Wednesday, 12 April 2017

EASTER- A Time for us focus on our lives and attitudes


All religions have focal points and as we know Easter is a major Christian festival. If you're a believer this is a tremendous time to celebrate however if you're not we can still make the most of this opportunity.

Ideally, we take time everyday to reflect on our attitudes, feelings and different aspects of our lives with the intention of continually striving for better. When we speak about focusing on what truly matters this will mean different things at different times but the core truths remain the same. We should focus on ourselves and our spiritual being regardless of Religion. We need to know who we are and what we believe- hopefully we believe in the power of love and choose to make this our core practice. Before we can be of any true service to others we have to re-learn how to love ourselves. I say re-learn because I'm sure we arrive perfectly aligned however the course of life changes and moulds us into earthly beings who generally adapt to societies expectations.

What are you focused on daily? Creating a balance is important as is the need to remain flexible. If we followed the same programme everyday we might be regarded as exceptionally disciplined or robotic! There are key elements that help us maintain focus including diet, meditation, relaxation, work and exercise. We can play about with these and are sometimes affected by external demands such as deadlines or organic aspects like health.

A good practice is to get up every morning leaving the previous day's concerns behind. Expect the best from everyone you meet and the situations you encounter- this helps eliminate the need for drama, allowing you to handle tricky situations from a more loving perspective.

Sooooo- have a good Easter break and re-charge your batteries, always giving thanks for life, love and opportunity!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Cutting Edge Art by Tim Stocks! Fascinating Exhibition

Chris and Catherine with Tim 
Artist Tim Stocks recently exhibited some of his new works at Brixton Pound, Atlantic Road. I went along to the opening and was thrilled to see Tim’s wonderful paintings displayed to full advantage, grouped in a very complimentary manner; their vibrancy enhanced by the pure, white walls. These bright colours contain a 'power' which hit me upon entering the room as I felt my inner energy immediately re-balance- I can't exactly describe this but it’s a little like the effect you feel in a room of surround sound.
Jackson Pollock in his studio

I believe you really do not need to understand art in order to connect with Tim’s work- you can always ask about it as he enjoys explaining his inspirations, feelings and the importance of individual pictures. Tim is currently entranced with the 'non-colour' black, using it to frame and accentuate aspects of his work. Catherine, visitor and keen supporter of Tim’s work, discussed the use of this with Tim and commented that she was delighted to see evidence of his fast developing trade mark- leaving small areas of the canvas blank to cleverly enhances the picture. A technique expertly incorporated in his painting here entitled 'The Hulk'

Tim has clearly developed a following and this is the third art exhibition of his I have attended. Interestingly the occasional pictures that Tim re-exhibits hit me in a fresh way. This was the case with his ‘Jesus’ picture that represents the crucifix, and having forgotten that it was Jesus- typical with my memory, I felt it totally captured the vibration of triumph also associated with a Phoenix rising from the ashes- which demonstrates Tim’s intent and power to convey his message. Tim also exhibited a painting of Wurzel Gummidge who was obviously in the same style of pose, and yet this gave off a completely different and slightly sinister feel. I was thinking 'scarecrow,' not 'Wurzel-'silly mistake as Tim’s work is usually based around know characters/situations or superbly athletic men! I think my feelings were appropriate in a way given that Wurzel by his very nature is eternally bonded to the pole up his back, however the bird in his apron pocket and nearby children appear totally at ease!

James Last and his Orchestra + Wurzel Gummidge
Political situations are one of Tim’s specialties and on this occasion we visited Isis painting together with the Nazi’s- woooah, daring work! I was very interested in Tim’s hand written descriptions which are key learning points for me. For instance, I had never heard of Baba Vanga, famous for her predictions. 

Pope Francis
On this occasion my favourite painting is undoubtedly James Last and his orchestra. Maybe my musical leanings are marrying up with art! Once again, vibrancy was flowing with a canvas full of people and colour! Tim’s paintings tend to be extremely large on the whole- surprisingly I have managed to house his refugee picture from the last exhibition and am thrilled that Tim is painting the cover illustration for my first ever book, ‘Piranha in the Goldfish Bowl,’ an eclectic mix of thirty poems that will be published later this year. It was exciting discussing ideas regarding the cover- just love Tim’s imagination- Note to self: I’m definitely purchasing that picture!
Baba Vanga
Whilst on the subject of commissions, two of the visitors, Chris and Catherine, mentioned above, as existing customers, took the opportunity to discuss the possibility of Tim painting their family portrait, including the dog, to be given a designated spot in the new family home. How wonderful is that!

If you do have an opportunity to visit  one of Tim’s exhibitions in the future, take it. I know he is due to exhibit in may- details to follow. In the meantime you can check out his works on Facebook and while you’re here, read my previous review featuring more of his paintings- including the Refugees
Atlantic Road, Brixton


The Chelsea Hotel
Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician  Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Shirley & Co - Shame Shame Shame- Dance & be Happy!




In life you just have to put your dancing shoes on! To me, this song is the beat of life- it flows, bops and weaves like a never ending stream but always on the upbeat. Our higher selves are tuned into the upbeat all the time and if you want to be in sync, put on your dancing shoes- or kick off your shoes and have a crazy dance in the living room. Music just has that feel-good vibe and this song, like many songs from the same era, has an indefinable quality that resounds happiness through our bodies and soul. Girl put your records ON as Corinne Bailey Ray once sang- it's the antidote to those down days and 'The Drug with no Side-effects,' as Macky McPherson always says!
Living The Dream Interview- with Macky

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Living The Incredible Dream!!! Interview with Macky McPherson~ Creator of Urban Delight Entertainment

With Mumma Mac- The beginning!
Having been working with Macky McPherson for the past few years, reviewing events and far more; we decided it’s time to take an indepth look at the creation, development and future plans for his business, Urban Delight Entertainment. Urban Delight is far more than just another musical enterprise as you are about to find out. 

At what point in your life did you decide to go into business for yourself?  I’ve been Deejaying from a young age so I’ve always done my own thing- like little events and parties, and I got my friend Soundkilla from Digital Clash to do my flyers. I really just had a little business of Deejaying for house parties, clubs and venues.

At what point did you decide to expand and start formulating Urban Delight Entertainment?  When I was  Deejaying I had Black Stuff Crew which was my little sound system; I had my friend War One who was my main man and he used to come to events with me. He was my one mic man and when he died Black Stuff Crew didn’t seem the same. Obviously from a business perspective Black Stuff Crew, which we named as we were playing vinyls, could be mis-interpreted- do you see what I mean? So I’d always been toying with Urban Delight and I thought, well, Black Stuff Crew, I wear the tattoo so it’s still me and this is the business end, so that’s it. Urban Delight is the brand I can take and develop and make it what I want it to be.

Winsome and Norris B
In what ways do you want your company to be different to any other record labels that have emerged across the UK? When I look at us as a small independent label I am looking at the smallest side of the business because I look at everyone’s skills; everyone using their own life experiences, their gifts and their talents, and we use music as a vessel just to connect people really- for me to deliver my message as well as everyone else to deliver theirs under one hub. Urban Delight’s the hub, almost like the heartbeat. You can look at it as a solar system where everyone’s orbiting around and it’s just a movement of like-minded people.


Let’s look at artists. When you have artists who want to work with you what qualities are you looking for in those artists besides the music?  I think with artists it’s the same as with everyone. Finding people who are true to themselves; people who feel they are good enough and if they’re not good enough yet, developing them. It’s just finding that connection. You can hear lots of songs but when you speak to people you find the reason why they want to do music, you get that connection and you just want to develop them further. As well as helping artists we help people through our Deejay workshops and shows on Life FM. It’s about using music really to connect people and connect businesses, but doing it in a way where we are not going to be conformists. We don’t need to do airbrushing; we don’t care how old you are. It could be someone’s Nan who sings in the kitchen and she’s seventy years old. If she wants a music video and is right for Urban Delight she’ll get one; and if she wants it in the kitchen round her pots while she’s singing we’ll do it. We want to do music but without the rules to a certain degree, that’s what Urban Delight’s about.

One of your big straplines is Music The Drug With No Side-Effects. When did that raise its head? Well. everyone in life, we all go through problems and music was my way. It was my anti-depressant and it’s always been that. I’m not knocking anyone who has had to take anti-depressants but music has been my anti-depressant. You know there’s no side-effects; not unless you’re my next door neighbour maybe- you know what I mean! LAUGH!! Apart from that, music heals people and makes them feel good. It can change people’s mood instantly for the better- although people can contaminate music and try and portray it in a negative light. It’s very positive and I don’t believe music is used enough to heal communities. I feel music is being owned like a drug cartel. It’s a billion dollar industry but there’s enough room for all of us so what we’re doing is just going out and getting it for ourselves. We’re going to open up arguments and doors so that every artist can get their fair share of music whether they’re independent or part of a collective.


Would you like to speak very briefly about the different artists who are working with you currently? Yes, at the moment we’re working with Winsome Moncrieff- Mitchell who is part of Family Love and sings with them now and again. We’re working on her debut solo album with Computer Paul who’s a multi-award winning producer with numerous credits behind him. 

Award winning producer- Computer Paul
Winsome is more of a Lover’s Rock vocalist however we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve and you’re gonna see that she’s a real recording artist. Like all our artists, we don’t really like to put them in a box.You might hear Winsome do an Afrobeats track if she can and she wants but right now Winsome’s got a couple of Lover’s Rock tracks out.

Abijah Smith with Usain Bolt
 J2G- Ras Buba and D-Skin, they’re an Afrobeats duo. D-Skin does more of the vocals and Ghanaian add-libs coz he has vocal skills and Ras Buba is the Jamaican Dancehall DJ side of it- a lovely combination, lovely pair of guys. We got Nahum Effick who is a wicked, multi-talented Beat Boxer who could win something like Britain’s Got Talent. He’s so good he just adds a different dimension to the outfit. Then we have Jeremiah Bonez who’s based in New York and is working on his new materials to show more flair and styles to surprise people. When he’s ready he’s going to be giving us his first UK Debut single to release. In Jamaica there's Daigo Baddis who’s actually dancer Urkle’s brother (Ras Yechiyah) who’s known for the Urkle Dancehall Dance. Urkle dances with us as well. Daigo’s a wicked Dancehall artist with good lyrics, good timing, great delivery and it’s all about how he’s promoted and marketed- he’s got a lot in the tank and we’re currently working on getting him over here so he can do some TV interviews and promotions. I’m also really excited about Abijah Smith in Jamaica who I believe could be as influential today as Bob Marley was. He’s fresh and his material is current so he’s ready to get out there and has already had a number one in Jamaica. We  also do one off’s which we did with Zaluma Cheek, based in New Jersey who just released a debut single, ‘Love Again, which was produced by Matthew Daniel- he’s one of our production team and runs Butterfly Dez Records.  

Artists working in different ways with U.D.E.
We also work with certain artists who we support and they appear on our shows like Saint Paul for instance. We support him because he’s a good experienced rapper- and he moved my Mum! Well, anyone who makes my Mum happy is part of my team, so he’ll be promoted on the Urban Delight Website, and don’t be surprised if you see us releasing a single with Saint Paul.

The Wooden Men
We’re a small growing collective and our new artists include Kofi Dennis as we like to work with kids who have some sort of additional needs as well. He’s a vocalist and we’re gonna be mentoring him. I told him to go out and get a job and he got a job- If you’re with us you got to pay your way. Another new addition- and I always wanted to bust a Wandsworh artist, (Macky’s home turf,) is a young rapper by the name of Tee in his early twenties. He’s a nice guy and a bit of a mummy’s boy- I like that, so look out for Tee.  We are expanding all the time and we've got The Wooden Men who are very contemporary and we've just joined up with Global Reggae Band who'll back all our shows and we also feature their lead singer Otis Irie. They’re from Birmingham. In Bristol we got Norris B and Jah Garvey with Yam n Banana Productions- the producer 's name is Uri Green and they work at Dadaras Studios. So look out for some great new Reggae music.

U.D.E.'s resident band
What makes Urban Delight special?
What I like about us is artists come on board, they like what we do and they invest in themselves- that shows us that they are serious. We’re not like Sony and we don’t try to operate like Sony. We’re Urban Delight and we got our own swag. We got the tools and the platform for artists to come on board at any time and we have Europe’s leading, largest digital distributers who's on an on-going contract, so life is rosy for Urban Delight and the whole team. It’s a collective of great talents and when I look at Urban Delight we’re like music’s answer to the X Men, that’s the only way I can describe it and we just want to use it for good things.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician  Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Monday, 20 March 2017

U.D.E. Update!



Keep your eyes peeled for the Its Braap interview with Macky McPherson, coming shortly. We will be bringing you the braap on Macky's career history and how Urban Delight Entertainment was formed later this week.


New Update: Norris B's long awaited album has now officially received its title, 'Hands Of Time.' More about that later.

This Saturday- more Urban Spice, so check the poster and make your way over to this fun event.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician  Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Night of Urban Spice- What a Treat!

Macky McPherson introducing Las McNeil- Blue Cap & Jacket!


Team Urban Delight recently launched their new venture, ‘A Night of Urban Spice,’ in conjunction with DJ Spice- Groove Radio, at the Leilani Restaurant and Ashanti Lounge Bar, Battersea. This is an historical move as the venue previously hosted U.D.E. events on a regular basis and are now returning live and direct.

The  DJ’s on launch night were Macky Mcpherson, C.E.O. of Urban Delight Ent, Laurie Mathura aka DJ Spice and DJ Sharmayne Pink... and Jimmy Davis, Sound Fusion Radio, who enjoyed their night playing popular music, creating the much needed dance vibe thus ensuring a successful evening.


The Ashanti & Leilani restaurant/lounge has been remodelled since the early days and has distinctive areas for dining (upstairs) and chilling, including a smoking area for those so inclined. My colleagues and I enjoyed some excellent food including chicken, jerk chicken and fish in the relaxed upstairs  retaurant environment. By contrast, the UDE event took place in the more enclosed downstairs area, becoming very busy as the evening progressed. Note; seating is available downstairs.

Nahum Effick
Showtime: Nahum Effick instantly Beatboxed everyone to attention, opening the evening’s live entertainment with a slick, jaw dropping performance. Nahum exploits his incredible talent and everytime I hear him I’m left with the over-riding question- ‘How does he do it?’ In fact, I heard a couple of people asking that same question. Nahum was followed by Les McNeil, member of very successful British Reggae Band Tradition. Les sang a trio of popular songs, to the audiences delight as they joined in...’ I promise you every little beat of my heart!’ I have to say, Les gave a beautiful rendition of Tradition’s songs, wonderful to hear, especially as his voice still retains all its qualities.

Up next- Winsome Moncrieffe Mitchell, one of the warmest people I know; who embraces that warmth within her voice. Winsome unleashes her vocals powerfully at every event from The Giants of Lover’s Rock, O2 to local shows around the UK. Urban Spice was no exception and having sung her token tribute, ‘I am Blessed,’ Winsome moved easily to her new release, ‘Something About You.’ Winsome’s songs are easy listening numbers with a feel good vibe although they are based around challenging themes! Winsome concluded with ‘Hurting Me, a song recorded with the group Family Love and a favourite of mine.

Norris B
Unexpectedly at this point there was a long break as some technical difficulties proved difficult to resolve! Eventually the live show got back on track with Norris B, a Bristol based artist, performing songs from his up and coming album as yet untiltled. Norris’s super smooth voice reels the audience in... ‘Here we go again’- Norris B is in the house! I like the fact that Norris presented his original material giving us a taste of what’s to come. Norris delivers his Lover’s Rock music in a very relaxed manner and is good at engaging with people- as is Otis Irie who rounded off the evening in true Otis style. Otis’s first song, ‘Wherever I lay my Hat,’ suited his voice extremely well and warmed the audience to him instantly. Otis Irie is definitely the super cool Ladies Man and much to my surprise I was swept into a dance! Otis sang one of his own songs... ‘Only Girl for Me,’ recorded with Global Reggae Band- formed by drummer Trevor Greaves. I first saw the Global Reggae Band perform at the Lambeth County Show last summer and was very impressed. My review brought their music to the attention of Macky; and as a result Trevor and the band are now working in conjunction with U.D.E. and will be backing their artists at live shows.

Otis Irie of Global Reggae Band
In addition to the music and food I must at this point make quick mention of Caroline Allinson, photographer on the night who, as you can see, captured the essence of this event so expertly.
A Night of Urban Spice will be a monthly event with the next one scheduled for 25th March. This event will take a slightly different format so check the flyers or contact Macky for more information. U.D.E. will also be putting on live shows complete with Global Reggae Band so we’re all looking forward to exciting times ahead.


Jaz McKenzie~ The WordMagician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Poem For International Women's Day by Jaz McKenzie


I believe everyone needs to be in touch with their own power which enables us to be all we want to be. In some ways it's become much easier for women to achieve their dreams however generations of thinking take time to overcome - outcome: many women still put everyone else's needs before their own. In this poem I am not speaking about major achievements from a wordly perspective, but individual major achievements that come from a personal perspective. It is about what you want to do with your life.

International Women's Day
Arise sisters
And feel your power
Every minute, every hour
Of the day
Take your life in hand
And make a stand
By doing things your way
Reach inside
Allow your inner guide
To have its say
Be who you believe in
And start receiving
The brightest day
You are your sunshine
The morning dew
Don't dwell
In the shadow of night
Let apprehension
Take flight
And start each day anew
Jaz McKenzie 2017

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician  Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk