JASMINE’S JUICE- THE RETURN OF THE MUSICAL MACK- WRETCH32!

wretch 2014
JASMINE JOINS WRETCH32 IN THE STUDIO.

Tottenham breeds creativity – Soul singers Adele, Lemar and Keisha White hail from the area. But its grimy roots really are showcased by its hip-hop acts like Wretch32 and Chip.According to Wretch, he was once his schoolteachers worst nightmare but now he’s called the UK rappers rapper and metaphor man.

Jermaine Scott Sinclair -Wretch 32 (three-two), is the son of a local reggae DJ in the Tiverton Estate- which explains the clear dancehall beats juxtaposed with his north London lyrics that are full of metaphors and soulful hooks and melodies, that will keep you humming for hours after hearing one of his hits. It’s this partnering of dancehall vibes and his soulful melodies that are cool yet classy that have become his signature trademark sound.

Wretch was a member of the grime collective “Combination Chain Gang”, before forming The Movement with Scorcher, Ghetts, Mercston. He initially found underground fame by selling over 15,000 copies of his mix tapes in and around Tottenham ‘’the mix tape scene is like artist development’’.
He’s cut from the cloth of the original rap legends that rhyme about their personal lives. All Wretch’s tracks are like his personal diary in music form as opposed to just another materialistic hip-hop ego trip.

The word ‘Wretch’ might be associated with unfortunate or unhappy people but Jermaine couldn’t be further than that with one of his Adidas shod feet stuck firmly in his glamtastic showbiz life, and the other still grounded back in ‘’Totty’’. (Incidentally re his name; – His mother was from Jamaica, where “wretch” meant slim or skinny. She called him “Wretch” as a child, and the name stuck. 32 is his lucky number and he thought it would be fun to have a number as a surname, so he added 32 to the end of Wretch)

Wretch 32 Birthday Party at Holborn House, London
JASMINE WITH TOTTENHAM BOYS WRETCH AND CHIP.

A fully royal member of the #TeamUK family, a look at his twitter timeline shows that he regularly highlights and shows support to his fellow music peers and is as loved by the scene as well as his die hard loyal fans.Now he’s the kingpin act at the centre of a very talented collective called Renowned, which is also home to his peers George The Poet, Jacob Banks, Knox Brown and more as well as sports and media arms. Like Jigga said he’s a ‘business man’’.

He’s a humble, understated character that has reason to trumpet about his successes. His first single Traktor in January 2011 was a huge hit. In 2010, the BBC nominated him for the BBC’s Sound of 2011 and MTV named him as a nominee for MTV Brand New for 2011. The same year he had three top-five charting songs from debut album Black and White and amassed over a million record sales. The following year he was used by both Adidas and coca cola as one of the main faces of their London 2012 Olympics campaigns and on 1 July 2012 he won ‘Best International Act’ at the 2012 BET Awards. His single ‘’Don’t Go’’ featuring Josh Kumra flew to number one in the UK charts. If I were he, the temptation to brag would be just a lil bit tempting.

The end of this year will see him release his third studio album Growing Over Life. We sat down with him this week, for an update on how that albums coming along …‘’I’ve been working hard in the studio on the album, I’ve had it finished for a while now. I was just touching up everything, doing my finishing touches. It’s sounding like a great body of work, its exactly where I want it to be, and its where I exactly what I want it to be. So I’m happy. It’s called Growing Over Life because I think it’s something we all do without even realising. I always remember on my birthdays I would always jump out of my bed and run to my wall and see if I’d got taller. Sometimes I’d say to my mum ‘mum I never got taller this year’ and she said ‘you don’t grow overnight, you grow over life’ and it’s something that just stuck with me, so I thought I’d just incorporate that with the record. My brand new single 6 words is definitely the most heartfelt piece of music on the record, sonically nothing sounds like it on the album, but it still fits through the whole journey because it’s like a journey of my life. It’s just that moment where I wore my heart on my sleeve, kind of stepped out of my comfort zone, to just show a bit of vulnerability if you can call it that. So yeah, I think it’s incredible. I wouldn’t say it’s my most vulnerable album yet, I’m like a cry baby, well sort of, so it’s not my most vulnerable album, but this record is definitely one of my most vulnerable singles. I’ve had like a million ideas as to what the video can be like and it’s just narrowing it down. I’ve spoken to loads of different directors; I’m actually in the process of trying to get 2 directors to work together. I dunno how that’s going to go, I’ll find out by the end of today!’’

CONCIOUS RAPPERS

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A SCENE FROM ONE OF WRETCHS VIDEOS- NO STEREOTYPICAL HIPHOP VISUALS HERE.

Testament to Wretch’s talent and brand, is the fact that all his videos are well thought out pieces of visual narrative, that don’t ever rely on the old worn out stereotype of sexy dancing girls or materialistic wealth. Neither do they look like they’ve had thousands spent on them. They are slick, powerful and effective, complimentary to his vulnerable heartfelt lyrics. This often means he’s referred to as a more conscious, backpack, positive vined rapper. If he is a conscious rapper he has succeeded where many other edutainment MC’s have not in this age where record labels only aspire to sign quick win corny, lazy buffoon like acts. He would say

‘’I think conscious rap is overlooked slightly because, when you think of conscious rappers you might think of Akala, Common, both who maybe should have accumulated more sales, but they both do exceptionally well in each of their lanes. But I think the majority of people just want to have fun. I think when you listen to something that’s very serious, you take it in, you sit down and take it in, and you’re thinking ‘man that’s deep, I get it now, I get it.’ But when you listen to a club tune, you’re just like ‘I want to go to the club’. It’s just 2 completely different moods. I think the majority of people would prefer stuff that’s just, I wouldn’t say uplifting because a lot of conscious stuff is still uplifting, just want to turn up to be fair’’.

Wretch isn’t blind to the challenges that he has had to face when being described as a conscious rapper. ‘Being quite a conscious rapper means you definitely face the challenge that people say or think you are boring. I’ve noticed that when I’ve made certain records, even my own friends will say it to me. My mate will say to me ‘ah bro stop preaching man, if people want to hear that they’ll buy a book’ and I’m like ‘OK, I get it’ I get that that’s just some peoples philosophy on the whole thing, it’s just important to understand. Even me, some days I’ll wake up and I might see something pop on my twitter and I’m going to wanna challenge this lyrically, I’m gonna wanna speak about this. Some days I’ve been in a club, gone home and haven’t slept, gone to a studio session and all I can think about is how sick last night was, I’m gonna make a record that reflects that. With me, my art is just a reflection of my life’’.

When describing the state of hip hop at the moment, how its been perpetuated by the mainstream and the direction he see’s it heading in, Wretch ponders ‘’I think hip-hop right now is very diverse, a lot of it I like, a bit of it I don’t like. It’s interesting how to come through you used to have to go through a series of things. You used to have to be mad credible, have a background check, freestyle you’re head of, like rapping for time. Now, its like, you might have a rapper who has popped up, he’s got one tune and he’s come through and he’s as big as the guy who has done like 25 mixtapes, put in hundreds of thousands of hours of his time or whatever and its not weighing up sometimes. But I always say to people, and there is a lot of frustration with artists ‘how come this, how come that?’ but I say look ‘If it comes in quick, it might go (out) quicker’. The longer it takes to get in, the longer who are going to appreciate staying in and the longer you’re gonna be there in the long run. If something just lands in your lap, you might just push it off”.

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I bear testament to Wretch’s grind that he’s put in over the years. Back when I was at MTV Base, Wretch used to come in and hang out as a friend of the brand and also our then intern (now super director) JakFrsh. Their friendship meant I was in the know about Wretch long before he hit the big time He is still today exactly the same well mannered, friendly, articulate young man he was back then many years ago whe he used to come in and chill out at my desk updating me on his latest mixtape and putting down verses for MTV’s Black History Month.

ENTREPRENEURIAL

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Wretch is aware that people expect all rap acts to branch out into other businesses but he’s making his moves slowly, deliberately and surely unlike many other acts that sign checks for any and every offer that comes up. ‘’There’s many ways nowadays for Hip Hops artists to be entrepreneurial. Of courses you have clothing which goes hand in hand like merchandise which a lot of people do, then you have some artists that open up modelling agencies, because they have a direct link with all the rappers that want to use of all the models for different video’s, then you have some people open up record labels, some people want to sell books. There’s so many things people can do, people like Jay Z have shown that its limitless. Even Pharrell – what they do with clothing and how far they take it- Kanye with the Yeezy’s, even someone like Lethal B with his clothing in the UK – Dench. I think its endless and there is a lot you can do. Probably merchandise is a common area because it goes hand in hand- you wear something, people like what you wear, it happens to be made by you, it happens to be sold on your site and at your tour and that’s also the most obvious direct way of income. I think it’s just how well you manage your brand. If you’re that person that always dresses well, one day I’m going to ask you “raah where did you get your jacket from” and then an artist might reply “naah this is actually one of mine I made it, I manufactured it you can buy it for £69.99 ” and they might reply “incredible I’m going to go an buy one” It kind of just goes hand in hand’’.

HYPER-MASCULINITY IN HIP-HOP

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When listening to Wretch’s songs or watching his videos, we are never under any impression that he’s attempting to follow the blueprint for of the hyper masculine American hip hop that came before the UK acts blew up. Hyper-masculinity in hip-hop and the different stereotypes and pressures male hip-hop artists can face are heavy. There seems to be a lot of focus on how women are being stereotyped and objectified in hip-hop videos and lyrics, but this focus doesn’t really extend to the men. Wretch doesn’t think that the females or males have to stay in a box. ’’I think you’ve got to look at the rapper that’s at the forefront- there’s the guy that wears his heart on his sleeve, Drake, and there’s always people criticising him, but he’s the man of the moment. I think it was a beautiful thing that he even came through to get to the position he’s in now. He’s not typical- he’s not street, he’s not hood, he’s not from New York, he’s from Toronto. So I definitely think him coming through and him being so successful broke down a lot of boundaries. I think there’s a lot of other rappers coming through- it’s cool because it did used to be strict and tough and people had to speak about a certain thing and project themselves in a certain way. But now people are allowed to be more themselves, there’s a new wave of people coming through like the J Cole’s who’s not really ‘hood’, but what they do is make the everyday guy feel like it’s possible and I think it’s incredible to have the balance. Then there’s the 50 cent story, which is a story that many people are attached to, there are people who feel like something like that has happened to them in their life, and they just want to rap about it, because that’s the opportunity for them to get out of that situation- and I think it’s great that there is an art which allows that kind of platform. Of course, in everything, it’s right that there is a balance. I think the Drakes and the J Coles balance it out with the 50 Cents and the Young Jeezy’s’’.

Just watching Wretch walk down any part of London’s streets is incredible. He gets mad love. Wretch is looked up to by thousands of younger British music acts and is happy to play an older mentor role ‘’ It feels good knowing that artists are looking up to me. I feel like I’m quite a sensible character and it’s not like I’m going to lead anyone astray. There were many artists that I looked up to and they were very sensible and it helped to guide me and helped keep me on the straight and narrow. I think it’s important because I’m very interactive also, It’s not like I’m mad out of touch or out of reach, you can find me somewhere or contact someone that knows me and I can give you advice’’.

Not only is he a mentor to others but also looks up to acts that inspired him. Jay Z is his favourite artist but he doesn’t feel the need to emulate his style and knows he’s created his own, very unique lane. ‘’Jay is a rap hero, one of my idols, because lyrically, I think he’s the person who pushed me into the position I’m in. I think the consistency; the level of dedication to his craft, his professionalism, his mannerism is something that I admire. You don’t have to be similar to people you admire. The world doesn’t need another Jay Z or another Wretch32- and it definitely doesn’t need another Kanye!’’

HOMOSEXULITY IN HIP HOP

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Snoop Dog has quoted that he doesn’t think homosexuality will ever be accepted in the rap music because, “rap is so masculine”. Wretch isn’t sure how this ignorance can be fixed. ‘’That’s a question that I couldn’t directly give you an answer for, I can only answer on stuff close to me, so like if I have a mate that was.. you know.. and he was working in music and wanted advice, I would say ‘be you, rap about you, rap about what you want to rap about’ and I think that’s the problem- I think people have a problem with others not being genuine. So, I’m a guy who’s into girls, and if I was rapping about boys, it would sound weird, it would sound wrong, because it’s not genuine to me. So if there was a rapper that was into something else, you just have to be genuine and be about hat you’re about and rap about it, and whoever is into that, would take to it. But if you think you’re too short, too tall, too dark, or whatever, it doesn’t make sense you just sit in your house and do nothing about it, because nothing is going to happen that way and there won’t be any changes. So it takes for you to come out and make that step’’.

Wretch does also acknowledge that fear of coming out can play a big role in a gay rappers career. ‘’There’s always going to be a fear in coming out… but if you’re in fear, you’re feeling like you’re doing something wrong. If you’re feeling like you’re doing something right, you’re in full right to behave and continue in whatever you’re doing in life. If you feel like you’re doing something wrong, then it’s going to restrict you and that’s a problem on yourself and something you have to deal with. You have to be comfortable in your own skin everywhere and I’m comfortable everywhere. There’s times where, with me being this tall and this dark, sometimes there’s an issue- but guess what, I’m going to walk in that door and I’m going to be Wretch 32. I’m not going to let anything limit me and I’m going to do what I’m here to do. So I’ll just advise ANYBODY in ANY circumstance- to be them and go for what you want to achieve. It’s up to you, I’m not going to pull you out your house, and nobody’s going to pull me out’’.

HIP HOP AND POLITICS

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Hip hop and UK politics has never had a warm glowing friendly relationship. Nothings changed since Lethal B called David Cameron a donut in the broadsheets. Wretch thinks that Hip Hop can better engage people with politics. “I think in order for hip hop artists to help people engage into politics they have to understand it better, if I’m honest it isn’t something that I dwell in too much because I almost look at that like a separate world that I have no control over and it’s like, I find it quite interesting that someone like myself couldn’t tell Gordon Brown or Tony Blair, any of these people how to run the House of Commons but they can tell me how its gonna go in Seven Sisters and how its gonna run in Tottenham and how its gonna run in London, because I haven’t been in your world and you haven’t been in mine. So it should be you something you’re coming to me, or you’re coming to us and asking us what do we need’’.

Wretch 32 Birthday Party at Holborn House, London
WRETCH, GEORGE THE POET AND FRIENDS AT WRETCH’S ”PRESIDENTIAL THEMED PARTY”.

Now talking about an area he feels passionately about he adds ‘’How do you get in contact with these people? You go through a million things but, this is when you need someone who can translate and this is something we see in a guy called George the Poet, where for me, he is the direct mediator because he can speak their language and he speaks our language and he understands so if we can all support him and get him where he needs to be, where he can communicate with them, nobody else will have to. Cos we are two different people walking two separate walks of life they look down on us, and we look down on them, so automatically it’s a conflict of interest, and it’s a lack of knowledge, a lack of knowledge on our front and a lack of knowledge on their front, and understanding, so if you have one person in the middle they can walk the tight rope.”

HUMAN ZOO

Last week the controversial Exhibit B show at The Barbican was cancelled on its London dates due to protests. Of course Wretch had an opinion “I was trying to read the pluses and the minuses on either side but I couldn’t quite understand why people would want to see black people in a cubicle in a museum, I couldn’t understand the attraction, I just couldn’t get my head around it, so I don’t think I’m with it to be fair, I don’t think I’m with it, I’m not that person that’s going to scream out with the lack of education, because there’s been many times where I’ve seen someone scream out about something like that and it’s a black person that created it so now it’s like you’re screaming at yourself like, why you screaming, you should have just understood the education and maybe it was something positive in the end but, I couldn’t see the positive in it, I couldn’t understand it, people arguing that it was art, technically if I walk past you in the street is that art then, why don’t I just walk past you in the street why don’t we appreciate that as art why do we have to dig up this history and just have people standing still in cubicles.”

Hip-hop and Shakespeare

I’ve often heard rappers verbal dexterity described as modern day Shakespeare. Wretch agrees that the ability to form phrases and clever wordplay isn’t just something that belongs to the golden olden ages ‘’I definitely think there are some similarities to some hip hop artists and people like Shakespeare. I think when I listen to some rappers and I hear some of their play on words some of the stories, some of the metaphors and similes and double entendre there’s some things that some of the rappers are doing that I doubt have been named yet”.

America isn’t the only place where hip-hop stars have university modules named after them and students study rappers lyrics. ‘‘There’s many times where I’ve gone to school and given English lessons and we’ve broken down some of my songs and It’s like I’ve explained some of the metaphors are and what the similes are and what the similarities are and etc. and I think like it was cool to do that and I think the kids are really engaged and at that point that where I realize that what I’m actually writing. It’s a bit more than just rap I’m not stringing words together I’m giving a lesson to kids here so it’s quite interesting’’

Trying to envisage hip hop for the future, Wretch predicts ‘’I think in years to come there might even be rap shows in the theatre, I might do a tour in theatres instead of normal venues and just stage it different and light it different and perform different, and maybe not even hold the mic, maybe just you know how it goes in the theatre you never know it’s just going to take one person to make that step and everyone’s just going to follow suit’’

Reflecting back to his own school days and how great it would’ve been if he had been able to study acts like grandmaster flash or Eric B and Rakim , Wretch smiles ‘’I think they should definitely pick some songs to be a part of the English module because I just remember being a kid, and I remember my teacher sitting me down saying, look you’re like one of the worst behaved kids I’ve ever tried to teach in my life, and my problem I have with you is like when you write stories, anything you write is incredible but why are you like this?, why are you so disruptive/ and I’m like, I don’t particularly care about what I’m learning about, and had I of had a lesson where I had a rapper that I respected, or a song I knew back to front was the actual lesson I would have paid a lot more attention, because they might have been telling me things that I didn’t even realise. Even like that might have been an easier way to describe what a metaphor is for me, do you know what I mean, or what a simile is for me at that age. I think that there are probably a million kids in this country that would benefit from them, so sometimes it’s just about trying. Because that lesson that I took part in for the kids, it was incredible, they learnt so much and even I learnt something, because sometimes the teacher would say ‘what you done In that last line that was onomatopoeia’

Hip Hop and Religion

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One thing that doesn’t cross over from American hip hoppers to the UK as much as other hip-hop ingredients, are the constant references to God and religion. How much of a role does religion play in Wretch’s life and work? ’’ I was christened, all my siblings were christened and my mum was someone who went to church, my grandparents went to church. But my mum used to take us sometimes, and then she stopped, so it didn’t become part of my life. It became part of a tiny piece of my childhood. But at the same time, I understand the importance. For me, I’ve always believed that there is a God, always believed in God. It’s funny, because you turn to God when things are going wrong and expect him to make everything alright, which isn’t right, it’s just the reality of it.”

Wretch is able to understand hip-hop acts reverence to religion though “Because Hip-Hop is mainly for a set of people that have come from nothing. And when you’re coming from nothing, you look for hope. God is hope. Rap is an opportunity, opportunity and hope go together. So in your path of opportunity, you’d love there to be some hope that your fruition comes true. So it kind of goes hand in hand and I don’t think, it’s like a religious thing, like yeah it’s Monday and I am going to make a religious song and say god and then Tuesday. It’s just when you feel the need. Your gonna say a pray and that’s just part of our culture. You might pray before you eat, you might pray at Christmas dinner- you know the Americans might pray thanksgiving- its part of your culture. It may not be every day, every week or every month, but you do always have a moment where our thankful and you reflect. I don’t think there is a contradiction between rap and religion, because rap is art. You can rap about whatever, because at the end of the day, you’re telling a story, you’re just a communicator or the person who the art is coming to. I’m in control of what I am writing and at the same time I am not in control, because it’s coming to me from somewhere and its just for me to get it out from somewhere. I don’t think it’s a contradiction, but what would be a mad contradiction is if you were rapping some kind of devil thing, that’s an obvious contradiction’’.

Will Wretch’s new music hit the top of the charts? Will he continue to inspire younger music acts across the UK? Will he continue to be a great musical role model in the #TeamUK movement? As he himself is known for saying…I’m certain the answer is ‘’AH YEAH!’’

Wretch released his new single 6 WORDS on November 16th with his album GROWING OVER LIFE following soon after.

JASMINE’S JUICE- SAMUEL L JACKSON’S CELEB KARAOKE PARTY AT ABBEY RD STUDIOS!

PAUL MCCARTNEY LEADS VIP LINE-UP TO RECORD CHARITY SINGLE FOR ONE FOR THE BOYS

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JASMINE WITH THE MAIN MAN- SAMUEL!

Last night I politely declined an invitation to see Mary J Blige perform at the I Tunes Festival, and a dinner invitation from a huge American music mogul because I received a better offer.
#blasphemy. I know. I am wrong.

But if you get an invite from one of the coolest men in the world, to attend one of the most iconic music venues in the world, to hang out and sing karaoke with a very A List line up- for an incredibly important cause, what would you do?

I arrived at Abbey Road Studios in the swanky postcode of NW8 in St Johns Wood, to find the infamous studio two, full of fabulosity. Samuel L Jackson was greeting a very small group of guests and encouraging us all to pop our names down to sing later in the evening. I assured him my cheering skills were much stronger than my tone-deaf vocals, but he insisted the worse we were as vocalists the better. He wasn’t joking. Later when he sang, he proved that he really IS a face for movies, not the music charts.

One For The Boys #SingOne4TheBoys Karaoke Night
SADIE FROST GET’S HER MARIAH ON WHILST SINGING ‘FAME’

A minimal list of songs from the past few decades was passed around. Myself and Adidas head honcho, Paola Lucktung fancied ourselves singing either Irene Cara’s Fame or Cameo’s Word Up, but Sadie Frost nicked our song before we could get up there and frankly the Primrose Hill set were all priority on the list. *NOSE MAJORLY OUT OF JOINT* SMILE*

One For The Boys #SingOne4TheBoys Karaoke Night
NICK AND DAISY ANCHOR THE STAGE WITH BITCHY VS CUTE COMMENTS.

Radio One’s breakfast king Nick Grimshaw and his pal Daisy Lowe hosted the stage, and were really entertaining with their encouraging yet sly slights on peoples singing talents. It was hard to be really bad though, as we were accompanied by a full live band and amazing backing vocalists, so even the worst singers- ahem- sounded pretty good, and most certainly no worse than your average Spice Girl.

Waiters also offered a Michelin-star menu which included goats cheese bakes, artichoke canapés and a selection from the Great British Bake-off inspired dessert bar, personally created by leading chef Jason Atherton, as well as a champagne reception by Moët & Chandon.

Nicole Scherzinger sang ‘’the only song she knows at karaoke’’, Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I will survive’’, Game Of Thrones actress Maisy Williams sang Amy Winehouse’s Valerie, Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel sang a duet with Samuel, as did party co-host GQ Editor Dylan Jones and Tinie Tempeh and Jessie J’s manager Dumi made up a trio to sing ‘’Blame it on the boogie’’.

One For The Boys #SingOne4TheBoys Karaoke Night
NICOLE WITH SAM SAAAANGING UP A STORM!.

All this fun was in aid of One For The Boys, the charity founded by Sofia Davis and chaired by Samuel L. Jackson, to raise awareness and funds, educating men on male cancer and the night saw the start of the recording for the charity single Say Something.

One For The Boys #SingOne4TheBoys Karaoke Night
SAM WITH BETH DITTO.

The star studded evening saw stars from the worlds of fashion, film, music, sport and TV, unite to continue the One For The Boys ‘Man Movement’ launched earlier this year. Other stars in the house included, Toni Collette and Dominic Cooper, as well as Beth Ditto and Cara Delavigne.

The evening announced the launch of the single, Say Something – featuring artists including Sir Paul McCartney, and it’s no exaggeration to say that it has to have been the greatest karaoke event of all time. Paul McCartney’s in good company. Sam’s other mates who have volunteered to be ambassadors for the project include fellow legends Michael Douglas, Simon Pegg, Colin Firth and John Bishop.

One For The Boys #SingOne4TheBoys Karaoke Night
SAM, SOFIA, DAISY, NICK, DYLAN JONES (GQ).

Creating a musical platform encouraging men to not be afraid to actually say something when it comes to cancer, we were informed that the One For The Boys single will arm men with the facts, the risks and tools they need to tackle cancer head on and be the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one – a doubly feel good gift of life.

One For The Boys Chairman, Samuel L. Jackson told us all,

“What better way is there to unite men than through music? Tonight see’s us mark the start of the recording of our charity single, Say Something, which we hope will make men realise that they can say something when it comes to cancer. Men don’t tend to talk about their health issues, thinking it reveals vulnerability. One For The Boys aims to shine a blue light into the world of campaigning, cutting through the noise to educate men, encouraging early detection and treatment. We believe this single featuring the world’s leading artists, can save lives.”

Uniting the world’s men through music, One For The Boys Say Something will be released in the run up to Christmas, but will it beat Simon Cowell’s X Factor offering?


To find out more about One For The Boys, the One For The Boys Charity single, Say Something and how to support the 2014 Men’s Movement, go to www.onefortheboys.com and follow @One4TheBoys #SingOFTB #SaySomething.

The One for the Boys charity single Say Something will be released in December 2014 creating the gift of life for Christmas 
About One for the Boys: 
One For The Boys was founded in by Sofia Davis as a tribute to a friend’s brother who lost the battle to cancer. Chaired by Samuel L. Jackson and supported by global ambassadors including Michael Douglas, Dylan Jones, Richard Roundtree and John Bishop, One For The Boys arms men with the facts, the risks and tools they need to tackle cancer head on.

Proceeds from the campaign go towards educating the nation reminding men how early detection is key, through campaigning, live clinics and removing the myths associated with cancer within men.

JASMINE’S JUICE- YOUTUBERS MASTERCLASS.

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So many young people and adults that I work with set up YouTube chanels and don’t really understand the basics of how it works and what the rules are to make it work well.
We live in a content driven era where you can make the greatest video in the universe, but if no-one knows where to find it, it may as well not even exist!.

Recently the LONDON360 reporters had a session with Sports Partnership Manager for EMEA at YouTube- Dan Pheysey who gave us these bullet points that you should be aware of when setting up and mantaining your YouTube channel…….

Understanding the platform

There are 3-5 billion people currently using YouTube

Only 3 sites in the world that have over 1 billion users: YouTube, Google and Facebook

6 billion hours per month watched on YouTube. Over 20% of the internet’s bandwidth.

4 days of content every minute is uploaded

Your core audience in Gen C which is 18-25 and these are viewers/ creators and curators. Make the content/view it and organise it.

40-50% of viewership is on mobile devices.

This means….

There is generally an audience for most types of content you create

BUT

Its very competitive.

One of your main challenges with this much content is your audience finding you.

Content strategy

Always think….is there a tweet that I can write that concisely explains what my video is about?
If there isn’t then you probably shouldn’t make/share it.

Most views come from people searching for content so creating a topic that people are searching for will automatically boost your views. This is why it is important to have a strategy when producing your content.

Tentpole programming. This means creating 3 different types of content to build your audience whilst retaining your core viewers and subscribers.

• Hero: Inspiring and emotional storytelling promoted through advertising. These are one off , or occasional , videos that make your brand stand out but are usually too much effort to produce continuously. They give the wow factor and get attention.
• Hub: This is regularly produced content that satisfies subscribers to the channel. Keeping your core audience.
• Hygiene: Videos that educate the audience by answering questions found through search.

Plan your audience around news events that are coming up, this is where you’ll see the spikes in viewership as its what people are searching for.

Ask yourself the 10 fundamental questions

1. Is it shareable?
2. Is it conversational? Are you talking to your audience?
3. Is it interactive? Is there any way you can involve your audience?
4. Is it consistent? Are there recurring elements? Are you delivering what your brand promises?
5. Is it targeted? Do you have a clearly defined audience?
6. Is it sustainable? Can you keep it up to standard?
7. Is it discoverable?
8. Is it accessible?
9. Can you collaborate? Is there any room to feature a guest who is doing something similar? That way you could steal/share each others’ audiences.
10. Is it inspirational? Is it coming from a place of true passion?

You can check what people are searching for using Google trends. https://www.google.com/trends/

YOUR PAGE

Your page should have a cover photo explaining what your channel is about. An avatar and a logo is essential. They need to know what they are going to get when they land on your page so your photos and name should be clear.

The ABOUT section is very important for what the search algorithm takes into account so you need to have the KEY WORDS of what you do on your channel. Handy tip- You can update your about section regularly to optimise what is in your latest videos.
You can also add places you’ve filmed/performed/companies you’ve worked for to optimise if anyone is searching for content about these.

THUMBNAIL: Make it as interesting as possible. Expressive faces work best with bright, contrasting colours.

In your DESCRIPTIONS you should be linking to your channel and other videos.

TAGS are important so that your video appears in the recommended video section. You can custom baseline tags for each video and then add more specific ones depending on the video’s content. To do this you go to advance section- tags.

Your END CARD should have a clear call to action, subscribe button and ideally a link to another video to encourage people to continue watching.

It is a good idea to set up themed playlists as this is continuous and people will just carry on watching.

The biggest earners in terms of advertising are sport/beauty and food.

40% of viewed content on YouTube is long form – 15 mins or more so there is room for this.

Using music/third party content

YouTube have an audio library which you can use tracks from free. If you use other peoples music and they notice they can a) ask you to take it off b) take any money from the video if it is monetised c) let you use it with credit

YouTube has content ID which lets other users know when their content is being used by someone else and sends them a Copyright Notice and gives them options to take action. Therefore it is highly inadvisable to use others’ content without permission.

HAPPY YOUTUBING!

(Masterclass transcribed by London360 project manager Tayana Simons).

JASMINE’S JUICE- MOBO AWARDS 2014, O JAY’S, RAPPERS DELIGHT COOKBOOK, ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS.

MOBO AWARDS NOMINATION PARTY

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JASMINE WITH BEST HIP HOP NOMINEE PROFESSOR GREEN.

The MOBO Nominations party was reinvented this year. Usually an evening affair full of dressed up ladies, uber amounts of alcohol, silver platters full of canapés and a free for all party that runs for hours, this year the brand reinvented itself with a nominations reveal akin to the MTV and Brits brands, with an early morning champagne fest breakfast at world renowned jazz music venue Ronnie Scott’s on Tuesday morning. Paparazzi, print press, TV news crews, bloggers and music talent were lined up outside on the Soho pavement an hour ahead of doors opening, such was the buzz that the awards were returning this year to its London hometown roots.

Although it was a breakfast affair, there were no teas or coffees to keep our bleary media eyes alert, it was still black music glitz with hundreds of glasses of champagne lined up along the bar, with mini Danish pastries on hand too.

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Music acts, tastemakers and media bigwigs in the house included Professor Green, Krept & Konan, Angel, Meridian Dan, Ella Eyre, Melvin Odoom, Michelle Matherson, Jonathan Shalit and more. After XTra Factors Sarah Jane Crawford welcomed us all and handed over to MOBO CEO Kanya King, we were fully awake as international actor and heartthrob Idris Elba bounded onto stage straight from the airport, to pick up his award- a new award invented just this year- for most inspirational person. Idris, dressed in a sharp suit had the paps frantically snapping away and suddenly the A List factor in the venue went sky high!

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JASMINE WITH HIGHEST NOMINEES (4!)- KREPT & KONAN!

Lion-maned beauty Ella Eyre sang for us and proved why she’s a worthy nominee this year.

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JASMINE WITH BEST NEWCOMER NOMINEE ELLA EYRE.

Taking place at Wembey Arena on October 22nd this is the MOBO 19th year anniversary, and to celebrate the brand has spread its musical tentacles, and expanded to new areas. It’s moving its focus beyond just music and encouraging the next generation of creative talent, regardless of field. This will engage young people who aspire to work in film, TV, dance, theatre and visual arts. They’re calling this the MOBO Movement and will partner with established organisations to make youth dreams happen.

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ANGEL SPEAKS TO LONDON360 ABOUT WHY HE’S HAPPY ITS BACK IN LONDON!

This years show moves from its previous BBC home, across to rival ITV, and this naturally means that with ad breaks that the televised part of the show will be much shorter, with certain categories having to be announced before transmission time, and not all categories being televised. ITV2 will transmit the live two-hour show with main channel ITV running hour-long highlights. It will be interesting to see which categories are dropped for TV.

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PROFESSOR GREEN TALKS TO LONDON360 ABOUT WHY HE’S DELIGHTED ITS BACK ON HIS HOME TURF!

Once upon a time many, many years ago, MOBO were criticised for awarding the American talent with too many awards. Today this has swung totally the other way and in 2014 the highest nominees are British acts singer Sam smith and hip-hop duo Krept & Konan. Both Sam and Krept & Konan have been nominated for four awards each, with Ghetts, Tinie Tempeh, Meridian Dan and FUSE ODG all receiving three awards each.

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JASMINE WITH MOBO CEO KANYA KING.

To the die-hard underground scenes delight, we have a new category this year for MOBO Best Grime, which included a host of popular names like Big Narstie, Ghetts, JME, Lethal Bizzle, Meridian Dan, Novelist, Skepta, Sox, Stormzy and Wiley. Within minutes of the launch announcement, MOBO Awards was trending on twitter with an eruption of tweets from the UK music industry on their delight at being recognised for their hard work. Even Ed Sheeran tweeted ‘‘if there’s one thing you do today you should vote for Big Narstie in the mobos coz him winning would make me happy’’. Wiley tweeted ‘’ I will support the mobo awards 4 life’’

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IDRIS ELBA DELIGHTED TO PICK UP HIS MOBO AWARD FOR ”MOST INSPIRATIONAL”.

Best international act included the expected names like Beyonce, Drake, Iggy Azalea. J Cole, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell and more. The most important thing though is to realise that whether its nearly two decades old or not, there is still a real need for this brand that gives a voice and platform to British black music acts that would have no other mainstream music awards giving it a platform. Urban music has highs and lows in the British music charts. One year we’re taking over the whole chart placing’s, and the next we’re blanked like the proverbial black sheep of the music industry family. Kudos to all those that continue to fight for its existence and mainstream broadcasters like ITV that understand that the black music pound and audience demographic is not to be ignored.

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O JAYS LIVE AT INDIGO O2.

So the living R&B singing legends that are the O Jays had the Indigo o2 dancing and singing their spats and socks off this week as they played London for the first time in years. All three gents are well past their boy band days but still managed to bring the fancy slides and shuffles dance routines in their crisp white suits and shoes. Accompanied by a full band of familiar musicians and part time London hires whom they teasingly referred to as their ‘’Justin beibers’’ they had the middle-aged ladies in the audience screaming. Lead vocalist Edde levert had the male audience members kicking back relieved that their ladies were going to be in the mood for some loving that night as he smooth talked them all with none of his lover man spiel diminished. A great show with plenty of holding hands and singing along to classic its like ‘’love train’’ and ‘’backstabbers’’.

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RAPPERS DELIGHT- HIPHOP COOKBOOK
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Next I had a cook off in my kitchen after being sent RAPPERS DELIGHT- THE COOKBOOK, which had incredible recipes inspired by your favourite Hip Hop artists of today and yesteryear. Split into three categories of Starters, Mains and Desserts, the book includes a wide range of delights such as Wu-Tang Clam Chowder, Public Enemiso Soup, Run DM Sea Bass and Busta Key Lime Pie. Even legends like Public Enemeys Chuck D endorsed it saying ‘’ “There are all aspects of Hip Hop, but the best of it has unique blending of ingredients, detailed preparation as well as great taste.

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Rappers Delight connects like great food, makes too much sense. Each of the recipes is accompanied by a bespoke piece of artwork, created by one of thirty of the best upcoming illustrators. Rapper’s Delight celebrates the many humorous parallels between food and Hip Hop, making it a must-have for anyone with a love for cooking, music or illustration, or indeed all three. The book was put together by foodie, hip-ho and news lovers- Joseph Inniss, Palth Miller and Peter Stadden.
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Asian Achievers Awards
ALL PICS COURTESY-PR Mediapix
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JASMINE WITH WINNER NAUGHTY BOY.

The Asian achievers awards took place at the opulent Grosvenor house hotel in park lane. The Asian Achievers Awards celebrates individuals who have inspired communities and achieved outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields.
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FATBOYZ DANCE TROUPE PERFORMED.

Not to be confused with its slightly glitzier celeb packed awards of a similar name- the Asian awards. The Asian achievers awards is much more serious and business and entrepreneurial skewed.
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This year the Rt Hon Phillip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made one of the first welcoming speeches (after he had been flower garlanded by the Asian organisers). He said

‘’There is much to celebrate in the contribution of British Asians made to our national life- be it in sports, in culture, in academia, in public service and in community life. But perhaps most strikingly and most dramatically in business and the professions where the British Asian community hunches well above its weight and produces some outstanding successes. Generating wealth is an essential prerequisite delivering all the means that we want in our society. Tonight we celebrate the entrepreneurship for which the British Asian community is rightly renowned. As the foreign secretary, I recognise promoting Britain’s prosperity for trade and investment as a core activity. So the British foreign office will be relentless in helping businesses, breaking through markets and pushing trade and investment. I invite all British businesses to make full use of all our services. Our services of trade and investment are at your disposal in our shared endeavour to create value for Britain. And as Asia continues to rise, I am confident that many of you will be leading the way using your unique networks to help Britain in just that. Specifically, we are planning expansion of our representation in India as we push through big difference in British trade as India’s vast market opens up for business and investment. We celebrate tonight in arts, sports, business and professions that were fulfilled by hard work, utter commitment and single minded determination. They will often be achieved in the face of setbacks, challenges and adversities. They are hard earned and well deserved. The awards that will be presented tonight are fitting recognition of these achievements. I congratulate the award winners and all the nominees. You are an example to your community and to the whole of our nation. Ladies and gentlemen, the PM has asked me specifically to add his congratulations to all of you. In fact, you, as a community with your great contribution add to our national life. So may you all go from strength to strength, building bigger and better achievements in the future. But before you do, before you go back to the hard work for which you rightly renowned, just take a few hours this evening to relax, to enjoy yourselves and celebrate the achievements that you already have under your belt’’.

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CHERIE BLAIR LOVES THE ASIAN COMMUNITY!

Next Tony’s wifey Cherie Blair QC, CBE made a Speech thanking us all for making her charity the charity of the night. She said

‘’I am so delighted to be here, on this evening to such an important event for the UK and for the Asian community. I would like to congratulate all the nominees, and of course all the winners. I am particularly excited this year, as the charity you’re assisting is my own charity. Thank you in advance for supporting our work.Of course you all know that once upon a time, I lived in 10 downing street and while I was there I had the opportunity to travel, sometimes with and without my husband around the world, and I met some incredible women, from many different communities. So many of them struggled, they struggled with their status, struggled with their businesses, and I felt that with the right help they could contribute so much more. My foundation’s mission is to provide with entrepreneurs in developing and emerging market with the skills, the technology, the networks and access capital they need to become successful small and growing business owners, enabling them to contribute to their families, to their economy, and to have a stronger voice in the society. Since we began in 2008, we have already reached over a 100,000 women entrepreneurs in more than 70 countries. One of the very first countries that we started in was India. A country that I know very well. So much so that I often say that I qualify as an NRI. It’s in India that we have some of our most successful and award winning projects like in Gujarat, using our mobile phone project. Tonight we are raising funds for a new project that we want to start in Maharashtra, in collaboration with Mann Deshi foundation. We want to provide a 1000 rural woman entrepreneurs with business incubation, access to loans and business growth opportunities, that will have impact not only on the women themselves but also on their families and their communities. With our support these women owned businesses will be able to make enough profit to contribute to their family’s future. Please give generously because tonight we are supporting entrepreneurship, so let’s help these women entrepreneurs to make a difference in their lives and the lives of their great nation, India’’

ASAIN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2014
CHERIE BLAIR- ANOTHER NON ASIAN ALWAYS HAPPY TO DRESS IN ASIAN WEAR TO RAISE CASH FOR THEIR CHARITY! LOL

. People did give generously and our actioneer for the night- that former criminal convict Jeffrey archer helped hustle £100,000 from diners. Pretty impressive!

Winners included Hanif Kureshi CBE for Media, Arts and Culture; Mahmud Kamani, co-founder of boohoo.com for Business Person of the Year; and Wasim Khan MBE, the first British-Pakistani to play professional cricket in England, for Achievement in Community Service. Picking up the Editor’s Award for Rising Star, was ground-breaking music producer, Naughty Boy, aka Shahid Khan, who shot to fame and critical acclaim last year with his hit single, ‘La La La’.

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NAUGHTY BOY MAKES A HEARTFELT ACCEPTANCE SPEECH.

Naughty boy told the LONDON360 camera crew that he sells his talent first and then his identity- he doesn’t make a big deal about being Indian. He added

“To receive this level of recognition from my peers of fellow Asians is such a privilege. I’m proud of being a British Pakistani and I’m proud to represent the Asian community. I grew up immersed in Bollywood movies, where music, songs and extravagant dance sequences dominate, and that has really influenced the way I produce music today. “Although I’ve worked hard, I’ve been so lucky to have such amazing support from my incredible family and friends. Making music is all I’ve ever wanted to do, and if I can do that while being a positive influence in my community, then that is just the icing on the cake for me.” Shahid Khan was hand-selected by Founder and Chairman of The Asian Achievers Awards, CB Patel for his remarkable achievement in music. The self-made producer began his meteoric rise to fame in 2005 after he was awarded a grant of £5,000 from The Princes Trust. Later that year he also appeared on Channel 4’s hit game show Deal Or No Deal, presented by Noel Edmonds, winning £44,000, which enabled him to purchase equipment and begin recording music. The 29-year-old has since worked with internationally acclaimed artistes like Emeli Sandé, Chipmunk, Tinie Tempah, Katy Perry and most recently with Zayn Malik of One Direction. He now runs his own production company, Naughty Boy Recordings, and his 2013 smash hit, ‘La La La’, featuring Sam Smith was a global summer sensation, with over 386 million views on YouTube, to date. Mr. CB Patel, Publisher/Editor, ABPL Group says: “I am delighted to be awarding Shahid Khan with my Editor’s Award for Rising Star. He had a dream and worked hard to achieve that goal. Today, he is a respected star in the music industry, working with some of the biggest names of our generation, and he is an outstanding role model for every young person who has a dream.”

ASAIN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2014

HOW DO YOU GET AWAY WITH A POLE DANCER PERFORMING AT THE ASIAN ACHEIVEMENT AWARDS? POP HER INTO A TUTU AND LET HER FLY!

Also honoured was the late Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, whose parents collected the Editor’s Award for Bravery and Patriotism. Fl Lt Chauhan tragically lost his life in Afghanistan during a routine flight and was honoured for his service to his country. His father, 61-year old Kishor Chauhan, received the honour and said: “It’s with great pride that I accept this award. It’s a very difficult thing to accept and I’m proud of Rakesh and what he achieved in his short life. That is why I agreed to accept this recognition.” The young pilot died alongside fellow Intelligence Corps non-commissioned officer Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, Captain Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner and Corporal James Walters from the Army Air Corps. The funeral service for the 29-year old drew in more than 1000 mourners in Leicester, who lined the streets to pay their final respects.

Priya Lakhani OBE - Woman of the Year Interviewing
LONDON360 REPORTER USMAN BUTT SPEAKS TO WINNER OF WOMAN OF THE YEAR- PRIYA LAKHANI.

Priya Lakhani,told London360

”I think it’s incredibly important. It’s one of those community’s, I think, where we have generations of women before us, who have had a very typical role. That’s generally been in the house, you know, making sure everyone is fed and raising the children. I think that now that women are more equal, its important to celebrate that, so that the younger children and the younger generation can look up and say, hey I can do that, It’s already happening”.

Since launching 14 years ago, The Asian Achievers Awards has helped raise millions of pounds for charity

Full list of ASIAN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2014 WINNERS

1. Business Person Of The Year – Mahmud Kamani
Co-Founder boo.hoo.com

2. Entrepreneur Of The Year – Dr. Richie Nanda
Executive Chairman, The Shield Group, the UK’s largest independent Total Security Solutions provider

3. Sports Personality Of The Year – Dilawer Singh MBE
Sports Council for Glasgow Elected Director

4. Uniformed And Civil Services – Nazir Afzal OBE
Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West

5. Media, Arts And Culture – Hanif Kureishi CBE
Playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist. In 2008, The Times included Kureishi in their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″

6. Woman Of The Year – Priya Lakhani OBE
Ethnic food entrepreneur, founder of Masala Masala, an Indian stir-in sauce

7. Achievement In Community Service – Wasim Gulzar Khan MBE
Chief Executive, The Cricket Foundation and CEO, Chance to Shine.

8. Professional Of The Year – Prof Sir Tejinder Singh Virdee, FRS
Experimental physicist and Professor of Physics at Imperial College London and one of the ‘founding fathers’ of CMS

9. Editor’s Award for Rising Star – Shahid Khan, aka Naughty Boy
Music producer, acclaimed for his global summertime hit single ‘La La La’, featuring Sam Smith and A-list collaborations

10. Editor’s Award for Bravery & Patriotism – The Late Fl Lt Rakesh Chauhan
29-year-old RAF Officer who died in Afghanistan when his helicopter (Lynx) crashed during a routine flight.

JASMINE’S JUICE-LIZ HURLEY, HOUSE OF LORDS,RTS CONFERENCE,STYLIST MAG LIFE LESSONS.

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JASMINE WITH ACTRESS LIZ HURLEY ON SET OF ”THE ROYALS”.

Liz Hurley at Three Mills Studios

The London360 team and I made the pilgrimage across London to the Three Mills Studios, to visit the gorgeous Elizabeth Hurley, on the set of her new TV drama series ‘’The Royals’’.It was a secret mission so alas that’s all I can tell you about it lol.
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PRIVATE DINING ROOM AT HOUSE OF LORDS.

Dinner House of Lords

21 guests were invited to a very intimate VIP dinner at the House Of Lords, where I was sat around a table of TV and medias biggest movers and leaders. Lode Michael grade hosted the dinner and in attendance were HOST: The Lord Grade of Yarmouth CBE, Media Trust CEO Caroline Diehl MBE, Peter Ainsworth – UK Chair, the Big Lottery Fund – MT’s largest Funder. Former Conservative politician 1992-2010.,James Caan – Dragons Den, Adam Crozier – ITV Chief Executive ,David Farnsworth – Chief Grants Officer at The City Bridge Trust, Charlene White – ITN news presenter , Eddie Nestor BBC Radio, Sophie Turner Laing – just departed Sky as Managing Director.

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HOUSE OF LORDS CROCKERY DESIGN.

The food and service in the private dining room were- as you you’d expect- impeccable. We were treated to Pea & mint soup – served with pea shoots and sea salt croutons, Salmon – Oven-baked, served with grilled asparagus, tender stem broccoli, sautéed new potatoes and a tomato & caper beurre noisette (gluten free), Posset – Lime & blackberry posset, served with lemon & poppy seed shortbread biscuit.
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Strictly Come Laughing at Hackney Empire
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EX CAST MEMBERS FROM EIGHTIES TV SHOW-DESMONDS ONSTAGE TO RAISE MONEY FOR STRICTLY COME LAUGHING.

An annual comedy show, where all the comedians and entertainers give their services for the night for free to raise money for the village of Tafo in Ghana. This is the final year after having raised over £100,000 over years and changing the living conditions and quality of life for villagers in Tafo. Faces on the night came from Eastenders, Casualty, Holby City, Stepken K Amos, Richard Blackwood, Kevin J, Eddie Kadi and my fave comic Slim amongst others! A night full of fun and raucous laughter.
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RTS CONFERENCE.

The Royal Television Society’s London Conference 2014-Power, Politics and the Media is a day that always brings out the bona fide leaders and rules of the UK TV industry. The heads of every broadcaster as well as independent TV company directors and execs are fully tanned and glowing fresh off their one month of vacations on their yachts and in full suited swag mode. The gents in their crispest most expensive shirt suit getup and the ladies in their knee length business frocks or elegant feminine suits. (This crowd wouldn’t be seen dead in a pair of vulgar, tacky red-soled Louboutins.

After breakfast coffees, teas and mini croissants, the programme for the Conference (which was full of power players) was opened by president of the Royal Television Society Sir Peter Bazalgette, who hosted a conversation with media mogul- Chase Carey, President and Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox. it was a rare chance to hear directly from one of the most powerful men in world media, Peter Bazalgette spoke to him about building his American business and bidding for more British companies.
Carey said he looks for ”unique content and brands that stand out, we’re investors in good content so that we can create more content, so yes, you can expect us to invest more in British content. The content created right here in the uk clearly appeals to a global marketplace. We aren’t just investing in the uk, we are an enormous investor in creating content in India too amongst other countries too’’.

Session Two had me gripped. It was titled The Future You Don’t Want To Face and chaired by Channel 4 news host Krishnan Guru-Murthy. On the panel were broadcasting’s futurists who spoke about how television on demand is challenging the industry’s incumbent leaders. These High profile disruptors were: Matt Brittin, President, Northern and Central Europe Operations, Google, Karla Geci, Head of International Media, Facebook and Kevin Sutcliffe, Head of News Programming EU, VICE News. They discussed whether television is losing power as a medium, if channels are becoming an unwarranted middleman between programmes and viewers, and who the financial winners and losers are in the world of video on demand.

Clearly the online world is affecting the ay we engage with media. A lot of us acquire news via twitter and brands like vice. Indeed, the BBC has just hired 10 YouTubers to get their radio listeners demographic to under 30. Winners will be those that embrace all the new technology, losers will be those that stick to one platform and channel.

The one thing all this panel agreed on was the difference their brands have with mainstream TV companies ‘’many organisatons are paying a lot of staff to not do very much, which successful digital brands have tiny teams delivering bigger and better’’. Vice’ Kevin Sutcliffe made me laugh when he noted

‘’the BBC mentioned they now had some Vice style programing’’- I said stick to what you do best’’. I.e. stay in your lane!

Amongst the other sessions was Tomorrow The World- After five years in the doldrums, deal-making is back in fashion. Are we, as it seems, on the verge of another re-shaping of the world media order? And, if so, what does this mean for the competitiveness of UK companies and the prospects of the next generation of creative entrepreneurs? ITV Studios Manging Drector Kevin Lygo was particularly hilarious with his legendary comedy timing.

Of course with the Scottish indy referendum debate raging ahead we had to have a debate titled ‘’Kingdom Not United’’. Scotland votes on the 18th of September whether to become an independent country or not. Although the debate has played out on TV as usual social media and digital engagement now loom much larger in the toolbox of political campaigning. The same will apply in the forthcoming 2015 UK general election. In a session looking at what really influences voters, Laura Kuenssberg is joined by three players who are the heart of this debate.

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Head Of Sky News John Ryley makes a dig at ITV News sometimes “ducking out of important news stories”

The next session that had me all fired up was ‘’Have I Got News For You?’’ Chaired by Stewart Purvis CBE, Professor of Television Journalism, City University. The topic covered was ‘The BBC believes it is going to be an extremely difficult undertaking cutting 400 jobs without affecting quality. Do its competitors feel the same kind of threat of cutbacks or are the BBC’s problems an opportunity for them? Leaders of the three main providers talk about the sustainability of TV news in the fully digital age. Speakers included the great John Hardie, Chief Executive, ITN, the equally legendary John Ryley, Head of Sky News, BSkyB and the incredible force that is Fran Unsworth, Deputy Director of News & Current Affairs, BBC. Apparently 25-34 year olds are the fastest group leaving on air news viewing.

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”Have I got news for you” panel.Chief Exec ITN John Hardie makes great points about sustaining TV news in a Digital age

Later in the afternoon there was a Keynote speech by Secretary of State – The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP,Department for Culture, Media & Sport, where In his first major appearance as Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP outlined the government’s plans for the television industry.

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Stylist ”LIFE LESSONS”evening.

Next it was off to stylist magazine’s regular evening gathering. Yet another women empowering women social gathering. After a quick glass of wine in the opulent bar of the Ham Yard Hotel, we were treated to three speakers giving us their life lesson about what every woman should know.
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LEYLA HUSSEIN SPEAKS.

Up first was FGM victim, and survivor Leyla Hussein, now an FGM campaigner. She stated that she wanted to be just a mum that didn’t want her daughter to be ashamed of her virgina and be subjected to FGM. She’s ‎Had to have regular therapy to understand, deal with and repair the relationship with her mother who had to endure FGM twice. Leyla said

‘’I realised she was also a victim. We now celebrate the fact that her granddaughter – my daughter- isn’t cut’’.

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‎Next up was my old MTV compadre – presenter June Sarpong, who spoke about her early upbringing in Walthamstow e17. Wondering through the local Market as a young girl. Acknowledging her multicultural community ‘’my School was like looking at a poster of United Nations kids. We had Indian Jewish, Indian, Chinese, everything. It was a Good grounding for my media career being surrounded by different people and being able to talk to anybody’’. She expanded on her Ghanaian background. The fact that her Mother is 67 and on her 3rd marriage but revealed that her mum hadn’t wanted to have her 3rd one yet cos her daughter June still hasn’t had her first!

‎June ended with the well known quote by Marianne Williamson.

‘’ Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.’’

June advised us females to Google Anne Marie slaughter – an American who talks about fertility. June added that she feels the government needs to give young people emotional intelligence. ‘’I personally think that after 16 they should have tantric sex lessons. Boys in Kerala India have tantric sex lessons’’. Anyone fancy a trip to Kerala?

The 3rd and final speaker was presenter of location location location. The amazingly powerful and engaging Kirsty allsop who brought up the issue of women and fertility again after getting a lot of flack for it in the press in recent months. .

‘’What have I learnt that every woman should be aware of? Having the guts to tell men that you can’t have healthy babies for as long as them. “Be honest with each other…friends/partners/daughters*/sons….we can have careers at any age….but not make healthy babies. For now, we haven’t opened the fertility window wider. It’s easier and less of a heartache to have kids when our bodies allow us to when we’re younger. Nature is not a feminist! “Getting to the young girls is a very new thing for me. People tell me I don’t need to talk about it but clearly I do. I don’t want to make people feel judged. All young men and women should know. In the UK we are the oldest women to give birth in the world! Society has shifted massively in one generation. I set a date by which I’d have a baby and two male friends had even agreed to be my babydaddy. But luckily I then met my partner”

Kirsty also talked about women’s relationships with one another ‘’‎Women need to be much less tough on other women. In careers, A woman who has kids is a multi-tasker with better skills. They don’t come in to work going “I went to a great festival this weekend and am hung-over” Equality for all women is something we must always keep fighting for!

Now I’m excited about getting my two-step on, at the legends that are the O Jays gig, and then to end the week- the Asian Achievers Awards- LIFE! LIVE IT!

JASMINE’S JUICE FEATURING THE O’JAYS AND MAIN MAN- EDDIE LEVERT!

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If you’re a music fan then you know the O’Jays. Part of the star studded Motown line up of yesteryear, a band that’s made numerous hits and are still standing. This week they play in London for the first time in over 20 years.

O'Jays Casa LucaMarco Las Vegas Nevada April 27 2012 Photos By Denise Truscello

Having recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary, The O’Jays are living legends…American treasures. The term “living legend” is often overused and abused, but with The O’Jays, well, there’s little argument that the honorable tag truly applies. With their place in modern music secure, The O’Jays could have cruise-controlled to that comfy hammock on a sandy beach, umbrella-decorated drinks in hand. Why?
(1) An ocean-wide body of work that spawned 24 US Top Ten smashes and 59 total charted songs.
(2) Incredibly energetic and dynamic live shows.
(3) Mad respect for their Olympian vocals. And …
(4) their social and political impact on generations and nations. But doing things slowly is not Eddie Levert, Sr., Walter Williams, Sr. and Eric Nolan Grant’s modus operandi. After 50+ years making such international hits as Back Stabbers, Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby, Love Train, I Love Music, Use Ta Be My Girl and Have You Had Your Love Today, The O’Jays are light years away from easing up on the gas. And like fine wine, The O’Jays just get better with time.

Through the years, they were blessed to have had the late great choreographer Cholly Adkins around. Adkins taught them the importance of showmanship and how to execute their steps while still delivering their songs. So if you think boy bands like Boyz To Men, Take That , Damage, and Westlife started the harmony R&B genre that juxtaposed smooth lyrics with unison choreography think again.

O'Jays Casa LucaMarco Las Vegas Nevada April 27 2012 Photos By Denise Truscello

When working at MTV for over a decade, I would accompany black music stars like Snoop Dogg, P Diddy, Jay Z, Beyonce, Mariah and more across global tours in buses, trains, planes and jets. The O’Jays were always a staple part of their I Pod playlists. I was lucky enough to sit down with O’Jays lead man Eddie Levert this weekend to talk about so much. Here are snippets of our chat where we go in on all things R&B, Beyonce, and Ferguson.

JD
Singers from your generation still have an incredible strong live performing voice. Performing so many decades after you first began- what is that like? As many dance routines? What’s different?

EL: The energy level goes down a bit with age, but the fire never dies. We give the audience a performance that lives up to how it used to be back when we started out.

JD
In one of my previous jobs, I often went on tour with music stars. Acts like Snoop and Puffy play your music all the time and even include it in part of their show- (LOVE TRAIN, to finish their joint tour)- are you aware and what are your thoughts on the younger generation representing black music today?

EL: I respect all music. I think these young guys are geniuses with how they take the old stuff and spin it to a modern audience. I think that the younger generation representing black music today is extremely talented.

JD
R&B used to be such a big popular genre with numerous stars…in recent years – especially in the UK- the number of chart stars making great R&B music has really declined. What are your thoughts on this and who from the new generation do you like?

EL:

We all emulate someone to become who we are as an artist. When we emulate someone and do something unique with it to set ourselves apart, we become the candy of the day. Destiny’s Child became the candy of the day because that the “it” factor. The “it” factor for Destiny’s Child was Beyonce.

JD
A decade ago, you co-starred in the movie The Fighting Temptations, which starred Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles. Beyonce is ruling the music world globally right now- what has she brought to the image of young black powerful women?

EL: Beyonce showed that she is creatively powerful. She doesn’t let the world dictate her personal life. She’s lasted in this business because she has morals and values.

JD
A couple of decades ago, black music stars would unite speak up and protest about injustices in the black community. Not too long ago, Harry Belafonte called out Jay Z and his generation for letting the side down. Recently , not many black stars have spoken about #FERGUSON, what are your thoughts on that? If you were still in your 20’s would you have taken a stand? What’s the difference between the climate now and back then?

EL:

In this business, you have to be of sound mind and pick your battles. When you become the opinion and the messenger, they make you sound like the oppressor. I applaud all of the people who have stood up for what’s right with regards to the Ferguson incident. I myself stepped up during the Trayvon Martin incident.

JD
What are your favourite memories of performing for British audiences in the UK?

EL: One of my favorite memories of performing in London was when we were doing “You Are My Sunshine” and an audience member yelled out to me, “Preach that song!’’


The O Jays are performing at the O2 Indigo this week- September 18 and 19th
Tickets available from: www.kililive.com

JASMINE’S JUICE- RADA GRADUATE JARREN, VIVIENNE WESTWOOD SOLAR POWERED PARTY, RITA ORA #UNSTOPPABLE LAUNCH, LONDON LIVE BREAKFAST.

JARREN DALMEDA RADA GRADUATE.
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JARREN DALMEDA GRADUATES FROM RADA.

After a number of shoots for various stories this week I made sure I made up for it on Thursday night with a triple whammy of fun. I started the night off at the RADA Theatre in central London with a huge group of friends (music managers, PR heads, marketing dons, photographers, film directors and TV presenters), who had gathered to view the final RADA graduates performance this year. Our homeboy Jarren Dalmeda, who has already had careers in youth work, tour DJ to A List celebrities (Kelly Rowland, Beyonce etc) and celebrity DJ in his own right, had finished his MA in drama and finally on the first rung of his acting career ladder.
He and his class has scripted a play called The Raft of the Madusa and the show was epic, gripping and so intense I was in despair at the storyline, so engrossed in the acting were we all. Jarren is proof that it’s never too late to start afresh in any field, and that hard work most certainly leads to future success. Congratulations Jarren!

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD PARTY

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DAME VIV AND ALL THE A LISTERS AT THE PARTY.
PHOTO CREDIT *** OFFtheGRID – Dame Vivienne Westwood’s Trillion Fund is Finding Infinity ***

Straight after the RADA performance we raced over to SNAP Studios warehouse rooftop in Islington where design icon Vivienne Westwood had invited me to a solar music rooftop party called OFFtheGRID . Dame Vivienne Westwood arrived on her bicycle and hosted the party for her crowd-sourcing platform Trillion Fund in partnership with Ross Harding of Finding Infinity to support the “renewable energy revolution”. Headline support came from EcoPlanetBamboo.

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VIP guests at the solar powered party included Jamie Hince, Pam Hogg, Ella Eyre, Nicola Roberts, KT Tunstell, Lilah Parsons, Alexandra Burke and loads of very ultra fashionable design key influencers and celebs in pretty frocks, ankle boots, quiffs and skinny jeans.

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ALL OVER THE PARTY WERE GREAT ARTY IDEAS AND SET UPS FOCUSED ON SUSTAINABLE SOLAR ENERGY FOR THE FUTURE.

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Guests were treated to DJ sets from Jamie Hince (the Kills), Viva L’Amour, Pandora’s Jukebox and Paula Goldstein De Principe while enjoying an organic food and cocktail menu curated by private chefs and cookbook authors HEMSLEY & HEMSLEY and sponsored by Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine and Absolut Elyx premium vodka the world’s most energy efficient distillery. The event was taken off the grid and the Snap Studios rooftop displayed a Giant Robot designed solar sculpture sponsored by EcoPlanetBamboo and Laax Resorts.

The ambition for Vivienne Westwood’s Trillion Fund is to accelerate the global switch from fossil fuels to clean energy by contributing towards the $1 trillion a year investment the UN says is necessary to keep the world below the 2 degrees warming threshold. Finding Infinity, found by renegade engineer Ross Harding, is on a mission to transition the world from the finite to infinite resources using fun, creativity and style.

You can always tell a bourgeois function readers. The food is always frightfully fancy. We were treated to mouth watering Canapés: Chicken tamarind almond butter lettuce wraps, Cucumber maki crab rolls, Stilton and mushroom quinoa arancini balls served with mint and parsley oil, Hansen & Lyderson smoked salmon. Individual bowls of food:Beef ragu with courgetti , Cauliflower tabbouleh with lamb meatballs, Red lentil squash coconut curry , Courgette and pea quinoa risotto, Puy lentil, and beetroot and apple salad. Sweet canapés included Mini BB Brownies, Fig and goats cheese trifle and Salted apricot caramels.We drank Hemsley Collins (honey, lemon and Absolut Elyx vodka fizz), Blueberry and English Lavender, Pomegranate and Ginger Fizz , Absolut Elyx Vodka Tonic with cucumber. Told you didn’t I? Fancy.

Links
Trillion Fund – https://www.trillionfund.com
Finding Infinity – http://www.findinginfinity.com
Vivienne Westwood – https://www.viviennewestwood.com

Instagram: @trillionfund @finding_infinity @viviennewestwoodofficial

Twitter: @TrillionFund @FindingInfinity @FollowWestwood
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/TrillionFund
www.facebool.com/wearefindinginfinity
www.facebook.com/VivienneWestwoodOfficial

Hashtags: #findingit #trillionfund #findinginfinity #OFFtheGRID

RITA ORA #UNSTOPPABLE LAUNCH PARTY
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RITA INVITE

From east London we raced back across to west London to the old Subterania nightclub now called MODE for Rita Ora’s party to launch her adidas sportswear range #unstoppable. Rita was in the house dancing on the balcony to the tunes provided by DJ Manny Norte (the name you can trust). In the house were west London’s finest Bashy and East London’s finest Kano- who both gave me a double hug on arrival which summed up how cool the crowd and vibe were.

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RITA ON THE SUBTERANIA/ MODE STEPS.

Last night saw the official after party of the hugely anticipated launch of this year’s most talked about collaboration; adidas Originals by Rita Ora. Friends, family and Rita-bots alike came together to help the global icon celebrate her partnership with adidas Originals at West London’s Mode. Marking the achievement of a childhood goal of collaborating with the brand with the three stripes, Rita and friends danced the night away to music provided by DJs Moxie, Manny Norte and Lee Rous.

Guests including Rita Ora, Daisy Lowe, Nick Grimshaw, Jessie Ware, Henry Holland, Professor Green, and Nicola Roberts came out to show their support for the unveiling of the superstar’s exciting new fashion venture earlier in the evening at the brand new adidas Originals London Flagship Store.

Rita Ora x adidas Originals
DJ MANNY NORTE SPINS FOR RITA.

Known as much for her fearless take on fashion, as for her head turning musical collaborations, Rita Ora brings her energy and original spirit to every piece in the collection. The first collection, Black, is based on Rita’s London look – and each collection that follows take inspiration from very personal experiences and aspects of the global superstars life.

Rita says: “The collaboration came about through mutual love and appreciation. I have always been a fan of adidas Originals and respect what they stand for in their fearlessness and originality. I worked very closely with adidas Originals to put a personal touch in every piece with connections to my music, my career and my life. I’m really proud of the collection and beyond excited for my fans to get their hands on it!”

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ADIDAS LADIES PAOLA AND AKUA, BBC MARKETING’S JAY DAVIDSON, JASMINE DOTIWALA AT RITA’S PARTY.

Super music producer Dready was dancing away in the middle of the dance floor, new artist to look out for Trishane was networking, singer song writer Roses Gabor looked uber fly, Island Music’s Benny Scarrs was having fun and we all danced up a storm onstage sipping rum and cokes. Rita’s new collection is as fly as you’d expect from this Ladbroke Grove chic and we were all attempting our best at swiping some off the display wall. Londoners hustling their graft hard all over town this week- got to love it!

LONDON LIVE TOPICAL CHAT
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I finished my week as usual in the London Live hot seat talking to the lovely Claudia-Liza Armah where we discussed american comic legend Joan Rivers passing away, smuggling of illegal immigrants in Fiat Panda cars, Portobello Rd beefs between buskers and residents and the meanest sports fan ever!

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JASMINE AND CLAUDIA WAKE UP LONDON.

JASMINE’S JUICE FEATURING CHARLI XCX!

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One young lady that I’ve been hearing about over and over again this past year is Charli XCX. My music industry mates both behind and in front of the radio would whisper in conspiratorial tones ‘’keep a look out for Chari XCX – she’s about to blow up!’’ this year she’s featured on both Icona Pops hit ‘’I love it’’- which she wrote. She also appeared on Iggy Izaea’s hit ‘’fancy’’ and this past month she performed her own hits boom clap and break the rules at the MTV Video Music Awards. A quick check on twitter confirms that she’s spent the past year flying across the globe daily for tours and promo, as well as having been nominated for loads of global ‘’ones to watch’’ and awards this year.
So, she’s a bona fide singer songwriter that’s flying that British flag globally. She’s much bigger in Australia and America than she is the in the UK. I had to meet her to catch up on her story so far.

BACKGROUND

Like so many of this digital generation, this mixed race, Hertfordshire girl the Internet to make it to the top in her chosen field. Every music star from Rita Ora, Britney and Christina Aguilera is vying to work with this straight talking chic who’s full of contradictions regards feminism, youth movements and more.

I caught up with Charli who was born Charlotte Emma Aitchison, at a shoot for BEAT Magazine in Shoreditch Studios where she’d flow in directly from new york to politely take her seat and follow the stylist and photographers instructions for their shoot.

Its crazy to think this Bishops Stortford girl is making teenage music anthems for today’s generation of girls across the world that, like her, grew up on a diverse mix of music from pop to hip-hop.

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CHARLI’S NEW SINGLE IS ”BREAK THE RULES”

She reveals that in her early days she had a fascination with London and city life. Her musical influences were Britney spice girls, shampoo, and typical girl pop. ‘‘At 14 i discovered Ed Banger and got into those acts’’.

At the age of 14 in 2007, she began recording her debut album on a loan granted by her parents…it takes one persuasive teen to convince adults to invest in the fickle music industry. ‘‘I never saw those songs as a debut album I just did songs at 14 that I put onto the internet, I made a deal with my dad, who ran a small venue in Bishops Stortford, I wanted to record some demos so he lent me the money to do that, so as soon as I made some cash, I paid him back. I don’t want people to think I was a spoilt rich kid cos I really wasn’t’’.

Her mothers Indian, and her fathers Scottish. Being from a mixed race background, she’s representing the very current generation of young Brits but this didn’t really have a massive influence one way or another of her influences or her experience of growing up ‘’ my parents never really pushed any particular music onto me so I just listened to Britney all day. I always saw myself as very normal and felt very comfy, my friends never made a big deal about my background. My parents were just happy with me doing whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t really see myself as being different, there was never really a thing made about it., I was very unaware of it until very recently actually and coming from the generation I’m from I don’t see anything , I just listened to Britney spears all the time’’.

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CHARLI SINGS THE CHORUS IN ‘FANCY’- THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SONG OF THIS SUMER SPENDING WEEKS AT NO.1 IN CHARTS ACROSS THE WORLD!

In the same way that music reflects the society it comes from, celerity and tabloid faces should do the same. In recent years a lot of more diverse faces than before have sprung up with names like Jessica Ennis, Alexa Chung, Leona Lewis, Lewis Hamilton, and Charli, who all reflect the changing face of this generation. These declining cultural barriers must only be a good thing and Charli acknowledges that for her parent’s generation it was a lot different. ‘‘I think its great and amazing that any industry can be diverse, we can all just do what we want to do, coming from the generation that I come from its not shocking, but I recall my parents telling me when they were first a couple it was a shocking thing. I think its great to fly the flag for where you’re from’’. This reminds me of something that Olympian Jessica Ennis said when she described herself as more Sheffield than mixed race when asked where she identifies most strongly with.

Charli was signed at 15 and is still only 22 so no overnight success, it’s taken her years to get where she is. Being spotted so young and not going down the reality TV show route though, she says is a blessing in disguise. ‘‘When I was younger I was angry at that reality show world, cos I felt like I was working really hard and not getting the success that I deserved, but now I can see that it’s a good thing. My journey to where I am today has been long winded, with lots of twists and turns, and allowed me to become who I am. It didn’t happen for me sooner because I wasn’t ready, but the weird routes have helped me understand and given me more control’’.
This is demonstrated by her never getting lonely when on the road ‘’ I actually don’t get homesick- I love my family but I love touring. cos I’ve been doing this now for so long i have a lot of friends across the world. I stay grounded cos my mates don’t care about Charli XCX. That’s great cos i don’t wanna be a diva. If I am on the radio they turn it off lol!

ONLINE

She comes from a generation of artists where blogs and social media are paramount, and acknowledges the importance of online presence in her marketing…’’for me I wouldn’t be here without the internet, I like it, it’s a difficult thing to figure out and can cause stress for people but it keeps me accessing my fans that’s great’’.
She has nearly 200k twitter followers, engages with her fans regularly and is more than aware of the pro’s and con’s of being so available to her fans 24-7. ’’Just as easy you can access them, they can access you. but I see myself as a musician not a celeb. I see myself as an anti pop star, I think if you put out stuff about your personal life you become about that instead of your music.

When pressed on her definition of an ‘’anti pop star’’ she explains ‘’nowadays there seem to be a lot of rules about being a pop star, things you have to say the lies you have to tell, if u do something crazy it should be crazy weird and wild not walking out of a club drunk at 2am, I’m not into the tabloid crazy world. Also I’m just like a bit really weird. i don’t have time to play into the traditional pop star rules. I don’t like being rude I think it’s much harder to be rude, and much easier to be nice’’.

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Pop stars working the web, is the norm now. A few years ago Rihanna wrote on twitter that only she would run her twitter and that there would be no more ‘’corny label tweets’ Now that Charli’s established herself, she’s still sitting in the pilot seat of her social media. ‘‘I do all my own social media its not time consuming its better when its from my brain as opposed to someone 20 years older at the label’’.

So like Bieber, the web and online marketing has had a huge impact on her career- in early 2008, she began posting songs from her album, on her official myspace. I also love the fact that she seems to have a fascination and obsession with female alternative rappers like Iggy azalea and uffie (I use the word ‘rappers’ loosely). ’’At 14 I began to make my own music, I wanted to make cool rap, white girl rap and I completely failed cos it didn’t sound good at all’’.

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CHARLI WITH HER MATE IGGY AZALEA-THE MOST COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL ”RAPPER” EVER.

She continues to gush about her love of female rappers

‘’I just wish I was a rapper, I was obsessed with Uffie, I’ve always thought that rappers were really cool and so I wanted to work with them cos i don’t think I’m good enough to be one. They’re just so fierce strong and powerful and I love that in a woman like Iggy or Brooke candy. I always have fun with them’’.

…’’but this guy Chaz Cool found me online and invited me to come and play at a party. I’d been to London and hadn’t gone out there so I was like yeay I’m so excited. I told my parents. They freaked out ‘’you wanna go to an illegal rave in hackney wick, I said they could come so they did, and that’s how I got into that scene’’.
The idea of adult parents at an illegal rave doesn’t come without its awkward scenarios though. Charli recalls a story about when her father was offered the MDNA drug but thought the seller had said MDA- the flooring boards. Her father reassured the seller that he would if he had enough room in the car shocking the seller who wondered just how much he wanted to buy! LOL

So this Straight talking, dark pop princess, turned attending raves at 14 into an international pop career.

MUSIC/ SOUND

Like Timbaland, Kanye, Jessie J, Naughty Boy and more, CHARLI’S the latest in a long list of acts that started writing/producing hits for others. of course, record labels are now hip to the pie chart money split and if they can cut someone out to make more profit then that’s the strongest card to play. Signing charli means they keep all the writing, publishing and keep their golden egg -laying chicken close to home. She’s responsible for writing some of this years biggest pop hits from ‘’fancy’’ to ‘’I love it’’. The way the music industry talks about her, it sounds like she knocks out hits in minutes. Is it really that simple? She admits ‘’I love it was written in 30 mins in a hotel room, songs that come the fastest are the better ones as its your instinct that the 1st recorded thing is the best’’.

Her hit boom clap is on constant rotation on radio but Charli was hitting the big time early in her career with zero radio play. We debate whether one day mainstream radio and its monotonous playlists will all just die ‘’my 1st record didn’t get any radio play at all and I still managed to tour all across the states, but now my singles are on radio I see its good for it. Its not detrimental to your success, there are lots of different types of radio. It’s definitely helped me get a wider audience but the internets what’s really helped me and music thrives there. It’s hard to say about radio-it surely pushes pop acts to another level’’

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With break the rules there are young girls globally loving to embrace their rebellious side- but I’m a bit older than Charli and have seen many a strong rebellious female music star in my time push the envelope, I don’t think anything will in my mind top Madonna’s sex book, so I wonder if there can be such a thing as a rebel in pop any more? Or have all the rebellious stances been played out? ‘’ I think you can be a rebel still, it goes back to my earlier definition of pop star vs. anti-pop star. You can break the rules by even wearing what you want to wear and not playing by the rules of record labels. I dress how I dress for me. ’My new music album isn’t a straight up pop record in way so I am reveling by making exactly what I want and I hope to push boundaries with that. Other artists like Grimes, Lorde and Sky Ferreira are really pushing the envelope too.
‘’I’ve always been different; when I was younger I had media training and was told I was the worst person that she had ever media trained. Then there was a meeting just about my hair and what to do with it. I was like ‘ what is this about?! You guys don’t even have hair’.

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Most people are intrigued that Charli gave her hit song – I LOVE IT away. Like Ne-Yo many years ago who wrote ‘’you should let me love you’’ for Mario and then was plucked to be the front man, leaving fans to ask ‘where is Mario now?’’ its anyone’s guess as to whether we will see another huge hit for Icona Pop again or whether they will do a Psy and fall off the radar into one hit wonder world.

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Charli says there’s no way that ‘’I love it’’ would have ever made her own personal music catalogue ‘’that song was written 2011/12 i was in Stockholm and writing with this guy Patrick Berger, I was nervous, I asked him to send some beats, he did, one was for I love it, I wrote it quickly and took it to him the next day, he loved it and said it was cool. We were going to get a coffee and bumped into the girl from icona pop and she heard the song and her group recorded it. I didn’t want it cos I didn’t want to make a record like that. It was nothing like the record I’d already slaved away for five years and it didn’t fit on my album but fitted so well with them’’.

After “I love it” was released, Charli had said that she had her ‘’first real experience with the bad side of the music industry and how people can change and how it can become like more of a struggle. It wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. When it should be a time for celebration it’s never really been that nice’. Its funny when u see the whole music industry machine pump into action. Even though it was Icona Pops song I observed a lot from my position, when moneys involved some people go crazy, it became a bit weird and then thereafter I’d always be asked to keep recreating that song for lots of other artists. I started becoming jaded and annoying. It opened up a lot of weirdness to me’’.

FELLOW MUSIC PEERS

Charli’s a fan of ladies like Kate bush, Britney and Bjork- she said that when she was 7 she really wanted to be a spice girl, and that girl power never dies! – She also comes across as a powerful, kick ass girl bringing a new round of girl power; something she see’s herself fitting into comfortably. ‘’ I feel like there’s a huge wave of girl power around now with feminism regularly being discussed by high profile artists, I knew what girl power was when I was younger bit wasn’t picking up on it when I was 7, but now there’s so much to talk about and that people are talking about it is great. I want to encourage my fans to be themselves and be strong females and never feel like they’re not adequate and that they have to fit into rules, I feel like my fans already believe that anyway’’.

She’s a fireball of contradictions; she delights and provokes, is passionate and pushes the boundaries of pop music with her stances on sexy outfits vs. empowered women. When it comes to sexuality and image she is strong about her position. ‘’I think u can be a feminist in the pop industry and I definitely see myself as a feminist. I think there are different perceptions on what a feminist is and how u should dress, but those boundaries are being broken down, people say how can u be a feminist when you dress like that and I don’t even understand that statement because I believe that men and women can wear whatever they like cos its about equality’’.

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CHARLI IN HER ‘BREAK THE RULES’ VIDEO.

Her views on the Miley Cyrus twerking storm are supportive. ‘‘I think she was just doing her and good for her, I think she’s punk and one of the only punk artists out there now. I’ve seen her live show and its genuinely one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life and then I think good for her. I don’t think that performance was thought through and intended to cause as much offence as it did’’.

As well as girl power, she also mentioned that you’d noticed ‘’a decay in youth culture, stating, “I don’t feel like there’s anything for people to really grab onto these days. There’s no movement to speak of.” (Rolling stone mag)
With me she expands ‘’i feel like in the 60s there was a real feeling and identity in the air that everyone could be a part of and hold on to and now I feel that’s not the same anymore, it still lives a bit now, but more on the internet as opposed to being in reality. There’s nothing to be angry about that’s when all the best stuff in pop happens when people are angry, and that’s why feminism is exciting to me cos its something that’s important instead of just falling out of a nightclub going ‘’here I am, again, doing this, nothing really important again’’

Charli has toured with Coldplay and Ellie Goulding, and is building up quite a celeb following- Rita Ora and Britney want to work with her but she’s turned down working with some stars that have come calling- (She rejected a collaboration with Christina Aguilera). She shares with me her criteria for pressing red or green.

USA

Americans have always had a healthy fascination with British pop stars from the Beatles to spice girls, but recently there’s been a really strong British movement taking over the USA,– from Adele to Ed Sheeran, Sam smith and naughty boy- everyone says Charli is next to blow. ‘’ I don’t feel any pressure cos I promised myself last year that I wouldn’t care about ‘’success and charts’’ anymore cos its really stressful, I made a promise to myself to make music that feels right and cool, and its worked, its not the forefront of my question anymore’’.

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IMAGE / BRAND

Art is a big influence in her work- she’s been inspired by musicians as well as artists and photographers. at 15 she was photographed by David bailey- that’s an incredible story! She name drops even more spectacularly ‘’David bailey was actually my 2nd photo shoot ever- my first was Rankin, David hated me, he was classic David bailey and i was like a right little bitch, but then we got in front of the camera we just clicked, he was incredible to work with and he invited me back a week later so I did something right’’

There’s certainly no Barbie doll TOWIE style fashion for this rock meets punk lady. Iggy azalea says its “badass that Charli can do a dance routine in a cheerleading outfit and still be punk rock’, she’s been referred to as the ‘dark pop princess’, calls her sound ‘’ magical, ethereal, gangsta pop.’’ and calls her look Disney grunge. i laugh at the contradictions ‘’I am all about contradictions actually yes, I like things that sit on the edge of bring slightly wrong, so wrong that its slightly right. i like contradiction a lot and think it produces good art!

Her look and brand are as distinctive as her music, and her image and attitude really match her sound – with her own font logo and fashion sense too, she smiles ‘’it is intentional’ ‘I’m behind everything i do, every video i create is my treatment or idea. It’s the same with everything I wear, I feel like as I’ve grown up and I’ve found my own style, i don’t follow fashion i have my own style – I’m not a slave to fashion man’’.

We finish with a couple of funny anecdotes that may surprise most people. Her 1st ever gig was in a disused peanut factory and she has a recording of a ghost on her phone after staying in a hotel, which was reputed to be haunted. The ghost apparently drowned in the frozen lake and likes to hang out in the hotels billiard room. Charli and pals recorded through the night and the next day when playing the sounds back heard this really low-pitched woman’s voice talking. I know what you’re wondering. No. The ghost didn’t make it onto any tracks.

JASMINE’S JUICE- WHO ARE YOU? AFRICAN DIASPORA DNA TESTING WITH OSARGENEWS.COM.

JD CERT

Do you know who you really are and where you came from? No. Really.

Every time I would ask my African Americans friends where they were originally from, they’d always insist ‘America’. Even though I’d question that they most likely had a journey across from the Caribbean or Africa at some stage in their lineage, they’d flatly deny that history, and say their ancestors as far back as time could tell, stated they were American and that’s what they were comfortable with.

Some may be happy with this; others may want to find out where exactly from the motherland Africa they are from. Maybe there isn’t a direct line of family history or you are adopted and curious to know more.

However, if you’re going to get your DNA tested, you’d better brace yourself for the results. A tester revealed to me that a young wealthy Muslim man came in to have his DNA tested for his birthday and found just two generations earlier he has Jewish roots. He was shaken to say the least.

The pro’s and con’s of the test raced around my mind. What if I could make a real connection to my past? Could it reveal something interesting about my ancestors or better yet me? This information is easily accessible in my DNA. Most people think they know their family history but what if there’s more? It could redefine the way I think about my family history. Learn about all the places and cultures that make me who I am. It’s a great way to get in touch with who you are and your family story. What’s my ethnicity? Where am I from? The answer is literally at my finger tips- in my DNA. So I can trace my family’s generations throughout the ages way beyond the paper trail. DNA testing has evolved so quickly in recent years that DNA testing like this wasn’t even possible a few short years ago. It seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

I found out about it at the London launch of osargenews.com, an African Diaspora news aggregator delivering news twice daily to all African and African Diaspora countries.- the site offers news, blogs and original content and covers politics, business, arts & entertainment, technology, society and local information along with a recruitment section, documentaries of the diaspora and ground breaking DNA testing products. As my father is from Kenya I was intrigued. Yes, was that kid that pushed all the buttons that I was warned not to.

I’d seen it on television and read about in the newspapers, and it makes you think twice. For those who aren’t keen on needles, the good news is that all commercial testing companies use mouth swabs, so the whole process is blissfully painless. A friendly lady handed me a few ear bud like swabs and rubbed them inside my cheeks and popped them into a sealed envelope- which I had to lick and seal myself. Two weeks later my results were in. They compared my unique DNA to billions of people all around the world to find the common strands that help define our ethnicity and where we are originally from.

Genetic testing has become the new middle class trend in recent years. Does the birthday boy have everything he could ever want already? Coffee maker, Porsche, personalized Louis Vuitton luggage, Rolex watch, a day at Silverstone, and a season pass to his sports team’s games? Well give him something that money can buy! His own DNA ancestry test! Show him who he really is. Does he descend from kings or….

DNA testing is a big thing for the National Health Service too. This month in the UK, it has been announced that our government would be spending on new medical DNA testing so that they can better understand the genetic lineage of people who are ill and determine if they’re prone to certain diseases. The UK is set to become the world leader in groundbreaking genetic research into cancer and rare diseases, which will transform how diseases are diagnosed and treated, thanks to a package of investment worth more than £300million, the Prime Minister announced this month. If you are part of a group who is at a high risk for certain genetic diseases (such as Tay-Sachs for Jewish people and Sickle-Cell Anemia for Black people), it is imperative that you get tested before you have children. This can save so much heartbreak for you and your family, but also makes you aware of the possibilities out there before making a life-changing decision. After having her DNA tested — a process which can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to several thousand — Angelina Jolie learned that she is a carrier of a defective BRCA1 gene. That defect, though not the only determinant of breast cancer, meant a 65% chance she’d get the same disease that killed her mother. Some DNA tests do focus on testing or health, the one that I had done focus’ on my genetic ancestry..

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I kept being warned that my results might surprise me. In the case of many African ancestry tests, for example, approximately 25-30 percent of those tested will learn that their paternal line is European in origin. This is the legacy of plantation society coming down to us in our genes, and was seen in BBC’s ‘Motherland: A Genetic Journey’.

Frankly you could have told me I was from anywhere globally and nothing would’ve been a shock or surprise one way or the other. I have Persian ancestral and religious background. Persians were thrown out of Persia years ago and it was renamed Iran. So I’ve always seen myself as a bit of a refugee. I feel like I belong to everywhere and nowhere. But I am curious to know to get an idea of geographical origin well before genealogical records began.

Two weeks after my swab results came back from the laboratory, I sat down with Dr Michael Baird, one of the world’s leading human geneticists, who explained my results to me after I grilled him on the procedure and why it was so new and current for people of African heritage.(Look up Dr M Baird- he is a huge international DNA expert, that’s been used at the centre of huge legal cases like Anna Nicole Smith/ OJ Simpson etc)

Tell us in layman’s terms about the new African Diaspora specific DNA testing products exclusive to osargenews.com and what is possible now when it comes to finding out about our historical and ancestral roots? How does it work?

Our DNA contains a great deal of information including where we came from. This is because DNA is passed along from generation to generation and characteristics of our ancestors are still present in our DNA, if you know how to unlock the information. By collecting a few cells from the inside of your cheek, enough DNA can be isolated to perform a number of tests that can start you on your journey to learn about your ancestral roots. Once your sample arrives at the lab, DNA is isolated and testing performed that can provide information about your ancestral roots. Depending on the test you choose, you can learn about what biogeographic groups your DNA contains, information about your maternal and/or paternal ancestors, or what current populations you most closely resemble. You can choose the path you want to take for your journey to discover your ancestral roots.

Why is this a relatively new area that the AFRICAN DIASPORA should be interested in?

Advances in DNA technology allow one to more accurately extract information from your DNA to answer questions you may have about where you came from. Recent work with African populations has contributed to the ability to make connections that were not possible previously. The osargenews.com site provides useful information about a number of different aspects related to the African Diaspora including DNA tests that can help in the journey of understanding.

How does the African GPS Tracking System work?

The GPS (Geographic Populations Structure) is a new way to analyze DNA data developed by Dr. Eran Elhaik of The Sheffield University that can provide coordinates to pin point the geographic location of your ancestors. The same type of sample is collected for the GPS test but can provide results for male and female lineage, people that may be biologically related as cousins, and the geographic location of your ancestor(s).

Have the global African diaspora been open to finding out about their ancestral past or have some people shied away from the truth as many stories have come from centuries of pain historically?

The journey required to find one’s ancestral roots is a personal journey. Many have embraces the science behind the testing and been able to make meaningful connections with their past.

Are there examples of case studies that have shocked or been a surprise to people interested in finding out about their historical roots?

I do not have any such stories since we do not typically follow up with clients once they have received their results. However, I am sure there are surprises among those that have taken DNA tests.

Africa has tended not to have a global voice for so long and for so long been painted in a disproportionate light by western media and governments- why do you think this is?

Hopefully as people embrace their African roots, their voices will be heard.

What should the western world be aware of when it comes to the massive ground breaking strides forward that the African continent is making?

The continent of Africa will play a major role in the future of the world, just as it did as the birthplace of humanity.

Any final comments on how people can get involved?
If people want to start their journey of self-discovery of their ancestral roots, they should get involved with appropriate social media sites like osargenews.com and consider having their DNA tested.

My own results? I was handed and talked through a stack of easily understandable graphs and certificates that are fascinating. I come from the M group who were around 60,000 years ago and originated in east Africa. My ancestors were amongst the first humans to leave Africa, migrating along the southern coasts of Asia. My bio-geographical chart showed, surprisingly, that I am 75% European, 13% east Asian, 7% sub-Saharan African and….5% indigenous American!

Another surprise was that my high-resolution native population match showed that my DNA matches mostly from the Maldives, India then Europe. My high resolution world match results come in high from Mesopotamia – the name for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, corresponding to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, the northeastern section of Syria and to a much lesser extent southeastern Turkey and smaller parts of southwestern Iran. Finally they also gave me my genetic profile, which is unique to me and me alone. Honestly, to an untrained eye like mine it just resembled numerous car registration numbers like codes but was nevertheless fascinating.

So no huge surprises for me, aside from a bit of American Indian and Maldivian roots. But for my friend- the writer and comedienne Angie Le Mar it was deep and emotional. Angie hails from Jamaica but her tests came back showing that her bloodline was pure, and much less mixed than mine, and came from an exact location identified in West Africa. She’s always had a pull towards Ghana so this confirmed her instinct.

So, what to gift the person who has everything? Tell them who they really are!The test costs around £250, half the price of those costly Louboutin designer shoes!
What’s really exciting about DNA testing is that it’s all about YOU!

Start your research at osargenews.com. You never know what you might unearth! Good luck!

AFROBEATS Continues to fly high – Here are thoughts from the industry as well as my TOP 5 AFROBEATS COLLABORATIONS.

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AFROBEATS STAR D’BANJ AND KANYE WEST.

Alongside the usual diverse array of pop, indie, rock, hip-hop, dub step, grime and more musical genres of live shows that happen nightly across the UK, in recent years, a very exciting new party player has entered the fray. He goes by the name Afrobeats and is clearly here to stay with venue bookings across the country for its main stars set in stone.

Numerous pieces have already been written about the afrobeats scene. Its play listed on Radio 1, the BET Awards this year recognized the acts on air, black music star’s Kanye and Akon have signed up African talent, and now the trend of collaborations between Afrobeats artists, and international acts from other genres seems to be exploding.

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AKON AND HIS AFROBEATS STAR WIZKID.

UK chart music star Wretch32 who collaborated with afrobeats act Sarkodi tells me it’s a good thing

“It’s so good to see Afro beat acts getting worldwide recognition. A genre as strong as that deserves to be global – its talent you can’t deny’’, whilst British (via Congo) comedian / host Eddie Kadi enthuses ‘’It is testament to how far the music has come and its ability to cross over. As a result we will now see a rise in new Afrobeats stars from the diaspora’’

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AFROBEATS ACT SARKODI AND WRETCH32 HIT IT OFF ON A REMIX FOR A SARKODI HIT.

The infectious beats pumping out of Africa are something that the world cannot ignore. A sound so popular and specifically African conjures up the term Afrobeats. The popular sound taking over the UK airwaves pay homage to the old skool highlife sounds of Afrobeat, conceived by Nigeria’s musical genius Fela Kuti. The evolved, modern genre is a young and funky twist, where you can find memorable hooks sang in Pidgin English over an Afro infused hip-hop beat.

It’s right here in London that we see the magnitude of its success. Clubs and radios stations are being forced to play Afrobeats to cater for its high demand. The demographic and economic presence of Africans in the Diaspora has been the wagon through which Afrobeats is breaking into our western consciousness.

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Let’s start with Nigeria. It’s so huge it’s akin to a continent with numerous tribes in itself. There are over 165 Million people in Nigeria alone, not to talk of the Nigerian community living abroad. So that puts into perspective the potential reach that embrace and support this monstrous musical movement which is spreading its tentacles globally, and therefore generating a lot of money in the process.

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Nigerian born, British based, female music act May7ven even feels that the scene is even having a beneficial economical effect in the UK

‘’Afrobeats has travelled far in a relatively short space of time here in the UK. We still have a long way to go, but the progress is good, steady and we have certainly got the attention of the entire music industry the world over. Odd tracks are getting play listed on day time on some of the UK’s leading radio stations, and we’re starting to have a presence in the charts and clubs. Also, with the frequency of the large scale concerts holding at 5,000 capacity venues headlined by Afrobeats stars, we can certainly now claim to be contributing to the UK economy however little. People may laugh but the airlines are making money, hotels, FEU (Foreign entertainment tax) UK Boarder, jobs are being created!’’

Eedris

In the early days of the Nigerian Pop music, acts like Eedris Abdulkareem attempted to gain equal footing with American artists such as 50 cent, by inflammatorily sitting in 50 Cents first class seat; a protest to the unequal treatment of indigenous artists by Nigerian promoters and concert organisers. After reportedly being told to ‘Get out of that seat’, Abdulkareem responded “You cannot treat me as a second and or third class citizen in my own country, I will not take it from anybody,” Abdulkareem said after the infraction. “If 50 Cent is a star in America, I am equally one in Africa.”

Fast-forward to 2014 and we’re seeing more Western superstars seeking out African talent and wanting to become a part of this addictive music phenomenon. This movement was internationally recognised when Kanye West signed Nigerian acts D’banj and Don Jazzy to his G.O.O.D music label in 2011. it has to be said. Jaws dropped. People were impressed and excited. Nothing could prepare fans for the moment when Kanye West walked on stage to join Nigeria’s hottest exports- the then ‘Mo’Hits’ turned ‘Mavin Records’ label. Kanye joined them at Hammersmith Apollo in London for their third instalment of the Koko Koncert series (2011). The excitement was intense. Fans alike stamped, shouted and screamed in awe as Kanye West took off his chain and put it around Dbanj’s neck, announcing to the world that the signing was official. Dbanj and Don Jazzy were then the newest members to join G.O.O.D Music.

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DON JAZZY

Tim Westwood (CapitalXtra) said at the time: “I know Kanye well, but when he arrived back stage it was so exciting – it was a hot moment in the game. When he came on stage to perform and then 
passed the Good Music chain to the D’Banj, the crowd went crazy”!

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Some acts have even been accused of jumping onto this latest fad as a business angle. Abrantee Boateng is a radio presenter on CapitalXtra in the UK who champions the afrobeats genre and is known as DJ Abrantee and states..

‘’there’s definitely been a steady rise as a lot of people still don’t understand the whole afrobeats movement although they are jumping on the band wagon, which is a good thing, as it now shows that people are taking notice. One thing is for sure, in every club around the world you will now definitely hear the DJ play an afrobeats set, which wasn’t happening before’’

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DJ Shortee Blitz says …

‘’ The Afrobeat Scene on an international level is growing like crazy!! From a dj standpoint. I can play certain tunes all over the world and they’ll get love, whether they know its afrobeat or not. I suppose it depends on the type of dj you are. Whether you play by numbers or play the shit you actually feel…’’

May7ven seems to the outside world to have gone from an R&B Branded Artist to Afrobeats, but she disputes that and clarifies …

‘’ It would appear that way as I was part of the growth here in the UK when it started. When I started my career, I called my style AFR&B, African R&B just because I felt I was different and simply somehow wanted to incorporate my culture, sounds and language into my music as some of my male counterparts such as 419 squad, JJC Skills, Weird MC and co. There were no templates to follow from any other female singers on TV or radio combining African drums, language or sound with real R&B at that time and I wanted to pioneer something as a female artist amongst the many R&B females around at that time. It was during a meeting with Guy Moot from EMI at the time, where he spoke about being original and suggested that there wasn’t that much of a difference between Jamelia, Kele Le Roc and a few of us at the time and he was right. I wanted to be original and stand out; I believe it is working for me now, as you now witness a wealth of female Afrobeats artist’s actively working, combining R&B with Afrobeats. I have travelled the world, performed for presidents, received multiple awards and am in a position to be as unique and original as I want, standing out in my own lane. It is still tough, but my last 3 independent releases have had received A-List on UK radio and across various TV stations right here in the UK, which is fundamental in building a bigger fan base outside of this genre. I still have a long way to go and a massive agenda so I take nothing at all for granted’’.

So how many of the new collaborations from her genre are authentic? So far there have been numerous alliances between African and international acts, in the same way as in the early British days of urban music trying to break out to a bigger listener demographic, we used to persuade American acts with huge amounts of UK record labels cash, to feature on our remixes. The idea that now the occasional UK acts, as well as American is being sought out, to feature with afrobeats talent, is telling.

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The collaborations usually still involve a huge exchange of cash and persuasion from the African teams side, but American and UK acts aren’t silly. They see this scene is blowing up with an unstoppable momentum of its own, and want to be seen as part of the movement. The international act is of course, always expected to shout out the African act in their verse. (Sean Paul) ‘’Fuse ODG and SPeezy- WHAT WE TELL THEM?-BLAZE THEM!’’…./ (Kanye) ‘’That D Banj cause hysteria, As we step of the plane in Nigeria’’…../ (Rick Ross)‘’Konvict music-Turn up the music we bumping P Square’’….and so on.

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After all what’s the point of parting with bucket loads of cash without a personalised co-sign right? (Probably just because I’m British), the UK/African collaborations sound more authentic and less forced to me than the American ones. Something to do with the diaspora community here in London being much more engaged with African culture be it food, friends or music than the American’s who seem so far removed from it all).

Some things never change though. The joint videos are still materialistic urban cliché’s with opulence in the form of champagne, shaking posteriors, exotic palm tree’s, penthouse suites, the love of wearing all white and yachts- The difference here however, that’s hilarious, is that a lot of African communities are actually filthy rich and keepin it real, unlike early UK and U.S acts, who often had to act out and fake their bragadocious wealth.

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The videos also expectantly feature an over sexualisation of women and you’ll see that reflected again in the collaboration between African act Dr Sid and X Factor alumni Alexandra Burke who collaborated earlier this year on their single Baby Tornado. Alexandra rocks a skimpy clinging red mini dress and shorts whilst she suggestively and sexily sings her chorus.

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ALEXANDRA BURKE AND SID.

“We shot the video for ‘Baby Tornado Remix’ featuring Alexandra Burke with UK producers Uzo Oleh and Michael Buckman”, says Dr Sid. “They were able to bring something different to my visuals. The magic happened when both our styles met. Alex brought her sexy vibe, while I brought my African flavour. I feel it was a great synergy between the UK and Nigeria and am very proud of the result. African music will thrive with or without international recognition because it’s not just music- it’s also a culture. It can never die out- it will just keep evolving. Having the support and interest internationally, is an added bonus. I continue to be grateful for all the support”.

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Alexandra herself has an opinion on what is helping Afrobeats star rise.

‘’Personally I think social media, clubs and the radio all play a massive part in fuelling the love of the Afrobeats scene. Not only that, but also most importantly Afrobeats is a joy to listen to. It’s particularly great to listen to when you are in need of cheering up, as it will never fail to make you want to dance. It always puts a smile on my face. I’ve been friends with Dr Sid for a while, I actually met him through his fiancé. I told him about my love for Afrobeats and we sat in my studio and listened to his album. It all just worked out. I heard his song Baby Tornado and fell in love. We wrote the verse and I recorded it there and then in my studio at home. It was a magical experience. Shooting the video for Baby Tornado was awesome. The energy was electric. The vibe was totally natural. Dr Sid made me feel right at home. He also taught me all the right dance moves! It was great, I look back with very fond memories’’.

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ALEXANDRA ON THE VIDEO SET FOR BABY TORNADO.

Maybe Alexandra’s collaboration and the afrobeats movement in the UK will encourage MOBO to televise an afrobeats category next year as BET did this year. MOBO CEO Kanya King explained ….

‘’Afrobeats has been around for a while, but it’s definitely starting to gain the recognition it unreservedly deserves. Afrobeats has more recently taken off in a big way I would say – there are now one hour long sets on mainstream radio stations in the UK such as BBC 1Xtra and Capital Xtra. We have seen Afrobeat artists such as Fuse ODG flourish on the dance floors. If you look at his ground-breaking success – achieving the highest charting UK Afrobeats single to date, collaborating with Sean Paul and a spellbinding performance at last year’s MOBO Awards – it’s difficult to escape the impact Afrobeats has had on the UK music scene and worldwide which now leads to great collaborations between African and international artists, a clear win-win and thus also creating more opportunities for African artists to gain popularity in other parts of the world. We’re very happy to be supporting this development’’

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MOBO CEO KANYA KING.

ITV News host Charlene White is awed by the speed of the movement…

‘‘the pace at which the scene has been moving is incredible. I remember being in Kenya visiting a friend early 2011 – and falling in love with D’Banj’s track Gbono Feli Feli. So to fast forward to 2014 and see international acts (finally!) seeing how strong the market is for Afrobeats is great. What has also been wonderful is to see so many UK house producers working with Afrobeat sounds like Fela Kuti. These changes can only be seen as positive’’.

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ITV NEWS HOST CHARLENE WHITE.

As a supporter of black music over two decades, journalist Hattie Collins, (Music Ed: i-D,Freelance: The Guardian, Grazia, RWD, BEAT, ASOS, The Hunger, G-Shock, The Sunday Times Culture…) has seen the African acts fight for their right to party in the global music industry, across many decades….

‘’ It’s exciting to see the slow spread of Afrobeats; for so long anything from Africa (and indeed Brazil, India, South America and so on) is thrown into the somewhat reductive ‘world music’ and therefore ‘niche’ category. In fact, Afrobeats is as thrilling and important as anything the UK or the US has produced and has the potential to be as globally culturally important as Hip Hop, R&B or Dancehall. It’s taken a few years, but finally, it’s not unusual to read about Azonto on Noisey or listen to a mix from Mista Silva on i-D. Now we can all cheer on Stylo G and Fuse ODG as they get another Top 10, or when we hear that Kanye West has signed D’Banj to G.O.O.D music and Tinie inked Wizkid to Disturbing London. The latter is an important point; these days, the all-important co-sign can often make or break an artist. Having the OK from a Kanye, Jay, Wayne or Drake can make the world of difference – see Drizzy’s recent Popcaan endorsement as proof, as well as Sean Paul teaming up with Ghanaian raised Fuse. Together, the two bagged a Top 3 with Dangerous Love. When a mainstream act endorses a new artist or genre, it shines a hugely powerful spotlight and sends a powerful message. The future of Afrobeats looks incredibly bright right now, and deservedly so. It’s about time that African, Indian, Brazilian music was invited from the shadow of the land of niche to be fully embraced by audiences worldwide’’.

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MUSIC JOURNALIST HATTIE COLLINS.

Vietnamese Afrobeats DJ Neptizzle from Reprezent Radio says…

“I am a firm believer that it is a collective effort of Artists, DJ’s, promoters and fans that are keeping this genre relevant. As a non- African DJ that plays Afrobeats- I learnt very quickly how powerful the music is. There ain’t no party like an African party! The fact that someone like Alexandra Burke, or even myself who doesn’t come from an African background can appreciate the music and want to be involved, speaks volumes of just how influential the music is. The language barrier doesn’t hold anyone back either. For me, it’s about the beat, the rhythm and the enjoyment! It’s so infectious I’m not surprised that international collaborations are happening. Even if the collaborations are happening just for money, or purely out of love of the music- either way the music is spreading and it shouldn’t be ignored if you want to stay ahead of the game’’.

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May7ven feels collaborations have their perks and drawbacks ‘’ Collaborations are always a great thing and a positive step if done properly. Examples of Wyclef and FuseODG on Antenna are a great example of getting the mainstream to finally pay attention to a hit song, exposing it to a wider audience. It is an opportunity to tap into the international artists audience presenting our style and genre of music to their world in a fashion they are familiar with, rather than forcing it down their throats. It is also a sign that times are changing and the international stars themselves welcome this sound and generation of hit makers to compliment their own records; their aren’t many examples of this so far as at the moment Afrobeats artists are the ones featuring them. Chingy welcomed and featured 2Face Idibia and myself on his own record and on the Alexandra Burke track that I am on, her team approached us to feature on a remix of her own track and not the other way round so certainly a good sign. With the exception of Fuse ODG and 2Face, the collaborations have only been good for raising the profile of the afrobeats artists in their own industry, as the international artist are not the ones promoting the songs; for example Rick Ross and P Square arguably the biggest collaboration for Afrobeats but it was noted that Rick Ross was not actively promoting/releasing or even tweeting about the song; we have had some amazing features but none of them have really penetrated the desired territories.Alexandra Burke also did one with Sid, I think it is good for him as it’s a nice song but equally Alex in her case benefits and shows her versatility and exposes her to the African market if she was to have her own release there or try her hands in Afrobeats’’.

DJ Abrantee concludes ‘’Before the scene came to commercial awareness it was already there on the underground, and more importantly the artists were doing the Afrobeats back in Africa creating their own scene. What’s happened now is the UK are taking notice of the Afrobeats scene due to artists like Dbanj, P Square ,May7ven, Mista Silva, Atumpan, Moelogo and of course Fuse all getting daytime playlists on commercial radio and charting ,which wasn’t happening before. Loads of people would tell me that the afrobeats scene wouldn’t last and that it would dwindle away. What you’ve got to understand is that Afrobeats is not a man made genre back in Nigeria /Ghana and the rest of Africa. The artists are living the music they make, and the knock on effect is that the new artists from the UK and beyond are now adapting that style and adding their own western style, to create an even more vibrant sound and culture incorporating the dances and more in terms of collaborations. I was recently at the MTV Mama awards where afrobeats artist collaborated with U.S artists in a big way: Sarkodie with Migel, Trey Songz with D Banj and French Montana with Ice Prince, so collaborations are definitely happening on a big scale. Collaborations from different genres of music are always a good thing as it just broadens the genre into different markets, which is healthy for the scene’’.

As we head into the last quarter of 2014, the UK has been given an array of confirmed gigs and Afrobeats tours from the likes of Iyanya, Mafikizolo, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Davido and Dr Sid. This further reiterates the words of Sid that ‘the scene will continue to thrive with or without international support’. There will always be a demand. I look forward to see what else the scene has in store.

My TOP FIVE AFROBEATS COLLABORATIONS (IN NO PARTICULAR ODER) ARE:

5-Fuse and Sean Paul:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cdpbjfV4e4
Dangerous Love stormed the UK chart at number 3!

4-Dbanj and Kanye West:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8CUbMu-pdg
Scape Goat was a massive look with Kanye jumping on a favourite of
Dbanj’s

3-P Square and Rick Ross:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY2H2ZP56K4
Beautiful Onyinye

2- Timaya ft Sean Paul:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4tWUJKiT1M

1- DR Sid and Alexandra Burke:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2UGjxk5Mjs

To see just how strong the collaboration route is becoming take a look at just a few of the other major collaborations between Afrobeats artists and international artists:

VIDEOS:

Fuse ft Wyclef ‘Antenna remix’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LCoksSQMzsGhana/US

Ice Prince ft French Montana – I Swear:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhqVanTPqKoNigeria/US

Dbanj FT Snoop Dogg Endowed remix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diNW3D4SfRcNigeria/US (2011)

TRACKS
Dbanj and Kanye West:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuyxLYeoVqk – Scape Goat was a massive look with Kanye jumping on a favourite of Dbanj’s. Nigeria/US

Sarkodie and Wretch 32 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmKbV-nWty4 - massive Ghana/uk link up

Watch the throne- ‘lift off’ The track which ft Beyonce, Kanye, Jay Z was co-produced by Nigerian hit producer Don Jazzy:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZCNs0rnKxkUS/Nigeria

Wizkid ft Wale ‘Drop’:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suMFolZ4–4Nigeria/US