In this digital social world that we have created, it feels like we have given up the one ability that is even more critical with the level of noise that exists - the ability to think. Everything is disposable. The number of times I have seen people arguing a point just off a soundbite or a headline on social media, without actually reading or engaging with the article, video, etc. How do you know they haven’t read it? The answer to their argument is addressed in the actual content.
I haven’t been able to catch most of the Verzuz series by Swizz Beats and Timbaland but it’s effect has been felt across the world. The Verzuz Effect is a brilliantly written piece by Naima Cochrane for Billboard that contextualises what started, at least for us, the fans, as an Instagram Live Experience - it seems Swizz Beats and Timbaland were already plotting something but had to change directions with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Illustration by MAX-O-MATIC for Billboard
There have been times when I will play Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up just to listen to the conga. I never knew who the percussionist was, until now.
We are all creative. It is not solely the domain of artists, musicians, poets, writers, etc. I have always believed this and this belief is reinforced in Talent, you’re born with. Creativity, you can grow yourself.
The English virtual band Gorillaz have a web series called Song Machine which they have been running since the beginning of the year. Episode 5 is titled PAC-MAN and features US rapper Schoolboy Q.
A favourite is How Far? dedicated to Afrobeat legend, drummer, composer and songwriter Tony Allen, who passed away in April this year, and features Skepta.
Imposter syndrome can be debilitating, if you allow it. I have shared a piece - When You Feel Like An Imposter - I wrote on it before in this newsletter. As a writer, it is something that I have grappled with over the years. And now, finally, I am writing a book on my journey, my experiences, as an African man, father and son and I’ve been doing a lot of reading around writing. This article from Brain Pickings does give me hope: John McPhee on Writing and the Relationship Between Artistic Originality and Self-Doubt
At times, with the way the year has gone, it feels like we are, collectively, dealing with a grief that won’t go away but rather keeps doubling on itself and building in intensity. We have lost many in such a short period of time. In South Africa, the passing of the legendary radio broadcaster Bob Mabena is a weight that many are experiencing, whether we interacted with him or not. I found The Strangeness of Grief comforting in its own unusual way, not just for the beauty of the writing, but also the experiences that V.S. Naipaul shares.
That’s it for this week. I hope you are staying safe and healthy. Please share if you enjoyed this newsletter. If it was shared with you and you enjoyed it, please subscribe.