By N Oji Mzilikazi
30 December 2021
Music/rhythm and dance are hardwired in the human genome.
Music is the invisible thread that connects the mind to the heart to the body, to the spirit, to the soul — and feet.
Music can enlighten, calm the mind, body and soul, provide answers, allow one to fly, experience rapture.
Music has the power to recharge one’s internal battery and fortify spirits to face challenges — life.
Humankind rhythmic hardwiring is responsible for the creation of musical instruments and dance in all its forms. That innate propulsion towards music and dance has been repeatedly validated in people of African descent — the progeny of former enslaved Africans — their inventiveness in adapting, producing, creating new musical instruments, new musical genres to replace outlawed drums, songs, dances, and new dance forms.
Even the very religious that eschew music cannot escape that innate rhythmic wiring. Intense praying or recitation of scripture would cause their body to unconsciously and rhythmically sway or rock.
While there are no clear-cut answers on how to hold oneself; one’s body, mind, mental, emotional, sexual and spiritual self together in face of the Covid-19 pandemic that has upended lives, frayed nerves, forced isolation, impacted work, finances, relationships, sexual intercourse, sexual flirtation, courtship, social gatherings, clubbing, birthdays, anniversaries, grief, mourning and send-offs of departed loved ones, and brought on unending mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual fatigue, this I know: music and dance can be a balm — if you allow you to lose yourself in its notes, rhythm and embrace.
Make yourself a playlist of your favourite songs, even if you have to go on the ’tube for the video. When I say favourite, I mean songs that you would put on repeat at least three times because the song resonates with you so much, once doesn’t cut it. Turn up stereo, tv or ’puter, or tablet as loud as is possible without disturbing others — and lose yourself.
Hereunder are some of the songs that do it for me:
The Jazz Crusaders – Pass The Plate (Medley)
Fela Ransome Kuti – Army Arrangement
Fela Ransome Kuti – Je’Nwi Temi
Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now
Mahalia – Simmer (feat. Burna Boy)
Mark Rodgers – I Promise
Blaze – If You Should Need A Friend (Friendship mix)
Robert Owens – I’ll Be Your Friend
Ten City – Devotion (Club mix)
Electribe 101 – Talking With Myself (Frankie Knuckles mix)
The Tyrrel Corporation – One Day (dub) Roger Sanchez rmx
Black Rascals – Sympathy (Rascal vocals)
Cassio – Baby Love (Chord Mix)
Darryl D’Bonneau – Say You’re Gonna Stay [Original Mix]
Convertion – Let’s Do It Feat Leroy Burgess (Louie Vega Boogie Mix)
DJ Duke, Inner Soul – I’m In Need 4 U
Inner City – Good Life (Cj’s Living Good CLub Mix)
Jovonn – Pianos of Gold
Sabrina Johnson – I Wanna Sing (CJ’s 12” mix)
Master C&J feat. Liz Torres – Mama’s Boy
Sergio Mendes Feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas Que Nada The Masters At Work Remix
Rudoulpho – Touch Me
Wizkid – Essence (feat. Tems)
Sharissa ft. Scarface – Any Other Night (remix)
Koffee ft Tory Lanez – Toast (Remix)
Aretha Franklin – The Weight
Mavis Staples – Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Mavis Staples – We Shall Not Be Moved
Teddy Pendergrass – Oh Happy Day
Charlie Wilson – I’m Blessed feat. T.I.
Byron Lee & Dragonaires – Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Elaine Paige – La Vie en Rose
Willie Nelson – Stardust
Eddy Kenzo – Tweyagale
Master KG feat. Nomcebo Zikode – Jerusalema