What Sade Taught Me...5 Years After Her Last Live Show
Love is an amazing phenomenon. One of the world’s oldest, most universal themes, yet we never fully understand what love is, or why we love in the first place.
We just do.
But just as much as we desire love we fear it too, aware that we’re sharing something with someone that’s different from anything we’ve experienced before. That we’re allowing a person to see us in ways that not many people get the opportunity to.
And that can be just as liberating as it is terrifying. A true first love is everything: beautiful, chaotic, complicated, frustrating, joyful, miserable, raw. You’ve been warned what love is capable of, but nothing can truly prepare you for what happens when you’re thrust into it, hoping that the partnership that’s been built is everlasting.
I experienced my first true heartbreak during the last days of January 2015. The conversation turned tumultuous quickly — then, over. People handle breakups differently: I found solitude in my sadness, hiding from everyone, the sunlight creeping through my bedroom window shades beckoning me each day to finally take a step outside.
Then came along Sade.
For so many of us, Helen Folasade Adu, commonly known as the lead singer of Sade, is the musical embodiment of love. Through Sade’s six albums are tales of love: fiery beginnings; troublesome middles; bittersweet or desolate endings. Sade’s backing band shapes the soundscapes of her experiences, smooth jazz, soul and R&B complimenting the richness of Sade’s contralto vocal delivery.
She tells it like it is — her cool, poignant vulnerability conveys the wisdom of someone that’s had their heart broken but still champions the privilege of giving and receiving love.
Therein lies the beauty of Sade: to speak of the intricacies of love in a way that never undermines her confidence and poise.
“If I tell you / If I tell you now / Will you keep on / Will you keep on loving me?” Sade sung on one of her most known hits, “The Sweetest Taboo.”