Monday, 31 October 2011

ELEPHANT SKIN>> POEM


ELEPHANT SKIN

I need to grow an elephant skin
A place to be enveloped within
Many layers to keep me tightly bound
So I don’t make too much sound
A protective armour to keep me away
From the hasty actions I take each day
Not as you’d think to shield me from pain
But so I have time my thoughts to reign
Marinade, digest and grow
To gain perspective, get in the know
To halt the actions that will hurt you
When I see things with a jaded view
Far from just being a gifted healer
Time is also the greatest revealer
So time be on my side
Hasty decisions delay
And put off until tomorrow
The upsets of today!!
Elephant skin keep me in your grasp
On occasions restriction is a must!

Jaz McKenzie 2010 ©

Sunday, 30 October 2011

OOOOH TECHNOLOGY!!


OOOH, The problems with Technology!!

A few years ago I didn’t have a clue about computers. In fact, prior to joining Myspace in April 2007 I couldn’t even cut & paste however Myspace appeared to be the technical challenge my inner self was clearly craving.

It is very interesting how we manage to challenge ourselves without even realising that we are doing so. Interest is obviously the key factor. I was Googling Carlos Acosta at the time as I liked to keep up to date with his movements & the PC informed me that he had ‘Moved to Myspace.’ It then asked if I would like to join Myspace so I clicked yes without knowing what it was! Lenny Kravitz had recently moved there & as I skimmed my eyes down his page I saw the gorgeous Chang I, male model & musician, so asked my son what I was supposed to be doing on there. I discovered that I could write to Chang but it was ages before I realised how to request friends; although by some miracle could add those who requested me! Eventually I learnt how to upload a picture and set it to default. Finally I discovered how to request friends and wrote to Gypsy numerous times asking why he hadn’t added me... when he had! At the time I didn’t know how to view more than 4 friends & Gypsy was #5!! My workmates showed me how to customise the page which involved copy & pasting codes. With the help of on-line friends I eventually became so competent that I designed my profile like magazine which attracted great attention resulting in me running 2 additional pages for a reggae singer & boy band! To organize these pages properly I mastered some external links to improve content which was time consuming yet very rewarding.

The last couple of years I have been very busy on Facebook and formed the group ‘Its Braap. ’ This enabled people to publicize their own music as I was unable to promote all the music that people were requesting. Originally I was able to listen & comment on all their posts however I find it impossible to keep up with now in addition to running my pages. The number of pages I work on has grown significantly and too much for just one person! Even so ‘Its Braap clearly needed a blog spot and thanks to Christopher Smith who helped to set up the ‘Its Braap’ Youtube & ‘Linked In,’ watching him gave me the underpinning knowledge to design this blogspot entirely unaided. Now that’s a landmark in technological history as was my NVQ 2 in IT.

So with these great achievements under my belt I confidently went on-line to do initial tests for the management course I am about to undertake. HMMMMMMM... This should have proved simple enough! Guess what?!?! First I couldn’t find the log in... Why? Because it didn’t say ‘LOG IN’ !!! Instead there was a pale grey sentence I completely overlooked so failed to click on it. That sentence takes you to the Log In as I discovered with the tutors help. Finally I entered the site & went looking for the tests. This was not a simple process either despite being shown during induction. I finally came across them once I relaxed my mind & bingo...Clicked on a few things & found the link to the tests. The tests themselves failed to show however it now reads that I have completed them... DWL!! I guess it just shows how diverse our thinking actually is. When designing things they seem clear to us yet may leave others extremely confused. Well I guess I can anticipate the test results very easily... a straight zero across the board!! Good job we can reset isn’t it!!! The ultimate thought here is that life is forever a learning curve.

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 28 October 2011

IYA INGI DI FIRE INGI ON TOUR!!! Part 2



With thanks to Iya Ingi and Darcy Levy >TMM (The Muzical Moderator).

Iya, you have performed many times. What are the best moments for you that have really stood out?

A lot of moments stand out but one in particular in 2008 when I was on a tour in Holland. I was invited to perform at the ‘Shoot Me Film Festival.’ I was on stage performing a track entitled , ‘Save the Children.’ The message that I conveyed in it and the energy the crowd got from it was strong and a man grabbed up his little girl and she came on the stage. I was observing the joy that she had just being on stage and being able to touch me and interact with me and that’s a moment that stands out in my mind... to know that I have music that can touch people just like that. Being the individual that I am, I just love children generally, not just my own but all children of iration.

Could you tell us more about your current tour?

This current tour starts right here in Boston where I am at the moment doing some promotional work, interviews and making some ‘pass through’ appearances in clubs and other areas. I am letting them know that I am here and promoting 2 shows that I have here in Boston, Massachusetts on 28th October by Sammy’s Patio on Revere Beach and the second show 29th October in Cambridge at, ‘The West End Front.’ My first show will be 22nd October in ‘Club Royale,’ Tampa , Florida so I leave for Florida tomorrow. I will do more interviews, recordings and promoting. After the shows I go to New York and possibly Chicago for November. This is my East Coast Promotional STAIN Tour. We are doing this tour to create awareness in the US and next year are planning a global tour as I am getting requests from people all over the world through social networks including Asia, Canada, Japan and one important place I must make mention of is in Ithiopia. I was recently so honoured to get an invitation to perform there at a festival called ‘Reggae in the Rift Valley’ with artistes from all over the world. It’s on 4th December and to be invited knowing the sentiments I share is a privilege. It’s actually like a benefit concert, a charity event. None of the artists who have been invited will be paid. It’s being able to be a part of the movement and an honour and a privilege to be invited there. Actually, the next reason , it’s close to my heart is because my biological Father is living in Ithiopia and has been living there 17 years now. I haven’t seen him in 17 years and it will be a big re-union and being able to see even brothers and sisters I haven’t met before so it will be a great joy to have such a reunion. Also the first of December is my Father’s Birthday and it will be the first time he ever get the chance to see me perform live. He’s seen video tapes and stuff like that so give thanks to Jah for making this whole movement possible.

It’s an absolute blessing isn’t it.

Yeah man we give thanks for the opportunity you know coz it’s a matter of putting in the work and to see the work recognized out there and have people request you to come and perform. It’s a feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment.

There are gradually more events occurring in Africa. Do you feel the accessibility of good reggae artists is spreading more to the everyday African people?

Yeah man, the reggae music is spreading over there because even before I got this invitation, being on face book a lot of time promoters from all over keep asking when am I coming to Africa. Like everywhere, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ithiopia... a lot of places and that’s what I stand up for and I always represent Ithiopia in my music. I just try to give strength because Ithiopia has been through so much troubles over the years and a lot of times people just choose to capitalize on the benefits that they can get from going there. I as an individual just want to do some work that can benefit and when I say Ithiopia I mean the whole land mass they call Africa.

It’s the giving in life isn’t it that’s just as important as everything else to make you a whole person.

That is it because that is what has brought I&I to this point where I am in my life. It’s just giving because when you give naturally you will receive. Sometimes you just give because you are in the position to give and not really because you are looking for anything in return, so you give as much as you can along your path. It’s just the cycle of life and it comes right forward around to you.

So have you any idea when you are planning to release your album?

Well we don’t really have a set date but we looking at a possible time for the summer. I don’t really want to rush it because I really want it to bring out all the messages I want to give the world. I will take time to make sure that every song, every material that is placed on the album is properly done and a true representation of what I stand for.

Moving on to a couple of general things, besides music are there any other interests that you are keen on?

I am a very skilled individual because being in Jamaica is a rough rough place for anyone to grow up you know; so I have developed a couple of skills over the years and I exercise them. I also make natural juices, juices from fruit and grains of the earth and that is one of the things I really love to do. I would love to take it to a global level and have a business producing natural juice. Juice is a very essential part of anyone’s diet and when you consume food in a liquid state it’s easier for the body to draw the strictly necessary elements that is needs from it because most of it has already been broken down and gives the body less work. Check for instance the life of a baby consuming the food in a liquid state. The breast milk has all the essential nutriments in it.

Have you studied the health elements in the juices, the dietary side of it?

Yes I try my best to but I am not going to sit here and pretend I know everything but I at least try and have a general knowledge of the cause and effect of the juices. I had an inspirational moment once when I went to a juice garden here in Jamaica called ‘Earl Juice Gardens.’ It’s actually a brethren who does natural juices unsweetened and it was Moses I who brought me there. I was there observing a newspaper article that he has on the wall and it was so amazing I can’t forget it. The brethren that owns the business was actually diagnosed with a particular type of cancer and they gave him 7 days to live. They wrote up his death certificate and totally write off this man; he was going to die. What this man did he changed his diet. He was obviously introduced to this lifestyle by someone and by changing his diet and living off the natural things of iration that practically saved his life. He was so inspired by that he opened up his business. I look on that and have inspiration also. The natural vibe, you are what you eat and whatever diseases the body acquire there are foods on earth that can help the body get rid of that. The body cures itself at all times if treated naturally.

The last thing I would like to know is what would you most love for your children?

I would love for them to be properly educated first and foremost because with education comes choice. When you are educated then you have a choice because you can definitely see the direction that you want your life to go in. I am not a college scholar or anything like that but I have a proper educational background which allows me to express myself and it also allows me to make the proper choices that I choose for my life. That is one of the most important things I would love for my children and for all children of iration; to be fully educated, for them to grow up with high self esteem and confident in oneself knowing that you can make it. I will draw a reference from a particular song that I have where I say ‘No one can stop you, It is you who stop yourself’ because you have to know that life is the actions that you do that react of reflect what happens to you in the lateral. The important things I love for my children; to be properly educated, high self esteem and to be able to live life naturally and free.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 27 October 2011

REVIEW OF ‘FAME THE MUSICAL’ Performed by CODA




Performed by CODA~ Croydon Operatic & Dramatic Society, Fairfield Halls, Croydon

Weds 26th-Sat 29th Oct 2011-10-27 ~ fund raising for St Christopher’s Hospice

Introduction: It is a great challenge for an amateur dramatic society to produce and perform such a famous musical as ‘Fame.’ The first ever film called ‘Fame’ was produced in 1936. This was followed by the highly popular film ‘Fame’ in 1980, conceived by David De Silva & Jose Fernandez who wrote the book to accompany it. The students in De Silva’s version were attending the ‘New York High School of Performing Arts.’ This film was larger than life and captured the public imagination with stunning performances & memorable characters leading to spin offs; a TV series, stage musical & 29 years later (2009) a re-make of the 1980 film.

Performance: CODA’s version of ‘Fame was directed by Vicky Watkins. I attended the first night of this production and overall the show ran smoothly, the negatives being a little microphone problem and a slight lack of polish; which was acceptable with such a large company working within a relatively small stage area.

CODA’s story opened at the beginning of the new student intake with a rousing song prior to character identification. Although the characters had different names to the 1980 film with which I am familiar (!!), many of them were clearly recognizable and some original story lines were followed. The American accents were very good as was the rap performed by ‘ Tyrone,’ today’s ‘Leroy,’ played by Mitchell Laban. There were many excellent individual vocal solo’s, ‘Principal Miss Sherman,’ played by Sasha Cherry receiving tremendous applause. ‘Carmen Diaz,’ was without doubt my favourite character and Beci Sageman ‘s performance fit for the West End. The depiction of Carmen’s seedy lifestyle, displayed as little vignettes including pole dancing behind the veil of a curtain was exceptionally well done. Choreography was of a good standard throughout, excelling itself in the surprise finale which succeeded in exciting the audience due to the colourful costumes, strong collective vocal and highly energetic dancing. A little surprise was thrown with the finale however a surprise it will remain unless you are able to get along to any remaining performances!

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

You Can't Get Much Done In Life...

‘You can't get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.’ Jerry West


This is an excellent starting point when looking at the motivational forces within life. The truth is that everything comes down to attitude of mind. If you arise in the morning feeling bleary and deflated there is a strong chance that you will coast through the day and achieve very little, procrastinating at the thought of every task and devaluing its importance. We need to appreciate that by dealing with things quickly we free up our time to do more enjoyable tasks and achieve our goals.

The challenge here is to switch to a positive mindset and plan your day to include all the necessary tasks. Once achieved you will probably discover that your body automatically kicks its apathy aside and you will be surprised by what you do achieve. This in turn generates the feel good factor reinforcing the basic rule that energy creates more energy and apathy more apathy.
Tip>> regardless of how you are feeling, get up in the morning and tell yourself a few times, ‘Today I am going to have a good day!’ Mind over matter works, just try it!
Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 24 October 2011

FACEBOOK HOW DO I REGARD YOU?

I was thinking about Facebook and all the things that goes on here and came up with this poem to try and capture both the good and the not so good! ~QJ~



Facebook how do I regard you?
An interesting question!
Now let’s see in which direction
This is going to lead.
On the whole I enjoy you
But I do not like the seeds
Of dissension
Scattered around the place
Too much up-front in your face competition
And sly underhand actions
Everyone jostling for a premier position
And I’d like to make it plain
I refuse to engross in power plays
I refuse to play the status game
All that bigging up
Or knocking back
Is not for me
The first thing that comes in my head you will see!
And I love posting up links
Extending the mind
Making us think.
The arts
Fundamental to my mental state
And above all
You people
Who bring joy to the soul
Facebook on the whole
You got a good thing going!!!

JAZ MCKENZIE © 2010

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Push On Tru - IYA INGI


Check out the music of IYA INGI, Ethiopian Musical Ambassador to the World>>>
Iya's song is strong and inspiring, rooted in the strength & encouragement Iya has received throughout his life from his mother whom Iya describes as his 'Rock of Gibralter.' Naturally Iya also draws inspiration & determination from Haile Selassie which is the cornerstones of his ideology.
We are treated to a quite a long Acapella introduction before the musical accompaniment kicks in and rides with the lyrics to its conclusion. Good strong song. Also available right here hot off the press is the 'ITS BRAAP' interview in which we get the real flavour of Iyah!! ~QJ~

(MANAGEMENT)
DARCY LEVY
AKA THE MUZIKAL MODERATOR (T.M.M.)
iyaingibookings@gmail.com
847-612-6117

ITS BRAAP > IYA INGI > Ithiopian Musical Ambassador to the World. Part 1

~QJ~ BRINGING YOU THE BRAAP ON IYA INGI > ITHIOPIAN MUSICAL AMBASSADOR TO THE WORLD



With thanks to Iya Ingi and Darcy Levy >TMM (The Muzical Moderator).

What elements do you create to make your music stand out from other peoples?

The elements that I include in my music to have it stand out is I don’t only try to put together words that are rhyming and melodies, I try to bring a specific message across. A message of love, a message of being aware of life and your surroundings and just knowing that we are all a member of a global community, which is iration as a whole no matter your religious background, political affiliation or the ethnic group that you are from. We are just a global community and that basically sums up my message out there that we are all connected in life because we are all here in life.

The more I interview the more I find that people hold the same view that we are equal, yet it is not coming out in the world somehow.

That is why I&I give isis to Hailie Selassie I because Hailie Selassie I is standing up for Ithiopians. Not just Ithiopian alone but I also chant for equality among all human beings. Like I just said, no matter political affiliation or religious background or race or class; All man is equal in iration.

You have chosen to take your name from Niyah Bingi which you say means death to black and white down pressers. Is this referring to the fact that both races oppress black people or that both black and white people are downpressed as you describe it?

I refer to the latter part of that question in terms of all people in history have come across oppression or downpression. The term Niyah Bingy is actually an incient word from outside Africa, Seen. Ithiopians chant Niyah Bingi. Niyah Bingi is actually the woman in the hills chanting but I chant Iyah Ingi which represents the man, the male section of the movement. So when I say Iya Ingi chant I am actually chanting for liberation, moving away from downpression from amongst I&I as human beings because at one point in time all nations of people have come across downpression.

Now, your Youtube channel is called Wissy Wissy. Is there an origin to Wissy Wissy or is it some kind of personal catch phrase?

No it is not a personal catch phrase. Wissy Wissy is the movement of the Mau Mau Wasusi Warriors. The Mau Mau Wasusi were actually an ancient tribe originating from out of Kenya and they were instrumental in the independence of Kenya. Mau Mau is the people and Wissy Wissy is the movement , moving from hills and valleys and it’s a swift tactical movement that was very complicated for the British colonial powers to study. The Mau Mau warriors Wissy Wissy movement was about moving from one point real quickly and attacking so swiftly from the hills, from the valleys so that the colonials couldn’t follow the movement. That’s where Wissy Wissy comes from, so when Iya Ingi says ‘Wissy Wissy I&I a Wiss you,’ that means ‘Wiss I am here this moment and I am over there,’ so they can’t study the movement.

That’s very interesting. Yes I. Yes because in a way you are bringing your music out to the people and making your own movements aren’t you. That is it.

Ok Iya, now let’s talk about your up and coming album.

Well this current album is actually my debut album and a lot of work has been put in it and is still going on. This album is going to represent Iya Ingi in such a way where it’s going to draw on a lot of the things that I stand up for as a person, as an individual and what I represent in the music. This is actually going to be a mission statement for Iya Ingi out there in the world. Whenever someone purchases this album they are going to have a general idea of what Iya Ingi’s all about. Things I stand up for, things that I’m against and what I represent. It’s actually a representation of my life and what life has taught I. Hailie Selassie have a stage where I always draw a particular phrase or a quote from where he says, ‘This is what life has taught I, I wish to share with others who want to learn.’

So what you are giving people is a platform that would work as an introduction to the Rastafarian faith?

Not just Rasta because I&I movement is much much larger than the rasta. I&I chant as an Ithiopian first and foremost. Ithiopians now in terms of you just recognizing that we are all a member of life’s community. In geographical location because Ithiopia refers to the whole land mass that they call Africa; it is Ithiopia to I. I don’t wish to import it on others but it is to show people about Ithiopian lifestyle, how we are and how we supposed to be.

I am going in a different direction for a moment. I know you have dedicated the song ‘Push On True’ to your mother. I am wondering what types of inspiration you draw from your family, specifically from your mother and from your children?

I draw a lot of inspiration from my mother because she is my ‘Rock of Gibralter,’ the one that instilled a lot of values, a lot of work ethics in me as an individual. I look up to her, I draw so much strength from her knowing that I was born in Kingston in a place called Mona Common and Kingston is one of the roughest places on earth to grow up. My Mum has always been there through my personal issues and supporting me as an individual pursuing a musical career. Whenever I am in doubt with anything or facing life’s challenges I can always look to her for strength so I have to dedicate that song to my Mum. My children motivate me in the sense of being a responsible individual, knowing that I am responsible for life and responsible as a role model. It means putting in so much work that they can look up to me as a role model doing positive things out there. I want the best for my children so I put a lot of work in what I am doing.


We’ll take a look now at your musical inspirations. I gather that you are inspired by Bounty Killer, Moses I and Jah Cure. In what ways does that kind of inspiration differ to the personal inspiration?

Musically, Jah Cure is a brethren that I know personally. We grew up in the same community. He’s actually from Montego Bay, but spent a lot of time in the early beginning of his musical career in Mona Common which is where I originated, so I am closely affiliated with Jah Cure. His inspiration, being a youth at that time and seeing someone I know personally take his musical career and go out there and do such a powerful work so I can look up to that individual. His vocal quality and the message he brings to the people, I just draw strength from that. Moses I also is a brethren from outside the David House Camp that Capleton is affiliated with and is a great vision of mine also. Moses I taught I a lot of things; how to hold notes, keys, how to listen and study a rhythm track and how to compose my words. I learnt a lot of that just from listening to things. Bounty Killer I draw a lot of inspiration from. I admire his imagination in the music and what he stands up for in terms of him relating his life experience and portraying it to the world. Also he is responsible for so much artists out there. Movado, who is a huge dancehall act globally and also Vybz Kartel . Bounty Killer is the one that really showcases all the artists. I really look to him as a person who exposes talent. I look at myself as the type of person who would love to have that grip on the music and expose uprising talent within my community and inside Jamaica or anywhere in the world.

PART 2 COMING SOON! Jaz McKenzie

Saturday, 22 October 2011

~QJ~ THE POET... VISIBLE FOR THE FIRST TIME HERE!

TIME TO MEET QUEEN JAZ>> For those of you discovering me for the first time! AND partly because I am not a whizz at technology so we do it as we go LOL!! Here is a poem written back in Feb 2008 during a very challenging time!


This is me
Living my life my way
Regardless of what other people say
Listening to the advice my friends and family give
But at the end of the day I choose…
I CHOOSE HOW I'M GOING TO LIVE.

People always say that I am strong
They are right, but again…
Sometimes they're wrong.
Strength pertains to each situation
A space or place in the timescale of my life
Right now I'm at my weakest
Days filled with pain, worry and strife.

I need to tap into the positive flow of vibes
Natural vibes flowing all around
Especially the vibes that reach me through the net
And… the sound …of a voice filled with encouragement
Which can make me rejoice and say
'Praise the Lord because He's given me another day.'

Another day in which to communicate
Relate to those surrounding me at work
At home, in the Jacuzzi and pool…
On myspace where the golden rule
Is be positive, strong and nobody's fool
But this is ME and today I feel weak
So I'm blogging it coz I'm a real person
Not some kind of happy-go-lucky circus freak.

This is me… locked in many battles
I have found so much of myself
But there is more for me to know
I need to develop my skills… I need to grow.
I need to recover those characteristics I left behind
Practical skills that must catch up, be refined
In order to create a true balance
Complimenting the brilliance of my mind.

I need to mention the spiritual plain
Where the forces are growing in momentum
Lucifer is working very hard to make his gain
To try and steal my soul from the Lord's hands
But this is good because it means I am worth fighting for
And Lucifer I am not going along with your plans
No…I am going to have to learn how to really pray
To enable You 'Our Father' to sort out my life … Your way

This is me
Queen Jaz …Queen Flirt… Queen freakin Kool
Breaking the usual rules of engagement
Very up-front and in your face
Saying what I think in life and on myspace
This parallel world that many don't understand
An extension of self leading to self-fulfilment
An outlet for pleasure, anxiety and creativity
Yep, myspace is definitely truly me.

And those who know me need to understand
I cannot change… cannot reverse …
I AM ME and change would lead to self-destruction
It would be a curse… a spiral would ensue
Crushed personality leads into the well of depression
I am not going there… to thine own self be true.

So this is me
There is no question as to who I am
Bright and lively, full of fun
Creative and opinionated but unfortunately
Stubborn, very stubborn
I have a little flexibility…
A degree of sway… but at the end of the day
I AM ME… the question is
?????????????????????????????????????????

Jaz McKenzie

Welcome to the world of ‘Its Braap’!!!

Welcome to the world of ‘Its Braap’!!!  The most frequently asked question I encounter is, ‘What’s Braap? To name a business is always very challenging and at the time of creating ‘Its Braap’ I was working actively on Facebook for a reggae page, tuning into many internet radio shows with live chat rooms. I noticed that whenever a ‘Boom Chune’ came on people wrote BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!!!!!!!!!  This clearly embedded itself in my subconscious and once considered, I recognized it’s potential. Braap is a strong word that defined everything I wished to promote in a very direct way; which is not surprising as Mozez of Numen Records later informed me that Braap is the Jamaican word for gunshot!..POW GOT YOUR INTERST NOW!! By pre-fixing with ‘Its’ the word Braap turns into more of a statement which can be applied to anything that is both good and positive.  

Everything that is posted under Its Braap needs to have the ‘Braap Factor.’ It needs to be reflective of life and provide qualities such as encouragement or enjoyment to others through music, poetry or even designer wear as this can emit the feel good factor.
If it’s good Its Braap ~QJ~