Dear Julien Jacob

Dear Julien Jacob,

When my son, Kojo, turned one, my parents gave him a small blue and white CD player. Finding a simple one was difficult since they are hard to find or the ones still around have too many fancy options and settings. 

He began opening and closing the lid with his persistent wet hands or pulling on the CD inside while it was still spinning.  We marked the ON button with a big black circle.  He learned the button was important so he would press it repeatedly.  To our delight, the player still works two years later.

At a weekend market in Ghana, we came across a stand selling CDs. There were shelves of still unopened discs at bargain prices.  We bought a box full and took them home.  

Kojo has now perfected his skills and can intentionally turn on and off the player, insert and remove CDs, and adjust the volume when needed. One corner of our living room is dedicated to music with the player, CDs, chair and a small lamp all huddled close together. 

This morning when I sat down to write hoping he would play independently alongside me, he chose one of the CDs in that collection from the market called “African Groove”. He gave me the book inside the CD cover and asked me to read it. As each song played, I showed him the photo of the artist.  He loved saying and repeating names like: Issa Bagayogo, Badenya, Madeka, Didier Sourou Awadi, and Dady Mimbo. 

When your song (number 4) came on, he pointed to your image and said, “Tell me that story.” 

He stared at your face while listening to your voice as if he knew you somehow.  He listened to the simple guitar chords that started the song. His body stopped moving and his eyes, although looking forward, seemed to be looking elsewhere. 

I told him about where you were born and how close Benin is to Ghana. His hands relaxed with the baritone vibrations of your voice. 

I explained that you speak French and that your mommy and daddy were from the blue seas of the Caribbean. His heartbeat seemed to slow down to match your steady djembe beat.

He heard about your journey from Africa to Europe when you were just four.  He listened to you chant, Kalicom over and over again.  

“What is he saying?” He asked. 

I told him that you are a writer and thinker. I told him that you sing in an invented language that “flows forth naturally and spontaneously”. I explained that you want the listener to find his own meaning. We both sat quietly until you stopped singing and the room became silent again .

I am writing to tell you know that your message has travelled across time and space.  And I thought you might like to know that we had breakfast with you this morning and something magical happened. I wanted you to be aware that although you don’t know us, we now know you.

Until meet again, 

Kay and DJ Kojo

4 thoughts on “Dear Julien Jacob

  1. “your message has travelled across time and space” What artist wouldn’t want to hear those words? And your beautiful letter to Julien Jacob has travelled over to me. I will find his song and his message will continue. Thank you.

    Like

  2. Dears KAY and DJ KOJO,

    I am Julien Jacob.

    What a wonderful story ! Your words ( like a message in a bottle ) just got to me.
    It’s a miracle ! Life is so magic !!!

    I am very touched ! I would like to say that it’s not only your story…but our story !
    Thanks for sharing it ! Thanks for this honor you do to me !

    I hope that Kojo, you and me will have many breakfasts together !

    I released 5 albums. The 6th will come soon next year. Please, leave me a message
    on my Facebook Messenger and then I will send you an exclusive link where you will
    can listen to the 6th before he comes out.

    Thanks a lot, dear Kay !
    Say Hello to Kojo !

    Receive my best thoughts

    And as you say…. Until meet again

    Julien

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s