Thursday, 30 April 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful- WK 16- GREAT Thoughts!


I GIVE THANKS FOR GREAT THOUGHTS

This title might sound a little odd however we really need to give thanks for the great thoughts that we have.

How do we define great thoughts?
This is an 'easy to answer' question. Great thoughts create a feeling of excitement within which stimulates our minds, causing us to focus on these thoughts in a positive way: creating the desire to spring into action. Actions reinforce the will to achieve and when we are properly stimulated we know we are alive! Great thoughts rocket us towards our true potential.

Great thoughts make the most of time. When you think about it, time keeps rolling and our thoughts keep rolling- the estimated number of thoughts we humans have per day is huge, between 12K-50k. An enormous band width and presumably personality will help determine where in the spectrum you lie. Geniuses and worriers are probably towards the top end of the scale whereas totally chilled out people are likely to live in the moment and think less. Having listened to Will-I-Am, I am sure his mind never rests and he would be on 50K+!

The art of thought control is something that many of us have grown up completely unaware of- beyond the common phrase, ‘think about something else’- used when we are sad. If we had tuned into that on a deep level we would realise that the power to control our thoughts lies within our minds. It is something we can take control of rather than allowing our thoughts to control us.

Thoughts control emotions therefore good thoughts create good emotions and life is great. The reverse is also true. This is why we are always advised to hang out with people who have positive attitudes. How can you feel good in the company of people who moan, complain, never see the good in anything and enjoy holding on to the bad things in life? We can train our minds towards positive thinking and the more positive thoughts we think the easier it becomes to think them more often. The art is not in trying to ban negative thoughts but in acknowledging them and allowing them to slip away without giving them credence. Not all thoughts need to be validated through speech!

I would recommend using great thoughts. A kind thought is a great thought and can brighten someone’s day. These thoughts we know as compliments. They cost nothing but need to be genuine in order to be effective. Great thoughts tend to be centred on achievements, sentiments and exciting experiences. Great thoughts from the past are referred to as great memories and these can help you through tough times such as bereavement. Great thoughts about the future are dreams and visions- these encourage our aspirations. Great thoughts in the present are the optimum in mindfulness- you are in the right place at the right time fully appreciating life. Mindfulness is the root of inspiration.

How can we differentiate a great thought from a poor thought?
Thoughts create feelings. Great thoughts bring on a sense of lightness, freedom, relaxation and they empower you. Poor thoughts are the total opposite leaving you feeling heavy, tense, stressed and powerless. They sap your energy and put you in a weak position. Sometimes this weakness creates undesirable behaviour in people who will try to influence others in order to empower themselves. People who think great thoughts tend to encourage others and are not filled with greed, jealousy and envy.

Final thought: most of us have heard the phrase, ‘you are what you eat’ so let’s update that to, ‘you are who you think you are!’ Beware and be mindful of your mind.

Jaz McKenzie

Need an excellent bio, review or written web content? Contact itsbraap@live.co.uk

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

KAFINAL set to chill with Jaz McKenzie & DJ Freestyle this Sunday! Be there!


Canadian Reggae artists Kafinal is paying a flying visit to the UK this week! We are thrilled that he has scheduled time to pop into Buffaloo Studios this Sunday with Diania Elliot Tomlin Perkins, founder of Music Media Management. Kafinal will be live on air during our programme The Chill Out Zone, bringing a fresh sunny Canadian vibe with him. Tune into Buffaloo Radio 6-9pm BST

Kafinal is currently experiencing success with his chart topping single 'Nah Complain,' ft Reggae great, Daddy U-Roy. We have been playing this tune for quite some while and just love it! Sunday is definitely a great opportunity for you to discover more about Kafinal The Artist, We have been very blessed with regard to Canadian Reggae having recently interviewed Visionary. In view of this, particularly Visionary's book, 'The Hidden Agenda of Reggae Music, I am keen to discover Kafinal's musical journey and what type of obstacles he has faced. Ambition always encompasses challenges and only the determined succeed!

Let's finish with a word from Kafinal, 'i'm totally excited Jaz McKenzie can't wait to chill out in the zone and enjoy the vibe with you and your great listeners.' 

Jaz McKenzie

Need bio's, reviews, website content? Contact Itsbraap@live.co.uk

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

BRITAIN'S GOT REGGAE ~ 100% PROOF!!


FACT: BRITAIN'S GOT REGGAE ~ EXTREMELY GOOD REGGAE!!! 

Thursday night was a fantastic example of talent currently within the UK Reggae scene. There are many artists trying to break into this closely knit industry, all with their own fan bases yet it is hard for them to make an impact. Hootananny, Brixton hosted the newest reggae talent competition in London, organised by City Link-Up, and we were treated to some quality acts all with very different styles.
Photo by Lindsay Donald

Emiliyah by Lindsay Donald
What I particularly like about this competition is that the artists are pre-selected having submitted examples of their work, and allowed to perform three songs instead of the more usual one. This allows the audience time to get a real feel for the artists and by the same token, the panel of judges; comprised of well known industry names. Included are- Cecil Rueben who has turned the Hootananny into a proper Reggae platform, Lover's Rock artist Audrey Scott and Chris Goldfinger, famous BBC Radio 1 DJ. Three songs allows ample opportunity to judge all aspects from performance to vocal skills.


Why Britain's Got Reggae?
There are two reasons Cyrlene Braithwaite created Britain's Got Reggae. The first is to acknowledge talented artists here in the UK, providing them with a first class competition. Equally important is Cyrlene's desire to raise awareness of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust and encourage people from these ethnic groups to become doners as there is an acute shortage, especially compared with caucasian doners. This is a very serious cause which requires more media coverage.

The competition itself was highly competitive. The SG's opened the proceedings and gave a great performance to start the night. Performers were backed by Maximum Heights Band who excelled having had little rehearsal time and all the tracks to learn! Emilyah's powerful vocals rang out across the venue and her performance was strong. Emiliyah was happy with the judges comments, particularly that their favourite song was actually written by her!

J Sealy's track, 'Turn on the lights' was well received by all judges and has a great contemporary flavour. Personally I enjoyed all three of his tracks and would love to hear more from him.

Jah Marnyah, from Leicester, appeared to be hosting his own show and used every trick in the book, I couldn't believe it when he called the Birthday Girl up on stage- I wonder how pre-staged this was! He had a couple of dances with her to get the audience going. I must say that the one thing I did not agree with was the way DJ 5ive O really bigged up Jah Marnyah prior to his performance and was very pleased to hear constructive criticism from the judges who acknowledged his showmanship expertise and were a little less impressed with his vocals (sounded good to me!). I felt this was unfair to the other possibly less experienced competitors.



Shishco BoB, accompanied by 13K (Urban Delight Ent, artists) rounded of the night with such a high energy performance had they been wired to the sound system it would have blown! As Cecil Reuben commented, Shishco BoB has more of a DJ vocal so clearly he was unable to gain some crucial points compared to the other competitors- in that case to have entered the heats just shows the calibre of these R.A.W. Family artists (members of the R.A.W. Family, JA)

Now I'm sure you would like to know the result: Jah Marnyah was the winner and Emiliyah drew the wild card, being saved by judge Donna Rhoden and automatically going into the semi-final round.

If you would like to support Reggae, join the Britain's Got Reggae pages- check out the video's and come along to the next heat: 9th July. If you would like to be considered as a competitor, the last entry date is 31st May 2015- so jump to it!

Jaz McKenzie 

Bio's, Reviews, articles & poetry. Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk  

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 15- Soul mates



I GIVE THANKS FOR MY SOUL MATES

On the whole, there is a general perception that we all have a soul mate who is perfect for us, who will love and support us through thick and thin. Society encourages this ideal and often we consciously seek that person, anticipating marriage or an exclusive relationship once we have found them. I find this idea of one soul mate per person a very challenging notion.

There are millions of people in this world so it’s unrealistic to imagine that out of all these millions there is only one soul mate for each of us. That would make the odds of finding your soul mate far greater than the odds of winning the lottery! So take a step back and consider, how do we form friendships and would our ‘ideal’ person fit well into our current lifestyle- or maybe you are craving a different lifestyle based around your soul mate?

We are all individual; a miracle in itself and there are sets of characteristics we have inherited that create our personalities, appealing to some and repelling others. One of the fundamental differences regarding personality is whether we hold a positive or negative outlook on life. What we give out we attract back, so if you spend all your time complaining a positive person will quickly lose interest in you. There is little chance of finding an identical match however we can find the perfect match for our personality and that person will usually have the same values and overall regard for life. The ideal relationship will encompass elements of difference because we need balance; we need someone whose strengths compliment our weaknesses and visa versa. 

Regarding personal soul mates, I have discovered a certain vibration in two or three people that is clearly the same vibration I’m wired into. This is hard to explain and I didn’t have any awareness of it prior to about five years ago. I suddenly discovered this type of connection and once you feel it you know it! Interestingly, I haven’t discovered the exact same vibration with women to date but there are women who I connect with at some levels very strongly. All these connections serve to empower us as individuals but not necessarily as part of ‘an item!’ Another reason that backs up my belief that we all have multiple soul mates is that people can be widowed and go on to have a second relationship which is just as fulfilling as the first. The relationships are likely to be totally unlike each other as different people compliment different aspects of our character.

With the introduction of the internet we can easily find soul mates across the globe. We might not meet them in person however the depth of connection can prove invaluable and fulfil an important role in our lives. When we connect strongly with others we have their support on the level needed which in itself is a great motivator and distance is unimportant.

As you see, I take a very open approach to the term soul mates- maybe now is the time to research another phrase I stumbled across, ‘Twin Flames!’ I have concluded that there are many people we can have an exclusive relationship with. We need to have a clear idea of the type of person we want and be prepared to be realistic once that person comes along. All relationships take a great deal of working out, especially after the initial excitement wears off, but once you have a great relationship it really is worth making the extra effort.


Jaz McKenzie

German Zwanik- Portraits tell a story!

German Zwanik is an extremely talented and quite brilliant artist who paints in many styles and injects personal insights and modern concepts into his work. Below are two of his unique portraits and a link to his page so you can gain a full appreciation.


Portrait of a singer Viktorija Faith by German Zwanik~ ' When i paint women , i'm not interested in showing a pretty face, a beautiful girl on the catwalk or in the street, I want to show the talent and the communication with the outside world, the deep feelings and inspiration, also the pain, the emotions and everything that makes us human beings ... the imperfections ......? that I considered perfect for the art' GZ


Carissa Arputham~ Lawyer


I love the way the German makes the subject stand out and the facial expressions tell a story!

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 10 April 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK14 - Celebrations!


I GIVE THANKS FOR CELEBRATIONS
Life needs to be fun and celebrations create opportunities for even more fun! All religions seem to share certain elements- prayer and fasting being obvious examples, and equally they have joyous periods set aside for celebration.

Celebrations create a buzz in us and an opportunity to be extravagant. These days many people tend to take this to the extreme, especially in the ‘present buying’ department, however it is a great thing to love and appreciate ourselves and others. Celebrations can provide good opportunities for people to bond as families- equally they can create further divisions.

We need to be able to identify who we are and what we regard as important. Celebrations and ceremonies become very much a part of our personal make-up and give us something to look forward to in our daily lives. Many celebrations stem from institutional/religious practice- marriage being a prime example. People may choose to marry quietly however weddings are generally large occasions and designed to be memorable- the best day of a woman’s life! And of course, celebrations are essential to status and economy!

Once you have children celebrations take on a life of their own. Birthday parties can be enjoyable or a parental nightmare but that is dependent upon your child’s expectations. If you embrace peer pressure and are competitive, providing outstanding parties might be a personal highlight- phew, am I glad my kids are now adults! These days we have baby showers as well as hen nights, not just Mothering Sunday but Father’s day and I have even heard mention of Grandparent days.

Of course there are many different types of celebration. The Olympics is a huge celebration of human physical achievement encompassing physical and mental attributes. Discipline is essential when aiming to achieve any goal. We have celebratory days encompassing educational aims and achievements- Black History Month is a prime example; we also celebrate individual achievements- passing a driving test, getting a new job, buying or renting a nice home.

Celebrations keep the spirit buoyant and cause to celebrate is a great motivator. Society sets certain standards and we are encouraged to comply. School exams, beauty pageants set so called desirable traits or levels of learning- how useful these skills prove to be is determined by individual attitudes and opportunities.

Where would we be if all of our achievements slipped past un-noticed? Life would be very flat indeed, so let’s keep finding great reasons to enjoy ourselves and create a long list of accomplishments!


Jaz McKenzie

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I Have A Dream- Poem by Andrea Pinkey Ferguson


I HAVE A DREAM

I have a dream- I think too much and do not dream.
I know that life is not always how it seems.
A dark crevices of thoughts,
For not everyone can understand this pain in my heart.
Dabbled with fear, sweat, blood and tears.
There are moments when I long for someone
To tell me what I want to hear.

To this standard of living I had unwillingly adhered.
This path of substantial living I had not chosen.
I give no care. I have struggled through the years,
Endlessly toiling but getting nowhere.
Hoping for a better life I do not dare.
The color of my skin is where my suffering begin.

Like a thunderbolt of lightning started the beginning of my origin
The creator you see, thought my skin was so beautiful, was so pretty.
My struggles I wonder did HE had the foresight to see?
Numerous plights and flights that lead to my ancestors
Fleeing in the dead of night, to be whipped and dehumanised,
Was this alright?

A history of past and present events.
To my sorrows I give a voice because now I have the right to vent
A pitiful future not looking at all bright.
When do we get tired for our rights to fight?
A black destiny sure does not appear at all friendly
For society see most black people as an ancient enemy

What’s more, the color of my skin does not open many doors.
I think too much, my anger I implore.
For eternity this injustice I seems to endure
I do not dream for my reality is what it seem...
If only we could learn to united and live together
Existing as ‘’one’’ team. Luv Dat

Andrea Pinkey Ferguson

Big Thank you to Andrea for sharing her work and click for more information about Luv Dat Poems

Jaz McKenzie