Afeefa & the Boy - The Old Man
Got this incredible letter about following your dreams despite all odds from Orlando’s Afeefa Ayube:
Hey ya Mark,
I hope my email meets you on a beautiful moment. Im stuck in an airport somewhere in middle American as I type, so you’re automatically better off than I anyway.
I grew up in a family where music, any kind of music was forbidden. I was in my twenties before I discovered who the beatles were. This was certainly not supposed to be my path, but here I am, and at home I feel.
my mother married my father when she was just a wee 15. he was 25. she is a free spirit somewhere hidden inside a women who has lead a pretty rough life. an artist, a believer of magic, and an amazing vocalist. but the life she was dealt pretty much crushed those parts of her.
when I say I grew up without music, I mean instruments, or radio, or movies…but my mother sang to us everyday. her voice is the most etherial thing ive ever heard. she wrote songs for us, my siblings and I.
often times, when I’m on stage, barefoot, with strangers listening to the words I’ve written, I almost can feel the energy of the SO many silenced women of the world. outside of America. somewhere far away. where creativity isn’t even allowed to hatch from the egg. i swear i can almost feel it. because that was very much supposed to be my life.
My father years ago, was a real hippie. or so the people of his past have told us. then, something tragic happened. he, like many many people that suffer tragic unthinkable things, turned to religion to help him heal, or at the least cope. his interpretation of religion, meant at least for many things, to “shelter” his living children from the corruption of the outside world. music being one of them.
i too, cannot imagine my life without music now.
A little over a year ago, with all things crashing around me, I started writing songs. And they would not stop coming. I knew nothing of “cool” or “indie” music. I barely knew music on the radio. The day before my birthday I spent a huge amount on cash, and bought myself my first Taylor guitar. I knew that I wanted to stum stum to the lyrics I was writing. I spent that summer teaching myself basic guitar, and braved an open mic about 2 months later.
afeefa & the boy starts there.
Jay, my now lead guitar player came straight towards me after I played 2 songs to an almost silent room. I had prefaced my shaky performance with “i only know 2 chords, i just started playing this thing.” We have been playing together ever since. A few weeks late, folks started booking us for local shows, I won a song writing contest, and “afeefa & the boy” was kind of born.
It wasnt until I wrote “the old man” that I knew we needed more instruments, but i knew, like Jay, it would happen at exactly the moment it was meant to. The very first time I asked our buddy Andrew to play with us live, to “the old man”, a stranger named Glen sat in the audience. Someone had told him to check out this girl that wrote songs.
He approached me after and said if I ever needed a cello player, he would love to be involved. I honestly didn’t even know what a cello was. He visited us the next day at rehearsal, and we have been playing together ever since. Since then, we have played some pretty cool shows on the Orlando scene, and are having the time of our lives making music together. We are exciting to finally be releasing our EP this April (in vynyl none the less:) have for the most part self recorded it, and would love to share it with you.
thank you so much for taking a gander at it, peace & love
PS. my dad still has no idea Im a musician :) and I see the guy a few times a week. haha. music is still forbidden in my parents house.
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