I have always wanted to be slightly different. Maybe it’s because I have never thought I quite fit in. Growing up, I loved reading and watching documentaries and anything that made me slightly different to the rest of my mud-slinging, farting peers.
In University , a vast place were first impressions are made with just a glance, the one thing that makes me different to all the other black guys strolling on campus is that I celebrate and wholly love my off beat music. When the new Kanye West/ Jay-Z album was released people went ballistic on Twitter, Facebook and to any person who would listen about how excited they were. I honestly didn’t give a shit. Tell me there was a new Bloc Party album, or Interpol were releasing a new EP that would make my appetite whet. I’ve always wondered why so, what attracted me so much to the world of white guys in skinny jeans, smoking rollies and living in the back of van, touring and getting drunk? I have no connection to this world, a middle-class black kid who grew up in a very “black” family. I think it’s the escapism that rock/alternative/indie has that it is such a defining character of that genre that makes me love it so. I connect with it, the stories of University drop outs who form a band to follow their passion far more than I do with getting money, drinking at the club or a private plane. I will always remember the defining moment in my life when I walked into a CD store (do they still exist?) and as my cousin grabbed a Nas album, I picked up a U2 album instead. As I walked up to the counter the attendant looked at my chubby nine-year old self and looked at me bemused and taken a back about why on earth I would want a U2 album. Suffice to say I have never looked back.
That’s specifically why I hate the notion of “black” or “white” music. And they derision you have to endure when it seems you are doing something which is an affront to your culture. Yes, the music does connect with certain groups more than others but it’s about what you’re connected to that matters. And as proud of my culture as I have become, I still am a sucker for some heavy guitars and a pounding bass. After all if music is the food of love, let it play on. And play on it does.- Hung-fish