If someone were to ask me why I chose to have a career in music, I would have to say, I didn’t.
I never chose music. Music chose me. I wrote my first song when I was 8 years old, and my family thought it was delightful – and I guess I didn’t think it was half bad either! I wrote the song for my Grandma, who I affectionately called “Nama” and who was my best friend. We always used to listen to “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton whenever we drove in her car. The tape would never go to the next track. I would constantly rewind it back to the start of the song.
Then, when I was 10, my Grandma’s car was hit by a speeding vehicle, an accident which took my Grandma’s life. The car was a wreck, it was a wonder anyone survived, I believed that everything inside would have been lost.
I was injured badly, and for a while I had a sort of amnesia. I knew who I was and who my family was, what I liked and disliked, but I didn’t feel any kind of a connection to my Grandma, who had been such a huge and beautiful part of my life.
I felt like this for a few months, until one day I went to my Grandma’s house, before it was due to be sold. I went to the spare bedroom where her piano was that she had helped me learn to play. I began to play a little song, staring up at her photograph on top of the piano. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of something, beside my Grandma’s photo. It was our “Tears in Heaven” tape. I couldn’t believe it! I reached up and took it in my hands, just staring at it. I started to cry. As the tears came flooding in, so did the memories of my wonderful Nama.
Since then, I have written over 170 songs. It has always been easier to express myself through music, than through plain speech. I usually don’t think about anything I write, it just happens, as though the pen is being moved by someone else’s hand, maybe my Grandma is still guiding me through all of my writing and all of my performances.
One thing I know for sure is that she is still in every note, and every word.
By Renee Maurice