Thursday, 28 January 2016

NESBETH - MY DREAM - (Official Video) + Overview by Jaz McKenzie

Simply have to share this fantastic video, 'My Dream,' from one of my favourite Reggae artists, Nesbeth. I am so happy to see that the video is flying, especially as Nesbeth is speaking about dreams- and we all dream of living our dream! The video is beautiful and inspirational giving off some serious feel good vibes. Makes me want to jump on a plane and see that opening view for myself- not sure bright yellow & green are my colours though so not planning to wrap up in the Jamaican flag!

I enjoyed interviewing Nesbeth last year and reviewed his Victory EP which comes highly recommended. In addition I wrote about Nesbeth's humble personality in one of my regular features as he is a great role model. Nesbeth shows us that there is always a way, and in his case it was a way out of the ghetto in Kngston; provided we are determined to hold onto our dreams- bringing us back nicely to the success he is currently experiencing.

Nesbeth has certainly made a huge impact in Jamaica, being featured in the Islands major papers, 'The Jamaican Gleaner' earlier in the week and before that, The Observer. I have heard that My Dream is currently the number one song in Jamaica, and some people say in the world! Either way it is definitely successful way beyond Nesbeth's native shores.

Nesbeth genuinely believes in taking the lid off the box of potential enabling success and it's his determination that really shines through. Nesbeth encourages the belief that we can all do the same. It is this attitude that has enabled him to progress from the streets to the world stage, as I have said previously. Love of people is the oil in Nesbeth's engine and the My Dream video uses examples of people striving to fulfil their potential from both child and adult hood.

Meeting Nesbeth was one of my highlights last year and I hope he will be back performing in the UK soon.

Jaz McKenzie~ Word Magician, Writer, Poet.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Flying With Mozez~ 5 Key Questions about WINGS the Album

I love to find out where artists of all disciplines draw their inspiration from. This week I presented Mozez with 5 Key Questions based around, ‘Wings’ The Album, to discover the motivation and purpose of his latest work.

Can you speak about your albums preceeding Wings to give us a little background information?
My own personal albums I released were, ‘So Still,’ in October 2006 and the other one was ‘Time Out,’ which was a re-mixed album, an amalgamation of different tracks- some old tracks and some new tracks. ‘So Still,’ was the title track and we had, ‘Feel Free,’ which was produced by Guy Sigsworth who worked with Madonna and is a top producer. We also had Baby Blue and Eternity. The overall theme was to share my experiences as a child and up: my life in the church and my life generally, giving a background to who Mozez is. I talk about human nature and my visualisation of how life was at the time. I would call it a brief encounter with Mozez.

What is the inspiration behind Wings? That’s a good question because Wings was written over a period of time, a period of around nine years, so I was inspired by various different things. I’m easily inspired. I’m inspired by life itself, inspired by burdens, inspired by just living. If you think of it, to me we are privileged to be a part of this vast multiple expanse called nature: we are very, very privileged so I’m inspired by the things I see, just living, just being a part of life.

How did you choose Wings as the title track for your album? Well the title track initially when I first created the album I anticpiated would be, ‘The Absolute,’ because I thought it covered a number of different elements of the album. However, after reviewing it we decided to go with, ‘Wings,’ as we thought, 'The Absolute,' is a more abstract title that people might find hard to relate to. Everybody will understand what Wings is about because everybody has the challenge of wanting to be free, has the challenge of wanting to fly- to be somewhere else sometimes. So we thought that Wings would be a better title and indeed it encompasses what the album is about more so than The Absolute.

What do you want people to take away from your album? What I want people to take away: the album is about my experiences and I hope that I share similar experiences to a number of people, so the whole point is to be able to learn from each other. The album is about faith in human nature, it’s about love of self and covers a whole raft of different ideas I think, if I put it in one term it’s how to live; my visualisation for our society.

Do you have any favourite songs on the album? Yes I have. Mirror Mirror for me is probably the outstanding favourite for the moment, but The Absolute is another track I have a lot of time for because it’s an encouraging track. It’s a track about standing still, believing in yourself and facing the challenges you have as a human. Mirror Mirror reflects on who we are as people, as a soul. How we see ourselves, how we value things, what inspires us, what challenges us- a lot of things, so Mirror Mirror from that sense is a favourite song.

Next week we will participate in a little lyrical study based on, 'Mirror Mirror.'

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Be Braap~Be Inspired Quote from Tony Bennett

'Life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough.' ~Tony Bennett

This is a very intriguing quote and as life progresses I'm discovering the truths in it. I guess it's a spin on the more familiar saying, 'Older and wiser,' however this quote of Tony's says a whole heap more!

Ironically I heard him say this during the documentary about Amy Winehouse's life, and sadly Amy became caught up in the darker side of the business, failing to reach old age. I was quite upset when Amy told her friend that her award ceremony just wasn't as good without the drugs. With time, life does teach us many home truths, points out our mistakes and the reasons for them. If we are smart we switch to higher vibrations that prove more satisfying and can provide inner satisfaction that negates the need for different dependencies including the need for drugs. Life can only speak to us if we are prepared to listen and to make changes. We need to self love and in order to do that, to forgive ourselves and others as guilt stops progress. 

When you are young you want to grow up- when you get older, you feel younger and, if like me, start wishing you could skip some Birthdays and deny the years! Point is, attitude of mind and noticing the positives in your life helps show how we can make the most of ourselves. When you are open minded the ways to advance and use your talents become clear.

Allow time to be your teacher and if things don't work as expected be ready to learn the lesson. Everything in its time is one of the greatest lessons I have learnt- you can't hurry love and you can't hurry any other good thing either!

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Flying With Mozez~WINGS- Let's learn some secrets of success from the video!

Time to learn some lessons from Mozez the music master. This video has had over 1.5 million hits telling us the video, not just the song, has created a buzz!

Lesson one is simple- everything Mozez produces really is top quality, showing us the importance of striving for perfection. There are many people out there today who rush at life, which is a matter of choice, but taking time with your work really will produce a much deeper sense of satisfaction- the more we give out the more we get back! The quality of Wings, both the video and the album shows what a perfectionist Mozez is and as consumers we have become far more aware of the quality demanded in the industry. Check my review (link below) to gain a true sense of the album.

Lesson two- for all of you who make music videos, whether through action or stills, make an effort to ensure that the result is a true reflection of your intention; ie: the message in your music comes through. Try watching Mozez video with the volume muted and you will discover how powerful it is. We start with the dancers light, bright, free and flowing quickly followed by Mozez walking in a very burdened manner towards the piano. Mozez is wishing he could be free and dance is a magnificent medium to enhance our love of freedom. This also shows the importance of appropriate body language. Wings the video makes a good little silent film as it holds interest and this is a good marker to help you judge your own work.

Lesson three- Captivating use of video techniques. There are some wonderful techniques included in this video that make it a real showpiece for students to emulate. One of my favourite parts is the jagged expansion of Mozez jacket! I have no knowledge of correct terminology however incorporating multiple imagery, spins, spotlight shots creates many different ways of keeping our attention. And of course, the timing is perfection!

Lesson four- choose the right location. What a fantastic space with those beautiful stained glass windows all of which generate the freedom feel. The church is a springboard to freedom encouraging us to look at our spirituality. I love the fact that if we perceive this as a church, the pews are gone and the interior is now a huge space enabling dancers and musicians true freedom of expression. Think about the perfect location for your video or the types of stills fitting your theme.

Lesson five- Life is not clear cut.  Wings contains black and white clips along with merging imagery. This is a true reflection of life. Our lives contain many black and white areas which quite often merge when we lose our way and our ability to make clear, rational decisions. Of course, it makes the video more interesting however the same applies to our lives. How dull would we be if we didn't face challenges!

Lesson six- I'm sneaking in 'Shadow work'- facing those challenges! The use of silhouettes really empowers this video and the moves Mozez makes can be seen as conjuring up inner strength. You may not have heard of shadow work, however it's a serious subject and helps us to move our lives on. I know next to nothing about it so I'll leave the details to Teal Swan who is the Queen of Shadow Work!

ACTION: Play the video a few times and really get a feel for the song and true appreciation of the mastery behind this perfect piece of artistry.

NEXT WEEK: Flying with Mozez will bring you our first 5 KEY QUESTIONS INTERVIEW where Mozez will speak around 5 questions specifically relating to his album WINGS. Make sure you join us next week to go a little deeper  & all shares + Tweets appreciated!

LINKS: Numen Records  Its Braap F/B Wings Album Review

Jaz McKenzie

Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Flying With Mozez~ Intro

2016 is going to be a fantastic year and I feel extremely joyful following my recent meeting with Mozez, concluding 2015.

As many of you are aware I reviewed Mozez album, 'Wings'' in December and found it to be of exceptional quality vocally, lyrically and musically. Wings is very inspirational and throughout the album Mozez speaks of his life journey in a way that many of us can relate to. Wings may well awaken people and help them connect with their mind and spirit. This album strikes a chord particularly as Mozez views are akin to my own; life really is more like a river than we might realise.

I am fascinated by the impact Wings has had on me, partially due to my inability to relate to Zero 7 whom Mozez recorded with when he achieved a degree of fame. Mozez vocals are stunning, possibly because he is fully expressing himself  through this highly personal album and because he has a burning desire to share his thoughts to help guide others through similar experiences. We will shortly be finding our more about the album when I post our first interview.

When Mozez set up his record company, ‘Numen Records,’ he invited me to write blogs for him that were posted on the company website. I did this for quite a while and now am pleased to be embarking on a new joint project! We are going to be, ‘Flying with Mozez,’ this year and bringing a little something each week to your attention; keeping it in the mix. Our intention is:

  • For you to come to understand more about the album,
  • Mozez overall motivation
  • Give you exciting information about future projects 
  • Garner a little of Mozez musical history
  • Get to grips with Numen Records 
  • Receive notification of Mozez live performances.
To catch up, please follow the highlighted link to my review of Wings. Next week I will be sharing the video along with further commentary regarding the song. Mozez and I hope you will really enjoy this journey!


Jaz McKenzie~ Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Gut instincts are deffo the best! Meeting Charly Ngouh- Author & Entrepreneur

Yes I’m always rabbiting on about gut instinct so I thought I’d give you an example because right now excitement is fizzling in the air!

I decided to undertake the 20 minute walk to Sainsbury’s tonight just to buy a flatbread and salad bowl- no it’s not an expensive way to buy salad because I eat the whole thing over a couple of days without wastage- delicious and healthy!  With purchase in hand my mind said, ‘go to the 99p shop and buy some mayo. Walking the extra twenty steps I passed a guy who had displayed a sign to sell his book which had the word 'inspire' on it. I walked past him again on the way back and took a closer look however carried on because the last independently produced so called, ' inspirational personal story,' I purchased was pretty dire. Twice I almost stopped and twice I continued however my mind was niggling, so gut instinct had no alternative but to kick in. How do I know this? Because I felt uncomfortable walking away and knew I would regret not knowing what there was to know. This is how we tell- if I had felt comfortable I would have carried on without further thought.

Now it gets interesting. I said, ‘ I had to come back because you have put all this work into writing and publishing your book and now you’re standing here selling it. As you all know I love to support those who live their dreams. He laughed. I asked Charly (as I discovered) what his story was about. Charly’s book is called, ‘How I Won My War,’ a good title for an ex-soldier in the British Army who hails originally from Cameroon and has faced many challenges. I loved his positive, confident vibration and expect he knew when I passed that I’d be back. His story begins with an awkward birth and progresses through some complex relationships and situations. The book cost £10- why? It’s only a little paperback so I was preparing for a fiver. Charly told me that a donation goes to the Stoll Foundation to assist Veteran soldiers. Either way it doesn't matter because we set our own price. I handed over my tenner and explained that it would probably take me ages to get around to reading the book, took it home and read the first chapter before doing anything else! Charly is an entrepreneur who speaks three languages fluently and was born with an independent will. His book is extremely well written, warm and easy to read. I already have questions popping up in my mind that will need to be answered!

Gut instinct has brought a very interesting person into my life who I could so easily have missed meeting: just for the sake of a few minutes. Apparently Charly's book has been selling well and at this point I cannot anticipate how significant this encounter will prove to be. I love people who consider it more important to assist their fellow man than seek riches which is probably the universal foundation  underlying this connection. What I know is that there is far more to Charly Ngouh than his debut book and I am looking forward to unfolding more of his unique story. 

Please check Charly’s website to get a full flavour of what he has to offer.

Jaz McKenzie~ Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

New Year's Focus: An Empire State of Mind!

2016 has arrived and many people will be busy making and breaking resolutions. In the past I have made resolutions and even blogged about them however, I have re-thought the concept and am not keen on resolutions as they are akin to promises. We should be very careful about the promises we make, to others and ourselves. Broken promises can have devastating affects and one of our top areas of focus should be to love ourselves therefore it does not make sense to strive too hard and let ourselves down.

Instead of resolution I am considering having different points of focus. This allows us to step in where we are at and work on improvements across the board. My primary focus this year is on maintaining an Empire State of Mind. Having heard Alicia Keys singing this on radio a few times before Christmas, it suddenly dawned on me that this needs to be my personal focus for 2016. I have definitely made good progress on a personal level which is excellent as we are the centre of our empires. The next element is to look at the kingdom and see where we need to put our energy.

The number one achievement I need to strive for is publishing my poetry which has been in my mind for ages. I find it’s really a lack of knowledge- the how- that holds me back, so I have tended to put it on the back burner. Recently I felt inspired to prepare the collection and now a little more work is needed to finish this project. The empire state of mind says, ‘I can do it,’ and anything else I put my mind to, therefore it creates great focus. This triumphant state of mind also encourages us to hold our nerve when facing change, knowing that everything will work out for the best; particularly relevant as I am facing pretty scary changes right now that are very unsettling. We do need to maintain vision, gratitude and a joyful outlook however there is no point in denying concern as it underlies our best intentions. So yes, let’s look at the fears and work through them with determination to maintain the empire!

We must be aware that we are the custodians of our empire. This means that we are responsible for setting and maintaining standards within our empire. Our ethics need to extend to all key areas including family, work and leisure. Here are some questions to consider:
  •  How do we regard ourselves? 
  • What do we expect of ourselves and others? 
  • Are we easy going or too critical? 
  • Are we only concerned about reaching our own goals or do we genuinely support others? 
Once you understand how you operate it’s worth looking at how other people interact with you. Is mutual support really mutual? To identify levels of support you need to look at the give and take within each relationship; business, social or personal. This does not mean everything’s on a tit for tat basis, more a question of how comfortable you feel with the way a relationship is conducted. There will be relationships that no longer serve you however in some cases a few adjustments might help things run more smoothly. The key is keeping that empire state of mind when evaluating, which means being as objective as possible rather than allowing emotions to rule. One of the best ways to do this is to ask questions in a meditative state ie: quiet, and allow the answers to come to you without actively thinking things through. I need a lot more practice at this! Quiet questioning is a very good way of coping in many situations whether upset or making important decisions- beats being instantly reactive and regretting it later!

I am definitely allowing my empire state of mind to rule and here are the key points:
  • Love yourself and others
  • Define your empire- people, ambitions, events, networks
  • Be continually thankful for all the good things in life- even the littlest thing!
  • Pay attention to all your needs: spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social
  • Always face challenges and take action
  • Create new realistic challenges for growth in all areas of life
  • Do your best to keep promises, especially to yourself!
  • Acknowledge: there is no such thing as failure- only learning curves
  • Embrace success

I think that’s enough to get 2016 started and maybe we can expand a little more as the year progresses. Wishing you all a very happy and blessed New Year- and please spare a second to share the article! Thank you.

Jaz McKenzie~ Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image.