If you read my Ageless Style post last week, then you already know two things about my musical taste:

  1. We were not allowed to listen to secular music
  2. My first Walkman was a game changer

My mom and stepfather are both preachers, so we grew up in a conservative household where we were not allowed to dance, listen to secular music, play cards, blah blah blah… So I used to listen to Contemporary Gospel artists like The Clark Sisters and the Winans. Their gospel music was set to a funky beat that my parents were able to {barely} tolerate. But I loved them. Two of my favorite and most often played songs were “You Brought the Sunshine” By The Clark Sisters and “Tomorrow” by the Winans.

That’s not to say my parents were anti-music. Quite the opposite. My mom played a mean tambourine and my dad often sung a few songs before he started preaching. Our church choir was backed by an organist, guitar player, saxophonist, and drummer. My sisters and I were in the children’s, youth, and adult choirs. Those were special times in my life. Often times, our choirs were invited to sing at Italian churches — they loved our gospel music and, much to my parents’ chagrin, they would often dance in the aisles while listening to us.


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Leslie at Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

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THE THEME: My Favorite Music

That being said, my bio dad was just the opposite. As a kid, my dad learned to play the trumpet and guitar. In his teens, he was in a band that used to play around the D.C. area. From my limited memory of his playing, I think he was quite talented. My uncle has confirmed my memory.

When he and my mom were still married, sometimes, she’d leave us home with him while she went to church and he’d have these crazy parties. There’d be all this music playing: Smokey Robinson, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, and a host of others. People would be dancing, drinking beer, smoking weed {it was the late seventies and early eighties, y’all}… My parents were the epitome of opposites attract. Even though it means my sisters and I wouldn’t be here, I’ve often told my mother that they were two people who never should’ve met, much less married and had children. But that’s a whole nother post…

Anyway, my bio dad gave me a great appreciation for music. And it’s because of him that I have a deep love for all things soul and R&B.


My stations on Pandora and on Spotify.

Nowadays, I listen to a little bit of everything. It really just depends on my mood and what I’m doing. When I’m feeling down, I turn to the comforting sounds of gospel music. These days, I’m partial to Lauren Daigel, Casting Crowns, and TobyMac. I like the messages and the beat. I mean, it’s hard to feel down when someone is telling you how much Jesus loves and cares for you. When I’m feeling nostalgic, I turn to the Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin {my kids loooooved him when they were little}, and Reverend Shirley Caesar.

When I’m editing pictures, I either binge watch something on Netflix or Hulu or I listen to something really chill like the Sweet Soul Chillout station on Spotify. I also have a playlist that I created for when I’m shooting. When I’m taking pictures, I need something to help me and my clients relax: Photography Shoot Music. The music is all positive and has a nice beat to it.

Some of my favorite artists are India.Arie, Corinne Baily Rae, Lenny Kravitz, Maxwell, Lucy Pearl… I’m really into neo soul music. Lisa Stansfield sends me back to a special time in my life in Italy. Anything by DeBarge will have me singing to the top of my lungs. Joss Stone and Adele are a mood. Prince. Bruno Mars makes me think I can dance. I cannot. My daughter sent me this playlist because she said it made her think of me. Then again, she also said the first time she heard this song, her first thought was “Oh, my gosh, this is so my mom!” I used to tell them that they were beautiful and not to let anyone make them think differently.

Now it’s your turn

Who’s your favorite artist? Do you have a playlist on Spotify? Pandora? Or do you keep old school and listen to CDs?


Style Imitating Art follow me on Instagram @DaenelT {living outside the stacks}

Style Imitating Art is hosted by Salazar {14 Shades of Grey}, Terri {Meadow Tree Style}, and me. Style Imitating Art challenges us to draw style inspiration from pieces of art. Every other Monday one of us selects an inspiration image and we each post the image on our blogs. The following Monday we share our art inspired outfits. Participants submit their art inspired outfits with the curator by 10 PM Tuesday and, that Wednesday, the curator shares all of the submissions on her blog. For the current theme, see this post.


Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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