Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Halina Rifai (Podcart)

So in a change to Life Is Like A Box Of Records, I am going to be a tad selfish and publish my own. I have been sitting on this for a while.


Moroccan Chaabi Music

So my dad is Moroccan and my family was subjected to music like this every day. It is not till now that I fully appreciate it. At the time, I think because I didn’t understand it and I thought perhaps my friends would laugh at me so I tended to ignore it. Ironically when I started studying music and writing scores, my lecturer often used to say that my writing was very much in Andalusian Scales and I guess that lends itself to a lot of music from Morocco and the surrounding area. When you are in Morocco this music is so vibrant and colourful and I really am thankful to be part of another culture also.

New Kids On The Block – Step By Step

OH MY FUCKING GOD ARGHHHHHHHH. I loved this band SO much. I still remember all the dance moves and the words. I went to see them with my mum at the SECC and remember screaming so much I lost my voice. Joey was the apple of my eye and I just think they wrote the most fantastic pop songs. I had the board game, every DVD, tape, you name it. This song was and is my absolute favourite. I think the bit where it breaks down with each of them singing their own bits and makes you realise that a) Danny cannot sing for his life and b) Jordan Knight tweezers his balls to sing that high. I will ALWAYS <3 them.

Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill

Growing up was mental in my house. My mum was very much into Leonard Cohen as a teen and stuff, but when I was a teen she was obsessed with Van the man Morrison, U2, Paul Simon and this man Peter Gabriel. This song ultimately reminds me of my mum and I remember her dancing around the kitchen when she was cooking singing this. It makes me so happy. My mum is the best woman in the world and her love of music is something I am thankful for every day. Her singing is shite though.

Nirvana – Radio Friendly Unit Shifter

I basically went from liking NKOTB to Nirvana. Probably one of the weirdest shifts. I started school in Kilmalcolm and I developed a crush on one of the 6th Year boys. He knew I was into music so he suggested Nirvana to me. I then purchased Nevermind and never looked back. I bought it on cassette about 6 times because I kept wearing it out. When In Utero was released I think I realised that it was their best album, it was powerful, affecting and Kurt was still my hero. I still get funny feelings when I see him on TV. My best friend Erin and I used to record everything from MTV. I would just like to say a massive ‘fuck you’ to the bitch in my 5th year class that thought it was funny to write next to my yearbook profile ‘and Kurt was literally dying to meet Halina’. ‘Radio Friendly Unit Shifter is unadulterated angst.

Bjork – Hyperballad

Bjork is my hero/idol. Well, her and Kurt Cobain are the 2 musicians in my life that I have had complete adoration for. My parents’ relationship started to go sour the year Post was released. I can’t remember how I came across Bjork, but it was that old cliché that it changed my world. I used to sing Hyperballad at the top of my lungs in my room as it helped ease the pain and drown out the sound of things. I remember having this on cassette and the case was a clear plastic purse type cover that I cherished. In my life, Bjork is the most gifted and talented female artist and she is one of those musicians that I will continue to buy everything from.

Mogwai – Summer (Priority Version)

So the same boy I had a crush on that introduced me to Nirvana got married some years later, much to my devastation. The wedding was held in the back garden, small affair and very intimate. Apparently, Stuart from Mogwai was there in a brown suit and trainers and I asked why people were getting excited. A week later I got handed Young Team. I listened to this album probably every day for about 5 months. Summer was my favourite track and it was an awakening that non-classical music could be instrumental and incredible. 17 years later and I still listen to this with as much love as back then.

The Roots – Water

I think I was firmly in my Mogwai/DJ Shadow/Super Furries stage at this point. We lived in Dunoon, doon by the water and I remember coming in from college one day and heard this playing from my brother’s room. He was massively into Tupac, Dre etc. he was the one that pretty much introduced me to hip hop/rap. This will probably always be my favourite track. The beats are incredible and this made me go onto discover and still stick with them as a group. If you don’t own Phrenology then buy it immediately.

Bloc Party – Price of Gas

Silent Alarm is one of my 5 favourite albums of all time. It is perfect. I have seen them about 12 times live now with no indication of being sick of them. It was an album that all my brothers and I purchased and even my mum was a fan of. I remember when I worked in a hotel in Dunoon with my friend Claire and one Christmas we shut up early, got pissed and played this over all the speakers in the hotel. My brother Azhar and I share this album as a bit of a bond and from time to time we text each other if we are listening to it just as a reminder of great times.

Arcade Fire – No Cars Go

When I was at uni in Salford I started to develop panic attacks. I didn’t know what they were and to this day I don’t think I will be able to explain how scared I was. They went on for a few years and got so bad that they turned into agoraphobia so basically I couldn’t leave my flat. I lied to my mum for ages about being off work and eventually came clean. It was humiliating. I was too scared to even walk from room to room at points in case I had a panic attack. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on my worst enemy. I discovered Glasgow Steps through my doctor and this was the song that made me leave my flat and walk to the meeting. I cry every time I hear it as it just makes me feel completely triumphant.

Radiohead – All I Need

Not the most conventional love song, but that is what I adore about Radiohead. This reminds me of my other half. This is pure love, the love you find that there is no coming back from. The one that you shit yourself about because you fear that if anything happens to stop or end it then you know it will utterly destroy you. This song amplifies that.

One Comment

  1. Love your Life is a Box of Records! Several there that I will have to take as suggestions. So, ah, which 5th year bitch was that then? There are a few on my short list that I can imagine made that witty aside.xx

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