To be a music critic, as I most recently learned, you have to be an active listener; which is far from what most of us do. The millennial generation use music as a background to daily activities, treating music as a statement wall holding holding a priceless piece of art. Though, both are important to the whole presentation, music takes the supporting role.

Diversity is also key, listen to the likes of Nina Simone, Bob Marley, Kenny weissberg, Kenny Rogers,Art Taylor (the drummer 1970’s), Prince, Maurice Ravel(orchestral) ,L.L. Cool J. (obsessed) just to name a few names in the different genres of music that rocked the charts ,waaay before I could say ‘legendary’. Challenge your taste, don’t be fooled though, I haven’t listened to all of them but I plan to sample their lyricism and rhythm.

Taio and Karun performing during EA Wave and friends. Copyright Felixie Laurens

Rhythm and lyricism. This to me is the icing, rhythm is everything. Rhythm is physical, it is the difference between dabbing, tapping,jamming, or even slow dancing. Movement. Lyricism on the other hand is soul and emotions. It provokes love, happiness, sadness, or dé·jà vu. All these vital to daily human living given the fact that music is ‘key to the soul’ :corny as it sounds I believe.

So the next time you try to figure out if a record is good or not, for one, really listen, allow yourself to feel and understand the lyricism and lyricist.

Jazz Festival at Kasarani. Copyright Felixie Laurens