Jasmine’s Juice – The Battle for TV, Youth, Diversity and Ratings!

ME, TV AND DIVERSITY.

I’ve been working in TV and wider digital media for over two decades now. There was a time when mainstream TV gatekeepers at the big channels didn’t bat an eyelid at our cries of lack of diversity or youth programing. But how things have changed in recent years.


JASMINE WITH TV’S NEWEST STAR – CHANNEL 4’S BIG NARSTIE!

In the past when TV showed black, asian or young people in compromising, lazy stereotypical roles, we would feel humiliated and quietly bitch to our closed groups, but that would be the end of it. Shout out Mind Your Language, every Eastenders baby mama drama, every corner shop run by Mr Patel in English soap operas, Goodness Gracious Me – (we don’t all speak like that).

Then social media happened and cultural tribal movements started boding like the matrix and calling the culprits out. Those previously unheard voices and small groups formed global movements and started viral #hashtags and gained voices like never before, and now all companies are terrified of being the next awkward twitter hashtag. Remember #britssowhite, #oscarssowhite, Kendall Jenner’s white savior complex with Pepsi? Nivea’s ad for ‘visibly fairer skin’? You get my point. Social media will rip you a new one if your unconscious bias comes to the forefront. Similarly if your TV content makes us side-eye, you will also get it in the neck.

According to the TV regulator OFCOM, streaming services in Britain now have more subscribers than pay-TV and satellite operators like SKY, Virgin media and BT. That’s mega worrying for TV broadcasters.
The battle for subscriptions in the music industry is nothing compared to the frantic broadcast industry, where viewer ratings have been hemorrhaging for the past few years, and TV commissioners are frantically grabbing whatever they can to bring eyeballs back to their channels.

Could there come a day when mainstream TV as we know it ceases to exist? I doubt it. However famous and rich celebrity online influencers get, the ultimate dream for many seems to be the lure of an actual TV show.

Hilariously those same broadcasters that have shunned diversity in the past as merely a tix box exercise that they need to be paying lip service to, nowadays, are snapping up diverse talent in a frantic race to the top like there’s no tomorrow, but often don’t know how to harness their talents already existent fan bases.

With Netflix, YouTube and more taking bite-sized chunks out of the TV broadcasters cake, things have never been so frantic in media circles to get viewers back. Particularly young viewers. After all most BBC viewers are over 45years of age and at some point will die out. TV needs young and diverse audiences back. But have they left it so long that the horse bolted and is never returning?

ALL THE PLAYERS

NETFLIX

It’s hard for broadcasters to compete with platforms like Netflix, who will this coming year spend 13billion on new shows.
Unlike most traditional, TV fat cats who decided when they wanted viewers to watch and for how long, Netflix just decided to make the whole viewing experience better for people. You don’t like to sit through ads and titles? No problem, we’ll get rid of them. You fall asleep in the midst of an episode and don’t want to have to restart the whole thing to find your spot? No problem, we will resume play where you switched off. You like a certain type of content? Comedy? Black rom-coms? Period Drama? Documentary exposes? Ok, got it. We will see what you play most and suggest similar content. God! it wasn’t rocket science but it took Netflix to give us what we want, when we want, how we want., anytime, any place, anywhere, just like the old eighties Martini ads, to make TV bosses sit up and worry about their kids private education and mini mansions.

On demand services like Amazon and Netflix have made viewers migrate in droves. People don’t want ad breaks, but commercial channels like ITV depend on commercial revenue so it’s an on-going battle.

Netflix is unapologetically giving audiences what they want and we just can’t get enough. They are solely responsible for my 3am-7am sleep hours but I’m hooked. With Netflix I am watching and have access to the same content as 130million other global subscribers. This is what we want – the world to feel more connected. The love the ability to have global conversations and banter online together about content that we’ve all watched simultaneously. The Crown, Orange is the new Black, Power, Suits and more – they’ve got viewers globally excitedly exchanging opinions. Do you remember when not one black comedian could get a solo slot on national TV? Now they’re all on Netflix!
Do you remember the days when TV companies would roll out a series in America or the UK first before giving worldwide rights? Seems archaic in retrospect.

Whether it’s an American drama series, rom-com movies or black standup comedy, I can watch what I want, when I want it. It’s very rare that I go back to terrestrial TV. I return to terrestrial TV for news programmes, opinion and breaking news.

By taking risks, some big TV broadcasters like Channel 4, ITV2 and SKY are taking drastic action to try and stay competitive with Netflix and their ilk and reaping rewards via ratings, as well as respectability and credibility with viewers.

SKY

This year SKY got mass credibility from both the young and BAME audience recently with their Bulletproof Series featuring black male actors Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters in leading roles as policemen. Even more incredibly, they showed Ashley’s character in a strong black positive family dynamic. Something that is unheard of in British TV. Noel did have to fight for that, but that’s another debate altogether. SKY were rewarded with huge ratings. Sky Atlantic also brought in content like Insecure from the USA keeping those of us that love this content on TV channels for a moment.

Then a few short weeks later all their credibility with the same audience died, as a reporter gained access to the notorious Woolwich Boys Gang for SKY NEWS and all the boys interviewed onscreen were shown wearing monkey masks. Yes you read that correctly. Young black men wearing monkey masks. Sky’s defense was that the boys had bought them and wanted to wear them, but the fact remains that producers and their talent need to be woke enough and responsible to see how this would look, make audiences feel and feed into age old, deep-seated racist stereotypes where young black men can only be seen as monkeys.

THE LOSERS – WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE /strong>

Similarly, Channel 5 seem to have taken the mantle and flying the flag for doom & gloom content that makes us all angry, fearful and miserable. Show after show about bailiffs, crime, gangs, working class woes is their lane and they’re sticking to it. The Daily Mail of the TV world. Programming and media need to be more respectful and responsible when making content about and for diverse audiences.

THE WINNERS

Channel 4, E4, ITV2 and Netflix keep challenging the status quo and taking risks. They’re unapologetic about provocative content and give their creators freedom of expression, and don’t try and fit the talent into a mold like the BBC always do.

ITV2

I work with a lot of young people, young digital influencers and celebrities all year round. The key players that young people are buzzing about are Netflix, ITV2, Channel 4, E4 and SKY, who are commissioning risky, provocative, unique content and taking fun risks, transparently and un-apologetically.

There’s no question that ITV2 have hands down have killed it. During Love Island the show was trending worldwide on twitter for hours. Young people and celebrities were rushing home to watch it live – not on catch – up in their own time – but dictated by the TV bosses. It’s unheard of in this day and age. Usually 3milion views per night speeding home to catch this in real time so as not to be behind on pop culture! ITV2 capitalized on the #FOMO anxiety of youth. This appointment to view is not what kids do; this is what their parents do. The reason kids want to watch it live is because with social media there are spoilers all through the show, and no one wants to be last to comment on the Love Island shenanigans online – proof that if TV companies get the right teams in, millennials will come back to watch TV the traditional way.
ITV2 unapologetically spoke to young people in a language they understand- their own! They have music and games and tasks that are truly just for this demographic, and the hype of excitement pulls in others intrigued by the hype.

E4

Similarly, E4 have great diverse, urban and youth content with shows like Black-ish that has content that we as a global audience discuss and debate daily, but I’m more impressed by its umbrella ship Channel 4 for experimenting with home-grown British talent.

CHANNEL 4

I’ve loved the recent spate of opinion challenging influencers making their own Channel 4 docs on subjects as wide as transgender debate with Munroe Bergdorf, colonial debates with Afua Hirsch and even though I am WAY outside the target demographic- The Big Narstie Show.

For so long, when anyone Black or Asian would be granted the honour of their own mainstream TV show, they would never be given the budget of an Ant & Dec type show. Their content would always be diluted and made more acceptable to their majority audience, thus draining talent of all their lovable qualities that built them their original fan base in the first place. Case in point, Javone Prince on E4’’s phone shop – just brilliant. By the time the BBC got their ‘lets make him fit our regional demographic’ hands on him – awful!

With The Big Narstie Show, Channel 4 has granted mass resource, live studio audience, multiple cameras, pre-shot sketches, music segments and huge guest names.

So it’s no surprise then that The Big Narstie Show is reaching a wider audience than Channel 4 typically does on Fridays from 11pm; the first three episodes more than doubled the slot average for young audiences aged 16 – 24 (+71%). The series is also appealing to diverse audiences; the same three shows attracted more than three times Channel 4’s average share of BAME viewers and three times the average share of black viewers.

The Big Narstie show was risky. Some parts worked, others were weaker, but it’s refreshing to see that Channel 4 is bold and unafraid to take risks with talent. I attended one live recording and couldn’t believe my eyes at the hundreds of young, inner city, trendy BAME kids queuing for hours outside, to get in to be a part of the TV audience.

The talent lineup has been the likes of which we’ve never seen juxtaposed together before too. Usually commissioners and producers think “it’s a young, black show so it’s all young and black talent with no cross over with the mainstream.
The show recording I attended, had from the legendary Channel 4 series Friends’ – David Schwimmer – who played Ross, sitting on a very cramped sofa between the UK’s biggest hip hop star – south Londoner Giggs – and music star Birmingham’s Lady Leshurr, Greek actor Jamie Demetriou and Big Narsties co-host Mo the Comedian.
There it was. True diversity in every sense. Hollywood meets London’s hood. California dreaming next to Peckham streets, Birmingham accents, music, movies, bizarre banter and do you know what, whilst we were all initially perplexed at how this was going to work, it did!

I started watching the live record in awe as David Schwimer sat there being schooled on how to speak UK street slang thinking ‘’There’s a Hollywood agent in the backstage dressing room right now freakin the f out!’’. Bless David – the only white person on the whole show – for gamely smiling through every UK reference he didn’t understand, talking about how he nearly died twice on plane journeys and his past jobs, whilst Giggs talked about youth violence and encouraged the mainstream media not to demonize his community. I also smiled when I saw David Schwimmer demand the crew get Giggs a tissue to wipe the sweat after his music set. Surreal but brilliant. By the end of the show, I was inspired by the show producers ingenious audacity.

This whole series has had hip-hop kids alongside Hollywood stars – how empowering! British chat show legends like Jonathan Ross and Canadian/Irish comedian Katherine Ryan with YouTube star KSI (One of the biggest YouTube stars on the planet and finally on mainstream telly) and music star Stef London! What could be stronger for cross-pollination and fertilization for today’s young Britain? Watching the brilliant Jonathan Ross and Katherine Ryan, and Love island voiceover narrator Ian Sterling rapping was magic. All of them free-styling with Big Narstie and Mo was absolute perfect TV and showed it’s not just inner city kids that love Hip Hop culture. No other chat show on TV has ever felt like this and it’s representative of the UK pop culture in 2018.

Yes, Big Narstie needs some media training – he never let’s anyone finish their sentences. But it worked in an awkward car crash way. Who would’ve ever put David Schwimmer and Giggs on the same sofa next to each other? Of course it would be Channel 4 – they’ve been unapologetically pushing boundaries and making provocative TV, since before I was a host on their nineties legendary TV youth culture series The Word.

In the 90’s every week the public and media would be talking and outraged about The Word. The Big Narstie show has the same contentious vibe. Parents won’t approve. They’re not meant to. Football may not have come home to British TV but young people are. TV bosses wrung their hands in angst and said the kids had left…they hadn’t. They just need the right content and some balls.

Jasmine’s Juice – #GarageClassical show at Barbican – DJ Spoony curates a Ground-breaking night for UK Garage.

On Saturday evening at the world famous Barbican Centre in London, UK garage music pioneer and the Dreem Team’s DJ Spoony hosted and curated a line up of classical garage artists with their biggest hits for a trip down memory lane.

ELIZABETH TROY – PERFORMS SINCERE AT GARAGE CLASSICAL
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN.

But this wasn’t just another regular night of DJ’s spinning tunes, this was the biggest UK garage hits ever performed by The Ignition classical Orchestra. The result was a beautiful aural and visual medley of hits by the best line-up of UK garage names in existence!

It’s not the first of its kind. Not too long ago jungle godfather Goldie did a similar tour with The Heritage Orchestra at The Royal Festival Hall.
In between each performance DJ Spoony came on to speak about and introduce the next act, remind us of the garage days, clubs, promoters and was a very able charismatic Master of Ceremonies.


DJ SPOONY JUMPS ON AND PERFORMS WITH CLIFFORD AT GARAGE CLASSICAL.
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN.

The collaboration between DJ Spoony and the Ignition Orchestra (conducted by Katie Chatburn) celebrated the UK Garage scene of the Nineties and it’s huge anthems. The tracks that are so catchy and of that era that any nineties kid in a coma would likely wake and sing-along if played these anthem ear-worms.


DJ SPOONY WAS OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES AT GARAGE CLASSICAL.
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN.

Spoony curated a set list that resonated hugely with the Nineties audience in attendance and the songs and melodies transported the crowd back to those heady days of champagne, designer clothes, sexy dancing, much flirting and the good life before it’s annoyed lil brother grime came along.

The garage scene was always a shop window for a very sexy, flashy, cool crowd. Pretty people with good bodies, ultra fashionable clothes – usually designer- sipping champagne in their vertiginous heels and fitted garms.

The night reminded us of the days we used to rave at clubs like Twice As Nice in London, but it wasn’t just a London thing – the UK garage sound was nationwide in places like Birmingham, Swansea and Leeds with their own respective huge UK garage nights.

Showing just how far the underground garage genre has come, here we all were over a decade later, all grown up, engaging with UKG in a venue used to mainly classical sounds, but the crowd hadn’t changed one bit from their flossy posse heyday and turned out in their super cool swag for #GarageClassical.

The set list was fire from start to finish.

THINK ABOUT ME
SINCERE Elizabeth Troy
CALL IT FATE – Ritchie Dan
SUNSHINE – Mya Louise
MY DESIRE Asa
DO YOU REALLY LIKE IT – Pied Piper, DT Melody N Sharky, Unknown MC
MASTERBLASTER2000 Thomas Jules, MC Neat
BATTLE Thomas Jules
MY LOVE Kele Le Roc
THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE Kele Le Roc
LITTLE BIT OF LUCK MC Neat
GABRIEL Lifford

Interval

21SECONDS So Solid Crew
LIFE RIDE MC Creed, Rose Windross
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Elizabeth Troy
CRAZY LOVE Elizabeth Troy
GOOD RHYMES Creed, PSG , Unknown, Valerie M
BODY GROOVE Na-Na
MOVIN TOO FAST Grettel Killing
FLY BI MC Kie, Statix
PLEASE DONT TURN ME ON – Lifford Shillingford
BACK UP BACK UP
FLOWERS LeeAnn
DAYS LIKE THIS Lifford.

Look at that set list though! The crowd were on their feet from the first song and never sat down. The acts were all- without exception – brilliant and put on a strong performance.


PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN

Elizabeth Troy looked stunning and sounded as fresh as the original days. Lifford has gone through his struggles vocally in public in recent years but tonight he looked and sounded like a man on top of the world. Watching Kele Le Roc it was a pity this woman was never bigger publicly. What a voice and performer. Totally ahead of her time.


SO SOLID CREW TORE THE HOUSE DOWN AT GARAGE CLASSICAL.
PIC COURTESY JOE MAGOWAN

So Solid Crew might all be nearly 40 but they had more energy onstage than most twenty year old’s I watch today. Special mention to MC Harvey who was on fire! Leaping around the stage like a sprinter with springs on his feet, he whipped off this white sweatshirt to showcase his still strong six-pack abs, and then proceeded to swing the sweatshirt manically around like a windmill, as he bounced repeatedly whilst rapping, to the audiences delight!
It was a full-on rave in the Barbican. Priceless!

There’s an audience of 40 year olds for this show to go on the road and tour around the country – a very diverse mixed group, who can’t get enough of this vibe!
The classicial orchestra and it’s serene strings, sexy trumpets, sax and powerful vocalists met this audiences expectations and more. Many of the crowd were requesting an album and tour.

JASMINE WITH GLYN AIKINS – CO-PRESIDENT OF NEW SONY MUSIC LABEL SINCE’93.

Spoony, his manager Cian, the Ignition Orchestra and all involved must bring this brand of a show out again. (I heard a rumour that they may do it again at Hammersmith Apollo on December 14th) It was a magical night that started on a high and stayed at that pace for a solid two hours! Salute!


JASMINE AND HER GIRLS JAY DAVIDSON (BBC) AND COOKIE PRYCE (THE ORCHARD) HAD FUN!

JASMINE’S JUICE – IN CONVERSATION WITH MULTI-TALENTED MICHAEL DAPAAH

Hear BIG SHAQ creator,actor,comedian @MichaelDapaah in his extended interview with me and Channel 4 News speak on:

-his relationship with God
-shining a light on positivity
-honouring his good friend Nathan
-politicians targeting drill music
-Kanye West
– African culture
-Being Ghanaian
-whether british black talent in the past or present have it easier to break through to the mainstream
-Big Shaqs new song!

JASMINE’S JUICE FEATURING MICHAEL DAPAAH AKA BIG SHAQ!

Last year all around me at parties, weddings and live music gigs an extraordinary thing would happen. In the midst of a fun night, the DJ would drop one particular song and the crowd would behave in a wild frenzy like i’d not seen for a very long time.


JASMINE AND MICHAEL DAPAAH PLAYING IN THE PARK IN CROYDON, SOUTH LONDON.

My God children were hyperventilating as they sang alongside every word and their friends were bouncing with more energy and glee than ever.

After doing some research i saw that the track ”Man’s Not Hot” by a spoof character called Big Shaq, was the cause of their mirth.

Digging deeper i found that South London- Croydon- lad Michael Dapaah was the genius behind a comedy mockumentary titled #SWIL- SOMEWHERE IN LONDON- a series following around 6 characters- all played by himself, and their journeys to try and make a success if themselves. It’s bloody hilarious and very clever and the views are in the thousands!

One of these comedy characters is a young man called Big Shaq and after an impromptu FIRE IN THE BOOTH session with my homie Charlie Sloth on BBC RADIO1, Big Shaqs freestyle went viral.

Today that track is clocking around an extra million views EACH DAY and last i looked was sitting at 260, million views and counting.

I met up with the multi talented writer, actor, producer and rapper at his old childhood estate where he grew up, for a chat for Channel 4 News.

Watch here….enjoy!
JASMINE MEETS MICHAEL DAPAAH!

JASMINE’S JUICE – KENDRICK LEMAR’S PULITZER PRIZE WIN!


JASMINE TALKS KENDRICK PULITZER PRIZE WIN ON SKY NEWS!

Me on @SkyNews yesterday telling the globe about @kendricklamar winning the @PulitzerPrizes
This is my “oh honey! Let me tell u about hip hop ruling the world!” Look!
SKY’s @skystephen actually did the
#WakandaForever Cross arms! YAS Steven!

Showing how far the world’s moved on (albeit slowly), around 25yrs ago a young black man from the same area and similar marginalised background as @kendricklamar , called @SnoopDogg and his peers NWA, were demonised by the @FBI
Now hip hop is winning a @PulitzerPrizes !

Also @kendricklamar winning the @PulitzerPrizes shows that political art is more important than ever.
In an era of @realDonaldTrump and Brexit, KL’s win says a lot about old skool creative industry gatekeepers being more inclusive/open to change.

In an era where much Rap music can be aspirational yet materialistic, @kendricklamar anthems for this generation are an authentic,dynamic, unapologetically black and revolutionary portrayal of modern african-american life.
In a sea of millions of acts KL stands out!

So now @kendricklamar has a @PulitzerPrizes to go w/ the 5 @GRAMMYAwards he won in January.
He doesn’t need the 15thousand dollar prize money, but alongside @Beyonce ruling @coachella , @theblackpanther overtaking Titanic, he’s shown Black History is not a month- it’s daily 24/7!

*mic drop*

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Jasmine’s Juice – The Defiant Ones Premiere – Brixton Ritzy!


DR DRE, HIS WIFE NICOLE, HIS DAUGHTER TRULY, JIMMY IOVINE, HIS PARTNER LIBERTY AND MORE ATTENDED THE NETFLIX PREMIERE FOR THE DEFIANT ONES AT BRIXTON RITZY.


JASMINE AT THE BRIXTON RITZY.


WILL I AM (BEP), ORITSE (FORMALLY JLS) AND JASMINE AT THE DEFIANT ONES PREMIERE AT BRIXTON RITZY.

I first met Dre Dre in Beverley Hills when he invited me and MTV into his studio. The golden lab of beats. The place where the magic happens. He talked through his musical journey thus far and revealed much of his inside workings at his west coast base.

JASMINE AND DR DRE IN BEVERLEY HILLS IN THE EARLY 2000’S.

However It was around 15 years ago that I last saw Dr Dre in London, specifically Brixton.
He was introducing us to his new artist Eminem and a small group of specially invited media peeps were invited to a boxing gym in the heart of Brixton where both Dre and Em were in the ring doing a brief Q&A.

JASMINE WITH AKALA AT THE DEFIANT ONES PREMIERE – BRIXTON RITZY.

I had already done an in-depth interview with both at MTV that week but the Brixton moment was exciting.

Dre had been off the scene for a longtime and his excitement with his new signing – this white kid – that there was much controversy around at the time, was infectious!

BEATS RADIO HOST JULIE ADENUGA HOSTS THE DEFIANT ONES ONES PREMIERE AT BRIXTON RITZY.

Last week Dre returned with his new artistic baby. A doc movie documenting both his and his long-term business partner Jimmy Iovines lives.

DIRECTOR ALLEN HUGHES – WHO MADE ‘MENACE TO SOCIETY – AND DIRECTED THE DEFIANT ONES WAS PART OF A Q&A SESSION WITH JIMMY AND DRE.

Their start on the East and West coasts of America, their challenging early years and their final coming together to build an amazing brand with BEATS headphones and the incredible music deal that made hip hop its first billionaire.

The movie showed both mens early years and experiences growing up with their family historys and backgrounds.

For the first time ever Dre’s mum and Dre mentioned their family tragedy with Dre’s younger brother Tyree being killed at home, whilst Dre was first successful and off away touring.
Jimmy’s story included his own tragedy with his dad passing away when he was young but also his early acts speaking.Names like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Patti Smith and more.

The doc shows brilliant never before seen footage of Dre’s early start before NWA when he was in the World Class Wreckin Cru, which even though you can tell Dre is embarrassed about, he acknowledges it was a part of his story and now with age and maturity can look back and laugh.

The movie narrates us through the Doc’s car accident, Dre’s solo escape from record label to record label, Eazy E’s death with Dre reflecting retrospectively on all the past events. Most surprising is seeing both he and Dee Barnes – separately – recalling the infamous incident where Dre gave her a beat down.

The Defiant Ones see’s an apologetic Dre, a man matured. His reminiscing about his early relationship with the love of his life – Nicole – and their young early love. Dre says about Nicole “I’m the kite and she’s the rock”.

We are of course shown the infamous The source Awards where the East VS west coast beef escalate when Suge Knight said ”if you don’t wanna see your record label head all up in your video, dancing etc come to Death Row” and the subsequent murders of both Tupac and Biggie.

There is commentary from all the key players, music acts and label Heads. Legendary luminaries like Doug Morris, Nas, Gwen Stefani and snoop Dogg.

All interviews are set in classy locations showing how far they’ve all come. Opulent furniture is a feature in itself. Artwork on the walls shows the privileged life they all lead now. None of their early experiences showing the grime of the hood is seen.

The Eminem section is strong. Dre and Em. Two struggling acts found each other. Dre didn’t expect the racism. There are lots of UK moments. A huge Wembley gig for the Up in smoke tour. The infamous Brixton Dre event pre Brixton gig. Even a Top Of The Pops segment.

Amazing Access All Areas footage from the Liberty Ross Jimmy Iovine wedding. The doc see’s some very personal footage and moments shared with the viewer.
(Jimmy is so big names like Oprah and Puffy and all his previous musical acts are seen at his wedding).

It’s empowering and touching to see all Jimmy and Dre’s Philanthropic work at local schools and communities. Compton high school benefits. Colleges started in his name. Their money changing their previous communities.

It’s a great documentation by Allen Hughes. The men’s TV story is remixed like a hip hop music video. With picture scratches and layers. Jimmy & Dre in pictures and words is as powerful as their musical legacies.


THE AFTERPARTY WAS AT BRIXTONS ‘DEPARTMENT STORE’, A VERY GRAND BAR AND RESTAURANT SET UP WHERE DRE HOSTED A DINNER FOR HIS NEAREST AND DEAREST. DIRECTOR ALLEN HUGHES WAS FULL OF PASSION AND HAPPY TO WELCOME AND SPEAK TO ALL.

Netflix never dissapoint and their red carpet roll-out in South London was big.

AS WITH ALL NETFLIX AFTER PARTIES, THERE WAS UNLIMITED FOOD AND DRINKS AT THE DEPARTMENT STORE. MINI BURGERS, FISH & CHIPS, CHEESE BALLS, TUNA TARTAR SPOONS, COCKTAILS, CHAMPAGNE, AND A DJ THAT HAD THE DANCE FLOOR JUMPING TO NINETIES HITS ALL NIGHT LONG.

Seeing names like Black Eyed Peas lead man WILL IAM, model Neelam Gill, Musician Laura Mvula, Musician Oritse (formerly JLS) and more the turnout to see these two musical legends was immense.

Catch THE DEFIANT ONES on NETFLIX on March 23TH.

Jasmine’s Juice – A Luxurious Week Of Absolute Fabulosity At St Regis – Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi!


JUST HANGING AT ST REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND.

It was February. January had been long and drawn out. I had managed to make January fabulous by dragging out all my birthday celebrations but now it was Feb, it was still grey, wet and cold and we badly needed some winter sun.

AT THE OUTDOOR POOL AREA AT ST REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND.

I scoured the internet for weeks searching for a hot-spot in Feb. The canaries were too cool temperature-wise, Asia was too far away, America in the age of Trump wasn’t bearable. Someone suggested Dubai, then they said Abu Dhabi was more sophisticated so after researching long and heard I came to choose the uber opulent ST REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND for its stunning hotel grounds.

I am a fussy traveller and require a pool, beach, spa and fabulosity and the St Regis provided all that and more.


THIS IS THE MAGIC BUTTON THAT YOU PRESS AT THE POOL FOR A WAITER TO CATER TO YOUR EVERY WHIM!

It was an amazing week and delivered above and beyond my expectations. We had booked a superior room via Kenwood Travel in the UK …(much cheaper and as efficient than all the usual holiday package bookers that i have used in the past!)…and were aware a superior room is the lowest ranking at the hotel, but on arrival found to our delight that it was huge, palatial and classy. From the moment we arrived, until we left everything was perfect!

PRESSING THE MAGIC BUTTON MAKES THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN…FRESH FRUIT BY THE POOL WHILST CHILLING!

The garden view room was stunning and classically decorated with two separate sink and toilet facilities with a gorgeous rain shower wet room and tea/coffee making facilities.

We chose not to have a sea view too this time as we barely spent any time during the day in the room as the pool/beach were so delightful.

JUST ME ON A COMFY CHAIR ON THE BEACH IN ABU DHABI.

The three butlers assigned to us were a total surprise…..yet attentive and helpful and genuinely seemed keen to make our stay comfortable with nothing being too much trouble. They brought twenty extra hangers immediately and took our clothing to be pressed daily- complimentary!


DAILY FRESH ORIGAMI TOWEL ANIMALS IN OUR SUITE!

There was more than enough fresh bottled ST REGIS branded water provided daily as well as a lovely lot of flowers, chocolates and even origami towels in shapes of love hearts and animals. A lovely way of showing attention to detail which made us smile daily.

THE CLASSY PIANIST IN THE LOBBY PLAYING BEAUTIFUL MUSIC EVERY EVENING…FROM BRAHMS TO BRUNO MARRS , SHE HAD IT ALL!

The hotel was stunning both outside and in. The dramatic entrance with palm trees and fire flames, the shiny marble lobby with stunning flower arrangements and evening pianist were all classy touches.

The hotel grounds are beautifully kept, secure, clean and as pretty as a picture. There is a photo instagram shot around every corner!

The food buffet was the most impressive. I was concerned after reading reviews but the variety and standard of fresh food dishes from across the world were breath taking and every morning at breakfast and at night for dinner the variety and choices were more than enough.

ONE OF OUR BUTLERS- LI!

There is a huge selection of salads, fish, chicken, meat and vegetarian option dishes as well as a fresh dessert counter with the most beautifully presented sweets and fresh pancakes and waffles with the ever dangerous chocolate fountain!

One day they even had a fresh honeycomb dripping honey into our breakfast bowls. The chefs were all super attentive and glad to make off-menu requests too. Truly sensational service!


The pool staff were so professional and very helpful.

Whilst we were staying, an elder lady with a prosthetic leg was helped daily in and out of the pool by the kind life guards, the waIters delivered fresh water, menu’s, drinks and fresh fruit and cold flannels each afternoon too.

The 4/5 pools were a lovely touch. Having the option to choose on the calm, quiet, shady adult pool or the more fun, active children’s pool overlooking the ocean was lovely. The adult pool area has it’s own cafe, loungers, lap pool and sunbeds IN THE WATER!

VIEW FROM A PRIVATE LOUNGER BY THE ADULT POOL.

Each pool cascading into each other looked dazzling! The beach facilities were impressive. Personal cabana’s, hammocks and numerous sun loungers to choose from and the most stunning white pebble-free beach! Heaven!

The food delivery on the beach was speedy and delicious too and the beach staff couldn’t do enough to help with umbrellas, drinks, golf buggies and more.

ONE EDGE OF THE ADULT POOL WHERE SUN BEDS ARE IN THE WATER! BLISS!

Honestly I have stayed at many hotels globally- all proclaiming to be 5-star- even at St Regis in Aspen and New York, and this was by far the best service. No sniffy, haughty, judgemental attitude, but all smiles and genuine warmth by every single staff member.

FLOATING RESTAURANT BY THE POOL.

I also had an incredible Royal Thai massage experience in the open-air cabana on the beach which is something dreams are made of.

KOY DOES A GREAT JOB MASSAGING, PULLING, KNEADING AND SOOTHING.

Koy the therapist from the IRIDIUM SPA was attentive, patient and the deep stretch massage was magical.

HOT TUB IN THE IRIDIUM SPA AT THE ST REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND.

I have been raving about my trip to all my friends and I WILL BE BACK with the ST REGIS on SAADIYAT ISLAND again for more very soon!


PRIVATE BEACH ST REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND.

Jasmine’s Juice – Black Panther -The Box Office Numbers Are In! – & The European Premiere.


BRITISH TALENT LIKE ACTOR JOHN BOYEGA AND MUSIC STAR STORMZY TURNED OUT IN FULL FORCE FOR THE BLACK PANTHER PREMIERE AT HAMMERSMITH APOLLO.

Black Panther – the European Premiere was as amazing as we expected it to be.

Hammersmith Apollo was transformed into a sea of excited guests gagging to see the film and celebrate it’s cast and vision.


KREPT & KONAN, EMELIE SANDE, NAUGHTY BOY, MARIAH WILDE AND JASMINE AT THE BLACK PANTHER PREMEIRE.

VIP guests from the world of film, TV, politics, sport and more turned out in their WAKANDA themed African celebration outfits.


BLACK EYED PEAS JOINED THE CELEBRATIONS.

The exterior red carpet was heaving as the paparazzi grabbed shots of the splendour and although the evening was freezing, the positive energy and pride kept the VIP crowd warm.


BLACK EYED PEAS POWER.

Music artists were in full effect. I caught up with Naughty Boy, Krept & Konan, Emeli Sande, Black Eyed Pease, Shakka, Stormzy, Nadia Rose and many more. Actors John Boyega, Chucky Venn and so many more were in the house celebrating joyously.


MUSICIAN SHAKKA AND JASMINE.

This is already a ground-breaking, watershed moment for black led creative content in the media world.
For many years my former bosses would justify not using black/ BAME leads as they would cite that it didn’t bring in audiences and rate well.

The numbers are in and Black Panther is a monster hit. More than that, it has already earned a place in the box office history books in just its first three-to-four days of release.

In the UK, Disney will be delighted with the result so far: £10.48m over the three days, and £17.7m including previews on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, taking advantage of the half-term school holiday. That number is bigger than the entire UK run for previous Marvel titles Ant-Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man.

Including previews, Black Panther has achieved the second-biggest UK opening for a Marvel title, after The Avengers: Age of Ultron (£18.1m). However, going strictly by three-day weekend numbers, the film also fell short of debuts for the likes of Marvel Avengers Assemble, Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3. Overall, Black Panther delivered $169m in non-US markets, which makes for a global debut of $404m. Russia, Japan and China have yet to open.

In the USA the movie earned a $201.8 million Fri-Sun weekend and will earn an estimated $235m over the Fri-Mon holiday.

BLACK PANTHER HAD;
Biggest February opening weekend:
Biggest non-sequel opening weekend:
Biggest solo superhero launch of all time:
Biggest Fri-Sun opening weekend for a long holiday debut:
Biggest long holiday opening weekend:
Biggest opening weekend ever for any movie not directed by a white guy:
Biggest-grossing movie (in North America) directed by a black filmmaker:

In the States, Black Panther” has demolished the record for the largest President’s Day weekend, blowing past “Deadpool’s” 2016 mark of $152 million. Overall North American moviegoing for the four-day period should hit an eye-popping $340 million — far above the $278 million mark in 2016,

There are going to be plenty more milestones over the next two weeks. Well who’s laughing now?


OUR VERY OWN BLACK PANTHER – STORMZY!

The talent which we seeded years ago is now able to- with the support of modern day tech like the internet- make their own content, spread the global word digitally and play by their own new rules.


DIANE HENRY, DAWN BUTLER MP, MOBO AWARDS FOUNDER KANYA KING, JASMINE AND MARIAH WILDE.

Everything about the BLACK PANTHER film release was different and refreshing. New faces, pride in ethnicity, futuristic yet traditional. The writers, casting directors and costume designers had really done research to respectfully showcase the African diaspora and the origins in a healthy, proud way.
There were huge numbers at cinemas across the world with people dressing in dashiki’s and traditional wear.

I myself begged London fashion designer Mary Martin to wear her AFRICAN QUEEN design which she had showcased at LONDON FASHION WEEK just a couple of months ago from the AFRICAN QUENS collection.

JASMINE WEARS MARY MARTIN’S AFRICAN QUEEN DESIGN.

As they say, what a time to be alive!

#WakandaForever.

Jasmine’s Juice – #GrammysSoMale 2018

So much was made about the 60th Grammy Awards being different!

Everyone was excited about the changes.

The biggest music show on the planet- there is no greater show in music- where musics past, present and future legacy artists gather under one roof to celebrate their achievements over the past twelve months.

The location was changed from L.A Staple Centre to New Yorks Madison Square Gardens.

All attendees would be wearing a white rose to stand in solidarity with the #metoo and #timesup movements against sexual harassment against women in music and life

There were more BMAE nominees than ever, in fact, the top 9 nominees were non-white!

In the past The Grammys had snubbed numerous black and rap artists, but this year-their biggest award category for best album showed 4/5 nominees were black men!

All the songs that are usually played on a guitar- rock/country- were notable by their absence

In the past the pop categories were mega important but this year they suggested that as Ed Sheeran was only nominated for two ”lesser awards” he hadn’t done as well?

The Brits were not flavour of the year. in the past both Sam Smith and Adele had swept the board but this year only very few British names made the cut.

Operating politically was a good look for the awards in these modern times. the show has struggled to stay relevant for years. it was becoming beyond embarrassing.

Names like David Bowie, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix never received a Grammy whilst they were alive, so what do the Grammys really know?

—–
WHITE ROSES

There will always be people who complain that an arts show isn’t the right place to talk politics but i think supporting music acts and allowing them to make statements is really healthy for young fans to watch and engage with.

White roses have historically represented hope, peace, solidarity, sympathy and resistance but florists all over NYC struggled to source enough for the show.

The irony is that eve though all eyes were on the white rose element this year, the nominations and winners were dominated by men.

It’s interesting that the tsunami of women in music all coming out to tell their own personal stories is growing. Hopefully these movements will help women find a voice and solidarity moving forwards.

——-
JAY Z TAKES AN L

Even though a huge deal was made about legend Jay Z receiving the most nominations, none of us were surprised that he didn’t win even one. This music chapter in his life isn’t his strongest.

Bruno Marrs and Kendrick Lemar walked away with 6 and 5 respectively, both well deserved.

WOMEN TAKE AN L

Ironically even though most tweeted about celebs from the night were women. 9/10 were female- out of 84 categories only 11 solo women won awards. 6 further women won as a part of a duo or group. Pathetic.

POLITICS REIGNS

It was great to see so many political moments during the show.

Kesha performed PRAYER- about her own experiences with sexual harassment.

Kendrick performed a great show opener full of political statements and Dave Chapelle adding his take on being an honest black man in America.

Rapper Logic speech acknowledged ethnicity, gender, equality and immigration.

Janelle Monae made an empowering speech about the #MeToo movement.

Camila Cabello highlighted the American Dream.

U2 referenced Trumps African countries comments.

Rihanna even incorporated South African dance moves in her set.

Hilary Clinton and other read from the now infamous FIRE&FURY book.

Lordes dress had a feminist icons poem sewn into the back (would’ve been better up front girl!)

There was an overall feeling of unity and speaking up.

Lets hope this movement gets stronger and more powerful.
There’s no room for fear, bigotry and bullying in 2018.

Jasmine’s Juice – The SSE Live Awards (I voted for MTV EMA!)

Happy New Year everyone!
What a great year for music 2017 was for London!


LONDON MAYOR SADIQ KHAN WAS DOWN AT THE MTV EMA AWARDS AT WEMBLEY ARENA.

My favourite event, if I had to choose just one…and there were so many from the grime festivals and so many more twos year, were the MTV EMA AWARDS 2017 at Wembley SSE Arena on November 12th.

At the world famous Wembley Arena and hosted by West London’s very own Rita Ora, it featured more acts than i have seen in one night all year!

With performances by Stormzy, Camila Cabello, Eminem, David Guetta, The Killers, Travis Scott, Rita Ora, Liam Payne, U2, French Montana, Clean Bandit, Zara Larsan, Kesha, Demi Lavato and Shawn Mendes!

It was a huge night for our capital, and my favourite stand out moments were Camila Cabello and our very own Stormzy.

CAMILA ON THE MTV EMA STAGE AT WEMBLEY ARENA!

Camila has had an incredible year, breaking recent records with her debut album- Number one in nearly 90 countries and her MTV EMA set and performance was one of my favourites of all time! Stunning detail in every moment,it was like watching an old Hollywood Busby Barclay musical!


STORMY DOWN WITH THE MET AT MTV EMA.

Stormzy’s set saw him enter stage via a MET Police car which he rode, straddles, leapt off and basically claimed as a big, unique moment certainly giving grime music an international jump off!


I HELPED DRAG RITA ORA OUT OF HER CRIB AND WE JUMPED ON THE LONDON UNDERGROUND TO MAKE SURE SHE GOT TO THE MTV EMA IN TIME!

I don’t want the memories from that night to end so I have just voted for MTV EMA to win the The SSE Live Awards which is now in its third year!

Basically, the event / act who receives the most votes from their fans at each of the SSE venues will be announced as the SSE Live Awards winners in February 2018.

Voters not only get to help their favourite acts win the prestigious trophies, but also have the chance to win tickets to the event of their choice taking place at the SSE venue of their choice later this year!Maybe you will chill in a star’s dressing room like this one;

Over three million public votes received last year across the three legendary venues and last years’ winner for The SSE Arena, Wembley was Matt Goss…I know that we can do better than that right? LOL

Voting is now open until the 31st January 2018, anyone can cast their vote, not just SSE customers.

Support your fave act or event here;
https://ssereward.com/sseliveawards/

So many of us complain when our favourite music stars don’t get recognised so back you act! Remember every vote counts!
PROMOTE THE VOTE! (See, I can rap too!)

Maybe if MTV EMA win the award, I will share some of my big backstage memories of the night….. 😉


#SSELiveAwards