make artistes like Nina Simone, Radiohead, and Bjork among my top favorites.
Nina Simone, born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, used her music as a voice for civil rights. Nina's style ranges from classical to the blues, from jazz to folk. The "High Priestess of Soul" was equally fluent in R&B, gospel, and pop. Her voice, simultaneously sultry and soaring, soothed the wounds of a bitter era and carried the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King even farther after his death. Some of my favorites from her include, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Feeling Good", and "Ne me quitte pas".
Radiohead revolutionized the way I listened to music. When I was introduced to Radiohead in 2007, I was forced to think between the lines and notes, and see what was simmering below the surface. This alternative rock quintet's music is transformative, as they have experimented with disparate sounds and styles since their 1993 debut single, the minimalist to crescendoing 'Creep' to their latest album 'The King of Limbs', which is a study in the exploration of rhythm and textures. Among my favorite Radiohead singles are "Fake Plastic Trees", "Karma Police", "House of Cards", and "Lotus Flower".
The genres that attempt to describe her eclectic work has been Alternative rock, electronica, trip-hop, experimental, avant-garde, ethereal wave, jazz, and post-punk. Yet none of these even come close to defining Björk's music. Her music is raw, passionate, and explosive. Every track is a sacrifice of herself; her blood, sweat and tears. Favorites of mine from Bjork are 'Venus as a Boy', 'Army of Me', 'Pagan Poetry', 'Alarm Call', and 'All is full of Love'.
Today, I can say unwaveringly that I am alive because of the music that kept me going. On the darkest, lowest days of my young life these artistes, among countless others, reminded me that there's enough to hold on for. I am a better man because of the music that made me.