“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins.” – Michael Jackson
It’s a mystery, a puzzle so profound that most of the time we don’t stop to question it. In our darkest and most joyous moments, we open our mouths and sing. We don’t scream, shout, groan, or howl (although those are possible too). Instead, we tap into and pour cascades of notes out into the world. These notes are heard by our hearts as well as our ears. How is that possible? What is their source?
I have some theories, but rather than starting an intellectual discussion, I’d like us to listen to a song with words that most won’t understand. And that’s a good thing! If you can resist, don’t even watch the video the first time you listen. Just let the singer’s voice wash over you. Ready?
How did you feel while listening? What adjectives would you use to describe the song?
Now listen again, this time while watching the video. What do you think Nada Se Compara is about?
Nada Se Compara was created as part of Jada Pinkett Smith’s participation in the “Don’t Sell Our Bodies campaign, which fights human trafficking around the world. Pinkett Smith not only wrote the song in Spanish but sang it as well.
When it came time to produce a video to go with the song, Pinkett Smith asked her good friend Selma Hayek to be the director. Hayek agreed with one stipulation. “Selma said she would do the video, but only if I did it naked,” Pinket Smith said. “‘I need you to be courageous! This is the power they try to steal from us - you must show it!'“
“It’s a love song about sex trafficking,” says Hayek. “The story is about trusting a man who destroys you by luring you into sex trafficking.”
Now that you know what the song is about, ask yourself why it is so moving. What would the experience have been like if Pinkett Smith just talked about sex trafficking? Do you think Hayek and Pinkett Smith succeeded in capturing the power? Did you feel it?
I’ll leave you with a quote from Rumi:
“We rarely hear the inward music, but we are dancing to it nevertheless.” - Rumi
Facebook interview with Selma Hayeck. Start at minute 5:00
Copyright 2021 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.