First things first: why should anyone in South Africa care about songs from an American law drama? The answer: because we all need a break once in a while. The show “Suits” has become a pop culture phenomenon, captivating fans the world over. While it may be nothing like the law in practice (particularly since the American system of law is drastically different to that of South Africa), the show does set “life goals” for many aspiring lawyers.
Goals like having a top-floor office. Helping people solve massive disputes. Being the best. Whether your favourite character is the smooth closer Harvey Specter, the brilliant fraud Mike Ross, the boss Jessica Pearson, or the conniving senior partner Louis Litt, one thing is irrefutable: the show’s ingenious choice of music.
From the opening track of Green Back Boogie, the show establishes itself as a powerhouse in terms of its music selection, taking captivating indie songs and exposing them to a global audience. This is my top five list of songs from Suits (in no particular order as I like them for different reasons), and what they mean to me as an aspiring lawyer.
This song is perhaps the most widely recognised song from the series, serving as the soundtrack to the show’s opening sequence and title every episode. Its racy tune and upbeat rhythm serve as a motivation, getting the watcher in the mood for the upcoming episode. This song by itself accomplishes the same effect, essentially “amping-up” the listener. You can almost imagine the busy, chaotic streets of New York, where the city never sleeps.
With a nice swing and various jazz influences, this song really creates the feeling of being in America. It is not so much the concept of America that I find appealing, but the concept of large lively cities. Perhaps this stems from my desire to succeed in one, but one thing I can say with certainty is that the raw vocals of this song drive something extremely human, making me want to work harder, longer, and smarter.
This song by Icelandic rock band Kaleo is perhaps my favourite song from six seasons of Suits. With its lyrics of “they will run you down, down til the dark,” this song serves as a sobering reminder that there are many people in this world who will try to tear you down, and how hard it can be to climb the ladder of success. It is this ladder I keep in mind when listening to the song, conjuring an image of a penthouse office overlooking a sprawling city alive with light in the darkness. It is a song that reminds me that no matter what I may face, to always remember where I’m going.
Gotye with this song once again creates the feeling of a busy, bustling city. The cacophony of musical sounds all come together to create something that although busy and at times discordant, conjures the image of taxis, skyscrapers, and street vendors; all the things that give a city life. I like this song for similar reasons to number 2, it reminds me that working in a city is no joke and as somewhere that I really want to live one day, it motivates me to work harder.
This song by Stealth is another one of my absolute favourites. It reminds me that as lawyers, we must always face judgement. Not just the judgement of the courts, but the judgement of our peers, friends and families as we take on cases that conflict with other people’s morals. It reminds me that we walk a moral line, and at times operate in the grey. It reminds me that sometimes judgement is not always given in our favour, and sometimes we just have to get up, hold our heads high, and keep walking.