A Beginners Guide To Synaesthesia And The Music Stars Who Suffer From It

26 November 2014, 14:36 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

Marina and the Diamonds - Primadonna
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

I just see colours dude.

It’s always been obvious that some of our favourite musicians were superhuman. They make tracks that inspire us to dance and cry and all sorts of emotions our cynical hearts can barely withstand.

However, it turns out that some of these artists may actually have some superhuman abilities. One of the most widely claimed abilities by musicians is that of Synaesthesia. 

In case you didn't know, Synaesthesia is a condition where a secondary sense is triggered by a first sense like sight or sound - e.g. you hear something and it triggers a taste or visual marker. Sounds amazing right?

Well here are some of the most notable synesthetes and you can decide for yourself if they've got the gift or not.

1) Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy 

"When I see it written in black I obviously still notice that it is black but it 'Feels' green. Or 'S' is red. Most of the alphabet and numbers from 1-10 have some sort of associated color to me. It's ultimately totally trivial but I found it fascinating that this is a documented phenomenon and not just me being a weirdo."

Patrick Stump

 2) Pharrell Williams

"It just always stuck out in my mind, and I could always see it. I don't know if that makes sense, but I could always visualize what I was hearing... Yeah, it was always like weird colors."

Pharrell Williams

 3) Kanye West

"Yeezus, though, was the beginning of me as a new kind of artist. Stepping forward with what I know about architecture, about classicism, about society, about texture, about synesthesia—the ability to see sound—and the way everything is everything and all these things combine, and then starting from scratch with Yeezus."

Kanye West

 4) Charli XCX

"I see music in colours. I love music that's black, pink, purple or red - but I hate music that's green, yellow or brown."

Charlie XCX

 5) Marina Diamandis

"It’s more related with a way that you compose and a way that a chord feels. It’s not like ‘oh my god this chord is blue so I’ll match it with this yellow chord over here.’ For example days of the week I assign colours to and numbers feel like colours."

Marina Diamandis

Anyone else get to the end and really wish they had Synaesthesia?

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