Stephen Pennell writes in praise of one of Birmingham’s biggest multi-talents.
Do blogs review other blogs? I don’t see why not. Lots of people read them, and they are, by definition, intended for public consumption. So here goes.
AffieJam is a supremely talented songwriter-musician from Birmingham – but that doesn’t tell half the story. She’s also a hair braider, longboarding coach, illustrator and “all-round socio-cultural authority” (copyright me). And she writes – brilliantly – as you may be about to find out.
You could easily assume that with all that going for her, she starts every day on the right side of the bed and gets up whistling “Oh what a beautiful morning”, but then maybe you are the type of person who thought Stan Collymore couldn’t possibly have any problems because he was on twenty bags a week. Life’s not that simple unfortunately, but if you want to achieve a deeper level of understanding or knowledge of such issues, AffieJam’s blogs are the place to start.
Her informed and informative musings on mental health mirror the clarity, intelligence and charm of her music, and are equally as affecting. Her thoughts are meandering yet profound, and never laborious to read; a seemingly complex and oppressive subject made accessible by her painfully honest words, generous and surprising helpings of humour and a crisp, rhythmic writing style.
As befits such a multi-dimensional creative, her compositions are not restricted to one subject; Black x Female x Solo Independent Artist shines a brutally bright light on the local music industry, and searing insight into the life of an up-and-coming musician, while I Woke Up Like This is like some beautifully-expressed romantic film scene.
AffieJam bares her soul and her considerable intellect in her blogs, not to mention a disarming and distinctly Brummie lack of pretence. She should be one of the most significant and influential figures in Birmingham culture, and any launches, events and celebrations would be blessed by her presence. A brief perusal of her estimable essays will tell you why that is unlikely in the foreseeable future, and it is most definitely our loss. File under ‘essential reading and start here.
Pic – Libi Pedder