Sunday, 31 July 2016

What a beautiful, bright art exhibition! Tim Stocks work exhibited in London



Tim Stocks exhibition at Maida Hill Place, off the Harrow Road. July 2016
When you go to a Tim Stocks art exhibition you leave feeling very cheerful! Tim manages to create a buzz with his work, the colours positively vibrant and bouncing off one another I’ve no doubt!

Tim’s work is extremely distinctive and he has the capacity to tackle politically sensitive subjects by putting a spin on them. Here we have a homeless young man with his dog. An everyday occurrence in London really and you would probably walk past him. Tim takes a very alternative approach and literally turns the lad into a celebrity whom you wouldn’t dream of by-passing, giving him the type of jacket a rock star would wear. This really makes you take a look at the picture and hopefully reflect on the young man’s situation.



Refugees
Must mention that I appreciate the way Tim is displaying the original photo’s that have inspired his work and giving brief descriptions to help us get a better sense of importance. I particularly liked the refugees and young Dylan- a seventeen year old who committed suicide for no known reason. Tim clearly feels a connection with people’s plights however he has many different sides. I love the pervey skate- boarder- Tim’s humour really comes through and the guy is definitely sexy!

L.S. Lowry
Tim is very well travelled and has painted many different places, bringing definition and clarity to them. He has also painted many famous figures such as Winston Churchill, L. S. Lowry and many more besides. I think it would be nice to share the opinion of one visitor to the exhibition- Ian, and allow him to further define Tim’s work:


‘I love it, I think it’s fantastic. I could say I like it because of the colour, also the drawing- it’s very naïve, angular and powerful. The colour’s very bright it’s a wonderful contrast. When I look at the pictures I can see beautiful contrast between blue, yellow and red. They’re all very well balanced and there’s no mud in these pictures, it’s all primary colours.  Everything about Tim’s work is strong. The drawing is very well observed even though it’s naïve- he’s got all the details in. I think it’s just marvellous stuff and I think there are a lot of people in the Royal Academy who could come here and get a lesson from Tim about being honest in their work.' ~ Thanks Ian.

Tribute to Dylan
I will shortly be bringing you an interview with Tim which is extremely interesting- I guess interesting is what we expect from the mind of an artist! In the meantime you can see more of Tim's work on his Facebook Page
 
Tim is not afraid!
Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Emaail: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

SERIES: Flying With Mozez- If There Ain't No Love


A place called home:

I ‘ve been to London
I’ve been to Rome
Hoping to make this stop my home
San Francisco, Hollywood.
But if there ain’t no love, then it ain’t no good

I love these lyrics. At first glance we might just think that Mozez is trotting round the globe looking for love, which, in a way he is, but I read a much deeper meaning into this song.

We have freedom and if we have money we can go abroad and mingle with many different types of people. If we prefer, we can stay at home and still mingle with people of different cultures, different ways of thinking and so forth. Where life partners are concerned, most of us have firm ideas about the types of people we would like to fall in love with however until you love yourself you can never be 100% happy even with a great person. Sometimes we have to look inwards before we look outwards.

It must be great fun travelling across different continents but unless we are inwardly happy we will always feel dis-satisfied. We should put our focus on living for ourselves and satisfy our exclusive needs, if not, we will be globe-trotting forever metaphorically speaking. If there ain’t no love it ain’t no good. If we want a loving relationship to last it must have a firm foundation and be tended to carefully rather than disappear within the everyday mist life can throw over it.

Society encourages us to keep busy and join the rat-race. We are encouraged to live online, share our lives, our feelings, our pictures- however when doing so where do we find time to spend strictly on ourselves? We are bombarded in news feeds with things we prefer not to see- for instance, I was horrified when a decapitated head popped up in my newsfeed yesterday- and let’s not forget bloodied animals, disfigured children etc. You can still express anger without doing so in such a brutal manner forcing other people to see these horrendous images. Cruel and brutal events rock our peaceful state of mind as do all of the atrocities the world has been experiencing recently. Sometimes it actually seems as if love is limited within the world however we know that love is limitless and the horrors we hear about result from warped egos.

Real love is based on understanding and unity from every perspective- worldly and personal. How can anyone feel at home until they have made peace with themselves? There is a great deal of self -hatred resulting from experiences we may have had no control over. Abuse is a clear example that produces many victims and it is the ‘victim mentally’ that stops us loving ourselves by undermining self-confidence and preventing a good level of self-esteem. Victims tend to side with victims or just repeat the patterns they have become accustomed too- either way, there ain’t no love in oppressive situations, although people often mistake dependency for love, brutality for love and so on.

Mozez song speaks the truth. If there ain’t no love it ain’t no good. This applies to everything in life. In order to help ourselves feel love there is one simple yet challenging thing we can do to enable us to move forwards and that is to look at everyone and every situation through the eyes of love. Very difficult but it is something we can work towards. Instead of being re-active and thinking of how things affect us we could ask ourselves ‘why do I feel this way’ instead. I do not find this easy and can steer off course quickly, but looking through the eyes of love really makes a great default setting where communication and understanding are concerned. It doesn’t mean we should become involved with people who set out to hurt us but this approach empowers us to handle situations better.

I also think we could save ourselves from a great deal of heartache once we gain a feel for love and can recognise it!


Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Email: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Three Exciting Bands~ The Lambeth County Show!


I had such a fantastic time at the Lambeth County Show last weekend- wow seems like forever ago and I’m still vibing! I went along primarily to support the Global Reggae Band who headlined the Village Green stage last Saturday evening.

Awesomeness in action- South London Samba
This year due to my late arrival I did not concern myself with the stalls and incredible displays of sheepdogs, motor bikes etc, instead, heading straight for the Village Green area where I was blessed to arrive towards the beginning of South London Samba’s totally electric performance. This band of drummers stir up a fury of excitement and honestly, I just wanted to go and join them so I could be a part of future moments! It’s hard to describe the fusion of energy and joy these guys create as their music flows under the direction of their leader, switching from one rhythm or beat to the next, picking up volume and pace before subsiding once again. I found myself almost leaping up and down on the bad knee whilst literally drumming out the rhythm on my left leg. Macky Mcpherson of Urban Delight Entertainment always says that Music is the drug with no side effects- I wasn’t on ecstasy but certainly in it! This has to be one of the purest forms of energy I have experienced and my goodness, the band’s stamina was awesome. I’m definitely going to find out more for you all before long.

Lit FM fully blazing their vibes!
Lit FM were up next and these guys delivered! I thought we were going to stick with jazz, which is not my favourite genre, however lead singer Karolina clearly loves her band and music so much she projects energy with a huge smile and Lit FM’s vibes become very infectious. If you like Jazz Funk this is a band to actively seek out as they are busy gigging around the UK. The set was such an interesting mix including guest rappers who are closely associated with the band; and the musicians are so skilled they even delivered some seriously good rock. I love the live brass section and it is great to see this combination of instruments. Karolina played the keyboards for most of the set and her backing singer is a real asset to the band, being a strong singer in her own right whilst getting the balance correct so the harmonies flowed. One particularly lively song we were encouraged to party to was, 'C Minor'- great fun! I am very impressed with Lit FM and plan to follow their progress if possible- could easily see them at major festivals wowing the crowd!

Me with Global Reggae Band
Headline time! Global Reggae Band arrived having experienced a difficult journey driving down from Birmingham- the usual, accidents etc. This meant that they were unable to deliver their set as planned however this did not impact at all upon the crowd’s enjoyment of their performance- which says a great deal about the musical quality Global Reggae Band deliver. Their style is to sing popular songs which people love and can easily join in with. The band has a very laid back style, easy now, and this is most appealing. You know this band just want you to be a part of their performance and have fun; which is probably why they are now in demand! We experienced a mix of classic reggae such as Bob Marley’s ‘ One Drop,’ and some reggae-style soul, Marvin Gaye, ‘Let’s Get it on.’  The band then zoomed into current times – ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ Ed Sheeran, again sounding fantastic on a Reggae beat. GRB Youtube 

Otis Irie- Global Reggae Band
I definitely need to give a special mention to Otis Irie for taking command of the stage and opening with Accapella whilst the band completed their checks. Otis is a natural front man and the original cheeky guy who is going to grab everyone’s attention- dare I say it, especially the ladies! Global Reggae Band literally had the crowd on their feet the entire time and having concluded their performance were unable to meet the crowd’s demands for more due to festival restrictions. This did not stop the people chanting, and resulted in an invitation from the OxJam promoter to perform at their next major event in October.


Have to say, I had an amazing time at the show on Sunday with Fadda Urkle, listening to veteran’s Little Roy and Johnny Clarke who both gave really great performances. Dancehall artist Stylo G was pretty phenomenal too and so on point with his messages, especially encouraging people to live their dreams. For direct feedback check out my interview with Stylo G, appearing twice on the blog for some reason but hey- the man’s worth it!  You can listen to his music here: Call me a Leader 

ALL LINKS HIGLIGHTED

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Email: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Surprise interview! STYLO G ~ who performed at the Lambeth County Show.

with Stylo G following his blazing performance

I thoroughly enjoyed going along to the Lambeth County Show both Saturday and Sunday- more to come on that! Both days proved highly beneficial as I made new contacts however the highlight from every perspective has to be my encounter with Stylo G, thanks to awesome King of Dancehall- Bashment Dancer Fadda Urkle- pictured here are his Happy Socks for the new Happy Days Dance! Fadda Urkle introduced me to Stylo G and I have to big myself up here because Stylo G said, 'I remember you!' and we're talking at least 5 years ago when I met him briefly at the Brixton Splash. I'm thrilled that Stylo G agreed to a mini interview and as he had been performing on a mega hot day I decided to keep it really quick. For that reason I only asked four questions which I regard as relevant to this point in his career, and these are questions that expand in some ways on remarks he made during the performance Stylo G had just given. I will add that his songs and audience rapport created that real blown-away factor being energetic and on point. I think it's also important to say, as we know that artists can get carried away when they become famous, that Stylo G is such a genuinely nice guy and a pleasure to speak with. Huge thanks Stylo G for granting this interview... and I hope to see him perform again before too long.

Dancing Feet of Fadda Urkle
Jaz McKenzie interview with Stylo G:

What’s your greatest inspiration in life? My greatest inspiration is my Dad. My Dad just being a big Reggae Dancehall artist, that’s my inspiration; that’s why I make music because he inspired me to do this. You know, when my Dad passed away I was like no, I need to finish the legacy and that’s my inspiration and I’m going to keep going, keep going, keep going.

Are you surprised by the success you’ve had? Surprised no because coming in this music I know I had to win. If I had to play football I know I’m going to be good at it, so I know I have to master my craft and my aim was to master my craft. My aim was to become the biggest Reggae artist in the UK and I’m getting there slowly but surely, so definitely, yeah!

What advice have you got for kids who are serious about their music? Kids that are serious about their music should take it serious and keep going. You know, just believe in yourself and it will work. That’s it mate, you just have to keep going. It’s like playing football, if you play football you keep at your craft. Just keep working, stay focused and success, you will eventually reach success in the end.

Finally, what’s your sort of ultimate dream? My ultimate dream is for me to live in a big house like Buckingham Palace with me, my Mum, my family, my cousin, everybody in one big house, yeah, family together. That’s my ultimate dream, family together in one big house like the White House or Buckingham Palace.

Huge thanks to Stylo G and one of my dreams;  to interview him in more depth as I'm loving his answers!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician!  Email: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Surprise interview! STYLO G ~ who performed at the Lambeth County Show.

with Stylo G following his blazing performance

I thoroughly enjoyed going along to the Lambeth County Show both Saturday and Sunday- more to come on that! Both days proved highly beneficial as I made new contacts however the highlight from every perspective has to be my encounter with Stylo G, thanks to awesome King of Dancehall- Bashment Dancer Fadda Urkle- pictured here are his Happy Socks for the new Happy Days Dance! Fadda Urkle introduced me to Stylo G and I have to big myself up here because Stylo G said, 'I remember you!' and we're talking at least 5 years ago when I met him briefly at the Brixton Splash. I'm thrilled that Stylo G agreed to a mini interview and as he had been performing on a mega hot day I decided to keep it really quick. For that reason I only asked four questions which I regard as relevant to this point in his career, and these are questions that expand in some ways on remarks he made during the performance Stylo G had just given. I will add that his songs and audience rapport created that real blown-away factor being energetic and on point. I think it's also important to say, as we know that artists can get carried away when they become famous, that Stylo G is such a genuinely nice guy and a pleasure to speak with. Huge thanks Stylo G for granting this interview... and I hope to see him perform again before too long.

Dancing Feet of Fadda Urkle
Jaz McKenzie interview with Stylo G:

What’s your greatest inspiration in life? My greatest inspiration is my Dad. My Dad just being a big Reggae Dancehall artist, that’s my inspiration; that’s why I make music because he inspired me to do this. You know, when my Dad passed away I was like no, I need to finish the legacy and that’s my inspiration and I’m going to keep going, keep going, keep going.

Are you surprised by the success you’ve had? Surprised no because coming in this music I know I had to win. If I had to play football I know I’m going to be good at it, so I know I have to master my craft and my aim was to master my craft. My aim was to become the biggest Reggae artist in the UK and I’m getting there slowly but surely, so definitely, yeah!

What advice have you got for kids who are serious about their music? Kids that are serious about their music should take it serious and keep going. You know, just believe in yourself and it will work. That’s it mate, you just have to keep going. It’s like playing football, if you play football you keep at your craft. Just keep working, stay focused and success, you will eventually reach success in the end.

Finally, what’s your sort of ultimate dream? My ultimate dream is for me to live in a big house like Buckingham Palace with me, my Mum, my family, my cousin, everybody in one big house, yeah, family together. That’s my ultimate dream, family together in one big house like the White House or Buckingham Palace.

Huge thanks to Stylo G and one of my dreams;  to interview him in more depth as I'm loving his answers!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician!  Email: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Fab Art Exhibition Tomorrow!! Catch Tim Stocks Eye-catching Paintings.


Picture: Homeless young man and his dog- with pigeon!

Friday 22nd July 6-9pm
Maida Hill Place
2-4 Fernhead Road W9 3ET

I have been to a Tim Stocks exhibition on one previous occasion and am excited to be viewing his latest collection of artworks. As you can see, Tim has a very distinctive style- very much, 'in your face,' which is somewhat in keeping with Tim's character; not in a rude way, but due to the fact he puts himself out there and you can take it or leave it! Tim's work has been taking off recently and if you like slightly controversial subject matter such as politics or even music, this exhibition will suit you right down to the ground.

I'm planning to be there early so if you're free pop along and meet both Tim and myself! Hope to see you there.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician! Email: itsbraap@live.co.uk


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Acton Carnival 2016~ Megatastic Day Out!



VS Goodchild (in red) with Gee Mansa
If you came along to the Acton Carnival you will have celebrated one of the best days of 2016 with us! The entire event was buzzing, however I spent my day with Life FM and team Urban Delight, so was primarily by the tent where we seriously ‘got it going on!’

Fatha Chalky
Fatha Chalky hit the deck the second the carnival started and, having handed over to Digital Clash with DJ’s Sound Killer and Sweet P, was still going strong at 7pm when closure became compulsory. Big respect- not just for his stamina but also track selection and crowd rapport, Fatha Chalky's focus being on his music and messages of love, unity and joy- let’s just come and have fun- I believe Fatha Chalky really captured the spirit of carnival. All credit to Digital Clash too who churned out a cool selection of hot tracks!

Paul Roasty Life FM
Nahum Beat- Boxing
There were many stalls including art and crafts where I failed to venture, however the eateries were doing brisk trade with people queuing up for their favourite foods including dumpling!. We were next to hot meals and juices- have to hand it to the juice man lol- busy, busy and he had descriptions of the juices in full view- I was attracted to the Golden Goddess- suddenly realising it was actually called Golden Goodness- daaaaaam, the Goddess is so much more enticing however it was an excuse for a giggle. Big up to Mr Juice and thanks for posing for a shot!



It was great to experience the authentic Urban Delight vibe in full swing and I even managed to grab a couple of mini interviews with Peter Evans AKA  Fada Urkle, King of Dancehall- how cool is that- and Reggae artist Norris B; both of whom I met for the first time. When you haven’t been to a team event for a while or if you have never previously seen Urban Delight artists perform, you’re in for a treat. First up was Beat Boxer Nahum Effick who instantly halts the passing foot traffic! His mastery of the art catches everyone’s attention. There’s something captivating about Beat Boxing and Nahum excels at the art; getting whoops of recognition for his talent from the crowd.

Norris B
Next up was Norris B with his cool brand of Lover’s Rock singing about- well... love and relationships primarily however he included food for thought with Jah Jah Love and Ghetto Youths Cry. Being the first person up with a backing track was tough but everything got into gear for Norris’s smooth performance.

Bashment Dancer Fada Urkle
VS Goodchild and Gee Mansa performed a couple of raps for team Urban Delight- they definitely got into their flow and I liked the line about not needing an R Kelly song to confirm you can fly! Pretty awesome twist.


Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell-  what a great name for a potential Lover’s Rock Queen, kicked off with a little accapella, her style, before delivering her debut single recorded with Family Love, ‘Hurting Me.’ Winsome's singing and personality went down an absolute storm, receiving rapturous applause before making her way over to the main stage.

I caught a couple of main stage acts myself and was thrilled to hear Canadian multiple award winning artist Tasha T who deserves every recognition received! I especially loved her song, ‘Walking Dead.’

Tasha T

Soca Kings! ' Empire'

Two acts previously unknown to me on the main stage were Empire- three young guys from Trinidad who sang their modern version of Soca- totally wicked, and a very talented young lady, Kianja who has a very fresh jazzy style but is also very versatile. Definitely someone to watch out for and she informed me that she is currently studying at the Brit school- excellent!

Kianja- Young and Fresh!
I have to say, it’s really good to go to these events and explore new talent, and also to appreciate being part of a really strong team. I'm already looking forward to next year's event- Team Urban Delight will be back!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician.  Email-   itsbraap@live.co.uk

Friday, 8 July 2016

Acton Carnival 2016~ Colourful Live Vibes! Saturday 9th July




The Acton Carnival is set to roll this Saturday, 9th July 12 noon-7pm; following months of behind the scenes preparation, so let’s expect sun and fun!
Tickets- CHEAP!! ~ See press release below for details.

I lived in Acton many moons ago however this is a new event to me and I’m pleased to be invited along as Urban Delight Entertainment’s chief journalist - it’s always a pleasure covering events where Macky McPherson has his excellent team on board.

What’s in store this Saturday? It's a Carnival- and with Acton Carnival's extensive history combined with attention to detail we guarantee that this will be a lively, fun-filled event – even casual shoppers should prepare to be entertained!

Urban Delight Entertainment has been part of many events during the past few years, organising exclusive performances at various clubs around London. On this occasion they will be working in collaboration with Life FM radio to provide an hour's live entertainment- you can catch their artists from 2pm dependent on schedule!

Mainstage acts Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell and J2G

Here's the role call of live performers, all of whom will bring their special vibes to the show:


  • Kofi Dennis (Rnb/Chart/Vocal)
  •  Nahum Effik (Beat Boxer)
  • Vsgodchild (Guest) (Uk Rap)
  • Wordz (Guest) (Uk Rap) 
  • Tco (Guest) Uk Rap)
  • Mr Smashing (Uk Rap)
  • Norris B (Reggae/Vocal)


In addition Urban Delight have two special performances- Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell, one of the UK’s current Lover’s Rock Queens, and highly energised Afro Beats duo J2G who have both impressed the organisers and will be appearing on the main stage. If you like Reggie N Bollie you will love these guys- they're the real deal and will give you original content- same applies to Winsome!

On a personal note, I was very surprised to discover that Acton has held a carnival for over 100 years - isn’t that an achievement! Interestingly the theme this year is Old Town~ New Town so it should prove to be an interesting journey into urban development. Personally I recall next to nothing about Acton so maybe it’s now putting itself firmly on the map!


Press Release~
Date: Saturday 9th July 2016
Time: 12pm - 7pm 

Location: Procession begins at Woodlands Park, travels through Acton High Street and into Acton Park for further celebrations.

Entrance: Tickets £2 per person, or £5 Family Ticket for 2 Adults, 3 children (between ages 12-16), Children Under 12 FREE 

Now in its 14th year of its current manifestation, there has however been an Acton Carnival for well over 100 years. This years theme is ‘Acton old town – new town’, which is an opportunity to reflect on the history of the event and its meaning for Acton people of old and new. The earliest Acton Carnivals also attracted thousands of people who lined the streets to see the costumes and hear the bands play as they took the same route through the High Street as they do today. In those days, the carnival raised funds for worthy causes notably the Acton Hospital.

Preparations are well underway for this years carnival including Main Stage and stalls being set up in Acton Park, Music and dance performances rehearsed and carnival t-shirts prepared for the largest event in the community calendar.

NEW TO THIS YEARS CARNIVAL is the Arts Zone which will feature artwork sales, arts and crafts activities, drama workshops and clay modelling with local sculptor Tim Norris. This has become a family celebratory event that brings diverse communities together to showcase and celebrate together.

The Carnival procession leaves Woodlands Park at 12 noon and travels down Acton High Street and into Acton Park. Here celebrations continue until 7 pm with delicious food from around the globe, activities for all the family, the Old Skool Tent, community stalls, funfair, main stage entertainment and much more.

Organised by Acton Arts Forum, the Acton Carnival Committee and Events Umbrella, supported by Acton Gardens and Acton Ward Forums, Acton Carnival continues to provide a focus for unity in the community.

Its YOUR Carnival, Want to get involved?

If you would like to help out and steward, please call 020 8993 6158 / 020 889 69247 or email rachel@actonforum.org

Jaz McKenzie~ Word Magician!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

SERIES: Flying With Mozez. Mozez speaks about recording with Rapper Mico and other artists


Mozez- you are very spiritually aware and oriented, what type of artist do you choose to work with?
I don’t necessarily have in my head a structure, as in, I like this artist. I think it’s about people who believe in music and have the spirit of music in them- it’s primarily about that. Of course, the company doesn’t have the capacity to do rock music so I can’t do that. Whatever music the artist brings to the table we will try to work with within our structure. I’m not specific about music in that sense but as I said before, if it’s something that we cannot manage we will put the artist on to someone who can enable them to get where they want.

You work with different types of artists and today you are working with Mico who has a very clear vision for his music. In your experience is that an usual thing? It’s unusual because a lot of the artists I work with come in and they don’t have a picture, a vision. That’s because they’re younger artists, so you train them vocally and generally as you see the potential in them develop into an artist. You create the concept of that. With Mico it’s different because Mico has a picture, a very clear picture of how he sees himself in 5 and 10 years time; where he sees his music going and what he wants.

How easy is it for you to work with a more defined artist, specifically Mico? It’s a little more difficult for me because I have to allow- I have to be a person who sits back to allow his music to come through, to enable his ideas to come through. That’s a bit difficult because you have to be patient. You have to curb your natural instinct and allow your own creative ideas to ‘die’ in a way. You have to take a back seat to allow his thing to generate. It’s a process of learning as well- with Mico I can see how he thinks. It’s about seeing how another person thinks and what perks their interest, basically. I do enjoy working with Mico in this way.


Mozez making magic!

Mozez working with Mico

Mico’s coming from quite a learned place really, he’s studied music so he knows what he wants to achieve. Do you have many youngsters who don’t have a musical background but do know what they want from their music? Probably about 70-80 % of artists I work with don’t have what Mico has. They’re fresh and open so they will hear some music, like it and want to do something like that themselves. Those people are generally easier to work with in the sense that you can create something and they will jump with it. Mico has set his direction and everything is tabulated so you have to fit in with what he is doing. Basically, a lot of artists who come my way are primarily open to different ways of doing things because they just want to get there. They want to get to this ‘place’ and want me to help them get there basically.

How do you go about getting ideas for your own music? I listen to a lot of music from other folks because I think it’s important. The point is that you’re not alone and the message doesn’t come to one person, it comes to a lot of people. I pick up different things from so many different bands. At the moment I am listening to a band from New Zealand, Fat Freddy’s Drop, and they are fantastic. I’m also listening to ‘something orchestra,’ can’t remember their name but they’re very, very good. I take ideas from whatever I listen to. Sometimes I get an idea from a dream or from travelling on the road. All of these things boost me with their various forms.

Have you put out a main message on your album, ‘Wings,’ because having listened to it many times it has a huge amount of content? The general essence of Wings itself is that we are born in a world where we have many things happening to us. As I grow older I see so many ways in which things have changed, for example, through the 80’s and 90’s, and change continues now. You realise that things are not, in essence, how you saw the world say twenty years ago compared to how you see it now. People are so caught up with little things that don’t even make sense to me! The idea behind Wings is for people to come to a place where they realise an understanding that everything we have here is very temporary in itself. I’m not trying to preach about anything; what I’m saying is that for us as people to realise where we are as ‘human beings,’ and how we can make what we have here last for some time is extremely important. If you think for instance about how we are damaging the climate, how we are damaging our own lives.

The whole thing I’m driving at is that our lives can be made better and we can make life so much better for our kids and for future generations. We don’t need this ‘big stick’ of the world ending in a nuclear bomb being held over us. I believe that what we decide to make of the future is what it will turn out to be- a self-fulfilling priphecy. When I wrote the album Wings it was against the background of the recession and all we heard everyday on the news was how ‘it’s not been like this,' followed by, ‘what are we going to do about it?’ It’s the whole doomsday thing. But the recession was created by us and everything we create becomes us, so why not try to create something that’s more beautiful for future generations? There’s a fundamental change going on in the minds of the masses. I can see it everywhere. I can see it on Facebook- people are becoming more spiritually aware and more aware from a social perspective. People are more aware that we have the power to change and that only a few guys are making our lives horrible, so we can change, and maybe the internet has helped us understand this. People are more aware of how to live and of the future basically- aware of the power of their lives.

 Numen Records   The Word Magician  Its Braap

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician 'Bringing your story to life.' Email:  itsbraap@live.co.uk

Saturday, 2 July 2016

An introduction to Rocker~ Ghetto Songbird!


A very brief introduction to Samantha Hollis- Ghetto Songbird, whom I met this year when she performed live at the Troubadour Club, London. This will be followed shortly by more in-depth questions- see below!

Hello- This is Ghetto Songbird, Singer, Songwriter, Rock n Roll Guitarist.

Where did it all start? I started at the age of twelve writing poetry and soon evolved into writing songs. I wanted my songs to be heard so I decided that I needed to start doing talent shows and go out and sing. I would use beats like hip hop beats and add my own words because I didn’t have my own music at the time.

How did your music evolve into a career? Eventually I started playing the guitar around 2001 just for fun. I didn’t have any thoughts of going out and playing the guitar in public, but my brother set me up with my first gig when I was just one month into the guitar. That was with a local poet from Philadelphia, Terrell Allen . Next thing I know I got my first gig and it spiralled from there. I was still reluctant to play my guitar in public so I asked a guitarist to play shows with me around the Philadelphia area as well as the New York area . Eventually I came into my own. I started playing my own songs on my guitar and singing all over the United States at famous clubs such as CBGB’s, The Bitter End, Whiskey A Go Go and I’ve played at the Apollo Theatre, I was the first rocker to perform on B.E.T 106 and Park -cable TV and music show, and am still probably the only rocker on that show.  It was great because I was the spotlight artist. Now I’m just trying to spread my wings and take flight to different countries so I'm playing down here in London.

What type of material do you write? I mainly find myself writing a sort of social conscious music because I grew up in North Philly which was pretty much the ghetto of Philadelphia. That's because I would look out my window and see so much drama going on. I kinda absorbed it through writing my songs and playing my guitar, becoming a Rock N Roll singer/songwriter/guitarist.

What has been the most challenging aspect of your career so far? The hardest thing is a simple thing, being a woman doing rock music and being a black woman doing rock music. The genre is not truly open to us and it’s a struggle trying to get ahead and not being sabotaged, not being turned down and told that I can’t do it.

Who do you most admire that has actually made it in the music world? Jimi Hendrix of course, Prince, Nina Simone, B Funk...

What’s your ultimate ambition? It used to be to be a signed artist, but now it’s just to get in my mode wherever and whenever, just delivering the message that was sent to me.


A huge thanks to Ghetto Songbird for taking time to share her humble beginnings with us which I feel sure will encourage many other musicians who are striving to build their careers.

Review of live performance and album.

COMING NEXT TIME: 

  • What personal qualities have you had to work on to undertake this challenging career? 
  • Can you describe in greater detail why you admire Hendrix, Prince, Simone & P-Funk:
  • How do you view Tina Turner?


Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician! itsbraap@live.co.uk