Photo by Alejandro Santiago
Makeup by Robert Weir
Makeup by Robert Weir
1. Nina Simone | I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins Cover)
Nina Simone can make any song into a Love song. Her voice is so haunting and real. She is the only singer that can make me cry when I hear her voice. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original Screamin’ Jay Hawkins version too. But this song has so much Power and Emotion. I used to sing it a lot when I was a teenager, wishing I was a Jazz singer in a red sequined dress crooning atop white grand piano.
2. Otis Redding | These Arms Of Mine
I love to slow dance in the kitchen to this song. It’s such a romantic and sexy Love song. Otis represents a time of Classical Soul. When a voice was enough to carry a song. When he is pleading in the song about how he needs somebody’s warm loving arms and sweet tender lips I melt a little. If you had someone who loves you sing you these words, oh, how grateful you would be...
3. Sade | No Ordinary Love
Love is not ordinary. It could never be. When you are in it, nothing is better. The World stands still, the heavens open up and you are the only two there. Love has such passionate intensity and this song speaks volumes of it. Helen is one of the most effortlessly cool singers out there.
4. Kate Bush | Hounds Of Love
This song always gives me chills, Kate's voice is so captivating. Her performative nature has always made her one of my muses. Whenever I head up to a friend’s cottage I will sing a loud I take my shoes off and throw them in the lake. Hoping this is something I will be able to do. I went to see Kate Bush play in London three years ago. It was one of those concerts I thought I would never be able to see and when she sang Hounds Of Love I was so overcome with Emotion I cried. She is just so amazing and otherworldly.
5. The Witch | Erotic Delight
I discovered this song on a mix from fellow Torontain’s Invisible City. It has such a great Psych groove to it. When I listen to it I like to imagine I am in a club in Zambia dancing in a beautiful white silk dashiki by the glow of daylight.
6. Stevie Wonder | Superstition
There are a lot of things I believe in that I don’t understand. Like how can a song have such a great groove and also be so spooky. I am not a superstitious person, if I see a black cat it’s usually a good day. I remember first listening to this song from my mother’s records when I was a kid. It just made me feel so good. The clavinet, the horns. What the Funk. I think it’s one of the best songs out there.
7. Michael Jackson | Thriller
When I was a little girl I loved Michael Jackson so much. I wanted to be him. I had the silver sequined glove and microphone set I had begged my parents for my birthday. I thought that if he was what being a singer is all about then that’s what I wanted to be. This song is such a Halloween anthem, and Halloween is my favourite season. Getting to dress up and being applauded for be different instead of ridiculed. Sometimes I want to wear skeleton makeup just because. This song is everything to me. The Vincent Price voice over, the Quincy Jones production, the dance moves. It's just a masterpiece.
8. CeCe Peniston | Finally
If this song is playing anywhere I will run to the dance floor and I will sing every word. It has such a good groove and classic 90’s sounds. It’s such a joyous feeling to think Love can finally get to you. It is one of my go-to’s at Electric Circus, a 90’s House/Dance party I have with my friend Pamm in Toronto. We give away glow sticks and candy necklaces and sing or giggle to every song.
9. Machel Montano | Like Ah Boss
My hips get excited just thinking about this track. My body needs to move, to whine my waist, jump up, get sweaty and find bacchanal. Soca is the happiest Music ever made. It’s a staple at Booyakasha my Dancehall/Soca night. We have a version of Carnival in Toronto called Caribana. There you find gorgeous costumes, super loud Dancehall and Soca playing from giant speakers on floats. I remember last year when Like Ah Boss was playing from one of the floats and everyone was singing along. It was such a great moment, everyone being their own boss.
10. Daft Punk | Da Funk
I first heard this song when I was in High School. The Spike Jonze video was playing on Much Music. When the 303 kicks back in my body can’t help but move. It started a whole Love affair with French House. Homework is one of my favourite records ever produced. I like to think a world with dogs blaring ghetto blasters is the kind of world I’d love to live in.
+11. Todd Terje | Inspector Norse
If I am in a bad mood I listen to this song. This song makes me so happy. I love arpeggiators. When Inspector Norse starts playing my body starts to move. It feels like the first day of Spring. The build up in this song is so massive and intense, it feels like you’ve been taken up into Space and all the aliens are dancing with you, trying to show you their moves so you can dance in Synchronicity.