Life is a search for melodies as we try to escape the gravity of reality. This is at once an analogy and an allegory of the times we are living. In the age of information, music is omnipresent. Those of us who love melodies are given endless opportunities to go on a quest of discovery. YouTube becomes a playground for music aficionados; it’s like we become kangaroos hopping from video to video trying to find that special song. Then, BAM! The music hits us. This is precisely what just happened to me a few minutes ago which moved me to write this article.
I love music because music is my resting place. You see, focusing too much on the muck of the world is not good for the spirit. We have to find the beauty in spite of the ugliness; happiness is a choice no matter the hand we have been dealt. So as I write daily about the various developments going in the world, I always do so with music in my ears for the madness consuming this world is enough to consume the soul. Hence, I make a conscience effort to write about the good and the bad; to keep a balance and maintain a level of parity between presenting the way as it is and the way it could be.
It is with that back story in mind that I went hunting for some good music to write about this afternoon. Since I wrote about someone uber famous earlier this morning (link), I decided to write about someone who has an amazing voice but is not as renowned and acclaimed. To be honest, I’d rather write about the ones who have yet to be “discovered”; the rich and famous don’t need me and most of the time don’t even know I wrote about them. But the ones who are on the cusp of stardom and just need that one push to get them over the edge—those are the ones who I want to write about the most.
My search lasted for almost an hour trying to find that one music by that one supremely talented singer which would inspire me to write this article. After going through almost one hundred videos and none of them inspiring me, I took a pause and unplugged my ear buds to see if the universe would move me where YouTube would not. The sublime happened; one of my favorite songs was playing at the exact moment I took my earphones off. I hear Diana Ross and the Supremes playing in the background at the coffee shop I was taking a respite in.
Serendipity! I thought as an idea was planted to seek the music that was streaming in my ears. I typed in “Can’t Hurry Love Cover” in the search field of YouTube and then surfed until I ran into a rendition sang by Stephanie Nala. I hit play and instantly her voice grabbed me. I could hear a touch of Macy Gray’s raspy voice mixed with an accent of Luaryn Hill’s influence. Now I don’t throw these compliments around lightly, Lauryn Hill is my generation’s Etta James, this is why I wrote an article where I concurrently praised Lauryn and apologized to her (link) for my compliance in tearing down the talent that blessed me when I was crestfallen in my younger days.
Stephanie’s voice was entrancing in my eardrums. Music has magical attributes; a song sang by right voice can act as an elixir and heal our broken places. “Can’t Hurry Love” was music that I listened to before I even hit puberty and had any inkling what love was about. The irony of life, I listened to Diana Ross to prepare for a future heartbreak and let the same song bring me out of ennui that a broken heart begat when I finally got kicked by an ex factor. Life is poetic, I now find myself embraced by the melody of love and I can finally listen to this song without whimsical reflections.
To be honest, I don’t know much about Stephanie Nala beyond her voice. But then again, I don’t need to. This article is not being written as an expose as much as it is to expose the readers of Ghion Journal and a broader universe to the immense talent that resides in her vocal chords. I will leave it up to you to judge her voice, as for me I am hooked, I have already “liked” her page and hope that she makes it far. What can I say, sometimes I can write a story from an objective perspective; other times I can’t help but to cheer on lesser known who are amazing regardless.
After all, part of the mission behind the Ghion Journal is to empower individuals to achieve the impossible. If I gave Stephanie even a small nudge that pushes her forward on her musical journey, I will be content. Here is to hoping that we all do this for one another. We can spend our time protesting and marching or we can help each other out—time is a treasure we can never get back so it is best to use it wisely. In the end, I write on and Stephanie sings on brilliantly, eventually the spotlight will find the talented. You can’t hurry love nor can you hurry fame, just take your time in life and enjoy the music where you are at the moment. #NalaRhapsody
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ~ Aldous Huxley
If you are digging this write up and love Stephanie Nala’s voice (below) and want to push her forward as well, share this article on social media using #NalaRhapsody
Check out the music that moved me and the soulful sounds of Stephanie
Check out a Ghion Cast below that pays tribute to the famous and the not as famous singers who continue to bless all of us with music and heal us with melodies
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.