Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Jakob – ‘Channel Orange’ By Frank Ocean (2012)
Dear, Channel Orange,
You may not know of me but I definitely know a lot about you. I heard about your story when I was 14 years old walking to school one day. School was a place where I felt like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t really know who I was or what I enjoyed to do. I struggled to really see what purpose I served in life. But one day, I stepped out of my house, put both my earphones in and walked to school. Little did I know I would be taken on a journey of sound. The walk felt endless as I zoned out after being captured by your touch. It almost feels like I’m in a different reality, where everything around me is invisible but my imagination.
I wasn’t really into any type of music. I didn’t even really know what music was. I struggled to see the deeper meaning in it all and couldn’t quite grab onto what others around me were on about, all I was told was that once I heard something that I felt, it would change my whole perception.
I heard whispers of your presence from many around me. I had to see what everyone was raving about. I started from track 1, the intro. I prepared myself for the experience.
Track 2, was the track that changed everything. ‘Thinking Bout You’. The opening strings give me goosebumps to this day. I was immediately fully invested and was in love with what I was hearing. At a young age, I didn’t know what love really was and what it meant but for the first time, I got a glimpse of what it felt like because of you, Channel Orange.
As the rest of the album went on, I was introduced to so many elements and genres of music. The soulfulness of ‘Sweet Life’ the rebellious nature of ‘Super Rich Kid’.
Then came a track called ‘Pyramids’ – an incredible song where the structure and instrumentation take you on a journey on its own. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I felt as though it was more than just a song, it was art. I had never really appreciated art beforehand but this song, it changed everything.
As I entered the gates of my school I was down to the last sequences of your story where you get very deep and personal with ‘Bad Religion’ and ‘Pink Matter’. It almost felt like I knew you at this point even though we had never met.
As I sat down at my desk ready to get on with my day, your story came to an end with the final track called ‘End’. You get out of the car, take the key out of the ignition and enter your home to live your life. Your ending is the beginning of my musical adventure as I was so inspired to discover more music like you and also create art – something that you had done so effortlessly.
Years later, I still go back to hear your story and fall in love with it every single time, reminiscing on the feeling I felt on the first day I discovered you. I constantly strive to one day be like you and tell my own story so that the next version of me hears it and inspires them to do as I did.
Thanks to you, you made me love art, you made me love music.
Thank you for inspiring me and helping me find myself through your voice.