Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Love & Happiness Fest- Create The Ticket!


Something new for summer! The Love & Happiness Fest  Saturday 26th August, is set to embrace the feel good vibe and surprisingly, gives artists an opportunity to share their talents. Performers are actually being given up to twelve minutes to sing or perform a different genre, enabling them to add 'appeared at a festival' to their bio-  artists, it's definitely worth planning your time now and going along to this event!

Love and happiness is what we all seek and this event celebrates different musical genres from the traditional such as Gospel to more recent phenomena: Afro Pop and Grime. Spoken Word will also be integrated with appearances from Uncle Sid and Positive Beloved One- I've been invited myself so will make the most of this opportunity too- I might even read, 'A Tropical Tale,'- more of a story than anything else. I think the inclusion of Poetry is well times as it has risen in popularity recently, especially in TV adverts!

Now for a little background. The festival concept has been created by Michael Arkk who was busy listening to Al Green one night and simply thinking about musical possibilities as in what next? Having previous interest in creating a festival, it occurred to Michael that he could organise a small yet very open festival based on the universal term, 'Love and Happiness.' This is a much broader concept than One Love and embraces a common desire understood by just about everyone! This fits in well with the idea of creating a variety world music fest, creating scope for future growth.

Musicians usually enjoy many genres of music. The same goes for Michael who had just finished an event at the Ritzy where he came across some friends who did Afrobeat and enjoyed Afrobeat for the first time. He also discovered Afro Pop which has a different tempo and led him to book Deoba Authentic to perform at his festival as it was so fantastic!


Michael Arkk started out in the world of Gospel, but on this occasion Gospel songs will be performed by The Soul Deep Band featuring David Skyers, who is also a brilliant pianist and keyboard player.  IMichael has known David for many years and he is a Gospel star. David and the band will be travelling all the way from Sheffield and will treat us to some songs from the new album. Interestingly, this is the first time Michael has included Gospel in any of his events since he ceased performing it himself many years ago.

Other featured artists at the event include D21, a Grime artist whose material is upfront, current and positive. There will be Ska, Lovers Rock and Soul Roots Reggae, all of which Michael will be performing. Lovers Rock and definitely some Roots Reggae will also be performed by other artists such as Ana Joseph and UK Principal.

Buffaloo, who started performing at the beginning of the year, will bring his music delivered in charismatic style and usually Ana Joseph supporst him in addition to performing independently. UK Principal is extremely well known, having performed consistently for many years in London and recently in Europe quite a bit too. He has a wide repertoire and is incredibly versatile so it will be interesting to hear his selection.

Michael is also hoping that as there are many international performers in London at the moment he might receive support from one or more on that front.

Two major DJ's will be bringing the sound to the Love & Happiness Fest. DJ Ruff Ryder International will be coming over from Jamaica for the event and will be spinning discs along with Selector C, Galaxy Radio to keep us dancing when the live show ends. Both of these DJ's will play a real mix of music including some of the latest sounds that are hot off the press. It is likely that there will be other DJ's too on the night.

The Programme:
Free entry before 8.30pm when the general admission fee of £8 will apply
4-9pm will be the open mic session
9,30pm- the live show will commence

'It promises to be a very happy and positive night; love and happiness all round that everybody who wants to feel love and wants to exude that happiness will enjoy. Because it's contagious we will create a community atmosphere. You don't know me and I don't know you but we will create a happy, fun comfort zone,' ~ Michael Arkk

Venue: 228 Calvary House, Brixton Hill, SW2 1HG   Excellent transport links

Thursday, 10 August 2017

It's not an Illusion! ~ Working with Errol Kennedy~ Imagination


I used to dream of the day I'd have a celebrity in my flat, naturally it was Lenny Kravitz- those of you who know me know Lenny is my greatest inspiration. What we understand is that the universe delivers, so imagine how bowled over I was today having Errol Kennedy round my flat to discuss coverage of a number of his projects.

It's so strange how life works, especially as I recall dancing back in the day to disco floor shakers- yes, we had the funk, at least, Imagination had it bigtime with hits such as 'Just an Illusion,' 'Flashback,' and 'Body Talk.' Those hits are as fresh today as they were back then and you'd be hard put to sit still through them. I never could- turn up the beat and I jump up whatever the music- provided I liked it! Have to say, I don't get rare groove outside the bedroom, but there we have it. Funk and disco, Reggae and Soca, Drum and Bass- even House will usually find me on my feet because music flows and dancing is the natural outlet.

First ever selfie on Its Braap!
Let's return to today. Errol is a man filled with passion for his band, other works he has in progress and ideas in various states of conception- aha- you can try and guess but I doubt you'll get there. The point is that Errol is man whose belief and determination has turned dreams into reality. Everyone faces challenges so the fact the band split is simply prove of that fact- however, Errol believes in keeping dreams alive therefore re-formed the band and has released more music under the title- Imagination featuring Errol Kennedy. What I really like is that Errol is down to earth and very upfront about the band, giving factual accounts without drama or malice- so refreshing, especially as we see glorified celebrity battles in the media. There is nothing to be gained from bad-mouthing people and it is so much easier to work with people who refuse to do this; the atmosphere remains comfortable enabling progress. Those of you who have followed my blog know that this is a dirt-slinging free arena! Definitely not my type of journalism.

So what can you expect here on Its Braap? The answer is information on occasion and reviews. I will be applying my word magic where appropriate to Errol's various forums, an exciting proposition as there is far more to this man than his back catalogue!

Finally, Big thanks to Macky McPherson, Urban Delight Entertainment, for the recommendation. When I agreed to work with Macky a few years back I had no idea where it would lead except to success. This is a journey that is winding its way in a  forward direction and I believe many people's dreams will be met along the way.

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

#errolkennedy #imagination #itsjustanillusion #illusion #livingthedream #newmoves #urbandelightentertainmnet #funkymusic #discomusic 



Monday, 7 August 2017

Its Braap-Much needed change!


Hello Braappers!

Just a few words regarding the passage of this blog. Life takes its course and at times the water becomes muddied. Part of the reason for this is firstly, life’s challenges and secondly, our inability to see round bends. I have experienced various ‘moments of epiphany’ that produced a level of clarity following which I altered the original path of this blog. I had a plan however different projects have arisen causing a split in focus, so now I am assessing all of my commitments and planning how to execute everything in unison.

Having focused primarily on entertainment during the last couple of years, I finally realised that I was no longer feeling the full vibe of Its Braap whose original aim was to seek inspiration from life itself- the arts, business, everyday occurrences. After all the blog is titled, ‘Its Braap~Its Life,’ and not, ‘Its Braap~ Its Entertainment!’ Life is about everything and life should be Braap.

So what is Braap? I think of it as a statement, hence 'its' and not 'it’s' Braap- more of a noun really, a done deal. Basically Braap’s a reaction to the things we really appreciate- you see it online under posts and especially in response to songs people love on internet stations- BRAAAAAAAP. Its Braap is about appreciating and learning from others; sharing their joy, revelling in people’s success and learning from their experiences. By doing this we become inspired and motivated. We are encouraged to look at our own lives, think about what we want and how we can achieve it- in short, other people can trigger the ideas which help us to dream and create our own realities. Other people show us the way when they overcome the obstacles on their path and help us realise that we can find ways to overcome things ourselves.

The same applies to our relationships. There are brilliant teachers in our world who help us better ourselves, strengthen weaknesses, change attitudes, gain confidence, become fearless and, above all, learn how to love ourselves. Becoming a rounded person helps us function to our full potential. This is important. There are very successful individuals in business, music, sports etc, many  of whom are amazing however some of these people you really would not want to know. They are people who are often disliked; usually believing they are right about everything and often treating others badly. Money and success alone can fail to satisfy because life is based on relationships- with ourselves and others.

Back to basics. I have run blogathons on Its Braap in the past, a weekly series based on an annual theme. I will not be doing annual blogathons anymore although I might create mini blogathons based on specific subjects if I feel the calling! The blogathons were inspiring and had titles such as, ‘Live Life~ Love Life,’ and ‘Give Thanks~Be Joyful.’ Joy is and always will be key to creating our ideal life. As it says, when we are joyful we are thankful, creating the ideal conditions to attract whatever we want- positive attracts positive which ultimately leads to success.

Obviously Its Braap will continue to include music, the arts and poetry along with inspiring projects; and will resume adding other features. One of he plans is to re-introduce ‘Be Braap~Be Inspired,’ as a regular feature- more to come on this. I plan to update you on up-coming features more regularly, so let’s move forward with an excited and expectant attitude everyday and watch as our plans unfold!

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician  Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

#inspirationforlife #bepositive #musicandthearts #gratitude #lawofattraction

Friday, 4 August 2017

Out Of Sync- Quick poem by Jaz McKenzie


OUT OF SYNC

I don’t know why we get out of sync... but we do
You only have to blink... and time runs away with you!
There’s a significant shift... with a twist... that escapes your eye
And instead of flying high every ounce of energy is drained
Leaving you off kilter... scrabbling around to re-arrange
Elemental functions back into harmony... easy... take care
Your body and mind know what you need... stay aware
And devise a new plan ... jiggle the pieces in place
And make enough space to balance your every need
But don’t check your watch... time knows no bounds
And will always do its thing... as they say...
Because you are seconds away...
From being in or out of sync every minute of the day
So sharpen your general awareness.... and do not stray
Too far from the path you have chosen to walk...
So that sweet, sweet success can have its way!

Jaz McKenzie ©2017

I wrote this because I'm struggling to meet different commitments in life and create some sort of balance. Currently I have a fortnight off work and yet it's filling up with things to do leaving a lack of time to complete the priorities I wish to deal with. So having already used up week one, next week needs to be arranged with care allowing ample time to schedule my priorities such as re-organising Its Braap! I really feel this blog needs more care and attention than it has received recently as it has been somewhat over-shadowed! 

External demands such as work, commitments or even family can tire us and sometimes we need to take a deep breath and assess exactly where we are and where we choose to be. Speaking of which, right now, I need to be heading out - however the new plan will be made and I aim to post more regularly than previously.  Looking forward to seeing you soon! 

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

#timeflies #organisationalskills #commitments #prioritising #maketime #modernpoetry


Friday, 21 July 2017

Cassandra London - Magic Touch [Official Video 2017]



The Magic Touch- Something that is definitely key to Cassandra London's musical talent! Cassandra has the knack of creating songs people will easily relate to and I have drawn great inspiration from her music, especially, 'Just Cool.'


' Magic Touch,' is a very different type of song, being upbeat and joyful, easy to join in with and relishing in the clever use of a popular, catchy phrase, 'Let your fingers do the walking.' I really like this modern take on Reggae that is without doubt commercially viable.

Last words- Lovey Dovey couples~ This is your song!

#cassandralondon #magictouch #reggaemusic #ukreggaemusic

Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Tuesday, 11 July 2017


LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!
Conceive and believe so you truly achieve
The wonders that lurk in your subconscious mind
Beneath the ripples of thought and you will find
That gradually as all thoughts drift away
They'll pop to the surface, so you can say
'That's a great idea, an incredible dream
But right now it seems beyond all imagining,
So complex, too huge and far out of sight
But I must find a way to prove myself right
However long and whatever it takes
I'll learn all the moves I need to make
And the road might be lonely, the cost very high
But my rocket will shoot beyond the sky
Because my spirit knows no bounds
And universal force is all around
I will achieve, just watch my fly
I'll cross bridges of doubt as I buy
Into the truth of my ultimate dream
Keep believing and accomplish everything
And as you tick the boxes, open more
For you never know quite what's in store!

Jaz McKenzie 2017 ~ The Word Magician


Saturday, 1 July 2017

Summer is here~Southend Green Festival Vibes speak!


We got it going on!!!


Southend Green Festival last Sunday was an absolute blast! Yes we were under the threat of grey clouds for part of the time but fortunately the good weather held, making it a perfect day for this type of event. Have to say, I just loved the whole vibe of this festival which has a real holiday feel about it, giving you more than the average Sunday afternoon bliss.


With the stage at the bottom of the green nearest to the open road, and many interesting stalls effectively creating a buzzing street market stretching to the station and beyond, there was plenty to occupy curious shoppers and passing cars, many of whom wound down their windows catching a fleeting summer beat.


Food and drink represented London's international flavour from different cuisines to modern trends- let's speak cake- oh yes, delicious red velvet cake which gained Lady Diania of Music Media Management's approval as did this spectacular silver necklace- not much gets past Lady D!
Lady D modelling the star item from above pic
As with all good events, children were well entertained enjoying the modern day phenomena, face painting, and having access to a little fun fair which I'm sure was a blessing for all parents! Animal lovers had the pleasure of a dog show- sadly I missed it so am left with memories of Kaos, the family Mastiff/Rotweiler cross, and Dolce it's predecessor- now that's another story but I'll dig out the dog poem for you...


The festival was a real community event organised by Southend Green Association with the help of local venue, The Fiddler's Elbow who supplied excellent musicians and sponsored the musical aspect of these proceedings. I was fortunate to be invited by Kareem Shabazz and we arrived during a blues set, 'The Experience Makers,' I really enjoyed the little I heard of them- wish I'd heard the whole set and judging from the programme  some excellent acts had already performed- 'Hats off Gentlemen It's Adequate,' who are a multi-rock genre band, 'John Etheridge & Vimala Rowe,' now we're speaking serious jazz and guitar; and also the cleverly named 'The AutistiX,' a very unique rock band. Links are all in place so you can check the bands out yourselves.


Moving on, 'The Fabulous Micky C & The Wasted Playboys, had a very individual feel bringing a real mix of music- most entertaining and almost defying description! Good job guys and great fun!



The Beautiful Game
Taking a serious turn, we switched to indie rock and enjoyed a pretty amazing set from 'The Beautiful Game.' My first thought was- what's up with the lead singer? His voice was a little weak but that didn't last long and by the second and third track he (I'm guessing Steven Foxley,) was in full swing. Afterwards we were informed that he was standing in for the band's lead vocalist, Jason Crowley who had been unable to attend. Regardless, I was very impressed by the energy flowing through their music and if Jason has great stage presence and charisma, this is truly a band to be reckoned with. The Beautiful Game did an amazing job,100% energy flowing through their Indie Rock and I was pleased to see a few fans dancing and singing along.

Headline Time- Kareem Shabazz and the Ryddim Kings who blew the crowd away! 



I absolutely love this popular band who create Reggae music from a fusion of musical backgrounds. Kareem has an amazing quality to his voice and you can read more about their live performance here; Previous Review- Live*on Fire! The band got into its flow from the minute they hit the stage so it wasn't long before the crowd welled up around them, joining in- dancing, clapping. Kareem really surprised us when, speaking of love in a general context, he unexpectedly gave us his rendition of Marvin Gay's 'Sexual Healing.' Even took me by surprise! This went down a storm as did Clinton 'Rock' Jones outstanding guitar solo- I believe heaven really is on earth as I felt every note! Clinton ended with a typical rockers melt down and smashed the cymbals with his guitar.


Kareem went on to introduce all his band members who did a terrific job throughout, entertaining us with their solo's. He then invited DJ Sparky Rugged to join them during the band's last song 'Way Dem Ah Gwan,'(from their current album Born on the Streets.) Sparky, the epitome of cool, smashed the crowd with his confident delivery and pertinent timely lyrics that included tributes to well known recording artists and people in attendance- King Tubby's, G Star, and Music Media Management who, with Robert Rex, have a fierce reputation as promoters.


Finally, an event isn't an event without the all important Master of Ceremonies, in this case actor and lover of the arts, Mr Steve Bowyer. The festival was so successful the audience were left begging for more! It really was a fabulous event and great memory maker- you can see from the final pic just how much fun we had!

King Tubby, Lady D, Me, G Star
Jaz McKenzie~ The Word Magician  Contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk