Early this morning, we hung a right outside San Diego and made our way into the Southwest, playing Tucson AZ tonight.
Growing up in a South African household, Paul Simon’s Graceland was on heavy rotation, and I first heard of Tucson through a lyric from Under African Skies:
In early memory, mission music
was ringing 'round my nursery door
I said take this child, Lord
from Tucson Arizona
give her the wings to fly through harmony
and she won't bother you no more
It’s a beautiful song about the common roots of our musical traditions, with the verse above sung by Linda Ronstadt, a Mexican-American artist from Tucson who credits her diverse musical upbringing - catholic hymns, mariachi canciones, gospel, country, R&B, and everything in between - for emboldening her to leave home and pursue her dreams.
My parents left their home, their birthplace and families, to come to America so my sister and I could live whatever life we imagined. A musician’s path is informed by impossible audacity, which, fortunately for me, is just the kinda thing that resonates with two diminutive South Africans who know what it’s like genuinely to risk everything.
My mom and dad’s inexorable belief in me inspires me everyday. I’m incaluably lucky.