Why I Sing


Photo courtesy of Shiku Wangombe

They say that by the time one is 14 years old, they know what they want to do. Indeed, it’s a whole lot of time to make up one’s mind, isn’t it?

I don’t think I ever wanted to be a singer-songwriter specifically, but the elements have always been there. From elementary school straight up to high school, I was that girl in the corner writing poetry in a special notebook. I always used to sing, and I’ve always loved a haunting melody, but I’ve definitely always had a greater fascination with words. Lyrics. So important is what you’re singing: Heartbreak. Loss. Melancholia. Confusion. Love. Joy. Encouragement.

I see things and feel things and I put them down on paper and into song. It used to be only for me (and maybe a few close friends), but now I want others to hear it because my story might be your story, and yours can be mine and I just don’t know it yet.

I believe that it’s so important to share our stories, share what we’re feeling, share what we’re going through or what we’ve been through, because everyone feels like their alone. But we’re not. And we won’t know unless we say something.

I feel passionately about this because I myself used to hide, and I was hurt because of it. All the hiding. It wasn’t good. I went to therapy because of it. Hiding my sadness. My fear. My anxiety. My self hate. But so much better I felt when I told someone. When I told people.

But that only began when someone else shared their story with me. And I was like, “wow, you shared that.” Really personal, but so helpful to me. I, who didn’t realize that someone else had been through a similar thing as me.

I feel very passionately about this because I come from a culture where people hide. And they hide because people talk (gossip). They don’t understand. And I’m at the point where you don’t have to understand. Let them talk. Those who care enough will have a conversation with me and we’ll be honest with each other and that will be a beautiful thing.

It is important to share our stories, in whatever way they come, so that we’re reminded that we’re not alone. We’re not the only ones feeling this way or going through this thing.

And that is the point of this project. Why do I sing? Why do I bother?

I have found myself in the music of others. That’s a beautiful thing. But others have also discovered themselves in my music as well. And my hope is that maybe, just for a moment, you can feel what I feel. Maybe the moment will be lost right after, or maybe it will be lost when you tune me out or shut off the music because it’s too much. But at least for a moment, we were human together. And that’s a beautiful thing.


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