Proteins of Magic on ‘Dirty Dancing: Soundtrack’


Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Nashville via Aotearoa singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Steven – aka Proteins of Magic – pays tribute to Dirty Dancing (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), released in 1987.

Kelly Steven was inspired to write her latest Proteins of Magic single, ‘Flesh It Out’, after watching a young couple have sex in broad daylight on a beach in Aotearoa. “The song lays out an emotionally treacherous life for them,” said Steven. “A day in the life spanning 10 years and 2 minutes and 52 seconds.” Watch the Ranger Garrett-directed video for ‘Flesh It Out’ at the bottom of this page.

Proteins of Magic’s love letter to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack

Proteins of Magic: I remember first listening to this soundtrack when I was about six years old. Though I was very young at the time, I vividly remember the emotional intensity of each track and how it elevated the movie to a place it never would have been able to go without the music.

The intense longing of Eric Carmen’s ‘Hungry Eyes’ and Patrick Swayze and Wendy Fraser’s ‘She’s Like the Wind’, both love songs with intrinsic sadness and yearning. I remember crying to these in my bedroom while the well-worn tape spun on its lonely cogs. Even the more upbeat tracks like The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ were tinted with a melancholy that spoke to my inner blooming creativity.

I remember trying to emulate the dance moves from the movie with my school friend in my bedroom, thinking we nailed it, but it was the opposite. Young delusion! I always wanted to be Patrick. This was the first tape I’d ever bought. In fact, I think I stole it from my brother’s bedroom, but it contained intricate, deeply touching songs that were to forever change me.

Proteins of Magic – ‘Flesh It Out’

Further Reading

Juice Webster: The Emotions, Changes and Spaces that Made ‘JULIA’

Love Letter to a Record: Cody Jon on ‘Coraline’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

“Free Sky Ferreira” Banner Flies Over Capitol Records in Los Angeles

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