Friday, 30 October 2015

'FOR THE LOVE'~ Review of Layne Tadesse's fresh new EP!

Tadesse's EP, ‘For The Love’ looks set to fly off the shelves or should I say up countless internet charts! Layne is a very exciting artist who sings with energy and conviction, deserving of the title, ‘groundbreaking.’
Having come from a war zone, Eritrea (East Africa,) Layne has clearly benefitted from making a new life in Southern California. This diverse journey has clearly given Layne a sound musical education that may not have been available to him otherwise. Reggae music is Layne’s original soul food however he is extremely talented and absorbed a range of popular musical styles throughout his journey, allowing their influence to permeate his songs- clearly a musical sponge.

Layne is one of the few lesser-known artists I have come across who really understands how to sell messages in a highly commercial way. As executive producer of his EP, Layne is clearly in touch with his roots whilst experimenting successfully using different types of musical fusions. All tracks on. ‘For The Love,’ are recorded to such a professional standard they can easily drop next to the likes of Wyclef, Sean Paul and other popular contemporary artists.  Interestingly, tracks such as ‘Ghetto Corner’ and ‘For The Love’ (FT Keznamdi) are ‘fresh’ yet remain sufficiently authentic to play beside the Reggae greats. These songs are both musically and lyrically sound with Layne speaking of life’s constant struggles and plights which are an essential part of not only Reggae but also Blues, Negro Spirituals and more recently Hip Hop.

Speaking of Hip Hop, I found, ‘Take A Ride’ (Ft Jon Doe & Kai Lovejoy) fascinating, working from an underlying Reggae beat with very American overtones throughout; accentuated by a few bars of extremely good rap. Somehow Layne projects a very raw, hypnotic tone drawing you deep into the tune. My view: this track is clearly commercial from the subject matter alone!

In summary, each of the five tracks are highly individual and are all top quality productions, with most containing serious messages- I’ll leave you to check out ‘Rain’ and ‘For the Love,’ whilst I finish with a comment about track #2. ‘Let It Burn’ is very firey and I can see the likes of Shakira avidly winding those hips-now you know exactly which rhythm we’re talking about and why you really should check out this talented, diverse and highly creative artist.

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Personal poetry and more:

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Layne Tadesse - 'For The Love' EP Review up NEXT!

Just loving Eritrean artist Layne Tadesse- EP Review up soon on Its Braap~ Stay Tuned!!~ JAZ

Monday, 26 October 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 39- Thanks for good memories

It is so easy to automatically think of good memories and this really is a blessing. One of the greatest joys pertaining to memories is that they cost nothing to accumulate. We actually possess the ability to dedicate every good experience we have to memory although we rarely do so! I think one of the tricks is trying to see the extraordinary in an everyday situation and do this from time to time. I demonstrated this last week in regards to magpies who, incidentally, I am still seeing daily on an individual basis- Extraordinary! Having shared this blog I now have some additional memories associated with it because this is how the law of attraction works- put something in your aura and it snowballs.

Many radio show quizzes are memory related: ‘In which year was this song a hit?’ People ring in and invariably associate the music with a special memory or milestone in their lives. My boss finds it strange that I cannot remember which year I achieved my childcare qualification having spent two years studying for it- I said, ‘that’s not exactly interesting but I do remember seeing Lenny Kravitz at his show in Brixton, 2005! To be fair, I am not known for having an excellent memory: names, faces, places- I really do need to work at this!!! The good thing is that I’ve been like it all my life so lack of memory does not worry me. The times over the years my Mum has said- do you remember when we went to so & so- the answer’s almost always NO!

Another set of memories that are highly significant go under the banner, ‘first experiences.’ Most Mum’s remember their baby’s first steps- pass on that one LOL, but I will try to commit my Granddaughter’s steps to memory as they were taken recently- although having missed the actual event I witnessed her wobble in a rush across the living room floor for the first time a couple of weeks back. Nowadays if you’re quick you can catch your memories and add to your phone videos.

There are times in our lives when memories become really significant. Sharing stories with friends and having a good laugh is guaranteed to add to the joy of a social occasion and people frequently trot out the same old ones- embarrassing moments are probably at the top of the list! Our memories are so personal they literally become a part of us and really do form the backdrop to our lives. Of course, when we lose our loved ones whether through distance, separation, illness- worst of all death, those memories become even more poignant and may be a huge comfort. Everything associated with a memory becomes precious or even painful depending on the situation. We need to learn what to take with us and what to let go of for our emotional well-being. ‘Memories... of the way we were,’ is a particular beautiful song as is ‘Memories,’ from the musical, ‘Cats.’ The power of our memories cannot be measured and the way in which we view them is likely to colour the present- misty, water colour memories is a highly artistic description and almost matches my experience on the Catamaran because that will dim to a hazy holiday memory as time passes: right now it’s a pretty rich experience.

It’s a good idea to keep journals and that way you will discover all sorts of things you have forgotten about- of course, those teenage journals may prove embarrassing but that’s just part of life! Writing a journal requires discipline and I only achieved this once for a couple of years many years ago. If you do manage to write regularly you will be able to track your personal development which will prove interesting.

Well, let’s raise our glasses to happy memories and many more exciting and worthwhile experiences- Live life to the max and enjoy!

Jaz McKenzie
Professional Writer/ Word Magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, and more:

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Give Thanks~ Feel Joyful Week 38- Magpies!!


Here's a subject you weren't expecting! It’s a strange thing, everytime I walk across Tooting Bec Common I see a magpie. Unusually, on every occasion this week I have seen just one and when I looked out of my window a few seconds ago, one magpie was strolling across a shed roof. In the past, one magpie has remained solitary for a minute or two before being joined by more magpies however recently this has ceased to happen. As I am currently tuning into the signs nature presents and thinking about their meaning in my life, I took this as a clear indication for consideration.

Society is full of superstitions and old wives tales which affect our beliefs and behaviours. I have blogged magpies previously as an example of my refusal to believe in such superstitions- I’ll have to read that again later! (Link) My current thinking is that an element of common sense may lie in some beliefs however others were initially manufactured for whatever reason!

Back to magpies- one for sorrow, two for joy! I do not believe that seeing one magpie will bring sadness and two magpies brings happiness. We decide how we approach each day and need to take control of our moods and circumstances, making the most of everything and uplifting ourselves in a bid to feel supremely happy.

One magpie- well, let’s consider the magpie! A magnificent bird, quite austere, whose black and white feathers are guaranteed to catch your eye. Black and white: be non- discriminatory and highly focused as grey areas could cloud your judgement. Magpies always seem purposeful, stopping temporarily to peck at the ground before cocking their heads and hopping or flying away. They are not the kind of bird I notice sitting around on a branch. Maybe that’s just me but I think of magpies primarily as active creatures- another good trait. According to folklore magpies are attracted to shiny objects. I haven’t seen a magpie carrying shiny objects but as this jumped into my mind I’ll assume the key point is to keep my eyes on the prize.

A solitary magpie- I believe the main lesson is to be complete within yourself. We are here to serve ourselves and our life purpose- the true meaning of self-service! We act as individuals within our communities and the universe as a whole. 

Being a bird, a magpie cannot over-think life, instead he sticks to the programme and these lessons in simplicity are helpful to me. It is not easy to ‘allow’ life. Instead of going with the flow we can complicate matters and paddle upstream for a bit instead of having the easier ride the universe has planned for us. Now, this is not about choosing the easy options and failing to take risks, it’s about failing to trust gut instinct and ignoring the signs.

I haven’t researched magpies as I’m literally following my thought process to see what lessons need to be conveyed and have concluded that I am following the right path in the right space and place in time- love that saying! The solo magpies are acting as an acknowledgement and a reminder of the importance of self and self-fulfilment. Partners and partnerships are great however we must never put the responsibility for our happiness or progress on someone else’s shoulders. Live for today, give thanks and give the best of yourself, all manner of good will follow!

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more:

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 37- Loving Vacations!


Its many years since I last went on vacation, to the extent that I had actually forgotten how much fun holidays can be! Life can become very ‘same old’ even when we vary our routines and until we do something radically different we can inadvertently train ourselves to be accepting of a lack of excitement- self preservation is a great thing!

Life isn’t necessarily dull however when we are constantly busy it may be that we are striving towards something specific at the exclusion of other things. Most of us enjoy many exciting and fulfilling experiences however these cannot be compared with the types of experiences a designated vacation can offer. The main aim of a vacation is to dedicate time to ourselves and focus on the things we enjoy, leaving daily toil behind. As I have been constantly online for years I am thrilled to have abstained from internet access for a couple of weeks! In fact, it’s not until I returned that I realised quite how intrusive the internet has become- especially Facebook - daaaaam, now it even pops up before I enter my pin code in the phone! 

Vacation puts you back in touch with aspects of life that may have become marginalised. Noise- gee whiz- do you realise how noisy London is? Barbados is ruled by the sound of crickets at night and relatively quiet by day- the constant sound of sirens thankfully is not present which I hadn't realised until I walked the streets of London once again where noise really is an onslaught. In fact it took a few days to become oblivious to the constant ‘disharmony of sounds’ upon my return.

Holidays are very often family highlights. A quick note here- business people need to switch off from business and pay attention to their family whilst on vacation as this is the one time family expect to come first! Yes it can be challenging trying to please everyone but that’s just a part of life- nurturing an attitude of give and take is part of caring and sharing- best learnt from a young age. This is why it’s good to research your intended destination before booking so that everyone’s needs’ will be catered for.

New experiences definitely enrich the quality of our lives and having the opportunity to relax fully and unwind is priceless- well, the holiday wasn’t priceless but definitely worth every penny! Pirate ships and Catamarans are definitely my cup of tea- think I fancy a yacht next, and hot sunshine along with sandy beaches are just the ticket. Not everyone wants a relaxing time but we definitely benefit from change. There are many active vacations to suit various hobbies and aspirations. Whatever you do the key is to absorb new experiences and enjoy them to the fullest.

We just have to be thankful for whatever life presents and when you are presented with fantastic opportunities, especially an exciting vacation- take them! Time now to start working towards the next one- or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to win one instead!

Jaz McKenzie
Professional writer/word magician! Contact me and we'll add a little spice to your image- includes Bio’s, Press releases, Reviews, Website content, Blogs, Business communications and more:

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Krosfyah - Pump Me Up~ Soca King Edwin Yearwood at the Voices For Lupus Concert!

Having just returned from the beautiful island, Barbados, I was thrilled to attend the Voices For Lupus concert, second annual event, orchestrated by British Musical Director and Voice Coach Mike King.

It was a wonderful opportunity to hear Edwin Yearwood once again- whom I previously saw  aboard a float during Crop-Over (in 2004 I think!) with his band Krosfah. Edwin has had a fantastic career and really excelled in the genre Soca, having huge success with his exceptional lyrics & song writing skills. Edwin's talents have become internationally recognised resulting in numerous awards and titles, in fact, he was granted the honour of being awarded keys to the city of Boston in 1996- bet that surprised you as it did me! For the record, Krosfyah have sold over 50,000 copies of their Album Ultimate Party-Pump Me Up, so if you haven't got that in  your music collection now's the time for action!

To round off, the evening included music from: Barbados Defense Band, vocal group G-Syndicate, spoken word poetry by Adrian Green, Gospel singer Paula Hinds and my personal favourites, genius jazz guitarist Mike Sealy- the notes he didn't play sang and his version of Summertime was stunning; finally, The voices For Lupus Choir/Orchestra who rounded the evening off in true celebratory style.

If you plan to be in Barbados next September, check out this event. All of the artists are worth researching with impressive career paths... and best of all, it's in aid of a great cause.

Jaz McKenzie