Imagine for a moment, if you moved to a different city or country every year how many new people you would meet. Then, imagine trying to keep in contact with all of those people. This is the life of most musicians. Except we meet new people every day when we're on the road. So, when I moved to Berlin and realized I had to make all new friends, I knew I was in for a challenging balancing act. How was I going to manage my international performing career, all of my relationships -- both new and old -- and find time to improve my German?
Now, almost a year later, I realize there is no magic formula. Certain things take precedence at certain points in time. At the moment, my music career is the top priority. I simply contact people when they cross my mind, and study German for a few minutes every day. Lately, I've even gotten a few compliments about how my German is improving. Yay! I'm really hard on myself as a linguist, though, so I don't wanna believe the hype just yet. Along those lines, one accomplishment I'm proud of is that I'm now reading my first novel in German, Farbe Bekennen, by Katharina Oguntoye, about the history of Blacks in Germany. Katharina is also one of the founding members of the ISD (somewhat like Germany's NAACP), and I've been fortunate enough to meet her in person a few times. On the music front, I was blessed to hear Lianne La Havas perform some tunes from her upcoming album live, and I discovered an awesome UK-based band, Native Dancer. Read more about who I've seen and heard recently right here.
Kenny Wesley, the Soulful Nerd