A few weeks ago I visited the church of soul singer Erykah Badu.
For Badu, music is her religion – a way to connect with something/someone bigger than herself. Mesmerising the crowd with her charismatic storytelling, you believed she had lived every word she sung.
Being in a room with a person who is so creatively and spiritually free was liberating for me, especially as someone striving to experience the same sense of freedom myself. From her soulfully improvised extended solos; to her crazy drum-machine jam sessions and her impeccable sense of style (no one can pull off a top-hat, rainbow blanket-poncho and harem pants but her). Badu is the definition of individualism or what I like to call ‘that person living out their inner weirdo’. But as she explains her highly controversial video for Window Seat, going against the grain is never easy:
“Peeling back layers of things we’ve learned is petrifying and separating ourselves from the group is also horrifying because we’re afraid of being osterized and assassinated by the group if we have our own thoughts in our own mind, in our own will, in our own direction.” [Badu, 2010]
And so I left the church of Badu, not in fear of doing things differently, but with a greater belief that only when you embrace your inner weirdo will you truly be set free.
x Grandma AL
[Above image: Courtesy of @alicks500; head image: Badu for Givenchy’s Spring Summer 2014 campaign. Courtesy of Style Chile]