There's nothing like a good catch-up with a friend. You know the type I mean, the ones where the conversation starts with a general 'how's life?', but goes on to cover the weather (very British!), work, matters of the heart, family dramas (we all have them), and almost everything else in between.
I had a conversation like this recently, and before long, talk turned to memories of our carefree, often careless, nights out (thank goodness there were no camera phones!), and the music that punctuated our young adulthood.
Music is love
Music can stir up such strong feelings. In fact, research shows that music and memories are linked. Emotions enhance memory processes, and since music triggers the parts of the brain that evokes emotions, it's no wonder that you can be instantly transported back to a time and place after hearing a few bars of a song. I mean, think of any song from your teenage years....... I bet there is a specific memory you associate with that, right?!
I think it's why when I come up with designs for Totes Caribbean, there is often a particular piece of music associated. For example, the Tallawah design was inspired by this song, and Dave's 'Black' (wonderfully performed at the 2020 Brit Awards) provides the perfect soundtrack for the meaning behind the Caribbean design.
Music is Culture
It's no secret that during slavery, enslaved people were forbidden from learning to read and write, which meant that music became an essential form of communication. Not just a form of expressing emotion, but a way to share stories, and to impart information.
In more recent history, in the Caribbean, Calypso was and continues to be a form of political protest, with Calypsonians like The Mighty Sparrow offering social commentary through their lyrics and directly challenging Politicians to make change.
And I can think of a number of artists who have used their platform to highlight inequalities in the infrastructure of our society here in the UK too.
Music is Life
The reality is that without music we would be a far less emotive species. It's not just the lyrics that can move a person to tears, but often the composition of the music itself.
The soundtrack of MY life would have to include at least one Mary J Blige track, a couple of Garage bangers, some soca, some gospel and a bit of ABBA. A specific memory attached to each. (Check it out below!)
But what about you? What songs tell your story? What would the soundtrack of YOUR life look like? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time,
Keep it Totes Caribbean,
All My Lies Are True by Dorothy Koomson
This Is Us (Prime Video)
Currently listening to:
'Sexy Sexy' Rudimental ft. Natalie May