Imagine a world without music. Boring, isn’t it? Thank goodness we have songs to romance to, songs for the bride to march down the aisle, “happy birthday to you” when our birthdays come and musicians to show us how feelings sound. We have musicians, great musicians, and then there are musical geniuses. The past may have seen many such musical geniuses, no doubt. For those of us wondering where all the musical geniuses have gone and why we haven’t got any in this century, here is a list of five such geniuses that we think make the cut.
1. Benny Prasad
Born in Bangalore, India, musician Benny Prasad holds a World Record for being the fastest to travel to 245 Nations in 6 years, 6 months and 22 days. Despite having suffered from severe asthma and 60 percent lung damage, Benny has come a long way. He has gone from finding no fulfilment in life to performing at the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Known for his creations – the world’s first Bongo Guitar and the 54-string guitar, the Bentar, Benny aims to bring hope to people through his music and believes that if his dreams could come true, so can ours. Inspirational, truly!
2. Mark Applebaum
Mark Applebaum is an American composer and Jazz Pianist who has performed across the world. Since the 1990s he has built electroacoustic instruments out of hardware and junk. His Frankenstein instrument called the Mouseketier consists of combs, threaded rods, nails, springs, ratchets and a toilet tank floatation bulb. Yes, we have a scientist of music!
3. Reggie Watts
Featured as a ‘hot comedian’ by Rolling Stone, Reggie Watts is an also an actor, beatboxer, musician and singer. He refers to himself as a "disinformationist”, aiming to disorient his audience. Watts’ routines are 100 percent improvisations and bear the stream-of-consciousness association, often making his audience wonder what the baseline of his act is. If you want to know what experimentation in performing arts looks like, here you go!
4. Usman Riaz
Usman Riaz is a young music sensation from Pakistan who used the internet as his teacher and a distributor for his music. At the time when he was in the first year at Berklee, he was the youngest Senior Fellow in TED’s history! His talents are not limited only to music, he also writes and directs short films and guess what? he painted the cover of his album Circus in the Sky. A multi-talented genius, isn’t it?
5. Jake Shimabukuro
Recognized as the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele, Jake Shimabukuro is a ukulele virtuoso and composer who has various award-winning albums to his credit. He became famous internationally when a video of his rendition of the George Harrison and Eric Clapton “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was posted on YouTube. It was one of the first viral videos on the site. Need we say more? Don’t think so!
Watching these super cool, super talented musical geniuses is enthralling, don’t you think? We hope to discover many more!