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"Give Me My Theme Music!"

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

At INNOVATION Insights…We challenge you to be moved, to explore, reimagine, and innovate within your spheres of influence. Let's be the catalysts of change and the harbingers of progress.

"Give me my theme music!" With these electric words, Coach Prime – Deion Sanders – sparked a fervor in the University of Colorado Buffaloes at the dawn of this collegiate football season - watch here. Sharing a last name with the charismatic Coach Prime is fun, as an ardent fan. This rallying cry struck a chord with me; every year, I select a theme song that speaks to my soul, mirroring my life's current rhythm.

This personal tradition stems from a deep-seated love of music, a treasure gifted to me by my parents' wonderfully eclectic musical tastes. Our family's music landscape knew no boundaries and included - R&B, classical, gospel, country, polkas, Latin instrumentals, South African music, rock, and more…

I have vivid childhood memories of our family trips from Lamar, Colorado, to Denver. A highlight of these journeys was a stop at a local music store to purchase from a treasure trove of 45 vinyl records. The music store was run by the iconic Denver disc jockey Dr. Daddy-O, aka James Walker from KDKO. It was more than a music store; it was a cultural lifeline that kept us tethered to our Black heritage, enriching our lives with soul and R&B anthems our parents intentionally sought for us growing up. Those curious about the legendary Dr. Daddy-O can discover his story here.

Music was more than sound to us; it was a family member. In his later years, our father sang with the Men-istry: The Shorter Community A.M.E. Church Male Chorus in Denver, Colorado. These were the melodies that narrated our lives. I still remember the comforting strains of "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers drifting up from our family room while my father worked at his desk as I drifted off to sleep. Today, the roles have reversed. It is my mother's bedroom that often emanates faint country or pop melodies, a lullaby for the soul as I work late or drift asleep.

Our family room also doubled as our dance floor, where my mother, sister, and occasionally our father – with his unique flair for comedy through dance – would groove. My high school mornings in our household began with the electrifying "When Doves Cry" by Prince due to my obsession with him. And yes, my family is remarkably tolerant.

Nowadays, around the home, my mother immerses herself in the tales of music legends like Barry Gordy and Smokey Robinson, not just basking in the music but diving deep into the narratives that shaped their innovation in the music industry. This curiosity, a seed planted by our parents, has grown into a full-fledged appreciation for the intricacies of the music business.

As a fashion designer, the backdrop to my creativity was often a diverse playlist, an

unspoken collaboration between threads, yarns, textiles, and tunes. Music was a constant travel companion, entwining with the hum of the road during my commutes from Fort Collins to Denver for work or as I journeyed to and from graduate school in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Colorado. Similarly, whether working out, dressing for the day, or settling into work at my desk, melodies are the ever-present underscore that energizes and inspires my daily rituals.

I invite you to join me in this melodious quest by following the INNOVATION Insights Spotify page. Here, you will find playlists brimming with innovation-themed tunes, podcasts that delve into the heart of innovation, and, of course, a selection of my favorite music.

Because life, like music, is a dance, we innovate as we go along - keep listening, keep dancing, and keep innovating.

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