What You Wanna Try - Masego
40 Degrees and drizzling in Pilsen
As Always if there is a song, play it as you read <3
I like Masego.
He makes the kind of music that is exactly my vibe and is one of the few folks I wanna see in concert. I just missed him here in Chicago and apparently just missed him in Detroit too.
Usually, that’s how it goes when folks go on tour. Detroit and Chicago are only about a 6-hour drive away from one another or 4.5 if you’re my father.
I’m from Detroit and I’m incredibly proud to be. I grew up on the Westside and both of my parents are from Southwest Detroit. I spent a lot of time going between the two when I was kid, we’d drive to Southwest to visit my grandparents and it felt like it was an hour away BUT it’s actually maybe 30 minutes.
I always knew we were getting close ‘cos I could smell it. There are a few ways to get to Southwest from the Westside but whenever we would go, we’d take the freeway and you’d cross over Zug Island. It’s all industrial and smokey and the smell would fill the backseat of the car for a few minutes, especially in the summer. If you need a film connection to help you picture it, think about The Valley of the Ashes where Myrtle lived in The Great Gatsby.
It wouldn’t dissipate until we took the turn off the freeway right by this large tank that had red stripes on it to mimic a baseball. Then we’d make the turn onto Electric, the wide street where my mother grew up and where my grandparents and uncles still lived.
Summers over there weren’t really my favorite. It felt like we were always shuffling between houses and had to do all our visits in one day. A few hours on Electric, then popping over to River Rouge to someone else’s house, then dropping off food on Zug and staying at somebody’s house for dinner. No one really had kids, so it would just be me and probably some book that I’d read cover to cover 20 times already.
What I do remember loving was the soundtrack to those day trips. If it was the whole family it would be my parents switching from smooth jazz to Motown hits, if it was just mama and us then it would be Motown and gospel, but if it was just dad then it was the hits of V98.7, and music that I can only describe as Chill Vibes Only.
I spent a lot of time in the car with my dad, I really do think that the type of music I love today — I’m a chill vibes lo-fi sexy soul kinda girlie — is because of what my dad listened to in the car. One of his favs? Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega.
If I had to pick a soundtrack to my childhood, this would be the title track.
When this song came on the radio it was always going to be blasted. I remember hearing it on the way home from school, on rides home from southwest, and sitting in my room and hearing it blasting from the car as he came home — the bass shaking the house as he came up the driveway. It was one of the few songs that he’d always let play out before he’d turn the car off and come into the house.
It’s such a fixture in my life and I can hear it anywhere, and like many folks I can spot it if it’s sampled. Also the story behind it is pretty fucking dope.
On Masegos latest project, Masego, there is a track What You Wanna Try. It just came out at the top of the month and it takes time for me to work thru a whole album, but if I’m a fan it won’t take THAT long.
I already loved this song within the first 15 seconds it felt very my vibe, but then he mentions my city AND THEN begins to sing to the tune of Vega’s hit.
At first, I thought it was just going to be a quick Detroit reference ‘cos it sounds good with his lyrics, but he goes on to talk about Coney Island, Seven Mile, and the Westside. It’s wild.
I think of my past with the song, but then there is the added layer of connecting it to my present, more recent memories that flip thru my mind and make me smile as it plays.
My partner loves a rendition of Vega’s song too. It’s a cover by AnnenMayKantereit x Giant Rooks. There is this new memory in my lovely brain I now have of them sharing this with me. I watched their excitement in one of those moments of connection and learning that new lovers have as they share with one another. Listening to them tell me to get ready for one of the singer’s voices, watching their eyes close and face scrunch as they vibe with a piece of music they have love for. It was incredible and sweet and romantic.
I can feel all of these memories and moments in Masegos song.
It feels like parts of my past, present, and future all in one song. It’s beautiful how artists create these brilliant pieces not knowing how much of someone else’s heart and soul it’s going to hit.
I have some gaps in my mind ‘cos I’ve tried to erase some memories of my life that I wish were never created. I’ve since forgiven myself for trying to do that. So now I capture moments and try to hold on to them in my heart to reflect on, those that are good and bad buuuttttt let’s be honest the good ones I have a bit of a tighter grip on. Having things like songs and photos to help build up those memories or recall them make me so happy.
This feels like a long ramble but it’s just really, really nice to know that I’m still adding songs to the soundtrack of my life.
Subscribe and Share <3