I grew up a first generation Canadian, the daughter of two Serbian immigrants who exclusively played Serbian folks music around the house. Unlike a lot of musicians who were raised around the classics, my first exposure to popular music was the Backstreet Boys. Music history was something I began familiarizing myself with during my early 20s. I would start to note which artists influenced the artists I loved, and one name that came up more than any other was David Bowie.
His influence on popular music is absolutely undeniable, and the modern showmanship of it can so largely be credited to him. I deeply admire his absolute fearlessness in his willingness to experiment with not only his music, but all forms of artistic expression he engaged in. I think that much more than ever before, it’s easy for artists to get sucked into comparison and to create work they think will please people instead of crafting work they find creatively fulfilling, largely due to the immediate feedback that social media and streaming apps provide us.
All of my favourite records feel that they exist in their own world, unswayed by the trends happening during that time, and as a result, I feel that they’re timeless. Bowie, to me, is the true embodiment of this. He was such a trailblazer of taste because he followed his own – while many might fear being as artistically mercurial as him, worrying about alienating casual listeners, Bowie seemed so effortlessly resolute in his pursuit of honest expression.
I chose to cover “Space Oddity,” as I feel it so truly embodies that spirit of a record existing in its own – pardon the pun – universe. Thank you for your remarkable influence on music, David Bowie.
By Jeevin Johal
The Radiohead frontman gives us something to smile about with his new trio featuring Jonny Greenwood and drummer Tom Skinner.