Well, Valentine’s Day is over, but I can still sense the passion still in the air. Speaking of passion, I wanted to talk about one of mine. Ever since I was a little kid, I enjoyed music. My parents may not have noticed, but when they were singing and dancing to their oldies but goodies, I was paying attention. Maxwell, Prince, Sade, Isley Brothers, Shalamar, Atlantic Starr, Debarge, Earth Wind and Fire, and The O’Jays were just some of the artist that I heard them play on the radio. When it was cleaning day, I could hear Anita Baker’s soulful voice filling up the apartment we stayed in singing, “With all my heart, I love you baby.” Her voice was amazing. I remember when After 7’s Ready or Not would come on the radio and my parents would stop what they were doing just to hear or sing along. As I got older, I discovered that “Ready or Not” was their wedding song.
I was born June 18th,1991. I don’t remember much of the early 90’s, but the mid to late 90’s was something else. My parents didn’t let my little brother and I listen to rap or hip hop too much, but I knew r&b. One day, we were taking a trip down to New Orleans to get my mom’s birth certificate in my dad’s Astro Van. I forgot why she needed it, but it was a trip. When we reached near downtown, R Kelly’s “I believe I can fly” came on. I don’t know what came over me, but I started singing it, loudly. It caught the attention of everyone in the car. I wasn’t blowing, but I was in tune with the song. I remember my mom turning around saying “Keep going.” Now shy, I told her I forgot the words, but I never forgot that feeling. It was the feeling of making people happy through music.
When we got back to Milwaukee, I told my parents that I wanted to get baptized in church and join the choir. That next Sunday, I stood up and went to the congregation and said I wanted to be baptized. The church was happy and so was my family. The secretary took me to the back and gathered my information. Then she asked me what do I want to do in church. I had two options, which were join the choir or join the usher’s board. I was nervous to join the choir so I said the usher’s board. I told my family and they marched me back to the office and told me to tell her I that I want to join the choir. Ever since then, I have been a church choir.
In middle school, there was no inhibitions. I would rap against anybody in class or at lunch. My friends and I would take hit songs on the radio and make them into parody songs. I still have the notebooks with me right now. Typically, I was the shy kid in class, but once music was the conversation, I lit up.
Fast forward to high school, my love for music soared. I took music classes all throughout my high school years. I started to make music at the end of my freshman year. That’s when I finally learned how to read music and how to play the trumpet. My sophomore year, I shifted from the trumpet to the piano and joined the school choir. I wanted to do everything musical. People would want me to make beats and write songs for them. I couldn’t get enough of it. However, during my senior year, things were put into perspective. I had to figure out what I wanted to do for college and where I wanted to go. The answer for one of those questions would have been music. However, I ended of going to the Milwaukee School of Engineering for electrical engineering.
Music didn’t stop in college. I was still making songs and making beats during my breaks or off schedule. So much so that my family thought that my failing grades were because of music. The thing that gave me joy was causing so much frustration. My family wanted an engineer, but I wanted to be in the music industry. Eventually, I transferred schools and changing my major to business with a focus on marketing. My first class at the new school was music theory. I had to take some electives to get my credits up. Down the line, I graduated with my degree in business admin with a focus in marketing. My family was proud, but I do still feel empty.
Even to this day, I can’t get enough of it. I’m addicted. It’s in my blood. I want it to be my career because of my deep love for it. I consume it everyday. I’m not giving up on my passion and I hope you don’t give up on yours. There is still time to put the work in. What’s your passion? What do you love to do and cannot do without?
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