My Life as a Mix Tape


I think I’m pretty lucky to have been born between two eras— the one where cellphones were being introduced along with other life changing technologies, and the one where we transitioned from things like cassettes, VHS tapes and floppy disks to DVDs (and now streaming) and USB sticks for our convenience. Even though I can actually say I watched the world evolve, there are times when I miss how simple things used to be.

My favourite childhood memory has to do with me sitting right next to the radio to record my favourite songs on a tape after my big brother showed me how to do it. He had a very colourful collection of mix tapes, I remember, and every time he turned on the radio, he was sure to have the tapes ready because he’d sorted them into genres and didn’t want to miss a single song he loved. I also used to watch him name them and put them in a box as if they were some prized possession— he was always so gentle when he did that, even when he picked out a tape to play because he was in the mood. Who else remembers having to use a pencil to rewind?

Music shapes us. Imagine a bunch of waves in the air having so much power over us. A song can change your mood, tell a story… a song could change your life! In light of this beautiful realisation and the realisation that we can tell a lot about people by the music they listen to (yeah, not by how dress or whether or not their tattoos have covered up their bodies from head to toe so ‘he’s gotta be trouble’) I decided to start a fun blogger’s tag for us to share our life’s playlists! I want to get to know as many people as I can through the music they listen to and that’s what this is about.

Here are the rules:

  1. One of your photographs from your past has to be your mix tape cover (I had time on my hands to edit mine but yours can simply be a photograph that you look at and feel something towards it)
  2. You can list no more than 10 songs for your mix tape
  3. You have to give a brief description/ story about what that song means to you, how it shaped you or what memory you have from that song
  4. Tag 5 bloggers
  5. Share, like, comment on those bloggers’ mix tape blog posts when/ if they partake in this tag (because you really don’t have to if you don’t want to)

My mix tape:

Fighter– Christina Aguilera: I was very young when this song came out (I was 7), but because I was aware of the impact that my dad’s absence in my life had caused, the lyrics to this song taught me to keep my head up from a very young age and I suppose that also it subconsciously taught me to see the good in bad situations too.

Can’t Hold Us Down– Christina Aguilera: this song quickly taught 7 year old me the importance of gender equality and how women are unapologetically allowed to have strong opinions and engage in whatever activities that guys do. In hindsight, I believe it taught me to have standards and not to accept it when someone, especially a man, would disrespect what I had to say or what I felt or what I believed in.

Rock The Boat– Aaliyah: no major story here but this was the first Aaliyah song I ever heard and it essentially made me a huge fan of hers to this day. I literally had no business singing this song and learning the choreography because this song wasn’t about an actual boat ride lol

Best Thing I Never Had– Beyonce: this song got me through my first heartbreak! When I was in high school, I fell in love with a boy who was damn neat perfect to me— he laughed at my jokes, would stay up with me in the early hours of the morning if something major was going down at home and I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to calm my panic attacks and when he saw me at school, he’s keep an eye on me to make sure I was recovered from whatever scared me at home… then he told me a good excuse as to why we couldn’t date and a few weeks later… I caught him with another girl.

Nobody Wants To Be Lonely– Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera: when I say that this song made me fall in love with love (especially the music video)!!! Also, Ricky Martin became one of my first ever celebrity crushes (after Relic Hunter’s Christien Anholt who played Nigel Bailey in the series… I’m melting). This was all obviously before Ricky came out.

Lady Marmalade– Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya and Pink: (Christina raised me y’all lol) all I remember from watching the music video for this song when I was younger was that I either wanted to get into burlesque dancing or own my own burlesque lounge… I wasn’t shocked by Lil Kim’s queen-ness at this point because I’d recognised it quickly when I first heard Can’t Hold Us Down and a part of me began to wonder at this point in my life if I was born to rap lol.

Moment For Life– Nicki Minaj: I still get goosebumps when I hear this song! I promised myself that this would be my life anthem and one I’d blast when I make my first real pay cheque doing something that I’m very passionate about (be it entertaining or making clothes for a living). If some years down the line I end up having a biopic, this is the song playing in the opening scene.

You Make It Real– James Morrison: I can never think of this as a romantic song after emailing the lyrics to my mom along with some photos of me from boarding school one Mother’s Day. I really missed her at the time (I only got to go home for school breaks/ holidays) and all our phone conversations were beautiful and packed with wisdom, especially during the times I was experiencing bullying. I became popular in her office from then on for making all the other moms cry along with mine because apparently my letters to my mom which I wrote from the comfort of my dorm’s bunk bed were that deep.

What Now– Rihanna: I honestly can’t remember what I was going through in my life when this song came out but I remember having some nights when I’d put my headphones on and cry myself to sleep while listening to it because I related to the lyrics so much. It carried me through a very heavy part of my teenage life (I’m thankful that I don’t remember what I was hurt about but wow).

Believe- Justin Bieber: I’m actually cheating here because I’m referring to the whole album (I couldn’t pick one song but hear me out!). My best friend and I actually became best friends because of Justin Bieber. After winning a competition to see his show, she flew down to Johannesburg in 2013 to share the experience with me after we met on Twitter. Yeah, it just became crazy after this even though I was super shy and quiet when we first met lol now we have to remind each other to ‘act normal’ in public because we never know what’s coming out of our own mouths that’ll be shocking enough to have strangers wonder why we aren’t in a psych ward. We recently learned that we are a type of twin flame/ soul mates whose lives have been synced since we were little, before we even met so that’s pretty cool.

These are my top 10 mix tape songs! I tag the following bloggers*:

Francisca Rockey

Love, Veronica

Relentless Self-Improvement

Itty Bitty Kitty

Tree of Life

*If this is a topic that you generally don’t blog about or have no interest blogging about, you don’t have to but it would be nice of you to read and share the blog posts of the people you were tagged with.


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