Junior Abdulsalam: Songs In The Key Of Life

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Blasket adJuniorJUNIOR Abdulsalam is the bass player for local band Sumdaze who recently put out a new single called ‘All Smiles Around the City”

Here are some of the songs that shaped his musical upbringing. 

Oasis – Some Might Say

I was about nine or 10 at the time. Long before the days of illegal downloads, my brothers would record songs off of 2fm and Atlantic 252. Everything from East 17 to Eternal.

I knew nothing about the concept of albums and songwriting so I asked my brother, Mohammed, who wrote all these songs. He told me that Michael Jackson wrote all of them and gave them out to the bands! That’s how little I knew.

It was off one of these tapes when I first heard two Oasis songs and not long after I heard the ‘…Morning Glory’ album. I can’t put into words how much Oasis have influenced me over the years. They are without doubt, my favourite band of all time. They had it all; the swagger, the confidence and most importantly, the songs.

They made me want to be in a band and to learn how to play. I wanted to be Liam Gallagher. I had the hair, the stance and even the tambourine. My only slight downfall was, that I couldn’t (and still can’t) sing in key or in time.

I could have picked any Oasis song but I’ve gone for this one because its just a rocker. From the beginning, it just grabs me because I’m a sucker for backing vocals and harmonies, which are all over this. It always takes me back to those great endless summer days.



The Beatles – In My Life

The first time I heard The Beatles was when my brother Omar had upgraded to a CD player that could hold 3 CD’s. No longer did I need to get out of bed to change sides.

So I put on the ‘Red’ Best Of album and listened, instantly falling in love with what I was hearing. As with Oasis, I could pick many, many songs, but this one is my favorite.

It’s such a beautiful song. The riff at the start is simple but has such a lovely tone. Everything is kept really simple, and John Lennon’s, vocals really shine through.

It’s sad with a tinge of happiness. Every time I listen to it I get very nostalgic. It just takes me to another place, to the 60’s, long before I was born, which is I suppose one of the many, many great things about The Beatles.

And there’s the solo, which always reminds me of Golden Axe on the Sega Mega Drive.

The Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums

After a shameful summer of ‘Slam Dunkin the Funk’ to 5ive – with all the “feens and beurs” in the last block in Shanakill – I put on The Complete Stone Roses and I never slam dunked the funk ever again.

This one is an anthem, pure lad rock. Like Oasis after them, they had such a knack of writing songs with massive singalong choruses. The way they brought it all altogether with brilliant lyrics and harmonies that were amazing.

I could listen to just the bass or drums from most of their songs and it would be amazing.

From the minute the bass riff starts, it has you. By the end of the song I always feel like I can take on the world. That’s what I love most about these guys. One of my greatest regrets was not being able to see them, when they played a few years back.

Aslan – This Is

I absolutely love this song. I can’t remember when I first heard it, but it’s always been one of my favourites.

The delivery from Christy Dignam, is so full of emotion. There is anger and sadness, but ultimately there’s a defiance and real feeling of sticking together to get through whatever life throws at you.

It kind of ended up mirroring his own life and career. He has been knocked down, many times, but he’s still going. It’s also one of those songs where I never want the last few choruses to end. It’s a song that would fill any stadium.

Britney Spears – Everytime

This might not be a safe or a good choice for a guy in a rock band, but it’s a beautifully haunting song and one I’ve always loved. I’m no Britney Spears fan, so I won’t have too much to say about this one, but there’s no dancing around with props or backing dancers.

It’s the antithesis of almost anything else she has done. It’s just a really piercing piano riff and her vocals are actually really haunting on this track. It’s simple but beautiful.

Flight of the Conchords- Issues (Think About it)

I was at one of my best friends, Dan O’Sullivan’s house (one Sunday of many we spent there) and he was always trying to push weird films and bands on us (sorry Dan!). He said there was a really funny band, called Flight of the Conchords. Obviously I was dubious, but he put on their live show.

I was instantly hooked. These guys are so funny. They are stand up comedians, actors, musicians and brilliant song writers all rolled into one. The things that set them apart is their songs are all great tunes in there own right.

I was lucky to see them live in Dublin a few years ago. The level of musicianship and comedic timing that goes into these songs to make them flow and seem natural is immense. Two truly talented guys.

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