Rocket queen GNR - first album I got my hands on. I stole it. They wouldn't sell it to minors. And I couldn't ask my parents because it was racy. I was 10 years old.
Nusrat Fateh Ali khan - it's in Punjabi. My mother tongue I've always felt estranged from though always loved and felt a visceral connection to. It's also Sufi and about the ecstatic and connects with me to a spirituality that is very much of my ancestry.
Visions of Joanna - discovering Dylan was almost like discovering a new god. The layers. The complexity. The depth of the poetry. This song in particular reminds me of New York in the late 90s. When I first saw Dylan live at MSG.
The boxer - quite frankly, embarrassingly, the song I first made love to. It was on top of my college bunk bed.
Kid A - As significant as Dylan going electric. Radiohead going electronica shifted my consciousness inward and really made me explore and take seriously abstract music that I am inspired by to this day.
Maine pyar kiya - this is cheesy. But reminds me of my summers in India as a child. The carefree soaring sense of freedom and revelry that only bolllywood can give you.
Miles Spanish steps - I discovered jazz music in Italy while studying abroad there on a scholarship. The scholarship was in dollars and the euro fluctuated and as a result I had less money then what was budgeted. I had to take on some extra teaching jobs. Tutored some rich children. And had to make do with very little so I spent a lot of time on the local public cinema house and library. And it was here I discovered and explored rather intensely, jazz. And graphic novels.
Chopin études - I had a organic chemistry professor whose manner and mentor ship had a great effect on me. He encouraged me with sport - squash. And he also invited us to his home in Connecticut where he had a grand piano and talked incessantly about culture and art and movies. He saw a lot of potential in me and was of the generation of teachers who saw as their responsibility to whip me into shape. And I obeyed. I worked hard to please him and his scowls and anger at my failures motivated me to try harder. Study harder. Be better in all ways. I ended up doing quite well in his course and he, on one particular visit, played the piano for us. I suppose I had heard the piano here and there though it was one particular sound that made me pay attention more. It was Chopin. It seemed to open up new doors within me emotionally. And provide a whole range of experiences that were yet to be lived though could be felt in such a touching way.