As a musician, I find sometimes that healthcare is something that should be a priority, but isn’t. I can’t count how many times I have thought of saving up to buy studio equipment for my production, or a tenor recorder, or a loop station, or a microphone etc. but I can count how many times I’ve thought of regular checkups in a hospital. All the tendency to walk to where a vehicle would have been less stressful is suddenly not lost on me. And it took a person passing for this to happen.
On August 17th, 2021, one of the greatest pianists and keytarist I’ve ever met, to me my able band leader, but to someone a brother/sister/cousin, to another a son/nephew, to someone else a friend/romantic interest/ex, someone who touched lives more than did mine but still in someway touched mine, someone who used his Valentine’s day to give food to the poor and homeless, someone who was the firstborn and support to his family, someone who I’m trying my most not to tear up while writing this, passed away. And I just want to say that I am not insinuating that he did not care for his health (he probably did more than I did). I’m just saying, it can be a very easy thing as a musician to neglect your health in the midst of the “hustle”. And it is definitely something I’m guilty of.
Onasanwo Adedayo Francis meant more to others than he meant to me, but the time I knew of him was of someone who was kind to those he met even for the first time. Someone who was humble and incredibly ambitious about what he wanted to achieve with his unbelievable talent. Not enough words occur for me to describe who he was, partly because I was not as close to him as others. But such is he that it only required a small dose of his presence to gauge the pristine quality of his character. That was Dayo for you.
But I digress. And I write this not only to give my pathetic attempt at a eulogy but to say that this unfortunate incident has reminded me of what I had overtime in the midst of the hustle forgotten. And that is this, the important of self care. The “sacrifice” that comes with the hustle should not include your body. You only get one per existence on earth. And if you are going to use it to achieve your lofty aims and your dreams in life, you owe it to yourself to care for it; mentally and physically. The strength behind your ability to achieve those aforesaid aims is only commensurate with how much commitment you put into ensuring your body doesn’t break down on you. And you owe it to yourself, and that beautiful future, not to let any other thing take precedence (even that beautiful future).
I would suggest the following:
- Regular health checkups and (this is important because in this part of the world it is the most neglected) psychological evaluation
- Sufficient sleep. Your body needs to refresh itself for another day. Sleep is the best way to do that.
- Proper hydration. With water (not with sodas, beverages or alcohol. Those don’t help much or at all).
- Exercise (especially for the producers cramped in a studio for days on end).
- Balanced diet. It can be very easy to, in the name of cutting cost, eat the wrong things at the wrong time. Biochemical balance is very important for your body.
That’s just my musing on this. I hope I live by this. I hope any musician who reads this tries to live by this as much as possible. And I also pray for succor for the Onasanwo Adedayo’s family, and that they are able to recover from this heavy loss. May he find his way back home.
Image credits: https://www.avacaremedical.com/blog/how-the-stethoscope-works.html
Edikan Benson Abia (Fil Harmonix) is a performing recorder player and singer, producer, composer, video editor as well as a piano and recorder instructor. A graduate of the University of Port Harcourt with a B. Sc Biochemistry degree, he would later enroll into, and graduate from, the prestigious Tenstrings Music Institute. He has been a recorder player for more than 10 years now and has been composing since he was 15.