Nadia Elkharadly:What’s your dirty little secret?

Secrets.  Everyone has them; those little things you hide away, for fear of judgement and censure.  Whether it’s trashy romance novels, plotless action movies, or peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, if there’s one thing every person on this planet has in common, it’s that everyone has or does something they’re ashamed of.  In my case, my secret shame “things” mostly come in the form of music.  I generally pride myself on having somewhat respectable taste in music (which I’m sure is debatable, but I’ll save that for next week’s column).

As a result, the fact that there are some artists that I like that in no way, shape, or form, fall under that “respectable” umbrella, is pretty embarrassing to me.  But I feel like I’ve come to get to know you, oh faceless mass of readers of DBAWIS.  At least, I hope there are a mass of you out there.  Actually, considering my subject matter today, I actually hope there are only 3 of you, and one of you is my mom.  Hi mom!

So today, my lovely (possibly numerous) readers, I will be sharing my deepest, darkest, musical secrets with you.  That’s right, I’m going to tell you the most embarrassing bands and artists that I like.  Well, just three of them, because really I want to make sure you do still somewhat respect my musical taste.  But listen guys, I’m a lady.  I’m not going to just give it all away.  I’m going to make you GUESS my secret shame musical choices.  For about two seconds, then I’ll just tell you what it is.  Because I may be a lady, but I’m not a tease.  So DBAWISers, it’s time to play WHAT’S NADIA’S SECRET SHAME!!

What pop songstress do I secretly love?

A) Lady Gaga

B) Ke$ha

C) Katy Perry

If you guessed B) Ke$ha you’d be right!  Now the 7 people reading this that know me may say hey! I know you love Lady Gaga.  And you’d be right, I do loves me some Gaga, but I don’t consider that shameful.  Yes, she may occasionally dress in food or like a muppet on heroin, but she’s a ridiculously talented and creative artist.  She has a killer voice, plays multiple instruments and writes her own killer music.  No shame there.  But Kesha (I can’t deal with typing the $ anymore), well liking her is RIFE with shame.  A long lost friend of mine one described her as “always having sand in her swimsuit.”  I can’t think of a more apt description for she of the dollar sign name.  Grimey, gritty, constantly cracked out, Kesha has no discernible musical skills, not a heck of a lot of talent, and no business savvy.  I figured that last part out when I discovered that she appeared on Flo Rida’s hit single “Right Round” but took no credit, and thereby no money for that work.  But I can’t help myself.  Her first album Animal was incredibly entertaining to me.  “Take a Dirty Picture”, in all its overproduced glory was oddly addictive.  “Blah Blah Blah” ft. those weirdos from LMFAO could get me dancing like nothing else.  And of course, first single “Tik Tok” was what got me sucked in in the first place, despite me completely hating it the first time I heard it.  What is it about Kesha that makes her not just tolerable, but shamefully loveable to me?  It’s probably her complete acceptance and pride in her status as a complete and utter trainwreck.  She can’t dress, she can barely form a complete sentence in an interview, and she constantly looks unwashed. She also doesn’t seem to have any form of a posterior or buttocks that I can see.  But she doesn’t care!  She’s out there, doing what she wants to do, making a shit ton of money at it and she couldn’t care less what the world at large thinks of her.  And that’s what sets her apart from other pop artists out there to me.  I don’t think she’s done a heck of a lot for herself lately (I’m actually thinking about googling if she’s even still alive), but I wish my dear Ke-dollar sign-ha all the best.

What male pop artist will always get me dancing if I’m somehow dragged to a club?

A) Justin Timberlake

B) Adam Lambert

C) Justin Bieber

If you guessed Justin Bieber, never click on this column ever again.  In fact, close it immediately, you clearly hate me too much to read any further.  But if you guessed Justin TIMBERLAKE, you’d be right!  Back in the late nineties, my boy band of choice (because back then there were choices!) was N’Sync.  So when JT broke out on his own, I paid attention.  From the release of his debut record Justified, it was clear to me that Timberlake wasn’t the typical boy popstar.  First of all, he’s a white boy from Tenessee, yet he could bust a move like Michael Jackson, as he proved in the Jackson inspired “Rock your Body” video.  The petty side of me loved the dig he made at ex Britney with “Cry me a river”, complete with casting her doppelganger in the music video.  The superficial side of me loved his baby blue eye and six pack abs.  And the music loving side of me just…liked his music, as lame as that sounds.  He took elements of all sorts of genres and molded them together to make something not only catchy, but musically interesting.  The slightly more complex follow up to Justified, FutureSex/LoveSounds gave the world my favourite JT song “Sexyback”, a multilayered, pop/rock/R&B infused track that makes me want to dance the second it starts.  As someone who was getting more and more into the indie music scene, someone who grew up loving rock and alternative music, I was completely ashamed of my love of Justin Timberlakes music.  I mean, it was pop!  It couldn’t’ be performed live without computers and djs and an army of sound engineers.  And then, one day I met the lovely and talented Shelley Hayes, and saw her perform her rendition of the Timberlake track, with nothing but an acoustic guitar and her amazing voice.   Seeing a fantastic artist take that overproduced track and turn it into something so musically organic somehow…justified my Timberlake love.  Even if you don’t want to embrace JT as I have, embrace Lady Hayes (Shelley’s musical alterego), because she’s pretty damn awesome.

What pop group did I secretly emulate in my bedroom as a teen girl?

A The Backstreet Boys

B)  Take That

C) The Spice Girls

If you guessed c) the Spice girls, you’d be right!  What can I say.  Yes, I grew up loving grunge music, but I also grew up a girl, so when the completely artificially formed, completely idiotic girl group from Britain made its North American debut, I was just as easily sucked into the mammoth marketing machine as every other girl my age.  They had memorabilia, catchy songs, their own JET. And of course, a completely ridiculous yet insanely hilarious movie documenting a completely fake story about them.  How could anyone beat that?  I mean, grunge had hot men, and the movie Singles, but I couldn’t sing like Chris Cornell or Eddie Veddar while dancing in front of the mirror and pretending my hairbrush was a microphone.  And, since none of the spice girls had very much vocal talent, it was easy to sing and sound like them, and that was FUN!  Their crazy clothes were fun, their silly songs were fun, their whole existence was fun.  And not to sound uber feminist or anything, but it was also great to see a group of young women rocketing to stardom and success like that.  They may not have been the greatest rolemodels to young girls, but on some levels, they were definitely passable.  They represented values like friendship, speaking your mind, being who you are, and never apologizing for it.  In hindsight, this completely artificial girl group representing honesty and integrity was pretty ironic.  But irony didn’t matter back then, it was just the love of the music, and the story around it.  Am I ashamed that I loved the Spice Girls?  For sure.  But, even if I could go back in time and tell my teen self not to like the female fab five, I wouldn’t’.  I’d probably grab a hairbrush and ask her if she wanted to be Sporty or Ginger.

So there you have it, my three musical secret shames.  Yes, there are more that I am not sharing with you today.  Hell, I’m sure there are some that I myself am not even aware of, and won’t be until I find myself singing along to a Top 40 radio station.  Got any secret shames you want to share?  You know the drill, email, comment, send a smoke signal.  Sharing is caring!

Until next time,



Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

Contact us at:

Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

3 Responses to “Nadia Elkharadly:What’s your dirty little secret?”

  1. no shame in my katy perry game. this song is great.

  2. We all have the secret musical shames (or secret car songs as I like to call them)…. What I find most amusing is I can totally see you liking the Spice Girls back in the day! It was a toss up between Scary and Posh wasn’t it? 😉 xoxo

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