Monday, 31 December 2018

Helicopter Highlight!! Banstead to Bournemoth in a blink.

Peter, Errol, Macky and the Green Bird at a secret location  in Bournemouth!!!
One of my highlights in what has proved to be an interesting and varied year came as a total surprise! It is also a perfect example of how the universe works its magic of synchronicity. Let's start at the beginning.

I usually work Mondays, in fact I hadn't swapped a Monday for the year, when my boss asked if I could take the following Monday off and work Thursday instead. I agreed and was extremely surprised when Macky McPherson, (Urban Delight Entertainment,) asked if I'd like to visit Bournemouth with him the coming Monday- and we'd be travelling by helicopter!! To be honest, I had never really thought much about flying in a helicopter however, it was such an exciting opportunity arriving out of the blue so to speak (!!!) and one not to be missed.

Peter Gilbert, co-owner of Madding Crowd, Bournemouth. supplied the beautiful green helicopter pictured above, to transport Macky, Errol Kennedy (80's group Imagination) and myself to the club for a meeting. Funnily enough the helicopter was stationed only 4 miles up the road from me! Having parked the car, we had to hitch over a fence into the field where the helicopter was waiting- blades busily whirring. Trust me, climbing into this magnificent machine was more of a challenge than hitching the fence!

Stopping to refuel
Liam, our pilot, was very experienced and provided a whole range of information pertaining to flying and helicopters in particular. The key points of interest to me were that it takes 5 minutes for the helicopter to warm up and its tank holds two and a half  hours worth of fuel. Due to the morning's journey prior to take off, not the distance to and from Bournemouth, we needed to refuel, at which point it decided to rain! Poor Liam having to dash out in the wet. The next point of interest, which I hadn't thought about, is that most helicopters can't fly in the dark- no route markings guys or lighting across such a vast expanse of sky. One very reassuring point was that Liam runs his own safety checks before every journey, which is not always the case with commercially hired pilots who may think these have been undertaken by the firms engineers. A little something for you to consider if planning a ride.

I still think 'WOW.' As you can see the weather was mainly good with clear views
Once in the helicopter we were instructed to put on headsets, with mic's, so that we could communicate- totally necessary once you go up in the air as the noise from the blades becomes very loud.The take off was different to that of an aeroplane as you literally go up and forwards instantly. It's a funny feeling and I found the journey a little choppy at times, the turbulence being slightly different to an aeroplane. It was also a little dizzying at one point but that was probably due to continually looking at the view! I have to say, it's amazing gazing out of the window, particularly as the helicopter ascends and you start seeing the ground from a new angle. The view is excellent as you are in a 'box of windows' so to speak, after all, you're in a pod! Seeing the layout of the land is fascinating. You don't think too much about it in an aeroplane as it's more of a keyhole view, but because the helicopter is flying significantly lower and slower you develop an eye for intrigue, which lies in the details as they unveil themselves.

Everyday patchwork homes
AIR-BORN THOUGHTS

Everyday patchwork houses
Squeezed within the grid
Of an outer London zone
The kind of place millions of us
Enjoy calling 'HOME,'

Living cheek by jowl
Creating community
Still part of the rat race
By necessity...
That's just the way it is

So many beating hearts
And pairs of helping hands
The salt of the earth
Speckled through the land...
And that's keeping it real

Jaz Mckenzie 2018

By way of contrast,  however we passed over some very exclusive properties; these are far from the best!
Time for a commercial break guys!
F.Y.I. early that morning before we ventured out the weather was so appalling Macky had to confirm the flight. Fortunately the skies cleared leaving good weather for most of the day. When the rain started I discovered another interesting fact- some helicopters don't have window wipers. They are shaped in such a way that the rain runs straight off- how convenient is that? It's almost- splat and roll, part of the helicopter vibe you could say.

Cultivated patterns
One of the greatest joys I discovered during the ride was seeing how beautifully tended our countryside is. At ground level you cannot see how incredible the layouts are, being composed of patterns within patterns. This picture fails to do the farmers work justice as the details are quite mind blowing. When we buy our vegetables most of us are not aware of this aspect of their origins. We know about organic farming, chemicals etc, but not necessarily the love and dedication a farmer applies to his or her trade. To me, this was a tremendous eye opener.



I love the contrast between these two pictures. The first was taken on the outbound journey and the second, about 20 minutes before landing hence the subdued pre-evening lighting. These autumn shades are so delicious, especially the golden trees. I think if I were to design a garden I would include a diamond of red and gold trees, as a statement, to reinforce how blessed we are  by nature, even in the inner city. Something that should be high on our list of appreciation.



My final picture has to be the rainbow. What could be more perfect than flying towards a rainbow? I must convey my thanks to Peter and Liam for providing this experience, and to Macky who chose to include me.  I think by allowing time since the event rather than blogging it immediately I have fully assimilated this awesome experience.  It's definitely not about just going on a helicopter ride, it's about engaging new perspectives and levels of consciousness about our connections and environment.


Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician

Monday, 19 November 2018

HATERS- My least favourite topic!




I really have no time for haters but once again Facebook keeps sharing little messages about them. I am not interested. Why? Haters do not deserve any of my mind space or yours! So what if people are bad minded and say nasty things about you? Your true friends know the truth and those who don't can remain ignorant or ask for your side of the story.

Very often these people make snide remarks that they hope will undermine your confidence. The thing is, if you are confident, which you should be as you are obviously doing well enough to command attention, then these comments should slide off you leaving the hater frustrated.

There's a phrase I have heard so many times and fail to understand. It goes like this:
'I love my haters because they inspire me to do better.' Think about it for a minute. Why would you embrace hate in any form? Why would you be inspired by so much negativity? Why would you introduce negative vibes into a positive project? I find this crazy. Inspiration should be rooted in positive vibrations, thoughts and feelings if it is to flourish.

Let's consider the hater a bit more. Why do they hate? It's actually not because you are doing better than them, It's because they do not have the necessary elements to be successful right now. They may not be confident; lack inspiration; lack dedication or have all of these qualities but cannot maintain the belief that they will be successful. Mindset is key and they need to get it right to succeed.

How can you deal with your haters? This will depend upon the severity of the problem. In extreme cases it is probably best to cut contact. If you are having difficulty with a friend or family member, you might need to recognise the jealousy for what it is and decide if there is a need to support that person, or simply acknowledge the comments without giving them any credit- 'is that what you really think?'- and carry on.

The key to success is to focus on success. Let your achievements speak volumes and allow your mistakes to whisper. The message I have picked up recently is to keep building on your strengths rather than tackling your weaknesses. Maybe this would be a useful piece of advice for your haters and one that helps them to turn the corner. There really is no point in wishing people ill regardless of what they do or say about us. Our aim should be to go up not down, so do not lower your standards and embrace other people's poor attitudes. Love is more powerful than hate and leads to happiness whereas hatred increases bitterness. Next time you receive hateful comments, pay no mind and keep doing what you're doing- remember, ultimately you burst your own bubble!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Big Brass Ska Band strikes the Madding Crowd!!

Feel the vibes~ Big Brass Ska

Introduction before commencing to our live event at Madding Crowd.Club; a collaboration with Urban Delight Entertainment.

I think most people would agree that Ska music is possibly Reggae's most fun platform and one that truly needs excellent live musicians on board to perform it. In fact, I wouldn't appreciate Ska any other way. Strangely enough, up until this point I had never been to a live Ska night despite attending many Reggae events; very odd really given that I interviewed Free Town back in the day for Numen Records! My greatest Ska- (well, skinhead Reggae officially) experiences prior to this event would be seeing Frank Pitter (Symarip Pyramids) perform 'Skinhead Moonstomp,' a smash hit and revolutionary song, in Balham. This was where we first met, and since then I have interviewed both Frank and Monty Neysmith, also from Symarip Pyramids, about their musical journey on different occasions for Buffaloo Radio.
Frank Pitter Its Braap Interview.

Ska is a genre that appears in the charts from time to time and is currently very popular however stays just below the major musical radar. I believe 'My Boy Lollipop,' by Millie, was the first major hit here in the UK- pause for thought guys- who in their right minds would put the words 'boy and 'lollipop' together these days? In a way, this tongue-in-cheek approach is essential to Ska, the words being a huge part of the fun that makes this a care-free art form.


CHASE THE DEVIL- Snippet Link

Now onto the big stuff you've been waiting for! I love the way Big Brass Ska take a jovially serious approach to their music. They are a highly professional outfit who even wear branded gear, so take a quick look at the back of their T-shirts to know who you are speaking with and which instrument they play! It's a novel approach and I heard one of the crowd saying what a great idea this was- and the band hadn't even warmed up yet! Getting to the action, these 10 stunning musicians kicked off with 241, making an instant impression on the audience, especially as they literally have a proper brass section which, when combined with great chemistry across the board, adds that extra ingredient responsible for producing fully flavoured Ska. Somehow the whole band fitted on the stage but ultimately they didn't restrict themselves, spilling over onto the floor as the night progressed- to the delight of the audience who were fully immersed in popular track after popular track. We had songs from classic Ska bands including Madness and The Specials; too many tunes to name really and they had everyone singing and dancing all night long.

MESSAGE TO YOU RUDY-Snippet Link

Following the intermission we were treated to a couple of songs by Urban Delight artist and Lover's Rock/Reggae singer, Norris B. Norris is blessed with an exceptional voice and great stage presence. If I were an X-Factor judge I'd be saying, 'Norris is one of the nicest people I have ever met!' When we were chatting during the interval Norris said to me, 'I would love to perform with this band.' The universe was on point when, having sung his first number, 3 of the band mounted the stage and accompanied him for his second song, 'Hands of Time.' You can check the video to catch the result which was totally unrehearsed. I'll just add that the ability to freestyle successfully with an artist distinguishes quality musicians from average musicians.


Now, onto my surprise of the night! This came in classic form when the band played their version of, 'Tears of a Clown,' -Smokey Robinson's outstanding hit. I have always thought this to be an immensely clever song- how many of us hide our fears and worries beneath a daily up-beat facade? The big question you may be asking- does this work as s Ska cover? Hell Yeah! By taking an upbeat tune and making it even more update the band are simply adding to the original concept.

TEARS OF A CLOWN-Snippet Link

To finish with, there's a little saying that comes to mind when enjoying Big Brass Ska, 'It ain't what you do it's the way that you do it.' I give the band huge kudos for their energy, performance and unity- BUT, I'm taking away a point for failing to play my favourite song- where the heck did that rat in the kitchen go? Well, I guess he's just not allowed on licensed premises!!

Please note: all links have been highlighted so you can check out my references.

Jaz McKenzie ~ The Word Magician

Thursday, 8 November 2018

'Singing in the Rain'- Photo by Maurice Sparrow.


I literally haven't blogged since July, however, I was thinking it's time to start back when one of my favourite photographers, Maurice Sparrow, posted this beautiful photo of a Kingfisher entitled, 'Singing in the Rain.'

This was one opportunity I couldn't pass by, looking at such beauty and perfection. Sometimes that's what it takes and words flowed just like the stream of raindrops above.


SINGING IN THE RAIN

No rain will ruffle my feathers, 
for I stand proud.
No wind can rock me off my perch;
I'll open my beak and sing out loud.
'I am as beautiful as the sun
rising in the sky.
I know my worth!
And the storm can't make me cry.
By the time the sun sets
My feathers will be dry
And peace will be restored.'

Jaz McKenzie 2018

These words are not just those of a humble Kingfisher; they are the words of a warrior, that is, those who know what it really takes to live this life and push on through. Our feathers will become ruffelled from time to time. Sometimes we feel as if one bad thing happens after the next, but like the Kingfisher we must allow the water to roll off our feathers and drain away. We know the sun shines tomorrow and a little rain can be very refreshing, creating contrast. Appreciation truly is a product of contrast. Imagine how less appealing the Kingfisher would look if he were all one colour! It is worth recognizing that life is as much about contrast as is good photography.

Big 'thank you' to Maurice for allowing me to use his photo. It added far more than a splash of joy to my day.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician



Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Theme from THE DEER HUNTER CAVATINA



How can you describe a piece of music like this? I was going to post the song that was written to go with the film however the music says an infinite amount more and definitely doesn't need a story. Having said that, do check it out because 'He was so beautiful' tells its own story and uses the music in an exceptionally skillfull fashion.

Cavatina means 'simple' according to the John Williams guitar video, and this is a piece of music that  is simply beautiful. You can really relax and possible meditate to it; although very short it is ideal to help with a brief de-stress! Must remember that next time I'm fired up about something. Having played guitar in my late teens- early twenties, and been incredibly passionate about it, I find guitar music reaches deeply inside me and initiates a 'coming home' feel. The guitar is such a beautiful instrument and I am very thankful to still own my beautiful Oscar Teller! I have re-tuned it and just playing a little something most days now. Guitar energy tends to make me feel joyful - SOOOOOO

May the joy of this day remain with you!

Jaz McKenzie~The Word Magician

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Staying True To Yourself-How good are you at doing this?



Hello Guys! As many of you will know I have recently started a new project; in fact it's proving to be a new way of being. Initially I was overwhelmed as I'm learning two skill sets at once, but now I've settled down and am making good progress. So what are we about and what do we learn? When we arrive on earth our mission is to learn, which includes everything from physical, social and cognitive skills to values, beliefs and self image. All need to be nurtured! 

Learning is a lifelong process that takes time- after all, an athlete doesn't become an athlete overnight. Athlete's bodies have to be conditioned, their minds-trained. Athletes create daily routines by introducing a high level of discipline as they need to master specific techniques to gain the edge in their field- wow what a role call! To some extent the same applies to business and even our general health. We have to allow time for change and constantly evaluate, making adjustments to enable growth- (or loss if you're slimming!)


Any group you join in life has their own way of doing things, especially big companies who often have tried and tested methods that everyone is expected to follow. The corporate approach is great for many people and necessary in specific fields. Sometimes technique is key- A surgeon needs to know how to carry out the exact procedure before starting an operation; but in some areas of life one cap doesn't fit all. Sooooo, how do we know whether we're fine following someone else's methods?

To answer this we need to read the clues! What clues you might be saying? Are you basically happy in your work or leisure circles? Happiness is always key. Moving on, results are good indicators. In most industries the biggest results are happy clients and repeat business. But what about target based industries? Are you meeting, exceeding or failing to hit your monthly quota? Now that's a quick indicator depending on your length of time in the company. Most result led companies will let you go if you fail to hit their targets, leaving you to improve techniques of change course.

The biggest clue as to whether we are true to ourselves always lies in our gut instinct. How do you feel about the way you are operating? Does it create bad feelings, worries, or an 'I don't like this response?' This is where it becomes tricky. When you have any of these indicators you need to identify why. Are you in the right place and just experiencing a couple of aspects that don't suit or does everything not seem like you? For me, overall everything is great with the exception of one key area. Basically the system was set up by American businessmen and I'm not an Alpha male who likes to cut to the core of the matter; neither am I a product of our instant society therefore although the overall method has been tried and testing, working well for the majority, I've decided to deviate and come up with a gentler technique. Provided you do not need to answer to anyone, feel free to try this!


It might be that your business or even circle of friends are quite comfortable about doing things that are a bit dodgy- oh my, I remember the days when my boys were teenagers and definitely saw everything through grey speckled lenses! There was no negotiating with them - we need to understand when we can speak our mind and when it is best to retreat quietly in every situation.

Our personal integrity is important and forms the basis of our reputation. Would you knowingly take your car to a dodgy mechanic who will happily fix one problem whilst creating another, so you have to bring your car back? People will look at you and decide on all levels whether you're fit for their circle. My advice is to study your feelings, reactions and develop strong principles; you need to strengthen your inner voice so that you make good decisions in line with your true character. For me, the whole 'new experience' initially swept across me so it took time before I realised where I needed to make changes. I tried to understand the reasons for things in the first instance, debating and being told why I should follow the approved method. As time went on I still felt uncomfortable as it so wasn't 'me' and have changed to a method I'm happy with. In my case it just meant that I messed up a little with no damage done and created a great learning curve enabling me to share this knowledge!

I think Oscar Wilde defined the importance of being ourselves in the simplest way possible. We didn't just come with individual fingerprints, we came with our own blue print, our individual thought process, aspirations, conscience, so stay true to yourself and you will progress through life with ease.



Saturday, 2 June 2018

Count Your Blessings- Taking a look at friendships & a bit of my life!



Patrick Boothe, besides being an outstanding musical talent is a good friend of mine. I was reminded of this earlier today when I played his new track; an awesome cover of 'How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.' Unfortunately I couldn't find this on Patrick's YouTube channel but whilst there I took a trip down memory lane and came across the 'Willow Tree' interview I did with Lovella Ellis to promote her cover version of her Father Alton Ellis's song which Patrick produced. I also discovered Patrick's version of one of my all time favourites 'Let's get it on,'... incidentally Patrick opened for Marvin Gaye back in the day! Through Patrick I met Reggae artist Tinga Stewart which was an unforgettable experience and an honour! Naturally I have interviewed Patrick so read more about this musical genius here.

Patrick- a musical genius!!
This whole thing got me thinking. I miss spending time with Patrick, so how come our friendship drifted? I can't answer that because, as is the case with so many friendships, nothing of significance happened. Patrick was there when my life turned upside down and now he's somewhere in the background- not good. Patrick was a strong support when my life seriously hits the rocks and I guess we lost touch somewhere during my very slow recovery process that took place over the next few years.

With Diania & guys at Southend Village Green Festival 2017

There have been many people whom I have worked with closely for a long period of time and those I have known as personal friends who simply faded away. Tippa Irie & Peter Hunnigale are two of these which is a shame as they're genuine, hard working people who I used to converse with regularly... so when/how did it stop? No clue! Onto the ladies-Lady Diania, C.O.E. of Music Media Management and Zeena Banks- award winning Dancehall artist, both good friends who I saw a lot of but now we rarely cross paths however Zeena & I did have a great time at her recent Birthday picnic- pick up the phone now Jaz!

Zeena Banks- Warrior Goddess & winner of  'A song For Jamaica 2017'
On the non-music front my very good friend Margot moved to Australia a few years back- I have no idea how come we don't speak but I guess things just happen! I do miss her and hope all's good in her world. Maybe we'll meet again- Sydney awaits!

Missed seeing David & crew recently due to a prior engagement- but soon soon!
Thinking aloud- some of this is due to location now that I have moved into a less accessible area just outside London and don't have a car; which highlights a key fact- friendships require effort and energy. I guess that when we lose sight of this it is easy for friendships to drift.

Artists Tim Stocks & Oliver Yu Chna

How come this happens? We tend to focus energy where it is needed, business and personal, so other areas of our lives can be neglected inadvertently. Life moves on therefore some people we lose whilst others come into our lives- a very necessary cycle, particularly when we wish to expand our minds, abilities and experiences.

Talking business with Sire, Mic and Kenan who took the pic!
These totally awesome guys are part of my new 'family,'  being a caring, supportive bunch of business people- thrilled the universe has presented this outstanding opportunity where I'm in the midst of amazingly driven guys. This has awakened me to a truth- I am also totally driven because we attract who we are. Everybody pictured today is 100% energy and set on achieving their goals. Take a close look- Diania's new logo is shown above and her website is coming soon! Zeena works consistently hard to keep building her status, as does Reggae singer Michael Arkk (below); Michael is brother to Mozez (Zero) who founded Numen Records. Michael has a new song, 'Come Over Tonight' out on Soundcloud now.  Tim and Oliver are highly talented artists who I have known for a few years and both aspire to fame. Now to David who was the chef at my workplace. David has phenomenal charisma and makes a name for himself wherever he goes and last time we spoke a couple of years back was starting his own business.

Currently I'm fired up as my new venture gives people such power over their own lives- very exciting! Whilst being totally focused I am determined to nurture and maintain friendships.  I really desire for my good friends and other totally committed people to have a shot at this opportunity by finding out more as anyone can fit this into their lifestyle- message me on Facebook. to find out more! Thanks to this opportunity I now know I'll finally get to meet the good friends I've known since the Myspace days of 2007. The online world has changed my life totally. Michael, pictured here with Zeena, was the first online friend I actually met and we are good friends today- in fact Michael and I went to an awesome event recently in association with the new venture.

Add caption
Being a people person I want to ensure that the people I value stay close. Now that my head is clear I'm doing a much better job of it! At this time in my life I 'm finally able to dream 'Real' so can confidently say that I will achieve my goals and meet the people who are important to me. America awaits- actually I went to NY a few years back and met Cheri, Myspace friend- just a long weekend but WOW was that exciting!


 There are many people who have inspired me deeply since 2007. My key people are Gypsy, a wicked guitarist from NY and Najashi from LA, whose band is called Dread Daze. Dread Daze play a mix of genres and I blogged their video 'Protection' previously. Interestingly we go full circle now as Patrick recorded me reciting my poem 'Peace In,' based on Najashi's constant blessing. I would have  liked to meet Gypsy last time in NY but the timing was imperfect. He is phenomenal and has made tremendous strides in his journey, particularly since recording this video which is one of the best and extremely individual motivational speeches around. Gypsy- Occupy your own space!



The universe is such that Patrick just called! I have literally joined the dots and realised the he and Errol Kennedy (Imagination) whose bio I wrote recentyly were co-embers of successful band Midnight Express! What a small world this is as I met Errol through my very good friend Macky McPherson, C.E.O. of Urban Delight Ent. and have been to a couple of events with him.

Life is just amazing. I can't believe that amongst my friends I have friends who make music that truly impacts the world. Friends who are actors, artist, poets,. It's mind blowing stuff.  Funnily enough everyone on here except David came into my life via internet connections.So thank you universe- Do you know just how awesome this feels!!!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician

Friday, 11 May 2018

WHO ARE YOU? The power of conditioning!


Okay- like the joke and it got me thinking. Conditioning is something we are born into which wraps itself around us like invisible thread. My first reaction to the word conditioning is negative. It makes me think of the way society conditions us, beginning with family and cultural traits, religions, advertising, news- in fact, basically we're like products who are in receipt of other people's conditions 24/7.

Some of this is excellent. We acquire emotional, social and intellectual blueprints, many of which serve us well, and whilst we are still children we benefit from having guidance and boundaries. Once we mature however the things we have always believed may no longer be of benefit and sometimes having been bound so tightly by expectations, we create paths in life that do not suit us.

Let's consider this fun picture. Yes it made me laugh and is a brilliant commercial product no doubt. However in this age of independent women there are many ways you can look at this! On a serious note, women are generally nurtured to one set of expectations and men to another. This nurturing ensures we see the world and our future in a very particular way from a young age, These perceptions will change with each generation as society is constantly evolving, therefore family structure has come a long way from married opposite sex parents with 2.4 children to a whole range of different combinations. Part of becoming an adult for all us is to challenge our thinking and those with true insight realise that the past cannot dictate the future. We have the power to break free from the conditions that have dominated our lives and become the person we wish to be. This power relies on practice and means that we need to recondition ourselves, change our thinking, change our self-perception, change out habits, change our expectations and stop being hard on ourselves during each new learning process. When we are kind to ourselves and focus on being happy we will be able to work at the process more easily and create good results.

If there's something within yourself or in your life that you really don't like, change it. If you want a new home, travel, different type of lifestyle- change it. You really do have that ability and there are endless resources from motivational material to education, even functions that help you expand your mind. When you have some aims you will find you meet people who are thinking in a similar way and that is one of the keys to success. Yes there will be sacrifices, things that fall away but remember, you can be bound to mediocrity or bound for success!

Jaz McKenzie ~ The Word Magician







Sunday, 6 May 2018

New Cross Art Exhibition Reviewed as a poem- 'Echoes Of Justice'

Annick Chevassu- spot the lady by the bin!


Last week I attended an art exhibition at New Cross Police Station, displaying the talents of sculpture students attending the Camberwell College of Arts and I had no prior knowledge that this was the venue. It was quite a creepy environment, especially the darkly illuminated cell when Oliver, who invited me, decided to close the door! Standing on your own in one of these cells when you're mildly claustrophobic might be termed therapy but is not recommended. Shudder! Apparently the police station ceased functioning around 20 years ago and would be a brilliant set for a short movie.

I can't say I understood the art however I found it intriguing. I was told that the exhibition was very much a group project where ideas were shared and the works were created collaboratively.

Participants: Fungai Benhura, Annick Chevassu, Rose Creasey, Chaz Kimble, Sondos Mahdy, Anastasia Meredith-Goujon, Afonso Guimaraes, Theo Tzannetakis.


Oliver Yu Chan 

ECHOES OF JUSTICE
It is right that the past bridges the future.
Echoes of criminal intent, of actions
Imprinted vibrationally within cell walls
New Cross Police Station, shut forever
Slayed by societies financial dictate
No doubt over-riding local necessity
By the powers that be and always will be



New life in old walls- vibrant personalities
Minds meeting collectively and creatively
Expressing themselves, channeling through art
Sculpting their ideas into pre-sized boxes!
Whoever would have thought they were fit for purpose?
Collaboratively fused and beautifully blended
Expressions created, responses evoked



The power of enforcement stretched and twisted
Into modern day concepts viewed here and now
Florescent notes peeping, sounds blaring, screen rolling
Whilst an ancient Asian lady, as perceived by my eyes,
Waves her spell beneath heavily weighted clouds
Casting her magical powers to infuse new life
Into a can of skulls, restoring faith in our future

Jaz McKenzie 2018 © ~ The Word Magician





Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Poet In The City: Abraham Gibson - Nancy



I met Abraham Gibson at THE WAVE CAFE over a month ago where he performed a poem that he had written for the groups amazing project which successfully embraces people with additional needs as a valued part of the community. WAVE= We Are Valued Equally. While speaking about the success of the evening, Abraham told me that he performs poetry around Europe, so naturally I went straight to Youtube when I reached home and discovered this diamond of a poem.

Abraham is highly talented and presents his work beautifully. I love the delicacy of the subject that is literally hammered home with a passion! Subtitled 'Black and White Love,' there is no mistaking the bonds that shackle these two highly colourful salt of the earth friends together. With loyalty and integrity  these women are happy to face the wrath of anyone who dares cross their personal boundaries. Nancy is having none of it when Riva is subjected to racist behaviour during her hospital stay and she literally went into warrior mode; which must have taken people by storm as racism was clearly embedded within society and especially public institutions therefore people would not have expected Nancy to react in that way.

What is interesting about the structure of Nancy and Riva is that Nancy seems to be the predominant characterso you wonder where the friendship sprang from. We do not discover until the end of the poem that Riva approached and supported Nancy during the 'worst winter of her life.' It is what is not said that speaks as clearly as the words. Riva is the observer, she is strong, comfortable to be around and sarcasm will roll off her like water off a duck's back because she sees beyond the obvious. Riva probably came to the UK on a promise and found the reality not just disappointing but totally shocking. It may have taken a great deal of courage for her to knock on Nancy's door, but I imagine Nancy had lost her husband and Riva would have been aware of this therefore her humanity overcame fear. They may well have passed each other occasionally however there may well have been some naturally scepticism about one another and they may well have remained virtual strangers for many years.

The background information is critical to the piece. You can feel how saddened Nancy has become with the demise of the estate where she has lived for 55 years. Despite the druggies and pitbulls these two ladies clearly worked at maintaining there dignity and see themselves as a few steps removed from their neighbours. Abraham's storytelling, character portrayals and especially the interactions between Nancy and Riva are gripping yet whilst the humour flows we are left with a feeling of underlying sadness. Who will miss Nancy and Riva? What will happen in the long term to tenants of the estate? And how can racism and other crimes ever be tackled successfully in a world full of closed minds and ever dwindling resources? I have replayed this so many times now and it is a poem that lends itself to debate- maybe it should be in the school literature curriculum!

Jaz McKenzie~The Word Magician


Friday, 23 March 2018

Are you stuck in a groove? Then open your mind!


There is one saying that is true to the core- if you keep doing the same thing you get the same result!

Now, I started blogging in 2007 on Myspace just for the fun of it- and daaaaam was it fun. When I started Its Braap I changed the plot and semi-censored what I blogged about in order to fit the positive/inspirational mode. Gone are the days of commenting on anything and everything from public toilets to T-Shirt slogans; which was my true natural impulse. Whilst enjoying blogging and having grand thoughts about websites, competitions and affiliations I have not got round to turning it into a business. Hence it's still a hobby!

Writing is very time consuming when you undertake it seriously, especially preparing bio's and even reviews. You have to make sure your facts are correct and descriptions, clear. This mean that it takes a huge amount of work to generate a very minimal income- not the best use of time and I certainly can't match my working income!

Having been involved quite closely with Facebook friends' ventures over the years I have come to appreciate a wide variety of different genres, music, acting. art; all of which were my original interests. It's a fantastic natural education and one I will continue. I have come to realise how hard people struggle to support their passion, often with limited success. This parallels with my experience and it is something I'm in the process of addressing.

It's so easy to keep up our hopes and do the same thing, but if we don't make changes we will become stale, therefore I have taken the plunge into new areas which are pretty time consuming, so I find myself posting less often than previously and have decided to keep it that way. Sometimes we need to diversify so I am working with Linking UK. This is a company with a vision and currently I'm busy writing directory listings so the site has content prior to creating videos- a blank site is a dead site! Once that's done it will be far less demanding on my time and we will be able to recommence filming episodes of 'Snap London'- and work on project #2!

I love keeping a strong positive vibe. Having attended many different types of motivational events over the years I have decided to throw myself into- something completely new about which I know nothing, and re-invigorate the brain cells. I'm not speaking about it quite yet, obviously my knowledge is currently miniscule- I feel like a 5 year old learning my twelve times table! But it doesn't matter. The more we immerse ourselves in an experience the more we learn and eventually benefit. I genuinely believe that this is an excellent opportunity to expand in many ways- knowledge, travel, finance and self -fulfilment.

What I would say to you is what do you need to do to progress? Ask God/universe to point you in the right direction. Funnily enough my Son's are the springboard to my future. I'm wise enough to learn from them- I believe they are more in touch with current business trends than me so their motivation has become my inspiration, and to be honest, I like it that way.

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


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Rising pop sensation Aleem heads to the UK- PRESS RELEASE

News Flash Online Press Release
 
Rising Pop/R’N’B Sensation Aleem heads to the UK for his first ever one-off headlining solo event at the 02 Islington on Wednesday 28th February 2018 to promote his new single 'Stranger Things.' 

Aleem was originally scheduled to play six UK events which would have seen him play London, The North, Scotland and Ireland.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, his management are in talks for all the dates apart from 02 Academy Islington to be rescheduled as part of a bigger UK tour later this year, that will culminate in the release of his first solo studio album.

Aleem with Fifth Harmony
The singer songwriter is no stranger to continuous numerous big UK arena tours having supported the multi award-winning UK Pop Royalty Girl Band Little Mix on their sell out The Glory Days Tour 2017.  Also supporting US Girl Band Sensation Fifth Harmony on their sell out 7/27 European Tour 2016 which came to the UK and London.
 
In a recent telephone interview with lifestyle/entertainment journalistic reporter and radio presenter Mark Galloway aka Marcus Milla, the Chicago based US singer talked about his musical dreams of who he would like to work with and said; “I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing writers and producers along my journey but for me the top would be Bruno Mars or John Mayer. Those two are like my idols when it comes to song writing, performing and mastering your craft.  If I ever got a call from one of those two, I would not hesitate for a second.”
 
Aleem with Little Mix
The single 'Stranger Things' which was released on the 9th February is scheduled to be one of the main tracks from his yet to be titled forthcoming album.  When asked the inspiration behind the song, Aleem said, “Stranger Things is a song near and dear to me, the song is about being in a relationship where you’re entering something new and the other person is scared from their past. Their holding back and scared to give you themselves, scared to be vulnerable.  It is basically me saying hey you can let your guard down, I’ve seen stranger things.”
 
Speaking about his impending gig at the 02 Academy in Islington, Aleem said; “it’s going to be incredible, for the fans, they’ve only seen me play acoustic or play with a track in an arena date.  They’re finally going to get to see my full music live with a full band.  There’s gonna be a lot of energy and a lot of fun.  We’ve been rehearsing for a very long time coming, so I’m very excited to get out there and give the fans more than they’ve heard from me so far.”
 


Aleem’s management would like to apologise for the unscheduled cancellation of the UK events, If you have purchased a ticket for any of the five cancelled events, please contact the relevant ticket supplier for a full refund.
 
The 02 Academy Islington event is on course to be completely sold out due to the other cancellations and there are very limited tickets available.  If you wish to purchase tickets for the 02 Academy Islington event. please click the direct link below.


Listen here to the recorded telephone interview with Mark Galloway aka Marcus Milla and Aleem.  

Don’t forget you can catch Library Sessions with Marcus Mix-Master Milla each and every Thursday from 4pm - 5pm on Verve Radio.  


Online Links to Aleem's catalogue 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EckRmk7RZgI Stranger Things - [Official Video]


 
Social Media 

Facebook.com/AleemMusic Instagram.com/aleemmusicn Twitter.com/aleemmusic YouTube.com/Aleemmusic

Press Release courtesy of ©CDLC87 - Crème Dé La Crème 87 ‘The Evidence Is The Experience’ on behalf of Deacon Communications

 

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Turning up the heat & 70's beat at LEGENDS with Errol Kennedy- Imagination

OH WHAT A NIGHT!!
 

Bling is the thing when reviving the feel of this world's much loved 70's & 80's discotheque era. And here we have Errol Kennedy working his sparkling waistcoat and hat to full effect. Errol did as promised and Flashed us back to a time so rich in popular music that he found it very challenging selecting tracks for his debut DJ set. Errol did a fantastic job and I was ecstatic to hear 'Stomp,' one of my all time favourites- hear that and you simply can't sit down! 123 Shake your body down, yes that's a must. It has to be said that during the 70's and 80's we were constantly instructed to dance instead of acting like wall flowers; which is where the feel-good factor emanates from and this is a huge aspect of the culture Errol aims to revive.

According to Errol, weekends were a time when people dressed up, left their worries behind and hit the dance floor. Many a 'peacock' paraded about strutting his stuff, the girls danced round their handbags and eventually slow music ensued... well, that's another matter. Errol's point is that clubs no longer have the same energy and joyous feel, often the night is more about drowning your sorrows with 'shots' than dancing, alcohol being so rife in the youth culture.

Set up and ready
Clubbers clearly felt the musical groove on this occasion joining the 'Love Train.'  'Word Up,' epitomizes the role call of top tracks that engulfed us including: 'Street Life,' 'Give me the Night', 'Boogie Wonderland,' 'Ladies Night,' and two different versions of Imagination's top track, 'Just an Illusion.' The new version of this classic hit lends itself very well to the current club scene being bang up to date.


Naturally, Errol brought his drums along to give his DJ-ing an extra kick and spice things up even more. When reviewing the night two key words come to mind- FUN and NOSTALGIA, both of which were successfully woven through the set. Errol's passion simply exudes from him to the point where he jumped up on one of the podiums and danced- once a showman!!! People thoroughly enjoyed themselves and think in summary the phrase that said it all is:

Let's go round again and turn back the hands of time!

Legends Nightclub Flashback

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





Thursday, 15 February 2018

LEGENDS Nightclub Flashback to 70's & 80's- PARTYTIME!


We all use our Imagination to recreate the Good Ole Days but on this occasion, Errol Kennedy and Team Urban Delight take you there directly! Errol, co-founder and drummer of highly successful pop band 'Imagination' is keen to re-create the carefree vibes that formed the basis of clubbing back in the day. In our next blog we will find out why.

Errol will be launching his DJ career in a bid to excite club goers by recreating the New York Garage and Studio 54 Soul Train club atmosphere- WOW, impressive vibes up for grabs by all on the night.

This exciting party will take place tomorrow at Legends Nightclub, Dorset. All info available by following the link, so book your tickets at a reduced rate online now.

I have been invited to cover this prestigious occasion and will share my experience with you shortly.

Jaz McKenzie ~ The Word Magician