The weekend is over and the work week is in full swing. What better way to swing than with music?
Because the question “what are you listening to?” pops up often, I decided to share my current favorites with you.
I checked my Spotify history, and these are the 6 songs I’ve been playing over and over again lately. I will share a new list with you each week and by doing it on Mondays, I hope it adds a little more motivation, relaxation, and (most importantly) MORE BOUNCE to your life.
Without further delay — and in no particular order — I debut for you my Riddim Writer’s Monday Music Mix volume 1 (via Spotify)!
Oh, wait. You don’t have Spotify? No problem. Here are the track details with YouTube video links. View below.
Track 1 “Superstition” by Blvk H3ro (2019) departs from the 1972 Stevie Wonder you know and love to question belief systems in Jamaica. For me, this song being re-worked by Blvk H3ro (pronounced Black Hero) digs in wickedly given the recent Obeah conversations in Jamaica. (Of course I’m talking about post-colonial superstitions surrounding Obeah and I’m also talking about post-colonial hypocrisy in Christianity.) This song has layers.
Track 2 “Manchester” by Equiknoxx, Fox, Brent Bird (2019) is why music will make us all crazier and happier at the same-damn-time. As I nod to this “hornsy”, ska-bounce beat, I wonder if it’s an ode to the English goodbye phrase (ta-ta!) when Shanique Marie staccato-djs the lyrics — “Went on a tram inna Manchester/ ta-ta-taa-taa-ta-ta-ta-ta-taa-taa” — or if it’s a producer using onomatopoeia to break the beat down to syllable sounds. Either way, it’s vibrant and vibesy and worth multiple spins and even more interpretations.
Track 3 “Conga” by Gloria Estefan, Miami Sound Machine (1986) is everything. Horns. Cow bells. Keys. Digital synths. Voice. Heat. Rhythm. This is Miami and will always be Miami via classic hybrid sounds.
Track 4 “Where I’m Coming From” by Lila Iké (2019) serves as a daily mantra that keeps me soldiering on the path even when “it’s not an easy road.” But reader, let me remind you that Lila Iké is not Koffee (big up Koffee!). Lila takes toasting and gratitude to a different kind of space with this track — at once subterranean and also heavenly. Hear the gritty downbeat of the production and the ethereal soar of Lila’s voice singing up “to the Most-High” as she declares to everyone that she’s strong.
Track 5 “The Power” by SNAP! (1990) is a dance classic that reminds me that music issa quick trigger that can transport us into a memory. I was a little kid when this song came out, but I definitely remember busting-a-move to this jam. And a little research reveals that this track was the first rap-based song to make it to #1 on a UK chart! Click to learn more about the collaborative hodge-podge that created “The Power.”
Track 6 is “Natural Dub” by Joe Ariwa (2019). It’s a sensational dub of Aretha Franklin’s 1967 classic “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Joe Ariwa is the son of the Guyanese-UK dub master, Mad Professor and he proves that the talent is very much in the genes. But this song’s not currently available on YouTube. Sorry for the tease! Here’s Aretha’s classic verison to get you through.
Listen. Dance. Share. Repeat.
Enjoy the #MondayMusicMix