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  • Artisha Bolding

I feel free as a bird. Flying around in the blue.

I feel free as a bird. Flying around in the blue. -Nicole Bus


Words and sounds paint such wonderful pictures in our minds. That's the beauty of music. It bypasses our conscious thoughts and slides right into our psyche. Melodies can create experiences and chords can stir up the best feelings. In fact I found out that the subconscious mind- where your memories, beliefs and fears are stored- makes up 95% of your brain power. Music just taps right in there.


Nicole Bus' music is interesting. She became more popular on the American scene a few years ago with her first hit You. She was talking about this man that looks so good and makes her feel so good that she doesn't want to let him go. She doesn't want to let go of that feeling or what they have. I first heard the song on the radio in my car as she was being highlighted as a new feature artist. You know how radio stations get annoying playing the same song every 10 or 15 minutes? That's what was happening but the more I listened, the more I vibed with this song. The hip hop inspired beat mixed with this cool Dutch accent was so smooth. The soulful sounds coming from this new girl in town had me intrigued. You quickly became a favorite of mine and the mister's.


As much as I love music and melodies, as much as I connect with beats and hooks I am the worst at identifying samples. I knew something was familiar here in the background of this song but I couldn't put my finger on it. After thinking and reading and the release of the remix I realized it was another favorite that I was connecting with- Wu-Tang Clan’s classic C.R.E.A.M. Now it all made a bit more sense. I'm also not one for music videos these days so I had no idea what Nicole Bus looked like until I walked up to her soundstage at the Essence Fest in 2019. She was not only a pretty young lady full of talent, she was also very humble. That just makes you dig an artist and their music even more. I saw the freedom she sings about in this lyric when I saw her on stage and that was super cool.


Lately I've been thinking more about what other people think and feel when they hear certain songs. Do they bring up painful memories? Do they hurry to change the channel? Do they cry? Do they wish? Do they ignore it all together? So many times I'm transported to places and memories when music comes on. And there have also been occasions where I would shut a song off and out of my ears. But mostly music makes me think, makes me thankful.


For so long in what I called love I didn't feel this freedom, at least not naturally. I fought for my freedom with men that claimed to love me instead of being allowed to just be me. Looking back now I realize that it was just as much my fault as it was theirs. I did what so many women do- I gave my power away. I was so busy trying to be a trophy but at the same time I wanted to be accepted and fully loved as my whole self. The loud, belly laughing, hugging, cooking, listening, counseling, loving me simply wanted to receive back what I was giving. I was giving my all. This line in this song could make me sad but it makes me smile because I think of the couples that have done the work and for them this freedom is real. I'm grateful that I finally have that with Mr. B. It was a long tough road getting here, but now that I've arrived I'm not leaving.


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