TOKiMONSTA reveals full extent of her recovery from brain surgeries and relearning music on final episode of Vox’s Netflix series, explained
On the Netflix original “explained” created by Vox, the show aims to explain why humans are able to uniquely master musicality relative to other animals. Researchers discuss how music can help people relearn how to speak and with patients with movement disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, move more fluidly.
Jennifer Lee, aka TOKiMONSTA, was featured in episode due to her brain injury which lead to two brain surgeries. She had been deeply ingrained in the music industry, but due to her prognosis, she was all of a sudden not able to hear. This made her a valuable subject, as the documentary continues to explain music’s sonic qualities and why musicians who are able to create musical perception have an extraordinarily unique ability.
Cut to TOKiMONSTA, who explained she was diagnosed with Moyamoya in 2015, a disease where blood flow to the brain is constricted. After her first surgery, she couldn’t talk or understand anyone else talking. She watched Portlandia to recover and soon realized she didn’t understand the music in the intro song. A second surgery was needed. Her brain eventually healed, and could understand music, but she still couldn’t produce music. She retaught herself in a three month period, ending the episode by saying, “I wanted to live every moment like it was the last day I’d be able to make music again.”
Photo credit: Nikko Lamere