My Contemporary Lifestyle
Over the course of my life, music has been a significant aspect of my life; and in an interesting way, has help shape the person I am today. Over different periods in my life, I have encountered different genres of music that has pinned pointed different periods in my life which are memorable and important to me today.
I was told at a very young age that I loved music and I would always sing along to what ever came on the radio. But my journey, from what I can remember, started on December 25th, 1999. At the time I reside in Naples with both my parents and my three siblings. We were all surrounded with laughter and cheers, lots of love and MUSIC. At the time I was three and so I do not specifically remember everything that happened. But what I do remember was singing the song “That Thing,” by Lauryn Hill which was playing during the time. It was my jam!
What makes this song so memebroable was that I was singing the wrong lyrics. Instead of saying “that thing”, I would say “daddy”. Till this day, my family still teases me about it.
High School Musical
High School Musical came out in 2006, and it changed my life drastically. I would sing along to every song. I was so obsessed with this movie I learned all the words to all the songs and I would perform concerts in the shower almost every days. My favorite song though was “Bop to the Top”
This was also around the time when my parents were on their way of getting a divorce. At times they would argue and fight, so I would sing the songs I learned in High School Musical to block it all out.
Haiti Trip 2009
I had just finished the 5th grade and I was going to spend the summer vacation in Haiti. I went with my grandmother and my two younger siblings to go see my mothers side of the family for the first time. After two weeks there, my older cousin took me, and my siblings to another part of Haiti to spend the rest of the summer there. When we arrived to our destination, it looked very familiar to me, and it didn’t take me a while to realize where I was.
I was born in the United States, but as a toddler, my parents would take me to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to spend a couple of months with my family, on my dad’s side of the family. My dad had a lot of siblings, so it was easier for my family to watch over me because there was a lot of them. Once I realized where I was, which was the neighborhood my family lived in, I quickly started to run towards their house without any directions. I was surprised though because the last time I saw them I was eight, and I was now thirteen. When we arrived to the house, we were greeted with many hugs and kisses which made it memorable.
We stayed with my family for the remainder of the summer visiting old childhood friends and family.
June 25th, 2009
Just a day after we arrived to my families house, a show on the TV was interrupted by the news, announcing Michael Jackson's death. My aunts and uncles took it pretty hard because they really loved Michael and his music and they are all musically inclined. My aunts and uncles are very talented singers. They at times would do collaborations with Gospel songs and sometimes would do music videos for their songs. My uncle Mackenson though went farther with his musical career and became a famous artist in Haiti. In 2005 my uncle joined a group called King Posse. King Posse was one of the most famous music group in Haiti.
After I left Haiti and came back home, I started to listen to Michael Jackson’s music and made a playlist of almost all his songs. Listening to his songs in a way made me feel more connected to my family even though they were far away from me.
I love Rock n Roll!
My love for rock n roll all started with watching the movie Twilight.
You might be thinking how, or maybe this girl is out of her mind, but it is true. After watching a movie, I always watch the end credits. In the credits the songs played in the movies are always listed, so I always try to look for the song titles of the songs I found interesting while watching the movie. And at times, Marvel for example will try to sneak in extra scenes about the movie which lets the audience know that there story continues and there will be another movie. When I was watching the credits of Twilight, the song “Decode” by Paramore started to play.
The moment I heard this song, I feel in love with it. What surprised me was that I never found rock music enjoyable and I thought it was for weird people. Growing up I was used to listing to Hip-Hop, Rap and Pop music; but never Rock. I would sing this song almost everyday, and yet again perform concerts in the shower. Once I was hooked on to this song, I started to look up their other songs, and found most of them enjoyable. I then started a station with their name on Pandora, and it played other suggested songs related to Paramore. Through Paramore I started to listen to different rock bands and artist like, Linkin Park, Flyleaf, Skillet, Thirty Seconds to Mars and many more.
I would sing the song Decode over and over again which helped me discover that I had a voice. A voice to sing, a gift that I got from my fathers side of the family.
When I started middle school, I was starting on the stage of finding myself. I come from Immokalee, which is a small town. There’s only one one high school, one middle school, and six elementary schools. So when I started middle school, I was exposed and introduced to many different kids from different schools, with different personalities.
Growing up I was always raised in the church and always went to church on Sundays. But starting middle school was challenging due to peer pressure.
In the 6th grade though, my older sister introduced me to a youth group and organization called Young Life. Young Life is an out reach ministry for middle school, high school, college students, and teen moms, who share the word of God and talk about who Jesus is.
Attending Young Life was the first time that I was introduced to Christian Rap. I heard the song “Background” by Lecrae and I was astonished. I never thought that there was such a thing as worshiping God and talking about His words through Rap muic. It was something different, and I liked it.
I started listening to Lecrae’s music more and other Christian rap artist and I attended Young Life even more. I then started to read my bible more and take church seriously; and soon enough decided to take classes in church to get baptized.
During my freshmen year in high school on October 6th, 2012, I got baptized. Getting baptized was a milestone for me because I had the chance to start all over. I started to become a happier and nicer person to people, and I started to get closer those attending Young Life. Soon they became my family and a source of comfort and love.
Good Good Father
Being a follower in Christ in high school wasn’t always easy because there were certain morals and values that I possessed that I did not want to break. At times though I would slip up and lose myself because I had a lot of friends who did not follow Christ and they did not have the same values as me which was hard.
But every summer I would go with my Young Life group to a Young Life camp, and to be specific I went to this camp called Windy Gap in North Carolina.
There I recommitted my life to Christ and became more active in the ministry.
Junior Year Summer 2015
In the summer of my Junior year, I attended this missions trip at Windy Gap for three weeks doing this thing called Work Crew. I along with 20–30 high school kids served at this camp, and my job specifically was called a Tawashie (housekeeping).
Doing work crew, I was introduced to this song called “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin and it touched my heart deeply. The song talks about how great God is an how much he has done for me; and because of that He is a Good Father, and I should love him always. Attending this missions trip helped me as a person on the inside and out, and it helped me become prepared for my senior year to keep faith and keep God by my side.
I started my senior year off well making sure I did all that I had to do to keep my grades up and work towards graduation and keep a strong relationship with God. But things kind of went left when I was introduced to Kendrick Lamar and his music. I always knew who he was and was familiar with a couple of his songs, but I never found them interesting. I have always refrained from listening to songs with cuss words. But once I started to listen to his music and the message that he had in his music, it opened up my eyes to an even broader spectrum of music and different artist like: Domo Genesis, Anderson Paak, Bas and Vic Mensa.
In a odd way, the music that I was listening to helped me find myself even more and helped me cope with the stress of senior year aka Senioritis.
Throughout my high school years I was apart of many activities like chorus, track, and Beta. But most importantly, I was apart of the of the Color Guard in the band for four years. Through color guard I was able to express myself through dance with the music that the band played, and I loved every moment of it. Growing an extended family with the band through the years, it helped me grow more confident in myself. And with that confidence I decided to run for homecoming.
With the help of my band family and many friends helping me campaign , I became the first ever Haitian American Homecoming Queen at Immokalee High School.
Music is Love
Music will always be an important aspect in my life and it has helped me to cope with situations and discover thing about myself that I never knew. Without music I honestly don’t think I would have been able to finish high school or even complete my first semester of college. In a way music is my safe heaven; and how music can be so diverse, it helps me better understand the world I live in embracing all people, and the ways of this contemporary world. With all of this, I am determined to have an open mind to everything around me and with things in my life to become successful and soon graduate to live out my dreams.