My niece, Keisha, did not like David Archuleta. She thought he was not cool enough. Inevitably I gave her a mouthful at some point … afterall, she is my Niece, not my Aunt. I thought giving her a mouthful was by right of seniority of rank and hierarchy. 😉
We stopped talking. About David, that is. One day, out of the blue, she initiated another David-conversation with me.
Aunty … you know … that David Archuleta … She slithered up to me, hesitatingly like she was tip-toe-ing and sliding over eggshells, eyeing me with caution, just so that she did not step on my fragile David-Archuleta-toes again.
Before she can have a chance to finish what she wanted to say, I jumped in with a certain measure of indignation: Of course I know David Archuleta! What d’ya mean “do I know that David Archuleta?!”
Knowing too well my D-partiality, she brushed aside my rather snide remark and continued: Well.. actually … I think he is pretty good really … in her strong English accent.
Oh Almighty, I thought she would never see the light of day!
Oh yeah? … I said guardedly, with a sneaky suspicion that it was a sort of trick she was playing on me, or that she was looking for a fight again. At the back of my mind, I was already planning another mouthful for her.
Ya, she said, he actually has a very good voice and he sings with so much emotion. You feel like crying when you really listen.
Took you so long to “really listen” huh? I looked more kindly at her and my equilibrium was beginning to be restored.
Well, at first I felt he was rather old-fashioned, she said.
What has that got to do with good singing?! – I was mentally loading my gun again.
Ignoring my remark (which was wise). she continued: His voice sometimes sounds like he is crying for help. He makes you feel like you want to put your arms round him and comfort him. But then, actually, he is, in turn, putting His arms round You and comforting You!
My dear little niece (not so little really. I just see her as “little”) – when did she learn to be so wise? So insightful?
He is actually quite unique, she went on. Uniqueness is so rare nowadays. So many musicians produce the same kind of crap over and over, it’s getting meaningless and boring. Many of them make music that is not music – just some stuff to make loads of money with. And it seems like that’s what most people want.
I stared at her in silence with disbelief and wonderment –
She went on talking like she has listened to David for some time: But then, I think his voice deserves better music. Some of his songs are not so great. He would be so much more popular if his music strikes a chord with people who really buy music alot. He already has that amazing voice. He needs to combine it with better music.
Keisha – no longer an unthinking kid who gave in to peer pressure a few years ago- now imbibed with maturity, with better taste and with deeper understanding of the need for quality and empowered with analytical powers.
Aunty, she said, I have a surprise gift for you. Listen to this. She held her phone next to my ear and there it was. DRA playing into my ear. I didn’t know whether to smile at hearing David’s voice again after so many weeks of abstinence in the mountains, or to cry at the Eureka experience of my beloved niece.
Mouthfuls of debate and words close to reproaches of sarcasm are no longer needed. I hugged and thanked her for the song. And an extra layer of bond burgeoned between us. I could not love her more than this at that moment.
She recently emailed me from faraway London and said: “Aunty … you know … that David Archuleta …”
I smiled a knowing smile to myself and replied: “Yes Keisha, I know … that David Archuleta … And you do too. 🙂 “