Between 1993 and 1998, I was between the ages of 3 and 8 years old. Although I was very young in age, these were the prime years that molded my being– my discovery in what I liked in style and taste, specifically in the arts…
I was an only child, in the Eastchester Houses in the North East Bronx.
I was an only child at the time, in the Eastchester Houses in the North East Bronx. I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with my mom and dad. The apartment previously belonged to my grandmother, there were 2 beds in my fairly large room. I was in this big space, only child, with not much to do but well, discover.
My radio was my best friend. I loved books and magazines and music videos, although I was rarely allowed to watch TV. I consumed, I questioned, I learned.
My favorite music was being played over and over on Hot 97 FM or Z100. They were songs by Eve, Puff Daddy, Mariah Carey, Aaliyah, Da Brat, Jodeci, Jay-Z, DMX, Ruff Ryder’s, Mary J. Blige, the LOX, 702 and more.
Rap and R&B music were overall at this time, best defined as…a summery-feel-good-baller-funky-in-your-face-fuck-with-me-get-money-don’t-break-my-heart genre.
Around 1997, I’d adapted a habit of writing down the lyrics as I listened to some of my favorite songs. I would sit by the radio to wait for the station to replay what I wanted to hear and then try to write along with the lyrics as fast as I could. That’s when my mom introduced me to the tape. If you’re not too young to remember, cassette tapes were a thing. They had a side A and side B. Playing one side reversed the other side so you could flip the tape to hear more music when one side was all done. “I wish there was a way I could listen to this song over and over again.” I told my mom. And so she taught me how to record music on a tape. “You press this red button here…” Now I was even more excited to wait for my music to play on the radio. I would wait until the DJs voice transitioned or introduced the song and from there I’d race to that red button, play it back, write the lyrics, play it back again and sing along, fake performing in my room.
Later in the early 2000’s, it was all about writing in my diary and jamming to B2K, Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, S Club 7, Backstreet Boys…the list goes on!
It’s funny how I never became or took real interest in being a musician or performer. Instead I took to writing, photography and videography, hence the lyric-writing. I am still such a music fan…of different genres and of different decades. Music is what moves me and inspires me when I am doing my writing, photography and videography–even posing in front of the camera. My best work was done while listening to music I love.
Currently, my preferences fluctuate from old to recent to brand new Rap, R&B, Soul, Trap, Indie and basically whatever I think sounds good.
This morning, I took it back to the old albums of Kid Cudi– “Frequency” from his most recent album, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ and “Just What I Am” from his 2013 album, Indicud. On a train ride to work, I like to listen to Travis Scott’s, “Goosebumps” and “Coordinate” from his 2016 album, Birds in the Trap, Kendrick Lamar’s “Element” from his 2017 album, Damn. I also like to check out what’s new or if I need an extra energy boost or motivator, I’ll listen to Cardi B’s, “Bodak Yellow”, Big Sean’s “Bounce Back”, or Fetty Wap’s “No Days Off”. When I’m feeling passionate and creative, I listen to FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu and/or Sampha.
Music is magical. It’s fluid. It’s necessary. For every mood or situation, there’s a song for that and that’s something special.
Photography: Miguel Dusauzay
Timelapse Photography: Bryan Henao
Hair & Make-Up: Imani Peterson
Production Assistants: Shauna Lee Whyte, Emmanuel Perez, Japan
Make-Up Sponsor: Reina Rebelde