I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had my fill of auto-tuned, vapid, rehashed performers churning out the fast-food equivalent of music. Blessedly there are still new performers plying their trade with passion and energy. I consider myself a lucky fellow to have found the music of Tash Sultana. She is an artist of skill, passion, and complete badassery.
If you haven’t heard her music before check it out now, but make sure you watch her perform. That’s half the magic. Here’s a link for you; go on, watch and listen, I’ll be here when you’re done:
Pretty god damn incredible, right? Here’s one performer looping every single layer of her song while playing it live. Suck it, T- Swift. The level of skill, practice, and love for the craft is evident in every single note Tash Sultana plays. Listen to the music and jam along endlessly, but the real magic is discovered when you watch her performances. Tash becomes a live wire of unrestrained passion and joy when she performs. It is utterly exhausting to watch her live shows.
When I’ve shared her music with friends and colleagues I often hear the response, “Yeah, it’s pretty good,” and that’s it. Seriously, guys? Did you even watch her play? Show me another performer with half the life and love Tash Sultana has for her art. Impossible to watch without falling in love with that energy.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Wise words, and Tash is a damn fine example of what that quote’s all about.
And that’s what it’s all about. Tash becomes a living instrument for whatever’s in her head, like she can truly breath only when playing music. As if she comes alive only with an instrument in her hand and music in her head. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes ever by author and civil rights leader Howard Thurman. He said,”Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Wise words, and Tash is a damn fine example of what that quote’s all about.
We each have a responsibility to ourselves, our family and friends, our ancestors and future generations, to do what makes us feel alive. There’s surely something that makes you feel the way Tash looks when she performs, even if it isn’t quite so energetic and outright joyous. For me, it’s writing. I wouldn’t be able to get a damn thing done if I bobbed and weaved the way Tash does, but I sure as hell feel that focus and fire inside of me telling me “You’re at least doing this right”.
We’ve all got bills to pay and obligations to attend, but that’s no excuse not to run wild with your passions. Most days after my day job I’m throwing myself behind a keyboard and writing for hours. Most of it’s garbage that nobody but the NSA will ever see, but god damnit I’m writing. I feel alive, like I’m doing something worthwhile with my time and this one-and-only life I’ve got.
It probably won’t do me any good in the long run, but that’s okay. I don’t need to save the world with my passions and pursuits, I just need to remind a few receptive minds to keep chasing their own.
Ultimately that’s what Tash’s music does for me. It reminds me to be alive and practice my passion. She didn’t tell me how to live a happy life, but instead showed me what living is all about. And hey, maybe I’ve paid that lesson forward to a few readers.