Monday, 31 March 2014

The Crazy Coqs~ Presented Patti Boulaye


Earlier this month ~IB~ was delighted to experience an intimate evening at The Crazy Coqs, Soho; particularly as we were invited to attend Patti Boulaye's return to the stage after 14 years.
This proved to be an exceptionally enjoyable evening held in ‘artistic’ surroundings. If you love Art Deco you will love The Crazy Coqs, an experience that's almost 3D with its art Deco effect extending from walls to ceiling- red, black and silver coming at you from all angles-beautiful and totally awesome, matched only by the immaculate service and quality entertainment!
We joined the audience which included many of Patti’s celebrity friends; she was extremely well supported: Uri Geller, Anthea Turner and several members from the cast of East Enders. Her family was also present- even the latest addition, Patti’s baby grandson! This may seem irrelevant however Patti’s pride and love of her family came across very clearly, underpinning everything else in her life- great example from a public figure.
First impression of Patti was WOW… Shirley Bassey has some competition!  Patti’s outfits were extremely glamorous, jewelled gowns glittering, and armed with a feather Boa, Patti wooed her audience whilst her powerful voice rang out as true and clear as ever. 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' was the song of the night delivered with genuine emotion as Patti’s performance really excelled. Patti is a true story teller and can deliver sleazy songs in a classy manner- man being the key word: Kitchen Man and Rough and Ready Man (written by Alberta Hunter- in her latter years!)
I was impressed by the way Patti narrated the evening, taking us firstly through her absence from the stage to the here and now. Patti had spent a great deal of time in her native Africa and set up the ‘Reaching Out For Africa’ charity to rescue babies with aids. I was touched by Patti’s non-judgemental attitude and understanding of practices that are abhorrent to most of us. She has instigated incredible work resulting in an extremely successful project.
Clinic
Musically, Patti began her journey by accident when she found she was in a queue to audition for the musical Hair and to her surprise was offered a part in it. Patti clearly enjoys musicals and we were treated to ‘The Sun Whose Rays,’’ from her days in The Black Mikado, Habanera (Carmen Jones) and Memories (Cats.) Patti delivered a well- balanced programme and besides musicals, included entertaining and popular music rounding off with ‘My Way’ and the more recent Amy Winehouse hit, ‘Valerie.’ 
As a proud parent, Patti enjoyed presenting her extraordinarily talented daughter who gave a very soulful performance and clearly has her mother’s gift for song.
It was definitely a night to remember and I came away full of song and wishing to discover more about 'Reaching Out For Africa.'
Finally, kudos to musical director Allan Rogers for a job well done!

Jaz McKenzie

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Thistle Heaven~ Poem by Jaz McKenzie




A quick poem, the idea for which was taken from this photo. If you look carefully you can see a beautiful triumphant thistle standing proud in front of the dustbin. The ground around has been left untended allowing the thistles a free run all around. This is a great visual to use emphasising how important it is to prevent our minds from becoming 'thistle bound' by being aware of our thoughts and intentions. We have the power to exercise mind control, so when we become aware of negative, painful or destructive thoughts we need to stop, identify them and replace with great powerful thoughts. At first this is not easy and there will be times when it is an excruciatingly difficult practice but it is guaranteed to improve the overall quality of your life.

A little mind matter for the weekend!

Thistle Heaven

Be careful when allowing your mind to run free
Least thoughts pop into it carelessly!
Loose thoughts pervading your very mind
Become possessive, nurturing
Until you find... you've lost control
With a negative plant
Taking over your whole.

intention
happiness
ambition
time

For the mind may become an untamed allotment
Weeds and thistles rambling with intent
To prove their strength and virility
A destructive force that you might not see
Set to re-route your destiny
So be careful to own each thought you think
Lest the thistles push you over the brink!!


Jaz McKenzie  ©2014
If you would like to submit any poetry to us email: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Friday, 28 March 2014

be Braap~Be Inspired!!! Real Quotes from Fear People!!

'You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore'~ Christopher Columbus


Christopher Columbus is without doubt the right person to tell us to set sail in our own lives. There are many times in life when we can only grow if we let go of our current reality and step forwards boldly with great expectations. Faith needs to be developed and tested so the more exercise we give it the better and who knows what lies beyond the horizon!!

Jaz McKenzie

If you have a favourite saying you wish to share please send to: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Indecka - Running from the Law (Official HD Video)



Reggae artist Indecka would have you believe that he's blazing guns and running from the law but nothing could be further from the truth. If you take time to listen to the lyrics you will discover a positive message behind the popular fa├žade- if you can't beat 'em join 'em!


I asked Indecka to give us the true intention of his song and here's what he had to say:
'to encourage individuals to refrain from violence and delinquency..... as well as young people need to listen before its too late....... ' I think most of us are agreed that this is the message music should be conveying to the youth and is definitely a much more positive and beneficial than the Gully/Gaza war that was rife a while back and did untold damage in different communities in the West Indies.

Indecka has increased his following during the past year and had a succeful  tour of Trinidad and Tobago. or more information on Indecka check out his Facebook page and our previous interview on this blog- Indecka Interview.and make sure you Add Indecka on Facebook

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like your videos shared or have an interesting project please contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Have Questions~Have Answers #11- Why are so mny people afraid of dying?


What most people are afraid of is the way in which they will die followed by the timing, ie: will I have done everything I set out to do? People often say that they hope to pass away peacefully in their sleep and none of us wish to suffer debilitating diseases or a painful decline from other causes.

It wouldn't do us any good if we could choose the age of our departure, simply because there's a strong possibility we would pick the wrong time! If we disappeared too soon we might miss out on the best years of our lives or alternatively experience things we would have preferred to miss; therefore we should not be questioning what we consider to be premature deaths, especially childhood deaths, with anger - so often in life we will uncover the true reason later and so we need to be forgiving and open to allow the answers to flow.

Death is associated with pain whether momentary or prolonged, and pain is guaranteed to make us fearful. People have died and shortly after returned to life, often telling similar stories of looking down on their body, following white lights, seeing angels etc. I think that we do receive help with the transition between life and death and definitely believe in angels, although some people will not share this view. It seems quite a logical process as we are helped into this world by midwives and usually the mother experiences a great deal of pain- hard to know how it feels from the babies point of view, being squeezed and propelled towards the light! As cycles go, a similar exit with help from angels or friendly spirits makes perfect sense.

Thinking of your own death isn't easy but we should at least prepare as far as possible by having great relationships all round and working towards our potential. Other considerations include: writing a will, making amends, possibly having a funeral plan, generally keeping our affairs in order and without doubt, developing the spiritual side of ourselves as this is the part that lives after death.

I was struck that the husband of one of the passengers on the missing flight had taken off his watch and given it to his wife for safe keeping and made some 'sentimental' remarks. Strange coincidence yet we are all subject to hunches, so never ignore your hunches.

So how do you feel about death? What do you need to do to prepare? Or do you live by the day and refuse to worry? It is good to be of sound mind and in a position to approach this rationally, so next time there's a jumper on the line, don't get mad- just be thankful that you have your wits about you Such desperation stems from negativity and an inability to propel yourself to a better level. Families are often left behind, distraught and without a true understanding of the 'why?', a terrible position to be in.

Finally, death can be a relief from the ills of this world and is definitely a process we will all experience, but fear of death is like any other fear needing to be redirected in a positive manner.

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write a poem or article for Its Braap contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Friday, 21 March 2014

loving you minnie riperton



When it comes to love songs, the late Minnie Riperton definitely sang the cream of the crop- no fancy lyrics, simplicity itself proving a definite case of 'less is more.' Love is truly romanticised, the dream of a lifetime accompanied by guitar and birdsong giving it the sunny edge. Loving you doesn't push declarations of love to the limit, contrasting beautifully with Bryan Adams approach where he dramatically states,' 'I'll die for you' in 'Everything I do,' yet the longing in 'Loving You' is clear and euphoric feelings are incredibly strong.


Ultimately it's the purity of Minnie's voice which is really appealing, her ability to reach for the stars with every high notes and, after all these years, keeps some of us gripped in anticipation until they have been perfectly executed time and again.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Have Questions~ Have Answers? #10- What Makes You Happy?


What Makes You Happy?
I took this idea from a television advert and cannot recall the conclusion however it is a very important question. If we don’t know what makes us happy, how can we increase our level of happiness? Where do we look for happiness?  How much of our time do we actually feel happy or are we disinclined to enjoy life? Some people are more geared towards complaining and becoming stressed over every little thing that they lose their ability to appreciate the joys of everyday living.
We need to search within for happiness. Unfortunately some of us tend to rely on others rather than themselves which is easy to do but when you consider everything it doesn’t make sense- how can another person know what needs we have to fulfil? Obviously many of our needs will be fulfilled, especially when we are in tune with others or are around people who have trained themselves to be responsible for others, but when no-one is around we are our own raw material.
When you feel happy you may like to take a second to consider why and likewise, if you are miserable, identify the cause. Nobody can be happy 100% of the time but we can aim to be happy for a great deal more of our lives, awareness being the first step in this direction. We constantly make choices which are programmed by conditioning, so we need to adjust and re-write the programme which may be a considerable challenge. Creating happiness is not unlike attaining a new skill, infact it is probably beneficial to view it as such to make the process easier to manage. The better we get the better we feel and we can celebrate our improvements. People will definitely respond well to us when we are happy because they are more likely to be well received.
Everyone knows that money doesn’t make you happy but it helps- simply by allowing more choice. Choice is key and we can use this on a small level to improve our lives. Today for example, I got off the bus early and went for a walk by the river before swapping to the second bus- a little act that made a huge difference to my enjoyment of the day and it didn’t cost anything extra at all. You can set yourself little challenges, possibly buying a new item of clothing for £5 to bring minor doses of happiness- there’s satisfaction to be found when working successfully within a budget.
Making others happy should be at the top of our list once we are sufficiently grounded and able to do so. If a person is depressed they will probably not be able to extend their thoughts beyond themselves, but whoever you are or whatever your state of mind, finding things to be thankful for helps to bring happiness towards us and more good experiences.
What is happiness? Not easy to define beyond a feeling of intense pleasure or well-being and sometimes we barely notice if it’s missing from our lives, but once we focus on it life definitely improves and we enjoy living. Happiness can be enjoying an act of kindness, a romantic thought, a thrilling experience or just appreciation of the world around us. It can be found once we eliminate toxic thoughts and is one of the most precious gifts that we are given. Happiness is a form of freedom, so appreciate your life and develop as many opportunities to feel happy as you can every day.
Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 17 March 2014

Andre Rieu & 3 year old violinist, Akim Camara 2005



For those of you who love a good story ~ this could be it! A little boy inspired by Andre Rieu ends up on stage shortly afterwards playing a violin solo conducted by the man himself. It is definitely entertaining and young Akim is the whole package with an irresistible smile, shiny shoes and determination to continue to the bitter end; a long piece of music to remember by any standards. There is also another video of him two years later... excuse me while I pop off to assess Akim's progress!!

Jaz McKenzie

Saturday, 15 March 2014

URBAN DELIGHT~ ASHANTI LOUNGE LIVE!!

~IB~ recently attended the first ever Ashanti Lounge Live event which will run every Thursday night at the Leilani and Ashanti Bar and Lounge, hosted by Macky McPherson of Urban Delight, There was a real buzz in the air, heavy with expectation as artists checked out the celebrity area and patiently awaited their turn to perform.

Celebrity area
Nahum kicked off the live entertainment with a demonstration of different Beatbox styles and later created an ad hoc improvisation with rapper Streak Sterling, drawing on their talents to meet the moment!
Nahum
Saint Paul followed, setting the bar high with his crisp, clear flow and contemporary lyrics containing a taste of the familiar 'hands up in the air- for hip hop!' Saint Paul also treated us to an exclusive of his song, 'So Sorry' featuring Deleelah who was unable to make the event- good opportunity for a recall next month. Saint Paul, not a teenager, says he's a little late entering the scene however he clearly loves and understands his music and adds great entertainment value to his act.

Les McNeil from Lovers Rock Band Tradition treated us to some 'Breezin' vibes whilst taking the traditional route of dancing with a member of the audience~ nice one Les and in keeping with the showmanship expected of established artists.

Culprit Ex is a young rapper who shared his own distinctive style and included a track called, 'Do My Thing.' Macky introduced Culprit Ex by saying that he's been busy sharing Culprit's music on his Facebook page and is definitely a fan. Culprit Ex has the ingredients of a good rap artist however would benefit from upping his performance and interacting with the audience which comes with experience.

Polish reggae singer Emiliyah has the element of surprise on her side combined with a very powerful voice and the ability to sustain long notes featured in her song, 'I want to Thank You.' This artist sings quality songs and has a great sense of humour- with a little more work Emiliyah should be able to propel herself to the next level.
BM
High Energy act BM hit the stage running with excellent Afrobeat music- Bend Down Low and treated us to some crazy dance moves that grabbed everyone's attention. This guy is a quality act who is destined for a large stage and huge audience.

Emiliyah, Shishco BoB, Zeena
Urban Delight definitely has talented artists on its books including Shishco BoB and 13K from the R.A.W. Family of artists. 'Father Mi Love You is their current song, full of energy and positive vibes. Shishco BoB and 13K are reggae/dancehall artists who bring their own flavour, tunes and charisma, matched in kind later by an equally energetic artist- Dancehall Queen Zeena Banks who positively effervesces, posing the question, 'when is Urban Delight going to bring these artists together and blow the roof off the house?' That may well be on the cards so watch this space!!

Macky is featuring a number of unsigned acts who have real talent and will not be constantly repeating the line-up, so pop along on Thursdays for some great entertainment.

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Have Questions~Have Answers?- Week 9 How well do you know yourself?


This is a question which needs to be answered by the individual.
Life is a journey and we may believe that we know ourselves, yet so often a situation arises that proves us wrong!

I think it is important to remain non-specific about the way you are likely to react because whilst life is a journey, we will change with every new experience. I know full well that most of my 'I never will's' turned out differently. This can be positive or negative but hopefully we grow to question and acquire knowledge that helps us to live our ideal life.

When we are born we take on the attributes of those around us, we have no other examples to gain knowledge from. We hear our family views, experience cultural practice and so forth therefore we have a great deal of information to wade through before we are in a position to challenge our existing way of life and decide upon a different course or at least know why we live the way we do.

People can be so influential, especially if they are confident and appear to have something interesting to offer us. So many people change their religion following encouragement from a strongly persuasive person. Persuasion does not mean force, it can be taking a real interest in someone's wellbeing which is thankfully received. This does not mean that the receiving party is weak, people are free to make choices as they see fit.

Many people do fall prey to dominant partners and end up either 'under the thumb' or as a recipient of abuse. This is different and based on a person's need to control. Again, strong people can get themselves out of these situations even if they take a long time before going about it. Help and support are vital to help people build confidence and self-esteem which we need in all areas of  our lives.

Sometimes in life we are literally pushed to our limit and we may find that our limit has stretched further than we would have thought possible. Often we acquire inner strength which enables us to cope with huge burdens, even if we nearly collapse afterwards!

What is important in life? I would say, keeping an open mind. If you keep your mind open you will have exciting new experiences that bring riches of all sorts. Not all riches are financial, to be rich in joy, happiness and love should be at the top of your. Yes money is great and opens doors, however with the right attitude, money often follows.

 Just be thankful for everything good in your life and have an idea of what you want, then at least you will know the foundations of your personality!

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to be featured on ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk
 

Frank Pitter interview with Its Braap~ Big Up to Skinhead Reggae!!!



I heard Frank Pitter singing recently at one of the Heritage of Ska evenings and am pleased to bring you an interview with the man himself, courtesy of Buffaloo Radio (click)

It is always fascinating having a glance into other people's lives and Frank has travelled across the continents playing to his worldwide audience. Those of you who grew up loving Ska music will be very familiar with Frank's Skinhead Reggae whereas the rest of us have an education to catch up with!


Besides his music, Frank is very busy running a couple of businesses however he still has time to make new recordings and run his Youtube-Frank Pitter Frank's band has been given various names along the way and besides singing, Frank is quite the musician and not overly impressed with 'mice people'!!

Jaz McKenzie

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Be Braap~Be Inspired!!!! Real Quotes from Real People!! #34

''I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'~Maya Angelou 


This is a challenging quote and although I see where Maya Angelou is coming from, I think there are occasions where we will remember words and actions. Generally people either make us feel good or otherwise but the key point is that our bodies and minds absorb feelings more easily than anything else. We may remember the gist of words that have been spoken however rarely remember the actual words. On the occasions that we do the words, or images of a memory, will be accompanied by feelings experienced at the time. It is important to choose your words carefully and do everything with an attitude of love so that we are empowered and empower others.

Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 3 March 2014

Have Questions~Have Answers?- Week 8- Can you tell the time?


We all assume automatically that we can tell the time- but supposing we're all wrong!
Have you ever considered that although we accept our calendars and clocks to be accurate methods of checking and logging time, we could be way out.

The essence of time is infinite, yet for some reason we chose to break it into segments. Yes there are seasons- at least, there were a few years ago however they have become merged of late! Seasons to allow for rest, renewal and growth, but these have never been day perfect. In the Bible, people lived for hundreds of years and life spans do change. Nothing is fixed- if it were, every baby would arrive on its due date. On a basic level even the Chinese New Year does not start at the same time as Europe, something we are accustomed to and many of us simply enjoy the celebrations.

If we didn't have time we wouldn't be able to become obsessed with it. Time is used to create routines, to set challenges and give the world a sense of order. Now here's a thought~ How often do we worry about our age- imagine if we grew older without markers! One day rolls into the next and you have no way of counting. Physically we would still change and grow older but we wouldn't know how much by. That settles the question of whether to date a younger/older partner quite nicely! Of course, age is important for development- doctor my baby cannot crawl and all his friends are walking. How long have you had him? Quite some time now but I lost track after 300 meals. Point being we have to have a means to measure to make sensible judgements.

Time really is elastic and in some ways makes no sense at all. On occasion we sleep very soundly and wake up expecting it to be morning only to find we slept for two hours and at other times a minute can seem like an hour.

Emotions have a strong effect upon the way we perceive time. Who calculated units of time in the first place and why? Obviously a scientist - thank you sir or we couldn't carry out time and motion studies. Our days grow longer in the summer and shorter in the winter which confirms that animals who hibernate have probably got it right after all, few of us want to get out of bed in the winter and S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is strongly recognised as a genuine medical condition.

Final thought- time has to be the most elusive thing known to man. You can't see it or feel it yet it exists and our way of measuring time is simply our way. There may be more planets in the galaxy where time is measured differently according to the conditions that exist there. What we do know is that time exists everywhere, we can do things in it, move through it and most of all it is very precious. Time is limitless but can be wasted oh so easily. Try to make the most of yours by working hard and playing hard- and stop watching the clock!

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write a short article for ~IB~ or have your work featured contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Teamed With ~IB~ Introducing Urban Delight & B1UD- challenging the music industry!!!

BRINGING YOU THE BRAAP ON URBAN DELIGHT!!.

~IB~ is thrilled to announce that we have teamed up by invitation with Urban Delight and Bass 1 Urban Delight, two exciting new companies that recently arrived on the music scene. Unlike previous projects, with the exception of the Everybody Dreams Campaign, we are actively part of the team carrying out a functional ‘press’ oriented role. We will bring you news directly from source and are beginning with a mini overview detailing the concept and how you can tune into this exciting venture.
Right here, right now, Macky McPherson provides some ‘must know’ information and news to get you started- We have summarized the message for you.
Initially I set up Urban Delight, a management/mentoring artist hub, which flowed naturally from my previous experience as a radio DJ for Lightening FM. During that time I worked with a collective of artists, rappers, singers and beat-box guys, finding myself unofficially ‘managing’ artists by way of showcasing them at gigs. I decided to consolidate this in a truly beneficial way and organised a family fun day in aid of Trinity Hospice.  This proved an ideal opportunity to pull together contacts from various avenues to form a community orientated platform- the event was featured on Its Braap who depicted its true flavour hence the association.

Macky McPherson
Urban Delight is a recognised business which set out with the intention of giving artists an opportunity to acquire support and exposure in return for talent and commitment.  With several excellent artists on board I have returned to the radio and host my own show on alternate Tuesdays @ www.lifefm.co.uk Radio Link     I am pleased that ‘The Urban Delight Show’  is being hosted on Life FM, a legal internet station run by Paul Rost and Lioness-Tune in between 10pm-12 midnight (next  show, Tuesday 11th March) to hear music that’s not yet played on mainstream radio- we play unsigned acts, or artists signed to Bass 1 Urban Delight, our record label. Urban Delight supports and plays all genres; our ethos is about giving people a platform to expose and express themselves in a positive way- we’re not interested in ‘that guy stabbing that guy. 
We wish to promote our musical ethos, not just our music, so the slogan I came up with for Urban Delight is, ‘bringing music to your ears- the drug with no side effects.’ I believe music is more than just music itself; music is for healing, building bridges, communicating – it’s universal, so  it’s about what you can do with music.  
I also came up with a slogan for the label:  Bass 1 Urban Delight - One B1UD Thru Music, a natural extension and B1UD makes a great hash tag for twitter. B1UD is a separate venture that was set up by Aaron Harry, myself, Michael Mothersil and Les McNeil, one of the singers from the lovers rock group Tradition.
Since forming the company a year ago we have made fast, furious progress which includes being official sponsor of Mister Stylee, Vibes FM- host of the Reggae Vocal Show, Weds & Thurs 10pm-1am, where he plays our artists music and jingles.
As a label we cover everything from classical to pop and rock. We have worldwide distribution deals in place including Warner Chappell PM who specialise in production music specifically geared to films, TV and commercials (look for Basstone Music.)
 
LATEST NEWS: We have sealed a deal with the Leilani and Ashanti Live Lounge Bar, acquiring a weekly Thursday residency which we are calling the Ashanti Lounge Live.  We believe our artists should perform in exceptional venues befitting their talent and are laying on red carpets, backdrops, photographers, music journalists and the local press to give them a taste of stardom. Southall TV will be live streaming the event which I will be co-hosting- artist interviews included. We have great plans for this show and will be seeking audience feedback.  Come to our special showcase and after party launch at the Leilani and Ashanti Lounge this Thursday, 6th March 2014 and enjoy an evening of Urban Delight entertainment.
Jaz McKenzie
If you are involved in a project designed to 'make a difference' contact- itsbraap@live.co.uk