The year 2020 was hard for most people. We were left to face the worst and most unexpected parts of our lives. When Lockdown was just beginning, my father died. That singular event changed the course of the year for me.
As the long homely hours of lockdown came in full, it felt like my mind was reaching a deeper place of introspection than at any point in my somewhat short life.
Sometimes, I felt muddled in the emotions that clogged my head-space. The world itself felt much darker and disconnected. But through all these, I found some of the most intentional pieces of music to pull me through.
On Brave (The Album) , Doug Kaze puts us through the journey of looking in while breathing out. As an academic, his ability to introspectively dissect issues presents a familiar feeling. The vulnerability that his music showed was both reassuring and compelling in the way that the listener could understand the angst, the pain and the vulnerability that the album showed.
To Doug, Music is a therapy for the soul and he explores the complexities within his society and himself and projects them in some of the most introspective songs of recent years.
On “Beautiful Thing” He allows the listener to understand that there are beautiful things in the normalcy of life and the prospect of even living is in itself, a beautiful thing. On “Brave” he carefully shows what true bravery is. On “I Can’t Breathe” which has the Poet “Younglan”, there is the conflict between the freedom that he seeks and the reality of the oppressed state around him. “Before Dawn” projects a hopeful tune, amidst the dark and the lucidly torturous events of life, the coming of dawn offers a symbolic respite. “Ballad” finds him coursing through the lines of the most glaring emotion (love). “16 Bars of Sense” is quite self advertising.
But it is on “Butterfly” that I found my simplest joy.
The pain of undergoing a loss ties through the fabric of the song. The reality of grieve and the acceptance of loss rule through the song and in more ways; it also presents to us the lessons of life.
The truth is that life is a temporal and fragile state, the suddenness of its end often presents the living with a vacuum to either wallow in or accept to fill.
The butterfly is an apt metaphor for what we have lost.
Doug’s music is the introspection of a deep mind. His Afro-soul, folk genre presents a blend of excellent lyrical ability with beautiful musical expression.
Doug never loses sight of the expression of his inner soul. This to me; makes him brave. And just like the hopeful yet vulnerable spots of his album, he wants all of us to be brave.