Life is but a stage

At the end of day and at the end of this life

When the last tear has been cried

and our last song sung

We just want to know

that we became someone

Numerous events throughout this year have made me continuously reflect on how fleeting life is. Attending a funeral service. Reading in the paper recently of a bride that died on her way to the church to get married. Walking to the station in West London and seeing the looming presence of Grenfell Tower under the night sky.

It can be scary mainly due to the unpredictability of it all. From apps that predict menstrual cycles to apps that display weather forecasts, bus times and TV schedules – access to information that predicts things happening before they actually do is usually right at our fingertips. Death, unfortunately, has never been one of those things and can pierce through our lives like lightning- violent, nosy, sudden and always unwelcome. Another unpredictable aspect is who it will happen to. In Macbeth Shakespeare likened life to a stage- with everyone in life having cues on when to enter but also on when to exit. But how do you know when the play is finally over and it’s your cue to exit?

It sounds quite depressing to ponder on but it should actually get us thinking and fill us with urgency. I’m always reminded of Beyonce’s song ‘I Was Here’ when it comes to legacy- the lyrics appeal to the fundamental part of everyone that wants to leave a positive imprint on Earth before they die. Not necessarily so that they’re remembered because of it but rather so that they can die with the peace of knowing that just one life was bettered through their existence.

Reflecting on it all, I’ve decided I want to be known for love. For loving people fiercely. That may take different forms- since God himself is love and reflects it in different forms. From defending the oppressed and campaigning against injustice to simply just being there and listening to people; letting them know I see you. I want to be the one that embodies all those things. It’s a tall task but one I feel I’m called to. And in the end, it may not get me named after a community centre or charity foundation but a big legacy is not always the most meaningful. Holding an intimate place in the heart and minds of a few loved ones is more than enough.

Have you decided what your legacy will be?

One person, many masks

Beneath the fragile surface of your laughter

I see

the tears you are drowning in.

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I’ve always been fascinated with this idea of everyone hiding a secret pain and suffering. That perhaps the strong person welding a smile or air of politeness there’s pain lingering inside. I remember when I was in primary school and in music class we learned The Beatles’ song ‘Eleanor Rigby’. In the song is the line:

‘Eleanor Rigby…waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door,

who is it for?’

I remember my young mind literally imagining a lady carefully taking a pale mask out of a jar each day and applying it to her face as she steps out of her door and into the world. But of course, nowadays- now that I am older I see it differently. Each of us wears a mask out of necessity because let’s be honest; I’m sure there have been many times where someone has asked ‘how are you?‘ and you’ve wanted to say ‘not great’ but held back. For me, that happens way too often but I’m sure its a common occurrence for many. But every time we grin and nod that’s our mask playing its role and coming into use. In fact, we probably do way more than we know, and sometimes without ourselves noticing.

I try to keep this in mind when approaching people, it’s always good to be aware that a smile hides 1000 things. It makes you navigate conversation carefully with people and more open to people maybe saying a simple ‘no’ when asked ‘Are you okay?’

Get into formation, please.

Beyonce-Formation picSo, as you may know, Beyoncé’s new song ‘Formation’ and the video accompanying it have been making viral ripples. She performed it recently at the Super bowl and my first reaction was Beyoncé again? Nevertheless, it was a spectacular watch.

The song has been hailed a black empowerment anthem- and even a feminist anthem by some; both of which I would agree to an extent. However, to me this song is mainly about Beyoncé herself. She embraces her roots, confronts rumours about her; and sets the record clear that she’s black and proud. The social statement itself- is within the video. The video contains scenes alluding to her Creole ancestry, hurricane Katrina and police brutality. Her call for women to step up and reach her heights is refreshing- a stark contrast, I might add from degrading women and barking ‘bow down b*****s’.

A former mayor’s response to the Super bowl performance was that it was disrespectful to police and that (I paraphrase) black people need to learn how to start respecting police. Yes, I know- I did an eye roll too upon hearing it. Police, in general, do a great job in society. It may come across rude but surely that is expected? Criticising police brutality isn’t shunning the bravery and great job regular police officers do. We’re showing our disapproval of the corrupt bunch that abuse their power. Respect is a mutual thing; and if A shows respect to B but vice versa is not the case, then you almost feel like that respect is being wasted. Also, let’s not forget this distrust of authority in black communities goes a long way back (i.e. Rodney King). It is most likely not a cause of police brutality, but a product of it.

I’ve always thought celebrities, in particular, black singers need to make more of a social statement within their music. These days songs are too cliché to even bare- I mean, do we even need to hear another verse about how rich or attractive you are? No Sir, we don’t. However, I am aware of a trend of passivity of opinion amongst many celebs. They don’t like to hold views that may be too radical, or extreme for the fear of being too controversial. Kanye is an exception, of course. Gone are the days of Lauryn Hill and Marvin Gaye, where social commentary was the norm.

I mean, I’m not expecting these black musicians to suddenly become political scientists. However, I don’t think staying in a bubble of your wealth and ignoring social issues in your own backyard benefits anyone either. Whether you like or hate ‘Formation’- (as quoted in the lyric at the start) – Beyoncé is instigating conversation. Just one song can make the difference, folks.

*Image from the website link: http://www.thewrap.com/25-best-beyonce-moments-from-formation-music-video-gifs/ *

Music as we know it is going downhill. We all know it and pretty much all we can do is sit and watch as it does so.

Most songs are senseless, sex orientated or both. But every once in a while a song bubbles and appears on the surfaces of the murky swamp waters which are the music industry as we know it. These are jewels, songs unlike those around them that hold personality and charm and are savored by critics and listeners alike until they sink back to the bottom of the waters where the unpopular songs lie- as all songs do (it’s part of their life cycle).

I’m quite fussy with music is decide to indulge and devote my liking too. Firstly, they have to have some sort of meaning, I want to be able to walk down the street listening to it philosophically pondering on its meaning. After all music is art, just like books and films- both these forms of art are always closely analysed in order to make sense of them and find meaning. Music to me is no different. Secondly, I prefer not to listen to explicit songs- they bring images to mind one would rather not think about on a daily basis.

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Here are my songs of the moment:

-Team by Lorde

‘And everyone’s competing for a love they won’t receive…’

Lorde seems to a frequent producer of ‘jewels’,valuable songs that to me seem rich in content and have amazing arrangements. The point in this song where the beat kicks is a particular highlight for me. Her voice seems to have Gothic and airy feel about it, which I love plus she’s young fresh talent that accurately represents that generation she’s from- mine.

-Pretty Hurts by Beyonce

‘Perfection is a disease of a nation…’

Beyonce’s new album is not bad at all, amazing vocals as usual. Obviously I haven’t all the songs so I’m only speaking with the knowledge in mind of the song I have heard. This song doesn’t really require any hard decoding to figure out it’s meaning, its meaning is pretty much surface based- we have turned into a nation that loves appearance too much. Our expectations rely on appearance and for the many that don’t meet these expectations they either suffer or go through extreme lengths to meet this unachievable ideal society’s possess of what a person should be.

I love the video for it, especially the part were Beyonce is smashing all her trophies- go girl! I also like the whole pageant aspect of the video and I think overall, Beyonce is a very interesting person in terms of what she thinks of this subject- considering the fact her job relies on her appearance and all. Other songs I like: Heaven, Blue and Mine ft Drake.

Sorry I haven’t been posting often, I i’ll try to make my posts more frequent….

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Image from:

http://www.betterwallpaper.com/i-love-ipod-music-wallpaper/

All Night Long

No, this blog post is not going to be about sex (despite the implications of the title.) So for all of you who thought that, you can either read something else or read more of this. I would prefer the latter but it’s a free country, so you decide.

Its 12:02am and I’m up. The worst thing about being up late at night? TV is really rubbish, so I get bored quite easily. Well that problem should be solved since I plan on going to bed…soon.

My song of the Month: Get Lucky by Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams.

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I’m in love with this song. I first heard it on TV and straight away, the next day I listened to it about seven times. I read that the song reached a million downloads in 69 days- which  I find quite amazing, but listen to it and you’ll know why. The song is a smooth blend of funk, discotheque and electronic sound. Parts of it remind me of ‘Rock with you’ by Michael Jackson- I never realised I missed that sort of 70s, 80s sound till I heard it again…In the  form of this song. The icing on the cake for me was the harmonies during the words ‘…to give up to we are’. As a singing and lover of music I love harmonies and I would prefer using them to enhance songs more NOT autotune.

In general the song is upbeat, and a feel good song. I feel the impulse to get up and dance when I hear the funky beats that are embedded in its tune. The only downside I would say is that there isn’t much lyrical content to song itself- two short verses and the rest is the chorus.

Anyway, I would love to stay and blog some more, but sleep awaits me.

So Goodnight, or Good Morning, whatever way you want to look at it. 😉

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Images from

http://nahright.com/news/2013/04/18/daft-punk-ft-pharrell-nile-rodgers-%E2%80%93-get-lucky-final/ (album cover)

http://ipemb.org.uk/why-sleep-is-important/ (garfield)