7 Mile And Music Alijah Morton's Musical Salvation
Photo Courtesy: Tim Paule

7 Mile And Music: Alijah Morton’s Musical Salvation

In the heart of Detroit, Michigan, a city recognized for its gritty resilience and vibrant music scene, a young Alijah Morton developed a focus that would not only define his life but also serve as a testament to the power of dedication and passion. At seven, Alijah experienced a near fatal incident that would set the stage for his destiny. Following a near drowning, he found himself trapped in an insatiable hunger for learning to not only play the piano but also create beautiful melodies and chord progressions at will. This newfound focus became more than just a fateful attraction; it was his outlet and escape from the potential pitfalls lurking in the streets of Detroit.

Focus Defies Odds

Alijah’s story, however, is about making choices that defy odds and expectations. Growing up in Detroit could have easily led him down a different path considering the family business was criminal in nature. The city itself, while rich in culture and history, is also ripe with challenges that have seen many young talents lose their way. With the decision to focus on his craft, Alijah was able to harness dedication to deter temptation.

Alijah’s mother recognized his passion early on. At just nine years old, he was gifted a cheap Casio keyboard for Christmas, an act that would particularly influence his journey. Almost on impulse (or perhaps through divine inspiration), his mother would spontaneously purchase Classical CDs featuring the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin—composers whose work would become early influences in Alijah’s developing musical gift. Within hours of receiving a new CD, Alijah would have sections of complex Classical compositions dissected and memorized.

Childhood Diversity Stimulates Originality

It wasn’t long before Alijah began to study the works of initial childhood musical heroes. R&B heavyweights Babyface and R. Kelly quickly caught his attention for their composition and lyrical mastery. Michael Jackson and Prince introduced a magical, mysterious, and enigmatic image coupled with musical intuition while Eminem, Tupac, DMX, and The Notorious B.I.G. all spoke to the grittiness that inevitably develops from childhood within an inner city.

Rainy fall nights would be spent in a moonlit room where the only sounds are the gentle downpour, soft breeze through the window, and The Quiet Storm on the radio. This was a time to refuel and relax before starting the school day with the aggressiveness of a Rap album.

Everything Shifts The Bigger Picture

Instead of going with the flow, Alijah leaned into all forms of music that offered emotional impact. He saw music as a tool, not as an art form where enjoyment is determined by your background, ethnicity, or geographical location. There was a time when driving down 7 Mile while blaring “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was enough to be ridiculed. These musical moments, however, developed a deeper understanding of self as they allowed Alijah to see himself as he was. Every detail, great or small, plays a part in the bigger picture.

Every Struggle Is An Opportunity

Alijah is an example of moments of self-awareness over being reactive and triumph over tragedy—his near-drowning experience catalyzed rather than hindered his growth. It emphasizes that within every struggle lies the opportunity to unlock an inner strength that would otherwise go unnoticed. It is a story that explores transformation through dedication, enlightenment through education in artistry, and ultimately resilience against life’s unpredictable tides—all woven together by melodious threads spun from an everyday Casio keyboard gifted out of maternal love.

Transformation Through The Power Of Art

The power of art is transformative—it can lift us from despair, ignite our passions, and guide us toward paths less traveled. It transcends mere notes and chord progression and illustrates broader themes of perseverance against odds. Alijah continues to choose music to channel adversity into artistry, as seen on his Instagram. His decision not only provides personal salvation but also serves as an example for others facing similar crossroads.


Published by: Khy Talara

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