Music is something everyone can connect to, whether you have a different background, or speak a different language. Music can heal, speak, and excite people. Music is about making people feel. As a Haitian and French descent, music has always played an important role in my life. My mother was a singer, so music was always around me: while taking a bath, while doing my hair, while putting me to sleep, while shopping, it was everywhere.
When my mother sang, it made me feel powerful. Her voice would carry slow and soft but then get stronger and louder and provoke and demand an emotion out of you. Because of the way her singing made me feel, powerful and strong, I starting loving the sound of music. My first memory of music is my mother singing famous Haitian nursery rhymes, “Dodo Ti-Pitit,” “Ti Zwazo,” “vive l’eau.” I remember that the words of “Dodo-Ti-Pitit” were meant to be frightening for children, scared enough so they can go to sleep. The lyrics of this nursery rhyme are “Night-night little mama, night-night little mama. If you don’t sleep, the crab will eat you” (Dodo ti pitit). However, because my mother had such a powerful voice, those songs wouldn’t put me to sleep.
Eventually, she stopped singing me to sleep. When we visited my grandmother in France, my mother’s mom, she would teach my sisters and I french nursery rhymes, French popular songs at that time and other important things about the French culture. She wasn’t a singer like my mother, but she played various instruments: the drums, the clarinet and some piano. My grandmother would always be humming to a song in her head, or playing an instrument.
I took clarinet lessons at the age of 5, but I quickly realized that playing music was not for me. My role is to listen to it and enjoy the music. My childhood was bright and sunny, full of laughter and music. However, when my mother died when I was five, music was less emphasized and I stopped listening to music for the fun of it.
Of course, I still listened to music, but instead of enjoying music like I once did, I listened to it for the heck of it. This all changed when I came to the United States. I came to the U.S when I was nine. Right away, I realized that there was a difference between American and Haitian and French music.
One of the differences I noticed was how sexual and vulgar American music is. But, I still loved it. I listened to American music daily, and learned to speak English by singing songs and practicing saying words of how the singer would say them. I fell in love with pop and R. I love how music can take me away from my troubles and make me forget about them.High school is when I stopped listening to music.
I was president of the French, ASL and gospel club, so I had no time to do anything. I was also involved in the Fencing team off and on season. I was so busy that I stopped listening to music. I eventually started listening to music again after everything winded down and realized that music was part of who I was.
Music is how I interpret my feelings when I don’t know the word to what I’m feeling. Music makes me feel alive, music is essential to my life. Music is my way of escaping reality and just being me, Dianiley. Whether I’m sad or happy, music takes me away and the lyrics and sounds soothes me and makes me forget. I get enchanted by the melody and the rhythm of the instruments. The singer’s voice captivating me with every words. Music is my escape.
With music, I don’t have to pretend, I can just be.