I saw my first murder when I was only five years old. Such is life growing up in Camden, New Jersey. Although it was a very dangerous city to grow up in, It wasn’t all bad. Yes, it was tough times; but it helped define me. It helped prepare me for two tours in Iraq. But more importantly, it helped define my music. Yet, it would only take one basketball game to introduce my music to the world.
by Dim Kouchnir
I guess to start things off I didn’t really have this direct introduction to music as blatantly most people get it (I think). You could say I kinda got ushered into it slowly during the period of 14 to 20ish.
Around my mid-teens, I started writing poetry in my native language which is Flemish (same as dutch), and in that same period, I also got into dancing, particularly in the styles hip-hop, poppin’, and bboying. Being a dancer and mainly educating myself in the field choreography, I got in contact with a lot of the musical influences that show themselves in my work today.
I think of people like: Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Sholomo, Clams Casino; and the list goes on…
I remember my dance tutor having this immense iTunes library, and after a lot nagging, I got him to put it on my blackberry tablet (hahaha). Having that period in my life gave me a passion for music in general, And helped me to develop my taste.
You ever catch yourself listening to your favorite musician, band, or whatever it is you spend the most time on with headphones in. Only to be interrupted by an advertisment every single song change? Umm, yeah, that is the level I am trying to get you to help me reach.
I am living proof of the regenerative power of muscle memory and artistic practice. Music and lyricism saved my life, and to these, I owe everything I have. Ten years on from a major stroke, composer Liam O’Connell shares his thoughts on life and returning from the brink.