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Mainstream music has been hanging on by a thread for quite sometime now. I don't know when it happened but somewhere in the late 2000's music started to slowly deteriorate into the crappy abyss of autotune and mumbled lyrics. Now what we have is a bunch of noise disguised as music. Disorganized noised that lacks substance or feeling. When Prince passed away the death of music became even more apparent. First the death of Michael Jackson and now the death of Prince—music royalty. Two great musical legends, giants in the pop world, who had a huge impact on pop music. Their musical impact as artists, musicians and performers was far more of spiritual importance than many realize. The spiritual evolution of both Prince and Michael Jackson, in their music, is much more significant now when put into context with what pop music has evolved into.
Let me explain my love for music and the spiritual evolution of music within my own world. I started singing in the church at the age of five. I remember my very first solo was “Angels Watching Over Me.” At that young age I still remember the feeling standing in front of an audience and singing those words “All night…all day…angels watching over me my lord" and I can remember feeling the presence of angels around me as I sang the song.
You see, I've had a love for music since the age of five. Music has always played an important role in my life. The soundtrack to Purple Rain literally saved my life. Purple Rain helped me to endure childhood traumas. It was the music from Purple Rain that took me on a spiritual journey and helped me activate my imagination so that I could mentally escape the things that I endured as a child. I started writing music lyrics at the age of seven after listening to the lyrics in Purple Rain.
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Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation not only inspired me to dance but songs like "The Knowledge" and "State of the World" were songs that addressed racism, prejudice, poverty and social issues. Even as a child I could relate to the lyrics in "Lonely" and I fell in love with dance watching Janet Jackson dance in Rhythm Nation. I was even awarded the Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation UNCF scholarship for my undergraduate degree in college.
Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" had lyrics that resonated deep within my soul. I could feel every single word from that song especially when he says the words "but they told me a man should be faithful, and walk when not able, and fight till the end but I'm only human!" The bridge to the song with the angelic voices still brings me to tears.
Music is food for the soul. It speaks to the part of us that is deeply hidden. The parts of us that sometimes can not formulate the words to speak. Music gives life to lifeless, hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless. Music is freeing. I tend to think of music as a tool to connect to the spiritual world. In its most purest form music gives you the freedom to go on a spiritual journey within yourself and the right music can be used for meditation because of its calming effects. You can close your eyes and get lost in a melody and in the harmonies of beautiful lyrics coming together to tell a story. If the music is right and if it comes from a sincere place it will take you to places, mentally, that you could never even imagine. That's what I loved about Prince's music. His music had the ability to take you on a complete spiritual journey—if you were spiritually enlightened enough to truly comprehend the messages in his music. Songs like "Lets Go Crazy" "I Would Die For You" and "Diamonds and Pearls" had lyrics that were liberating with embedded messages that required a higher level of consciousness to fully understand the song's true meaning. I believe that Prince was very much aware of the spiritual world and he used his music to impart messages of spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
Prince was deeply spiritual. His connection and usage of the Third Eye, his connection to the number 7 and his love for the color purple are all elements that define Prince's spirituality. For instance, the color purple is connected to the Crown chakra which is the highest representative of our spirituality. I think Prince truly understood God and spirituality in a way that most people can not comprehend and that's what makes him a rare jewel.
It seems as if music has become stagnate. Well at least mainstream music that is. I was listening to the radio the other day and I was completely disgusted by what I heard. Lyrics without any substance—just a bunch of gibberish without any meaning or feeling. What are these people even talking about? It all sounds the same: money, sex, drugs...but nothing of substance. Great musicians, great songwriters and brilliant artists seem to have vanished. Somewhere along the way the music industry replaced artistry with corporate greed and vanity. What happened to the artists and musicians who created music from the depths of their souls?
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As a songwriter, I am very aware and conscious about the message I put in my music. I write lyrics with meaning and I pour my heart and soul into every piece of music that I write. I want to create music that not only heals but transforms. I want to create music that makes people dance and provide an escape from the harsh realities of life. Artists like Prince, Michael and Janet Jackson understood the importance of using music to heal the world. Maybe a new renaissance era will begin and the rebirth of true artistry will soon prevail. I hope to be one of the ones blazing the trail. Until then I will continue to create music from the soul. One day the world will listen.