Music can tell us so much about a person and their history. This music quiz was designed to do just that. Shaquana Desiderio was kind enough to share some background on her musical inspirations, loves and of course, her all time favorite band Nirvanna!
At what age did you begin to develop your love for music?
I lived in a home filled with music. My parents didn’t play instruments, but they sang. My siblings also have beautiful voices, especially my eldest sister. My brother unfortunately can’t sing, but he can play the drums and the guitar. So, our house was always filled with music. I think hearing them sing, listening to my brother play, helped me broadened my music taste and influenced the way I listened to music.
What bands or artists helped you to do this this?
parents will probably say that I developed a love for music when I was a toddler. But, I think it began for me when I first heard Nirvana. I was fourteen, gawky, timid and shy. I didn’t resemble the punk rockers at my school, with their multi-colored hair, their spiked jewelry or even their obsidian eye shadow. I was all things, but ext I rarely ventured out of myself. Hearing them for the first time was everything to me. It helped me see past myself and gave life purpose. Everything changed for the worse and for the better.
What kind of role did music play in your childhood?
When I was younger I used to listen to everything on the radio. I rarely ventured out of that public radio sphere. But it wasn’t until I received my first record that I started to listen to other types of genres. Nirvana helped me to see that there was a whole world of music than what was playing on the radio. So, the biggest transitioned occurred when I was fourteen. I went from pop radio to grunge in just a matter or years. I guess, now, it has changed a great deal. I listen to all types of genres. I don’t really have a fixed artist or band in mind.
List 3 songs to summarize your childhood
Dreams- Fleetwood Mac, Tiny Dancer- Elton John, Fortunate Son- Creedence Clearwater
How did your love for music change with age?
My mother recently was diagnosed with breast cancer, so everything changed. Things I used to enjoy, like music and writing, suddenly didn’t have appeal for me anymore. There were times when I wanted to quit school, but my mother convinced me to continue. When she underwent surgery she asked the nurses if they could play Elvis Presley for her while she slept. And they did. It was the most heart-warming things any one has ever done for my mother, my family and especially for me. She was nervous going in and the only thing that calmed her was Elvis. So, whenever I find myself struggling, I listen to Elvis and am reminded of the things I’m grateful for.
Has music ever helped you through a tough time?
What genre/band/artist would you compare yourself to?
I don’t think I would compare myself to any band. But one band I think my friends would associate myself with would probably be, Warpaint. I have a huge fascination with women that can play instruments. It really motivates me to play an instrument. Currently, I’m learning how to play the piano. It’s a slow, painful process but I like to think that I’ll get there at some point.
What song would people close to you associate with you?
Think a lot of people would say Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac. I don’t why, but when I asked them this question this is the answer they gave me. I think it’s because I listen to this song all the time, or that I obnoxiously sing this song whenever I’m around them. Or maybe that I’m the complete opposite of the song’s lyrics. I am in no way mysterious or mythically divine like Rhiannon. And they know that, which makes this song weirdly perfect for me.
What song would you like to be remembered by?
When I was younger, my father wrote a song about me in his native tongue, which is Navajo. He wrote the song when I was baby and has it recorded on a cassette tape that I keep with me. It’s just him singing. No instruments, only distorted sounds in the background and his angelic, soft voice. This is the song I’d like to be remembered by.
If you could chose a wedding song what would it be and why?
I’m not a firm believer in marriages, but if I were, I wouldn’t probably choose something vintage and classy like Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Frank Valli. I think it’s a fun, romantic song that everyone would enjoy.
If you could chose a song to be played at your funeral?
Funeral by Band of Horses. Well for one, the title says it all. And two, the acoustics and the voice is amazing. It’s not too sad, not too boisterous, and has a tinge of hope in it.
What band have you listened to most consistently throughout your life?
To this day, I still listen to it. It has been a wonderful seven years with them. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
What musical taste do you share with friends or family?
A musical taste I share with my family would probably be our love for classic roc My mother was a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix. So, in that respect, I grew up listening to them quite a lot.
If you could sing/perform any song what song would it be and why?
If I could perform any song, it would have to be Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Van Beethoven. I’m not much of a singer, but I would love to be a classical performer. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a beginner at playing the piano. So, to master this song would be amazing.
Has a song ever influenced you to do something?
Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix really inspired me to play the guitar. And I did for a while, but never fully committed myself. Growing up and hearing that song for the first time really encouraged me to play and write poems. But above all, it motivated me to write.
What does music bring to your life that you would lack without it?
There are some people who document their memories and histories by certain smells or tastes. But I prefer sounds. Without music, there would be no past. A lot from what I remember is tinged in sound. And I often based those sounds on certain memories. Without music, I wouldn’t have much of past.
In what ways can music change the world?
People say this all the time, but it’s t Music has the power to do anything. It’s enough to change our attitude, our emotions and our memories in just a matter of minutes. It’s strange the things music can do for and to us. I truly think music can change the world. For me, it evokes imagination. I’ll be listening to a song and suddenly become hit with an idea for a poem, or just a writing topic in general. I think listening to it can change the way we see ourselves, and how we interpret the world
Use three words to describe music and what it does for you or the world?
Nostalgic, Beautiful, Life-changing. I think these three words accurately describe my love for music. It brings me back to a time when things mattered, when life wasn’t so difficult. I believe all music is beautiful, even the glitzy pop songs. And they’re also life-changing.
If someone had never heard music and you could only play them one song, what song would it be?
Anything by Frank Sinatra, or even Ludwig Van Beethoven. You can’t go wrong with these two artists.
What is the absolute best band of all time? Not just in your opinion, but what band do you think can be recognized as the most loved band of all time?
I am a firm believer in Nirvana. And I always will be. Kurt Cobain has never disappointed me.