Friday, 27 February 2015

When your boat rocks....

... Hold onto your seat and keep the faith!

Today was going amazingly well when suddenly I opened an Email that contained the 'shock' factor- from my solicitor. My mind began reeling and that horrible feeling of fear and inadequacy swept across me. In a way it makes no sense. We have to go through certain procedures and solicitors are there to 'help' us, having the skills and knowledge that we generally lack. That doesn't prevent the immediate ostrich attack where I'd rather bury my head and wish it would resolve itself.

The point is that when the boat rocks we need to grab a good handful of inner courage and hold on tight. The sea does become choppy from time to time but when we have faith, the boat might bounce around in the waves however it will not overturn. Eventually everything will calm down and we can return to dry land.

During these time we need to reassure ourselves that we are in control and shift our focus onto something else. I phoned a friend, emailed a reply and am now writing this as a form of therapy!  My Motto-Always try to use challenging experiences to encourage others.

Next move, create a plan- quick shower, dinner, TV and print off some of my poems to start organising my first book. You see, whenever a negative attacks we need to regroup our minds quickly and overcome the worry with positive actions which generate positive thoughts. Once we do this the original problem appears to ease up and step-by-step, works itself out. Now I feel considerably better although none of the facts have changed. The result is:
If you measure my mood on the buoyancy scale I have gone from swallowing mouthfuls of water to swimming with calm, even strokes within half an hour- not bad!

I will be popping into the solicitors Monday and will be in a calm, controlled state of mind- might come away feeling empowered- who knows!

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Jah Message Riddim- OUT NOW on Buffaloo Record Label

Jah Message Riddim was produced by Jan Hunter and Patrick Atkins in 2013, recently released. This album features 11 artists across 14 tracks which includes the instrumental dub- all enquires to

Jah Message is a lively riddim lending itself well to different styles of Reggae- Roots & Culture, Lovers and slow Bashment. The title track Jah message is sung by Hughie Izachaar FT Ayshamar and other well known artists include Glen Sloley, Buckey Ranks (Raggamuffin fame) and UK Principal, who is experiencing success with War In The City.

Tracks feature regularly on Buffalooradio currently receiving weekly airplay on Sunshine Vibes show (3-6pm GMT) and The Chill Out Zone (6-9pm GMT) every Sunday and are included in the main playlist. You can purchase individual tracks or the album from the usual on-line outlets.

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK8- Give thanks for Music


Hear the wind rustling through the trees; a peaceful yet stirring sound. Chatter, laughter, angry shouts, car horns blasting and the relentless sounds of a busy life- yet there is no ‘music’, only a cacophony of noises available to tune into.

It really is good to think about the importance of music and song rather than just taking it for granted. Music must have entered our world very early on as we have a natural inclination towards rhythm, sounds and experimentation which, combined with our ability to interpret and desire to make sense of our world, would have quickly led to recognisable music.

Music is phenomenal and the fact that it is continually developing, pretty mind blowing. We have experienced the introduction of electronic music which has enabled so many people to become involved in the production of song. People who cannot play an instrument are now able to create their own tunes from beginning to end and share their work on the internet. For me, nothing beats live instrumentals, and the power of the traditional organ stands alone in my book! To play in an orchestra contributing to an incredible piece of music, or singing in a choir give a real identity and sense of purpose to you as an individual- helping to create a wonderful whole. The concert hall is still a place of huge positive vibrations celebrating a unified love of music and the richness contained within every note.

There are so many musical genres and nowadays we have a whole cross-over musical culture with even the most stand alone genre, Opera, being drawn into Pop, Reggae and beyond. Classical/Pop, Reggae/Rock are both good examples of the cross-over music that we have become very accustomed to; likewise the switch within songs from one genre to another.

But what about the purpose of music? Biblically it has always been used for praise and ‘lamentation,’ so let’s consider musical impact in daily living.

Music has always been associated with cultural and religious identity from open expressions of rebellion- very common in Rap and general Pop music, to associations with love, peace and meditation. Love of music regardless of genre is a universal denominator with music often being referred to as the universal language; beyond this life we hear of angelic realms playing harps and singing heavenly music; the truth is that we are all affected by music and its multiple vibrations.

As humans, we need to express ourselves. Some do it directly through using their artistic talents whilst others of us tune into those talents, mentally zoning in and twinning other people’s expression with our own needs. There are times in our lives when we claim a song or piece of music for ourselves because it has imprinted into our lives via memories. These associations can be good or bad; relating to love, pain and sometimes a whole period of our lives we would prefer to forget. It is good to identify the emotions roused by music and in some instances you can use these tunes as a prompt that you require self healing. If a song makes you feel happy that’s wonderful- these are the tunes to play when you feel low, anxious or experiencing situations where you need to lift your spirits. If on the other hand, certain songs cause you to feel highly emotional, angry, upset or full of regrets, take this as an indicator that there are still unresolved issues in your life that need re-visiting until you have reached acceptance and developed a sense of peace.

Our lives really are wrapped in music and it definitely has significant impact- I imagine we all have a musical timeline to refer back to if we so choose! Music is a must. When it comes to riches one of the greatest vaults in the world is our musical heritage, an open vault that we can dip into any time we choose and reap the benefits.

Jaz McKenzie

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Phil Watkis - Broken Promises (Official Video)

When leaders lack vision nations will perish, states Phil Watkis, roots & culture artist, So much truth in these few words, indeed in the entire song/video. Life is full of broken promises and shattered dreams, The sad thing is that there hasn't been any significant change across the globe hence the need to keep highlighting world issues and in this case the plight of the poor in Jamaica. Phil's video is highly poignant and the truth is painful- little shanty towns are heartbreaking and corruption widespread. Phil has a way of presenting this whole subject in a current and highly significant way, bringing the subject to our full attention.

The calibre of Phil's work is such that he deserves serious recognition as a contemporary artist whose finger is on the pulse of life as well as the musical beat.

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK7~ Give thanks For Good Friends


Good friends should never be taken for granted simply because they are good friends! People who are in our lives all the time can easily become a part of our personal ‘wallpaper,’ remaining in the background of our daily lives regardless of the major role they play. How often do we stop to really appreciate them? Yes, we comment on their new clothes and hairstyles but do we really think about the consistent support they provide except when we hit a crisis?

Imagine you moved away from your friends. Yes, you can chat on the phone but you can’t just pop round for the evening, go to the cinema, clubs, parties, shopping or anything else. It is through experiencing lack that we are often awakened to the shock realisation of our dependency on others. Sad really when we could wallow in appreciation! No man is an island- familiar words relating to the need for both human companionship and communication; a reminder that genuine, good friendships are mutually beneficial.

A really good friend actually becomes an extension of you! Not with regards to personality, likes or dislikes, but as someone who is tuned in, switched on and will always be looking out for you. This friend will understand how you will react in different situations and usually has the knack of saying the right thing. They will do their best to advise you and provide as much support as they possibly can. Good friends often know what the other is thinking without saying a word because friends operate on a deeper level. This can also happen with new friends. It’s not about time, it’s about connection.

The balance of give and take may not always be equal but the essence of friendship overrides this, and mutual support is still very evident. It may be that that life-learning or situations change the dynamics of a relationship from time to time, but where friendship is strong it will survive. Timid people may suddenly grow more confident which is challenging to the more dominant person. Friends form new friendships and these can lead to marriage, life partnerships and children which once again alters the dynamics. Success has killed many a friendship because the less successful person becomes jealous. Contrary to what some people say- ‘your haters were never true friends in the first place,’ I hold the view that we value what we have and things change for a reason. A good friendship can end but how does that eradicate all the good that went before? There are people who pretend to be a genuine friend and succeed in acting like one whilst having ulterior motives throughout that friendship. These are the people who cannot be classified as good friends and come under the label, ‘users.’

In order to value your friendship you need to nurture and contribute fully to each of your relationships. There are different types of friendship and when we are secure in ourselves we recognise these for what they are and understand the boundaries, not mistaking our partners ‘same sex’ friends as potential competition. That is the reaction of insecure people and should it be a reality that person can no longer be viewed as your friend- if they were, respect would have come first.

Final truth- be your own best friend and be true to yourself. Valentine’s Day is here- celebrate romance and if you don’t have a partner, celebrate yourself! Far better than being miserable you’re on your own and it’s an action that will elevate your self- worth and draw others to you.

Jaz McKenzie

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

New Bounce & T-Pain Kickstarter Campaign 2015 - DO IT, DWEET, DO IT!!!

Love young talent? Now you have an opportunity to actively support  these young guys and help them to achieve their dream. You can tell from the video just how talented they are and this really is an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference to four young lives. Being the music industry, it costs a fortune to forge ahead and is very hard to break into, as all of the artists I have featured on this blog or with DJ Freestyle in The Chill Out Zone, Buffaloo Radio, will tell you.

The last youngsters we supported here on Its Braap were Gladesmore Community School pupils with their highly inventive Everybody Dreams Campaign, supported by Wayne Marshall of G-Spot Fame and Dave Stewart, Eurythmics. The song caused a real stir and I wrote many articles covering their journey- enter 'Everybody Dreams' in search for this amazing project. Everybody Dreams was launched a year after the Tottenham Riots and brought to my attention by Mark Galloway- promoter, events manager and founder of 'Streetology.'  Everybody Dreams Video This song did extremely well and entered the UK charts in summer 2012. I met the children involved on a couple of occasions and they were so excited to be given the opportunity of a lifetime, even devoting their holiday to group appearances!

New Bounce, who bagged Simon Cowell's approval when they appeared in Britains Got Talent, are aiming for global recognition- and with the UK definitely ahead of the world in the Boyband department, should be able to achieve this with a Kickstart!. All you really have to do is donate as much as you can and keep sharing this video- SIMPLES- even a Meerkat could do that!

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 6- Life's Imperfections


We really do need to be thankful that life is full of imperfections. This subject was brought to my attention last week when I looked at my Peace Lily- I only have one Peace Lily & 3 baby Cacti in a triple tray on top of the microwave- they’re quite safe I promise! The Lily, I named Robo- a derivative of robust seeing my last houseplant died and I'm persuading Robo to do better, has a very poorly leaf. In fact, the leaf is literally half dead so I was contemplating cutting it off and then I thought about the other part which is very obviously half alive! I would have to cut through the living tissue to remove the dead and that seemed a little painful so I sat back and considered the implications of this instead.

Imperfection is what makes this a perfect world and therefore we need to give thanks for it. If this were not so we would be a very sorry human race indeed. Where the leaf is concerned something went wrong otherwise it would have withered and fallen, instead of which it is actually very healthy in part, providing an excellent, direct comparison with us as people. Not one of us can profess to be perfect and there are parts of our past that we would dearly love to eliminate. Not being biblical here by talking about sin, but I am speaking about our personal conscience. Last week we looked at identifying our talents. At the same time we need to identify our moral standing so we know what is acceptable to us and what is not. Once we have a firm moral ground our thoughts, words and actions are either in or out of sync. They will meet with our approval or, alternatively, make us feel ill at ease and maybe resentful of our behaviour: possibly we fail to understand why we did what we did! This is not a good place to be but being a human trait we will go there from time to time simply because we are free to make choices.

So why choose not to cut that ‘bad’ part of our lives off? The answer is, at that point in time for some unknown reason we needed to do what we did and may well have learnt a new lesson because of it. Very often we repeat certain behaviours, so need to learn new patterns that enable our lives to ‘bloom’ again.

Imperfection adds the ‘interest’ factor to our personalities. If you study supermodels many of them have flaws which are regarded as quaint or appealing- very often the most obvious candidates are passed over for a more individual look. Different is good and imperfection makes us interesting.

Bad boy turned good is always a wonderful story but unfortunately most women cannot change the bad boy and would be better off without him! Imperfections often play a part in helping us find our way in the world. This is why youngsters do so many things that adults have warned them against. The ‘battle scars’ they acquire either internally or externally add character and often provide memories of a daring youth; a time when they felt very alive, the feelings adding value to life despite their actions being socially unacceptable.

Imperfections can give rise to amazing discoveries. Accidents have accounted for quite a bit of our scientific understanding of the world- amazing new recipes, great works of art and sometimes the discovery of our own talents. Doing things by accident rather than by design can transform your life. I have created my current life pretty much by accident as I had no knowledge of the internet and was researching a couple of people. The net said ‘do you want to join Myspace?’ So I did and in many ways completely upset life as I knew it by paying too much attention to this new world and not enough on the domestic front. Yes, that was definitely a huge blemish in my life at the time- the equivalent of the dead leaf, but all finally worked out well and I have a new direction in life as a result. Had I stopped using the net to keep the peace things would be very different and considerably less stimulating!

So give thanks for imperfections. You can accept others as equals because we are all imperfect, you can make mistakes and the world will still turn, you might discover something quite remarkable through error and finally, imperfection adds interest to life itself and everything in our universe.

Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 6 February 2015

Love That Quote! - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Just love this quote and sometimes it's nice to use posters for a change. We can easily understand the message and it is easily transposed into a theme lyric that has been used in many songs- 'Never Give Up.' So let's stop and look at the poster. It has a sense of infinity about it- the simplistic use of colours is skilful and almost takes us beyond the horizon, Love the way the scene is punctuated by pyramids! The pyramids are important, giving a sense of order, strength, purpose and dependability- all qualities we need to find within ourselves if we are to make the most of our lives.

It is a good mental picture that we can store away and use as a focal point for meditation- would love to have it opposite me on the wall! I think it's just perfect for those moments life creeps up to overwhelm us and will help us to ground ourselves and look beyond our current situation towards a better outcome. A knot at the end of the rope, not a hangman's noose!

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Untitled Poem about cancer by Jani Ringler-Nielsen

I'm loving this poem- Just A few lines that cleverly express acceptance and fear of the inevitable. The self questioning & relation to self is brilliant Excellence piece of writing by Jani & a big thanks for sharing her work. ~Jaz

Many years have passed
The heart beating still
Just another problem
Just another pill
Laying in bed, trying to find the answer
But what is left for one
Who is slowly dying of cancer?
For the tear fall softly on my pillow
I look up and I smile coz I know why
My ears don’t hear what I think,
My mind don’t try to answer questions why
I just do and sleep and know I’m OK
Coz today I’ve made pie

Jani Ringler- Nielsen

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful Wk 5- My Talents (ie: your talents!)


All of us are talented. By definition most of us perceive talents as relating to a set of fixed ideas- he’s a talented artist, she’s a talented singer or dancer and usually talent tends to be tied with a creative flair. Some people have a talent for business, which is also a recognised expression, however you wouldn’t say, ‘Sam’s a very talented nurse.’ You are more likely to say that Sam is very caring person so nursing was clearly a profession he is ideally suited to. At the same time, Sam clearly has a talent for caring and relating to people.

If we had no talent in any realm we would probably lack direction in life. Usually our talents lead to a definite career. Some people have an aura about them that leaves others feeling happy to be in their presence. This is true of my Son’s family- you feel good for hours after they leave; this in addition to their talents! Sharing positive energy is a gift in itself and something you can work on if it doesn’t come naturally; the age old saying, ‘a smile costs nothing’ is so true and a great practice as we really can light up other people’s lives.

What interests you? This is often a good starting point as desire creates a platform for learning new skills. I was speaking with my hairdresser who gave up an office based career to take up hairdressing despite having small children at the time. After 12 years in the business she is looking for a new interest and wishes to reduce her hairdressing to part time hours so she can start a different occupation. On a persona note, I co-manage a nursery having worked my way through different types of childcare including residential, daycare, nannying, child minding and even working in a psychiatric hospital teaching Mum’s with severe post natal depression to care for their babies. I have held various positions not associated with childcare including Evening Store Manager at M&S when I had zero retail experience previously, so you never know what you can do until you try.

The key is identifying skills. I managed to identify enough skills from my work in the psychiatric hospital that translated to M&S including working with people, giving instructions, stock ordering and many more. Always consider your strengths and apply them to your desires. You should have some idea as to why you want to do something- a strong feeling is a valid reason and desire for challenge/change. Today we are blessed with the internet and can research our desires very easily, so we can learn how to go about making them a reality.

I like to be thankful for my talents because talent is part of  individual make-up. Sometimes I will come across a poem I wrote a long time ago and wonder where it came from, in fact I have identified the need to expand my repertoire once again, pushing my talent; this is the year to publish my first book!

When we have talents ideally we should use them to assist others or bring joy and encouragement. It depends on the nature of your talent as to its best use. Musicians and the arts in general directly bring us joy. Music lifts the spirit as does the energy in dance. Lady Diania (Music Media Management promotions) used her talents by helping me this week through explaining how some social networking sites I have previously not used benefit business. 

Sharing knowledge is a good way to use talents as are helping your friends to decorate their homes, knitting blankets for charities, cooking a meal for a sick relative; all of these things are the reason we have been given talents. Talents are basically our daily bread and contribution to society- even if you don’t have a job you can use talents through voluntary work. 

I have spent many hours using my skills to help others and although I rarely received financial payment I have benefitted from a great use of free time, met many interesting people and added to my skill base- so if you your first response is, ‘why allow yourself to be taken advantage of,’ I will reply, ‘life is a learning experience and my knowledge and circles have been enriched.’ There are some lessons in life that cannot be taught, they have to be learned through experience so that when we need them we are ready. Nothing happens by accident – years ago I day-dreamed, seeing myself interviewing people; something I started to do years ago for Its Braap and now I present The Chill Out Zone with DJ Freestyle, an extension of skills arising through natural opportunity.

Always give thanks for your talents daily, list them, see what new directions you may be able to pursue; Life is pretty amazing and rewarding when you follow your own flow!

Jaz McKenzie