It’s been a while, right? Right. Moving on swiftly… I watched a few lovely videos in the past weeks/months and I wanted to share them with you, because sharing is caring. Those four videos are completely different and this is great because variety is the spice of life. As usual, I chose them specifically because they provide the viewer with something interesting and original, which is something all artists should aim to do, don’t you think? So, for this edition, you have a wonderful selection of visuals, courtesy of Stevy Mahy, a regular in this section, Mr. Bird & Greg Blackman, Maleiva Kem & James Klynn, and Raashan Ahmad. I told you it was varied! Now, without further delay, let me tell you more about those new(-ish) videos.
First of all, as I said above, Stevy Mahy has been featured in most of those video updates so far. The reason for this is quite simple: all her videos are amazing! This new one, complementing her brand-new single Ban di’w, taken from her upcoming album Renaissance Woman, is as beautiful and inspiring as ever. Singing both in French and Kreyol, Stevy addresses her lover with a delightful, heartfelt declaration, while the visuals present snapshots of a relationship that oozes love, affection and spirituality. This is what dreams are made of… The music is also an invitation to let your mind drift away and to envision a bright future for yourself, or at least it does for me. In case this is your first time hearing and seeing Stevy Mahy, I would suggest you browse this blog to discover my album review for The Beautiful Side of A Kreyol Folk Trip, as well as other posts about the lovely singer.
Then, UK artists Mr. Bird and Greg Blackman team up to provide you with visuals and lyrics dealing with the aftermath of a relationship, which apparently didn’t go too well… Taken from their collaborative album Low Fi Classics, released recently via BBE, Since You’ve Been Gone is undoubtedly among my favourites on the project. The concept of the video is quite simple but works very well and makes the message of the song all the more clear and powerful. While I haven’t really been in this type of situation before, I can still relate to Greg Blackman’s words and feelings. I am sure some of you will recognise yourself though and maybe wish you had said these words to a person or two… The duo also released a remix for this song, courtesy of The Paragons of Goodness, who are none other than Greg Blackman himself and Nathan Wacey. Available with the single, released via BBE last month as well, it’s a great addition to the album and provides a new dimension to this break-up tale.
Maleiva Kem and James Klynn also tell us about love with their new video/short film, taking us on a Cold Path and providing us with an original story to accompany their words. Part of Freedom Hall, a wonderful collective of artists I told you about in the past, they always strive to push boundaries and create art that is all at once innovative, thought-provoking and inspiring. This video is yet another example of their approach and it should not leave you unmoved. Taken from the recently released album of the same name, Cold Path blends a lovely melody and Maleiva Kem’s angelic voice with James Klynn’s expert writing skills and candid lyrics. The result is a bittersweet tale that still inspires hope, which I think is what the visuals are all about. The hopeless romantic in me can’t but appreciate that and I’m grateful to the artists for giving me a reason to feel optimistic about love and life right now.
Last but not least, Raashan Ahmad just released a brand-new video for The Remedy, taken from the album Ceremony that was released last year and has become one of my favourites ever. Far from swoon-inducing declarations of love, post break-up relief or complicated feelings, what the American MC offers us is a testimony to his passion for hip-hop. Shot last week in Tokyo, Japan, during his tour in the Land of the Rising Sun, the video is full to the brim of positive vibes and energy. While the storyline is quite basic, the power of the visuals is to make you feel good. That is usually what a lot of Raashan Ahmad’s music is about and I have to say it works perfectly well. As I have been going through rough times lately, I can definitely relate to music being The Remedy, which makes it even easier for me to enjoy the song and video. It actually ranks among my (many) favourites from the album and listening to it, along with watching the MC do his thing in Tokyo, makes me feel better.
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
I usually don’t post videos on their own here (I had to check and the last time I offered video updates was last year) but I saw three today that were so amazing I needed to share them with you. I am sure you will be quite happy about that, as they all are very soothing, peaceful and provide for escapism. As summer is coming to an end and a new academic year is upon us, I thought it was a good idea to feature some visual goodness that will allow you to start the weekend in a beautiful way.
First of all, this official video was released today and it is for a song that is on one of my favourite albums ever (yes, it’s official!), that is Stevy Mahy’s incredible The Beautiful Side Of A Kreyol Folk Trip. In case you are not familiar with the wonderful singer and her album, I kindly recommend you have a look at my album review but more importantly buy the album and watch the other videos she released for previous tracks. Yenki Pou Vou is one of my favourite songs on the album and its lyrics always touch me very deeply, while giving me strength and courage to go on with my life as Stevy’s angelic voice sings “dry your eyes, you’re way too blessed to cry”. This is a message everyone should remember. To complement the lyrics, we can now appreciate some amazing visuals courtesy of Ivan Herrera and travel all the way to San Domingo in our mind, to stroll along the streets with Stevy. Enjoy the journey!
Then, I had the great pleasure of discovering the brand-new video for Sinitus Tempo’s single Utopia, taken from his latest project Peaceland. Once again, if you are not familiar, you can have a look at my recent article about the EP. The visuals (filmed and edited by John Carter) are beautiful here as well and are a very enticing invitation to escape reality and imagine yourself on this beach. The track was one of my favourites on Peaceland and it is very interesting to watch how its beauty and soothing element was rendered on screen. Please also head to the Youtube page to read the director’s comments on the video. Let’s create our own Utopia…
Finally, a gorgeous track and video I discovered a few days ago on Apple Juice Break and that I watched again today is Martin Parks’ collaboration with the blog and Pronounced Love for their upcoming project entitled If It Speaks, Listen. The track, Far is once more an invitation to drift away from your daily routine and the visuals are simply impressive. There is an otherwordly dimension here, which I find extremely appealing. As we dive under the water, we discover how peaceful but also vivid life can be in that place and it clearly makes me want to disappear there, at least for a while and go Far away from the concrete. The video is directed by The Ports. Enjoy this under-water adventure.
The Beautiful Side of a Kreyol Folk Trip… Easily one of my favourite albums of 2010 and definitely one I am listening to very regularly. If you haven’t listened to it, you are clearly missing out (in case you didn’t read my review, it’s HERE). On Thursday 2nd March, I was indeed taken on a beautiful journey with the amazing Stevy Mahy. Ever since I listened to the album for the first time, I dreamt of meeting Stevy and watching her perform those songs live. That night was magical, as I knew it would be and it will definitely stay in my memory for quite a while. I was feeling a bit down before the show, but the amazing energy and love floating all around quickly made me feel better and I could indulge in this wonderful feeling, escaping reality for the time of the show. The setting, the Favela Chic, was quite an interesting and appropriate one, as it calls for travel and daydreaming. As soon as you enter the venue, you are not in London anymore. You find yourself in Brasil, in a different space and time and you quickly adapt to the very warm and welcoming surroundings.
Stevy didn’t seem to be prepared for the wintery cold that fell upon London in the past days, but she did warm people’s hearts with her enchanting voice and beautiful words. From Most High to the incredible Beautiful and with interludes consisting of tributes to some artists that inspire her, like Tracy Chapman and Lauryn Hill or dancing sessions, Stevy took us on a musical journey through life, love, joy, sorrow, all the while inspiring us and putting us under her spell. Not only is she an incredibly talented songwriter and singer, Stevy is also a very warm and beautiful human being that will always manage to make you feel good and touch you. What was most awesome about that night was the connection every one could feel with the singer but also with each other. It did feel like we were all one family, united by music. The connection and complicity between Stevy and her amazing musicians, guitarist Joël Jacoulet and percussionist Didier Juste made this feeling even stronger. There were people from different parts of the globe, from the West Indies to Africa, Europe or even Asia but we all could relate to the feelings and experiences Stevy was sharing through her songs. Listening to The Beautiful Side of a Kreyol Folk Trip always puts a smile on my face and makes me daydream, but seeing those songs come to life under my eyes made them even more powerful and emotional. That night was indeed a beautiful trip and I just didn’t want to come down on Earth…
Now, to give you a little taste of what happened that night, I will share with you a very quick interview I did with Stevy, where she told me a bit about her music, London and her projects… (Sorry about the ‘sound effects’ and ‘light’)
And just in case you still haven’t seen it, here is the brand-new video for Fame is gone, one of my (many) favourite songs of the album. Enjoy!
I introduced Stevy Mahy and her music to you several months ago, with a very interesting interview, which you can read here. She was talking about her upcoming album at the time, and it’s now out! The Beautiful Side Of A Kreyol Folk Trip is available on and it has been on heavy rotation here since I got it. It is definitely one of the most beautiful albums of 2010 for me. Here is why…
When I discovered Stevy Mahy a few years ago, I immediately felt a connection with her, I could relate to her music and the feelings she was expressing. She seemed to spread messages I was meant to hear, lyrics that would heal me and soothe me. What I now feel with this album is exactly the same way I did when I first heard Stevy’s voice: it’s like I’ve listened to it before, it sounds so familiar I was surprised at first. I had heard some of the songs before, but the main impression I had was that the album had been there already, waiting for me to get re-acquainted with it. It may sound foolish but there is something about it that draws me in, a strange attraction I am completely unwilling to fight. Strangely enough the first song of the album, one of my favourites, describes this feeling perfectly. Something about you is dedicated to the man she met and who made her feel feel ‘brand-new’, while giving her this feeling they had met before, maybe in another life. I am sure many of you have experienced this kind of situation and can relate to it in the same way I can.
This ‘Kreyol Folk Trip’ definitely has a beautiful side, even if the word seems a bit too weak to describe it sometimes. From the very smooth and soothing melodies to Stevy’s angelic voice, everything makes you feel welcome and enticed to join the lady on her journey through love. The main theme of the album is indeed this great feeling, whether it is for a man, humanity, or God. Mixing English, Creole and French, Stevy describes how love for a man can make you go through different stages, from pure bliss (Something about you, Divine magic joy, Beautiful) to heartbreak and pain (Falling in love again, What’s going on? and Mon coeur mon ange). She also inspires her fellow Earth dwellers to keep their heads up and smile, not to forget that their own happiness is within reach (‘Dry your eyes, you’re way too blessed to cry’, Yenki pou vou) and she urges them to be themselves, to avoid being disctracted by superficial and ephemeral bright lights (‘When the show stops, make sure you’re still real’, Fame is gone). Finally, she expresses her gratitude for the Most High (‘I don’t know life without you, cos you print your name in my soul’), declaring ‘I don’t wanna be by myself without your love’ in the beautiful Shine on me.
Besides the great lyrics and inspiring messages, what really makes me feel so comfortable and touches me deeply is the wonderful productions and vocals. Most of the songs are a beautiful blend of different instruments, with an acoustic feeling which is, as you may know by now something I admire. The common feature on most of the songs is the guitar, but there is a variety of other instruments, from the piano to the violin, steel pan and drums that create a very emotional dimension and touches your soul. Stevy’s voice definitely has the same effect and makes me wonder about the awesomeness of being able to move someone through this instrument. I found myself with a wide grin on my face and goose-bumps while listening to the delicate, angelic sonorities. The combination of all these elements make The Beautiful Side Of A Kreyol Folk Trip an album I will listen to on a regular basis, probably at least once a day as I have been doing since I got it. Something I also need to mention is how grateful I am for Stevy to introduce me to AB‘s amazing voice, with Falling in love again. The singer is the only guest of the album and his style, a mixture of D’angelo and Bilal’s with his own, personal twist once again sounds familiar. AB has already been added to my list of artists whose music I need to discover and get even more familiar with.
If you are in need of musical healing, beauty and inspiration, I would highly recommend you discover The Beautiful Side Of AKreyol Folk Trip, I can guarantee you won’t regret it. It is one of those treats you give to your ears, your heart and your soul. It is an album you need in your life, quite simply!
Here is a little update, with a beautiful gift from Stevy… This is the brand-new video for Something about you, definitely one of my favourites on the album. The video makes it even better and really makes me want to travel to amazing Guadeloupe, as well as find someone to say those words to… Enjoy!
I discovered this wonderful lady quite a while ago on MySpace, at a time when artists could actually promote quality music there. She is from Guadeloupe, in the French West Indies and is a proud representative of her native island. What I really appreciate about her music is that it is very smooth, deep and spiritual. Every time I listen to it, I am transported to another world, where I can relax and appreciate the beauty of the landscape. Stevy also exudes a great dose of positive vibrations and generosity. She is a very talented and inspiring artist I am happy to present to you now.
First of all, for people who are not familiar with you and your music, how would you introduce yourself ?
Introduce myself… I always found that kind of hard to do… I’m still trying to figure out who I truly am. But let’s say the more obvious. I’m a black woman from Caribbean descent, grew up both in Paris and Guadeloupe. I’m in my early 30’s and I finally decided to give my singing passion a try… So let’s say I’m a singer…
I don’t want to put you in any box and I can’t really find words to describe your music without using clichés, but you clearly have a specific sound, deeply linked to your roots and your native island. How important is your ‘legacy’ musically, and is it a big source of inspiration for you?
Being from Guadeloupe is defining who I am, I mean being Creole is actually acknowledging the fact that I’m from here and there in the same time. And it’s what you find in my music. I decided to call my music Kreyol Folk because it’s the closest definition that I could imagine of how I feel my own thing. I’m not even trying to add some Caribbean “flavour” in my sound I just do what comes naturally. And naturally my music is Creole because mixed… because me…
You seem to travel a lot, and live between Guadeloupe, metropolitan France and NYC (among others?). Do you think travel is necessary when you are an artist, to feed your inspiration? What are you favourite destinations?
Travel is not necessary but travel can be a plus. True inspiration can have so many ways to be nourished, but I know for a fact that travelling played an interesting part in my perception of who I am and what my music is… Favourite destination… I don’t know, it really depends on my mood, right now I long for a warm sunset in Ivory Coast… Dreaming of my past lives …
During your trips or stays in the States, you met great artists (Dwele and Daru for instance) and got to work with them. To me it sounds like a wonderful dream! How did that happen and how did you feel about it?
I actually met Dwele in Paris, we never worked together, although I’ve interviewed and filmed him and I’ve met Daru through MySpace I really met him in NYC. I take all my encounters as pure blessings, they are good in what they do, very creative, so it’s a way for me to learn more musically and humanly…
Are there any artists you’d like to meet/work with?
Yes, yes, yes!!! I always wanted to work with Wyclef Jean and there are so many… But I’ll say Iron and Wine and Meshell Ndegeocello.
You are a multi-talented and multi-tasking artist, writing, singing, making films/videos, etc. Is it important for you to always have something to work on? Do you feel the need to express yourself in many different ways?
I’m getting less and less attached to the illusion of “doing” things to feel “alive”. I used to think that doing nothing was a waste of time, now I appreciate every free moment to spend it with myself… I am trying to not put boundaries on my way to express myself. I’m just trying to listen to the urge of all the things I have inside trying to get out. Art is a great therapy, I use it kindly…
Your music is really smooth and soothing but also very deep, there is clearly a spiritual dimension to it. And when I listen to it I feel connected to your art and to you in a way. Do you pay attention to this specific aspect when you are creating, or is it something that you express naturally?
For me creation cannot be separated from inspiration, so instead of creation I’d almost say giving or transmission. I’m aware of the spiritual part of me, of life and in my music I give it back sometimes consciously sometimes just instinctively.
You sing in French, Creole and English. Are there some things easier to say in one language than in others? Do you choose consciously or is the choice made naturally?
Creole comes naturally when singing about love, sweet, sweet love. Most of the time my melodies are coming with the language, but sometimes I do make some conscious choices. But anyway true emotion speaks for itself whatever the language…
Nowadays the music industry is changing drastically, and sometimes listeners are faced with ‘fast-food’ music, with no real substance. Most of the mainstream music is made without much interest for creativity. Do you think this is only temporary and that ‘real’ music will eventually be back and reach more people?
“Real” music is back because people are getting back to what is “real”, but anyway it’s a cycle, needs are changing so are the offers. I don’t know are long is gonna last but I’m pretty optimistic…
As an independent artist, you may have to struggle sometimes, to have your music heard and touch a large number of listeners. Some artists choose to compromise, as soon as their music starts to be noticed. You are being heard by more and more people, and your songs are played on ‘mainstream’ media. How difficult is it to stick to your style and creative ‘uniqueness’ while becoming more famous?
Well, it’s probably easy for me because I’m not doing music under pressure, I’m forming a great team with Joel Jaccoulet. We’re doing music for the love of it even if we’re aware of the commercial side and all that comes along, for now we’re just doing what we like…
Finally, are you currently working on new projects? And are you planning to be on stage soon, to bless the audience with your wonderful presence and energy?
Hahaha, just hoping it is really gonna be a blessing for them, lol!!! But I’m actually still in the process of recording the rest of my album, it should be out in a couple of months, that’s my main focus right now… Performances coming soon ; )
Now that you know a bit more about her, let’s introduce her music, with this wonderful song I just can’t get enough of! The title sums it up… Here is the official video for Beautiful