This is the first of several Endnotes from Oon, a series of letters in which I offer behind-the-scenes worldbuilding, research, extra and/or other tidbits in relation to my new epic fantasy series, The Nameless Republic, beginning with Son of the Storm. I will try my utmost best to avoid spoilers, but they may be inevitable to a small degree, as I might need to provide context for one thing or the other. If you’re risk-averse and would prefer to wait until you’ve read the book before you eyeball any of these emails, that’s great. But if you’re the brave sort, read on.
Thank you for sticking with me on After Five. It’s been one hell of a season.
As I said in my first letter of the year, for the next few months until after May, After Five will be dedicated to informing you about notable stuff regarding my forthcoming novel, Son of the Storm. All such letters will be tagged Endnotes from Oon (for the uninitiated, Oon is the unicontinent on which the series is set). Often, I’ll also remind you of some don’t-miss things—upcoming events, giveaways, etc—so don’t close the browser just yet!
To begin that, here’s the first giveaway for Son of the Storm!
Goodreads Giveaway (March 8-15)
Now, on to today’s Endnotes.
Son of the Storm: Not-so-original soundtrack
Over the months that I write a book, I listen to a ton of music across genres. In retrospect, I realize many of these songs influence the way I write certain parts of the book. So much, in fact, that I sometimes play the exact same songs while revising those chapters. After a while, I start to associate certain characters, ideas, feelings or scenes with those songs.
This 34-song-strong list (see full list below) is the outcome of that process while I wrote Son of the Storm. I thought, perhaps if I offered you these songs, they could help enrich your reading experience too! Before you look at the full list, here are my top 5 from this experience:
Already – Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer: This is a dope song to begin the book, because in the opening chapters, Danso is frustrated about not being in control of his life, and needs hype pals like Beyoncé and Shatta Wale to remind him that he truly should be proud of who he is.
Dilemme – Lous and The Yakuza: Lous does a good job of being soulful while offering a boppy hip-hop ballad, which works well with a time in Danso’s life when he’s really conflicted about who he should be and who he shouldn’t.
Tear The World Down – We Are The Fallen: At this point in the novel, Esheme and her mother, Nem, sync for what seems like the first time. Them unifying is not very good news for a lot of people, and if there’s any song that captures that feeling, it’s this one.
Pirates of the Caribbean – 2CELLOS: This ensemble is the kind of instrumental you really want to bop along to when you’re on a road trip in a fantasy world.
Black Parade - Extended Version – Beyoncé: Ugh. I don’t know how to say this song is a perfect fit for this moment, but when you’ve followed Esheme throughout this novel and you get to this point, you’ll see why.
Add the full playlist to your library on Spotify. You may also export it to your preferred music platform using this free tool. Below is the full guide to what songs inspired which chapter, which character/group each song is most tied to in that chapter, and how you may listen as you move through the novel.
Already – Beyoncé, Shatta Wale, Major Lazer (Danso: 1, 6, 8)
Black (feat. A$AP Ferg) – Buddy, A$AP Ferg (Esheme: 1, 5)
Happier – Marshmello, Bastille (Danso & Lilong: 3)
A Lannister Always Pays His Debts – Ramin Djawadi (Nem: 4)
Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash (Zaq: 7, 29, 37)
Rose-Colored Boy – Paramore (Danso: 8)
Glitter & Gold – Barns Courtney (Nem: 11)
Somewhere I Belong – Linkin Park (Danso: 12)
Taste the Money (Testimony) – P-Square (The Mooncrossing festival: 13)
Beat It - Studio Version – Fall Out Boy, John Mayer (Nem & Lilong: 14)
A Million Dreams – Ziv Zaifman, Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams (Danso: 16)
Proof – Paramore (Danso & Lilong: 22)
Human – Jon Bellion (Danso: 26)
Water – Salatiel, Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé (Esheme: 27)
I Will Not Bow – Breaking Benjamin (Esheme: 27)
Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monáe feat Erykah Badu (Lilong: 30)
Innocence – Halestorm (Esheme: Chapter 31, 49)
Talk That Talk – Rihanna, JAY-Z (Esheme: 34, 35)
Cut the Cord – Shinedown (Lilong & Danso: 36)
The Night King – Ramin Djawadi (Danso: 38)
Dilemme – Lous and The Yakuza (Danso: 45)
Find Your Way Back – Beyoncé (Danso: 45)
Omo Naija – Jamix, Terry G, 9ice, M.I (Biemwense & Danso: 47)
Beautiful with You – Halestorm (Danso & Lilong: 48)
My Power – Nija, Beyoncé, Busiswa, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack, Moonchild Sanelly, DJ Lag (Danso, Kakutan and Biemwense: 50-52)
Disturbia – Rihanna (Biemwense: 54)
The Energy Never Dies – The Script (Lilong: 59)
Django Jane – Janelle Monáe (Esheme: 63)
Tear The World Down – We Are The Fallen (Esheme & Nem: 61)
Pirates of the Caribbean – 2CELLOS (The Whudan caravan: 64)
Monster - Transformers Soundtrack Version – Paramore (Danso, Lilong & Esheme: Chapter 69)
I'll Be There for You – The Rembrandts (Lilong: 70)
Verge – Owl City, Aloe Blacc (Danso, Lilong and The Whudans: 70)
Black Parade - Extended Version – Beyoncé (Esheme: Epilogue)
One last thing: By the next newsletter, I’ll be holding an exclusive international advance print copy giveaway for newsletter subscribers! So if any of your reader friends are interested in winning a signed advance print copy of Son of the Storm, they might want to sign up for this newsletter today!
Now, which of these songs are your faves?