Thoughts

A few tips for your Fulbright-mtvU application

At this point, you’ve probably already settled on your country and project. Your application will be strongest if you’ve already made some kind of connection to your proposed host country—through a previous visit, research from afar, language study, or even having friends who grew up there. And similarly, your project will be the most convincing if it reflects some part of who you are and is consistent with your academic and professional aspirations.

To improve your proposal, try to familiarize yourself with everything related to your subject. Go beyond reading academic articles on the country you’ve chosen. Locate music journalists by checking the culture sections of local newspapers online, follow relevant people and venues on social media, browse YouTube for music videos and informal clips of performances, and meet with people who have lived in the host country.
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Friday, January 30th, 2015 Call For Applications, Thoughts No Comments

What Can Music Really Do For Us?

My research here in Ghana will be classified under “ethnomusicology” but I have never considered nor identified myself as a musicologist per se. Music enthusiast, expert-in-the-making, music journalist, hip-hop head, DJ, concert producer, promoter… I simply LOVE music. I always have. And I truly believe it has power. I am also an information junkie who does not allow myself simply to be interested in something; I am always delving in to find as much information as I can—which has led me to Ghana.
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Thursday, January 29th, 2015 Audio, Thoughts No Comments

The road to the Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship

“Life is winding; enjoy the scenic route.”

The road to the Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship, like most things in life, is winding. It is an unconventional path for the unconventional scholar or social entrepreneur who is deeply interested in the intersection of music and social change.

In this blog post, I will offer critical tips on how to embark on such a journey successfully, but before we get into it, let’s be straight up about the things we don’t normally highlight: you’ll be living on a student budget; the days can be extremely long and tiring; projects can hit huge obstacles that seem unsolvable; if you get the grant, you’d be walking away from an old life that you’ve spent a lot of time fostering; there are a lot of unknowns.

If you still want to do it despite knowing all of that, then you’re likely in it for the right reasons. I want to help you have the best chance of getting a fellowship, because if you’re here reading this, then you’re also likely determined enough to thrive.

Before you start reading the rest of this post, grab a notebook and a pen.
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Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 Call For Applications, Thoughts No Comments

Gospel Hits and Explorations at Eastpoint Nightclub

I arrived in Zambia only a few days after the news of President Sata’s death. While international media focused on the fact that Sata’s temporary successor was Vice President Guy Scott, a white man, this obviously didn’t come as much surprise to most Zambians. What I found more interesting than the political gossip following Sata’s death was that only gospel music was permitted to be played in public places until the mourning period was officially declared over.

On my first Friday in Lusaka I accompanied some friends to a club called Hollywood City. I had actually been to Hollywood City during my visit to Zambia the previous year and although the club looked the same as before, there were far fewer people.
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Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 Thoughts, Video No Comments

Music, Storytelling, Fires and Caves

In October, seventeen people gathered around a fire in a large cave right by basalt cliff rocks and a black-sand beach near Hafnarfjörður. We were there to say goodbye to Christian Duell, a friend who had deeply impacted every person in the cave. But we were also there to share stories and deepen our relationships with each other. It was completely isolated; there was no one for miles. There were many “old” friends and plenty of new faces as well.
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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 Thoughts No Comments

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