Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Going Au Natrel: 'Lost In Music' Competition - March Music In The #ESPspotlight


How many times have you listened to a piece of music sung in a language that you don't understand, but still experienced an unexplainable emotional reaction to? How about an instrumental piece of music that had the same effect?

The beauty in music, is that as a Creative form of Expression; it is never bound by any constraints to conformity. A truly talented writer or performer can create something that relates to you and you may never be able to explain why. It may seem as though I'm cheating a little as I muddy the waters between the Creating and Understanding weeks, but in this case it's quite difficult not to. Today I want to look at language and communication's effect on the music you make and consume. What kind of difference do you think our natural, instinctive responses make, based on what we don't understand, if any?

Are you watching American Idol at the moment? A lot of fuss is being made over Top 10 contestant Devin Velez and his mash up of English lyrics with Spanish over the past two weeks, with the suggestion heavily preyed upon that bilingual renditions are his 'edge'. And who remembers '7 Seconds', the Neneh Cherry and Youssou N'dour classic duet that still, to this day, is praised by many as her standout moment? If you're not fluent in French, then you have not one iota of a clue what he's on about. If however, you speak emotion and body language with your Mother Tongue, then you know that the man needed a hug in his life (provided he has no issues with the invasion of personal space; that can upset some folk). Whether we understand the actual words or not, what is emoted through music is how you, as artists, connect with your audience.

Les Nubians 'Princesses Nubiennes' Album Cover (2006)
For today's Spotlight example, I'm going for one that is so iconic, that it has an infinite number of cover versions in genres completely juxtaposed to Sade's original. 'The Sweetest Taboo' has been covered by everyone from Dancehall's Red Rat and British R&B Star Shola Ama, to French-African singing sisters Les Nubians - with the latter being the version that we're focusing on today. I don't know whether it's because I've been familiar with the song for the duration of my lifespan; but I immediately took to the girls' version from the moment that I heard it. In fact, I loved it so much, that I went out and bought their 'Princesses Nubiennes' album; in the full knowledge that although I was way too far removed from GCSE French to understand a word of it, but purely because I loved the way they sounded - I needed to have the album in my life, because they had the most relaxing effect on me!

A few years after what I like to call 'The NeoSoul Revolution', when we were fully into its 'World Domination', Hélène and Célia Faussart - better known as Les Nubians teamed up with Black Thought of legendary Hip Hop Acoustic musicians The Roots and came up with 'Tabou'. This here young madam fell instantly in love, and drove everyone in earshot crazy with the repeat button - here's why...



So you see, it is possible to speak to people in unfamiliar words, because there are no barriers to communicating feelings in a universal language that we all understand. The same goes for Instrumentals. The emotion is in the music, which proves that it's possible to speak with no words at all. Just look at my review for Lekhem's 'Grandeur Pulse' as part of the '7 Days, 7 Mixtapes To Set The Valentine Mood' series last month, for a great example of how to 'talk through tunes'!

Competition Time! Remember that for every day of Creativity Week, you can not only win yourself a FREE #ESPspotlight Review of your latest Music Release by Yours Truly, usually charged at £12.50 and circulated amongst my worldwide network - but you will automatically receive a 50% discount on ALL orders placed between now and 20:13 tomorrow - provided you quote #MarchMusic at the time of booking! All you have to do is answer one easy music-related question by email, tweet confirmation of your entry to ESP Ltd. on Twitter and LIKE the ESP Ltd. Facebook Page to be in with a chance - that's it!

Now for today's question...

As mentioned earlier, today's Spotlight Example is a cover version inspired by 'The Sweetest Taboo' by the hypnotically mysterious Sade.

What album is the song taken from?

Yesterday's way too easy Q&A were:


Judy Garland bore a pair of famous daughters - one more known for following in her Mother's footsteps than the other.

Name her and the Musical film that she made famous?


The answers are: Liza Minelli and Cabaret!

Stay tuned, I've got more goodies in draft form coming your way shortly!

Read me next time...
ES ;)

PS. DON'T FORGET your ABC! It's easy as:

1. email your entries for today's competition
2. Tweet confirmation of your entry using the #MarchMusic hashtag to ESP Ltd. on Twitter then,
3. LIKE ESP Ltd. on Facebook by 20:13 tonight to be in with a chance!


'Lost In Music' Competition Terms & Conditions:
  • Only one entry per person, per day.
  • Prize refers to ONE single/EP/Album ONLY.
  • Entrants MUST complete all stages for entries to be eligible.
  • Answers should be submitted via email, with confirmation of entry tweets containing the #MarchMusic hashtag sent to ESP Ltd. on Twitter.
  • Entrants must LIKE the EricaSharlette Promotions Ltd. Facebook Page for entries to be considered eligible.
  • All methods of entry should contain the #MarchMusic hashtag.
  • The #MarchMusic promotional code must be applied to claim the 50% discount.
  • Entry deadline is 20:13 each day, winners will be notified via email within 24 hours.