When I was writing this story, I had soft background music playing,
songs unfamiliar to me, so I wouldn't stop writing to sing along.
Spotify delivered a serendipitous, melodious mix...

...until suddenly, a powerful voice broke through, stopping me in my tracks.

 

Aloe Blacc's Voice Gripped My Soul

Aloe Blacc on Finding Penrose Film Music Wish List

Hold On Tight

It was Aloe's renowned hit "Hold On Tight," and I was transfixed - not just by his rich, soulful vocals, but by the profound lyrics. It felt as if he had personally written those words for Penrose's extraordinary journey. The emotion behind lines like "where's your smile gone?" resonated so deeply, I found myself playing the song repeatedly, utterly spellbound.

As I delved into the lyrics, I was stunned by how profoundly they captured key scenes and Penrose's indomitable spirit. Aloe's soaring voice was the very essence of the resilience, hope and identity that defined this remarkable man's life.

Aloe Blacc Hold On Tight

Whereever You Go

While Penrose never had the chance to experience Aloe's music during his lifetime, I know he would have been deeply moved by both the artist's incredible talent and the hauntingly relatable words of "Hold On Tight." It would be an honour to include this poignant song prominently in the film adaptation of Finding Penrose.

If and when the film goes into production, it will be fantastic to secure the licensing rights to use Aloe Blacc's powerful anthem at the emotional climax of Penrose's cinematic journey - allowing his transcendent voice to resonate with audiences, just as it did with me while I was writing this impactful story.

Watch and listen to Hold On Tight.

 

Here's How I Would Use This Song

 

 

1. In a tense, nail-biting scene when Tiki (Penrose) is helping his father to escape the hunters who have shot him in the legs and arms, Tiki tells his almost crippled father to hold on tight to him as he tries to drag his father away, so these lyrics would fit beautifully:
I can be
Your shoulder to cry on
You will find
Comfort in my arms
I can be
Your shelter on solid ground
Hold on tight
Hold on tight, hold on
 
2. When the hunter tells Tiki (Penrose as a boy) that his father is dead, Tiki wants to go to his father, but the hunter won't let him, these lyrics would be amazing:
When you feel like crying
Go on, let it out
Just remember
The sun is shining behind the clouds
It won't be long
'Til your pain's gone
So hold on tight to me
Hold on tight, hold on
 
3. When the hunters leave the savanna and Tiki goes through a transformation and changes his name to Penrose, he is forced to walk behind the wagons to stop any tusks falling off. His heart is breaking and he desperately wants to go back to his father in the field behind, but he is tied to the wagon and can't escape. At this point, these lyrics would be so powerful:
When the rain come
And the sky's falling down
In your darkest hour
When there's no one around
It won't be long
Keep your head strong
Hold on tight to me
Hold on tight, hold on.
(Earlier we see his father telling him to keep his head strong so this moment is powerful.)

4. When Penrose escapes his goat herding slavery and hides in Miss Ad's pick-up and he is spying on the passing countryside, these lyrics will be fab:
Where's your smile gone 'cause
It don't shine no more
There's a light on but
You don't open the door
If you're struggling
Let me know where you're at
Life gets heavy
And that road can be long
(Again, a powerful moment here as Penrose stares out from under the canvas at the passing road going to Joburg.)

5. When Miss Ad and Penrose decide to make a dash to Durban to get away from a racist neighbour who is threatening to leak his secret about having no 'Dompass' ID, these lyrics would work well:
Times of worry can
Get the best of us
And I understand
How you could lose your trust
Let me show you that
Here is where you belong
(This could play again when they are sitting at the Home Affairs office waiting for Penrose's ID.)
 
6. And in the climax scene, when all hell is breaking loose around Penrose and he starts  remembering his past and his father in particular, these lyrics would fit so well:
I can be
Your shoulder to cry on
You will find
Comfort in my arms
I can be
Your shelter on solid ground
Hold on tight
Hold on tight, hold on
 
All from the same song but broken up! Have a listen and you will see what I mean…
 
Listen on Spotify

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Finding Penrose Reviews

  •  The Asian Review on Finding Penrose

    An irresistible human song of a novel…., The Asian Review.

  • Finding Penrose is a work of art - Ubong Johnson

    Finding Penrose is a work of art. Great storytelling. Moving and emotive too. You have done amazing work!!

  • Asal Shirazi BEM Finding Penrose - Executive Producer

    Finding Penrose is a story that resonates with my humanitarian conviction for equality and showing empathy no matter

  • Pulane Irene Chaka - As a Mosotho myself, I am very invested in Penrose's story

    The story, being based on someone's actual experiences, is a beautiful way to share the struggles that were faced and