It’s all happening, folks. We’re at that crucial point of the year where deadlines and exams are looming, we have to start thinking about summer jobs– and if you’re me, you’re also waiting on a bunch of test and scan results #chronicillnesslife.
Needless to say, on the back-end of reading week, I am feeling the pressure.
Whenever I’m particularly stressed, I find I prefer podcasts over music. One of my all-time favourites is Desert Island Discs, a BBC4 radio show that I’ve been listening to for as long as I can remember. Every episode, a guest is asked for the eight tracks, a book, and a luxury they’d take with them if they were cast away on a desert island. I love that the guests vary from academics to musicians to writers to astronauts to artists to businesspeople and beyond — people from all walks of life and every industry. The more I listen to it, the more I wonder what my picks would be if I were ever interviewed by the wonderful and insightful Kirsty Young.
Throughout February, the team are blogging about love in all forms for #GLAmour — So without further ado, here’s a draft of my desert island discs. It was really hard to narrow it down to just eight, so I tried to focus on the music I would want to have on a deserted island, with no other company.
All Dem Tobago Gyul, The Mighty Sparrow: I grew up listening to calypso (though the euphemisms and innuendoes went way over my head) and this song always reminds me of my childhood, and my first tenuous link to my Trinidadian heritage.
Can’t We Be Friends, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Ella and Louis always remind me of drives into the Somerset countryside with my family, and dancing around the kitchen while washing dishes with my sister.
Once I Was An Eagle, Laura Marling: I could have chosen any song from any of Laura Marling’s last three albums, but this was the first song I ever heard her sing live. I’ll never forget how enchanting that moment was after so many years of listening to her records.
Lovin’ You, Baby, Charles Bradley: I missed out on seeing him perform for free a few years ago, and I’ll always regret it.
No Other Way, Paolo Nutini: I’ve had a long standing love for Paolo Nutini’s music. I’m so interested by how his music changes and evolves with each album, and this song is one of my favourites of his.
How Great, Chance The Rapper: Again, could have been any song, but this one would be nice to listen to on a deserted island.
Leave Me Alone, Calypso Rose: I got a chance to see Calypso Rose perform with my mum and grandma recently and it was such an incredible experience. Calypso is often very political and she’s used her career to influence change and stand up for what she believes in. She truly is a Queen.
Quick, Tank and the Bangas: For no reason other than their music makes me happy! I’d want the version from this live set over the recorded one, though.
At the end of the podcast, Kirsty Young gives her guest the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare, and lets them choose one more book to take. Mine would probably be The Famished Road by Ben Okri: it’s a slow read, and every time I go back to it I take away something different. Having taken a few classes that grappled with postcolonial lit. (shoutout Dr. Lee Frew) I’ll definitely be thinking about what I’ve learned while I re-read it!
The luxury item isn’t allowed to be too practical, nor a person. I think I’d ask for a lifetime’s supply of Yorkshire tea, the milk and honey to mix it with, and a nice mug to drink it from. (Am I living up to my British/Caribbean stereotypes yet?)
What podcasts do you love listening to in stressful times? I’m always looking for recommendations, so please post your faves in the comments below!