We sat down in Project B on July 18th to talk all about the influence of music, which was a conversation that took off into numerous directions that I was never expecting. Nevertheless, it made the night incredibly interesting.
To get everyone warmed up, I asked them to share what music means to them. Responses included:
- “An inspiration.” You can be inspired by the career of others in music. – Andrae
- “Music is parallel universes. I can see other versions of myself in music.” – Alana
- “Music is my pain, and then my happiness.” All the bad from the past influences the happiness that I have.” – Unorthodox
- “Music is a lot.” – Hakeem
- “The point where you can appreciate music and you’re in the zone. Music can take you to a happy place and a sad place.” – Pekz
Pekz also added a personal anecdote to his explanation, telling us that he’s been doing music for a very long time – “Music’s like that one woman I keep going back to.”
Pekz later delved right into the influence of music, saying that “there are people that influence it in the wrong way” and that music influences our younger generation. He also expressed that music has a lot of power in decisions that we make in life, but as human beings we have some common sense to recognise the good from the bad.
Unorthodox backed up this point, saying, “The music is the problem…There’s people under 16 doing things they’ve seen in the videos and heard in the songs.”
I then posed the question, what effects have music had on you? Hakeem said that music helps him when he’s stressed out, and Alana told us that the music she listens to that relaxes her is Disney and Barbie – “I feel I can jump into them and in a different world.”
Pekz made the point that a lot of music is for the female base – “I can go to a bashment rave and see 70% females.” He also added, “Women support music more than mandem” and that women buy into music more.
Women would be a recurring theme during our conversation, as we spent time speaking about interacting and dancing with women in clubs. We also spoke about general interactions between males and females – “Everything that’s good looking is not always the good thing,” said Pekz.
As you know, we love individuals sharing their stories and personal experiences at YPI. One of the most special moments of the night was Pekz and Unorthodox sharing how music was the base of their friendship. “Music can bring people together,” said Pekz.
I later asked: What are your thoughts on the link between music and misogyny towards women? Andrae thinks that music’s behind it, while Unorthodox told us, “This is why I respect old music, because they were bigging up women.”
Pekz went a little deeper, using another personal experience – “I said something in one of my songs, because a lot of women are referring to themselves in that way.” He later added that “a lot of women today are idolising 67.”
This also led on to us talking about the differences between hip hop, rap and grime, as well as how hip hop has changed over the years. “Back in the day, people had something to say,” expressed Andrae.
My final question of the night was, what would you say to someone who is living out negative stereotypes that stem from music?
- “I’m doing it now through my music.” – Unorthodox
- “We can still appreciate music without listening to all the negative stuff. You shouldn’t be afraid to hear new stuff.” – Pekz
- “Explore many different types of lyrics… Research into what you listen to and don’t just listen to it.” – Alana
I’ll leave you with a final point from Pekz, who said, “Everything is a live and learn situation… Music can influence you to do positive things, because it depends on the types of lyrics.”
Our next forum won’t be until October, as we’re bringing The Complete Freedom of Truth to Croydon on August 20th and in September we’re taking a well-earned break. You can ‘Get Together’ with us at our next social event on August 6th, but for now, save the date of October 17th when we’ll be talking Culture.
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