I made my first mixtape when I was 9. It was 1995 and the radio kept me company while I was alone in my room. Grounded, hiding from my parents, or isolating in general, it was my boom box and me.
At the time, all I could really do was listen to the radio intently, waiting for the perfect song to play. I was at the mercy of local radio personalities, praying to the music gods that the DJ wouldn’t cut into the song while I was recording it.
Des’ree, Sophie B. Hawkins, Seal… they made very important appearances in the first few mixtapes I made. These artists, and the artists that made appearances in mixtapes after, provided me with two things: a voice when I needed one, and comfort when I had none.
Sure, the musical acts have changed since 1995, as have my methods of obtaining, recording, and sharing music. Connecting with and interpreting music stays the same though.
So, I’ve got a story to share, and I can share it best through song. I hope you’ll listen.