I had to write this for my Music to Words class as an assignment, and I wanted to share… :)
Music has always meant something to Jazmin, ever since she was a small child. Her parents brought her a small colorful Sony cassette player that came with a microphone that she never let go of until it became old and rusty. Jazmin heard music everywhere, especially at home and she heard it all, she heard gospel from her mother, funk and soul from her dad, pop and r&b from her sister, and rap and hip-hop from her brother. She found so much beauty and was enlighten by it all. Although music always meant something to her, it wasn’t until she started to perform, when it truly meant something different, something deep, something special. She had performed quite a lot as a child and throughout her teenage years in church and school, but it wasn’t until she got to college when things truly started to pick up. Jazmin fell deep in love with Neo-Soul. Neo- Soul emerged in the late 90’s and is described as coming from soul and contemporary r&b. Heavily based in soul music, neo-soul is most unconventional sound of r&b soul, neo meaning “new” this is a new form of soul music. Artist such as Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeochello, Bilal, Jill Scott, Maxwell, and D-Angelo are all pioneers to this amazing genre. With neo-soul, artist talk about everything under the sun like politics, love, and sex, neo-soul is a very raw and true genre of music. These artists pay homage to the greats that came before them; it is very evident in their music, all while obtaining their own sound. It fit her perfectly and expressed everything she was about and more.
The setting was fall semester 2010, it was December, it was cold but on the inside Jazmin was on fire! It was the night of the Erykah Badu Tribute presented by Berklee’s Neo-Soul Ensemble and she and her peers had been working themselves into the ground for this performance. She was concerned with the overall show but she had much confidence in the musicians she was playing with. But it was one song that she had to sing at the end of the set that would be epic if executed right. This song was “Out My Mind Just In Time” by Erykah Badu it had lyrics that affected Jazmin in such an unexplainable way. Every time she sang this 10-minute song it brought her to a place, a moment of clarity and vulnerability. She wasn’t sure if she was ready to be so open in front all of her peers, but it had to be done, she had to get free. Jazmin uses the saying “getFREE” before and during every performance. It reminds her to let go of it all and give it 110% every time no matter how hard it is, no matter how emotional it may become, she had to get free at all times.
The lyrics from this song were so intense; Jazmin had never sung a song like this before. Lyrics like, “I’m a recovering undercover over-lover
recovering from a love I can’t get over
recovering undercover over-lover
and now my common law lover thinks he wants another
And I’d lie for you
I’d cry for you
and pop for you
and break for you
and hate for you
And I’ll hate you too
If you want me too
I’d pray for you
crochet for you
Make it from scratch for you
Leave out the last for you
Go to the store for you
Do it some more for you
Do what you want me to
Yes I’m a fool for you…”
Jazmin knew she would be exposed, she knew it was coming and before she could re-think it the piano started, she breathed and the journey began. The audience was quiet and attentive; the energy they were giving her was overwhelming. It was a serious wave in the room when the second movement of the song began; the bass came in her soul dragged right along with it. She was telling a story, a story that was now her own and it was a very powerful moment. The audience hung on to every word and the wave kept moving, it was like time had stopped for the duration of the song. Jazmin had never felt like this before, she was free and open while performing. Music has shown a new face to her; it had proved to be a healer this time around. The band was so in tune with one another during this song so she didn’t feel alone, they were her support system, although they probably had no idea what this song truly meant to her. This song encompassed her love for someone, her need to grow as a woman, the many questions she had about life, and the vulnerable ways she had that she never wanted anyone to see because she wanted to be strong. But during and after this performance she was strong. This moment reassured her strength, the strength she may not had been aware of. Jazmin got free that night, people in that room got free. That moment can never be redone; it meant so much to her and her growth as a woman and artist. That was when Jazmin knew what music meant to her. Music was always special, always something that mattered greatly, but now it was life changing, now it was like church, now it was like getting baptized every time she got on stage. Now she gets free every time. It’s not easy, but the reward of feeling free isn’t something you can pay for. It is only something people only hope and pray for and Jazmin is thankful that she can access something so amazing. Music is just that great, and expressing it is just that significant.
A sample of my fresh cover. Erykah Badu Out My Mind Just in Time. To see the whole vid go YouTube: http://youtu.be/O6NvUXBq_LY #erykahbadu #baduizm #newamerykah #cover #youtube #singer #songwriter #independent #indie #soul #neosoul #outmymindjustintime #vocalist