Saturday, 30 June 2012

EVERYBODY DREAMS~Be in the know about this amazing new project!!

Last Thursday saw the launch of the ‘Everybody Dreams’ campaign at the Premises Studio, Hackney with an official reception where people were invited to listen to 2 versions of, ‘Everybody Dreams,’an amazing track produced for Gladesmore School, Tottenham. This may well be the greatest phoenix to rise from the ashes of last years riots as today’s youth are speaking their minds and rejecting the negative impact left in the wake of the riots. Fortunately these pupils have inspirational teachers to encourage and guide them with this particular dream!

Thankfully, Tottenham’s young people do not wish to dwell on the destruction of yesterday and have come together to give their views in a song aimed to unite and inspire people within their community, the UK and beyond.

“Forget about what you’ve heard,
Forget about what you’ve seen
We’ve found a place to be,
Where everybody dreams..”


... Partial lyrics, devised from the multitude of ideas put forward by the youth to express their opinions. Everybody Dreams has had input throughout each stage of the recording process from top people within the musical industry and the results are very impressive. Both versions are highly commercial with one destined more towards the radio and the other for the clubs as somebody summarized! The pupils are aged between 11-15 and there are around 75 of them singing however their voices have been skilfully blended ensuring that the 3 main vocalists, Vivian Reis, Aleksandra Lipinska and Kimarne Henry are not over-powered. These singers have excellent voices producing something that is not your average school song! In fact, speaking with Aleksandra and Kimarne I discovered that they are very keen to continue in the music industry as is young rapper Nico Clavier whose rap lyrics and delivery are most impressive... We were told that Tinchy Strider and Chipmunk came from this school so who knows what potential it harbours!

RIGHT: (Left-Right) Aleksandra, Nico, Vivian, Kimarne
Everybody Dreams has already created quite a stir and gained support from the musical community, Tottenham Hotspurs F.C, major businesses and different influential people- so we anticipate that the downloads will fly and Everybody Dreams enter the charts when the track is released on 19th August, a year after the riots! Leona Lewis and Ed Sheeran have shown their support along with some of the reggae stars- Lloyd Brown, Victor Romero Evans and Janet Kay... whilst Wayne Marshall is actively dedicating his efforts to advancing the project. DJ support is growing with Chris Moyles, Tim Westwood and Choice FM presenter Kojo on board so Everybody Dreams should be coming to a radio near you!!

~IB~ will be bringing you more about this project and urge you to share it or contact Juliet Coley if you are a DJ or can be of help- for more information, facebook/twitter links and video footage check the school website: everybodydreams@gladesmore.com

Jaz McKenzie

If you are involved in a noteworthy project contact itsbraap@live.co.uk

Friday, 29 June 2012

Reggae In Da City... LAUNCH PARTY for its NEW SECOND VENUE!!


~IB~ are thrilled to see how RIDC has taken off and has reached the point of running 2 events per month... Cottons in Islington & now The Flyover, Portobello. As usual, the evening will be hosted by Peter Hunnigale- who never knows who will grab the mic!!! All we can say is that there are usually a few celebrities on and off stage, so great for networking.

Tonight is the launch party for the second event... here are the details:

Bless up RIDC family.

Greetings and welcome to one and all to the launch of ‘Reggae In Da City’ in Ladbroke Grove, West London.

This is our ‘Grove Grooves’ branch and is set to be the same off the hook, unpredictable fun-loving open mic event as Cottons in Islington and yes! we are still there every first Thursday of each month as usual.

RIDC Grove Grooves will be the last Friday of each month and will have the regular diet of established and new Reggae acts performing live on the night. There will be also an opportunity to purchase CDs at the venue as one of the features.

Our Launch night is Friday 29th June 2012 at the Flyover 3-5 Thorpe Close, W10 5XL.
There will be an array of artists and celebrities passing through the session so make sure you’re in ‘da’ place to be and come and check out YOUR new venue. Doors open at 7pm show time 9pm – 12pm and dance through to 1am.

Entrance is free for the launch event and £4.00 each month there after.
Nearest tube station. Ladbroke Grove. For more details check out the attached flyer and we look forward to seeing you at RIDC Grove Grooves at the Flyover.

One Love

Peter and Don


Love Reggae? POP along & pick up the vibe!!

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A double dose of inspiration!



'When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.'
Albert Einstein

Something to think about!! However you are feeling it's up to you to create your own future... fantasy does have a part to play and often is the seed from which reality will germinate.

Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 25 June 2012

THE HOLLIES - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother... AKA HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE!



I can never describe the way that this song makes me feel... the combination of powerful lyrics and equally powerful music that emphasizes these lyrics to the max is almost overwhelming. If you want a description of life... the journey we take and the way we should approach it, this is it.

What is particularly interesting about this song is that it was written by Bobby Scott and a man he met only 3 times who was dying of cancer of the lymph nodes, clearly a strong and determined man- Bob Russell.

If we woke up with this song in our heads every morning we would quickly re-adjust our attitude towards others because it gives us the strength to do so. 'His welfare is my concern, no burden is he'... whether applied to a family member, work colleague, disaster stricken person... whoever... does not matter as it is love for one another that counts. Of course our burdens are heavy and weigh us down but the Bobby's are telling us to apply a different mental attitude and help people by seeing them within the context of 'life,' 'leading us to who knows who, who knows when' by which token we do not know what burdens we may place on others, especially when we are blinded by our situations in life.

Maybe it is the combination of the writers that have made this song so poignant, Bobby coming from the perspective of a lifetime to look forward to and Bob making the most of his time whilst facing his imminent departure. I think of this song as the human version of the 'Footsteps' poem, showing us how we can be a real support to others and carry them in difficult times.

There are so, so many great songs in this world... songs of hope, joy, self belief, love... maybe this is the greatest of all because it literally covers everything & in many ways is our manual to life.

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 24 June 2012

27 Dresses and a Roast Chicken! ... Priorities, Priorities! Live Life~Love Life WK 26

Crazy title I know - however I was trying to think what to write about whilst the film ‘27 Dresses’ was showing and my son said, ‘Roast Chicken.’ Having told him not to be ridiculous he retorted that I should be able to write about anything: challenge accepted! So what’s the important point here... this article... not the film nor the dinner, so prioritizing it is!

Prioritizing... how much of a priority is it to you? Some people do not realize the importance of incorporatiing prioritizing into everyday life and only consider it a necessity in order to meet deadlines such as booking a holiday, replacing a broken fridge or making an emergency dental appointment. The fact is that learning to prioritize is a real skill and once acquired allows us more time to do the things that we enjoy. Prioritizing, when done well, prevents procrastination which in turn frees us mentally. If we fail to prioritize we may avoid all those tasks that we don’t want to address and end up doing them in a rush with bad grace.

Prioritizing releases the flow of life and helps us to be ‘ever-ready.’ Returning to ’27 Dresses’ for a second... if you are going to a wedding tomorrow which you have known about for months you will need to have your outfit, accessories, card and present at the ready. If you leave it until the day before things could go horribly wrong; you might forget to take a gift, can’t find shoes to match your outfit or at the very least, end up rushing around... maybe you forgot to check the route or misplace your invitation.

It is not only tasks that you need to prioritize, you need to prioritize across all areas of your life if you wish to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle. There are times when essentials like cooking the dinner are a must however other segments of time may be used as you choose- and that decision will depend on your priorities. It is also wise to remain flexible so that you gain the most from life, even when prioritizing! If it is sunny you might change your plans and make it your priority to go for a walk early on in the day and deal with correspondence later. If a friend is upset you may need to drop everything for the morning and spend time with that friend instead. Maybe 'you' are currently your priority and need some time to relax and put other things on hold. Prioritizing isn’t always 'doing', sometimes making space in life is the priority. Different types of learning are important and it may be that you prioritize learning a life skill to help you improve; self improvement is something we always need to make time for.

Religion is a priority for many people and runs throughout everything that they do, often having a specific day a week given oven to worship and significant events/celebrations. People may not hold such beliefs but still set time aside to meditate or possibly explore different religions. Health has to be a priority, likewise family time, work, achieving goals in life... whatever is important in your life, make sure it's a priority... After all, it's your life and you know what's best so... Over to you!

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to writean article, poem or review for Its Braap~Its Life contact itsbraap@live.co.uk

Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Midsummer Night's Dream~ Another Way Theatre Company



We are continuing to follow the work of Chris Chamber's company, 'Another Way Theatre.' This picture is from an outdoor production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' that was enacted in Queen's Park, Caterham. Here is Chris' summary of the event!



'Yes, we had rain and wind - elemental, to say the least but it just goes to show what a fantastic, hardy cast and crew I have, especially 6 children playing fairies who were offered the opportunity not to go on after the interval but wanted to do it, regardless - "the show must go on!" they said - - before singing "the sun'll come out tomorrow" in their tent through the interval!



So well done to 70 people who came on the door and spent Midsummer's Eve experiencing Shakespeare and the elements! Thank you all! Roll on tonight - come wind or rain - "for the rain it raineth every day" and that is what open air is all about!'

Chris Chambers

REVIEWS:

Dylan Tate

'Amazing stuff, came on opening night, cast were battling through the elements for our entertainment. Loved it! Have a great closing night.'

Michael Cooke
'Thoroughly enjoyable-loved the innovative amphitheatre. There's something truly emotive and heart-warming about open-air theatre. Thank you to all involved.'

If you enjoy reviewing events please contact itsbraap@live.co.uk

Head Up! ~Poem

Today I have written a poem in a very casual style having heard about a little situation earlier this week where I responded by running off a few lines. Sometimes we have to let go of people in order to rescue ourselves from unnecessary stress and make brave moves in order to do so. This is just a little summary of bravado!



Head up!

So my friend you gonna walk all over me-
Sorry I don't think so!
Time has come to set myself free...
Yes I know so
Just watch me... see me letting go..
I'm not gonna be treated this way..
Don’t bother turning your head
You can clearly hear me say
I don’t need this anymore
I know who I am
And I have my pride
So there’s no need for you to stay
Not in my life anyway
... coz losers are just a penny a day..
And I'm a billion dollar baby... hey..
I’ve got no more to say!
Decision done
I'm gone... far~far away!


Jaz McKenzie 2012 ©

If you wish to share your poetry contact itsbraap@live.co.uk

Thursday, 21 June 2012

In these shoes-Kirsty MacColl-Ibizarose.. to go with the post below.. WOW WHAT SHOES!!!



If you wish to see some shoe fashions this will open your eyes WIDE>>> AMAZING!!! In fact this pair is nothing compared to all the rest... ITS BRAAP 2 DA MAX.. Thanks Ibiza Rose!!

Be Braap~Be Inspired!!! Real Quotes from Real People!! #13

”The only thing worse than a man you can’t control is a man you can.” - Margo Kaufman


Just loving this saying & it's so true! The underlying fact? myth? is that women are notorious for never being satisfied (cough cough.) If a man is too dominant... we complain... if a man is too submissive... we may walk all over him~(thinking Shirley Bassey, 'These Boots are made for Walking' or better still on the more erotic side... Kirsty MacColl, 'In These Shoes?')... Think I'll post that up for you too as it's such fun!

... While we're on the subject let's not forget that the same saying can apply to women too... OK off with the boots & shoes!! Let's take the bare-footed approach & keep a balance... leading us nicely to our thought for the day, 'balance is key so don't fall off the tightrope..' & That's Braap!

Jaz McKenzie

BE BRAAP! Send us your favourite quotes or sayings with a few words... you can include a photo of yourself (optional) to: itsbraap@live.co.uk These can be your own quotes or famous sayings and we will include them in this section: 'Be Braap~ Be Inspired.' NOTE: you do not have to be a great writer, simply send YOUR quote with YOUR thoughts in 10 or more words as the aim is to inspire others!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Maple Leaf Rag Played by Scott Joplin



Scott Joplin... bit of a musical genius and very much a mysterious man! Did you know that his date and place of birth are unknown? It is believed to be somewhere between June 1867-January 1868 so we don't even know his star sign!

The US census reveals that he was living in the State of Texas with his parents when he was 2 years old and it is known that his father was a former slave who worked as a labourer on a farm whilst his mother presumably worked in service as Joplin came across a piano in the white folks home. Naturally he was initially self taught however later received tuition from a German man Julius Weiss.

The most surprising fact I have uncovered is that Joplin wrote an opera, a couple of marches and a waltz however he is famous for his rag music which he developed in Texarkana and 'Maple Leaf Rag' was basically a tribute to one of his 2 regular social clubs. Joplin's strength was in composing and not piano playing- he referred to himself as, 'King of Ragtime Writers.'

During the 1880's Joplin lived in Sedalia, Missouri which has become the home of the 'Scott Joplin International Foundation, hosting an annual festival held earlier this June.

Sadly Joplin died from syphilis in a mental institution in 1917 however the good news is that he was later awarded for his contribution to American music by the Pulitzer committee in 1976. I like to think of him as 'The Entertainer' !!!

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

~IB BABIES ~ All Round Up-Date



If you are wondering what an ~IB BABY is- check the pages at the top!
As those of you who follow our ~IB~ babies are aware, new musical,'Olympus A Race Against Time' has drawn to its conclusion. We will be rounding off the series shortly and will be posting our interview with Vicky Watkins who enjoyed playing the god Hera/Helen... look out for it!

The Heritage of Ska is maintaining its flow and as you can see from the poster, will be having the next event this coming Friday at The Ritzy, Brixton... pop along & join in the fun! HOS are still seeking major sponsorship so if you would like this to become modern heritage and a part of British Culture spread the word.

Laura Roberts from the press office has informed me that Fairfield Halls is receiving great interest in their new website... link opposite... Fairfield at 50 has captured the public imagination. Don't forget to pop in to Fairfield Halls if possible and visit the photographic exhibition by Frazer Ashcroft. In addition, there is a full programme of events running throughout the year incorporating all tastes!

Our new ~IB~ Baby rock band E-Mute are busy rehearsing and getting ready to record shortly so these are exciting times for the guys and we are thrilled to be following their journey. Details of their next gig are as follows: 29th June, 9pm...E-MUTE will be Live at Surya, 156 Pentonville Road, London N1 9JL ... can hardly wait!

FINALLY... if you would like to share your event here on Its Braap~Its Life contact us: itsbraap@live.co.uk Thanks Jaz



Sunday, 17 June 2012

Don't Hate the Haters! Live Life~Love Life WK 25

What is a hater? Let's look at some well known words to clarify this briefly.

Definition of a Hater:
A hater is someone who is jealous and envious and spends all their time trying to make you look small so they can look tall. They are very negative people to say the least. Nothing is ever good enough! When you make your mark, you will always attract some haters… That’s why you have to be careful with whom you share your blessings and your dreams, because some folk can’t handle seeing you blessed…
Maya Angelou, 2008




What can I say? All of us have a Hater right now in our lives even if we don’t know it. This is the world we live in; it’s a yin and yang, negative and positive balance. The world is not just black and white, there are grey areas and it’s these grey areas that make life interesting. This is where you need to read between the lines, where things can have double meanings and the path is actually a zig zag, not straight as you once envisioned. This is where your Haters hide.

I heard a statement once “your Haters are your motivators“- hand snap! I find this to be true. If we only had people around us that were positive all the time we would be comfortable. For those of us that like a mission or a fight this would give us nothing to fight against or prove. When we get comfortable in our daily lives we sometimes forget about our missions, our dreams, basically our bigger picture. All the haters that come along are simply a reminder of our worth. Just because you do not see it at this time, their presence in our lives is actually a reminder that they see your worth.

Haters provide the motivation we need to push ourselves and let's keep it real, without them our lives would be boring ~ Thank you Haters !!
In some cases Haters are not always “outsiders,” they can be family members or close ‘friends’ too.

Not so long ago I experienced a very common scenario with “family Haters.” The situation that occured tested me greatly and as I decided what I wanted to do with my life, yep you guessed, my haters surfaced. It started with the usual round of negative comments aimed at putting down me down with every step I was making. I learnt a lot in this period and in turn became selfish, putting myself and my journey first. This did not go down well but I couldn’t allow people to stunt my growth, especially when change was necessary. I had always done what was expected of me and the moment I developed clarity and felt my inner strength it did not matter about whether my Haters were in my family; all that mattered is that my journey to self-empowerment had begun... and I planned to enjoy every moment of it good and bad. To keep family connections in good order I began to connect and learn more about my compassionate side. Through this I learnt that I was not the only person who was struggling in this situation. So without losing myself or my family I learnt how to recognize when I needed to take responsibility for myself.

Here are three types of haters you may recognize and ways to deal with them... hope you will find this useful!

1 – Headache hater
This is the small voice in YOUR head. The one that tells you that you cannot achieve your dreams. Though small, this voice can be extremely damaging. * Encourage yourself and tell yourself that you can achieve your dreams. Remind yourself of your worth to keep your mood positive and uplifted. Remember you are your most trusted friend.

2- Hand holding hater
These haters are friends or family members. They love you but may be struggling with conflicting feelings of losing you and being left behind when you move forward. * Awareness is key, do not become paranoid thinking everyone is out to get you. Just understand, know and love yourself as this will provide the protection you need if a hand holding hater happens to come along on your journey.

3 – Hidden haters
Haters that watch from afar. They are the people you know through others that you see once in a while. They wait and watch for news of your down falls or even for the chance to see it for themselves. * Do not give these haters any head space. They are in the best place... afar! When you do see them smile and do not volunteer to take on unnecessary baggage.

A lot of people see Haters negatively but soon learn to smile and rejoice once they realize that they can be used as a springboard to push us harder and move us closer to achieving our goals and dreams. Haters provide recognition and allow us to reinvent ourselves time and time again: what can be bad about that!

A little warning: do not get dependent on collecting Haters- more importantly, be your own motivator. Feeling that hunger in your belly can give you a boost to go out into the world and grab the Bull by its horns. Just acknowledge that everything has its place in your life, so keep the haters in theirs and you will be able to fly!

Peach AKA Pink x

If you would like to see more of Pink, check out her blog! http://reflectingpink.wordpress.com/?s=pink

If you would like to write an article for Its Braap~Its Life contact us: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Saturday, 16 June 2012

UNFAIR TREATMENT OF MUSICIANS ON PLANES~Petition Link


When we think about musicians travelling and touring the initial image is usually that of the tour bus! However, today I came across something that can only be described as the plight of musicians travelling abroad and needing to take their instruments on board a plane in the EEC.

Airline regulations pay no heed to the needs of musicians travelling with their instruments. The problem is that instruments are likely to become damaged if they are put in the hold so clearly this is not a viable option. To make matters more difficult, apparently musicians choosing to take their instruments on board as hand luggage may have to pay for the privilege by purchasing an extra seat or forego taking any additional pieces of hand luggage on board with them.

~IB~ are appalled by this and we are sharing a link to the Economic Justice Petition so that you may protest in order to support musicians. The issue is also explained in detail on this site.

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/fair-treatment-for-musicians-traveling-on-planes-with-their-instruments

You may not realize it, but this can prevent musicians carrying out all their engagements and suffering a loss of work. If you agree that music is the food of life~sign the petition and feed the musician!!

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 15 June 2012

Adele Set Fire To The Rain new 2011 live HD.. Congrats to Adele



It's definitely Adele's day today as she is experiencing phenomenal success with her album 21. This album has spent the past 24 weeks at the top of the US charts... which means it has been there since the first week of 2012 as we have written 24 articles in our blogathon Live Life~Love Life... MASSIVE ADELE! Not only has it had a long run at #1 it has actually remained in the Top 10 since March last year... and that IS BRAAP!!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Thursday... poem dedicated to the God Thor!



Thursday
We acknowledge
Dedicated to Thunor, God of Thunder
Clashing and thrashing around
In the middle of the WEAK
All sword and spitfire set upon destruction
In the eons of mythology
Slayer of the beast
Hammer wielding
Barbaric representation...

YET

Thor, the God of strength,
Protector of mankind
Hallowing, healing, symbolizing fertility
WHAT A MAN!
Forever gracing us throughout the ages
Never a week passes by
Without tribute to your power
Today is your day
Let’s savour the appointed hour

WHILST

Earth in turmoil
Spinning in confusion
No unity amongst mankind
Love and hate
Peace and war
Thor ever present
Familiarity in this instance
Should not breed contempt
Every week we should embrace Thursday
Acknowledging it as a symbol
Of regeneration, healing & ultimately hope
For as long as the sands of time

CONTINUE...


Jaz McKenzie 2012 ©

Check out our recent Wednesday series, 'Poetry Mechanincs a "toolshed" in 20 paragraphs'... please enter Poetry Mechanics or Louis J Casson in the search box opposite. Louis kindly produced these great guidelines for us to help inspire you all to have a go at writing a poem.

If you would like to become an ~IB~ poet send your poem to: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

SUMMERTIME... AND THE WEATHER IS ??? CRAZY!

This has to be the most confused British summertime ever! Here in the UK the weather is sooo crazy we don’t know whether tomorrow will bring flip-flops or wellies and that is no exaggeration. The increase in rain brings forth cold nights often followed by hot days and everywhere you go all you hear are complaints. ‘This weather’s appalling... I hope we will get a hot summer because I can’t stand much more of this... don’t you wish you were abroad, it’s so unfair.’ Constant relentless cries often comparing our island to the rest of Europe or even the Caribbean. In a way this can be a little short sighted when we consider the rainy season with its sudden violent storms and worse still, hurricanes... as with everything people only focus on the highlights!

Sometimes I feel like saying... wake up, this is June so it is summer and we did have some really hot days at the beginning of the year! But then, what of it? My approach is to forget all about the seasons and live a day at time. Recently a lady asked my opinion as to the advisability of purchasing a fig tree. She waved a shop pamphlet in my face and asked whether I thought it would grow in this climate. I am no gardener so I simply said that as the seasons are now all over the place I doubt whether anyone can answer that question- so if you like it, buy it & give it a go. As we say on ~IB~ it’s always best to take the positive approach.

In a way I am pleased to see so much rain... it means relaxing baths are once again on the menu as our reservoirs are slowly re-filling... well, it’s best to think so because we need some compensation for the daily drench!

Why is the weather so important to us? Obviously for practical reasons such as the growth of crops and all other essential weather related activities. It is also important because we know that sunshine boosts the feel good factor. Maybe those who are constantly focusing on the weather do so because they have not developed a true appreciation of life... the fact is that we are on this earth for a limited period come sun, wind or rain and should aim to make the most of every situation... so next time it rains don’t complain, just pull on the wellies & go stamp in a few puddles; after all, making a splash can be very satisfying!

Jaz McKenzie
If you would like to write a short article for Its Braap~Its Life send to: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ronald Reagan's 'Tear Down This Wall' speech... seeking peace in Eastern Germany


'Tearing Down The Wall' is deemed as being Ronald Reagan's most significant speech and was delivered on this date back in 1987, over a quarter of a century ago during a presidential visit to West Germany whilst within earshot of communist Eastern Germany at the base of the Brandeburg Gate in close reach of the Berlin Wall. A year and a half later the Berlin Wall was torn down over 3 days... 9-11 November 1989 by the people.



When you consider, this is a very interesting speech especially when we analyze the strata's in society and it can make you wonder whether we are better off in very real terms as poverty in Western Society is positively crippling. There are many people who believe that the communist system is actually fair... most of us accept that it is probably better to live in a free society where we have the means to create our own opportunities and at the very least are permitted freedom of speech.

"In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: 'We will bury you.' But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind--too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

"And now the Soviets themselves may, in a limited way, be coming to understand the importance of freedom. We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control.

"Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West, or to strengthen the Soviet system without changing it? We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!'"


We still seek peace within our world and our local communities, so let's carry on striving individually and as a united people.

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to express your views in a positive manner send your article to: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Monday, 11 June 2012

DJ DX Feat.(DJ Madden) - This Is Hip Hop (Official Video) Wiztv



~IB~ bringing you some Hip Hop from Braapper DJ DX ... love the vibe on this track & has a real fun llavour with some go get it lyrics! One thing to say about this.. ITS BRAAP!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Kicking out the Fluff Bunnies! Live Life~Love Life WK 24


Have you got Fluff Bunnies?
You probably don’t want to think about it but the probability is that you are gathering fluff bunnies in a corner of your mind! Little things that we refuse to focus on, try to dismiss... however they cannot be thought away and remain to haunt us on the odd occasion.

There are so many little things that need to be addressed yet we keep putting them off... procrastination is a powerful force with free reign! Sometimes these fluff bunnies can effectively clog up the wheels within our minds, interfering with emotions or giving us reason to stay within our well worn ruts.

Tackling the largest fluff bunnies may take courage. You may have to revisit prior events and know that you are going to hurt bigtime... opening an old wound to try to understand the things that escaped you when you were facing a specific situation for instance. A good example of this is when a family or friendship is divided. This usually occurs because of a lack of understanding which leads to actions resulting in hurt and pain. Generation gaps, different life experiences, strong points of view- especially from a moral stance can create divisions sometimes with difficult consequences. Those fluff bunnies may take some time to break down but open minds and patience can work wonders.

Sometimes we have fluff bunnies made of dreams that float in our minds. A lack of confidence and self belief are the usual reasons that prevent us from even starting to work on these. As CaMilly said yesterday, we all want success but it is up to us to put in the work. If that’s the case you need to find out what will enable you to start working on your dream and making it a reality.

Then we have the tasks that need to be done & are always put back to the bottom of the list! Forms to fill out; decisions to make that we can afford to delay; little changes to our lifestyle... sometimes these can be minor things that appear daunting to us yet simple to others. Very often, once we have actually tackled something from this list we say, ’why on earth didn’t I do that years ago!’ Our minds need to grasp that knowledge is more than power, knowledge is freedom!

Some of these fluff bunnies can be quite destructive if left, especially if you are experiencing annoyance with someone and can never find the right time to discuss it. This can lead to a potentially harmful situation when you have a bad day, something inappropriate is said or done which flips your anger switch and you explode. Retrospectively you will wonder why ‘this’ had to happen when a little courage earlier on may have prevented it.

Now we have a good idea about these fluff bunnies, take a few minutes to consider the fluff bunnies that might be holding you back, preventing you having an easy mind. What enters your head when you try to relax? Can you deal with any of these things today? Tomorrow? Fluff bunnies are usually little pockets of fear that interfere with your mental freedom...

ADVICE: Get your brush out and sweep through your mind... you do not need to be a slave to inhibition in any form! Mental Fluff bunnies are as disruptive to your inner machinery as actual dust bunnies can be to a vacuum cleaner so free up your mind!

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write an inspiring article for Its Braap~Its Life send to: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Be Braap~Be Inspired!!! Real Quotes from Real People!! #12

"Success" = When you stop finding excuses... And start finding a way... The Real CaMilly



CaMilly: Everyone wants to be famous, but no one wants to do the work to GET there.

Question: OK, so what makes the difference between those who actually grind and those who dream?

CaMilly: It takes actions. Everybody has a dream.. difference is.. most people are waiting and expecting someone ELSE to do all the work to help em get there. Grinders let nothing hold em back and they MAKE it happen, by any means.

Thanks to CaMilly for his continued input & support! ~IB~

Check out CaMilly's links!
Website: http://www.therealcamilly.com/
Youtube: www.Youtube.com/TheRealCaMilly
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/TheRealCaMilly
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/TheRealCaMilly

BE BRAAP! Send us your favourite quotes or sayings with a few words... you can include a photo of yourself (optional) to: itsbraap@live.co.uk These can be your own quotes or famous sayings and we will include them in this section: 'Be Braap~ Be Inspired.' NOTE: you do not have to be a great writer, simply send YOUR quote with YOUR thoughts in 10 or more words as the aim is to inspire others!

Friday, 8 June 2012

~IB~ BABY~E-MUTE- Our First Gig Review!

E-MUTE Review @ Underbelly Club, London~ 1st June 2012



ABOVE: Theo (singer) & Tolis (Guitar) ~ Both pictures by Justina Cesnauskyte

It is always good to review enjoyable events and the first occasion I saw E-Mute perform live is no exception, living up to my expectations.

E-Mute were the final act on stage out of 4 bands playing that night at the creatively designed ‘Underbelly’ club near Old Street- great ambience for the occasion! This was only their fourth ever gig as a new band and they got off to a confident start; the quality of their music apparent despite the poor sound engineer whom I am told had a plethora of red lights flashing across the club's ‘top of the range’ equipment! Give thanks for enlightenment as to the reason behind the continual sound distortion!

Lead singer Theo proved to be a great front man and interacted very well, particularly with Tolis who clearly enjoyed himself. Theo’s sense of humour also shone along with his stage manner as he engaged the audience. The band got off to a great start opening with a lively number, ‘Clock Moves Forward,’ introducing us to E-Mute’s alternative rock style. Most of the tracks they performed were off the EP including, ‘Flying’ which I was excited to hear having informed you all that it is currently receiving radio play. Other songs included, ‘Illusions’ and ‘No Tomorrow,’ with my favourite being ‘Across The Sea.’



ABOVE: Left to right... Theo, Darren, Svetlana

Having interviewed Theo I understood completely how the band are growing from the performance aspect. They still need to develop their personalities a little more, enabling Darren (Drummer) and Svetlana (Bass Guitar) to build more audience rapport & interact easily amongst themselves; which will no doubt occur naturally as the whole band persona develops. Of major importance at this time is the music and I can genuinely say I was very impressed.

The song I wish to focus on is ’Across The Sea.’ This is currently on E-Mute’s website as a piano solo and I was thrilled to hear it meet its potential when executed as a rock song, elevating to a new and appropriate level. The audience demanded this song as an encore and I have been reassured that E-Mute will be recording the full rock version... something to look out for and once you have heard it, it will remain in your head for???? long!.. ‘It’s only me’ Jaz hums!!

Jaz Mckenzie

~IB~ Officially following new rock band E-Mute~ enter E-Mute in search box opposite for interview with lead singer Theo M. Direct website link under ~IB~ BABIES to the right of the page.

If you are a great performer or have had an interesting career that is an inspiration to others contact itsbraap@live.co.uk

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Abstract Artworks by Staci Brown



Just discovered artist Staci Brown... her pictures are a joy to behold. There is one common thread running through them & that's vitality. Whatever the subject matter there is a liveliness in Staci's work that releases its energy with every slide... from abstract to palm trees this display is enthralling... pause & return if it's a little long.... makes a change to rewind selecta!! Happy Viewing... ~IB~

If you produce any artwork & would like it featured here... or possibly have an interview contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Poetry mechanics: A “toolshed” in twenty paragraphs PT 4/4 By Louis J. Casson


Welcome to the final part in our poetry series written by Louis J Casson to encourage our Braappers to try their hand at writing poetry~ you can't go far wrong after all & might discover you have a hidden talent! Louis has given us valuable information over the past 4 weeks so please check out any of the articles you may have missed & please check out Louis' websites... links below.



16. Flip through a dictionary,
to know more words than you do now.


17. I’ve also at times written a “book”;
i.e. a storyline like an opera or musical, to then write song lyrics to situations/characters.


18. Read widely, travel, absorb into the pool internally from which comes the poems...
• My own,...Spiritual/ faith: My Bible and prayer book. Benny Hinn and Billy Graham. Non-fiction: business coaching, stress management/psychology. Philosophy. Blues review, Country Music People, Maverick, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune.

• Time out in travelling seeing friends etc, all add to experiences, potential materials for poems.


19. Paper publishing:
• Can be costly due to cost of paper increasing. Also you then have to physically locate a retail outlet, promote, market, sell all yourself; unless a publisher takes on your book.

• Bookstores, usually large chains, are not interested in books without glued spines or ISBN numbers.


20. Copyright protection.
While it’s correct that copyright exists from the moment you pen any piece; sadly on the internet the cut n pasters, would be plagiarists are there! One can only stick a notice on the poem to ensure if stealing is done, they know clearly they are doing so.


That’s it! Hope this has been of use. Best of luck in your poetry! Louis.


Louis J. Casson, my links:

• Behance Portfolio: http://www.behance.net/LJCasson

• Blog, http://louisjcasson.blogspot.com



A big thanks to Louis for writing this series so that we can all benefit from his knowledge, much appreciated!

If you would like to become an ~IB~ poet or write a short inspiring article send your work to itsbraap@live.co.uk

INVESTMENT... not talking £$£$£$£$!!!



Another way of saying never give up!! I am dedicating this to everybody who has the BRAAP FACtor!! You will get where you are going if you stick at it.

Tune in later today for the final part of our series... 'Poetry Mechanics a "toolshed" in 20 paragraphs' by Louis J Casson, featured for the past 4 consecutive Wednesdays!

Investment...
Who’s talking money?
Stocks and shares?
Not me!!
Finances so restrained
No need to show restraint
Just keep counting the pennies
So that their worth can accumulate

I’m talking real life investments
The invisible account slowly rolling
Love generating love
Patience tailored with practice
Mutual trust and understanding
Persistence creating opportunity
Consistency raising the bar

Investment means...
Keeping your nose to the grindstone
Your eyes peeled
And throwing the boomerang
With all your might
Awaiting its inevitable return
When challenges arise
Rise to the challenge!
Time to learn life’s lesson:
The more you give ... the more you receive!!

Jaz Mckenzie 2012 ©

If you would like your poetry featured send to: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Monday, 4 June 2012

~IB~ 'Making It Happen~ interview with film maker MENELIK SHABAZZ ~ 'The Story of Lovers Rock' & 'Burning an Illusion'


It was great catching up with Menelik Shabazz, writer and producer of the film, ‘The Story of Lover’s Rock.’ Menelik is an incredibly determined person who managed to fund his films through using a great deal of ingenuity accompanied by a direct approach. It was really interesting finding out more about this remarkable film maker and his latest project certainly catches the imagination!


Menelik, I see you were born in Barbados, at what age did you come to the UK?
I came to London from Barbados when I was 6 and was educated in the UK.

How did you become interested in film?
I got interested in film by chance. I was expecting to go to an art college and failed one of my exams so went to North London College to retake. Some guys came into one of my classes with new Sony Porta Pack video equipment which at the time was a revolution in technology. It was the first time you could freely access video equipment, the previous equipment being heavy duty, so it really opened the door and that is how my interest developed.

You seem to have great social awareness, has this always been the case?
Yes, at school I was a radical at the age of 14 and got involved with activists all the way through my education. As a child I was influenced by people like Malcolm X, where the name Shabazz comes from and the Black power movement. I continued my involvement right up until I started to make films.


ABOVE: Menelik Shabazz (left) Dennis Bovell (right)

Making films was a very positive way to channel your feelings and the issues you wished to address. You did quite a few documentaries initially didn’t you with youth. Can you speak about these briefly?
That’s right. My first film was, ‘Step Forward Youth,’ which was a way of channelling my frustration at the way young people were treated by the police, but mainly the way they were portrayed by the media who projected them as criminals. That was the theme of the mid 70’s and it’s still the same nowadays.

How does the fact that there has been so little ‘real’ progress in that area make you feel?
All the struggles and the time we have put in over the years caused some changes to be made. We are no longer agitated but the fact that our young people are turning inwards is disappointing and very disturbing for me, especially in view of our constant struggles.

Let’s consider your film ‘Burning an Illusion.’ This was well received and in a way the story follows a similar theme by considering a woman who is failing to face reality isn’t that right?
Yes, all my films reflect some sort of social or political reality by way of message or information.

I haven’t seen the film ‘Burning an Illusion’ but the process of ‘finding your identity’ is something a lot of people from different backgrounds can relate to. It is a striking issue across the board. Is that partly why you chose it?
Yes, the question of identity is a universal subject and it is contexted into my story. It’s a love story as well so the boyfriend also goes through a transformation. Sometimes I go to colleges and universities where the film is screened as part of the students’ curriculum and I have taken seminars based around the film. I am happy that people still see it and a whole new generation has been introduced to the film. Now people can watch ‘Burning an Illusion,’ free on the internet and they can Google it.

RIGHT: Scene from the film The Story of Lover's Rock

Moving on to the film ‘The Story Of lovers Rock,’ I gather that was inspired by a show and the people I have spoken to say your film has had a tremendous impact, taking them back to the good old days where people were united through Lovers Rock. Do you consider it to have a cathartic effect?
I hope so because it was intended to! The music and the humour were intended to connect with people’s hearts and open them up essentially. That was its purpose.

In what way do you think that ‘The Story of Lovers Rock’ will embed itself in Black British History?
This is our story which has never been told which is an important part of British music and social history. The film has opened our story for generations to come. Just like BIURNING AN ILLUSION.

Your representation is very skilful. I wasn’t part of that era but found myself connecting with the music and the audience. This is a ‘must see’ film. How can people get to watch it now?
It is out on DVD and people can get it from various outlets including HMV, or go online via Amazon or our distributors Verve. It has been screened nationally in over 28 venues including Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds, Luton and Reading. In London we were able to get the film in mainstream cinemas (Odeon, Vue, Cineworld.) There are new screenings coming up all the time and the best place to source information is via our website ( www.loversrockthefilm.com) as well as our Facebook page (The Story of Lovers Rock.) The film was initially screened here in the UK but is extending so there are also screenings happening abroad as well.

How did you manage to fund the film?
It was a major challenge getting money to fund the film and I had to rely on different resources. I decided to make the film without relying on traditional people for finance. My whole approach was to lean on the people that I knew who could come in and work a certain way. That included working with talent behind and in front of the camera as well as digging into my own pocket. We also had a rough cut screening where I was trying to raise money and as a result some people donated small amounts of cash on the back of that. We had EDF Energy come in at the end with some cash for the marketing. It’s one thing to produce a film but to get it out is like a record really! EDF Energy’s contribution was critical to us really. Essentially the journey was a case of digging into my own resources to make it happen.

Can you give us specific examples of people who helped with the project & in what ways they helped?
There are so many people who helped to make this film possible. My cinematographer Ian Watts deserves a lot credit because he gave up his time for the project, and then there are the people who gave their donations, the venues we used, those people who we interviewed, I could go on and on!

Years ago you managed to get funding from the BFI. How did you achieve that?
That was for Burning an Illusion in the 80’s. I was just lucky because they liked the project and it was a question of being in ‘the right place at the right time,’ so they put money into developing it. I have had help financing most of my films as I have done stuff with Channel 4 and the BBC over the years. The Story of Lover’s Rock was my first film since my very first film where I have had to dig into my own pocket. You could say I have come full circle.

Is the lack of funding to do with the recession?
No not really. It’s just the changing face of the film industry. This is my first film in 14 years and last time it was simply that my name was passed on for a project. A lot has changed which is why I left the industry. It was the frustration of not getting funding for my projects.

RIGHT: Scene from the film The Story of Lovers Rock

What is your next project?
It is a theatre piece that I am doing called, ‘Life and Death.’

That is a very interesting title. In what ways are you specifically looking at life and death?
It is really a story of a young man who is killed and who is taken into the spirit world of the ancestors. He is introduced to different challenges and information. The play is about how he is transformed and how through his journey he gets to hear his story. The story is of his roots, the anger that is in him and where it comes from. He gets to meet different people along the way including Pharaoh, Tutankhamen, Queen Nefertiti, Arkhenaton, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King.

That is a very unique way of pulling different aspects of history together.
Yes and it includes humour combined with song and dance to break it all up; that’s very important.

Do you have a project completion date in mind?
Yes, I want to have it ready for October. The script is almost written and I have cast it already.

Why did you decide to do it as a play- is it more effective?
Doing a play is cheaper. I would like to do it as a film but it will take a longer time to get together, so I thought I would do a play and develop it from there. Initially I wanted to do it in America first because I have interest in American; however I am here. It will go there because it is the type of play that lends itself to a different cast.

So who have you actually cast?
I have cast quite a few people but I will do a reading when I get back from abroad.

Is your play designed to include young actors?
Absolutely. The main character is young and there are other parts for dancers and singers. There is some brand new talent I want to add to it. I am very impressed with Iyaana and want to work with her as she is very talented. The intention of the play is to make it an inter-generational project.

How are you sponsoring it?
It’s the same principal as the Story of Lover’s rock- so if there are any interested sponsors out there get in touch!

Its Braap wishes to thank Menelik Shabazz for giving us such an informative interview and wish him continued success. We are very much looking forward to seeing ‘Life and Death’ later this year.

Here are links to check out his recent venture ‘The Story of Lovers Rock.’
WEBSITE: http://www.loversrockthefilm.com/

ORDER YOUR DVD: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006MJDP9G/ref=asc_df_B006MJDP9G7359274?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=hydra0b-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B006MJDP9G&hvpos=1o1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1239933194166051121&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Who Do You Think You're Judging? Live Life~Love Life WK 23

Who do you think you’re judging?
To judge or be judged can be a very tricky subject because all judgements are measured against standards. There is a need for judgement in many areas of our lives, especially in relation to professional requirements and skills. A good example is the need for driving tests... look how many people would be a danger on the roads otherwise! It is also good to have basic standards that different organizations comply with so that we are reassured as to the quality of goods and services. Likewise with professional exams; uniform standards mean that employers can expect staff to enter the business with specific knowledge.

Personal judgements are another matter. It is good to make personal judgements either based on instinct as we discussed recently, or fact. The problems come when we start judging others by our own standards. How do you set a bar to judge by? Who is to say what is right and what is wrong in some situations? Problems often arise where cultural diversity occurs either across nations or within nations. Social class can cause us to look at behaviours and judge accordingly, possibly inaccurately. Whereas some families have extremely high standards and morals others may have very few. Stealing is a way of life amongst some people and I was shocked when watching an in-house training video at M&S many years ago where children were shown snatching items off shelves & slipping them into their buggies. Obviously that was regarded as good/expected behaviour by their parents yet acknowledged as being against society values. How would you judge those children if you caught them and how would you go about re-educating them?

A good policy is to try to refrain from judging others- rather, listen to what they have to say and ask questions in an effort to understand and guide. If people are aware that you are making a genuine effort to understand and help rather than judge they will be more receptive to you. Negative judgements make us feel bad about ourselves and are not likely to encourage us to change. Think about people who we may term as overweight. If someone tells you over and again that you are ‘fat’ or overweight it does not actually inspire you to change, instead you become depressed about the situation or convince yourself you are happy the way you are. If you are happy with your size all is good, but if not this kind of judgement is unhelpful.

People are often quick to make moral judgements... Jerry Springer or Jeremy Kyle audiences are a case in point. These programmes can become the modern day equivalent of a pantomime with the boos and cheers! The audiences invariably take a strong moral standpoint when in reality many of them have lapsed morals themselves. The other point about this is that we can adjust our values according to the situations we face in life. There are times we are strong and stand up for our beliefs and other times when we lack inner strength and moral fortitude.

It is good to approach people with an open mind and an open heart. Love and understanding are the essential qualities that endear others to us and put us in a position to help one another, build up each other’s confidence and ability to cope. This is especially worth remembering in situations where we may be tempted to take sides. Instead of taking sides take the time to discover the facts and when you are ready deliver your summary (judgement) with integrity and fair mindedness. We will all make both good and bad judgements but don’t beat yourself up over this! Just keep on keeping on and do the best that you can in all areas of your life. After all, each and everyone of us will eventually be accountable for our actions at the closing of the day and that judgement is outside mortal control!

Jaz Mckenzie

If you would like to submit and article for Live Life~Love Life contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Queen's Coronation - Part 2 of 2 - Documentary



Here's part 2 for the enthusiasts!!

The Queen's Coronation - Part 1 of 2 - Documentary



As it is a very special Jubilee year we have decided to share the first part of this documentary... a trip back in history for those of us who would like a few facts amidst the celebrations!!

Friday, 1 June 2012

~IB~ BABY~ E-MUTE~DEBUT INTERVIEW with this amazing new rock band

DEBUT INTERVIEW with ~IB ~THEO MAKAROUNIS~ Lead singer & spokesperson for new rock band E-MUTE !!
~IB~ are thrilled to be given the FIRST EVER interview with Theo, of rock band E-MUTE who have generated a great deal of interest in a very short space of time. This is the start of our new series following E-Mute, our latest ~IB~ BABY!! We will be watching their progress with anticipation and bringing you regular updates.

Introducing Band Members:
E-Mute AKA Theo M.~ vocals, keys, drums, lyrics, music
Tolis Zavaliaris~guitars, backing vocals
Svetlana Vassileva~bass, backing vocals
Darren Ashford~drums

Background info: Theo is from Greece however he has spent quite a few years in London studying music. During that period Theo did quite a bit of modelling, music teaching and also played drums in a band: session drumming including sessions with Bias (Moody Blues,) Pip Williams (producer of Dido, Uriah Heep and many more artists.)

Thriving on ambition... Theo realised he would not be able to achieve his goals if he remained a drummer so upon his return to London, following a time of personal sadness and reflection, Theo ultimatly formed his own band. Theo has played in many bands subsequently experiencing different genres (funk, jazz, rock, fusion, pop) however he is a rock guy at heart. Theo is excited to hear his earlier music transformed by the addition of the band into something that is inescapably and fundamentally rock! E-Mute is comprised of experienced musicians who individually have associations with big names in the music business... Chaka Khan, The Drifters, Moby, Vanessa May, Westlife, Backstreet boys... who once again span different genres so collectively they have an experimental and accomplished musical ear! We will now hear Theo speak about the band and his personal history.

Can you tell us a bit about when you started drumming?
(In Greece.) I started drumming when I was around 15 years old and straight away I started music school as well as formal school. When I finished both school & music school I did a music technology course and a course in classical harmony. When I had finished I moved to London and did a BA there mainly centred on drumming. Next I did a Masters based on drumming, performance and composition.

How did you go from drumming to modelling?
While playing in different bands and teaching music I met guitarist Scott James. Scott had just left the Stereophonics and we decided to form a band playing some of his own material. The band went on playing everywhere and in the end I found I couldn’t really be in the music school because I was cancelling lessons... too many lessons! I left music school and had to find something flexible, so my girlfriend at the time advised me to do promotional work and from there I found my way into modelling. Modelling is an on and off thing but as you know it’s good money and fun at the same time so I have been modelling since then.

What was your first band called?
It was Elixir.

Describe your journey from Elixir to E-Mute
When I was in Elixir I dedicated my whole life around it but unfortunately it split up. About a month later my Mum called me and told me that my Dad was ill with cancer. I was shocked so I just went back to Athens and stayed there. My Dad was in hospital and two months afterwards he died. All the time my Dad was in hospital it was a very strange period for me; it was like the whole world collapsed in two months. The band with Mr James was an amazing band and we played together for two & a half years. It was a really, really good band but we had massive arguments towards the end. We split up, my Dad got ill and it was a total disaster.

How did you cope during that period?
During that time all I was doing was exercising and I would run for 2 hours and became really fit. The other thing I was doing was constantly recording on my 4track digital recorder, Zoom H4N great little machine! When my Dad died I couldn’t come back to London and being emotionally upset it led me to write ideas on the recorder as a way of letting it all out.

How did you get back into music?
Luckily I ended up working as a drummer while I was in Greece. It just happened; I was just lucky. Maybe it was the Universe deciding that "that guy had enough for the moment." I was quite a successful session drummer and played with loads of people and toured the whole country. I was drumming and at the same time I kept playing piano which kind of became an obsession, so gradually I started having more complete ideas with the songs. Working as a drummer was like a sidekick because I really liked working on my songs. I started writing lyrics and got a rhyme book. After I had finished the first couple of tracks I asked a friend who was a singer and we were playing together in a successful musical, to come over to my "musical basement" in Athens and sing my songs so that I could hear how they sound properly. Soon I realised that he often had to cancel, so because of my experience with the band I got into the idea of doing everything on my own. I started taking singing lessons and took to arranging everything on my own which was the best thing I have done in my life. It makes you independent and you have total control of what you want to do.

When did you decide to return to London?
I came back to London when I had around 11 songs and decided to come for 11 days and record them because I knew a really good multi-instrumentalist who has a studio and his name is Koby Israelite. He can play 3000 instruments... he’s amazing! I had an attempt to record my songs in Greece with 2 people but it didn’t work out; it ended up getting confused and going in a direction I didn’t really like so I decided to go to London because it would just be 2 minds working on something. While in London I realised that London was my second home and was so excited those 11 days.

How did the London Sessions go?
I prepared guides at home for us to work from and we did a marathon of recording. I recorded all the drums fresh but I had the piano parts recorded from before because they were the guide and the drums went over the piano. After finishing the drums I had to stay up all night to write the bass because next day the bassist was coming to record. We recorded the bass... 11 songs in one day... it was mad! The day after I recorded the vocals. I started at 1pm and finished 5am the next day. It was mad and at 1am I was drinking olive oil for my throat. After this we brought in a backing vocalist and I actually finished the whole 11 tracks in 7 days in total.

Where did you take your songs?
After I recorded the songs I put some on Youtube and I opened a Myspace and floated the demos on there. I started getting subscribers and friends on Youtube and good feedback. While I was still in Athens working, I bumped into a friend of mine (Tolis)and we had studied together for our BA degree. He is now a teacher at the Guitar Institute in Kilburn, NW London and I played him the demos. He said ‘Good stuff and if you want to come to London let me know.’ I wasn’t thinking of moving back but I thanked him for the offer. Some months passed and I realised I was getting depressed playing for all these artists and not doing anything with my music. I was just doing a play, pay and go. The English speaking Greek rock bands in Greece have a tiny audience and I realised I wasn’t going anywhere there. It's a very small country 10.000.000 population, and in the middle of the biggest crisis ever faced. So I moved back to London.

How did you go about forming E-Mute?
I got in touch with Tolis and told him I wanted to get a band together. Tolis agreed so we tried to figure out who could be in the band and Tolis started playing the demos to people & made suggestions to me. One of those musicians was Svetlana, the bassist who was our teacher at University and also Moby’s bassist. When Tolis told me that Svetlana was interested I said, ’that’s amazing,’ because I really liked her; she’s a really great bassist and I was thrilled she liked my music. We had to wait for Svetlana to come back from Moby’s summer tour and had our first meeting end of September. The drummer Darren was teaching where Tolis teaches. Darren has played with loads of people; Chaka Khan, The Drifters, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, in various West-End musicals (Mama Mia/Joseph) and with pop artists such as The Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Will Young and many more. He also liked the demos so decided to join us.

How do you describe your music Theo?
I think it’s a mix, a bit alternative... I’d say the genre’s alternative rock. If I compare it with other bands it’s a bit of Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, Muse and Radiohead ... mix it all together and we have E-Mute... something original.

So the band has only been together 7 months! What’s happened in that time?
Since September I have been working non-stop on the project. We had to record the EP so Tolis introduced me to John Robertson who is an amazing guitarist. He also has a huge bio and he is producing too. He has played with Vanessa May and Grace Jones and he produced our EP.

Is John playing on the EP as well or just producing it?
Yes, he’s on it. What we did, we used the older recordings of the demos so the drumming is my drumming and he played the guitar for the EP. At the point when we were making the EP I was rehearsing with the band for the gigs so the EP is not how the band actually sounds now. The songs have naturally evolved; they’re exactly the same structure but with a different attitude because now it’s a band playing.

When do you plan to record as a band?
I am hoping in the next 3 months to go with the band and record a single.

How did you name the band?
I had the idea of the name ‘MUTE’ for a band- always liked it! Me and my girlfriend came up with the logo- the loudspeaker coming out of the stop sign. Some friends told me that it reminds them of MUSE so I turned it into E-MUTE... E stands for Electric. I love the word play with the logo and the debut EP title.

What is the title of the current EP?
‘Too Proud to Say Loud.’

What kind of interest is the band generating?
I have been approached by some management companies so I need to meet with them and see what they have to say. I might need to release songs under a label because they are on independent release. I have a meeting on Monday with one company and another company are coming to our gig on the 1st June to check us out. I have a big PR company coming to the same gig too to hear us live. It’s at a very early stage and they may want to do work on the EP, maybe re-master to make it better, we’ll see.

How many gig’s have you done so far?
Friday will be our fourth gig but we’ve been having calls from promoters asking us if we would like to play at different places. I am trying not to book too many gigs at the moment.

Describe your experience of the live gigs?
We started gigging a bit more than a month ago and were doing a gig a week because I wanted to get a portfolio going and see how we go. The first couple of gigs were more like a rehearsal because you have to learn the staging and things. In the past I was always the drummer so being the singer was a shock, it was kind of wow, I’m fronting a band now. It was a shock but now it’s much better, more natural.

Finally, what else is new?
We have another gig booked on the 29th June at Surya in Kings Cross but I only want a gig a month because we are a new band and want room to grow. I also heard that our song's being played on the radio, in fact I heard it myself on Salford radio, 94.4 FM. Keep getting e-mails from radio stations wanting to play it and the list is growing. I'm updating all the radio play info on our Facebook page and Twitter. Other stations: Canalside Radio 102.8FM, CY4Y Radio, Optical Radio and more.

BIG THANKS to Theo for ‘Bringing us the Braap’ on E-MUTE and engaging us in his journey. The progress made to date indicates great things to come so stay tuned for updates & do your best to attend their gigs, tune into the radio & support these guys!

Connect with E-MTUE:
Website: http://www.emute-music.com/the-band-e-mute
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/emutemusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/E-mute-music

We would love to involve you in the E-MUTE experience!! If you attend gigs, buy their music, take pics etc please send your info to itsbraap@live.co.uk for inclusion on Its Braap~Its Life. THANKS!!