Monday, 30 May 2016

Ghetto Songbird- WOW bringing Rock N Roll from Philly to London!

Ghetto Songbird- Samantha Hollins

Last week at the Troubadour we experienced an absolute blast of pure rock from U.S. singer Samantha Hollins AKA Ghetto Songbird- a huge Hendrix fan who delivered her set with undeniable poise and passion.

This former poet has taken her career to a whole new level through swapping poetry for lyrical content, commanding the electric guitar and growing a fanbase in her home country the U.S.A.
Ghetto Songbird captures herself in her logo, a phoenix Goddess, complete with afro, rising from the ashes of the ghetto- what you see is what you get, delivered in her unique voice that spans a huge register of notes, all powerfully delivered. The majority of  songs performed were original, speaking about different aspects of life and spirit.

We were treated to a cover of Eurythmics, ‘Here comes the rain again,’ which was quite stunning. Ghetto Songbird’s voice is rich and well suited to Annie Lennox style of singing; Being an artist of quality Ghetto Songbird switched the song to her own style and included a sudden change of pace to keep us on our toes. The night also included tributes to Ghettos Songbird’s favourite idols: Jimi Hendrix-‘Foxy Lady,’ and Prince, ‘Let’s go crazy,’ pleasing her new found audience.

‘Alley of The Earth,’- a strong opening number and title track from Ghetto Songbird’s current E.P. This was a good indicator of the quality of her songs and set the performance pace. It struck me that to be able to sing solo on stage and deliver Rock and Roll without a band is quite an achievement! Alley of The Earth deals with the daily vacuum in which we live and the challenges that will drag us down unless we follow Ghetto Songbird’s advice and re-connect with the earth whilst initiating the spiritual side of our being to take control, raising our outlook and vibration.

‘Stoned on Love,’ (E.P.) -first impression- takes you straight to that hazy place where all thought becomes scrambled and you see everything from only one perspective- heaven!  There is such a freedom within the vocals as they skip around and harmonize beautifully in places; underpinned by a solid rock accompaniment.

I just love the imaginative track titles Ghetto Songbird comes up with. We were treated to: Electric Ladybyrd- can you imagine the guitar capturing that? 3rd Eye Of The The Sky, Puxsploitation – basically a rainbow burst of imagination delivering an assortment of challenging thoughts, often  encapsulated in Ghetto Songbird’s unique brand of humour. I particularly liked the title’, ‘Lipstick, heels and a bottle of wine,’ set for a great night without a doubt?

People’s attention was caught - GASP- when Ghetto Songbird announced her last song as many of us thought she had said the infamous MF word- no folks, we got it wrong, it was in fact Mother Sucker, Blood Sucker- you know, that vampire who drains you to the very core, so maybe not that wrong after all! I have to give extra credit here for Ghetto Songbird’s extraordinary guitar solo during which she seriously showcased her skills- very impressive.

Quick review of additional tracks included on the E.P:
 ‘East of The Same,’ speaks about refusal to go back into a dark place of pain and hurt- once again, something we can all relate to. Here Ghetto Songbird makes interesting use of an almost discordant set of sounds that convey strong dislike towards remaining in the same unsatisfactory state. ‘East of The Same,’ is a very heavy track to deliver with an equally heavy message; the importance of freeing yourself from those burdens that keep you imprisoned within yourself.
‘Sirens,’ yes you can hear them weaving throughout the music and of course, they are the background to everyday life. This song is very powerful and lying behind the sirens is our natural guidance system that wails at us now and again- spot on Ghetto Songbird! So watch out, you never quite know what’s coming your way.

Finally, it was a real pleasure meeting this talented artist and I look forward to Ghetto Songbird’s next visit when she will be bringing her band! Final thought: Big Hair, Big Voice, Huge Impact!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician

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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Just Cool - Cassandra London OFFICIAL VIDEO

I'm really feeling this song at the moment- not particularly the relationship, although we'll come on to that, but the whole joyful vibe which is why I keep playing it! I will add that I love Cassandra's album, with 'So Fresh,' remaining my personal favourite - silly thought; if I were on a dating show and had those words thrown at me I would say, 'I want to be So Fresh every morning' meaning, looking ahead with lively anticipation to the joys that day holds.

Being-  The Word Magician, I like to take words out of context and put my own spin on them, which releases new fundamental truths. Just Cool speaks volumes. Cassandra's approach in this song towards her romantic situation is cool. Like so many of us, Cassandra initially refuses to listen to her gut instinct but once that kicks in, instead she refuses to tolerate the situation and gives her guy the boot- Papa didn't raise no fool for real in Miss London! And while I'm speaking,'Cassandra the person,' I know she is determined to make a name for herself therefore has been through quite a lot of ups and downs in her career. Like many artists, Cassandra is looking to ground herself in the right space surrounded by those who offer genuine support, and, like us all, will benefit by reciprocating that support enabling the commercial engine to do its thing.

Just Cool- How fantastic would it be if you could say that life is Just Cool and really mean it? The more we believe that life is cool the better it becomes. If you accept life and let it flow you will undoubtedly release anxiety and adjust your expectations; by allowing things their own reign they will become easier. I'm thinking I'll take my own advice and get up everyday saying- my life is just cool - and allow these words to spin their magic.

Relationships- Just Cool is about a relationship which is clearly not running in tandem. The people involved have different agendas leading to conflict. Relationships tend to be casual or committed which got me thinking- perhaps we over-use the word, 'commitment,' or bend it to suit our purposes. As soon as we commit to something in life it takes on a new aura. We are suddenly faced with standards and for people with a level of immaturity or those who for various reasons are not in a position to commit, this can be a bit scary. Sometimes it is good to roll with a relationship and not introduce terminology, just allow that commitment to arise naturally without paying undue attention to it. In a good relationship both people want similar things, in which case you just get on with your lives as the relationship strengthens naturally. The foundation of relationships determines their nature. Some people are out for fun whereas others want a deep, or even a temporary, relationship built on integrity and exclusivity. If a relationship is to be Just Cool everybody should understand the ground rules. We all know that as soon as anything shady slips in, somebody gets hurt.

Final point-There are circumstances in life which give rise to relationships that can ultimately prove devastating. If you're coming out the other side of one of these, don't spend too much time analyzing it. Usually people were in a bad place at the time, in which case you learn the necessary lessons and move on. Forgive all those involved including yourself and aim to reach a better place before starting a new relationship.
My aim is to be Just Cool and today is definitely a Just Cool kind of day!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician 

Thursday, 19 May 2016

SERIES: Flying With Mozez~ How Mozez created his name and Mozez the moral messenger!

I am always curious as to how people create names for themselves. I do know how I came across Jaz McKenzie which simply popped into my mind when I used to daydream a great deal!  This is more involved so I'm very pleased to bring you Mozez discussing the thinking behind MOZEZ- and a great deal more besides!

In the beginning!
Mozez came about in 1999-2000. My name I used before as an artist was Osmond Wright, my real name, and it just didn’t feel right at all so I decided to try and think of another one. I liked Motown music so that was where I got the ‘Mo’ from. It’s a silly way to get name! So, Mo from Motown- and this might sound pretentious but I was thinking, ‘OK. How do you see yourself?’ ‘How would you project yourself in ten years?’ I wanted to be at the top basically and the word that came to me was Zenith, so I got the ZE from that and put them together as Mozez. (Laugh!) It doesn’t make sense but that’s how it came about. I’m into Motown music and that’s really the key to it.

Now, the biblical Moses was a prophet which you are well aware of with your church background. When you chose the name Mozez, did you think at all about the type of music you were singing at that time?
Yes in a way because I have always been a person who has a strong spiritual connection, singing in churches and because of my Dad (a preacher.) I have always loved that; the idea of spiritualism; the whole concept and I see myself as someone who is trying to deliver a message, not necessarily in the Christian way of being, but more as a sort of social messenger. I believe that I am a person who has a story to tell and you can accept it but you don’t have to. A sort of moral messenger basically.

So what influences drew you away from your traditional Christian roots?
I think, as I grew older I realised that there was so much more to the concept of God. When I came here to the UK I had a lot of questions that troubled me mentally, troubled my mind, questions as to what God actually is and what Christianity is. I went to Hampstead Bible School to study, just to have a bit more information to find out the truth about God, the ideology, the concept. I would say, as time went on my understanding of God developed into something else. Instead of being a God who is into a structure I now see God as a universal concept. Instead of God as being into particular people, I see God as encompassing everything. Christianity sort of put God into an,‘if you aren’t with me, you are against me,’ type thing and I believe God is so much greater than that! I believe God is so much greater than all the religions put together and these are just our way of working out God. That’s all it is, mans’ idea of how he sees God, but God is so much more than religion itself whether it be Buddhism or Christianity. He is so much wider than that so my horizons changed from being the sort of person who was a Christian and now being the sort of person who believes in God, period. I don’t have a congregation or a people that I belong to, the world is God; the whole planet is God; science is God; everything is God.

I think a lot of people have come to that conclusion. So how do you fit the concepts of Heaven and Hell into that thinking?
A good question. I think Heaven and Hell are real but our understanding of Heaven and Hell has become sort of convoluted. We think Heaven is a beautiful place and hell is this dreadful place.  My perspective is that it’s more a case that you suffer- you suffer bad things if you are a bad person and if you are a good person you have a better life. The end product of everything is that whatever you are, whatever’s connected to you, if you do bad things your generation will suffer the penalty for that. It’s like a sort of hell or heaven in a way. A simple concept; I don’t necessarily believe in hell fire and I don’t know what happens when we pass on, but I think that while we’re here we can be in heaven or hell. I can sort of think about the afterlife and have some ideas on that but I might not be right. Heaven to me here on earth is about spiritual awareness, how we treat people. That’s my heaven and hell.

Coming up next- a return to those meaningful lyrics!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician.  For help with your image- Bio's, Articles, CD write-ups contact:

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Flying With Mozez- a very brief update!

Today we're doing a little update regarding Mozez recent activity incase you are not yet up to speed. I will follow this blog shortly with an interview in which Mozez speaks about his name and discusses some in-depth spiritual thinking.

Mozez with Mari Conti
Mozez has been busy on the live music scene with his recent trip to Berlin, Germany, 5th-8th May, where he appeared in the XJAZZ Festival with Nightmares On Wax- what an interesting name! Hearing what a success the show turned out to be really makes me determined to attend Mozez next UK performance; we will give you plenty of notice of Mozez live events.

The latest exciting news for Mozez fans is the release of a specially re-mixed album containing favourites songs and some new material. Here is a brief quote from Mari Conti:

 'A new song is ready for the summer! 
This is the remix by GoldLounge Michele Effe of my song "Blue Is My Favourite Colour ft Mozez" and is out now on the new remix album from Mozez Wright called Dream State.'

DREAM STATE- is available to check out on Reverb Nation before purchasing your copy from Numen Records. I consider Dream State to be a great title as we have been learning about some of Mozez night time voyages! To find out more, search our series Flying With Mozez.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician


Monday, 2 May 2016

SERIES: Flying With Mozez~ Your Brother is You! Deep insight inspired by 'The Absolute.'

Lyrics from The Absolute:
‘The greatest is not to love your brother but knowing your brother is you.’ ~ Mozez 

Mozez' albums are designed to be listened to over and again; his lyrics containing so much food for thought. Take today's line for instance, a deep and intelligent spin on the old adage, ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’

‘No man is an island,’ – a great starting point when we choose to consider where we fit into our society and the universe as a whole- who are we and how are we connected to one another? Relationships are usually highly complex and it can be difficult to really grasp that ultimately we are all connected. In ‘The Absolute,’ Mozez takes that extension to its natural conclusion- we all come from one source and are different parts of the whole therefore we become one another. This doesn’t mean that we are identical- we should embrace our individuality, but by extending this knowledge it's clear that we need true empathy for one another and should try to understand what other people are facing in life.

As human beings we experience so many emotions and situations during our lifetimes and it is the process of life itself that teaches us how to deal with everything to become more complete beings. I am my brother because I laugh, I cry, I experience pain and sorrow, I have good and bad relationships, sometimes I test myself, other times I am tested and so on. How I react is up to me- inside each of us we have choices and as a result, react in different ways. What we choose to do may be a result of nature or nurture but it really does not matter how we make decisions; the fact is that we make them and our reasoning will be comprehensible to some people and totally incomprehensible to others. 

If we think about the very popular film Eddy the Eagle, Eddy’s decisions were pretty incomprehensible to most of us although we do understand the, ‘never give up’ philosophy in theory- Go Eddy Go! But what if my brother wants to be an Olympian, has talent but is too scared to test himself to the limit? That does not make him less of a person, it makes him the same as me. How come? Because, there isn’t a single person on the planet who hasn’t known fear. Fear is something we all experience and something we can strive to overcome; or find alternative ways to live with. As none of us are perfect we are all equal to our brother, also we do not necessarly know where other people’s strengths lie. Quiet, unassuming people may well have amazing qualities that are not immediately apparent whereas others who are successful are usually successful at hiding their insecurities too. Unfortunately differences often feed fear and may give rise to ill feelings where people despise the ‘opposite’ of themselves- the great haves and have-nots divide is one example.

You are your brother, or at the very least you could have been your brother, however you were born into a different family, culture, province and this has dictated a certain percentage of who you are. People born into identical situations can be very different from one another too thanks to the choices they make, but we don’t know the reason for those choices, so remaining impartial and trying not to judge is crucial- unless we would like everyone to judge us! There is no point thinking, ‘if I were you...’ however we can make helpful suggestions. It is great when people follow our advice, but how we react when they don't will depend on our individual make up. You might be offended or you may genuinely not be concerned- after all, most of us make our own decisions after weighing up advice, otherwise we would clearly lack the ability to think for ourselves.

I agree with Mozez that we are our brother as I believe that we all come from spirit and will ultimately return to spirit, so developing humility and mutual understanding helps each of us in our spiritual and earthly journey, and is ultimately a bid for true equality.

Coming next: New Music from Mozez!


Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician
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