I grew up with all kinds of music. My father played all of his life in several bands as a bass player, but he could also play the regular guitar, harmonica, etc.. He never learned how to read the notes, just played by ear.
My father and mother both love(d) music and all different kinds of genre, so I grew up with the sounds of: Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Andy Tielman, Kenny Rogers, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, George Benson, Waylon Jennings, Tina Turner, Santana, Bob Marley, Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, etc.
As you can see it is a lot, but for me, it was normal to be surrounded by music. And this is how I developed my own music style/ genre this was mostly R&B and Hip Hop. Every time I had discovered something new my father always wanted to hear it and enjoyed it just as much as I did.
Music tells my mood. When I’m happy or sad, I play different kinds of music. During my house cleaning my, I put some danceable or rock type music on, screaming along with the music. In the kitchen when I’m cooking, it is always some dance music (by dance music I mean, R&B, Soul, Latin, etc.) And when I’m reading/studying I put on some nice background music, this relaxes me.
Michael Jackson was my Idol. I loved everything: his music, dancing and videos, and he is an Icon of all time. So the craziness began, I collected everything. My room did not have a single blank spot on the wall anymore, everywhere MJ. I performed a lot in our living room, his newest clips and songs, with a candle in my hand. Lucky for me my parents never got sick of it….LOL
Does anybody remember the time when a video of a new song came out, and you just waited in front of the tv and had your VCR ready to record? That was me. I remembered that the video Thriller came out and the rumors were that it was pretty scary. My parents decided to check the video first (I was so easily scared). They did not think I could handle it at that young age. So I saw this video years later, and I must say I was glad they did not show it to me back then HAHAHA.
My first Concert
The “Bad Tour” by Michael Jackson was my first concert. I was 13 years old. OMG, this was just so awesome and unexpected at that time. My best friend had tickets for this concert. The intention was that she would go with her father (she was 12 years old). But her father could not go at the last minute, so she asked if I could come. My parents discussed it, and my father said immediately: “go,” my mother was not so sure. It was an organized bus trip to the stadium about 1,5-hour drive, two little girls, alone in a big city. But my mother gave in, and I could go. I’m still so grateful that they let me go, just WOW!!
The excitement, we went to see our IDOL!! Our mothers told the bus driver to be sure to bring their girls back home safe, and he promised. And off we go. At the stadium, I could not believe how big it was, and the crowd was amazing.
We went to our seats, but we stayed on the stairs in the middle of the rows because we wanted to dance. There we saw the stage, and it was far far away, but we didn’t mind since we could see it clearly at the big screens. The concert started with Kim Wilde, she had some great songs at that time.
Music on, a rollercoaster ride on the big screens and then the count down started ten, nine, eight, seven…Fireworks went off, and he flew out onto the stage and BAM!!! There he was. I cried and yelled so loud…OMG there he was MICHAEL!!!! and now you can fill in the rest. We had such an AMAZING time.
Our mothers waited for us at the same place where they had dropped us off, and they were just glad to see us, I do not think they even heard our excitement and stories about the concert of every detail we told on the way back in the car. But I will never forget this.
My niece is older than me. She also loves the same music, so she took me to some awesome concerts by Bobby Brown and Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation). To see the biggest artists at that time was unbelievable. The crowd at such shows is so great, and everybody is there for the same thing: music and the artist, everybody had a happy vibe.
Times are changing, because back then everybody was dancing and enjoying the artist. Nowadays this is still the same, but people watch the show through the screens of their mobile phone. I do it too with the intention to take this memory back home. And I have to say every time I try to capture some from the concert, the pictures are always blurry and the videos not complete (because during filming I say to myself, you can see them in real, and then I stop filming….LOL). This was never an issue when I saw MJ, JJ, BB, etc.
From cassette tapes to CDs
I made my own cassette tapes with the music on the radio and all the hits of that time. I made them for my friends as well, because I was always ahead with the newest music ( at that time it was the R&B of the nineties, and I have always loved the seventies music). My first cd single was Salt-n -Pepa “let’s Talk about Sex.” For my birthdays my niece got me new CDs from the artist she discovered, and my collection grew: En Vogue (which became my second favorite (besides MJ)), Mariah Cary, C&C Music Factory, etc.
When I went out on the weekends, I only went to the disco (nowadays they call it clubs….Yes I’m getting old HAHAHA) I just wanted to dance, dance and dance. This was how I spent my weekends: on the dancefloor.
Many artists I have seen in my life
My love for music brought me to so many concerts and festivals. This is why I have seen so many great artists like MJ (four times), Alicia Keys (three times), Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, The Jacksons, Chaka Khan, Justin Timberlake, Jocelyn Brown, Anastacia, Shakira, Tina Turner, Joss Stone, Janelle Monae, Macy Gray, The Four Tops, The Temptations, James Brown, Prince, Seal, Oletta Adams, Angie Stone, En Vogue (eight times), Guy, Blackstreet, Joe, Leela James and many more.
My favorite festival here is the “North Sea Jazz Festival,” so many great artists come together here for three days. This is why I have seen some of these artists.
I’m also back to collecting vinyl, the sound of vinyl gives such another feeling to it. Music is very important in my life. There are always songs which remind me of some specific time in my life. I have seen so many performances by now. I hope to see many more. Music makes me Happy!
~Choose to be Happy~