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Real Artists

One Woman's Relationship with Music

By Deekah Wyatt


If there were ever a cure for all that ails you, it was music. The funny thing about that is; one person’s remedy may be another person’s headache. The kind of music a person listens to can, sometimes, tell more about them than an astrological chart. For this writer music is a universal language. It tells the story of my life and it is the paper on which my story was written. It is my intention to share with you the story of my relationship with music in three parts; this is the second installment.

 

Last we spoke, I was frustrated and bewildered at the lackluster advice given to me by my preteen counterparts in response to my frantic search for music that spoke to my soul; or at least keep me entertained.

After debating with myself over what move to make next, it dawned on me that the answer was under my nose. Countless trips to mini golf courses, Kohl’s, my grandparent’s house and I still didn’t realize it. My Pops! Dear Old Dad! Father of Mine! The guy who had a steady stream of choruses, breakdowns, and guitars solos thundering from the inside of his Volkswagen Golf.

Now, believe me when I say that there are a few decisions in my past that might boggle the minds of most mild mannered citizens. However, learning about music from my pops was not one of those decisions. The experience was so overwhelming that my brain couldn’t dictate fast enough. Thankfully no one can see inside my mind, I might have embarrassed myself.

Alas, I digress. My father’s name dropping of groups like The Brothers Johnson, WAR, Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Cream, Led Zeppelin, and countless others; served as a launch pad for what would be a lifelong relationship with the sweetest lover a girl (or guy) could want.

It was around that same time that I discovered the Seattle grunge rock movement. If you’re not familiar with grunge rock, allow me to fill you in with a sentence or two:

Grunge Rock is what you get when a bunch of poor white dudes from the rainiest state in the Union get together and decide there’s no hope left for the world. So what do they do? They stop washing up, tie their dad’s old plaid shirt around their jeans, strap on a pair of army boots and scream to the world how depressed they are.

I could talk about Grunge all day, it sucked me in instantly. Something about a growling voice with a guitar behind it, I couldn’t resist.

And yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, both of my parents are, indeed, African Americans: contrary to the majority of my musical influences thus far.

Again, I digress. This influx of new sounds, white dudes, and guitars gave me the extra push I needed. The more I opened my ears the more I discovered; Sly & The Family Stone, Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Doors, The Police, U2, Carlos Santana. My mind was aching from all the information that had been pumped into it in such a short span of time.

I’d sit on my bed in my room with my headphones on, singing at the top of my lungs, dancing in front of my mirror into an empty Faygo bottle. Then it hit me.

Get a guitar… and play it.

So I begged; night and day, I begged. Obviously if you beg, you shall receive, because the rest is history. I learned fast that I was not going to turn into the long lost illegitimate daughter of Jimi Hendrix. So, instead I settled for being obsessed with my guitar and the music guitars like mind had helped to create.

I never will forget the first time I heard The Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Under the Bridge”. That song and many others clenched RHCP’s number one spot in my heart. The way they mixed funk, rock, and Flea’s bass was hypnotizing. Not to mention that their fan club headquarters is in Michigan.

They’re devotion to the music reminds me of what I strive for daily. What I assume most musicians or students of music strive for or fantasize about: being able to kick all the other crap to the curb and live, work, eat, and sleep music.

Call me crazy, but I’ll take a life of playing music every day over punching someone else’s clock.

And so there I was; a high school freshman. There was so much to take in, the never ending hallways that all seemed to look the same, the boys, and … the homework.

With all the puberty fueled worries on my mind plus the upkeep of a well balanced social life and my semi-obsessive curious nature added up to me always having something to say; even when no one would listen.

Sadly, being a teenager isn’t easy for anyone. So I did what anyone would do, I began to write. All the while praying with each clumsily strummed chord that I had in me the light that all of my funkdefied predecessors had once seemed to possess.

My experiment with song writing actually turned out a few mediocre tunes. I’ll never share them with anyone. Just know that they were the prototypes for many hits to come.

I’m still not too sure what my parents thought about hearing me sing at the top of my lungs to a slightly out of tune guitar. Though I imagine it got nerve wrecking at times. Isn’t it funny how you’re most creative when the rest of your hemisphere is sleeping? We’ll have to save that interview for Lyric’s “Behind the Music”.


All jokes aside, I don’t take for granted a single step it took me to reach this point in my relationship with music. Some mistakes were made on both our parts, but the love we share is still strong.

Picking up a guitar definitely made it a lot easier to talk to her, because Lord knows she can be difficult when she doesn’t get her way.

Music and I got a lot closer as my graduation day got closer. Little did we know that very soon, something would come along and change our relationship forever…

The Stage.