Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Be Braap~Be Inspired!!! Quote From Helen Keller

‘What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.’ - Helen Keller


This quote refers to a very different aspect of love, that of true unity.  If you look at experiences, the fact that they are forever stored within our memories does accredit them as part of us providing memories that can be conjured up in times of sadness. Love is a source of great comfort and as we journey through life we come to realise the more love we give the more we will receive. Loving deeply doesn’t just refer to people; we can love our homes and cities, the countryside, a favourite painting and derive great enjoyment from other experiences such as nights out with friends. Taking a pride in ourselves and the things we love is truly beneficial to all. Cumulatively these different aspects contribute to developing an overall state as a loving being- which is of course the best state we can aspire to.

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk


Monday, 28 December 2015

LT Stitchie live at The Hootananny! Reggae Special


Last night the Hootananny was definitely blazing with a night of Reggae performances for the Bank Holiday Special.

Let’s go straight to the headliner, LT Stitchie who positively buzzes with energy and enthusiasm for his craft- especially the messages he wishes to bestow upon us. Lt Stitchie immerses his core values into the heart of the music, cleverly integrating the two enabling him to deliver in such a unique way that everyone’s attention is captured- always the sign of an outstanding preacher which, combined with his performance skills, puts Lt Stitchie in a class of his own. It was well worth waiting until 3am for his performance! And let me stay in the Lt Stitchie flow and give thanks for obtaining a decent shot- apologies to all other artists but my phone is something else!

Now, back down to earth! Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell opened the show with her stunning accapello performance of Mr Vegas, ‘I Am Blessed,’ delivered powerfully with Winsome’s usual clarity.  Winsome followed up with, ‘Hurting Me,’ her current release (with co-members of the group Family Love.) Up next we had the somewhat gentler yet engaging tones of Kareem Shabazz, a natural performer and excellent lyricist. Ms Sunrize followed, telling a love story with her three Lover’s rock tracks- soon to be released. To my mind the last act in this set, Sherii Ven Dyer, really stood out with her stage presence, soaring vocals and an exceptional cover of Adele’s, ‘Hello.’


Artists in the second half of the show were backed by The Artist Band. Opened by Glen Sloley singing a couple of his hit songs- 'Lonely Soldier,' 'Lover’s Rock Revival Party,' and recent release, ‘Living in Love.’ Andrew Sloley, Glen's brother, followed, bringing bags of candy for the ladies- what a move! Both gave very good performances. Aleighcia Scott, from Reggae Star Factor gave it her all. Although she sang well, I wasn’t impressed when, having sung over half the song Aleighcia instructed the band to pull up. If you pull up after a few bars that's fine- this adds to the vibe, but over half a song and not in response to audience demand, more at the artist’s whim. I consider this selfish as it cuts into other artists’ time. Due to the amount of pull-ups throughout the evening, the show ran an hour late which is so not good! I also didn't quite get why Aleighcia deviated from Reggae during a Reggae special- I think we already knew she had a powerful voice. 

Finally we come to True Identity whose had an excellent start to their set. I was most impressed with their original song about Mama that was written by the trio and this got me thinking. Yes they sing good cover versions, but if you’re called True Identity then be true to yourselves and produce more original songs. This might be a challenge but the results are far more interesting and I imagine give rise to greater satisfaction. I think they would be well advised to explore their musical talents to the max and accelerate, having reached a comfortable platform, possibly taking their career to new heights. Quick mention here to Sarah Tobias who played the sax for the ladies- I have heard Sarah on several occasions and she always delivers- quirky sense of humour too when we have a chance to observe it!

To round off, it was a great conclusion to my year at the Hootananny and I’m looking forwards to 2016!

Jaz McKenzie ~ Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas 1/365 Poem by Jaz McKenzie


CHRISTMAS  1/ 365

Don’t just feel the love
Be love
Emanate love
Share love
Seek love
See everyone through the eyes of love
Live as an ambassador for love
Not just 1/365 but for all Eternity


Jaz McKenzie ©2015

This year's Christmas poem goes to the heart of Christmas which is love. Whatever your beliefs, most of us agree that love is key to our happiness and when we are grounded in love we are able to achieve much better in all areas of our lives. Love should be selfish in that we need to love and care for ourselves, and it should be selfless, whereby we make time to meet the needs of others. Practising ways to show different aspects of love would make a great New Years resolution.

This year our Christmas will be specially blessed here in the UK with a very rare appearance of the full moon on Christmas Day! This is truly special and I hope to witness it having seen the Blue moon and the Red Moon this year- WOW, no wonder 2015 has been a special if somewhat intense year. Let's keep our focus on our spiritual needs and live more in the higher conscious. That we can make the most of ourselves and be of service to others.

Christmas Blessings and enjoy yourselves!

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk

Monday, 21 December 2015

LIFEFM TV Presents DUBLIFE Feat: EMPERORFARI SOUND SYSTEM


If you live in London and love Reggae it’s definitely time to keep your eye on events at The Wandle Trail. Macky McPherson is mixing up the entertainment programme and last night we were treated to serious dub music from the Emperorfari Sound System, in conjunction with the LIFEFM.TV Dublife event. Literally bringing a wall of speakers with them, all the way from Leicester, these guys really turned up traditional Roots Reggae to the max and attracted quite a crowd. In their home town they play regularly to a full house, so it’s great to experience their expertise here in London. It’s worth mentioning that Emperorfari Sound, whose strap line is, ‘Powerful Roots Warrior Sound,’- spot on- are about creating the whole experience including posters and burning a chalice of incense, an excellent move as the usual substances cannot be inhaled within the establishment! – I loved the T-Shirts with their eye-catching logo and these will be available in 2016- I have my name down already! Click for more events from Emperorfari Sound System- Roots Conference.


Also On the bill at Dublife we had Roots Youths and Shere Khan Sound featuring UK Principal, who was in excellent form. It was good to have a combination of live and recorded music; the crowd definitely appreciated everything on offer and it was a great evening- well done LIFEFM.TV!

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk


Monday, 14 December 2015

Mozez: Wings The Album~ A Jaz McKenzie Review


Mozes new album ‘WINGS’ is a ‘must add’ jewel to your musical collection and I can honestly say it’s brought a touch of sheer quality to mine- like pure silk sheets to a bed! Mozez beautiful rich tones received worldwide attention when he collaborated with Zero 7 on the album, ‘Simple Things,’ in 2001. Mozez is master of the chillaxing vibe, the beauty of ‘Wings’ being its awesomely pure quality- enhanced by excellent production thanks to Tony White, Mozez and Richard Beetham- 360 Mastering.

‘Wings,’ is perfectly named taking you to a different sphere and I believe it has the ability to do this when you allow yourself to drift into its musical vibe. The way Mozez uses his voice enhances the meaning within each track and taps directly into your emotions, carrying you along this emotional journey and you will fly, possibly in unexpected ways! 

There is a very clear spiritual quality to this album evident in the track titles- The Absolute, Signs Of Happiness, Be Like Water, Planets- producing the underlying feel of meditation and journeying. Somehow this vibration is evident even in very lively upbeat numbers- quite an achievement.

I view the album as being about experiences and growth with Mozez looking at life: presenting relationships and inner happiness through a collection of somewhat inspirational songs written by himself and other talented song writers namely Tony White, Tom Quick and Tom Trevors. It is hard to find a favourite due to the variety and consistency of the collection however one song instantly jumped out at me: 'Run River,' as I have been waiting for this song having said for years that we need to revive the essence of Negro Spirituals. The specific deep soul quality of the great Negro Spirituals lies within Run River whose lyrics are also reflective of the fight for wholeness. ‘Maybe this is all I have, maybe all I have is me. been to the water and the water’s been to me... Run River, Run like me... Freedom is a winner...’ – I believe the potential for this track could be huge as it is effectively a personal anthem that might suit films and campaigns. The flow of the album works well, with Run River leading into, ‘A Place Called Home,’ which makes you want to travel! However, if you really want to zone out, 'Planets' will take you there.

Wings The Album Launch @ Tape!

In summary, this album reflects a journey from its foundation to the present coinciding with Mozez personal & musical expansion. Mozez gospel roots have been beautifully nurtured through the addition of timeless, catchy tunes and poignant lyrics resulting in a masterpiece that speaks directly to today’s world.  I definitely encourage lovers of great music to check out, 'WINGS the album' for themselves on iTunes. For further release information check out Numen Records


Jaz McKenzie~ Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 42- Give thanks for Celibacy!


I GIVE THANKS FOR CELIBACY
Now I have your attention! Celibacy, an interesting topic really as celibacy is a path some people choose and a position others find themselves in. I guess there are a number of reasons why people are celibate. 

The first reason that comes to mind is to be celibate inline with religious beliefs. Somehow this creates an idyllic vision of remaining celibate until Mr/s Right enters your life and eventually you marry and settle down: in many ways this is a good thing. I think there is a great deal to be said for sticking to your principles and having the self will (POWER!) to control natural urges to such an unnatural degree. This provides true peace of mind and is definitely an excellent basis for trust. Trust is often a little shaky for people who have entered numerous relationships with different partners before settling down. But then again, trust is trust and in a great relationship past patterns should not really matter- focus should be on the current partner and developing close bonds which should generate trust within a secure framework.

Celibacy can arise naturally: for some reason people fail to find a particular person sexually attractive thereby that person remains celibate. Sometimes it’s hard to define why that should be, especially if the person concerned is not bad looking, fairly friendly and has a reasonably active life. I imagine that time is usually the healer and it’s a case of meeting the right people who genuinely connect. This should be easier with online dating becoming such a huge business.

I have to say that celibacy is not my favourite flavour so to speak however it can prove useful! Space in life is essential if we really want to take good care of ourselves. I believe the line is drawn with celibacy at one end, promiscuity at the other and differently balanced relationships in the middle with little clusters of frustration up and down the marker! Celibacy isn’t the only cause of frustration yet frustration seems more prominent during a phase of celibacy, especially when we have sex on the mind- and don’t pretend that’s not the case. If it is, there's a good chance your life is out of balance! Frustration can occur when ‘same old’ hits home unless both partners make a determined effort to ‘spice up their love life’ as the saying goes- boring phrase don’t you think but spices- interesting! When you have the kids around constantly or work seriously long hours it is sometimes easier to give up than start working at yet another thing- that’s when sex doesn’t stand a chance- think of England and phew- sleep. This is why it’s good to have a weekend away with your partner now and again as relaxation is conducive to much improved sex. If not, you may become a celibate couple and that’s when trouble often strikes because one party or the other wakes up and smells the perfume!

So, what are the advantages of celibacy? 
  • Celibacy enables us to focus on the things we consider important, allowing energy to flow in an uninterrupted way as directed. During such periods we should be able to make excellent progress with projects etc.  
  • Celibacy creates space in which to think. We can look at our lives without emotional ties/involvement and this can prove invaluable to our development and future. I have to say that this is brilliant because we can settle down and decide how we want life to be and the type of people we would like to meet. 
  • Let’s give good sexual health a fleeting mention although these days it’s become a widespread problem.

My final thought on celibacy- Lenny Kravitz publicly declared that he’d turned celibate when he ‘found himself’ during the ‘Love Revolution’ days. I’m not sure how long that lasted but my word, you should have seen the women’ bigging him up’ for his decision – so there you go, celibacy has the power to be socially acceptable as opposed to being a pretty dire condition.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional Writer/ Word Magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Boulevard of Broken Dreams~ A Chill Out Poem by Jaz McKenzie


BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS
Oh boulevard of broken dreams lying shattered
At my feet in a million pieces.
A Jigsaw puzzle of hopes and aspirations
That can never be rebuilt following such fragmentation.
Instinctively I ask myself why- and the answer comes
Floating into my mind on butterfly wings,
Gently imparting a meaningful message.
It is not the dreams of the mind that are ordained to flourish
Rather, we need to nurture the yearnings of our soul
Knowing that the pathway of all true dreams should lead to joy.
Pure joy that is akin to the sentiment of love:
Joy that cannot be fulfilled by earthly desires,
Joy that is manifested through belief, desire and integrity,
Joy whose foundation is set in truth and love,
Joy that will arise from the boulevard of broken dreams
And rise like a phoenix from the flames of this life
Forging a pathway from our earthly presence
Into the wings of eternity- More love, more life.
An ever spinning circle of spiritual evolution
Leading to our highest form and true identity.

Jaz McKenzie ©2015

The above poem was written specifically for The Chill Out Zone on Buffaloo Radio and if you wish to hear me recite my poems we are live Wednesday's 7.30-9.30 pm GMT & the show is repeated every Sunday at the same time. I have set myself the challenge of writing a poem to fit in with a song title from the playlist each week and this is last week's poem based on Greenday's, 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams.' I have loved that phrase since the first time I heard it and now it's speaking directly to me. As you can see, the poem does not necessarily reflect the meaning of the song as it's important to allow creativity to follow its own course. If you would like more of a feel for the emphasis and rhythm, tune in- your feedback is most welcome!


Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk ~ Jaz

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Be Braap~ Be Inspired!!! Real People~ Real Quotes!!

'If you judge People, you have no time to love them,' ~ Mother Teresa



I love this saying and Mother Teresa really gets to the essence of the matter.So many of us are inclined to judge people and these judgements affect our attitude. How does this happen? The power of words generate feelings and these feelings create attitudes within us. We often make snap judgements based upon our feelings and have no actual evidence to back our 'decisions' up. How many times do we judge and then discover we were wrong?

Love is about keeping an open mind. It is about accepting others as they are and not who we wish them to be. When we look at people through the eyes of love we become more tolerant and are more likely to focus on a person's positive aspects. We cannot eliminate the things we don't like, those irritations however strong focus keeps the irritants in the background not the foreground. Relationships tend to break down when we shift our focus and become absorbed in negative energy,

Practice keeping your focus on love and you will be an inspiration to others- Let Love Rule!

Jaz McKenzie


Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk

Mozez: "So Still"



Time for another album? Yes, and if you love chillaxing artist Mozez you'll be thrilled to know that his newly released album, 'WINGS' is available to purchase on iTunes. To find out more information about Mozez check Numen Records- where you can discover his link to Bruce lee and check out up-coming shows.

I'll be posting my review of 'Wings' shortly and have to say it is a truly excellent album!

Jaz McKenzie


Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk

Monday, 7 December 2015

Missing You~ The Chill Out Poem by Jaz McKenzie


Missing You
As seasons merge into seasons
And the years continue to blend
He’s missing her with a heart that beats
And time refuses to mend
He thought love was the answer
But her barriers remained intact
He tried to help a thousand times
Until his smile cracked

Pain is the name of the game that will reign
Unless he sets himself free
From the powerful grip of love over lies
That’s as strong as the waves in the sea
Her truths were only partially true
Protecting her inner core
There was nothing left on earth to do
That could help her anymore

He’s living in a slumber now
A cloud of blame and doubt
When all he needs is to raise his head
And let it all flow out
Just be responsible for himself
Taking the time to heal
True love is waiting in the wings
Of life’s ever spinning wheel

Jaz McKenzie ©2015

The Chill Out Zone started back on Buffaloo Radio last week and we are live Wednesday's 7.30-9.30 pm GMT & the show is repeated every Sunday at the same time. I have set myself the challenge of writing a poem to fit in with a song title each week and this is last week's poem based on 'I'll be Missing you'- P Diddy & Faith Hill. The poem will not necessarily reflect the meaning of the song as it's important to allow creativity to follow a course of its own. If you want a feel for the emphasis and rhythm, tune in as I'll be reciting them on air.

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk ~ Jaz









Wednesday, 2 December 2015

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

'Love one another but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. ~ Khali Gibran



Bond of love- well this really brings some things into question- dare I say it- marriage being a bond in point that jumps to mind. I think we do well to allow love to run free. Love doesn't do so well once we start applying restrictions. The restrictions are usually our expectations of others based upon our own perceptions and most of us realise that trying to change people is unrealistic and futile. 

Love is about flexing with one another and when love is fluid it can shape itself to any situation or emotional state enabling people to be quietly supportive of one another. Love is a shared experience designed to bring about joy in our everyday lives.

Quotations discussed in The Chill Out Zone Wednesday's (Rpt Sundays) 7.30-9.30pm GMT

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk



Monday, 30 November 2015

Give Thanks~ Feel Joyful~ WK 41- Give thanks for Reggie N Bollie!

I GIVE THANKS FOR REGGIE N BOLLIE

X Factor- And along came Reggie n Bollie!!!
At first glance you might think I’m joking however I’m actually being extremely serious because Reggie N Bollie have lifted the X Factor's vibration. The X Factor has been running for an infinite number of years- at least you would think so when you listen to the contestants who tend to sing the same old songs in their own unique styles- ‘Well done xxx you made that song your own.’ This of course begs the question, how much of ‘your own’ is down to the mentor and coach?  Of course some contestants really are exceptional; Sean Miley Moore being a case in point having a very individual style, charisma and a great voice. How he was voted out so early beats me- however seeing Olly Murs make a huge mistake when he announced that someone (whose name I am not going to look up- so forgettable) was leaving the show before the public result had been revealed, does makes you wonder. In fact, he repeated it twice which was not just embarrassing but must have really raised questions in everyone’s minds- particularly the contestant concerned who was told that she was indeed leaving. If we were giving the X Factor the benefit of the doubt that the show isn’t fixed, Olly blew it!

Great showmanship should be key to the X Factor and Mason Noise proved he had showmanship when he conducted his first audition. Unfortunately this was coupled with a pretty obnoxious streak associated with many a diva which arose when he pushed too hard offending Simon, throwing his toys out of the pram- or should I say Mic on the floor. Mason was publicly ousted from the show however eventually forgiven on some ‘legitimate’ grounds and entered the live rounds having eaten humble pie. Humble pie clearly didn’t agree with Mason as it sapped his spirit and his performances nose-dived.  Actually I believe that Mason probably has what it takes to be a superstar therefore once he was boxed into a framework where he had to give up ownership of his craft to a team of professionals he lost his confidence, personality and true identity- the initial clips of Mason where outstanding and I’m sure he would deliver a great live show. You will be able to see his slot in the X Factor tour- the X Factor machine is not stupid so made sure to keep him in at that level as they did with Sean Miley Moore.

Reggie N Bollie

We have so many POTENTIAL superstars on the X Factor making stardom appear quite achievable- who knows, maybe there’s a great deal of room within the top realm of the music industry, challenging public perception! Last year, Ben Haenow won the competition taking the edge over Fleur East- hmmmm, and whose tune is backing adverts? Fleur’s funky song SAX which is super commercial and yes I love it- in bursts! I guess we’ll hear something from Ben soon too.

Now let’s consider today’s study in thankfulness- Reggie n Bollie: a breath of fresh air. I must say, having worked with duo J2G (Jamaica to Ghana,) I wasn’t that impressed with Reggie n Bollie in the first instance. J2G have an Afrobeats track out, ‘Waist Control’ and whilst I was info gathering for their bio, Ras Buba and D-Skin played me a few of their original tracks which were excellent and multi genre. These guys are signed to Urban Delight and are clearly talented. Had they entered the X Factor I’m sure they would have been great competition for Reggie n Bollie!  To its credit, X Factor has brought out the best in Reggie N Bollie whose enthusiasm sets Wembley alight every week as they adapt well known songs to their personal style. Managing this with a One Direction song is commendable and these two have the triple X factor- Energy, Enthusiasm and Charisma! They are definitely not the best singers in the competition and have so far failed to show any diversity however their performances are authentic bringing us carnival vibes every week. I think the crowds’ reaction to Reggie and Bollie each week shows how much this country is in need of genuine sunny vibes. Music is partly about feeling good and this show airs in the autumn/winter so we benefit from experiencing a little more happiness rather than just talent. I would love Reggie n Bollie to win this year as they are the most exciting act left in the competition- I expect the 16 year old will claim the title as she fits the pop format but who knows; maybe the powers that be would like to be a little less predictable and allow this charismatic duo to become a mega money making machine- after all, they’re going to be around for a long time to come.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional Writer/ Word Magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Return of ‘The Chill Out Zone!!’


When something’s SOOOO good you just have to have more! As our listeners know The Chill Out Zone stopped abruptly earlier this year due to unforeseen circumstances. DJ Freestyle and myself have missed presenting our weekly show and the fun vibes generated within The Chill Out Zone- we had some great guests from a variety of backgrounds and played an eclectic mix of music each week, including chart toppers, Reggae, Rock, R&B etc. Life has since returned to normality and we are thrilled to announce that we will be back on air Wednesday 2nd December having re-scheduled the show. We will be live Wednesday evenings 7.30-9.30pm GMT and if you miss this slot you can catch the repeat Sundays 7.30-9.30pm- keeping it nice and easy!

Buffaloo Records own album

We have made some changes to the programme enabling us to produce a great show that will run for 2 hours rather than the previous 3. We will be keeping the same musical style and continue to include the following features:  
  • Back in Time, 
  • Be Braap~Be Inspired- to keep you on your toes, 
  • The Quirky News presented in unique style by ‘The Toff’– yes we will rival the BBC
  • We will be substituting Artist of the week for Artist of the month to switch up musical styles more quickly.            For full features TUNE IN!!  BUFFALOO RADIO


Our first show will kick off with HAPPY- Pharrell, because we’re MAAAD happy to be back: a little Adele, Gregory Isaacs, Glen Sloley, Stevie Wonder, Ayeshamar, Maroon 5 and Hozier to name a few- some artists you’ll know and some you’ll be introduced to. Join us at Buffaloo Radio & hope to see you in the chat room!

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet, Writer. Contact me for professional reviews or bio's that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk


Friday, 20 November 2015

Set to Excite~ Actor Paul Van Beaumont speaks action movies and more!

Its Braap presents an interview with talented actor turned film-maker Paul Van Beaumont. You will gain an insight into the challenges facing Paul who relishes playing different roles including Vampires, Villains and a host of interesting characters; frequently utilizing his combat skills. Paul is determined to bring his own ideas to every project. Whilst striving towards his goals humility, hard work and a flair for creativity have fast become his personal trademarks.


Let’s start by describing your aspirations when you were young. As a youngster I always wanted to do music because I come from a musical background- my Dad played guitar and Mum played piano. Art, I always liked drawing and love comic books. I’m still drawing stuff from comic books even now with pen and paper or on the computer. We watched loads of films round my Uncle's - he showed us lots of Marshall Arts- Bruce Lee, Gordon Lew, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan and my Dad showed us loads of westerns, Clint Eastwood, Spaghetti Westerns etc. So it was always music, films, music, films and art in between.

You mentioned that you were in a band. How did that come about and how did you move on? That was crazy. It was alright having a band but getting everyone organized at the same location at the same time; that was the nightmare! I did percussion and vocals, Martin did bass, Volko guitars and his brother did drums. It was good for a while but then it just got hectic and fizzled out with disorganisation and stuff. It sounds as if the dream wasn’t strong enough for everybody? It was but everyone just wanted to go in a different direction. Some people wanted to play heavier rock or funk but we were playing progressive rock and psychedelic rock and I guess everyone wanted to do ‘it’ differently really.

How did you move from there into films? That is funny because I went into music videos first and then I started to do short films and the first short film I did had no dialogue. I remember the director saying to me, ‘you’ve got very good facial expressions,’ and on the second day the lead actor said the same thing so I thought maybe I should look at doing dialogue. He said that he’s at drama school and basically you’ve either got it or you haven’t. ‘They can train as much as they want- but if I was you I’d give it a go and see what happens,’ so I did.

Vampire!!!

How did you get your first proper filming opportunity? The first one was for Stormdrain Films and that was, ‘Evil of the Vampire,’ where I was playing second in command. I actually auditioned for Nick, the lead villain and two weeks later I got a call to say you’re not playing Nick but I do want you to play the second in command guy; so I thought that’s good as I’d have dialogue. We shot that in October and I really enjoyed playing it. The lead actor, Rob Talbot, who was playing the villain, was really in character and he was so good it got everyone else into their roles more easily- a vampire mode, an undead mode, an evil mode. You’ve acted in quite a few vampire films haven’t you- Five, laugh, it’s a big list and it’s getting beyond a joke! Vampire Game Origins, Vampire Resurrection, Evil of the Vampire, Rock Band versus Vampires-Really! What’s that about? It’s a comedy horror by Clockwork Productions- a Raed Abbas film and that’s where I met Azeem Mustafa, Mark Ryder, Guy Barnes- just about everyone!  How did you feel being an evil, undead vampire? That time it was OK because it was my first time but the second time I played it, for Stormdrain films again- Vampire Gang Origins- that was crazy! We had a week of shooting and after a couple of days I was literally in character off set as well as on. It was just bizarre- I felt like I was in character constantly; moody, dark, broody- Just evil. That was crazy and I think it’s because I dyed my hair black for the part, did my nails black and make-up. I felt really psychotic and naughty- laugh- naughty vampire.

So where do the werewolves come in? Actually two people have offered me werewolf parts. One was Steve Jolley with Jolley films and the other was Raed Abbass and that was Bass films- ‘Principle’ which is up on IMTV already and coming out in May 2016. They’re werewolves but they’re called Lycans as they turn into werewolves without the aid of the full moon. I’ve been given other supernatural characters- a fiend, crazy clown and the devil. Tell us about the crazy clown. That was ‘Lithium,’ a short film I played in that was meant to be two characters. What happened is that the other actor didn’t turn up so I ended up playing both characters. One had a completely different kind of clown make-up to the other. One looked like Edward Scissorhands and the other looked like Brandon Lee’s ‘The Crow.’ It was fun on set and it was very challenging. What were the two different roles like? One was very calm and quiet and the other was a giggling lunatic! Was it based on madness as Lithium is a drug? Apparently the character’s a photographer and when she gets to develop her pictures she see the fiend, the character I’m playing, in the photographs. Then she falls asleep and wakes up and finds herself in, ‘my world!’ Not like Freddie Kruger coz he kills you in your sleep. It was crazy; it was an enjoyable day and long! So did you shoot it all in one day? Yeah we did. How long is the film? Around ten minutes. Actually I did another short film where I was playing an imaginary friend, a person with mental issues and I had loads of dialogue in that. I really liked that, it was called, ‘The Fence.’ I have also done quite a few Science Fiction films, short films- ‘Genocide’ was one, ‘Duty Calls,’ ‘Seven Bad Apples,’ ‘The Outlookers;’ I get these roles quite often.

How do you prepare yourself to play these characters? I just watched all the videos on the planet. I watched the greats from Charlton Heston to Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson to Robert De Niro to Al Pacino and Omar Shariff. I can’t even think of them all! I’d go on the internet and click best scenes, best dialogue, best actor and watched the greats over and over again, constantly.

Lithium



Would you like to speak about some of the other roles you have played and directions you’d like to go in? Yes, in ‘Better Tomorrow’ for Ruby films with Tom Luc Sahara I played a tramp and for that I did some method acting like Daniel Day-Lewis. I went out my front door with holes in my shoes, my clothes were tatty, I didn’t shave for a couple of days – I was just a mess but it was good because when I got on the train people just treated me differently and it was a very good experience. By the time I got to set Lucy (make up) said, ‘oh did you come down dressed like that?’ So I told her the experience I’d had where people said, ‘oh that’s disgusting,’ and didn’t want to sit next to me. Seeing me with my bad teeth, which Lucy did afterwards, well they just treated me completely different. It’s bad that you treat another human being just by their appearance. You see that they’re homeless and that they’ve got stains over their shirt, their hair. It was really good to do. Tom told me to stand in the street for about three minutes with my hands in a crucifix- ‘don’t do nothing Paul, just stand and look at the street and see what happens.’ He filmed it from a distance and people just walked past me like I wasn’t even there. It’s like the homeless are invisible people and if they do notice them they want to stay away from them. They just think, urgh, disgusting. How did that actually make you feel?  When I played the character I felt sad and when Tom gave me the footage to watch before he finalised it, it was the first time I watched a character I actually felt sad for. Normally when I watch it I know it’s me and I’m thinking- oh I should have said that line differently or I should have played that differently, but this was the first time I watched a film with me in it and I didn’t look upon it as me because I was unrecognisable. I feel it can be used for awareness of people with mental issues and the homeless as well. What’s actually happening with the film? I think Tom is going to send it next year to a festival. I hope he will get this awareness out there so that people can see what’s actually going on in the world. 
From a Raed Abbass film

Have you had any other lead roles to date? Yes, when I was on Vampire Resurrection I met Malcolm Benson and he offered me a part in one of his films, ‘Return of the Don,’ without me knowing that it was actually the lead role. It was very good on set and professional. I worked with Malcolm, Amanda Lara Kay and Lucien Morgan who I’ve worked with three times now. It’s going to be shown next year on the IMAX screens. You can check out the Return of the Don page on Facebook and Twitter.

One film I love is, ‘The Morning Star.’ It really shows your potential. How did you feel as you were playing the devil? Yes, Azeem Mustafa- Bebop films. I actually remember him saying that he had it on his desktop but he didn’t have no-one to play the devil, Lucifer. When he sent it to me I said, actually I like the script but because I always play bad guys, could I play God and he said. ‘No, I have you down to play the devil.’ So I looked at the script again and thought: this is a good story that needs to be told. A lot of people saw it and said it was my best performance so it worked and was a good choice. I played it as a businessman- this is my organisation and this is the way I run things. You were putting forward very challenging questions. Has this made you think more about the subject? Yes, obviously when you think about God and the devil, you think of the way God sees things. I thought it was very intelligent- the way the devil was trying to justify his actions by saying that man was meant to be ignorant of what was going on around him; the devil opened their eyes and now man’s been able to conquer, to split the atom, go to the moon through technology. He’s actually advanced more than he would have if he was left in his original state. I thought it was interesting- what God and the devil was presenting so it is quite challenging. You know, I’m going through the list- werewolves, vampires, the devil- I just need to play God now, balance it up now!

You’re currently involved with another of Azeem’s projects. Would you like to speak about Battle Creek Hackney? Non-budget Marshall Arts film- Yes! It’s been mad. We did the film and people keep in-boxing us because they want to be part of the film just by seeing screenshots and pictures on Facebook or Instagram. Now it’s snowballing into one crazy effect and everyone wants to be involved in Battle Creek Hackney.  We’ve got Guy Barnes who’s doing the soundtrack and he’s playing the bad guy. There’s Wilfred Tah the talented mad Marshall Art guy called ‘The Wolf,’ and  Kamran Kam playing Rakib. Yeah, the list is building with Fiz (Feizal Mowlabocus,) Lobna Futers and Richard Gething. People are just doing loads of social networking and people who have seen it are joining in.
 Is it one of the most fun films you’ve worked on? It’s one of the most physical films, definitely! You’ve got to keep punching people! It’s not like The Morning Star, that was dialogue driven; but this was repeating a punch, a kick, a backwards spin and it does get physically draining. Azeem knows how to do his action films. If he says, ‘that punch is not selling, that kick is not selling,’ then you’ve got to do it again and it doesn’t matter if it’s seven takes or seventy takes. When Bruce Lee did the Game of Death for the nungchucka scene that only lasts a few seconds, he did 144 takes. I think it was filmed in Thailand and it was so hot the cameras were overheating. But the man loved his art so much it was crazy; so if Azeem says you’ve got to do another one- you’ve got to do another one.


I know you have said you wouldn’t want to be in a soap, why’s that?  It’s good and good pay, but I would only like to be in one as an extra to see how things are behind the camera because I do stuff behind the camera as well; in fact I’m working on my film 'Metamorphosis' at the moment. It’s been said, big actors who have been in feature films can go into soaps- I think, Ian McKellen from Lord of The Rings, he went into Coronation Street, but it has never been done where a soap star has gone on to the big screen. I think if I end up in a soap then I’ll be playing the same role for five, ten or even twenty five years. I like to play different characters so that opportunity would be completely gone but I did have a part as an extra in ‘Humans.’

Are there any particular films styles you would like to do? I’m a fan of Westerns, Sci-Fi’s, Sword and Sandals- the list could go on forever. I like Tim Burton’s stuff and James Cameron. Sometimes he waits a few years before he releases his stuff like the gap between Terminator and Avatar, but he comes back with a big bang- something original, and I did like Avatar, the Abyss and the way he directed Aliens.


So how do you see yourself and your career developing? Hopefully stay as original as possible and give the audience something original rather than the same manufactured actors that are just rolling off and out in front of the screen. I believe there is an audience for me so I’m just going to keep going for it non-stop. Keep socialising, keep networking and eventually make it. Last year I did a commercial for Bollywood so for now, stay in the UK, but the next steps are Asia and America, and of course I'm busy working on Metamorphosis!

Big thanks to Paul Van Beaumont for giving us a great incite into both his background, career and aspirations.

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create your desired image. itsbraap@live.co.uk


Monday, 16 November 2015

The Morning Star - Short Film~ ITS BRAAP REVIEW/ ANALYSIS



The Morning Star Film Review - LOOK OUT FOR:

Interview with actor Paul Van Beaumont coming SOON!
~ 'Billboard Perfect'  POEM based on a portrait of Paul Van Beaumont by German Zwanik

‘The Morning Star,’ – is definitely the thinking man’s gem of a film; written and produced by Azeem Mustafa, BeBop films. Having an inquisitive mind I was always a pain in Sunday school so it’s interesting to witness some similar ideas surfacing here in this ‘head to head’ between God and the Devil/Lucifer. I have to say that many key ideas are covered in a short space of time keeping you mentally attuned.
I really like the way both lead characters are played; in fact the film is extremely well acted and I applaud the concept. The laid back approach by Adrian Annis playing God is a brilliant contrast to Paul Van Beaumont’s modern take on the devil, whom he portrayed as a very astute businessman clearly with a schedule to adhere to! Lucifer appears to have the sharpest wit and seems in control of the situation, attacking God and putting him almost on the defensive- but not quite! The devil uses artful tactics that ultimately blame God for putting him in the position of dishing the dirt: ‘I am a soldier of a war I never got drafted into to... you drafted me, you made the first move.’ I feel like saying, ‘aint that the truth,’ because evil came from somewhere and man is made in God’s image which is reflected when we are angry, jealous or display other undesirable qualities.  When you think about it, good and evil are two sides of the same coin- a dual polarity and that is a fact of life.

Playing out these mind games with a chess set whilst their power is seen to control an innocent looking young lady (Skyrah Palli) works well, demonstrating the point of supernatural influences. The Morning Star works well as a conversation piece and also encourages to people think through a number of points and form their own opinions. The big question posed at the conclusion of the film is- why did God create everything in the first place? The answer given here is that God was lonely. I think this is partly right but equally, what good is power if you have no way of using it? Can you imagine how frustrated God would have become- or maybe already was prior to His creations- The Hulk times mega zillions! As Lucifer says,‘Perfection is boring and Paradise, over-rated.’ To me this is a great reflection of the truth because it is life’s challenges that make a man and paradise is partly on earth anyway- we just need greater awareness!

I have watched this film several times as it is challenging and enjoyable and am looking forward to Azeem's next film, 'Battle Creek Hackney' which will be released next year.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 40- Thanks for Vulnerability!

I GIVE THANKS FOR VULNERABILITY
When you think about it, we are usually taught to focus on what we perceive as our strengths and use these to the best of our ability. This is great advice and should help us make good progress in life, but if we really desire self-fulfilment we need to be open to areas of vulnerability. These areas could be regarded as the weak links in the chain so it is important to identify what makes us feel vulnerable- how do we actually feel?

 Vulnerability can take many forms. We might feel exposed, taken advantage of, un-necessarily angry or develop nervous habits or addictions. If you have a feeling that makes you uncomfortable it is basically highlighting an area of vulnerability that would benefit from some attention. This might be something you have never considered. What we should aim for is to feel comfortable most of the time which means we have more self control – not quite the same as choosing to do things outside our comfort zone in order to stretch ourselves and grow.

Let’s consider anger. It is possible that an angry person might be seen as strong because of their impact on others. But anger is basically a form of defence which replaces the ability to hold a reasonable conversation. Anger is a very basic level of communication and cannot be misconstrued. The other side of this coin is the weaker person who feels threatened by the anger. Neither of these people are in a good place as we basically have an aggressor and a victim, both unhealthy positions to occupy.

So how can we make changes? Once you have identified your vulnerabilities it’s time to do something about them. Usually we need to visit our past. Every feeling we have has roots and until you find out what’s causing the problem you will only ever be able to deal with the symptoms. Sometimes dealing with symptoms will prove sufficient to help you bluff your way through life until your new behaviour starts to feel so good that you actually embrace it; but to know the cause enables true healing. The nature/nurture argument inevitably kicks in here and whilst declining this debate, both may have an impact upon our behaviour, habits, thinking patterns, pre-conceptions and so forth. The way we relate to others is based almost entirely upon our own agenda and experiences. As we go through life and experiment in different scenarios we have expectations as to the probable outcome. We find ways to cope and protect ourselves. This is good until we meet someone who comes from a totally different environment or perspective. It is impossible to visualize yourself in another person’s shoes, so we need to understand ourselves. When we can see how something might impact on another person, we are able to adjust our approach to ease the situation whilst remaining strong.

The best thing about this is that as we overcome our vulnerabilities we become much stronger. The expectations we have will change and we become more deserving of experiences we desire. To clarify this point, think about the huge number of people who are afraid of public speaking. If you are talented in any field you might be required to address large groups as you climb the ladder. If you are generally just nervous a course in public speaking may really assist you however, if your fear is a result of being bullied or abused you might have been made to feel insignificant or even stupid. People who have suffered in this way will need more in-depth help and might need to take a different approach based on valuing themselves.

I have come to realise how important it is to embrace vulnerability and instigate change. You really can move on from the old you and become a much more confident, competent person. This will not happen over- night and we may need to revisit some of the lessons because our vulnerabilities can be over-ridden but not always obliterated. Every change takes time and practice. When you sort one thing out you may become aware of another- brilliant- Personal progression means you are very much alive!

Jaz McKenzie
Professional Writer/ Word Magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Friday, 30 October 2015

'FOR THE LOVE'~ Review of Layne Tadesse's fresh new EP!



Tadesse's EP, ‘For The Love’ looks set to fly off the shelves or should I say up countless internet charts! Layne is a very exciting artist who sings with energy and conviction, deserving of the title, ‘groundbreaking.’
Having come from a war zone, Eritrea (East Africa,) Layne has clearly benefitted from making a new life in Southern California. This diverse journey has clearly given Layne a sound musical education that may not have been available to him otherwise. Reggae music is Layne’s original soul food however he is extremely talented and absorbed a range of popular musical styles throughout his journey, allowing their influence to permeate his songs- clearly a musical sponge.



Layne is one of the few lesser-known artists I have come across who really understands how to sell messages in a highly commercial way. As executive producer of his EP, Layne is clearly in touch with his roots whilst experimenting successfully using different types of musical fusions. All tracks on. ‘For The Love,’ are recorded to such a professional standard they can easily drop next to the likes of Wyclef, Sean Paul and other popular contemporary artists.  Interestingly, tracks such as ‘Ghetto Corner’ and ‘For The Love’ (FT Keznamdi) are ‘fresh’ yet remain sufficiently authentic to play beside the Reggae greats. These songs are both musically and lyrically sound with Layne speaking of life’s constant struggles and plights which are an essential part of not only Reggae but also Blues, Negro Spirituals and more recently Hip Hop.

Speaking of Hip Hop, I found, ‘Take A Ride’ (Ft Jon Doe & Kai Lovejoy) fascinating, working from an underlying Reggae beat with very American overtones throughout; accentuated by a few bars of extremely good rap. Somehow Layne projects a very raw, hypnotic tone drawing you deep into the tune. My view: this track is clearly commercial from the subject matter alone!


In summary, each of the five tracks are highly individual and are all top quality productions, with most containing serious messages- I’ll leave you to check out ‘Rain’ and ‘For the Love,’ whilst I finish with a comment about track #2. ‘Let It Burn’ is very firey and I can see the likes of Shakira avidly winding those hips-now you know exactly which rhythm we’re talking about and why you really should check out this talented, diverse and highly creative artist.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Personal poetry and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Monday, 26 October 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 39- Thanks for good memories

I GIVE THANKS FOR GOOD MEMORIES
It is so easy to automatically think of good memories and this really is a blessing. One of the greatest joys pertaining to memories is that they cost nothing to accumulate. We actually possess the ability to dedicate every good experience we have to memory although we rarely do so! I think one of the tricks is trying to see the extraordinary in an everyday situation and do this from time to time. I demonstrated this last week in regards to magpies who, incidentally, I am still seeing daily on an individual basis- Extraordinary! Having shared this blog I now have some additional memories associated with it because this is how the law of attraction works- put something in your aura and it snowballs.

Many radio show quizzes are memory related: ‘In which year was this song a hit?’ People ring in and invariably associate the music with a special memory or milestone in their lives. My boss finds it strange that I cannot remember which year I achieved my childcare qualification having spent two years studying for it- I said, ‘that’s not exactly interesting but I do remember seeing Lenny Kravitz at his show in Brixton, 2005! To be fair, I am not known for having an excellent memory: names, faces, places- I really do need to work at this!!! The good thing is that I’ve been like it all my life so lack of memory does not worry me. The times over the years my Mum has said- do you remember when we went to so & so- the answer’s almost always NO!

Another set of memories that are highly significant go under the banner, ‘first experiences.’ Most Mum’s remember their baby’s first steps- pass on that one LOL, but I will try to commit my Granddaughter’s steps to memory as they were taken recently- although having missed the actual event I witnessed her wobble in a rush across the living room floor for the first time a couple of weeks back. Nowadays if you’re quick you can catch your memories and add to your phone videos.

There are times in our lives when memories become really significant. Sharing stories with friends and having a good laugh is guaranteed to add to the joy of a social occasion and people frequently trot out the same old ones- embarrassing moments are probably at the top of the list! Our memories are so personal they literally become a part of us and really do form the backdrop to our lives. Of course, when we lose our loved ones whether through distance, separation, illness- worst of all death, those memories become even more poignant and may be a huge comfort. Everything associated with a memory becomes precious or even painful depending on the situation. We need to learn what to take with us and what to let go of for our emotional well-being. ‘Memories... of the way we were,’ is a particular beautiful song as is ‘Memories,’ from the musical, ‘Cats.’ The power of our memories cannot be measured and the way in which we view them is likely to colour the present- misty, water colour memories is a highly artistic description and almost matches my experience on the Catamaran because that will dim to a hazy holiday memory as time passes: right now it’s a pretty rich experience.

It’s a good idea to keep journals and that way you will discover all sorts of things you have forgotten about- of course, those teenage journals may prove embarrassing but that’s just part of life! Writing a journal requires discipline and I only achieved this once for a couple of years many years ago. If you do manage to write regularly you will be able to track your personal development which will prove interesting.

Well, let’s raise our glasses to happy memories and many more exciting and worthwhile experiences- Live life to the max and enjoy!

Jaz McKenzie
Professional Writer/ Word Magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Give Thanks~ Feel Joyful Week 38- Magpies!!

I GIVE THANKS FOR MAGPIES

Here's a subject you weren't expecting! It’s a strange thing, everytime I walk across Tooting Bec Common I see a magpie. Unusually, on every occasion this week I have seen just one and when I looked out of my window a few seconds ago, one magpie was strolling across a shed roof. In the past, one magpie has remained solitary for a minute or two before being joined by more magpies however recently this has ceased to happen. As I am currently tuning into the signs nature presents and thinking about their meaning in my life, I took this as a clear indication for consideration.

Society is full of superstitions and old wives tales which affect our beliefs and behaviours. I have blogged magpies previously as an example of my refusal to believe in such superstitions- I’ll have to read that again later! (Link) My current thinking is that an element of common sense may lie in some beliefs however others were initially manufactured for whatever reason!

Back to magpies- one for sorrow, two for joy! I do not believe that seeing one magpie will bring sadness and two magpies brings happiness. We decide how we approach each day and need to take control of our moods and circumstances, making the most of everything and uplifting ourselves in a bid to feel supremely happy.

One magpie- well, let’s consider the magpie! A magnificent bird, quite austere, whose black and white feathers are guaranteed to catch your eye. Black and white: be non- discriminatory and highly focused as grey areas could cloud your judgement. Magpies always seem purposeful, stopping temporarily to peck at the ground before cocking their heads and hopping or flying away. They are not the kind of bird I notice sitting around on a branch. Maybe that’s just me but I think of magpies primarily as active creatures- another good trait. According to folklore magpies are attracted to shiny objects. I haven’t seen a magpie carrying shiny objects but as this jumped into my mind I’ll assume the key point is to keep my eyes on the prize.

A solitary magpie- I believe the main lesson is to be complete within yourself. We are here to serve ourselves and our life purpose- the true meaning of self-service! We act as individuals within our communities and the universe as a whole. 

Being a bird, a magpie cannot over-think life, instead he sticks to the programme and these lessons in simplicity are helpful to me. It is not easy to ‘allow’ life. Instead of going with the flow we can complicate matters and paddle upstream for a bit instead of having the easier ride the universe has planned for us. Now, this is not about choosing the easy options and failing to take risks, it’s about failing to trust gut instinct and ignoring the signs.

I haven’t researched magpies as I’m literally following my thought process to see what lessons need to be conveyed and have concluded that I am following the right path in the right space and place in time- love that saying! The solo magpies are acting as an acknowledgement and a reminder of the importance of self and self-fulfilment. Partners and partnerships are great however we must never put the responsibility for our happiness or progress on someone else’s shoulders. Live for today, give thanks and give the best of yourself, all manner of good will follow!

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more: itsbraap@live.co.uk