As tributes pour in for George Michael, I remember a few great musicians who passed on this year and I thought George Michael’s Album title: “Listen without prejudice” very fitting for this post.
Music means different things to us depending on who or where we are. Sometimes, it’s a great dance tune or it recalls a certain soundtrack to our lives. Sometimes, it conjures up images and emotions that is only within the power of the artist to do. Apart from being entertainers, artists are often social commentators, part of the tapestries of our history and poets who serve food for our souls. In this post, rather than mourn these artists, I’d like to celebrate their contribution to our lives in the songs I have chosen. “Praying for time” by George Michael seems a fitting choice for our times right now.
Leonard Cohen also left us this year and I’ve chosen his rendition of “I’m your Man”. For one, I think the song and his delivery is so sexy, but listen up for the violinist too.
I’ve also chosen “The Jungle Line” written by Joni Mitchell, performed by Herbie Hancock and this “poetry of music “is rendered by Leonard Cohen. In the lyrics, Joni Mitchell blends the art of post impressionist, Henri Rousseau with imagery of modern city life, the music industry and the underground drug culture.
Then last but not least is our very own musician who was part of our “Kwaito” stars, a form of music and dance which emerged from the streets of our black neighborhoods in the build up to our democracy in the early 90s. Mandoza became famous for his song “Nkalakatha”. It was heralded as one of the songs we needed as a unifying song across race and culture in our young democracy – certainly a song that got people of all colours on the dance floor even if they didn’t understand the words or mispronounced the title. Mandoza was also a beacon for kids who held a rags to riches dream. Sadly, he passed away on the 18 September this year at the age of 38.
May they all REST IN PEACE!!