Our stories hold lessons that others could benefit from. While there are those whose journey is smooth, without nary a ruffle, for most of us, life is an exercise in experience gathering, not always positive but generally of value, even when it doesn’t seem to at the time. The idea of artists being overnight sensations is one that some try to push but the reality is that, for many, the trip to stardom is littered with potholes, burning drums and other potentially apocalyptic trials. In some ways, this is what makes the achievement even sweeter.
We put people on pedestals. We celebrate their genius by assuming that the human being reflects the genius when, in reality, we are all flawed. Regardless of our status or station, being human sadly comes with insecurity, self-doubt and fear … most of which we overcome, some of which can linger and manifest destructively. In digitally digging for interesting and compelling content, about two years ago, I stumbled across American television channel TVOne‘s Unsung. It is a television programme that profiles American soul and R&B artists, with a subtle emphasis on those who have trial, tragedy and tribulation attached to them and the careers.
I am obsessed with the programme and have, unsuccessfully, spent the last year trying to identify a way of purchasing every single episode. The first one I watched was of The Debarges (a tragic story of prison, drugs, abuse, HIV/AIDS and some redemption). Artists covered are many that have provided the soundtrack to my life. I watched with laughter, tears, and memories. Profiles include:
|A – D
|E – I
|J – R
|S – Z
You can find episodes on various sites and on YouTube but, if you ever come across somewhere I can buy official copies, please holler. I just got to have it.