Music and Nostalgia - How Music Takes You Back

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

‘Too Nice’ by Mahalia / ‘Cut Ties’ by Tiana Blake

Music as a whole has always played a momentous part of my identity, it was everywhere I went in my little bubble as kid. Music was a way in which my friends and I could relate, it brought all of our histories together from the start to the beginning. It was a magnetic force that was able to evoke feelings of hope, pain , and infatuation . However, one thing I refused to believe was that music was able to take you back to a certain time, it just didn’t make sense to me that a song could bring back nostalgia. I felt so passionate about this until I heard ‘Too Nice’ by Mahalia and ‘Cut Ties’ by Tiana Blake on Spotify.

These songs immediately transported me back to a life erased, forgotten memories and moments that felt long-lived but lost swiftly in time. That’s the stunning thing about music, is not the song it’s self but the memories that transcend a lifetime. These songs were so powerful it took me to a place and a time of hopefulness and childhood naivety; in which looking retrospectively I would go back to in a heartbeat. These songs bring back warm memories of being a child in Ghana, and singing along with my sister and cousins to early Y2K R&B artists such as Aaliyah, Ashanti, Brandy and Alicia Keys who formed a significant part in my formative years; in terms of identity, and my ideas on beauty standards and fashion.

Nonetheless, in all honesty the biggest impact of early Y2K music is that it influenced/ constructed my perception of Western Culture which I so wanted to assimilate into one day.

Assimilating into western culture was important to me because one day, my sister and I were going to join our parents in the UK. My English was not the best, I didn’t understand what people were saying half the time for the first year. However early 2000’s music allowed me to maintain a connection to both home and my new home. Most significantly, it allowed me to bond with my friends, even though language was a barrier.

That is why I currently love ‘Too Nice, by Mahalia’ and ‘Cut Ties’ by Tiana Blak. These songs exude a breezy mellowness reminiscent of early 2000’s R&B with a natural charm which encapsulates youth and simpler times, which I could listen to over and over again.

Written by Chelsea A.

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