Jasmine’s Juice……Find me on @twitter or @BBCRadioLondon or @Channel4News or……

Hey peeps!

I know, It’s been a while.
I’m sorry.
Life has been mega busy and I know i’ve neglected writing and updating you here.

Writing isn’t something I have much time for these days but to keep up with my latest professional and personal antics, do keep up with me on:

TWITTER @JasmineDotiwala
Jasmine on twitter

BBC Radio London every Thursday evening 8-10pm
Jasmine on BBC Radio London

Occasionally with an arts & culture report on Channel 4 News
Jasmine on Channel 4 News

Jasmine’s Juice- #TheScene, BBC Radio London……Arts, Culture, New & Undiscovered Talent with a sprinkling of celeb!

Listen to me every Thursday night showcasing London’s undiscovered arts and culture talent on BBC Radio London from 8-10pm on a show called THE SCENE!



Last week Former Blue Peter presenter @Konnie_Huq shared her cultural tribes, gave us a audio reading of her 1st children’s book #CookiebyKonnie ,why girls into STEM subjects are cool, diverse characters in kids books,what life is like at home with hubby @blackmirror Charlie Brooker, and why West London rocks!


Then @BluebirdPicture founder Joelle Mae David who is also one of @BBCRadioLondon new Insta stars #GreaterLondoner named her cultural tribes….
Her organisation in Barking and Dagenham helps get diverse youth into the film industry.


We heard from Anna Marie Benedict from last weekend’s #AfricaFashionWeekLondon talk to us all about the 2 day event in Covent Gardens Freemasons Hall, the catwalk shows, the celebrity show and why African cultures taking over pop culture!


Finally we heard from singer-songwriter @RachelRoseOBwho was on @thevoiceuk perform for us live in the studio, share her cultural tribes, share how she was flown out to the USA to be in a movie and when she’ll be headlining @GlastoFest!



#TheScene Every week night from 8-10pm on BBC Radio London – Thursdays hosted my me!

Jasmine’s Juice – summer vacation at the Amirandes Grecotel Crete resort, Greece!


I have always been a bit of a vacation snob.
Avoiding the idea of a GREEK ISLAND holiday Easy Jet vacation like the plague.

This June we had intended to fly to Mauritius then after back & forth conversations about a 12 hour flight being too long, I threw my hands in the air and jumped on Expedia to book a hot week anyway. I chose Greece and the island of Crete and kept my fingers crossed that my choice of hotel resort would not be regretted.

The Amirandes Grecotel resort was incredible!

I can’t say enough wonderful things about this spot. We spent 8 days there in a luxury sea view room-room 321-which I actually think has the best views of both the stunning hotel grounds and the ocean in a 180 degree panoramic view and the best view of the sunset from our balcony.


The room was always spotless clean and we were gifted complementary wine and fruit platers.







The breakfast buffet was amazing with hot options, cold maze options, fresh fruit- the sweetest pineapple I’ve ever tasted…..a bespoke barista bar serving fancy teas and coffees and two live chef stations making fresh waffles, pancakes and omelettes. The staff are uber friendly and chat away with you like family!

The olympic pool was glorious. Huge with so many sun loungers, bespoke cafe and the adjacent white sofa loungers areas over looking the ocean were lush.


The beach is private and has cute thatched umbrella seating, but my favourite were the loungers on the raised garden area. An opportunity to sit facing the ocean and enjoy the beach and waves without having the mess of the sand yet also having easy steps access to the ocean should it get too hot.


The beach attendants walk by constantly offering complimentary water bottles and water melon slices!




The unlimited free water, restaurants on site, free yoga and dance and pilates classes and spa meant you could simply relax and not have to worry about leaving the resort if you didn’t want to.


One of our party was an 86 year old woman and although mobile there are numerous small sections of steps all across this property but with support she was fine and loved her facial in the spa. I had an aruvedic massage and it was heavenly and got into crevices of my body that hadn’t even been touched before.


The whole week was lush, relaxing, the staff couldn’t do enough for us and were genuinely friendly. The hotel guest clientele is classy yet inclusive. The type that prefer grey – beige resort wear and dressing up nicely for dinner. The restaurants are diverse with Italian, Japanese, Greek and Mediterranean on site.
There is also an amphitheater on site where nightly kids discos, dance shows and magic shows happen.
My favourite was the night that 3 tenors sang opera on the waterfront accompanied by fireworks- truly classy and romantic.

We will be back!

JASMINE’S JUICE – JASMINE MEETS KHALID FOR CHANNEL 4 NEWS – the #1 most Streamed artist in the world, meets the most watched news programme in the UK/Europe (on social media)!

Khalid is currently one of the biggest artists on the planet. In fact, He’s now officially the #1 most Streamed artist in the world on Spotify!


He’s a multi-platinum selling, multiple award winning, Grammy nominated artist, most of this he achieved before turning 21!

With all of this being said, he’s still somewhat of an enigma – he’s huge but do we know who he is?

He has had co-signs from Beyoncé, Elton John, Calvin Harris and more and has worked with a wide range of artists, of which he has helped to deliver their biggest selling singles. He’s performed at major award shows and even appeared on the recent episode of Saturday Night Live in the US.

He’s a bit of a Gen Z phenomenon, he communicates with his fans mainly through Twitter, where he expresses his excitement and fears, answers questions from fans and also isn’t afraid to confront their negativity.

One of the things he refers to quite often is his social anxiety. His ability to reach a generation overly-exposed and full of angst because of social media seems to be unmatched by his peers in a musical space; it’s no wonder that the queen of this Kylie Jenner was the person who first brought light to his music.

So, what with Khalid being the biggest streaming act in the world, meeting Channel 4 News- The most-watched news programme in the UK/ Europe on social media……it was a double whammy of fire!

Channel 4 News stats incase you need reminding…

· 1.5 billion ‘minutes viewed’ in 2018 across all platforms and brands.

· 2 million viewers under 34 years old on YouTube every month – watching for over 5 minutes on average.

· Over 50m video views total every month.

· 120 million minutes viewed on YouTube in March.

….So I knew that an interview with him, would bring about some really good social commentary. ENJOY!


Congrats on your journey so far- biggest streaming artist, also Grammy nominated with a world tour coming….you are the definition of the American teen dream …and all of this before the age of 21?

I know! IT’S CRAZY! ….crazy and it all feels so different – it’s been an awesome time.

You moved around a lot as a child with your mum in the army…Tell us about growing up as an ‘’Army brat’…you make it sound like Being in the military was a dream life for a child?

Being an army kid with mum I noticed the impact she had on everyone with her performances. So from an early age I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
It was hard moving every 3 years. But it gave me a good perspective on the world.


What did you notice in your very unique lane about how different European teens are compared to American teens? Culturally, politically, values?

I feel that i definitely noticed that European teens are quieter than USA teens. The interesting thing is European teens are actually quiet around adults
whereas When I’m in USA, the kids are bouncing from Wall to Wall. American kids are so energetic, we have Senior prom, superlatives. It was an Interesting perspective of both continents. I loved living in Europe but I love USA and it’s made me who I am today.
I feel like moving for me aged 17 from Europe to l Paso senior year was tough. U spend all high school making relationships and then move and feel a sense of loneliness. It can be a really dark place. I was able to tale turn that dark to light. I owe it all to my friends though – If I had no friends I’d be a different person.

Your first album was titled ‘’ American teen’’. Teens all over the globe now seem more politically aware than ever?

I feel like cos of all that’s going on in the media people are becoming more politically aware. I never saw kids into politics as much in Europe but i was much younger then. But I know kids globally are making waves with their voices and I really respect that.

They’re calling you ‘the voice of a generation’…. Looking back at your ‘’American teen’ era, just 2 years ago…you’ve said that you were naive and young then- what were you naïve about?

I was naive about myself and the world and what I wanted to put out. I was trusting my gut and intuition. I was naive surrounding myself with people I thought I’d be friends with.

Your Album flew into the top 10…then hit number 1- and stayed in charts for 6 months…it clearly has staying power? You say you were lonely moving around as a teen but you were also very socially active as President of numerous social clubs….

(brushes Dirt off his shoulder! 😉
Going to multicultural clubs and Spanish club – it all gave me perspective. It gave me this worldiness. I ended up being one of the biggest streaming artists in the world cos I studied the world cos I embraced the world and studied people and turned that into music.
I was so in tune with the world and studied myself, When I have conversations now, I speak to people in my songs as global citizens, not citizens of various countries. Moving to el Paso was such an abrupt move. First lonely. Then music it quickly became my home. If I didn’t move there I wouldn’t have had my career. They treat me like I’ve lived there for ever.


You have a unique sound – i hear that radio stations and record label’s found it hard to place you at the start of your career…?… Platforms were confused about where to place you due to you being a black man with a unique sound.
Record labels were asking you to change your authenticity and be more hiphop/R&B because of how you look? How stagnant, old fashioned and unconnected are record labels these days- is there a sense of unconscious bias/ racism is the music industry?

When I first started making music people were confused….” what is he rap? pop? folk? what is he?. I like making every kind of music. I have an R&B voice singing on pop music. I was able to transcend boundaries SO I was lucky that my label embraced me. It’s about a partnership that’s comfortable, I know there’s a lot I don’t know. Having a label that supports my creative vision is important.

Thats very short sighted of record labels…..

There’s definitely a sense of bias – they see a black man and think hmmm. However, why should I limit myself because I’m a black man!? Nowadays there’s so many artists pushing the boundaries. People are pushing the edges of what it’s like to being a musician.


You’ve performed the track 1-800-273-8255 with Logic and singer Alessia Cara. The song’s title is the phone number for America’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and its lyrics focus on mental health issues. Tell us why it was important for you to get involved with this song- why did you want to draw attention to suicide and mental health?

For me it was super important to be a part of the suicide prevention hotline in America. It made me see I can communicate with my fans around depression and anxiety. Now people are coming to me about their difficulties. If you can be connected it impacts your soul and heart. Instead of being sad I’m happy I’m able to help them share in a positive light.

There have been a slew of deaths in music recently …Keith Flint, Avicci, Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, etc…. You’ve become famous very fast and very young, Did you / do you have enough mental health and pastoral care in the music industry?

Having convos with my fans about the song 1-800 is wild. They tell me i have helped save their lives or talk about things. I’m in awe thinking ‘wow – you barely know me …but we all share so many things in life. Making that song made my relationship with my fans so strong.
I see the impact my music has on people. If I wasn’t helping people through my music I’d still be helping via music and affect the masses.
When it comes to my own mental health, I taught myself that If I have a problem I take it to the studio and write about it.


Your NEW / SOPHOMORE ALBUM- FREE SPIRIT- debuted at number 1 – it’s about your sense of freedom…are you a free spirit…you said that you ‘’don’t think you ever experience the freedom your friends have now’’….what are your restrictions…what has this life of success and fame mean that you have sacrificed?

I acknowledge that I’m not a free spirit. But it’s not hard to attain. I mean it is. One of the things that restricts me is my schedule. But I find freedom in my music when I’m Stage and singing to fans. When I clock out though and head home there is lots I wanna do but can’t. But I’m not mad, when it’s all over I’m gonna miss the work, the dedication all of that.


R&B is super healthy in the USA….but not as huge in the UK. We have a huge problem with young people and stabbings here. Grime and drill are also one of our most popular music genres… With all our youth violence we could do with some mellow R&B? How much do you think the music we consume impacts our behaviour?

Music we engage with doesn’t have an impact on behaviour. Some people only listen to melodies not lyrics. I hear a folk or rock song. When people tell stories it’s coming from a real place in their mind.
I listen to trap music all the time. But I’m not shooting people or doing drugs. It depends on your personality. There are so many rap songs I love …grime is just the stories people are telling to get out of their communities. I can see that there might be some people who might be impacted by the music but it’s too easy to blame music and not the real issues.


Earlier this month you accomplished a huge goal by starting a foundation for Music & Fine Arts in underserved communities and kicked it off in El Paso. With Performing Arts Scholarship winners!
Tell us about your School scholarships- giving young people from working class backgrounds an equal chance at them living their best life. How and why did this begin? Why is it important? What has it changed?

I always said that If I wasn’t making music I’d still be working teaching music. So now I have this platform it’s time for me to give back to the community who embraced me .A lot of schools don’t have arts and music opportunities. I definitely wanna be an advocate for spreading how important art is to the world. It’s so important to implement these options. Growing up job opportunities and information was limited. We were told about being a doctor, scientist and so on, but no-one tells you that you can be an music engineer or a journalist or a music therapist.

You’ve accomplished more in 2 years than many music stars mange in their whole careers….

I’M only 21 …..Its only been 21years I’ve been alive. I can’t wait to see what I can do when I’m 40!

-You were named last month as one of the @time 100 most influential people in 2019!
-Barack Obama included your music on his annual-best-list….
-This era of music stars have found their political voices too….-What’s been the catalyst for this ?

The catalyst for artists finding out political voices is we have people like Kendrick Lemar. He’s one of the most acts we have today. He’s the leader at the forefront. And so many others. So these kids are learning from them on behalf and finding their voice to speak out about their communities about the relationship between the government and the world.

Do you think your own music will become more socially conscious in the future?

In the future I definitely feel that my music will become more socially and politically conscious. I can’t write love songs forever. It takes time & education though.

You are politically minded, but unlike other music names like Kanye, you also said you didn’t fancy meeting Donald Trump – why not?

I don’t feel like Donald Trump is anything I’d wanna be with ya know.

But he has said some disparaging things about your community. Focusing back on El Paso – it was the site of Trump’s recent border crackdown. He’s linked the border wall and immigration with rates of crime and been criticised for stoking fear and division. What do you think about DT’s rhetoric? He linked border Wall with immigration and cried and language around a community you love.

I feel there’s so many other young people for kids can look up to. Kids are the future of the world.
Donald Trump won’t be President forever. That’s when it’ll take someone else to come in to change things…

Someone else like your fellow El Paso former musician Beto O’Rourke, who used to be a punk rocker now turned politician?. He is from El Paso – and launched his democratic campaign for president there. What do you think of him? Are your friends/people in your community excited by him? His chances?

Beto- that’s my guy! He launched his campaign. We have convos. He’s inspiring people in politics and I inspire via my music so i feel like we work hand in hand. People are inspired by him. I feel his odds are good!

What can we expect from your Arena tour this summer- at aged 21! (UK TOUR 17/18 SEPTEMBER)

From my arena tour you can expect a lot of positive fun energy dance moves and cool songs!

You’ve accomplished the first chapter of your journey- what’s next?

Next for my journey… I’m on the path of learning about myself and my spirit. And I feel like in the future my music will become more introspective.

Jasmine’s Juice- The Scene- BBC Radio London- May 2nd-The nifty, the naughty and the daringly nonconforming!

The Scene on BBC Radio London- 02/05/2019 – Blog by multi-media content creator Lucrese Grehoua.


On Thursday 2nd April The Scene introduced no nonsense former Vogue model exposing the dark secrets of the industry through her new book The Model Manifesto, London born pioneer and co-founder of the world’s first video magazine ‘GUAP MAG’, young Jazz vocalist of the year and three female musketeers leading London’s naughtiest podcast!



First on the show is Cherise Adams Burnett who surprises listeners with her infectious laugh and energy. Cherise from Luton speakers on the diverse and culturally rich area and how much she loved living there as a child. However, to pursue a serious career in music she left her comfort zone at the age of 18 and moved to South East London to give it a shot!

The world of Jazz, Cherise explains, is an elitist genre of music that makes it hard for underprivileged and younger people to begin a career in. However her early love for the music would fuel her to approach South-East London based organisation,’ Tomorrow’s Warriors’, an innovative artist development organisation giving free tuition to women and those from the African diaspora. They took a shot on Cherise, and now she urges young people trying to enter the Jazz industry to approach them!

Cherise recently won vocalist of the year at the Jazz FM awards, something she says she did not expect – or at least she tried to bury any competitive mindsets and focus on having a good night out with her mother! She goes on to reveal that due to her class and financial status, she never believed she would end up being a Jazz singer. Humbly, she thanks everyone who invested in her even when she didn’t have the money to pay back.

Cherise expresses her gratitude towards a new, growing community of young jazz musicians who are challenging the elitist attitudes to genre of music. She says to get support, there are loads of young instrumentalists to get in contact with such as Moses Boyd and Femi Koleoso. To get into Jazz, Cherise says that once you find one of these people, you find a whole community and are pretty much sorted! We guess the rest is up to you!

For young people wanting a relaxed night of Jazz, Cherise recommends some great places to go to including The Royal Albert in New Cross on a Sunday night, The Albany after 11pm and plenty more that you can check out here.
Find Cherise on Instagram at @cherisemusic and on her website https://www.cherisemusic.com/.


Next to bless The Scene with uncensored and critical information that she believes all young models need to know is Leanne Maskell. She is former Vogue, Asos and London Fashion Week model and now author The Model Manifesto, an anti-exploitation guide for young girls trying to navigate the industry.

Cyprus born Leanne unexpectedly began modelling at the age of 13, but had never really considered as she was being bullied for how she looked in school, being tall, having a lisp and even being told she has ‘yellow skin’. After her parents divorced her mum took her to the only modelling agency local to her in Cyprus. The goal for her mother was not play about, but to try to make some real income for the family.

Leanne speaks on her lucky break, revealing that in her very small Island of only 800 thousand people, she was probably the only tall, blonde girl and was able to easily infiltrate the modelling industry. However, for people in places like London, she explains that 1% of hopefuls will be signed to an agency, and only 1% will have a moderately successful career. Though her mother managed her as a child, she truly began her modelling as a career when she arrived to London. Leanne admits however that she never really enjoyed it, but believed this was her identity and knew subconsciously it’s what people knew her as since she was young girl.

Leanne says there are dire mental and health effects that come from modelling, and believes there should be a strict age limit of 18 to protect young girls from the dangerous expectations that agencies have of them. She recalls a girl believing she was fat at a size 10 and says for girls who start out with young, tiny bodies, the pressures start to mount when their womanhood begins, causing them to put on weight in parts of their bodies that aren’t typically visually appealing to agencies.

She also speaks of how tiring modelling is, referencing 14-year-old Russian model Vlada Dzyuba, who collapsed and died after walking off a runway in Shangai during a 13-hour-shift. Vlada who apparently was ‘too afraid’ to say she was feeling unwell was found to be suffering from severe exhaustion.
26-year-old Leanne put an end to her modelling career at the start of 2019, freeing herself of the mental and emotional burdens that the industry had imposed on her. Though having a successful 13-year career, she says she did not enjoy any of it. Responding online to questions demanding to know why she stayed, she says, “Modelling is very addictive as it becomes your entire identity and I couldn’t really see a way out. It is really hard not to get pulled back in with the seemingly high rates of pay and addiction of being accepted by strangers.”

Her book details gruelling treatment she was subjected to from being told to lose weight whilst already being severely body dysmorphic, dealing with uncooperative agencies who would not take into consideration that she was studying and even having her tights changed by two men at once. But although The Model Manifesto boldly and bravely speaks on the truths about her previous agents and experiences, she does admit that she has a whole section in her book showing gratitude for the things she has learned.

Leanne ends her time on The Scene by explaining the industry concisely, saying that agencies simply see models as can of beans rather than real people, constantly throwing them in unforeseen situations with no humanistic compassion or protection. Consequently, these human beings become like children, heavily dependent on the protection and the validation of their agencies whilst being taken advantage of.

Find Leanne’s heart-wrenching book on Amazon, and read more about her on her website and at @TheModelManifesto on Instagram



Next up, a nifty pioneer and award-winning GUAP magazine co-founder – Ibrahim Kamara. GUAP which is an acronym for ‘Great Understanding And Power’ is a cool and funky magazine made to inspire and entertain young London creatives.

But GUAP is not your traditional print platform; rather it is an ‘augmented reality’ magazine – and the first one in the world! Allow us to explain. The magazines are distributed freely at launch events, and works by scanning your phone over any page. A video then comes to life on your actual phone allowing you to see unique content. There is no need to hover your phone over the page, once your video starts to move, you are able to go away and watch the rest of it!

Ibrahim who also self shoots on his magazine as well as directing a team of contributors says that his platform is one of the only ones that appeals to young Londoners by building a genuine community rather than wanting to work with brands first and foremost. He has however worked with plenty, ranging from Nike, Adidas, the Evening Standard, NME and more.

Ibrahim who has never actually had a job and works on GUAP magazine full time has been honoured as a digital pioneer by the Mayor of London and Top 100 Most Influential BAME leaders in the U.K. He attributes this the vast London creative scene, explaining that there are a lot of young people who are now able to garner audiences that traditional brands have not in the past been able to.

Modestly, Ibrahim says “Obviously the achievements are good but that’s not what we’re focused on”, and adds, “I don’t feel pressure because I’m not doing this for others to see what I’m doing”. He says he has a set vision and many other goals and aspirations. Some of them include making a creative space at The Roundhouse and one day he hopes access one million people. Ibrahim says it’s a ‘slow and steady journey’ and vehemently insists that he will never feel pressure to conform to a creative rat race industry. He is simply grateful that he is currently able to live off of his magazine.

To find more about Ibrahim, check him out on Twitter and Instagram @ibrahimkamama_ and view the GUAP movements at @GUAPMAG on both platforms!


Last to bless The Scene are the Destiny’s Child of the podcast world. Audrey who describes herself as a ‘professor of Wig-ology’, Milena who refers to herself as a hot mamacita and Tolly T who ‘ain’t payin’ for NO date’!

The women form ‘The Receipts Podcast’, a leading podcast that started in 2016 when the ladies realised that there were no people covering their types of experiences on radio. They decided to take to Twitter to tell their unique and funny life-lived stories, building a no-judgement zone and a place crack a bit of banter with people who could relate.

They said they were encouraged to then start the podcast when a similar male version commented on their Twitter conversations, challenging them to start recording their conversations on a wider and more open medium.

The ladies, who were once a group of 5 set up a meeting in a coffee shop where they ended up speaking for hours on end. Finally being kicked out and told they needed to leave – they realised they had to go through with the idea. They recorded a pilot episode which Aubrey says was a ‘shambles’, but finally were able to whittle the group down to the three ladies who were committed to making the platform a success.

Before settling with the now famous name, they admit they had gone through a plethora of potentially awful branding, nearly calling themselves ‘Predrinks’ and ‘Can’t deal’. But after coming across a video of Whitney Houston being accused of something in an interview and clapping back with the line “where are the receipts?” they knew they had to go fourth and let the world know that if anyone has receipts, it’s them.

The bubbly girls whose podcast is almost a London version of Sex and The City say their Whatsapp group chats are filled with ‘consistent, high grade filth’, but is also a real and unfiltered representation of their personal lives. They jokingly (but quite seriously) name Beyonce, Cardi B and even Celine Dion as some of the names they would love to have on the podcast one day.

The ladies speak truthfully on the goal behind all the banter – they want to normalise conversations surrounding sex with women and empower more introverted females, enabling them listen in and have their views corroborated by people who are unafraid to say things like – in the words of Tolly T – ‘faking orgasms is rewarding men for bad behaviour’.

The Receipts Podcast which has featured episodes such as ‘My Family are Racist, ‘He Keeps Giving me STI’s, ‘I cheated on my boyfriend with a pastor’, and ‘Should I Fake my Orgasms’ is now up for a British Podcast Awards for Relationships and Sex, and the girls have a little giggle whilst asking The Scene listeners to vote for them.. No seriously – go vote now! They’re amazing!
Find their hilariously entertaining show here and follow each of the ladies on Twitter at @tolly_t, @ghanasfinestx and @milenasanchezx


Blog by multi-media content creator Lucrese Grehoua.

Jasmine’s Juice – BBC Radio London – The Scene – ‘Gongs & Girl Power’ – By Lucrese Grehoua

Thursday 26th March saw The Scene introduce professional gong bather and wellness expert Nicole Harvey, fierce and fiery body positive supermodel Charli Howard, trailblazing songwriter Jin Jin and the no-nonsense women from Club Frsherz fighting for equality in music.


First to speak with Jasmine Dotiwala on how she is impacting the world through sound was guru Nicole Harvey who describes herself as someone who walks the walk, talks the talk, and believes strongly in creating change through art and healing.

Along with Nicole was a 32 inch gong that she brought with her to the BBC Radio studio. She refers to her gong as ‘he’, saying the gong has been attuned to Saturn which gives it a masculine energy that she challenges Jasmine to get near and feel.

Nicole who is originally from Yorkshire and now lives in North West London first became passionate about sound therapy when she began healing for herself through classes that provided gong baths – an ancient Chinese activity (with no water or tub involved!) that encompasses therapeutic brain alteration through deep sounds. She enjoyed escaping and going on meditative journeys with sounds she says are otherworldly and cosmic, and then began to train herself further in gong bathing,

She says it doesn’t matter if you’re a cynic, the science backs up that gong baths are brilliant for stress relieving and opening blood cells up.
Live on Jasmine Dotiwala’s show, as she would in her classes, Nicole takes her gong mallet, lightly thuds her gong, and leads London into a highly and shockingly relaxing gong bath – at no extra cost!

She says in classes, trap nerves have been released, kidney stones have been shifted, insomniac sleep and anxiety sufferers healed and much more. Nicole begins to then teach that not only are gong baths helpful, but we can also stimulate the mind by incorporating ‘mantras’ – she leads us to put our hands on our hearts, breathe in, and make a long ‘aah’ sound, a sound she says generates compassion.

It’s safe to say that Nicole left the London listeners spiritually enlightened. For more relaxation, you can find her at www.haveyourmagic.com and @Haveyourmagic on Twitter.


Next up is 27-year-old Charli Howard, a model and body image activist who once wrote a blog post that went viral when she was fired by her modelling agency for being ‘too big’.


She has created The All Women project which goes into schools to teach body positivity, written a book and has been featured in magazines from London to L.A including British Vogue. She is now also a body positive columnist at Glamour UK as well as the new campaign girl for underwear brand Agent Provocateur.

Charli, who was always steered away from journalism by her family, decided to embark on a course called CREATIVITY WORKS with Media Trust that would introduce her to new journalistic skills. But when she was dropped by her modelling agency midway through her course, it was then that she would then use those skills to write a fiery blog post.

The post reads: ‘Here’s a big F you to my now ex-modelling agency for saying that at 5ft 6 inches tall and a UK size 6-8 I’m too big and out of shape to work in the fashion industry. I refuse to feel ashamed and upset on a daily basis for not meeting your ridiculous unattainable beauty standards and the more you force us to lose weight and be small, the more designers have to make clothes to fit our sizes and the more young girls are being made ill. It’s no longer an image that I wish to represent. If an agency what to represent me for the woman I am, I’m more than happy to take your calls, but until then I’m off to Nandos’.

After this blew up, a very shaky Charli was approached by some of the biggest broadcast companies, and with the help of Jasmine Dotiwala (her then tutor) on the Media Trust course, she was able to represent herself and speak further on her story to companies like the BBC.
Charli says that despite being a size 6 at the time and suffering with an eating disorder, she gained weight and was approached by an agency to work in New York doing plus sized modelling.

She says that on entrance to the agency were two walls, one showing catwalk models who looked very moody, and on the other side where there were only about twelve cards were women radiating with smiles. Charli says she was surprised that the plus models were the ones who were actually happy and enjoying themselves.

Charli admits that calling a size 10-12 model ‘plus sized’ is controversial, but that in her being one, she is representing women like herself who still find it gravely difficult to get by in the fashion industry.

Charli says if she could speak to her 15-year-old self, she would tell her to surround herself with good people and unfollow accounts that make her feel bad or insecure about herself. She also says you absolutely do not need professional photos to get into modelling – an aspiring model can take a quick photo of themselves with no makeup on or simply walk into an agency!

Charli speaks on her All Woman project, in which she got together both slimmer and plus sized models to create unity between all. She says she was then approached by big companies to then help strategise to make body positivity a main component of their brands.

Charli continues to rock the industry, you can see what she is getting up to on Instagram @CharliHoward.



The 3rd guest in the studio to speak on song-writing and music production is song writer to the stars Jin Jin.
Mancunian girl Jin Jin has co-written dozens of chart topping songs including ‘Hold My Hand’ by Jess Glynne and ‘Alien’ by Jonas Blue and Sabrina Carpenter.

She has worked with people of the likes of Fraser T Smith, Dave, Ms Banks, Raye, David Guetta, Sigala, Rita Ora, Paloma Faith, Madison Beer and many more, and has received accolades at platforms such as Women in Music Awards.
Jin Jin says she has been writing songs for five years and started in her grandfather’s reggae record shop. She soon progressed into the music scene at university where her friend introduced her to artist Target.

Jin Jin who was already known for working with grime groups such as Roll Deep, says she started to be noticed through collaborations with any one she was interested in. She says it doesn’t matter whether or not someone has accolades in song writing and advises people to work with anyone who is talented.
Jin Jin says she met Jess Glynne 5 years ago and would create songs with her in local pubs. She says she enjoys meeting up with artists to connect with them and understand their stories before making songs – almost like a councillor!

When it comes to creating the actual songs in studios, Jin Jin admits that she and even the artists she works with don’t usually have many diva demands. She says that studio time is typically a moment for top artist to be themselves, let their guards down, remove egos and be comfortable in a relaxed, closed and safe environment.

Many of us wonder why songwriters desire to be behind the scenes rather than taking the front line fame in projects created by themselves. Jin Jin tells Jasmine that she would never move into singing on stage, rather she feels satisfied with simply bringing ideas to the table and letting the artist bring it to life. She also say that her Mancunian accent makes things sound a little funny, she’d rather not embarrass herself!
We think Jin Jin is amazing whether behind the scenes or not! Keep up with her new projects on Twitter @jinjinofficial



Last but certainly not least on The Scene are revolutionary music group Club Frsherz whose compilation of new songs seeks to empower and support all black people through positive and personable affirmations.

To speak on their ‘Black playlist’ are three of six members of Club Frsherz. Founder of the group Skandouz says his inspiration to get the group together was a dear friend dying of sickle cell anaemia, he says there are not many positive representations of black people. He wanted to tell their stories and decided if nobody else would do it, he would.

Coco 7, a female musician says she was excited to collaborate with Skandouz on the project to promote an ethical message about black people. Miss Ranger, a pianist says she enjoyed music from a young age but fast realised she could not sing. It was here that she discovered NWA – her view on music would change forever. And Zara Sykes who has also been rapping from the age of 9 decided she would jump on the project to represent Birmingham.

Creating a combo of ten separate songs all made by women including ‘Buy Black’, ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Young Gifted and Black’, the album boldly and fearlessly promotes black intelligence, empowerment and uplifting of a race usually outcast and seen negatively.

Skandouz says his team are wordsmiths who challenge themselves to think outside the realm of popular profane language within their songs. They say they do not condone the ‘N’ word or any type of profanity in their music, adding that you can be edgy whilst still being respectful within your speech. Club Frsherz says children should be open to a wide world of vocabulary. They seek to build a legacy rather than create quick, throwaway music that so many people are currently creating.

Coco 7 says she celebrates black women as there is not enough range in the industry. She says she blames the industry and the cogs behind the machine that doesn’t allow a wide range black women to make versatile music – female MCs are lead into the industry one at a time. Whilst many would say that the music she makes excludes people of other races, Coco 7 says that in fact the movement is inclusive, allowing women who have been ostracised to be a part of doing something great that they otherwise would not have the opportunity to be part of.

Full information on all members off Club Frsherz and their impactful movement on Twitter @ClubFRSHERZ!

JASMINE’S JUICE – Breaking Ceilings……The Scene – BBC Radio London -21/03/19, by Lucrece Grehoua.

The Scene – 21/03/19
Breaking Ceilings

Today on The Scene, Jasmine Dotiwala talks apprenticeships, breaking into media and the Afrobeats movement in the music industry.

First up are Gennaro Costaldo and Ramon Lewis of the Brits Apprenticeship scheme that gives 10 people of all backgrounds the opportunity to develop a career in music with training and mentoring.


Apprentice Ramon Lewis explains how he became an apprentice at Key Production, and how he went from working in office support to being a core part of the BRITS, being invited to flashy events and rubbing shoulders with important people in the industry.
He now manages the company’s social media network, helping to represent the face of the business. He explains his roles in exercising due diligence and how he has grown in maturity and professionalism because of the scheme.

Gennaro Costaldo, communications manager at the Brits explains how £21million is raised by one BRIT Awards show alone, which then allows for the existence of BRIT school, the famous school for people trying to break into the entertainment industry. It also funds musical charities such as ‘Music Support’, an incentive that deals with mental wellbeing, addictive behaviours and the pressures that come with working in the industry. He describes how proud he is to be able to extend the money to fund young people like Ramon, who have no experience in the field.

With less than a month left of Ramon’s apprenticeship, Gennaro explains that to get a job in the music industry you must be passionate with a real desire to get on, never take no for an answer and be ready to delve into the many facets of the industry. He says there is a role for everyone!
To keep up with the adventures of the current Brit apprentices, head to the Brit Trust website where monthly blogs are written about their journeys.


Next to feature on the show speaking on Breaking into News media and journalism are Monika Plaha, Hadeel Elshak and Tobi Iji.
Tobi – Project Coordinator at Media Trust -who champions diversity- describes Breaking Into News as an 8-year running programme aimed at anyone who has a local story to tell.

She mentions amazing stories previously made by finalists such as one in Wales about people who only speak the local language, another about how Brexit would affect the Polish community, and even one about the rise of eco-burials.

Monika says she entered whilst in her second year of university, explaining how she had applied for hundreds of internships and got rejected from each one. She managed to get an internship as a crime journalist in Malaysia, however what happened when she was there would be the basis of her application. She explains how walking around shopping centres in Malaysia she would be approached by vendors asking if she wanted to lighten her skin. Scrolling through social media to see how she could get her story out was when she came across the Breaking Into News ad. Monika who is now a journalist for BBC Breakfast describes how great of an experience being accepted was. She says even 7 years later, it was the biggest breakthrough of her career.

20-year-old university student Hadeel was also accepted onto the scheme managed to work with ITV News to tell a story that has impacted her greatly; Grenfell. Her story focused on the politicisation of the tragedy and the distrust of the system that many of its victims felt. Hadeel says her story on Grenfell was not about her but rather it was an opportunity to narrate stories of others as well as show local venues in Harrow that she felt needed to be on TV.

Breaking Into News allows for those who have had no experience in the media to research and cover a unique passion point, be mentored through the process all whilst being taught the fundamentals of newsrooms and TV journalism.

Apply for Breaking Into News by going to the website and submitting a short written or video application of an interesting story that packs a punch and hasn’t ever been told before!


Next on the show is Sheyma Bulai, London-based writer specialising in cinema, visual and urban cultures from the Middle East. Bulai is also the director of BBC Arabic festival.

The Arabic Festival Bulai explains, is one that documents films by international directors about current situations in the Arab world reflecting social and political issues.

She goes on to talk about of the wave that is showing more and more Arabic people speaking on adverse issues such as sexism but recognises the broadcast rules that bypass the local rules of Arabic countries; places where many have a fear of the camera.

The BBC Arabic Festival shows a rise of stories where females are the protagonists, and Bulai explains that many are actually written by men themselves, such as ‘Sabeya’, a fictional story reflecting an elderly women trying to ensure her granddaughter does not get abducted by Yazidi ISIS members. The range of stories however Bulai says is very wide.

The film festival is the only one that takes place at the BBC Broadcasting House and open to all types of people! Get your tickets here: http://www.brittrust.co.uk/apprenticeships/.


Lastly on the show is Nana Richard Abiona also known as Fuse ODG, internationally-renowned recording artist, Afrobeats musician and pop-culture infulencer.
Fuse, who grew up between Ghana and London and who rose to fame with smash hit song ‘Azonto’ in 2003 begins by detailing the disparities between the places he grew up which would be the motivation of his career.

He explains that unlike Ghana, in the U.K. he would be seen as the Black, African boy whose representation in the country was not always the best. He overcame bullying in school by standing up for himself when picked on for his accent and the perception of him as an African that many had through the media (namely, African children in adverts with flies hovering around mouths). He says he could understand why people treated him the way that they did, but also how through his musical representation he was able to take a stand for the ‘African kid’ in him.

His first inspiration to make music was his desire to go back to Ghana to be at one with the music, food and culture. Once he finally went he says he was astounded by the ‘world-class’ talent and knew he had to do something to shift the perception of Londoners who knew only about giving money to charities for ‘poor’ African children.

Fuse ODG says he wanted to create music that would move and capture people the way he was by those in Ghana. He decided to take a popular dance in the country and made a song that he would release in London. Dance number ‘Azonto’ influenced people around the world including Beyonce, Kanye West and former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Going on to produce more hit singles, Fuse ODG says the secret to his musical success is simply ‘good vibes’. He believes his purpose is higher than just music and explains that he and team have a spiritually led goal to bring awareness of Africa and the goodness it has to display to the wider world. He says Africa is not a poverty stricken place, but rather one that you can go on holiday to, have fun and conduct business in.

He has managed to create ‘proud Africans’ of his musical movement both in the Western world and what he now refers to as the ‘new’ Africa.

Explaining why he turned down a proposition by Sir Bob Geldof to make a big appearance on Band Aid 30, he says that despite how amazing the opportunity would be to be on the same bill as artists such a Ed Sheeran and One Direction, his purpose was to steer away from the very media outlets who portrayed people like him in a stereo-typical light.

His first priority he explains, was not to encourage people to give £2 a month and move on with their lives but to encourage them to see the value in spending holidays in Africa as they would in places like Vegas, and giving their money in more meaningful and fun ways. He describes the ‘crippling’ effect of movements like Band-Aid that use lyrics such as ‘bring peace and joy to West Africa’ – as if there is none.

He went on to challenge Sir Bob Geldof’s lyric, asking if it would be possible to change the lyrics and visual representation. Once Geldof refused, Fuse declined the offer, saying he could not believe what he had just done, but was proud that he stood for Ghana and has in the long run been a part of a group of leaders that have managed to change the perception of Africa in other ways.

Fuse ODG who has been building schools in Ghana since 2007 amongst other incentives, says he wants to build a new love for Africa that will allow the continent to make headlines the way European countries do when disasters strike. He has received immense support for his charities including from Ed Sheeran who gave back to by buying a bus and even helping to build a bridge. However, Fuse said he wanted to have a word with his pal Ed as he had made yet another Comic Relief story this year which Fuse didn’t approve of.

Fuse ODG is busy with many projects that include as his clothing brand, ‘New Africa Nation’, manufacturing Black Barbie-type dolls depicting historical black figures, and his ‘T.I.N.A’ festival based in Africa with past performances from the likes of Lethal Bizzle and Joey B. Listen to Fuse ODG’s new album ‘New Africa Nation’ with features from Damian Marley and Stefflon Don.
Review by Lucrece Grehoua

JASMINE’S JUICE – Started From the Bottom Now We’re Here…The Scene -BBC Radio London’s ARTS shows – reviewed by writer Lucrece Grehoua

The Scene 14/03/19

Started From the Bottom Now We’re Here


The Scene presents four different inner city London men who as individuals found their way from struggle to strength.
Speaking to Jasmine Dotiwala, they represent ways in which they were able to transform their narratives into literature and entertainment as a means of telling their stories.

First, one of the U.K.’s most popular Asian comedians and creator and star of hit YouTube show ‘Diary Of a Badman’, Humza Arshad. Humza who grew up in Streatham and has generated 96million views on YouTube says growing up he was only remotely good at making a fool out of himself. It was then he realised that he could use his curious talent to make others laugh.

Diary Of A Badman which has now almost become a household name and the cause of heavy, rumbling laughs across the U.K. was born out of frustration when Arshad realised that he would be subject to prejudice in the entertainment industry for being a Muslim man. Like many other rising social media stars, rather than ‘wait for the phone to ring’, he decided to set up shop creating short online skits in 2011 which would soon garner the attention of the BBC and other production houses.

In his most recent project, a children’s book that has gained astounding traction, he recalls being approached by Penguin speaks on whether or not he believes the new-fangled diversity movement in publishing is genuine. Irrespective of it, he says that representation is extremely important and is therefore content in the fact that publishers are finally seeing the need to influence young children of BAME backgrounds as well as white.

In June and July 2011 jointly with the Met Police, Arshad visited schools to give presentations to students. Discussing topics and issues encountered by teenagers living in London, he says he found that it wasn’t only Asian boys connecting with his work.

Arshad says he has inspired hundreds of the children to read – including his younger cousin who once was unable to get away from his PS4! However he declares that he will never be content until he reaches new heights in TV, film, publishing and other forms of entertainment.


Second to feature on the show were three Black male authors who recently wrote the newly published book ‘SAFE’.
Derek Owusu who is the host of hit podcast ‘Mostly Lit’ – and who also edited the new book ‘SAFE’, Symeon Brown who is a reporter for Channel 4 News, and Nelson Abbey, a media executive whose book ‘Think Like a White Man’ also comes soon to Canongate publishing firm.

Written by and for 20 British black males occupying a range of different work industries and professions, ‘SAFE’ describes the experiences of black men in all facets of life from mental health to colourism, and violence to homophobia.

The trio begin by sharing some funny yet pretty alarming experiences they have been through as black men in the workplace and in wider society, such as having to look over their shoulders if huddled as a group in order not to alarm their white colleagues – something many black people can relate to!

Derek Owusu speaks on how the idea of the book came about explaining that there was a dire lack of Black authors; in 2016 there was only one Black British debut fiction author published in the U.K. It was here that he decided to round up 20 Black men for the ultimate writers’ link up.

Nelson Abbey and Symeon Brown both go on to explain how keen they were to join as authors for the book, and both speak on their vastly diverse chapters.

Channel 4’s Symeon Brown begins by delving into the problems surrounding the availability – or lack thereof- of social and dance spaces for black men in London.

Speaking on Hackney’s now closed down club, ‘Vision’, he says, “Where you go to dance as a Black man is hard”, adding, “a part of the dilemma and question that I was posing in my piece (was) where do black men go to dance spontaneously”. He explains the difficulty of finding spaces in London’s increasingly pricey clubs and speaks on the hierarchy of network that Black men must be acquire if wanting to infiltrate West End clubs without being turned away at the door. He goes on to speaks about places in Shoreditch which he says are supposed to be more ‘open minded’ slowly becoming harder to turn up at for an impulsive night of fun.

Nelson Abbey on the other hand speaks about the portrayal of ‘the Black male image’, and who in the media controls it. In his chapter he touches on four themes in the entertainment industry which he believes black men fall into; ‘comical, childish, cringe worthy and criminalised’. He uses Big Narstie as a prime example, a former rapper and comedian who blew up after videos of his rollicking laughter and rumbustious jokes started to go viral over social media. Subsequently Big Narstie was given a TV show with Channel 4 called ‘The Big Narstie Show’. Abi describes him as ‘infectious’ and ‘charming’, but also says that through no fault of his own, Big Nasrtie, ‘a brother trying to make an honest living’, has been defaulted into the Minstrel; the sparsely articulate, physically over-expressive bafoon playing up to preconceived wild black stereotypes largely for the consumption, comfort and confirmation of white audiences.

Despite his disappointment in the default dumbing down of the Black man, Nelson goes on to speak on mortifying experiences he has had being told that he is not black enough due to being too ‘intelligent, middle-classed and successful’. He expresses times having to challenge former bosses but also how he balances his ability to codeswitch in certain situations.

Derek Owusu says SAFE was written to outline the vast difference in racial experiences between the U.S. and U.K. are hopes to one day get SAFE on the educational curriculum When asked whether or not the new movement in BAME writers was simply a box ticking exercise by publishers, Nelson Abbey admits that books are getting signed but people are not getting the promotional push and follow through, he hopes however that as more people from BAME backgrounds get published, that they find the ways to push through by their own means.

You can find more about SAFE by checking the hashtag #SAFE or #UsManAreSafe on Twitter.

Lucrece Grehoua

Jasmine’s Juice – Davido conquers in the latest afrobeats takeover at the O2 Arena.

Nigerian musical super hero Davido came, saw and conquered at his o2 show. He had confessed he was nervous 4 days earlier when I sat down with him for a TV interview, but on the Sunday evening he gave the fans what they came for.


The o2 was a buzz from the tube station all through the dome as fans packed in to see one of the- if not THE – biggest afrobeats stars on the planet.

Actor Idris Elba whipped the crowd into the opening frenzy as he introduced Davido. And from that moment the arena was wildin out!

A high energy show full of thoughtful, regular stage excitement with full band (the composers), dancers all dressed in lime batty riders and crop tops, backing vocalists in white robes, a flying space ship saucer to make his entrance, fire balls, smoke shooting into the air, ribbons streamers and more.

Walking out onto a spotlit catwalk satellite stage so his adoring fans could get even closer to him, the stalls area which is usually seated had no chairs so it could fit in even more standing jumping fans.

It was like carnival. The crowd were dressed in mega swag. From Dior to gucci to Moncler and more the fashion was ON and lit. You’d never know it was winter in London. The ladies were mini skirted, shorts, high heeled and in their best “look at me” garms. Crisp white sneakers and finery were the order of the night.

Music act Russ Millions popped by to give Davido a quick breather performing his hit Gun Lean.

No scrimping was done in production, this show had it all. I did wonder what Davido would make of the British audiences lack of mega hype energy that we always see in audiences abroad. We can be a little stush in our energy and screaming us Brits right?

The whole gig felt like a great moment reminiscent of the early days when names like Jay Z, Eminem, Nas and more were known only by the real music fans, before the commercial brands and TV folks tried to hunt them down.

Much was made of whether Davido had actually sold out the venue, which was a minor sticking point in the major picture. There were a set of seats at the very back of the arena that were empty. However when you consider that the stalls floor seating had been removed and that floor area of the arena as packed solid as were all the balconies in circumference, trust me, this was a sell out. I’ve seen huge American proclaim to have sold out this space with much less seats sold.

A slew of celebrity names were in the house too. West Africa’s prodigal son did good. Extremely good!