‘Moving to music, it’s like a memory deeper than any revision can dredge up, it’s like summer on your skin, it’s like freedom you didn’t have to fight for, it’s like – love.’
Whether you’re a garage head or vibezing over the latest Drake track (meh), music undoubtedly makes marks in our memories, on our lives, in our relationships…seeps deep beneath our skin and leaves its tattoo. I love getting asked ‘do you remember where you were the first time you heard this song?’…Yeah I do, and it usually means something to me. I’m an album kind of gal, and the album that changed my life was without a doubt Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am That Is What I’m Not. Some of you may know that my unhealthy obsession with the fearsome foursome is only trumped by my love of dogs, but Alex Turner spoke to me on that warm 2005 afternoon. MTV2, a music channel that I don’t think exists anymore, crackled out the muted colours of an old grey whistle test style video and I heard, ‘We are the Arctic Monkeys, don’t believe the hype’…and I did.
Working on WALBOL has reminded me what music can be, what it achieves, how it affects us, how it angers us, makes us, helps us. Sabrina is writing about a time, as she says in her Vice article, ‘[a] play about London, raving, summertime, the encroachment of adulthood, love, betrayal, money and of course, music’.
And above all that for the past two weeks in rehearsals the music that made us dance with love in our hearts has been blaring out of the PPHQ rehearsal room. So I asked the gang what song, album or genre changed their lives.
For director Stef it was, to no surprise, drum and bass music is at the heart of her relationship with music. ‘What Garage is for Nadia in this play, is the way I feel about drum and bass. It was a way of expression and escapism through my teenage years. It still is now. Music is how I love, release, connect with people, because music is everything. A dance floor is a magical place. In my awkward teenage years I could dance how I wanted in the depths of a jungle drum and bass rave, without having to be sexy that’s important, that was everything.’
Our favourite vocalist Martyna threw a curve ball when she announced that the album that changed her life was Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisette. ‘This album shaped the person I am because Alanis was such a strong female who spoke her mind and didn’t let her gender define or restrict her. It gave me permission to shout and scream.’
Seroca pulled a banger out of the bag in the most beautiful and empowering way when she told us about the album that changed her life. ‘The album that changed my life was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill is just a powerful woman. The album was dope and very inspiring for me at that time in my life. It was one of those albums that I could just listen to over and over again without skipping the tracks. Doo Wop is such a great tune with empowering lyrics, Ex factor- another great banger which is cathartic and has helped heal my heart after romantic episodes.’
And for the man who tinkles the sweetest ivories, Gabes gave his adoration to the man who sparked a thousand dreamy nights, sat on sofas, discussing visions of the past and possible futures. ‘I remember listening to Bob Marley’s greatest hits album in my mother’s car with my Auntie and as a boy being awoken by the way he was singing and the jams of the musical outfit he had with him – it blew me away and felt strange and familiar. Reggae later really did change my life and helped understand the world.’
In a similar way to Stef, writer extraordinaire Sabrina attributed jungle music as the genre of music that changed her life. ‘Jungle music changed my life because it gave me a completely alternative world to the usual ‘out to get pissed and pull’ nightlife that was around and that positively effected how I viewed relationships and friendships. Jungle raves were 100% about the music. You could wear a tracksuit, you could dress up, it didn’t matter as long as you were there to dance. And oh did we dance. Even though there were no women MCing or DJing at these raves at that time, it still felt like an empowering place to be a girl, dancing and dressing however you wanted, making friends with boys without feeling like everything was aimed at chatting you up. It is still the only music in the world that can make me happy no matter what else is going on.’
Whatever you like, whatever gives you that feeling that anything is possible, go off now and play it loud. Remember why you fell in love, why it made you cry, why it made you laugh. Just go and enjoy.
What music or album or song changed your life? Let us know by posting a comment below or tweeting @painesplough