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Video interview: ArinMaya

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Photo by Zoraida Lopez

ArinMaya is an artist whose music I fell in love with as soon as I first heard it several years ago, when I discovered The Sound of ArinMaya. I found this EP quite refreshing and unique, in its eclecticism and spiritual content. I then told you about the beautiful Let The Love Come, her collaborative album with Nick Cassarino, which was yet another confirmation of my appreciation of ArinMaya, as well as Her Imaginings, with producer Theimagination. After listening to her music and discovering her universe through those projects, I was fortunate enough to meet the singer in New York City back in May, during my first trip there. Now, fast forward to last Sunday, when I reconnected with her while she is in London for a week. Between great Thai food, beautiful music at Juno bar for the Got Soul event, a live jazz music set in a pub somewhere in Hackney, interesting encounters and conversations, it was a very good night. It was also great to catch up with Sid Mercutio after so long and playing the musical matchmaker.
I thought I might as well make the most of ArinMaya’s presence in my second home and record an interview with her. We arranged to meet earlier this week and, after enjoying a nice meal in a café in Borough, and being not so politely kicked out asked to leave because they were closing, we had to find a backup plan to record the interview. Brave as we are, we fought the freezing cold and headed to a park nearby. The result is a very interesting interview where ArinMaya tells us about her sound, her European journey so far and upcoming projects. If you notice a little shaking, it’s just because it was really, really cold. Also, you can witness the amazing phenomenon that is the decreasing of light as it’s getting late… The joys of outdoors recordings!

P.S. You can discover more about her fundraiser and contribute via her GoFundMe page. Also, if you want to support her and get amazing jewellery and other hand-crafted objects, head to her shop on Etsy.

Find out more about ArinMaya on Facebook, Twitter & Bandcamp

Video interview – TastyKeish

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I already told you about my recent trip to Berlin with the Nomad•ness Travel Tribe and I am very happy to say I met amazing people there, most of which share interests with me, whether it is writing, music or blogging. Keisha aka TastyKeish is among those like-minded people and it was great to see her again in London. Radio host, event organiser, music and fun lover based in NYC, she is also an avid traveller eager to discover the world. While she was in the English capital for a few days, I took the opportunity to chill with her and have a quick chat on camera. She is a very interesting and inspiring individual and it is therefore a pleasure for me to introduce you to her and her positive energy. In this short interview, she talks about her European tour, art and culture in Berlin, some of her future projects and more. Without further delay, let me present to you TastyKeish, in her own words…

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Video interview: Jesse Boykins III

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If you have been following the blog for quite a while, you should know that Jesse Boykins III is an artist that I particularly appreciate. After discovering him around 2008 (catch up with my introduction in case you missed it), I have been following his releases and collaborations with great pleasure. I first saw his live back in 2010, for Writer’s Block 2nd anniversary at Cargo and I was blown away by his performance. As he is in London once again and about to perform here for the fourth time, headlining the Jazz Café tomorrow for Aesthetic Sounds (with Ntjam Rosie opening for him), I got a chance to catch up with him and finally do a video interview. I was very happy about that, as he is a very interesting artist and human being, and I was looking forward to having a chat with him. I have to say my expectations have been reached and even surpassed, as this interview is one of the best I’ve ever done. Jesse Boykins III shares beautiful thoughts here and encourages everyone to live more spiritually and seek love and happiness. In this video, you will learn more about what he thinks and feels about London, headlining the Jazz Café, growth and maturity, The Romantic Movement, as well as many other interesting things. I need to give a big shout out to Sarah Fonteyne, for setting up the interview and inviting Jesse to perform at Aesthetic Sounds for the second time, as well as Jesse himself, for taking the time to sit and talk with me despite jetlag. All I have to say now is enjoy the video and I’ll be sure to enjoy the show tomorrow!

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Video interview: Pumpkin

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Pumpkin is a French female MC I discovered quite recently thanks to producers Supafuh and Teru, who put me on her music and more specifically her previous album, the excellent Ainsi de suite (that I am very happy to own in its vinyl version). As the talented lady was in London for a few days, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet her and do an interview with her. We ended up in a very nice old-school pub in Baker Street, which was the perfect setting for our conversation. In this interview, Pumpkin tells us about how she discovered hip-hop, London, meeting/working with DJ Vadim and Pugs Atomz, as well as previous and upcoming projects, among other interesting things.
Without further delay, let me present to you Pumpkin, in her own words…

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Video interview: Greg Spero

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I first told you about Chicago jazz pianist Greg Spero with a “spotlight” after I came back from my trip to the Windy City and I am very happy to have met him again, this time in London. It was a great pleasure for me to finally see him on stage and to attend the wonderful event that was the Buddy Rich 25th Anniversary Memorial Concert at the Palladium. The quality of the music was incredible and both the band and the special guests blew me away. After such an amazing event, it was also very nice to get to spend some time with Greg and to record this interview, where he tells us more about the actual concert (including some interesting insider revelations), as well as his upcoming shows in England and Germany, among other things. He is not only a very talented musician, but also a very enthusiastic individual, whose energy and positivity are contagious. Without further delay, let me introduce you to Greg Spero…

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Video interview: Idasa Tariq

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To continue with this busy and productive start of 2012, I now present my first interview of the year, with Binghamton/Pittsburgh MC and producer Idasa Tariq. I can’t remember exactly when and where I discovered the talented young man, but I have been following his releases for a little while and really appreciate his work. Idasa is among the most driven, focused and hard-working artists I know and he is definitely an inspiration when it comes to taking the right steps to achieve your dreams and goals, as well as staying as independent as possible. With a new record label, websites and other endeavours, he is clearly going places and it is a great pleasure for me to see him do his thing. In this interesting video interview, he tells us about his musical path, Pittsburgh and Binghamton, future projects and collaborations among many other things. Without further delay, let me present to you Idasa Tariq, in his own words…

Now that you are more familiar with Idasa Tariq, and in case you missed it, discover Pissed Off Soul Man. You can head directly to his Bandcamp page or simply click on the link below. Enjoy and spread the word.

Find out more about Idasa Tariq on Facebook and Twitter

Interview: Erik Rico and soulfulbeats

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When it comes to interviews, it’s always a pleasure to get to exchange with people you really appreciate, both as artists and as human beings. Erik Rico is not only one of my favourite artists but also a man I admire for his beautiful soul. I am therefore always really happy when I get a chance to catch up with him during his visits to London and to learn more about what he’s been up to and what he’s working on, as well as his views on music and life. In case you missed them, you can go catch up with our first interview and with our previous video interview. As his European tour came to an end over the weekend, Erik got busy one last time last Monday with a recording session with Matt Hughes from soulfulbeats, a frequent collaborator and now good friend. I was blessed enough to do this interview and then witness the recording session at the famous Uprock Studio in North West London, which really made my evening. We had a really nice chat about the tour, future projects or collaborations and more. It is once again a great pleasure for me to share those moments with you and I want  to thank Erik and Matt for their time. Now, without further delay, discover more about Erik Rico and soulfulbeats…

Find out more about Erik Rico: Lifenotesmusic, Facebook, Twitter & soulfulbeats: website

Video interview: Pugs Atomz

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Sometimes, it’s about the little things and how one leads to another. For example, going to see Raashan Ahmad’s show at Momo lead to bumping into Pugs Atomz, which lead to having a chat with him and deciding to do an interview. Simple, huh?
A few weeks after the show, I met-up with the Chicago, now London-based MC and got a chance to ask him a few questions about the English capital, the Electric, travelling and more. It was a pleasure to listen to his answers, as it is now one to share them with you. In case you are not familiar with Pugs Atomz, or if you want to know what’s he’s been up to, this is a chance to get a glimpse into his universe.

I first heard of Pugs Atomz on The Morpheus Soul Show, where he was a guest several times, either with The Electric (DJ Vadim, Sabira Jade) or with other guests and I really like his music, it’s spontaneity and cheerfulness. I actually listened to his last performance on the show with UK singer Greg Blackman, for the 6th anniversary and it was a great one. You can dowload the podcast in case you missed it.

Now, without further delay, here is my quick interview with Pugs Atomz…

Now that you know more about Pugs Atomz, discover his music with People in love, one of my favourite tracks from his latest LP entitled Enjoy. You can download the whole album on his Soundcloud page.

Find out more about Pugs Atomz: Facebook, Twitter

Video interview: Yaw & Khari Lemuel

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Picture of The Ones

I was telling you yesterday about those Chicago treats I have in store for you and this is the first one I want to share with you. I had the huge pleasure of meeting Yaw and Khari Lemuel thanks to Herma Puma and Tensei producer Chris Kramer during a lovely night of music, deep conversations and laughter. This is clearly one of my best memories from this trip to Chicago and I feel blessed to have been able to experience it. This is one of the reasons why I am talking about this need for real communication in the video blog. There is only so much you can do through a computer screen and I believe the net should serve more as a way to connect than really communicate. Anyway, I’m grateful for this moment and for this incredible interview. It is the first time I asked so few questions and got so lengthy, deep and interesting answers. Yaw & Khari Lemuel form the group The Ones and they are making beautiful, deep, spiritual and positive music that should touch your heart and soul. It is a great pleasure for me to introduce them to you and I strongly encourage you to get familiar and support them. Here we go…

Now that you are familiar with Yaw & Khari Lemuel, it is time to discover their incredible music, with two live performances/previews of songs from their upcoming album. First of all, the magnificent By&By, the first song I heard from them and which enchanted me immediately.

Then, the equally beautiful Land of light is another deeply touching song that you will probably want to listen to on repeat, as is my case. Enjoy and spread the word!

EDIT: The Ones have finally launched their Kickstarter campaign and I strongly encourage you to support them and spread the word about their project. Watch the video below and head over to the project’s page HERE. Thanks for them!

Find out more about The Ones on their website

Video interview: Slakah The Beatchild @ Aesthetic Sounds


After a short break from the blog, I am finally back on tracks, more motivated and inspired than ever. I don’t know if it’s spring or the quantity of amazing music coming out or both, but I can feel this excitation again, this desire to share music, to spread the word about talented artists you may have not heard of. To make this ‘come back’ even more special, I have some very interesting things to talk about…

I first met and interview Slakah The Beatchild back in July (I can finally ‘remember’ thanks to the archives…) when he was in town with D.O, other half of Art of Fresh. In case you missed it, catch up with the previous Art of Fresh interview. Slakah has been touring quite a lot lately, with D.O or on his own, and he is now in London for a while. His first stop was at Aesthetic Sounds (where he already performed in July) and it was quite an amazing show! After two very talented acts, the lovely Sherry Davis and rapper Artcha, Slakah made his appearance on stage and blessed us with his great talent and incredible energy, showcasing tracks from his previous album Soul Movement Vol.1 and from his latest EP, the beautiful Something Forever. There was a great connection between him and the audience, and the positive vibes were floating everywhere. As I said in my first introduction to Slakah The Beatchild, he is really producing feel-good music, that enables you to simply Enjoy Yourself and forget about whatever issues you may have. This is something you can clearly feel when he is on stage, and it obviously makes it much more powerful, since you can express your enjoyment as well and join everyone else around. This experience of live music is one I really appreciate and I always say to myself I should go to more gigs because they provide you with something that an album cannot.

The set was going back and forth between smooth and chilled tracks (mainly from Something Forever) and more energetic and bouncy tracks, which was a very interesting combination. I also need to mention the beautiful CharChar and Sarah Fonteyne (who is also the organiser of Aesthetic Sounds), who complemented the tracks with some enchanting backing vocals. Two highlights made this night even more special. First, during B-Boy Beef , Slakah invited someone from the audience to take part in a dance battle. People were quite shy, until amazing dancer and talented producer Sid Mercutio accepted the challenge. I think Slakah didn’t expect such level from his opponent and I have to say Sid was really impressive. This, of course, really created a wonderful energy and took us all back in time, where hip-hop really meant ‘peace, unity, love and having fun’. Secondly, Slakah ended the show with the aptly named Enjoy Yourself, which was probably the best track to choose, as everyone in the crowd was then dancing and helping with the chorus. I also saw quite a few familiar faces, which is always a great thing. I didn’t get a chance to talk to DJ Bounce though, but it’s because he seemed so busy spinning those amazing tunes I didn’t dare to disturb him. This show left me quite elated and with a wonderful feeling of being part of a big family of music lovers.

The party was not quite over, though, at least for a few lucky people. It was only the beginning actually, as a party bus was waiting at the door of the Vibe Bar for those who were chosen by Slakah, and a crazy night was ahead for us all, riding and partying around London until the break of dawn (that was for the rhyme…). I can’t tell you much more about this because, as Slakah said: ‘what happens in the party bus stays in the party bus’. All you need to know is that you missed out on an incredible experience! I need to take some time now to give a big shout out to Sarah Fonteyne and the live band, for this amazing gig and to the people who organised the after party. I haven’t felt that good in quite a while and that was most welcome.

Now, to find out more about what Slakah The Beatchild has been up to lately and what is projects are, you can check out this quick interview I had with him before the show. Enjoy!

And if you want to have an idea of what the show sounded like, discover his performance of Illusions, from Something Forever. It was one of the most chilled out tracks of the night and a very nice introduction.

Find out more about Slakah The Beathchild on his website, Facebook & Twitter

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