Sunday, 25 April 2010


"If you know who you are, you will not answer by who you are not…." Moi

The past couple of weeks, the word identity has been popping up wherever I turn. The word came up again when Isa Agape was teaching at the Rockhill Music Workshop for singers and songwriters.

I have not been watching the current season of American Idol not because I think the artists are not that great, no! I lost interest after the Fantasia season. I however tuned in yesterday; there was nothing else on the box and it’s interesting to see the judges argue amongst themselves about what style or genre of music each one of them think or assume an artist should follow. I never understand these competitions anyway because how do you determine what is good and what isn’t when it comes to creativity? How do you sit behind a long table sipping coca cola through the three minute or less rendition, and make a decision about what artist you think will be ‘huge’?

I have since learnt that these shows are just about pushing the agenda of a record and TV production executive; huge bank balance. No more, no less. One of the ways they are able to pump up that balance is market to millions of young people who are impressionable and are at that early stage of trying to find themselves. The need to be loved and heard will drive anyone to identify with a product that seems to affirm them or give them a sense of comradeship with a community of fellow human beings who are also searching for themselves.

Speaking of young people, flip open the newspapers or tune into any news channel, you will find everyone talking about young people and violence. Sometimes I wonder why the madness and why are young people so angry? What is fuelling the rage? Is it the need to be loved and heard? What would make someone in their right mind take the life of someone else? Is there a link here to identity crisis? Just thinking out loud.

The question of identity is not just waiting be answered in the artists or creative circles only. Everyone and I mean everyone is screaming to be heard and noticed. One of the things I enjoy doing is eavesdropping on people’s conversation. When I am at work, typing away and punching the numbers I tend to listen to what people are saying and time and time again when two people are engaged in a conversation, the listener is almost always sitting on the edge of his or her seat not because they are paying attention to the other person and listening to what he or she is saying but because they are waiting for breath catching moment and an opportunity to get their word or two in. Everyone is talking but no one is listening.
I came across the amazing James Mraz yesterday, and he said something really important in an interview.

‘Ten years ago, I thought, I can’t wait to be signed so they can tell me what to do. They will give me a bus, give me tour so I can sing. You then realise, that doesn’t happen. They are waiting for you to say, this is what I’m going to do, this is how I am going to do it and this is what I’m bringing along and the minute you say that, everyone is like YAY! Let’s go!

I had to rewind that statement a few times.

I find that people who know who they are, are the ones that inspire others. The minute you sort out in yourself who you are, others will follow.

Who are you?


Karl Nova said...

this is a great blog and it is someting that has been on my mind forever! it's so true! IDENTITY CRISIS!

rayo said...

'I find that people who know who they are, are the ones that inspire others'
how true those words are... one of the things i'm learning slowly!

'Lanre Fajumo said...

Me too, I try to remind myself that all I need to do is be myslef instead of searching for the next deep thing to say or do to inspire others. Thanks Rayo, for passing through. ;-)

Anonymous said...

By being yourself, even with all the weaknesses and strengths and bad or good traits, you enable one to feel comfortable around you and be themselves. Then they don't have to put on a front because you are not putting on front.

Kade S. Alli Jr said...

Had to go dig this out from the facebook page:
"hmmmm...u just know how to make something so important seem so casual, yet packed with so much incisiveness that it hits better."