I’ve been watching more documentaries to increase my general knowledge and help me understand pop culture references because I have some embarrassing blind spots!
I recently watched a documentary on Quincy Jones who had a tough start in life, growing up in Chicago’s south side, his mother was ill and unable to look after him and his brother, whilst his father worked long hours every day in an attempt to provide for the boys. Their upbringing was hard and deprived. Quincy wanted to be a gangster, that’s what everyone around him was doing; carrying weapons and stealing.
Decades later remarked that ‘you want to be what you see.’ He so wanted to be a gangster when he was young because that’s what he saw. By chance he picked up a trumpet in elementary school and the rest… well it’s not history. It’s important to not skip over the thousands of hours Quincy put in to perfecting his craft, an apprenticeship with Frank Sinatra and writing tirelessly for everyone who asked and initially not for much money. Advice he was given early into his career was ‘learn to deal with the valleys, the hills will take care of themselves.’
He’s a very talented, but humble man. He’s not only a hard worker and brilliant at what he did; he brought other people through. He mentored and supported new artists. That’s why I watch documentaries like this. People who inspire me are one who are driven and also reflect on what they’re doing.
In the 1990s Quincy went to his home town to start to understand his roots and heal family relationships. His marriage to Penny Lipton had just ended and he realised he’d been working so hard, and that came at the expense of the relationship with his wife and children. ‘I was always running. I thought that to stay still was to die.’
Lessons from Quincy
More programmes should start with a rap like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air did. I spent a summer learning all the words!
‘You want to be what you can see.’ Stop looking at images which distort the human image and deviate from your personal understanding of what Yoga is.
‘You need confidence. Ego is hiding insecurity.' Quincy exudes confidence, there’s no arrogance or ego. Studying and hard work will give you confidence to stand up and be you.
‘Since my voice is louder and carries further than others I have a special responsibility.’ Quincy leverages his influence to campaign for disadvantaged people all over the world and the African American community. Social media gives us this platform, for our voice and words to reach far and wide. Use it for good.
‘Not one drop of my self worth depends on your acceptance of me.’
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Photo by HPinkness.
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Thank you, Rosie Pose x