So I was listening to a song on YouTube and I’m sure everyone of us knows what YouTube is. Now going to the app wasn’t strange, however the song that played was so beautiful, that I just had to play it again and again. That song was powerful and at time we often don’t stop to really listen to the message some artists are trying to send. We are often times ignorant to the fact that some people suffered and are oppressed and it is through their music they try to bring light to their situations and other people.
What is music? I don’t know about you but there is no way I am in any way interested in what a dictionary has to say. Music is not an entity that can be defined, music is all around us, its in the way we feel energized by the silence around us or entertained by the birds chirping away at the windows or on the way to work, school or just driving, it is how we have this imaginary beat in our head. Music connects and calms us in a way nothing else can, some may get drunk on alcohol or high off weed, but me when I’m down and out of sorts music is my go to, I listen to whatever strikes me, I may need a little James Arthur, Ed Sheeran or The Fray, at times Bob Marley or whoever is going to me me feel so alive that I feel as though I’m floating, I’m so high off the beats and symphonies that I am so lost to everything else. Music just connects in a way that nothing else can, I get so lost within it and I believe it just adds more character to me each time.
For some music showcases their culture and that is true especially in the Caribbean where we have reggae, soca, bashment soca, Jamaican dance hall and so much more. In the Caribbean the people are rich with ideas, culture, history and the vibes in the Caribbean the music is so different from the outside world. The way we are as a people is ingrained within the very essence of our music and it is through our music that others outside the Caribbean really understand what is happening in the Caribbean and get an understanding of the people. In class my professor had on the board “Bajan Dub is more we thing than tuk?” and from that statement alone someone said who is “we” and from that I had so many questions. Is ‘we’ in the statement, the youth of today who adore the music, the older generation who abhor it or even the outsiders who seem to enjoy the music or was it intended to just stimulate the mind about the evolution of music and how far Barbadian culture has grown. Now I grew up on reggae and I went through a phase where I simply could not take it anymore, I detested it and I started to branch off into heavy metal could not stand those instrumentals and screaming, rock – a bit iffy about some lyrics-, pop which still is fine, a bit of the classics – Vivaldi (Brilliant!!!!) and from there I was exploring.
Now I am at an age where I appreciate good music no matter the genre and at times the Barbadian music being played does not stimulate my mind, yes at times they talk about prominent issues but others I just do not like.
Barbadian music has evolved over time and at times I wonder if it is better. We have the Landship which is apart of our culture and we as a country have developed and gone through a transition which has led to Bashment soca and artists express themselves in a way that helps them to be connected. The Landship is not merely a piece of history to be thrown away, it developed not only as a pillar for the community but also for the people in the communities going through economic difficulties so the organization would have “meeting turns” which is still seen as a long term saving plan and also interest free loans could be given. Where there is Landship, there will be tuk and tuk has a sound that is indigenous to Barbados with the snare drum, penny whistle and much more. We as a country has grown so much without tuk and Landship there would hardly be so much evolution today as some institution still utilize some of these instruments. So yes, tuk is our thing but so is Bashment soca, with prominent artist such as Stiffy, Mole and much more. We have evolve and so has our music and we will continue to develop.