Monday, 19 November 2018

HATERS- My least favourite topic!




I really have no time for haters but once again Facebook keeps sharing little messages about them. I am not interested. Why? Haters do not deserve any of my mind space or yours! So what if people are bad minded and say nasty things about you? Your true friends know the truth and those who don't can remain ignorant or ask for your side of the story.

Very often these people make snide remarks that they hope will undermine your confidence. The thing is, if you are confident, which you should be as you are obviously doing well enough to command attention, then these comments should slide off you leaving the hater frustrated.

There's a phrase I have heard so many times and fail to understand. It goes like this:
'I love my haters because they inspire me to do better.' Think about it for a minute. Why would you embrace hate in any form? Why would you be inspired by so much negativity? Why would you introduce negative vibes into a positive project? I find this crazy. Inspiration should be rooted in positive vibrations, thoughts and feelings if it is to flourish.

Let's consider the hater a bit more. Why do they hate? It's actually not because you are doing better than them, It's because they do not have the necessary elements to be successful right now. They may not be confident; lack inspiration; lack dedication or have all of these qualities but cannot maintain the belief that they will be successful. Mindset is key and they need to get it right to succeed.

How can you deal with your haters? This will depend upon the severity of the problem. In extreme cases it is probably best to cut contact. If you are having difficulty with a friend or family member, you might need to recognise the jealousy for what it is and decide if there is a need to support that person, or simply acknowledge the comments without giving them any credit- 'is that what you really think?'- and carry on.

The key to success is to focus on success. Let your achievements speak volumes and allow your mistakes to whisper. The message I have picked up recently is to keep building on your strengths rather than tackling your weaknesses. Maybe this would be a useful piece of advice for your haters and one that helps them to turn the corner. There really is no point in wishing people ill regardless of what they do or say about us. Our aim should be to go up not down, so do not lower your standards and embrace other people's poor attitudes. Love is more powerful than hate and leads to happiness whereas hatred increases bitterness. Next time you receive hateful comments, pay no mind and keep doing what you're doing- remember, ultimately you burst your own bubble!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Big Brass Ska Band strikes the Madding Crowd!!

Feel the vibes~ Big Brass Ska

Introduction before commencing to our live event at Madding Crowd.Club; a collaboration with Urban Delight Entertainment.

I think most people would agree that Ska music is possibly Reggae's most fun platform and one that truly needs excellent live musicians on board to perform it. In fact, I wouldn't appreciate Ska any other way. Strangely enough, up until this point I had never been to a live Ska night despite attending many Reggae events; very odd really given that I interviewed Free Town back in the day for Numen Records! My greatest Ska- (well, skinhead Reggae officially) experiences prior to this event would be seeing Frank Pitter (Symarip Pyramids) perform 'Skinhead Moonstomp,' a smash hit and revolutionary song, in Balham. This was where we first met, and since then I have interviewed both Frank and Monty Neysmith, also from Symarip Pyramids, about their musical journey on different occasions for Buffaloo Radio.
Frank Pitter Its Braap Interview.

Ska is a genre that appears in the charts from time to time and is currently very popular however stays just below the major musical radar. I believe 'My Boy Lollipop,' by Millie, was the first major hit here in the UK- pause for thought guys- who in their right minds would put the words 'boy and 'lollipop' together these days? In a way, this tongue-in-cheek approach is essential to Ska, the words being a huge part of the fun that makes this a care-free art form.


CHASE THE DEVIL- Snippet Link

Now onto the big stuff you've been waiting for! I love the way Big Brass Ska take a jovially serious approach to their music. They are a highly professional outfit who even wear branded gear, so take a quick look at the back of their T-shirts to know who you are speaking with and which instrument they play! It's a novel approach and I heard one of the crowd saying what a great idea this was- and the band hadn't even warmed up yet! Getting to the action, these 10 stunning musicians kicked off with 241, making an instant impression on the audience, especially as they literally have a proper brass section which, when combined with great chemistry across the board, adds that extra ingredient responsible for producing fully flavoured Ska. Somehow the whole band fitted on the stage but ultimately they didn't restrict themselves, spilling over onto the floor as the night progressed- to the delight of the audience who were fully immersed in popular track after popular track. We had songs from classic Ska bands including Madness and The Specials; too many tunes to name really and they had everyone singing and dancing all night long.

MESSAGE TO YOU RUDY-Snippet Link

Following the intermission we were treated to a couple of songs by Urban Delight artist and Lover's Rock/Reggae singer, Norris B. Norris is blessed with an exceptional voice and great stage presence. If I were an X-Factor judge I'd be saying, 'Norris is one of the nicest people I have ever met!' When we were chatting during the interval Norris said to me, 'I would love to perform with this band.' The universe was on point when, having sung his first number, 3 of the band mounted the stage and accompanied him for his second song, 'Hands of Time.' You can check the video to catch the result which was totally unrehearsed. I'll just add that the ability to freestyle successfully with an artist distinguishes quality musicians from average musicians.


Now, onto my surprise of the night! This came in classic form when the band played their version of, 'Tears of a Clown,' -Smokey Robinson's outstanding hit. I have always thought this to be an immensely clever song- how many of us hide our fears and worries beneath a daily up-beat facade? The big question you may be asking- does this work as s Ska cover? Hell Yeah! By taking an upbeat tune and making it even more update the band are simply adding to the original concept.

TEARS OF A CLOWN-Snippet Link

To finish with, there's a little saying that comes to mind when enjoying Big Brass Ska, 'It ain't what you do it's the way that you do it.' I give the band huge kudos for their energy, performance and unity- BUT, I'm taking away a point for failing to play my favourite song- where the heck did that rat in the kitchen go? Well, I guess he's just not allowed on licensed premises!!

Please note: all links have been highlighted so you can check out my references.

Jaz McKenzie ~ The Word Magician

Thursday, 8 November 2018

'Singing in the Rain'- Photo by Maurice Sparrow.


I literally haven't blogged since July, however, I was thinking it's time to start back when one of my favourite photographers, Maurice Sparrow, posted this beautiful photo of a Kingfisher entitled, 'Singing in the Rain.'

This was one opportunity I couldn't pass by, looking at such beauty and perfection. Sometimes that's what it takes and words flowed just like the stream of raindrops above.


SINGING IN THE RAIN

No rain will ruffle my feathers, 
for I stand proud.
No wind can rock me off my perch;
I'll open my beak and sing out loud.
'I am as beautiful as the sun
rising in the sky.
I know my worth!
And the storm can't make me cry.
By the time the sun sets
My feathers will be dry
And peace will be restored.'

Jaz McKenzie 2018

These words are not just those of a humble Kingfisher; they are the words of a warrior, that is, those who know what it really takes to live this life and push on through. Our feathers will become ruffelled from time to time. Sometimes we feel as if one bad thing happens after the next, but like the Kingfisher we must allow the water to roll off our feathers and drain away. We know the sun shines tomorrow and a little rain can be very refreshing, creating contrast. Appreciation truly is a product of contrast. Imagine how less appealing the Kingfisher would look if he were all one colour! It is worth recognizing that life is as much about contrast as is good photography.

Big 'thank you' to Maurice for allowing me to use his photo. It added far more than a splash of joy to my day.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician



Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Theme from THE DEER HUNTER CAVATINA



How can you describe a piece of music like this? I was going to post the song that was written to go with the film however the music says an infinite amount more and definitely doesn't need a story. Having said that, do check it out because 'He was so beautiful' tells its own story and uses the music in an exceptionally skillfull fashion.

Cavatina means 'simple' according to the John Williams guitar video, and this is a piece of music that  is simply beautiful. You can really relax and possible meditate to it; although very short it is ideal to help with a brief de-stress! Must remember that next time I'm fired up about something. Having played guitar in my late teens- early twenties, and been incredibly passionate about it, I find guitar music reaches deeply inside me and initiates a 'coming home' feel. The guitar is such a beautiful instrument and I am very thankful to still own my beautiful Oscar Teller! I have re-tuned it and just playing a little something most days now. Guitar energy tends to make me feel joyful - SOOOOOO

May the joy of this day remain with you!

Jaz McKenzie~The Word Magician

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Staying True To Yourself-How good are you at doing this?



Hello Guys! As many of you will know I have recently started a new project; in fact it's proving to be a new way of being. Initially I was overwhelmed as I'm learning two skill sets at once, but now I've settled down and am making good progress. So what are we about and what do we learn? When we arrive on earth our mission is to learn, which includes everything from physical, social and cognitive skills to values, beliefs and self image. All need to be nurtured! 

Learning is a lifelong process that takes time- after all, an athlete doesn't become an athlete overnight. Athlete's bodies have to be conditioned, their minds-trained. Athletes create daily routines by introducing a high level of discipline as they need to master specific techniques to gain the edge in their field- wow what a role call! To some extent the same applies to business and even our general health. We have to allow time for change and constantly evaluate, making adjustments to enable growth- (or loss if you're slimming!)


Any group you join in life has their own way of doing things, especially big companies who often have tried and tested methods that everyone is expected to follow. The corporate approach is great for many people and necessary in specific fields. Sometimes technique is key- A surgeon needs to know how to carry out the exact procedure before starting an operation; but in some areas of life one cap doesn't fit all. Sooooo, how do we know whether we're fine following someone else's methods?

To answer this we need to read the clues! What clues you might be saying? Are you basically happy in your work or leisure circles? Happiness is always key. Moving on, results are good indicators. In most industries the biggest results are happy clients and repeat business. But what about target based industries? Are you meeting, exceeding or failing to hit your monthly quota? Now that's a quick indicator depending on your length of time in the company. Most result led companies will let you go if you fail to hit their targets, leaving you to improve techniques of change course.

The biggest clue as to whether we are true to ourselves always lies in our gut instinct. How do you feel about the way you are operating? Does it create bad feelings, worries, or an 'I don't like this response?' This is where it becomes tricky. When you have any of these indicators you need to identify why. Are you in the right place and just experiencing a couple of aspects that don't suit or does everything not seem like you? For me, overall everything is great with the exception of one key area. Basically the system was set up by American businessmen and I'm not an Alpha male who likes to cut to the core of the matter; neither am I a product of our instant society therefore although the overall method has been tried and testing, working well for the majority, I've decided to deviate and come up with a gentler technique. Provided you do not need to answer to anyone, feel free to try this!


It might be that your business or even circle of friends are quite comfortable about doing things that are a bit dodgy- oh my, I remember the days when my boys were teenagers and definitely saw everything through grey speckled lenses! There was no negotiating with them - we need to understand when we can speak our mind and when it is best to retreat quietly in every situation.

Our personal integrity is important and forms the basis of our reputation. Would you knowingly take your car to a dodgy mechanic who will happily fix one problem whilst creating another, so you have to bring your car back? People will look at you and decide on all levels whether you're fit for their circle. My advice is to study your feelings, reactions and develop strong principles; you need to strengthen your inner voice so that you make good decisions in line with your true character. For me, the whole 'new experience' initially swept across me so it took time before I realised where I needed to make changes. I tried to understand the reasons for things in the first instance, debating and being told why I should follow the approved method. As time went on I still felt uncomfortable as it so wasn't 'me' and have changed to a method I'm happy with. In my case it just meant that I messed up a little with no damage done and created a great learning curve enabling me to share this knowledge!

I think Oscar Wilde defined the importance of being ourselves in the simplest way possible. We didn't just come with individual fingerprints, we came with our own blue print, our individual thought process, aspirations, conscience, so stay true to yourself and you will progress through life with ease.



Saturday, 2 June 2018

Count Your Blessings- Taking a look at friendships & a bit of my life!



Patrick Boothe, besides being an outstanding musical talent is a good friend of mine. I was reminded of this earlier today when I played his new track; an awesome cover of 'How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.' Unfortunately I couldn't find this on Patrick's YouTube channel but whilst there I took a trip down memory lane and came across the 'Willow Tree' interview I did with Lovella Ellis to promote her cover version of her Father Alton Ellis's song which Patrick produced. I also discovered Patrick's version of one of my all time favourites 'Let's get it on,'... incidentally Patrick opened for Marvin Gaye back in the day! Through Patrick I met Reggae artist Tinga Stewart which was an unforgettable experience and an honour! Naturally I have interviewed Patrick so read more about this musical genius here.

Patrick- a musical genius!!
This whole thing got me thinking. I miss spending time with Patrick, so how come our friendship drifted? I can't answer that because, as is the case with so many friendships, nothing of significance happened. Patrick was there when my life turned upside down and now he's somewhere in the background- not good. Patrick was a strong support when my life seriously hits the rocks and I guess we lost touch somewhere during my very slow recovery process that took place over the next few years.

With Diania & guys at Southend Village Green Festival 2017

There have been many people whom I have worked with closely for a long period of time and those I have known as personal friends who simply faded away. Tippa Irie & Peter Hunnigale are two of these which is a shame as they're genuine, hard working people who I used to converse with regularly... so when/how did it stop? No clue! Onto the ladies-Lady Diania, C.O.E. of Music Media Management and Zeena Banks- award winning Dancehall artist, both good friends who I saw a lot of but now we rarely cross paths however Zeena & I did have a great time at her recent Birthday picnic- pick up the phone now Jaz!

Zeena Banks- Warrior Goddess & winner of  'A song For Jamaica 2017'
On the non-music front my very good friend Margot moved to Australia a few years back- I have no idea how come we don't speak but I guess things just happen! I do miss her and hope all's good in her world. Maybe we'll meet again- Sydney awaits!

Missed seeing David & crew recently due to a prior engagement- but soon soon!
Thinking aloud- some of this is due to location now that I have moved into a less accessible area just outside London and don't have a car; which highlights a key fact- friendships require effort and energy. I guess that when we lose sight of this it is easy for friendships to drift.

Artists Tim Stocks & Oliver Yu Chna

How come this happens? We tend to focus energy where it is needed, business and personal, so other areas of our lives can be neglected inadvertently. Life moves on therefore some people we lose whilst others come into our lives- a very necessary cycle, particularly when we wish to expand our minds, abilities and experiences.

Talking business with Sire, Mic and Kenan who took the pic!
These totally awesome guys are part of my new 'family,'  being a caring, supportive bunch of business people- thrilled the universe has presented this outstanding opportunity where I'm in the midst of amazingly driven guys. This has awakened me to a truth- I am also totally driven because we attract who we are. Everybody pictured today is 100% energy and set on achieving their goals. Take a close look- Diania's new logo is shown above and her website is coming soon! Zeena works consistently hard to keep building her status, as does Reggae singer Michael Arkk (below); Michael is brother to Mozez (Zero) who founded Numen Records. Michael has a new song, 'Come Over Tonight' out on Soundcloud now.  Tim and Oliver are highly talented artists who I have known for a few years and both aspire to fame. Now to David who was the chef at my workplace. David has phenomenal charisma and makes a name for himself wherever he goes and last time we spoke a couple of years back was starting his own business.

Currently I'm fired up as my new venture gives people such power over their own lives- very exciting! Whilst being totally focused I am determined to nurture and maintain friendships.  I really desire for my good friends and other totally committed people to have a shot at this opportunity by finding out more as anyone can fit this into their lifestyle- message me on Facebook. to find out more! Thanks to this opportunity I now know I'll finally get to meet the good friends I've known since the Myspace days of 2007. The online world has changed my life totally. Michael, pictured here with Zeena, was the first online friend I actually met and we are good friends today- in fact Michael and I went to an awesome event recently in association with the new venture.

Add caption
Being a people person I want to ensure that the people I value stay close. Now that my head is clear I'm doing a much better job of it! At this time in my life I 'm finally able to dream 'Real' so can confidently say that I will achieve my goals and meet the people who are important to me. America awaits- actually I went to NY a few years back and met Cheri, Myspace friend- just a long weekend but WOW was that exciting!


 There are many people who have inspired me deeply since 2007. My key people are Gypsy, a wicked guitarist from NY and Najashi from LA, whose band is called Dread Daze. Dread Daze play a mix of genres and I blogged their video 'Protection' previously. Interestingly we go full circle now as Patrick recorded me reciting my poem 'Peace In,' based on Najashi's constant blessing. I would have  liked to meet Gypsy last time in NY but the timing was imperfect. He is phenomenal and has made tremendous strides in his journey, particularly since recording this video which is one of the best and extremely individual motivational speeches around. Gypsy- Occupy your own space!



The universe is such that Patrick just called! I have literally joined the dots and realised the he and Errol Kennedy (Imagination) whose bio I wrote recentyly were co-embers of successful band Midnight Express! What a small world this is as I met Errol through my very good friend Macky McPherson, C.E.O. of Urban Delight Ent. and have been to a couple of events with him.

Life is just amazing. I can't believe that amongst my friends I have friends who make music that truly impacts the world. Friends who are actors, artist, poets,. It's mind blowing stuff.  Funnily enough everyone on here except David came into my life via internet connections.So thank you universe- Do you know just how awesome this feels!!!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician

Friday, 11 May 2018

WHO ARE YOU? The power of conditioning!


Okay- like the joke and it got me thinking. Conditioning is something we are born into which wraps itself around us like invisible thread. My first reaction to the word conditioning is negative. It makes me think of the way society conditions us, beginning with family and cultural traits, religions, advertising, news- in fact, basically we're like products who are in receipt of other people's conditions 24/7.

Some of this is excellent. We acquire emotional, social and intellectual blueprints, many of which serve us well, and whilst we are still children we benefit from having guidance and boundaries. Once we mature however the things we have always believed may no longer be of benefit and sometimes having been bound so tightly by expectations, we create paths in life that do not suit us.

Let's consider this fun picture. Yes it made me laugh and is a brilliant commercial product no doubt. However in this age of independent women there are many ways you can look at this! On a serious note, women are generally nurtured to one set of expectations and men to another. This nurturing ensures we see the world and our future in a very particular way from a young age, These perceptions will change with each generation as society is constantly evolving, therefore family structure has come a long way from married opposite sex parents with 2.4 children to a whole range of different combinations. Part of becoming an adult for all us is to challenge our thinking and those with true insight realise that the past cannot dictate the future. We have the power to break free from the conditions that have dominated our lives and become the person we wish to be. This power relies on practice and means that we need to recondition ourselves, change our thinking, change our self-perception, change out habits, change our expectations and stop being hard on ourselves during each new learning process. When we are kind to ourselves and focus on being happy we will be able to work at the process more easily and create good results.

If there's something within yourself or in your life that you really don't like, change it. If you want a new home, travel, different type of lifestyle- change it. You really do have that ability and there are endless resources from motivational material to education, even functions that help you expand your mind. When you have some aims you will find you meet people who are thinking in a similar way and that is one of the keys to success. Yes there will be sacrifices, things that fall away but remember, you can be bound to mediocrity or bound for success!

Jaz McKenzie ~ The Word Magician