The morning after, I awoke with a pounding headache and a dry throat, remnants of the previous night’s indulgence. But as the memories of my first encounter with Smule began to resurface, I felt a flicker of hope amidst the hangover. I dragged myself out of bed, the passion for music that had been reignited the night before urging me on. I headed out to get an iced coffee, the cool liquid providing some relief from the heaviness in my head. As I sipped on my drink, I listened to the tunes of Hector Lavoe, the legendary Puerto Rican salsa singer whose voice had always resonated with me. My family had compared me to him every time I sang a Spanish song, and I could not help but feel a sense of pride at the comparison. As I walked back to my apartment building, I decided to give Smule another go, this time focusing on the Spanish songs that had defined so much of my youth. Growing up listening to Spanish music, I had a couple of songs in mind that I wanted to try out. Hector Lavoe’s “Aguanile” was on the top of that list. I entered the vacant apartment next door to mine inside the half-empty building I lived in, a makeshift studio of sorts. With the iced coffee in one hand and my phone in the other, I opened the Smule app. I felt a surge of excitement as I scrolled through the vast catalog, finally finding the song I was looking for. Although Smule provides lyrics on screen for karaoke performances, I wasn’t confident enough to do the entire song just yet. The words were familiar, but my tongue stumbled over the rapid-fire lyrics as I tried to keep up with Lavoe’s effortless delivery. So, I settled on a strong intro, an homage to the man who had inspired me to sing in the first place. As I sang, I could feel my voice growing stronger, the passion for music coursing through my veins. When I finished, I leaned against the wall, catching my breath and sipping on my coffee. I knew I had a long way to go, but in that moment, I felt invincible. Smule had given me a lifeline, a chance to rekindle my love for music, and I wasn’t going to let it slip away.

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