Event, Review Eric Lau, Jazz Cafe, London, Oddisee, Olivier Daysoul
Tonight was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time and I feel that sharing it with you and FINALLY updating the blog is probably the best way to keep celebrating. I won’t go into too many details about the reasons why I have been M.I.A. for so long but let’s just say that one of them was a general lack of inspiration and motivation. You know, shit happens (excuse my French). Tonight though, I feel a renewed sense of belonging, a revived faith in the power of music and desire to share it through my words. It all started with a long overdue meet-up with my Word Is Bond family before the gig. Obviously you don’t really care about my personal life, but all I wanted to say is that it was a breath of fresh air for my mind and everyone’s motivation and excitation was contagious. It’s difficult to feel down and idle when you are surrounded by people who are so active and enthusiastic about what they do. They reminded me about myself when I started the blog and I finally got a glimpse of hope, reminding me that everything was still there, waiting for me to be ready again. The time has come, ladies and gentlemen, and I couldn’t be happier about it! More
Audio, Interview 3, Alexis Davis, DJ Spinnerty, interview, Mecca:83, Replife, Simon S
Alexis Davis is the combination of the wonderful talents of DJs Spinnerty and Simon S, producer Mecca:83 and MC Replife. Having known each other for several years and collaborated on various projects, the four of them decided to create a group and give birth to a common project. Living on both sites of the Atlantic ocean, they prove that music is truly universal and can cross boundaries, physical or metaphorical. While I have not followed those guys since the beginning of their career, I greatly appreciate every single project I have heard from them and it was therefore a great pleasure for me to discover their group and brand-new EP, 3, released via the newly created Expansions Collective. The project is clearly among my favourites for 2012 and I am really happy to have had the opportunity to connect with them and do this audio interview. Thanks to technology, we were able to have a conference call where they told me more about the origins of the group, the creative process behind the 3 EP, the importance of having fun while tackling serious social issues, and much more. This lengthy, in-depth interview is among the best I have ever done and I am really grateful for all of them to have taken some time to sit down and have a chat with me. In case you haven’t picked up the 3 EP yet, I highly recommend you do so. This interview should be enough to convince you anyway.
Discover the interview after the jump… More
Interview, Video TastyKeish, video interview
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…
Discover the interview after the jump… More
Album, Newness for your ears Ego Free Music Group, John Graham, Magic: Noir et Blanc
As I mentioned on several occasions before, one of my favourite things in life is to discover new music through artists I appreciate and support. Another thing I love is when I have a chance to collaborate with said artists, but also when MCs and producers I know decide to work together. Now, if you consider John Graham’s new album Magic: Blanc et Noir ticks all the boxes, you will easily understand that it became an instant favourite as soon as I started listening to it. Let me develop all this a bit more… I first heard of John Graham thanks to Prosthetik Intelligentz, a group I greatly appreciate and who used my voice on their project The Sounds & Wonders EP with GravityMovement. This lead me not only to become familiar with John’s music but also to be part of his new project. Finally, when I read the tracklist and saw that Shade Cobain and Prosthetik Intelligentz’ very own Doom Got Beats produced some songs on the album, a huge smile appeared on my face. The smile of course remained when I pressed play and discovered the beautiful music they both created.
At a time when many so-called artists rely on public image and trends to be “successful”, it is quite reassuring to know that others still decide to provide the listeners with music that is the result of creative self-expression and hours spent working on their craft and honing their skills. With Magic: Blanc et Noir, John Graham presents a concept album dealing with the constant contradictions and going back and forth you can find in life and within yourself. The introduction by yours truly actually gives you a good idea of what to expect and I am really happy to say that John and I were on the same wave-length when it came to how we considered the album. Clearly one of his most personal and honest works to date, Magic: Blanc et Noir is compelling by its bluntness and willingness to say what others don’t even dare to think.
Album, Newness for your ears Bama Love Soul, On Deck
Catching up on new music after a 2-week break (plus an extended M.I.A. period…) is no easy task, especially when several of my favourite artists decided to drop their gems right when I was away. With that said, I will do my best to share the best with you and as usual I will ask you to bare with me and be patient. As I was listening to various albums waiting in my iTunes this morning, I decided to indulge in Bama Love Soul’s On Deck another time. I already listened to the excellent compilation shortly after it was released but didn’t seize the opportunity to tell you about it earlier. Bama Love Soul is one of my favourite blogs and probably the one I have been following for the longest. While I may not check it out as regularly as I used to, I know I can always count on them to put me on some incredible sonic treasures. Whether I listen to artists I have never heard of before, brand-new tracks I haven’t discovered yet or compilations and mixes by founder DJ Rahdu, I am always extremely happy after I visit the website. When I learned that it was threatened to close due to increased expenses but that supporters/readers could help, I didn’t hesitate and contributed to the Kickstarter campaign they launched. After successfully raising the necessary funds, they finally released one of the most awesome compilations I have listened to in quite a while.
Spotlight Berlin, Evita Robinson, Nomad•ness Travel Tribe, travel
Sometimes words are not relevant or strong enough to express thoughts and feelings, but this trip in Berlin with the Nomad•ness Tribe was so incredible on so many levels that I couldn’t not share some of it with you. I know this is not (entirely) music related, but travel is taking a more and more important part in my life and since it’s part of my “world”, I may as well share it (plus, there is also music involved). I already told you about the Nomad•ness Travel Tribe when I featured my interview with Evita Robinson, founder of NomadnessTV.com and the Tribe, and I was extremely excited and happy to finally meet her and be part of this Nomad•nessX Trip to the German capital. It could have not happened due to some personal issues, but I believe it was meant to be and I was eventually able to take part in what was one of the major trips/life changing moments of my short existence.
Uncategorized Hip Hop Speakeasy, Kaimbr, Kev Brown, The Alexander Green Project
When you’re itching for an exquisite hip hop record, who else to turn to but the wonderful Kev Brown? If you don’t know, Kev Brown is an underground hip hop producer with a sound powerfully resembling the soul-influenced beats of the early-2000s. Last year, Kev decided to team up with rapper Kaimbr and together, they created this masterpiece, The Alexander Green Project. This album resembles everything there is to love about underground hip hop. From the soulful beats and the glorious production Kev Brown assembles, to the true lyricism and vocal power Kaimbr displays, this album is sure to leave you satisfied.
Track after track, The Alexander Green Project is one solid album. With features from Kenn Starr, Sean Born and even Asher Roth on a bonus track, even the guest appearances are perfection. “Gritz” definitely puts on the crown for this album when it comes to top tracks; the horns in the beat and the “bragadoccia” Kaimbr puts on for the track is not overwhelming at all, in fact, it’s very enjoyable. He plays with the rhyme-schemes and proves how talented of a rapper he is without filling every line with corny cliches, or overused metaphors. Then, when the beat drops for “Rapping (feat. Sean Born)” comes in, and the words start pouring out from the two emcees, the low-budget theme of the album gets put in the back of your head because, honestly, you’d rather have it that way. The low-budget theme is very prevalent, but I for one appreciate the amount of skill and pure sound the album has even though it is, indeed “low-budget.”
Album, Newness for your ears Bold New Breed Records, Evil Round That Corner, Fabian Akilles
So… it’s been a while, right? I won’t even try to find excuses or justify myself as there is really no valid reason why I have been away for that long, but I want to apologise to the readers of this blog and to the artists for kind of letting them down in the past weeks. I will do my best to catch up on all the things I should have shared for ages and hopefully get back to a normal schedule with regular updates. Now, to get things started the right way, let me tell you about an album I was introduced to a few weeks ago…
Once thing I love is discovering new artists and music, as you may already know. I actually haven’t done any proper research in quite a long time, but I can always count on fellow music lovers and even artists to put me on people I should really not be sleeping on. What happened here was that MC Dewey Decibel, who I told you about several times on Word Is Bond, introduced me to his label mate Fabian Akilles and his video for Comb My Hair (I actually posted this recently in my video updates). I immediately loved the song, its message and the visuals, and was therefore really happy to discover Akilles’ debut album Evil Round That Corner, from which the single is taken. While I usually listen to specific genres of music, I always love letting my ears wander into somewhat unknown territories or discover albums that blend several influences. Evil Round That Corner is among the latter. While you may think that it is just another reggae album as you listen to War, the opening track, you will quickly realise that this would be undermining the variety and eclecticism provided by Fabian Akilles. More
Interview, Video Jazz Cafe, Jesse Boykins III, London, The Romantic Movement, video interview
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!
Discover the interview after the jump… More
French touch, UK talent Breis, Comb My Hair, Fabian Akilles, Haïti chérie, HornDogz, Jacques Schwartz-Bart, Movin' On, Peeda, Sébastien Drumeaux, Sonjé Mwen, Stevy Mahy, Ty, video
It’s been quite a while since I offered some video updates and I stumbled upon a few in the past days or weeks that caught my attention. I don’t usually post videos on their own, but when I see such quality, I have to gather some of them and share them with you. The songs are in different genres and the themes vary, but all those visuals have something in common: they are beautiful and inspiring. A great video only enhances a song and can sometimes make it even more touching, powerful or entertaining. Let me tell you more about today’s selection and why I love them so much…
Fabian Akilles is an artist I discovered very recently, thanks to Dewey Decibel and I’m sure glad I did! Comb My Hair, taken from his album Evil Round That Corner, is a very interesting and uplifting song that everyone should listen to and particularly little girls who sometimes don’t have the best of role models if you consider current mainstream stars. The video is very simple and straight to the point so I won’t tell much more about it, but leave you to enjoy the great song and lovely visuals. You can get the album via More