Over the weekend, I attended #TheExperience10 which was possibly the most magical night of my life. As matter of fact, I was supposed to meet a friend but for some reasons, he cancelled. During the course of the event, I was somewhat grateful for his absence because I wasn’t ready to make that kind of impression on him just yet. I wasn’t ready to explain why I danced like David danced or why I sang and screamed at the top of my lungs. Fortunately, no one recognized me so I was relatively safe. And my brother? Well, he could be handled.
The highlight of my night was, as always Don Moen’s performance. He literally brought heaven on earth (No offence, Micah Stampley) and transcended us into another realm entirely. To be honest, I didn’t want that to end. (I’m definitely buying VIP tickets next year) At some point during that ministration, I found myself reflecting. Of course, his songs took me down the nostalgic lane. I remembered how we jammed to Don Moen, Cece Winans and Women Of Faith in my house in the 90s. I remembered how these artists took their turns on the music player and how we went about our chores with their voices echoing in the background. Suddenly, I felt incredibly thankful for my background. I was thankful because I had been properly grounded especially as regards to music. I was also thankful because I still connected to these songs and they still made sense and ministered to me.
The next day whilst relating my experiences to my friend, Dunni – something she couldn’t possibly grasp – the conversation took a different turn.
Earlier in the week, she was in my house listening to music with her phone. Worst still, it was on speaker. After bearing the noise for a while, I told her to turn it down. She was listening to The Weeknd and some others on a playlist I found very disturbing and distasteful. She did turn it off eventually but I didn’t offer any kind of explanation as to the reasons for snapping at her.
Fast forward to a few days later, I unconsciously gave her an explanation – as to why her choice of music didn’t sit well with me.
A few years ago, I noticed that I had a problem meditating. I just couldn’t focus and it was affecting me. Naturally, it spilled into my prayer life. I couldn’t concentrate without some nasty lyric popping out of my subconscious. It was disturbing and I was hopeless. So, I decided to dig for the root of the matter. Turned out, my choice of music was the culprit. It was difficult and exhausting but somehow I weaned myself off music to the extent that I disposed my memory card and any other storage medium that could be easily accessible. I also stopped watching music channels. Fortunately, cable TV is not a fixture in my home. Anyone can pay for it if they decide to watch. It actually worked. Suddenly, I wasn’t concerned about Beyoncé’s latest album or Adele’s 25. I became somewhat immune to some genres of music. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Along the way, a Twitter friend, Sola came along and revamped my playlist. Till date, I’m incredibly thankful to him for introducing the right genre of music to me. That was a major turning point. That was also the period I took conscious control of the materials I consumed. I was suddenly able to discern the right content and whatnot.
There are two things I consider before listening to music outside my comfort zone.
1) The lyrics/message
2) The vocal dexterity
For example, two songs are currently on repeat;
– Pray For Me by Darey. This is a total package. I love the song in its entirety but the lyrics stand out for me.
– Powerful by Jussie Smollett x Alicia Keys. The lyrics of this song are rather cheesy and cliché but the vocals are EVERYTHING!
So far, it’s been better. There are times when I actually forget to listen to music or I’m too lazy to search and download them. I could go months without earphones. The other day, my friend asked what kind of music I listened to. I told him I listen to songs because I don’t have the patience to go through an album. Whatever song is right up my alley, it could be on repeat for months.
The point is, I’ve been able to control whatever I consume musically and my focus levels have improved. Then again, I’m still aware of a lot of things. I just don’t indulge in them.