Sunday, 25 September 2016

I AM THE SUN- Poem by Jaz McKenzie


I AM THE SUN

I am the sun shining brightly in your orbit, life-giving light
I am the raindrops falling to earth, mingling with the dust and dirt
creating hope in barren land
I am the wind rousing you from sleep in the dead of night awakening your senses
and at first light, I am the dawn chorus setting a beautiful tone for a perfect day
I am the power, within... and without my power there is nothing
Everything is Everything
The life force flowing freely from whence it came
in constant evolution embracing imperfection within perfect harmony
I am the sun. You are the sun.
Light and life will forever vibrate hand in hand
Granting wisdom, knowledge and understanding of eternal truth.
Jaz McKenzie ©2016

A friend and I were speaking about enlightenment last week. It was dark and he challenged me: 'Jaz, can you see the sun?' I said no so he told me I'm not enlightened yet. Fact is, sometimes we are not really thinking beyond the obvious. I thought about it later and considered the teachings, for want of a better word, that I have been studying the last couple of years. The major thing I have learnt is that everything is related because everything is a vibration and we all ultimately come from one source. This is my take and I know many of you will not agree. What we do know is that we all have our version of the truth and we are all here celebrating or commiserating life on this planet.

I believe each of us has more power than we were born to believe and are capable of achieving great things. Whether these are outcomes to be noted by friends and family or worldwide achievements remains to be seen, but we were born to do something. I like the idea that I am the sun- therefore I shine eternally, brilliant thought!

Have to say the picture contains great memories of zooming across East Anglian last month- wonderful summer memories to add to the vibe.

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

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Long Time - Arrow



Play and listen time! This is a song that has such a joyful vibe it's just great to listen to as the summer is slowly ebbing away making way for Autumn, well that's what's happening here in the UK. Life is about enjoying yourself and just recently I find I keep starting the day with this old time party tune. Soca music is sooo good for lifting your spirits and makes a nice reprieve from daily tasks- especially if you've been stuck in front of the computer. This particular tune brings back memories for me and I will dedicate it to a family friend who recently passed on from this life.

Let's Jam Jam, have fun and maintain a joyful vibe so that we are constantly in a good place where we will be more inclined to make better decisions and treat people well. Arrow produce fantastic party music and that is something to give thanks for. Of course, there are many different types of music that lift our spirits, especially from hot countries such as those in the Caribbean, Latin America or even Spain- salsa, flamenco and all associated dances so there is no excuse to sit around feeling miserable. Party time or serious times, music always fits the bill. I'm sure my friend Norman is happily jamming elsewhere and maybe I'll add this to my final playlist!

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

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Tonnero - Street Code (Official Music Video)



Tony Tonnero has been one of my Facebook friends for quite some time and I believe I shared one of Tony's songs on Its Braap a long way back. His latest recording 'Street Code,' is a proper Dancehall anthem designed to involve you in nurturing the belief that Better Must Come. I love everything about this up-lifting tune from its energy to Tony's all consuming message. The video accompanyiny his song is very interesting and I really hope this single takes Tony's career to a new level. As you can see, Tony has merchandised his project which is more of a campaign than simply a song.

Last year we saw huge success for artist Nesbeth Greg whose song ''My Dream' received international acclaim even receiving airplay on both BBC1 Xtra and Capital Xtra radio stations. If Tony manages to promote this track to the max I imagine it could impact the international music stage.
Interview with Nesbeth

Play, Join in and Share! Be your own inspiration and create your own destiny.



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

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Lazy Bones Don't Live Here! Quick poem for Sunday chilling ha haa!



LAZY BONES DON’T LIVE HERE!

From here to infinity and beyond
We got no time for lazy bones
Coz life's worth living when you've got it going on
And we're not up for entering dead beat zones
Dead beat's dead
Can't work for me
Coz I'm flying high and I'm flying free
Gotta go reach for infinity
Life's to be lived so live free!

You just can’t live life in doom n gloom
Down the same ole proverbial drain
Set your spirit on fire and release your song
Coz sun dries the hell outta rain
Open your eyes
Before time’s done
Attack each battle ‘til the war is won
Infinity watch out … here I come
Zooming up high in my plane!

Jaz McKenzie ©2016

A little fun and hope you're all enjoying a relaxed Sunday!

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






Sunday, 28 August 2016

Ghetto Songbird speaks music and life!



This is an interview I did some while ago with Samantha Hollins, AKA Ghetto Songbird.~ Possibly the most awesome female rocker around today! Ghetto Songbird speaks about her experiences and how they have motivated her to more forward with a vengance! Includes original and extended interview.

Hello- This is Ghetto Songbird, singer, songwriter, Rock n Roll guitarist.
I started at the age of twelve writing poetry and soon evolved into writing songs. I wanted my songs to be heard so I decided that I needed to start doing talent shows and go out and sing. I would use beats like hip hop beats and add my own words because I didn’t have my own music at the time. Eventually I started playing the guitar around 2001, just for fun. I didn’t have any thoughts of going out and playing the guitar in public, but my brother set me up with my first gig when I was just one month into playing the guitar with a local poet from Philly, Terrell Allen. Next thing I know, I got my first gig and it spiralled from there.  I was still reluctant to play my guitar in public so I added a guitarist to play shows with me around the Philadelphia area as well as the New York area and eventually I came into my own. I started playing my own songs on my guitar and singing all over the United States at famous clubs such as the CBGB’s, The Bitter End, Whiskey A Go Go. I’ve played at the Apollo Theatre, I’ve played on BT 106 and Park- a cable music show that played videos, and am the first and probably only rocker on that show. Now I’m just trying to spread my wings and take flight to different countries and playing down here in London.

As a black woman from the ghetto, what drew you to rock music? My mother’s record collection drew me to rock music. In my household there were no genres just good music. She had me listening to Prince, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Santana, Mandrill, P-Funk, The Bar-Kay's & If Black Sabbath came on the radio she did not turn. My mom dressed like a hippy punk rocker. From her fashion to her album collection I soaked it all up drenching myself in diversity. My mom hung with a lot of legendary bands living up the street from the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia.
I mean her story of seeing Jimi Hendrix live replayed in my head and I remembered when she was getting all glammed up to go to see Prince live for the Purple Rain tour. She definitely implanted rock-n-roll in my soul.


Who do you admire who’s made it through in the music world? Jimmy Hendrix of course, Prince, Nina Simone, B Funk...

Can you describe in greater detail why you admire Hendrix, Prince, Simone & P-Funk: I admire and respect the doors that these artist opened for me. With the things I go through today sometimes I have to tell myself shut up it's not that bad compared to what they went through. My hope is to make them proud by not emulating them, but by being true to the artist I am. Their innovative styles link, uplifting song stories and truth to who they are is what drew me to their work. My admiration is full of gratitude.

How do you view Tina Turner? Tina Turner is mentioned in one of my songs entitled "Electricladybyrd" because her strength and boldness to be as tough as the guys yet a sultry woman on and off stage is like a jewel of motivation I carry with me.

What type of material do you write? I find myself writing more sorts of social conscious music because I grew up in North Philly which was pretty much the ghetto of Philadelphia and I would look out my window and see so much drama going on. I kinda absorbed it through writing my songs and playing my guitar as a Rock N Roll singer/songwriter guitarist.

What has been the most challenging thing in your career so far? The hardest thing is a simple thing, being a woman doing rock music and being a black woman doing rock music. The genre is not truly open to us and it’s a struggle trying to get ahead and not being sabotaged, not being turned down and told that I can’t do it.

What personal qualities have you had to work on to undertake this challenging career? The personal qualities I have to work on daily is patience, endurance and tough skin. With all the rejection I get on a regular basis, even with a solid 15 years of experience with a professional résumé, sometimes I just need a break. It becomes too much with the constant sexism and racism that means people do not want to book me for what I know I'm qualified for. Honestly I use to doubt myself with all the no's I would get while other bands were moving forward and getting booked. My band would get rave reviews, standing ovations and still not get bigger gigs. After a while I saw what it was and didn't want to do music anymore. I was getting hate emails for being a woman/black woman playing an electric guitar upon the genre of rock music. I would even get my sound tampered with to make me sound horrible.


How comes you changed your mind and kept going? Just when I decided to let music go it called me back, it always calls me back. I had to re-evaluate why I love writing, singing, playing instruments and entertaining. I had to learn how to take this gift as it comes. I had to be inventive by carving my own space. Traveling has helped me find my audience. From 2005-2008 I produced a music & arts festival called ‘Wingdom Fest,’ for artists that were underdogs like myself. Now I have many creative outlets, but there is nothing like Rockin' with my Roxsploitation band (Ronin Ali on drums & Chris Nelson on double keys). My band has been a profound source of strength. They have been through so much with me and still bless me with their wings of support. I have a few mentors including Cazzé, a phenomenal Philly poet who was the first to take my under his wings and show me tough love while helping me grow as an artist. Docta Shock came into my life early on in my career giving me so much wisdom about being in the music business. He's also a wonderful photographer who taught me how to present myself during photo shoots. Rosa Lee Brooks summoned me at a time when I needed someone to push my musicianship. Jamming with her brother who I call Uncle James and so many established musicians who played with legends was like college and boot camp all in one. The fact that she wrote and recorded with Jimi Hendrix blew my mind, but she was the star before him and she has the knack that help cultivate me into an entertainer. She also helped me record my first EP "Alley Of The Earth" 2002 in Los Angeles, CA. These three mentors kept it real with me and help the layers of my skin become immune to the B.S!

How have you acquired such a positive approach to life? I was never the popular girl in school. I was the quiet and shy girl that most people couldn't understand. I didn't have many friends growing up so I got used to being alone and going within myself. That's how I learned to play piano and guitar by ear. I love tapping into that peaceful sanctuary inside myself. It allows me to be creative without the loud disruptions of competition. When in that place it's about pure self-healing through the arts.

Can you speak a little more about your motivation? When I got into my local music industry in Philadelphia once again I faced being on the outside looking in. At the time I was the only black girl with an electric guitar Rockin' out. I was too soulful for the rock scene and too rocked out for the soul scene. No matter how many open mics I played having the audience on their feet, I had to come to the realization that I was not going to be booked for the progressive gigs. It hurt at first, but it sent me back inside myself like that little girl from North Philly who didn't quite fit in. I was lucky to have met amazingly talented women who would invite me to perform at their events. I learned how to be grateful for any opportunity I was able to acquire and looking at the positive side of each situation. I don't care if I have to play in intimate cafes for the rest of my career, no one is going to stop me from doing what I love. I look forward to mentoring young girls to hold tight to their dreams no matter what.


You seem to have a love of children. Please speak more about this. Working with children along this journey has taught me how to just enjoy what I do and not take it so serious. Children are so free spirited and I got that energy back. Even if I only connect with one person sharing my message of peace, love, perseverance and light, that keeps me humble and grounded.

How do you manage to balance family and career? Being the mother of three children under the age of six has also given me the balance I need as a, ‘career driven stay at home mom.’ Before family I woke up thinking about me, my music, and shows like there was nothing else. Now when I'm not out gigging I'm able to channel that creative force into their talents to help cultivate someone else's dreams besides mine. I love mentoring children for that reason. It would drive me insane to wake up every day focused on just myself. I love exchanging artsy vibes with others. That is also the beauty of being married to my drummer/percussionist- he's a solo artist as well. Sometimes I need a break from myself, so I get lost in his music as his support system.

So music is one of the cornerstones of your family? We are all writers, musicians, singers, artist and entertainers from my youngest to us the parents. Home life keeps me inspired even when I'm not doing music business. I could never get jaded with that type of aura flowing around me, even on days when I don't have much time for myself. It's a huge sacrifice that is the ying and yang I need to feed my journey. It quiets my soul like meditation. I have to keep my Wingdom sacred so I can recharge like healing stones each time I fly back to my music business.

Finally, what’s your ultimate ambition? It used to be to be a signed artist, but now it’s just to get in my mode wherever and whenever, just delivering the message that was sent to me.

Performance an Album Review

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

Sunday, 14 August 2016

NX ZIBIT SNEAK PEAK: JOIN US ON 21st AUG 2016 - NAMBUCCA HOLLOWAY RD N17...



Just come across this fantastic event next Sunday from 3-11pm location: Holloway Road. If you book over the next three days it's only £7. From Wednesday, full price= £10 and even then you're getting great value for money- Kicking myself that I'm away that weekend!

Nambucca wall of fame

Here's a direct link to the NX ZIBIT site so that you can grab your tickets. So much to do on the day- live bands and DJ's, magic table... mmmmm interesting, food and drink and yes you guessed it- networking. I think it will be fantastic so I'm looking forward to the next one!

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

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Rave Reggae by Denve Jacobs and The Rockstone band



'Love is my gift to the world, I fill myself with love, and i send that love out into the world, How others treat me is their path, How I react is mine..., Denve Jacobs


Just recently I have met some amazing people on Facebook and am sharing Denve Jacob's uplifting song today. The reason these people are amazing is because they are talented and have a true desire to inspire and help others. Mamadou Diop whom I blogged last time is another excellent example.


Denve has a passion for photography as well as music and shares his photo's regularly with an inspirational message. Today's message, that I will discuss later on my Facebook page The Word Magician is; 'In order to become who you want to be, you must let go of who you used to be...' So true and so challenging!

Now, onto the song Rave Reggae!


First up,.. Denve has a distinctive voice and is busy representing Reggae in Ceres, Cape Town, South Africa. Reggae Rave is a true rave tune being full of energy and projecting a love for life... sing it and do what you want to do! This song creates a fabulous vibe for those times you may be feeling a little down and wanting to raise your spirits- something we're all in need of from time to time. As it says, the song is aligned with African culture and shouts JOY at you. Speaks for itself really! Must add that The Rockstone Band have done a fantastic job.

Here's to a joyful day and I hope you will join me in supporting Denve's efforts to make a difference.

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

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