We couldn’t have asked for a more upbeat return to Helena High School than Vox Sambou provided last week. He and his band mates, Lionel and Francois, shared a sampling of Vox’s music, and then discussed their music and lives with the students. I was amazed at how many questions the students had:
“How do you find inspiration for your songs?”
“Do you start with the melody or the lyrics?
“What’s your favorite type of food?”
“What advice to you have for a lyricist when they get writer’s block?”
And on and on! Vox shared his love of languages (he speaks 5…so far, but confessed that he’s been secretly working on a few more), and encouraged the students to approach music and language as means of connection above all else. He also asked the students what they first think of when they hear that he is from Haiti. Responses included “violence, food, culture, and storms.” Vox told them how important it is to him that people he meets understand that life in Haiti is more similar than it is different to theirs. He is using his music to call attention to the need for healthcare in Haiti, and explained how all of his art is inspired by his call to activism.
By the end of the second workshop, students were dancing as the band jammed.
Thank you to Molly Steele and Helena High School for hosting the artists, and to Blue Cross Blue Shield Montana for sponsoring this important work!