Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Check out this inspiring tribute to Usain Bolt by Dancehall Artist Blackk Blunt AKA the Black Diamond! Fantastic footage here which has been worked into a quality video.
WATCH THIS SPOT FOR the Its Braap interview with Blackk Blunt, award winning artist, coming LATER THIS WEEK.
Why the BLACK DIAMOND??? Keep your eyes peeled to catch the low down on Agent Grungstar's up & coming star!
Monday, 30 January 2012
Have You Got The Flow? Interview with Tipsy T2N (Time 2 Network)
Its Braap recently interviewed young entrepreneur Tipsy Dee, founder of the event ‘Have You Got The Flow; which has been dubbed ‘The Urban Worlds’ X-Factor.’
In less than a year this event has leapt from minor venues to the O2, a tremendous jump which signifies the passion & hard work Tipsy puts into everything she sets her mind to. This interview is primarily focused on ‘Have You Got The Flow,’ and Its Braap would like to thank Tipsy for taking time out to meet us.
Where did you get the idea for an Urban X-Factor?
The ‘Have You Got The Flow’ event came about because I work in the entertainment industry & have worked in the entertainment industry for quite a few years. I consider myself a creator, so everything I do is in my mind, it’s original and the stuff that I do I think there’s a need for. Basically it’s simply that I thought there was a need for an Urban kind of X-Factor, so I gave it a try in a small venue to see how it would go and it went fantastic. The venue was over flowing and everybody was really interested so I decided to make it official and it’s going to be running 2-3 times a year from now on.
Did you start this up last year?
Yes, last year and we only ran 2 trial periods which lasted for 4 weeks; every event runs for 4 weeks. We did that just to test it out and it went really well.
Are you thinking of having an event just for your winners to find an over-all winner?
Possibly, that might be something we consider in the future but the plans are just to grow the brand, create the brand and make it a bit bigger by doing different projects and workshops off the back of the events and create opportunities for up & coming talent.
Is it something you will be promoting in the schools at some point to get the youth interested?
Yes, I have one youth event. The thing is that they take so much more preparation and planning when you’re working with under 18’s, but in the near future we are definitely going to be running, ‘Youth Have You Got The Flow?’
What kind of prizes have you got on offer?
At the moment we have a £500 cash prize and that’s always the main prize and we can introduce other prizes, it might be a video shoot or studio time. It just depends basically who’s involved and what other offers we can get from people who sponsor us.
What kind of step up the ladder has this given to the artists who have taken part previously?
A lot of the artists I have since seen collaborating with other artistes who have come along. You see them in the breaks outside singing, MC’ing & rapping together. I have seen a lot of them become friends, featuring on each others tracks, going down to each other’s studio’s, featuring in each others music video’s. A lot of them know each other now so all the artists who come leave with something, so even if they don’t win they leave with some kind of connection. I have seen it happen a lot with my own eyes so that’s very good; I’m happy with that.
So you’re promoting quite a lot of positivity & good vibes amongst the youths.
What type of acts do you actually attract under the urban banner?
We have all sorts. We have singers; we attract quite a lot of rappers, beatboxers and comedians.
Do you have many dancehall artistes?
Not a lot, but some dancehall artistes enter.
Do you pre-screen artistes & listen to any of the tracks before you decide who’s appearing?
No, not for ‘Have You Got The Flow’ we don’t because the first round is an open round and you only get 1 minute to show what you got. So basically they have their 1 minute and it’s their time to shine, so every one gets a chance to be seen no matter what level you’re at, where you’re at, who you are. You have a chance to be seen, time permitting.
How is it judged?
We have an industry judging panel, so for every event we select different professionals who are experienced in the music industry and know what they are talking about. They come down and sit on the panel. The act performs and they make a decision, whether they think the act should go through to the next round or not. Also the audience vote. They have a green card and a red card and at the end of the performance they hold up their card, green for yes or red for no, so the audience is involved along with the judges.
Who has won so far?
We’ve had a guy called Ben who was the winner of the last 'Have you got the flow.' He’s a beat boxer and he’s really amazing. Before that we had a rapper who’s a good friend of mine called Startah and he’s really amazing too. Everybody needs to check them out.
Where do you want to take it in the future because you’re already at the O2, which is an incredible jump and how did you to manage acquire the O2?
Well I have a quite lot of experience in the entertainment industry. I have managed to build up a big network, I’ve been blessed to meet some lovely, lovely people and I’ve worked really hard so my foundation is there. From the things that we’ve been doing O2 was the next step. We had to go there otherwise we would have stayed where we were. Obviously 'Have you got the flow,' was in a small venue initially and I also have 'Time 2 Network' which is now in quite a big venue, The Vauxhall Coliseum. It’s just the timing, I thought we were ready to go and make it a bit bigger.
We have a lot of plans but I don’t like to say too much because I’m more of a doer. But we want to take 'Have you got the flow' out of London basically and give everyone everywhere the opportunity to be seen.
Is it something you would like to present on more of an international basis?
You never know what the future holds, possibly.
It is an industry networking event. Again an urban networking outfit with a talent showcase competition, fashion show which is a model search and it is an industry networking party. We have acts that come and compete for prizes like studio time, magazine features and record deals. The models are also competing for prizes like modelling contracts, photo shoots etc. You get loads of industry people whether it’s clothing brands, radio owners or TV Companies. Everyone from the entertainment industry comes down and networks, so networking really does happen. You get some events where people say it’s too network but nobody networks. Here we network; people are exchanging cards, giving out their CD’s and giving out their magazines. The clothing labels are there and everyone just networks. That’s what it is, Time 2 Network. It’s every 3 months and has been going for just over a year and each event gets bigger and bigger, so that’s another big event now.
So, Tipsy where can we find you?
You can look me up on Facebook which is Tipsy Dee and any of Tipperents links.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would just like to thank you for coming to interview me and I wish Its Braap all the best.
To check out Tipper Ent: www.tipperents.com Twitter= @tipsytipperent Youtube= tipperents
BB Pin= 231C3CB2
If you would like us to feature your event contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Understanding and over-coming jealousy
Jealousy: such a strong powerful emotion, an emotion that can be very hard to control and can often end with dangerous consequences. So how do feelings of jealousy occur? I believe jealousy occurs when individuals are dissatisfied with themselves & their lifestyle, so they begin to compare themselves to other people, their lifestyles, accomplishments, assets and more!
I like to think of myself as a realist. I appreciate it sounds great to suggest fighting jealousy with gratitude, for example, “Don’t dwell on what you do not have, just count your blessings!” but in reality is this easy to do? Instead of suggesting envy is shameful & that we should fight it by acknowledging that we are already privileged, I have a few suggestions to channel jealousy into growth and personal gain.
The aspirations and achievements of others that we tend to envy can be turned right around into achieving our own personal goals in life. If we can learn to appreciate others achievements and learn from them we can gain a lot of inspiration that in turn benefits us. We should encourage others and congratulate individuals on their success; this is one of the many steps that can help to neutralise those feeling of jealousy in order to become more humble and calm the yellow eyed monster!
Jealousy can be influential in many areas of life. Ever seen your boyfriend/girlfriend talk to the opposite sex? Made you want to rip their head off right there and then? (yes I'm a teenager!) You wonder how you can control these emotions; the good news is you can! In order to overcome jealousy you must firstly admit it is a problem and that will help you get over it. Once you have realised these factors and seriously considered them in relation to the main areas of jealousy in your life, you can begin your journey… when a feeling of jealousy occurs, breath in and out telling yourself that you can overcome these burning emotions. Once calmed down you can then gain a sense of perspective because jealousy blows everything out of proportion. Maybe you can find something to focus on for a little while before returning to consider the situation. By reflecting you may be better prepared to assess the event or decide on a sensible way to seek further information and have reasonable rather than accusing conversations with others..
There are two types of jealousy, rational jealousy that has some substance and irrational jealousy that is a feeling of rage without any real foundation, maybe caused by past experience. Whatever the cause, the best way to tackle it is to work hard at improving yourself; maybe you are not happy with regard to physical appearance, simply make the best of yourself, or feel you could do more in relation to career aspirations, again use your talents to the full.
Jealousy occurs in most people at different times in their lives and is more of a problem to some people than to others. The best thing is to recognize, acknowledge and move forwards. If not, you will remain stressed, upset and more often than not ashamed of your own emotions.
'Graphic Talks' How we share information, coming next week 05/02/12
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Saturday, 28 January 2012
'This tune came about by pure accident while I was messing about with an R&B sound. I was busy arranging it when I decided to take out all the instrumentals & leave the acoustic guitar. I heard a voice saying to sing this song to it and it was magic!
The song has been out since just before Christmas & has created a real buzz, from the BBC to independent radio presenters who are thrilled with the originality of this version.
A big thanks to Patrick for telling Its Braap a little about the history of this track. ~IB~
Friday, 27 January 2012
Everyday’s a Birthday!
Whereas we only have one Birthday a year, the day others help us to celebrate our life, the concept of the birthday can be carried throughout the year, that celebration of life in general!
If we choose to look carefully everyday contains a blessing, even if it is a repeat of something that we are familiar with. Consistency on its own is a blessing. Getting up in a ‘free’ country; having friends, making a go of developing ourselves as people, using our talents and growing our businesses. There is plenty to be thankful for when we stop to consider.
Every day we are a day older and if we apply the ability to live and learn, a day wiser. Wisdom is a gift to seek and develop that requires application. Sometimes wisdom grows when we learn to apply it, occasionally passively, allowing people space to explore and learn for themselves rather than supplying all the answers.
Birthdays are a given opportunity to take a look at ourselves, see what we appreciate about ourselves and take stock of our fears. They are an oasis in a busy life, time to indulge and in some ways we can learn to do this at a lesser level on a daily basis.
We have already covered the topics of resolution, positive thinking and meditation in our weekly blogathon, ‘Live Life~Love Life’...posted every Sunday; look out for the picture of the fireworks!! It’s a good idea to try a new experience when given the opportunity and to find a little time to enjoy ourselves on a daily basis. Likewise we need to apply ourselves to our spirituality to promote holistic well being.
In summary, a Birthday is an event along the timeline of your life whereby we celebrate your individuality in an open recognized way. Just scale this down a little and wake up every day feeling excitement at the prospect of the day and every day will be a re-birth-day! Life is not easy, full of ups & downs, emotions and situations you never even thought about, but in conclusion, to a major extent life is what we make it. Go ahead, pick up the positive vibe and strive to make life work for you, remember, the buck stops here.
If you wish to submit an article or join our team of writers contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, 26 January 2012
We all know the importance of cash. There are people who say that as long as you have love eveything else can take a back seat, however you are more likely to be happy with love and money! Lack of money very often creates blame which in turn drives people apart. This short poem simply summarises the situation.
Harsh reality is the language of cash
Choice determined by the size of your stash
Decisions limited or limitless
Finances secured... Or more often a mess
Money> Money> Money> Money> Money!!!
To be poor is poor
But rich is good!
Jaz McKenzie 2010 ©
If you would like your poems featured please contact us at email@example.com
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
There was a very interesting article in the news today which we shared on our facebook page, (check link to the right,) regarding the behaviour of baby chimps. The chimp concerned was throwing a tantrum while awaiting her meal and as a result was disciplined by her elders!
We thought it would be interesting to follow this through by sharing information about the largest apes, gorillas. Gorillas have always be regarded with awe and have featured in many films being shown as powerful, violent animals. The reality is that despite their power, gorillas are essentially peaceful animals which is highlighted by the remarkable scenes shot in 'Gorilla's in the Mist.' We hope you enjoy this video & find it engaging. ~IB~
Monday, 23 January 2012
Today is Chinese New Year, celebrated by 1/6th of the world and it is the year of the dragon... ARE WE READY TO BREATHE FIRE????
Its Braap is more than ready and we have chosen this day to launch our NEW website www.howtalentedru.com
This is a specific site that will run alongside our other ventures and unlike many talent siteS caters for the front and back end of the industry. You can register as a model, singer, camera operative, make-up artist and many more. If you can’t find your category please use ‘Other’ and let us know for future reference at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also register jobs. If you are looking for dancers for a music video, actors, a drummer or anything associated with the entertainment industry post your job now!
All services are free so please spread the word. If by any chance you experience a problem with the site please let us know.
Returning to Chinese New Year, did you know that one Chinese legend has it, when Buddah was dying he called all the animals in the world to his side & only 12 turned up. As a Thank you he honoured the animals by naming the years after them in the order the animals appeared... so now you know, Dragons are not figments of the imagination... they are real! Lovely story well worth the telling.
Sunday, 22 January 2012
It’s all about the ‘I’
AKA being ‘Positively Selfish.’
You might be reading this title and thinking, ’what’s up with Jaz? Why is she encouraging us to be self centred all of a sudden? Or maybe, what does ‘all about the 'I’ actually mean?
I have taken this phrase out of context because everyone has their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, so we will not be discussing our relationships with God or the Universe. I am taking it for granted that everyone who has a relationship with God or interacts with the universe will automatically put that at the top of their list. Here we will be looking at how we regard ourselves and the knock on effects that this has on others. It is good to assess how we regard ourselves right at the start of the year so that we can make good progress with our goals and resolutions.
It is important to love yourself. Once you have a sense of your own importance you will gain in confidence. This does not mean that you are more important than anyone else; it simply means that you recognize your own worth. Everyone is on this earth to fulfil a purpose however great or menial that might be and remember, the top of every pyramid is only there because it is supported by the base.
Be kind to yourself... it is essential. Often we are too harsh on ourselves and too judgemental. Ultimately we are who we are and have our individual strengths & weaknesses. We usually encourage people to try and be non-judgemental towards others and we should apply this attitude towards ourselves by being a little kinder & applying understanding to our own actions. If we understand ourselves a little more we can work with the raw material!
Respect, or lack of, is the foundation underlying all relationships. If we understand ourselves we can mould ourselves into the person we wish to be and through doing so we come to respect ourselves. If we don’t respect ourselves how can others respect us? Respect is allied to knowing your own worth. There are many people who have no tact or diplomacy and trample on others, making them feel inferior in a bid to ‘get their own way.’ Occasionally other people are very nice to us and act in a friendly way because they want to make the most of our kindness and talents, switching them to their advantage.
The ‘I’ knows its limitations so do not be afraid to decide what is possible for you and what is pushing you to your limit. There are people who severely burden themselves with tasks to meet other people’s agendas, often because they like to be viewed as both helpful and possibly indispensible. Whilst helping others is commendable, we need to make sure that we are not stunting our own growth. Try drawing up your own agenda. What do you want to do? Write out actual events you wish to attend, what you would really like to be doing, courses that interest you and ways you wish to use your mind your way!! This is important to enable yourself to develop fully and once shady areas and strengths have been identified you have the basis to plan in the coming months and years.
Look at current demands. Whether it is your partner, children or friends putting demands on you, stop and evaluate whether a request is reasonable or whether someone is trying to take advantage. Realistically do you have the time to devote to a regular or one off commitment? Accept or decline accordingly and remember, some situations are open to negotiation or a little bartering. An agreeable exchange of services or skills may be beneficial all round.
Make sure that you have enough ‘ME TIME,’ very important because you need to revitalise your self with sufficient rest and have time to pursue your personal interests.
Why then is it beneficial to others when you practice being positively selfish? Firstly you will achieve more in life developing a sense of accomplishment and pleasure... leading people to respect you for who you are and not as a ‘yes’ person. The knock on effect is that when we are happy with ourselves we send out positive vibes and generally treat other people with more consideration. How much more inclined we are to shout and snap at others when we are stressed and taken for granted! When we step back a little and expect more from others it gives them the opportunity to play a proper role in our lives and increases their skills and confidence as a result. Taking proper care of yourself will make you a happier, healthier person and an inspiration to others, all positive, desirable attributes!
‘Jealousy,’ the yellow eyed monster coming next week, 29/01/12
Email us with your thoughts, opinions or subjects matter. email@example.com
Friday, 20 January 2012
Have you noticed how fickle people can be on public transport, especially buses? If the bus is half empty be wary of taking a front seat ie: those marked for the elderly... why? Because buses have a habit of filling up and once this happens you have 2 choices:
1) To sit comfortably whilst feeling guilty as the less able board
2) Give up your seat and practice counter-balancing skills instead for the duration of the journey.
It is so interesting to watch the way people behave when a lack of seats occurs. Very often a person will volunteer to give up their seat, usually whilst fully seated rather than by standing up first, to an elderly person who clearly has overdosed on the ‘yes I can’ attitude and declines, preferring to grip on to the pole for dear life and pretend they are quite comfortable doing so. The sensible ones accept politely!
The next category we will observe is very interesting, the ‘mortally offended vocal group’ who believe they are entitled to THAT SEAT! There are 2 easily recognizable species.
1) Those who want a seat, will not ask anyone to give theirs up but will complain about the lack of one in a very loud voice, discussing it with their friend. ‘ Oh no, we’ve got 10 stops to go on this bus and I am so tired after doing all this shopping and there’s not even one spare seat. I hope someone gets off in a minute before my legs give way...’ No-one will be entitled to any peace as long as they’re on their feet!
2) Direct attack! Oh yes, nothing subtle here. Straight to the jugular; ‘can’t you see that this old lady needs a seat? What’s wrong with you, you’re half her age. You should be ashamed of yourself just sitting there and expecting my friend to stand up.’ Sometimes the poor ‘offender’ is beaten into submission.
Whereas it is a matter of courtesy and common kindness to stand up for people who clearly are more in need of a seat than you, occasionally people’s needs are not obvious. The problem here occurs when the accuser does not know anything about the accused, who could be exhausted if in the early stages of pregnancy, suffering with a long term illness or injury and be in equal need of that seat.
Finally we have the buggy/wheelchair situation. I have noticed that young mums no longer close their buggy on the odd occasion when there is no more room to push it into the allocated slot and some seem to prefer to wait for another bus ... interesting! Even lively children are so often kept in their buggies.
Times change and our expectations change, some things for the better and some for the worse. Overall, whatever the general trend I believe that we should still have regard for others and be prepared to make minor sacrifices if called for.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Thought we'd run a Michael Jackson classic past you today just for a change. Balance in life is essential so a little light music is a great thing... of course, Michael is also outlining the importance of 'chillaxing time'... 'working sunside of the moonlight,' fantastic phrase & not to be recommended on a daily basis!
Sooooo, why not take some time off & scroll through a few of our blogs if you feel like it. NO PRESSURE LOL & we would love you to join our followers!
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Life to a child is relatively straight forward and filled with stories that will challenge inquiring minds. Whilst being challenged however, it is a fact that children often lack the power to distinguish reality from fantasy, hence Father Christmas & the tooth fairy appear very real... by the way, how much is a tooth these days?
As adults we understand how grueling and challenging life actually is and that every rose has its thorns! Yet if we look back at childhood tales they do have a way of preparing young minds to encompass good and bad. Fantasy is actually based very loosely on reality when you come to consider. The poison apple, how often are we bewitched into doing things by people who are great flatters? The gingerbread house... what tempts us even when we are subconsciously alerted to danger? Today's poem is entitled, 'Once Upon A Time' and gives a brief glance into the reality/fantasy divide.
Once Upon a Time
Let’s look at Once Upon a Time
That reassuring line pertaining to fairytales
Enter the world of nonsense rhyme
Full of snips & snails & puppy dog tails!
A fantasy world with a happy ending?
Poor Gingerbred man, his plot went wrong!
But Snow White survived the poisoned apple
Eternally singing her wonderful song
‘Happily Ever After,’ bangs the fairy tale gong!
The world is a dangerous place
Life to death is not a race with
Wicked fairies, Kings and Queens
At every turn, thwarting dreams
The school of hard knocks
100% attendance... rocks!
Step up to the challenge
Monopoly not a board game
To monopolise life is control
Control + Teamwork=GOAL!
So get behind your ball & dribble... LOL!
Jaz McKenzie ©
Monday, 16 January 2012
I HAVE A DREAM
Martin Luther King, youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Award.
King was indisputably one of the world’s most inspirational characters being unafraid to stand up and proclaim his messages, fighting the struggle for equality, fighting to bring an end to poverty and to end the Vietnam War. King made some of the most illuminating and engaging speeches in history, which have been re-played and written about repeatedly to this day. Sadly many unspeakable horrors are still within the very fabric of society.
As a society we still hold Martin Luther King’s dream close to our hearts, despite great progress the wrongs are still highly evident, particularly we see the recession hitting the poor amongst us, children killing children, rioting in the streets and many aspects of civil unrest. Racism is still venomous and influential in many ways, even with an increasing population of racial mixes and improved cultural understanding.
The fight for justice and peace continues and today there are many organisations concerned with improving different aspects of society. The Peacekeepers USA/UK, committed to working within the local community to engage people represented by the slogan, ‘I am Present for peace.’ There are other organisations and many smaller initiatives who are working on different projects to help involve and stimulate people to be positive and develop an interest in different projects. Obtaining focus and developing understanding are key elements in creating a happier and more open minded society.
Wars will continue, hatred combined with violence, murder or insidious forms of seclusion will continue BUT we cannot sit here doing nothing. Look how King’s dream has infiltrated society. One man stood up and spoke, millions listened. No matter who you are you can make a difference, even if only to a few people, so go out there and find the role you were made for. In the words of Najashi, founder/leader of band ‘Dread Daze,’ ‘Peace-in’
Sunday, 15 January 2012
POSITIVITY & RESILIENCE
I am going to discuss positivity and resilience, what it means to me and how I apply resilience and positivity to my everyday life. This to me means to be in such a position of good health with sufficient energy and vitality which can therefore enable me to support myself in diverse realms. I like to practice a holistic approach to personal well-being including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial. Through this I can learn to explore and pursue my life's mission: to maintain forward progress. I believe that this entertained idea of holistic positivity is a key contributor to resilience or personal ability to bounce back from challenges and obstacles that occur in everyday life.
So what is positivity? Positivity is the frequent familiarity of pleasant/good emotions. Many of these emotions include joy, hope, gratitude, interest, serenity, pride, amusement, love, inspiration. My favourite pleasant emotion at the present time has to be the satisfaction of success, you know that one? When you have worked so hard to achieve something and it pays off, yes! That’s a wonderful feeling of achievement.
The concept of positivity is by no means a constant ideal where individuals never experience negative emotions. Obviously, we are only human and it would be impossible to avoid negativity in our lives; bad things do happen… What’s really important is the ratio of positive to negative emotions over time and we just have to make sure that we have more than enough positive experiences to counterbalance the negative ones.
So what have I learned about positivity and resilience?
In my life I have encountered many obstacles and troubles that have somewhat left me shattered. The key to developing in life is reflection. When I reflect on errors and the initial situation in life I can analyse and assess the ways in which I can cope better if things occur again. I can develop and learn new techniques to be positive and resilient towards negativity regardless of my current state. A bad situation can be turned round by training my mind to become conditioned to positivity, for example: I wake up in the morning and it is raining so I can either ‘huff and puff’ or have a positive mood and say, ‘never mind, grab an umbrella and get on with the day!’ I guarantee that you will have a better day than starting out moody. Try it… by testing this “think positive” technique I can see that it is effective in my life and has helped me to gain more, improving my personal learning and development immensely. I believe that in this universe like attracts like, if you think positively you attract positive energy, if you think negatively then you attract negative energy.
Focus: sometimes life can be very hectic and it can seem as though we might lose control… just focus! Find a focus, this can be something you enjoy doing or something that you need to do. A focus can distract individuals from problems around them and can convert negative energy into something useful like completing course work etc. I don’t know about you but this was my best coping mechanism, try it and let me know.
I have come to the conclusion that the impact of positivity isn't just in the short-term when we relax, smile, or feel better in the moment. I think positivity definitely has longer-term impacts on our outlook regarding ourselves in the world and our relationships with people. It helps us to have a deeper understanding of the world because we can become more open minded. While this may seem like an exaggerative statement, we all know that experiencing these types of feelings and emotions has a much greater impact on our lives than we understand or practice. I personally believe that positive feelings forever change our minds and even our physical form in ways that greatly enhance the quality of our lives. Make a positive effort this week to look at the positives in everything & see what a difference it makes! Be Braap~ Be Positive!
Coming next Sunday, 22nd January, It's all about the 'I'
If you would like to tell us of an experience that was overcome through your positive attitude email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 13 January 2012
Yesterday Mark described his musical background and how challenging he is finding it trying to break into the music business. Today we will focus on Mark Lyttle the voice and the style!
We have mentioned Mikey Spice, do you get compared to him very often?
Yes, basically I do and I admire his music and the way he does his thing... my sound is deep like Mikey’s so that will happen. But in time and with the different types of music I’ll be doing I hope to come into my own.
Do you consider it a compliment being compared with Mikey or other excellent singers?
Yes Mikey Spice is highly respected so being compared to him is something good. I have also been compared to Jack Radics and Jeffrey Osbourne, all of which I consider to be a compliment as I grew up listening to their music and respect these people. I hope I can do as well as these people maybe even pass their achievements with God’s help.
The qualities in your voice will draw women immediately as you have that deep, rolling sexy sound; do you attract a male audience as well?
Yes I do pull both audiences but it depends on the song I’m singing. If I’m singing something that’s socially conscious then it usually will appeal to everyone, if I’m singing about love or relationship issues then it will appeal more to the female audience.
Do you write from personal experience or keep your material more general?
Well I do use personal material because I like to write something people can identify with. I will basically imagine I’m like a book writer telling my stories, but whatever I come up with I will put in a bit of my own personal experience into the songs to make it feel more personal and appealing to the listener.
Moving on, you have done a wonderful version of Teddy Pendergrass’s song ‘In my Time,’ what were your reasons for covering this particular song?
Basically I grew up listening to Teddy and I have the same kind of voice. First time I heard it I realised it was something you could sing-a-long to. Teddy is a superstar and has very popular songs so I did something the public can recognise and enjoy. In Jamaica it is not easy to go mainstream but you are respected if you can make a very good cover in your own way and people will come and tell you what they think. Then they are more likely to listen to your own material when they hear it. That’s why I put it on my CD and people will get to know my music. I try to do something that sounds good and is not complicated and can be easily known.
What is your greatest ambition? Is it to do with music?
My greatest ambition is to become an internationally known artist that contributes good positive music to the world and be able to make a comfortable living off what I love to do.
You have already said that you are a conscious-centred artist. With regards to world poverty, what difference do you think you can make as an artist or an individual?
Personally I think in my music I can choose whatever subject I want to sing about and can stimulate and influence people in a positive direction. Finding something positive and giving it a good hook can feed the mind and the brain and cause people to react. Doing something from a positive angle at the end of the day helps create a better society.
Being of a positive mind, what is your favourite inspirational saying?
My favourite inspirational saying comes from the Bible. It is ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Personally, I have had my rough times & my hard times. There are times when I would look in the mirror and say this to myself and believe it. I will speak positive to myself and even if it doesn’t get better at that time I find the positive attitude helps you to keep a clear mind and have the power to deal with whatever situation I’m faced with.
To find our more about Mark Lyttle check his website: http://www.marklyttle.com/site/
TO CONTACT US: ITSBRAAP@LIVE.CO.UK
Bringing a little Mark Lyttle for you to appreciate. An accompaniment to the interviews above & below! Enjoy the relaxing vibes. ~IB~
Thursday, 12 January 2012
~IB~ interview with Reggae Artist Mark Lyttle
Mark is an exceptionally good Jamaican artist with a deep chocolate voice!! Part 1 of this interview brings to light some of the difficulties attached to following the dream ie; becoming a household name, for singers in general and not just Jamaicans. Mark started out singing in the church and progressed via a group to a solo career. We will also be examining the different dynamics his career has included.
We’re going to start by skipping across your gospel background & pick up your career from the time you were lead singer with the ‘Jesus Freaks’... That’s a very unusual name... how did you arrive at it?
Well the name wasn’t my idea it was the idea of the leader of the group. He was a big fan of a group called DC Talk and they had a song called Jesus Freak that went, ‘what would people say if they knew I was a Jesus Freak’ and he found this fascinating and said he would call his group Jesus Freak.
What are the main differences involved in being in a choir as opposed to the group?
The major difference is that with a choir you usually sing one part, so I sing lower tenor and you wouldn’t be as noticed or as significant as you are in a group. In a smaller group you sing a lot more and are more individualised, contributing more of your personal efforts; so if you make a mistake in a group of 5 it’s more noticeable than in a choir!
Does this mean that you found singing in the group more rewarding than singing in the choir?
In a sense yes because it was more what I wanted to do. It was more inline with my creativity and my sound. In a choir it’s more of a general sound and not an individual thing with 5-10 guys singing the same parts. A choir takes you into a bigger framework where you are concentrating on specific notes basically.
The overall sound a choir produces is very strident and impacts on the audience; do you think you can produce that kind of effect with a group?
I think a group can impact on the audience but in a way that depends upon the audience. If you are in a church setting they are usually more receptive to a choir as it gives a more reverent and religious sound that will be greatly appreciated. In a regular concert audience there are people who just don’t get the choir sound and think it’s too loud and forceful. They would be more receptive to the same song when it’s sung by a group of 5 and sometimes that makes it easier for people to make out the words. It also let’s the audience get a feel for the individual’s interpretation of the song.
Church music is very much a part of church life. When you moved to secular music did that have any specific effect on you?
Yes it did because I wanted to do music that deals with every aspect of life but in a positive way. The sound of the church is praise and worship but the sounds of the world are political, social issues, sex and relationships and other subjects with a wider range and a wider focus that affects us. We can use these as our topics to sing about.
How did the group come to split up?
That was because the leader of the group got married and other members of the group as well so they had less time for the group and put more time into the family.
What were your considerations when you decided to become a solo artist?
I know I have a great talent and ideas that can be put to music. The group that I was in split, but my passion for music was always with me and will be forever. I have visions of performing on a big stage that just won’t go away so I just couldn’t ignore it any longer and when I reached a rough patch in my life the thing that made me feel better was recording music. I would get lost in my imagination as I listened back to the quality of the production and this just took me away for hours at a time. It makes me feel good, like this is what I’m really supposed to do with my life, at least the biggest part of it.
I have listened to your love songs and was wondering what other issues have you addressed?
I have also addressed political and social issues so far, including a song I wrote called, ‘This Little Nation’ that speaks of the political tribalism that is very much a part of Jamaican politics and our need to move away from that and have faith in God and not man.
Your videos and are all quality videos that are well put together which is not always the case these days. Is part of your work ethos striving for perfection?
Yes it is. The video, ‘Have No Choice’ cost me quite a bit so I had to work hard to get the money together but it is important to produce good videos that make a good representation to your viewers.
How do you go about making your videos?
My video for ‘No Choice,’ was done by Jay Mac Productions here in Jamaica and was all shot in one location. So in terms of scene it was just a matter of moving around furniture and that took around 5 hours to do. They were done editing in about 4 weeks due to other engagements. My other videos are basically carefully compiled slide shows set to the songs.
Have you performed all around Jamaica?
No, it’s kinda hard in Jamaica to get work as it’s flooded with artists here. I have a show tonight and one in a hotel on Friday night. I did a small show which was a benefit concert for a friend of mine. I am doing everything that comes around and hoping things will fall into place musically, but without a manager or money to get my music on the air it’s been very hard trying to get out there.
You stopped doing music for a while, began a career in construction management and returned to your music, why?
I was frustrated. A couple of years ago I had some new demos and was hoping to be signed, but the producer was inexperienced and didn’t have any credible links in the music business, so I ended up wasting my time and money. Then in more recent times I was working with a guy who wanted to be my producer and he gave me some rhythms to work on, so I worked on them for a week in a studio that turned out to be Buju Banton’s studio. While I was there I did a recording and the people in the studio were impressed with my voice and said that they liked the recording & all that, but I knew in myself that I was not pleased with it and my voice sounded like I was straining so we had a difference of opinion. I wanted to rearrange it and felt they were leading me in the wrong direction, so basically I knew it wouldn’t work out with these people. I knew a band called Curfew so I approached them with my song and sang it in a key that I was more comfortable with. They build a rhythm for me that fitted the song and my voice much more than the one that I have previously did, so we went on to do a couple more songs.
You have a very rich voice which is a little reminiscent of Barry White and definitely Mikey Spice. Rather than sing R&B or soul music you have chosen to focus on reggae. As there is more money in the commercial market why are you moving in this direction?
I am a Jamaican & I have listened to reggae all my life so it’s the easiest thing to connect with. But I want to develop as a whole singer so basically I will cross over and in the near future I will do soul and acoustic music with guitar. Basically it’s easier to get my music out on the radio bands with the reggae. I am interested in doing some dubstep and will be doing that and hope to do some R&B when the right opportunity comes along.
Many artistes are successfully merging different styles of music, Maxi Priest being a prime example from a long way back. Which reggae artistes music has particularly inspire you?
Maxi Priest as you have mentioned, people like Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond, Taurus Riley, Richie Spice and the band Third World. Third World have a sound you can identify with. Some of the reggae is hardcore and deep, particularly in the Rastafarian thing, and some of it is easier to listen to and a bit more general, like Third World. Their music is easily identifiable.
COME BACK TOMORROW FOR PART 2 & GO CHECK OUT MARK'S WEBSITE http://www.marklyttle.com/site/
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Wednesday, 11 January 2012
The Dance of Life
Freedom runs through her veins
From the soles of her feet to the tips of her fingers
For there is nothing that can capture her soul
The dancer in full flight cannot be tamed
Cannot be distracted
For each millisecond counts,
A pure work of art complimenting the moment
Artistic expression cannot be measured
Grace, power and precision executed
Forcefully, gently, skilfully
Pirouette in full view
Twirling like a top
Moving across the stage as if
Gliding on a breeze
Captured forever in the imagination
Eternal vision of beauty.
Jaz McKenzie 2010 ©
Monday, 9 January 2012
Today we have a full moon... yes I saw it hazily circled in a ring of drifting cloud appearing in its most appealing form as the origin of mystery! Of course a full moon is highly symbolic and is in fact, a mega movie star enjoying the longest career in the history of screen having appeared in just about every horror story ever written. Sadly it still has not been rewarded with even the smallest BAFTA!! So, let’s turn this on its head. ‘An America Werewolf in London,’ wouldn’t have been anywhere near as frightening without the full moon putting in regular appearances, however there is a serious side pertaining to the myths of the moon leaving quite a few stories to tell.
Back in the day, when I was 14, my friend Donna and I were walking home from a friend’s house cracking every joke you could imagine about the full moon, which was shining down brightly upon us. Eventually we hit the main road and split, Donna going to the right whilst I turned off to the left. A few yards down loomed the church with a walkway between the building and the church hall, familiar by day but by night!! By now of course the laughter had given way to that strange sense of uncertainty and a deep desire to be safely back behind my front door. This was in the days before mobile phones, when the only person you could chat with was the voice inside your head. Whilst churning my thoughts around, a skinny man in a dark coat stepped out from the walkway which exited back onto the church car park and said, ‘would you like a lift home?’ I was pretty scared but managed to reply with a firm, ‘No thank you,’ and had barely uttered the words when he suddenly made a grab at me. I shouted, ‘Get off!’ at the top of my voice & must have shocked him because he let go. In the split second that followed I weighed up the fact that if I were to run it might excite him and he could easily drag me back into the car park, so I calmly turned my back on him and walked ‘confidently’ at a normal pace down the road until I thought I was far enough away, then I raced the rest of the way home & arrived on the doorstep a trembling wretch! I don’t know if any other of my mad occurrences happened during full moons but either way the moon’s lunar effects are pretty much indisputable: except to scientists who it would appear have so far failed to find sufficient evidence connecting the moon directly with incidents of ‘lunacy.’ Had I know this a few years back I might have studied the effects of the full moon on the patients’ behaviour when I was working in a psychiatric hospital, however the only cycle that clearly appeared to effect the behaviour of our female patients was menstrual!
So, when does a full moon occur? Basically when we are bang in the middle of the sun and the moon allowing the moon to appear fully illuminated by the sun... hmmm I preferred biology with our mega enthusiastic Australian teacher who could even make dissecting a rat interesting... more horror!
In my opinion the main characteristic of the moon was basically that it was outside our reach and what do we always want? The very thing we cannot have; so naturally man set about conquering the moon. In 1969 Neil Armstrong was honoured to be the first person to set foot on the moon, declaring, ’One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind!’ Whether he ever envisioned walking on the moon as a young child I have no idea, however he was clearly an extremely motivated and determined young man who worked in his teens so he could afford to take flying lessons.
The race to the moon was on and it was a race the Americans simply had to win; yet as their flag was seen to sway it has been debated and disputed ever since. So, yes a scientific leap which in terms of international communication & teamwork failed to advance ‘mankind’ at all.
Of course the final question has to be, ‘What did the man in the moon have to say about all this?’ That we will never know because according to a reliable source ‘he came down too soon & made his way to Norwich. He went by the south & burnt his mouth eating cold pease porridge.’ RESULT: NO COMMENT!
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Sunday, 8 January 2012
Facing The Cobra
When we think of meditation the image that rushes to mind is that of a person sitting very still cross legged, totally shutting off from the outside world and clearing the mind of whatever thoughts surface during the silence.
A way of defining meditation is when you give attention and deep thought to one or a set of things.
But what about meditation for us the every day person; who have to work, maintain a household and deal with the obstacles that everyday life throws at us?
Well... I have learnt that the way you meditate is reflected on the type of lifestyle you live or even the way you view the world around you. I personally do not have an hour each morning to sit quietly and meditate, my lifestyle just does not allow for this type of meditation. So, I would like to suggest a practical way of channelling a meditative focus that will benefit you in a very real way. This is by making a collage of visual images which is actually quite simple. Just list the goals you have, the problems you want solved or the achievements you want to work towards for your future: you can start by meditating on your vision board each morning and evening which will keep you positive and start the manifestation that will result in these things coming true.
To get started you need a piece of paper large enough to allow you to put these sections on it: career, home, love, health and extras. In these areas you will put your desires for the next 6 months to a year. Stick them up in a place near your bed so you awake and fall asleep being able to look at it.
So for example in each section you need to be specific about what you want to achieve. If you are in the music business you may want to become more creative. So you would put the word CREATVITY and if you can find a picture that symbolizes this for you then cut it out and stick it on. I find that magazines are a great resource when creating vision boards. You should do this for each area and you can also cut out words too.
The area labelled extras is a place where you can help others, if you know a person who wants to change job you can put them in your extras section. Put their name and next to it the word JOB; also give this your attention whenever you look at your vision board. When looking at your board or remembering your images mentally you will need to have a few minutes quiet, I usually take five minutes to do this morning and evening.
Being specific is key as the universe does not respond to indecisive thoughts. You must have firm conviction in what is it you want and the universe will begin to work for you. While meditating on your list you should envision yourself achieving them and really conjure up that scene in your mind, feel your happiness at achieving this and develop a passion for that moment. This is what manifests your desires and in turn the universe answers by providing the opportunities needed for you to achieve the things you have asked for. Give it a go and you will be surprised by the results!
This type of meditation/ manifestation can be done anywhere at anytime. Once you have your images set in your mind you can return to manifesting and meditating again and again.
Like all things in life if just requires a little practice and discipline, but I know from experience it is a habit well worth developing.
If you have never done this before and find it works for you please let us know how you get on & what significant things you achieve. firstname.lastname@example.org
COMING NEXT WEEK 15/01/12 >>'BE STRONG STAY STRONG!'
Friday, 6 January 2012
Phillip Peters Jr aka Wize-Dome TheLyricist. I'm an aspiring Lyricist and Poet who writes about real life experiences and situations people can relate to. This piece is basically reaching out to people saying when I write or speak my words I do it the right way, positive, uplifting & righteous. Life is something we should take seriously, it's not a game, in all you do keep it real, set examples for the youths because the things we do they will follow. If we do good the youths will do good, if we do bad they will do bad also.
As Poets, musicians or singers we need to be setting examples for the youths. The mic and the pen are both powerful tools as we can speak and write life or death.
NOT A GAME
Written by Phillip Peters Jr aka Wize-Dome TheLyricist
Don't be phased when I get on the mic
Cause when I spit my verse i'ma do it right
I'ma speak for the less fortunate and speak for the poor
Speak for the ones who ain't here any more
I'ma speak to the gangsters and speak to the thugs
I'ma say it out loud bring back the love
Don't think of yourselves think of the youths
Encourage them daily tell them the truth
Whatever we do the youths will follow
So alway do good and keep out of trouble
Think positive and talk upright
Live in love people please don't fight
Respect is something we gotta give to earn
We reap what we sow It's how we learn
Do good each and everyday
Take life serious it not a game you play
© Phillip Peters Jr
A big thanks to Wize-Dome for sending us his poetry & why not post your comment as this facility is now available!
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Thursday, 5 January 2012
We have changed the blog settings which will enable you to comment easily on the blogs as previously people needed a google account in order to do so. We will also be allowing non-members to comment therefore will need to view all comments before they are posted to disable any inappropriate remarks, as you will appreciate.
We hope you will take this opportunity to share your views and have also added a quick click system which is available under each post.
NEW FOR 2012 >> LIVE LIFE~LOVE LIFE<< our 52 week blogathon which has been designed to look at different ways to help us stay positive and live an enjoyable life, will be posted every Sunday. Feedback on this is will be appreciated and please feel free to suggest topics that we will explore and feature for you.
REMINDER: If you are involved with an interesting project, are a poet, designer, singer etc and would like to be featured ~ alternatively if you wish to join our team of writers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 2012 is going to be the Braapest year yet so be a part of it!! ~IB~
Wednesday, 4 January 2012
We’re still right at the beginning of the new year and whilst I was wondering what to blog about I noticed the ‘silhouette’ of the cherry tree just outside. It’s a stark reminder of winter, being stripped to the bare branches, yet it has a strength about it having withstood the recent high winds and lashings of rain. I was contemplating this and admiring the tree when this thought occurred to me; the cherry tree is actually a static tribute to the purpose of life and holds a few truths close to its branches. I have brought these ideas to the forefront in my poem, ‘A Tree is just A Tree.’
A Tree is just a Tree
Study of the naked cherry tree,
Silhouette only, existing in the winter light
Centrepiece, framed outside the domain of my window
Solid trunk cleft neatly several feet high
To expand as an array of branches and twigs
Predominately pointing upwards towards the sky
A fact that has lain un-noticed by my blinded eyes
Drawn only by the pink blossom demanding attention
Forming a natural work of art in motion
As the petals fall, creating a blanket on the ground.
How true to life, the inability to notice reality
So often chasing a dream that will wither & die
Whilst the truth is visible, yet so often we deny
The facts, right there in front of our eyes
Those little branches pointing upwards on a mission
Creating a memorable vision to implant in the mind
For a cherry tree knows nothing, it has no choice
No inner voice beguiling it to try another way
Internal trickery not an option under skies
Of blue or grey, solitarily confined 24 hours a day
We have movement
We have a voice
We have freedom of thought
Ultimately we have choice
So allow your roots to spread in the soil
Of love, wisdom and compassion
Drinking it in, your daily food
Whilst God’s light shines upon your branches
Throughout the seasons of your days
So, like the cherry tree every part of your being
Will be uplifted towards the ultimate destination
Somewhere beyond the blue
But what if heaven is on earth?
Just play your part in life and enjoy
Love, laughter and happiness
The gifts for all seasons
Help spread these to everyone
Be it man, woman, girl or boy
So light up the world with a smile!
Whilst your blossom drifts with the wind
Jaz McKenzie 2012 ©
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Monday, 2 January 2012
Dawning of the day. Masquerade
This year started with a bang, in fact it started here in the UK with the most outstanding firework display I have ever seen... if you missed it check out Youtube! Stepping into 2012, with the brightest spirit followed by a truly sunny day with a warmth interrupted occasionally by a chilly breeze, I feel that 2012 is set to be an incredible year. Yesterday Its Braap started our Facebook Page, the group having run for over a year, and a Twitter account... help LOL, however a business essential it appears!
Today I discovered the icing on the cake when I came across this brilliantly refreshing song fit to be the first musical post of 2012. I have never heard of Swedish rock band ‘Masquerade,’ however this music is totally uplifting with mind blowing guitar solo’s.
Lyrical content includes:
‘Everything’s so alive so far beyond our time‘
‘The Dawning of the day, a time, a place filled with light’...
Just love it & definitely the essence of the beginning of the year. I think this is possibly the strongest sentiment in the song and is highly thought provoking> ‘ the precious time when freedom is no crime.’
According to the Wikipedia, Masquerade was formed in late 1988 and they spent quality time preparing their music, releasing their debut album in 1992 to great acclaim in England & Japan. They had a break for a while and later reformed. Interestingly the first band that came to mind when listening to this tune was Whitesnake & apparently they have been compared to and associated with Whitesnake. Masquerade have 3 albums to date, the most recent being ‘Flux’ in 2001. I think they have incredible energy and are extremely talented so would love to hear more from them in the not too distant future!
Sunday, 1 January 2012
TIP... as this is a longer article remember that you can magnify your screen!
As we enter a new age and a new year it is time once again to make those resolutions. But hold on a minute, let’s stop and consider the most common scenario. People make pretty standard resolutions such as ‘I am going to stop smoking,’ or ‘I am going on a diet to lose x amount of weight.’ These are popular themes born out by the fact that the gyms are bursting to the brim with energetic people stretching their limbs & burning up their excess calories. Sadly a few weeks later many people have reverted back to their usual lifestyle satisfied that they tried but the resolution wasn’t for them.
Very often we don’t really stop to consider our resolutions fully before launching into them which is partially why we fail. The first thing you need to do is to decide what type of resolution will provide you with a target, a sense of achievement and fit into your lifestyle. It’s a good idea to write down the things you would really like to achieve this year and what you would need to do to reach your goals.
In the current economic climate we need to consider our personal financial restrictions, especially when planning ‘new moves’ as over extension of our finances will cause mental stress. A good move is to check out the consequences should you change your mind before you sign on the dotted line. For instance, If paying for gym membership make sure that it is affordable and be aware of the terms of membership. These days there are agreements that can be easily cancelled without penalties. Secondly make sure that the resolution fits in with existing commitments. Planning to go to an art class on a Tuesday evening if you have small children is no good until you have negotiated with your partner or secured a reliable babysitter. The same applies when committing yourself to study, as I have realised through over-extending by taking on a management course whilst doing 101 things!
In real terms you are most likely to keep a resolution if you identify the benefits it holds for you. It is no good doing something just to do it. If I said to you, ‘I am going to climb Mount Everest,’ you would probably respond ,’why?’ To simply say, ‘because that’s my resolution,’ is really a bit random. Instead, if I were to say that I admire people who have climbed Mount Everest and crave that feeling of personal fulfilment resulting from the dedication involved, you would be able to understand my goal and relate to the intention. Understanding will encourage support which in turn assists achievement. When making resolutions it is good to try & get support from family and friends as they will want to see you succeed. If they don’t then you might need to resolve to look at your relationships!
If you are not used to setting goals it is a good idea to choose something simple to start with. It might be that you are busy bringing up a young family or are always in a rush to get to work. A simple goal would be to get up 15 minutes earlier to meditate or reflect upon the coming day. Both of these would achieve a sense of space, ‘me time’ & focus before being thrown into the busy routine. Once you have developed this habit, which usually takes around 6 weeks to be deemed successful, you can move on to a new resolution. Remember, life is about building blocks... to take us onwards & upwards!
Whatever you may resolve to do, the bottom line is that we are human. We have good days & bad days which means that if we have a bad day and eat the fresh cream cake, fail to exercise or shout at people when we pledged patience, we need to regard this as a temporary set back rather than saying we have failed & throw the resolution out of the window. Some people maintain their focus better than others or have great self discipline however the art of success is to get back on track quickly and not lose sight of the goal!
The best types of resolutions are positive and need to be easy to put into place taking account of your lifestyle... If you have young children & wish to go to Art Classes every Tuesday you will need to make sure that you have reliable childcare organised otherwise you will become frustrated and behind with your course. Not biting off more than you can chew is another essential... yes, I should have heeded my own advice before commencing a difficult management course that is overly demanding of my time! It is mentally more stimulating to set a positively worded resolution such as I will eat at mealtimes and only eat healthy snacks rather than ‘I won’t eat sweets & biscuits.’ We will look at this in more detail another time.
Finally, don’t demand too much of yourself. If you can only manage gym every three days then go every three days; it is better to build up than cut back! Maybe we need some pain to gain but on the other hand there is no point crippling yourself... that defeats the object. Know yourself.. that is key to success. BTW, always keep a record of your progress and try to include short notes and pictures where applicable to spur you on!
If you wish to tell us how you get on with your resolutions at any point this year write to firstname.lastname@example.org...
Here’s to success & may 2012 prove to be a very Happy New Year!!
Our next article in this series (08/01/12) will be 'Facing The Cobra'... A quick guide to meditation.