“Levi, Levi, you don’t know me but I need to thank you. I want to shake your hand. You inspired me, bro. During my rehabilitation your music motivated me to take responsibility. To accept change. You rock dude!”

His eyes looked at me, black, dark, it was night. He was sweating and surprised and shy-ish accepted my hand. He had just finished playing the drums at 27 (Granbeeuw). He asked me what had happenedLevi Silvanie CD Different Signed to me, I told the short version and a half hour later I left the bar with an autographed CD, a bro hug and a friend richer. This was in 2013.

We stayed in contact and met occasionally, accidentally. There was mutual respect but also filled agenda’s. And as most people find hard to believe, we are both shy (he more than me.) Levi moved to Curacao. I kept going to physical therapy (twice a week) and brewing on my production plan(s) for 2ndLife Curacao (between yoga, nausea attacks and nerve pains.) We never needed much words, but when we talked there would be waterfalls of them. I was proud of him no matter what and I felt his sincerity every time he’d say “don’t give up, you’re an inspiration!”

Let’s rewind a bit…

Levi came into my life in 2011 by the voice of Gilmar Fraitas while working on Gomez plein as street entertainers (You should really waste your time watching that, we used to rock downtown Punda with a whole team.) Gilmar played GsMeMiss (simply myself) and it became my personal anthem. I saw him (Levi Silvanie) perform on another square in Punda a couple of months later but I wasn’t all that impressed. The dude had style but he was just too sweet and shy.

Fast forward to 2012, someday in July (about two months after my accident.) Some musical notes popped up in my brain, suddenly I needed to hear my anthem. I was down, tired, in pain. I just finished a physical therapy session and had climbed back in my rehabilitation center bed, parked my wheel chair within hands reach and turned on my laptop. My headphones ready on my head I googled Djis mi mes (that’s how you would write GsMeMiss if you were a normal person… I’m looking at you Levi!)

As soon as I heard the first notes I smiled. Through my tears I smiled. I instantly smiled.

Mi’n ke pasa un dia riba e mundu’ki
Sin hasi loke mi por
Mi’n ke pasa un dia riba e mundu’ki
Ta lamenta

Den un mundu yena ku maldad
mi ke ta bon
Mi ke ta e kos korekte den esnan robes
Den un mundu yena ku maldad mi ke ta bon
En todo kaso mi ker ser mi mes

Translation:

I would not waste a day on earth,

without giving it my best

I do not want to waste a day on earth

with regret

In a world full of evil, I want to be good

I want to be the right thing amongst the wrong

In a world full of evil, I want to be good

In any way, I want to be simply me

I played another of his songs and another and another and then came “Ami ta Korsou” (I am Curacao) and my smile turned in big tears. This time I cracked, I totally broke down sitting on my bed in this big impersonal empty room.

Ami ta korsou, mi ta banda ariba I mi ta banda abou, ami ta korsou
Ami ta korsou, un kurason chiki meimei di mundu
Si abo ta korsou, no ta importa si bo ta hel of blou si bo ta korsou
Si abo ta korsou, bo tambe tin un luga spesial den e mundu

Translation:

I am Curacao. I am Banda Riba (eastern area of Curacao) I am Banda Bou (western area of Curacao) ….

If you are Curacao, it doesn’t matter if you’re yellow or blue (colors of our flag.)

If you are Curacao you, also, have a special place in this world.

The song immediately replaced one anthem by another and this was by that one shy dude I once saw on stage on Whilhemina plein. His message was powerful and changed my perspective in 15 minutes (I put the song on repeat.) From that moment on these songs identified me, motivated me, encouraged me and most of all, guided me. This was what Pearl Jam’s Alive or Radiohead’s Creep did to people and then some! Now I had added these two. It didn’t have their brutality but it had the message.

Things grew quiet. We’d share some brotherly love once in a while but we had lives to lead. I worked as hard as I could to get physical stronger so I could live instead of rehabilitate. I beat a severe depression and life was looking up again. My life was on the move, I was on the move. And that’s when that phone rang “Dude, we need to talk. Let’s meet!” I knew he was working on something (like always) but had no idea what he was it was about. Driving to 27 bar at Pietermaai he handed me his phone and gave me a sneak preview of his upcoming clip. Filmed around the corner of where I had my accident I immediately recognized the area. I recognized Alton Paas and felt so much power and courage while being overwhelmed by emotions. “What? What did Alton just do? Levi? For real?”

Just like that day sitting on my bed listening to Ami ta Korsou. I swallowed. “Can I watch it again?”

Mi sa ku bo ta den un luga skur
Siega pa miedu
Ketubai bo ta insigur
Den profundidat di bo alma tin un lus
Asepta bo forsa
Ilumina bo realidat
Diskubriendo bo berdat

Maske tempu parse di ta move superslow
No entrega tanten bo’n yega superfisio
Bo ta bo superhero
Al reskate di bo alma
Bo ta superando

Translation:

I know you’re in a dark place

Followed by fear

Every day you’re insecure

Yet in the bottom of your soul there is light

Accept your strength

Light your reality

Discover your truth

Even when time seems to move super slow

Don’t give up until you reach for the surface

You are a superhero

You are saving your soul

You are overcoming

After a few deep breaths Levi explained why he made the clip, what he had to overcome. That we are more disabled by our own thoughts than that we are by our physical disabilities. (I couldn’t have agreed  more.) That we needed to show what we did, what we could do, if we really wanted to and that I was an inspiration to my inspiration (you follow?) I was breathless, emotional and again at 27 with Levi. A documentary concert with Alton Paas and me. (Me?) My brain started to go in overload and we brainstormed for another hour and a half till we left to see each other soon with brand new ideas.

A semicolon is used when an author could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life
A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life

As I was already experimenting with the semicolon for Project Semicolon it all seemed to fall in place and I donated seven cans for Levi’s #Superando project. The semicolon stands for overcoming, choosing to go through with your life no matter what, it wasn’t only fitting but in just a few weeks it would come back to hunt me.

Two weeks before the concert I participated in a Paralympics training week for athletes, coaches and planners held at the SDK stadium by our national sport institute, FDDK. This meant sitting in chairs for long hours in air-conditioned rooms. I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t really prepared. Not very smart with my condition and I got that message that shortly after. My body rebelled as soon as the training week was over. My muscles cramped, my nerves were burning, nausea attacks came with a revenge and a bladder and urinary infection complimented my achievement in such way I felt the need to warn Levi that I wasn’t going to be able to partake in the show. I cracked and gave up. I needed rest!

“This is what it’s all about. You can’t give up now. I need you. #Superando, we all have to overcome. This is on you. Get your act together and get ready for the show”

That was the reaction I got as I lied in bed impaired by pain and self pity. I cursed him (for just a brief second) rolled out of bed on to my yoga mat and did the breathing exercises I had learned to guide the pain. Control my brain, overcome, superando. Levi on the background on my laptop I started to regain my strength, again…

I know you’re in a dark place

Followed by fear

Every day you’re insecure

Yet in the bottom of your soul there is light

SUPERANDO

After the first two concerts at Miles Jazz Cafe celebrating and announcing a new series of concerts due to the enormous success.
After the first two concerts at Miles Jazz Cafe celebrating and announcing a new series of concerts due to the enormous success.

Music of choice: Levi SilvanieSuperando feat. Zoinx

2015 04 13 Antiliaans Dagblad - Superando JPEG Edit 2
Review Antilaans Dagblad (Dutch) April 14 2015

How simpleness can bring light to your heart:

For inquiries:

Levi Silvanie Company.

holla@levisilvanie.com

+599.9.510.8275

Willemstad, Curaçao

GsMeMiss
Derived from Papiamentu ‘djis mi mes’ Pronounced in English as: ‘jees‑me‑miss’ Literal translation: simply myself

More Levi for your masses worth the watch/listen/read:

Levi Silvanie interview at Source Recording Studio

Levi and Andy After winning the JCI IOBA Aspiring Creative Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015
Levi and Andy
After winning the JCI IOBA
Aspiring Creative Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015

Listen to Levi this Saturday (8-8-2015) on Paradise FM at the interview table with Anneke Polak

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