This is Kojo Boyd. He’s a singer. Is he important? Well, yes. We all are, but this blog isn’t about him really, but more about the event he was at.
Scratch that, it’s not really about the actual event either. Instead it’s about the kind of event.
Music open mics.
It’s the one setting that everyone in the room can collaborate, and join in. The singers can invite other singers from the crowd, the musicians can jam on their own performing sonic acrobatics, the audience can sing along, clapping and foot-tapping. It’s like church, but with no talk of sin. It’s a bunch of self-sermonizing, and a downpour of spirit over spirits and bar food. Like juke joints…not devil’s music, people’s music. A sacred place, where special things happen.
I need more of this in my life. This awesome witnessing of artistic, collaborative freedom. To see folks just jump in, unashamed, unaware of where the music will go, and unconcerned about who’s better as long as everyone is doing their part. As long as the drummer is drumming. As long as the guitar player is strumming. As long as you feed off me and I’ll feed off you. I’ll take the highs you take the lows. Clap your hands everybody. Sing it if you know it. Let the music take you away.
Kojo Boyd was one of the conductors of that train. He and some of his buddies reminded me of, first why I love being black, as well as why I love being an artist, and lastly, but most importantly how amazing it is not just to be alive, but to actually FEEL like it.
(Note: I know it doesn’t always go this way. Sometimes, you go to one of these things and everybody who touches the mic sounds like a dying cat. Or some overconfident joker decides to sing Stevie…or Luther. No Stevie or Luther folks. Please.)