Andrea Beukelman didn’t see a lot of live music growing up, but that didn’t prevent her from understanding the power of it. She played piano and sang in choirs. Andrea remembers her first concert was Mannheim Steamrolller (thank you mom and dad) and just much of a treat it was to see live music, at school, the church, or out in public. There was something magical about being with a group of people who all really love the same thing, while watching someone who is clearly in love with what they’re doing sharing that skill.
“Music was always really important to my family, but it wasn’t really live. It was just something we listened to or something that we participated in together,” Andrea shares.
In college Andrea started branching out more and more to experience live music. When she graduated and didn’t have much money or a good job, she even doubled-down on the importance of seeing music. Andrea decided it was something she was going to invest in because it had been a huge part of growing up and has made her life infinitely better. What little money she had was put back into seeing live music.
“To partake and feel like there’s a connection between everybody in the room, especially to watch people who are so comfortable with their instruments that it seems like an extension of their body brings so much joy.”
In the Absence of Live Music
Before the shutdown Andrea always kept an eye out for the stuff that’s a little bit more unusual. She’d hit up the websites of her favorite performing arts venues searching for unique experiences. One of those places is the Schubert Club, which not a lot of people have heard of, but it’s classical music done in a modern way. She saw a violinist playing Bach, accompanied by a juggler, which was beautiful, visually and sonically.
Hearing about artists through word of mouth and even City Pages used to be a great resource to finding new music. It pushed her to try out more things and explore our music scene. Now she’s finding new music on YouTube. Andrea is even turning to her comfort songs during this time, awhile making her own music.
“And even though I’m bad, I like to sing a lot alone in my house and it brings me joy. It’s biologically proven to do good things for you. It does things all through your body that are just so healthy.”
Andrea was immediately intrigued by the contest and realized we don’t know what we got until it’s gone. She was craving a little bit of normalcy as live music has always been such a big part of her life. Kashimana’s rich and beautiful voice stood out to Andrea, along with how expertly her songs are crafted. She’s been watching her YouTube videos and clips on websites to prepare for the experience as well.
Kashimana took the stage inside the empty Cedar Cultural Center and started with a cover of “Ready or Not” by the Fugees. The performance set the tone right away with Kashimana’s powerful voice. Shifting to “Wicked Ways” from her 2017 release Love from the Sun, she had the winners turn to each other and say “thank you for being the sun of my life.” The request was warmly met by the two friends in the audience.
Like light parting through clouds, Kashimana followed up with “Sun of My Life”, which felt like ray of happiness beaming into the venue. Her smile and obvious joy of performing radiated on stage. Watching that passion bloom onstage was a reminder of the emotion that live music can convey. It’s infectious and seeps into us without thinking.
“Sun of the, Sun of my life
You are my everything
You nurture, you nurture my soul
You give me room to grow
And I long to bask in your glow
Your love is all I need
These are the words of profession
Of my love, oh my love, oh my love”
Sharing her love for the sun, Kashimana shared that being from Nigeria made her move to Minnesota 21 years prior a bit hard. Her first winter in St. Cloud was a shell shock that caused her stomach to turn every time she thought of snow. Transitioning into “Sun Baby”, she expressed how the song is about your inner light and finding that within yourself. The song is an affirmation to ourselves and the beauty we carry inside. With the cold winter outside the venue, the relevance of the song was not lost on us.
“Though the winter comes with the blizzards
my mind it does remember where I belong
And I can hold on to the mem’ries
that soon enough you’ll find me
where I shine strong”
Just to clarify, “You and a Corona” was not written about the virus. Kashimana talked about how the pandemic has given everyone a time out and the ability to think about what it important to us. The song does strangely tie into that message as it’s about taking a break and being with the ones we love. As her sparking outfit reflected around the venue, and the lucky fans dancing in their seats, our small little break with live music came to a close.
“All I want is you and a corona
swaying to the music, can you feel the bossa nova?”
Exclusive Video “You and a Corona”
The Meaning of Live Music
Andrea recognizes the Twin Cities’ music scene as having a little bit of everything. She samples all of it, taking advantage of our diversity and community. She’s taken dance lessons and seen poetry recitals at The Cedar Cultural Center. The Cedar is one of those places that even though half the music they bring in she’s never heard of, she attends and always leaves with a heart filled with joy. The audience is enthralled and that makes her feel a little bit more alive when you leave.
“I think live music is just something that unites humanity. We all love to see live music. I tend to like stuff that not everybody else likes. So I’m really, really grateful, for the music scene in the Twin Cities.
Listen and follow Kashimana at the links below.
Kashimana website – Instagram – YouTube – Spotify – Bandcamp