Jasmine’s Juice- Minister Matt Hancock and Musician P Money Talk Racist 696 Form.

This week I made a feature with our Channel 4 News team about the controversial 696 Form. You can watch the TV feature here;

The 696 form is a form invented by THE MET POLICE in the early noughties, after some violence at garage gigs in London.
Since then, its been used by police forces across the UK, and stopped many acts from performing to live audiences, thereby stopping career progression and young musicians making a decent living.

The form asks for ”genre” of music info, and only affects music that is performed with a DJ or MC and recorded backing track, usually impacting just grime, rap, hip hop, reggae and basement genres.

Artists like So Solid Crew and Giggs, amongst many others, have been affected over the years. Even incisive black festivals like AFROPUNK, where names like Nadia Rose was perfuming last week were made to fit in the form this year with a fear that it could have also been cancelled.

JASMINE WITH NADIA ROSE WHO PERFORMED AT AFROPUNK.

Now for the first time, an MP and Minister for the Arts has stepped in to try and scrap or reform the form.


JASMINE WITH MP/DCMS MINISTER MATT HANCOCK.

MP and MINISTER FOR THE DCMS – Matt Hancock – department of digital, culture, media and sport told me the following.

Why did you decide to write an open letter to sadiq khan about the 696 form?

I’ve been worried about 696 for some time but there’s a real problem for live music venues coming under pressure. The more and more evidence I got that this form is not just difficult to fill in, it stops people putting on live music in the 1st place, before they come to fill it in. so there’s evidence that it’s a barrier. It stops people putting live music on…I love live music. I think grime scene is brilliant and I want to do everything I can to support it and I think ending 696 is part of answer.

What’s your main concern around the form, the impact on our economy or is it stifling young talent?

I think it’s both and the two increasingly come together. The eco depends on our creative industries and music is one of our best industries. It’s an amazing export and sells around the world. Also for young people their way into the world of work so it’s not either or. ending form 696 would help our economy but more importantly it would make sure that London would be more vibrant.

Do you think your involvement can change anything; with respect, do you have the power to change anything?

We don’t have power to end 696 – the mayor of London does so I’ve written to mayor of London to request that he ends this form . He’s got power to do it, it’s in his hands and I hope that he takes the action that’s necessary.

For many people they think the form is racist- do you think its racist?

Well the form definitely puts off people from black and min ethnic backgrounds from putting on music and I know that it has that impact and when u talk to ppl it’s mostly people from black and min ethnic backgrounds who are concerned about the form, and who tell me that they haven’t put things on ’cause they didn’t want to fill the form in. and I think that making sure that everybody has the chance, to put on their music and support live music from every community, is a really important part of Britain and making sure we have best diversity we have.

So you do think its racist?

What I would say is that it does disproportionately affects people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

The reality is that British black artists tell us that when they perform at festivals with mostly a white audience they don’t have to fill this form in, but if its to a black audience, they do. So clearly there’s a race agenda?

There’s no doubt that grime is disproportionately made by people from minority backgrounds and I’m not going to get into the use of the more extreme language around this, but I do understand where people are coming from and what I’d say it has a disproportionate impact on people from minority backgrounds.

If you were in power would you scrap the form completely or what would you do to change it?

I think mayor has responsibility to of course look after policing in capital but also to make sure that policing is fair to everybody so yes I think he should end this form.

Have you spoken to The Met about this yourself?

I’ve seen the response from the Met and frankly I don’t think that it justifies the blockage that’s in place because of this form.

Finally, Mayor Sadiq Khan did respond to your letter saying to let the MET Police do their job, but ultimately this isn’t just a London issue is it, with police forces all over the country having their own version of the form, it’s a nationwide issue therefore deserves a government response?

I’ve been very disappointed by the Mayor of London’s response and I’m writing him again, and it may be true in some other cities there is a similar problem, we’ve got to look for the evidence. I think that the evidence in London is clear and that’s where action needs to be taken.

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Next I spoke to grime artist P Money who drove us around South London whilst telling us his own experience with the 696 form.
Here’s what he told us.


I’ve been in this game for 12 years and I’ve performed all other London, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Southampton even Scotland, Cardiff.
The vibe at my shows and festivals is quite a mixed vibe – you have so many people from diff places. Sometimes I get people from Wales come down to London. It’s like a strong following. I feel like I know them. Like long distance friends.

Personally I think the 696 has been set up to stop events, raves parties from ethnic backgrounds, because I haven’t witnessed it in any other type of music where it’s from black orientated sounds and the crowd as well. Grime started off like that, it’s changed now and I haven’t really witnessed what we go through in any other sort of genre or types of raves.
The proof that I got is when you try to put on a grime night it was told no. When you put on a night and you give it a different name it gets the go ahead.

To get away with putting a night on you have to not mention grime. Sometimes you have to mask a guest as a special guest and not actually say their name because of fears that they might not pass the 696 form. Sometimes we list a whole load of music, r & B, hip hop make it as if there’s a whole load of music being played to get the go ahead but we can’t actually say it’s just a grime night.

It makes me feel annoyed and kinda angry . If feel like we’re targeted, because it doesn’t happen in anything else, it only happens with us. So I feel like we’re targeted. Grime artists, fans, and supporters. It makes me feel like we’re casted out.

A lot of my peers and artists that I know have felt like it can be a race thing. Most of the artists are black, most of the fan base at first were black as well, when this was happening on a regular basis, so we do have reasons for why we feel like that.

Last year I was booked to do festival in Leeds, and I was told they’re pulling me and two other acts off the line up. They were DJ’s and they were pulling us off line up. They didn’t have any explanation. They refused to tell us why. They just said they’re pulling grime. I didn’t see any reason why. I have performed in Leeds a number of times. There was a whole load of acts at the festival but they only wanted to pull us off.
It almost makes you feel like a criminal. What have I done? Why is this being done to me? What have I done that’s so bad? Why am I being taken off the line up? This is my only way of earning money. I don’t have a 9-5 job. This is my job. You’re not giving me any explanation whatsoever. The festival organisers have no choice.

I always challenge these decisions. Even when they take me off the line up in Leeds. I demanded a reason. I speak to whoever is in charge. But still they don’t have to respond they abuse their power. What can u really say to police? They make you feel hopeless. The moment u raise your voice a bit, they paint you out to be a criminal that you’re doing something wrong when you’re just trying to get answers. And a lot of my other peers feel like that. We tweet about it. Not once will we ever get answers.

I’m always fearful of repercussions, because if they have power to stop you from doing a show and now you’re challenging them, there’s nothing stopping them from doing that at any show. They can paint you out to be against them. As if they’re their job is to protect people. If you’re against them they can stop all your shows. It’s scary knowing there’s someone out there with that power that can just do that.

It affects young people. This is the young music of today. Some people grew up with hip-hop. This is what young people listen to today. This is what keeps them occupied. It makes them feel good. We educate people. You’re affecting a lot of people. I’ve flown to Bosnia and have no problems performing there.

I can only see where the police are coming from if they say safety issue, if they have an advance warning that something is going to happen. Something can happen anywhere. You don’t know where something can happen. You are assuming something is going to happen at a grime festival. That’s wrong. It’s not about safety. It should be for everything then.
If you’re gonna give us the 696 form then you need to give it to everyone. Beyoncé should fill out a 696 form cos who’s to say there isn’t gonna be a fight at her concert? There are thousands of football hooligans – we don’t have grime hooligans.

When the minister wrote his letter to the Mayor it made me feel better. But we have got a long way to go. Even a minister can write a letter and be dismissed. Someone with more power than me is on our side but even he’s being dismissed.

If I could give a message to Sadiq Khan. I would say that he needs to come to our kind of festival. See what they are destroying. You’re going to turn people against you . You’re going to turn people against the police. People are looking for any excuse. You’re taking music away from people. I don’t understand since when did music hurt people. Don’t blame the music. If a fight happens it’s the people who are to blame not the musician. It’s not the musician teling people to fight. Sadiq needs to be in the mix and see what’s really going on.

If the form was scrapped. It would mean the world to me. It’s how I earn my money, how I pay my mortgage, how I look after my son. Everyone else doesn’t have the same worries.
It’s only a matter of time for someone who feels so strongly whether it’s a protest, whether it’s a riot. This is how these things happen because of miscommunication and misunderstanding. At the moment it feels like they’re not trying to understand us at all. The 696 form would be a massive progression to actually understanding and building something,. Between fans, festival goeer and met police who claim they’re only watching out for our safety.

When I perform at Reading and Leeds festival, I’m not asked to fill out a 696 form. If I perform at Oceania nightclub there’s no 696. If I perform in Croydon, where there’s black kids, it comes up automatically. That alone makes us think you’re targeting black people.

It affects us socially. You’re segregating us. You’re stopping black people having fun. You cancelled our rave. You’re against us. Music brings people together. Doesn’t matter what colour you are. it’s backwards to wanna stop that. When I’m onstage I see thousands of people singing together, why would you wanna stop that?

I think it’s crazy that festivals like afropunk are having to fill out a 696.
I highly doubt that Ed Sheeran has to do a 696 form.
They say it’s safety I just think the rules they apply to our events should be applied to every single event if it’s about safety.
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With enough of us all uniting to speak up about this and come to a fairer way of dealing with it nothing will change. Thank to Jonathan Badyal for his support in pushing through this issue with Government.

JASMINE WITH JONATHAN- A FRIEND TO POLITICIANS AND POP STARS.

Jasmine’s Juice – Wizkid performs ‘Sounds From The Other Side” at London Party.


Wizkid performs at his London listening party. PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

At London’s east end venue The Curtain, last night, hundreds of afrobeats fans gathered for a VIP listening party for the prince of the genre – Wizkid’s new album titled ‘Sounds From The Other Side”.


Disturbin London DJ – Siobhan Bell warmed up the crowd nicely, PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.

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BURNABOY JUMPS ONSTAGE TO PERFORM WITH WIZKID.PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian


PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.

Female and male fans were dressed to impress in glamorous outfits and sharp suits to Nigeria’s finest perform a few tracks froths album past, present and future.

PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsumian


”now i’m not saying Wizkid is performing just me but….hey Wiz can you see me behind your shades?”.
PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

Joining him onstage during the very hot, energetic set were the UK’s very own Skepta who Wiz stated ”without this man much wouldn’t have been possible, i thank him so much, he also mediated the get together with Drake so thank you my brother Skepta!”.

SKEPTA AND WIZKID PERFORM AT THE CURTAIN.PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

Also onstage and in the house were comedian and host Eddie Kadi whom Wiz acknowledged as well as DJ Semtex and DJ Abrantee who Wiz thanked for the support. He also thanked a missing Tim Westwood.


Capital FM’s DJ Abrantee. PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.


PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.


AFROBEATS CHAMPION/ DJ NEPTIZZLE.
PIC Courtesy Michael Tubi.

Henessey cocktails and jollof rice boxes – with chicken and veg options – as well as donuts were distributed so the crowd went home with satisfied stomachs, taste-buds, ears and hearts.

PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.


At the end of his set both the crowd and Wizkid were done!PIC COURTESY Paul Hampartsoumian.

Jasmine’s Juice- Naughty Boy Key-Note Speaker Music Publisher’s Association , Bugzy Malone Listening Party, First Access Entertainment Summer Party At Tramp.

July 4th is always a busy day for events. Aside from Independence Day it seems as though everyone decides this date is good for a function.

So this July 4th just one, I started at the Music Publishers Association to moderate this years keynote speech at their AGM. The key-note speaker this year was the unparalleled music genius Naughty Boy – Shahid Khan.


JASMINE MODERATES THE MPA AGM KEY NOTE SPEECH WITH NAUGHTY BOY. PICS COURTESY RICHARD PASCOE.

The 200 strong music publishing staff in the audience had a real treat as NB broke down his career from producer to artist, and then from artist to publishing label and then the future….

Naughty Boy, is an Ivor Novello and MOBO award winner, who has penned and produced tracks for the likes of Sam Smith and Emile Sandé, amongst many many others. He is described as a world-class songwriter/producer of the highest calibre.


STAFF FROM THE MUSIC PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION, DOWNTOWN MUSIC JASMINE, NAUGHTY BOY AND HIS MANAGER RIKI BLEU.PICS COURTESY RICHARD PASCOE.

The NB brand, has taken the music rulebook, and ripped it up, and done things every step of the way – as Sinatra said- his own way.
For those that aren’t familiar with his now legendary first big breaks, he dabbled with Bollywood songs, won £44.000 on Channel 4’s gameshow Deal or no deal, won £5000 via the Princes Trust, set up a studio shed in his parents back garden, met a girl called Emeli Sande, produced Bashy’s Black Boys hit, made ‘Diamond Rings’ with Chipmunk/and the rest is history.


NB AND JASMINE BACKSTAGE PRE-INTERVIEW WHERE HE GIFTS HER A GLASS SLIPPER!….FULL OF..ARMENIAN BRANDY!..PICS COURTESY RICHARD PASCOE

His artistic success as a song-writer has been phenomenal with the likes of Beyoncé and Simon Cowell picking the phone to him and he was also one of the last people to work with George Michael.

As if thats not all impressive enough, he’s also collaborated with artists such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Leona Lewis, Wiz Khalifa, JLS, Cheryl Cole, Jennifer Hudson, Gabrielle, Jess Glynne, Professor Green, and Tinie Tempah.

These huge names from across the globe are calling him, fundamentally due to his songwriting and producing skills. During the interview he revealed how he and his song-writing teams work together, support each others careers, how he safeguards and promotes the interests of the writers signed to his label and how the way he works has changed as a result of that journey.

He’s what we call a modem day digital disrupter. As well as moulding his own career, he’s successfully discovered and nurtured artists with sustainable careers during turbulent times in our industry, and continues to identify the creators and artists of the future.

He has his own publishing company –NAUGHTY WORDS- and has learnt much around publishing via older mentors in the game.

A music publisher is responsible, for ensuring the songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. They also secure commissions for music, and promote existing compositions to recording artists, film and television. NB shared what his biggest and worst publishing experiences have been to date.

Earlier this year he signed a worldwide deal with Downtown Music Publishing, and also established a joint venture with his publishing company, Naughty Words.

The Internet killed the music industry for a while – then a few years later squished it up and re-birthed it….with things like crowdfunded platforms to make music, and to sell it…look at the grime scene…NB revealed excitedly that the internet has certainly been his friend.

We’re in a new Internet age – music Spikes don’t come from just old skool traditional methods. This whole area is a new highway, NB discussed new ways of highlighting and bringing attention to his artists songs.

Last week a new BPI report GENERATION Z-MEET THE YOUNG MILENIALS, showed that young people are happy to pay for music…which will come as a relief to spotify!

We finished the interview with future looking fun where NB confessed he has music sound tracks for films as well as a Naughty Burger chain coming soon. ”it will be the unhealthiest burger that ever existed”. Thats naughty.

With NB’S obsession with cats- big and small- he has a gorgeous ginger cat called Barry who lives and engages with music stars in his studio and who is chauffeured on occasion for a blueberry facial at Harrods. The good life!

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MANCHESTER ACT BUGZY MALONE SPEAKS TO KISSFM’S RUDE KID.

Then we all bundled into the car to head to Covent Gardens Relentless Studios to hear Manchester’s grime star Bugzy Malone talk us through tracks from his new album. KISSFM DJ Rude Kid moderated a chat where Bugzy told the crowd about the working conditions around his new album KING OF THE NORTH and also played us his new video for BRUCE WAYNE.

BUGZY MALONE, JASMINE AND BBC RADIO ONE BROADCASTER CHARLIE SLOTH.PICS COURTESY RICHARD PASCOE.

The crowd was fed by delicious caribbean food from DUB PLATES KITCHEN and then we all rolled out for the final destination for the evening….
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Our last stop was as super nightclub TRAMP for the FIRST ACCESS ENTERTAINMENT summer party thrown by uber don music lady Sarah Stennett.
Stennett, whose stellar 20-year music biz career as a lawyer, A&R executive and artist manager has seen her become one of the UK’s leading executives and launch/develop the careers of artists including Ellie Goulding, Iggy Azalea, Jessie J, Zayn Malik and Rita Ora.


SINGER RAY BLK SUNG HER HEART OUT AT THE FIRST ACCESS ENTERTAINMENT SUMMER PARTY.

The party was popping before 9pm with a super cool crowd of young starlets, models, fashionistas, hip hop crowd and Soul singer Ray Black smashed it with a powerful set of her hits.
A photo booth and the best R&B DJ’S meant we were all dancing hard and having fun till the early hours.

A great day of celebrating the music industry in London town!

Jasmine’s Juice – Grime’s Magic Man – Abra Cadabra, On ”Jeremy” And Being ”Differontos”.


ABRA CADABRA – IMAGE Vicky Grout.

Congratulations on your journey so far- how’s the ride been from Tottenham, North London to national focus?

Thank you! its been a crazy journey so far and it’s all happening so fast… There is a lot more work for me to do though and I’ll keep on pushing and hopefully people continue to like what I do.

2016 saw you break through with numerous big moments from awards and viral singles, what would you say was your first big break?

Man’s first break came with me doing the Black Box Freestyle and then Krept & Konan reaching out and jumping on the remix. Its been mad since then.


Abra Cadabra | BL@CKBOX

You’re a Tottenham lad, what is it about Tottenham that breeds so many great music names?

Tottenham has a lot of talent and us younger people sometimes get forgotten about – Kush and Poppy & Legz, for example. But Tottenham has nurtured and will continue to nurture the best.

Tottenham’s also a hotbed for activism after the infamous riots and social housing communities. London has recently seen attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster, but music acts far and wide like Akala, Low-key, Lily Allen and more have spoken about rights for working class communities. What do you make of it all? Does society care less about poor people?

Of course I think society cares less about poor people. They don’t give a damn about us.

This past election saw more young people than ever all across the UK become interested in voting and politics, what do you think has happened in recent months to make that happen?

It’s all in the campaign, LOL.

Rap music has always been political with Americas first rappers talking about their social conditions and the system. In 2017 should music stars still speak about politics?

Yeah, but everyone should speak their own opinion.

Why does grime love Jeremy Corbyn?

He rates and respects young people.


ABRA CADABRA – IMAGE Vicky Grout.

MUSIC

Your award winning single Robbery grew in popularity from word of mouth, the grime music scene has shown how they are powerful without a music label, what are your thoughts on signing to a major vs being an independent artist?

I think each situation can work for different artists – If you’re doing your ‘ting proper and independent and making dough you would only sign to a label if they can prove that they can change the whole situation and make you more money than you’re making and I wouldn’t even call my kinda music grime. There’s no one way to define but I’d categorise as my own sound…… differontos.


Abra Cadabra ft. Krept & Konan – Robbery Remix

Your appearance on Belly Squad’s Banana Remix saw you exploring the Afrobeats/rap axis…you clearly love experimenting and are open to new sounds…what other musical journey might we see Abra Cadabra take?

Man does every style, haha. I like melody so I’m always trying to new stuff… I just like experimenting with new sounds. I’ve got some stuff coming soon which will definitely surprise people. My latest sound I got with Danzey, another up and coming rapper from Tottenham. It’s called ‘Stay’ and I released it on my own channel. It briefly touches the Afro swing audience.

You’re cited as being one of the most exciting MC’s in the UK right now…(fusing afrobeats and rap, riding the murky UK version of drill), what way are you and your peers generally pursuing new directions?

We do a lot of collaborations with artists and producers so we are always bring new sounds in and trying new stuff. So man is always into new stuff.

You’re a MOBO best single winner, how important are the MOBO AWARDS to British black acts and what brand points does MOBO give you that no other UK awards do?

When man won the MOBO that was just weird, in a good way, coz I grew up watching it and thought that it was another world. So when I was a winner, it was another madness. The MOBO’s are so important, as they are part of the handful of award shows that has always supported and celebrated black music alongside Posty’s Grm award. Without them we wouldn’t be making the strides we are now. Every artist who does what we do wants to win a MOBO. Manz looking forward to this years MOBOS – it’s gonna be crazy.

The GRM / Rated Awards are also big for the grime generation, how has the GRM brand impacted your music and exposure?

Big up Rated Awards always . That was the first award I ever won. I was so shocked when my name got called out as the winner I jumped on Posty. It feels like so long ago when I made that infamous speech . Winning that award made me feel like I’m definitely on the right path. A lot of people reached out after that win.

USA / UK

Many American artists are taking an interest in the U.K. market, with names like Drake featuring Giggs on his More Life playlist. If you could collaborate with any American name this coming year, who would it be and why?

It would have to be…… it’s a difficult one… let me think about it and get back to you in 2 working days loool

British rappers used to really care about making it in America, do you still?

I think now we just believe in ourselves more now and we know that we are sick at what we do and we don’t need approval anymore. Obviously man wants to have success in America, like every artist does, but one step at a time.

What makes British acts so cool and innovative?

We are just real and don’t change for anyone and I think people respect that.

Whats coming next for Abra Cadabra?

Lots of stuff happening. I’m gonna be dropping more videos over the next few months, you’ll see some more collabs also. I’m gonna continue performing live at all these festivals over the summer. Go subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to stay updated. But big shout outs to Fais and Wize – two people that play big parts in my career who are the unsung heroes and I’d like to end by sending my condolences to Uncle Ounto who recently lost his brother to knife crime.

Jasmine’s Juice -‘Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials’

Okayyyy, we all know that the world is now digital.
Millennials have taken the digital baton and sprinted ahead with it, doing for themselves today what was once impossible.
Used to be that the establishment and old skool gate-keepers would decide who, what, when and why things would happen.
Nowadays the current generation of young people are building their empires online via their own special style of disruptive marketing.
The internet and digital movements have opened up a world where anyone with a it of tech-savvy know-how can make it and the industry this is most apparent in is music.

Music is the most widely watched content type among 12-15 year olds on YouTube, though YouTubers like Zoella and KSI are becoming the new pop stars for Gen Z

85% of 16-19 year olds say that music is an important part of their life while 74% say that music for
them is about going out and having fun.

Music record labels, PR teams, radio playlists and event management teams have been forced to look at digital platforms and work alongside them instead of competing with them.

Yesterday saw labels association the BPI and entertainment retail body ERA host a joint Insight Session which will see Mark Mulligan of MiDiA Research unveil a report into Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials, which explores the music consumption habits and social media behaviour of today’s young Millennials.

The report found that teens value video platforms for music discovery and social engagement, but, as they develop as music consumers, look to audio streaming services and are more prepared to pay for music

Also, the report for BPI/ERA explores the music consumption habits and social media behaviour of today’s young Millennials (aged up to 19) and how their engagement across streaming and video platforms and social media and messaging apps, including Instagram, Snapchat and Musical.ly, is shaping longer-term trends.

It finds that YouTube still dominates in the social media space
The research finds that for today’s tweens and teenagers YouTube is a pervasive platform – not only for new music and content and access to influential YouTubers like Zoella, but for social engagement also. YouTube plays a key role as “a video destination, music app, social platform and educational resource rolled into one”.

Similarly, messaging apps have replaced social networks…..
Messaging apps including Snapchat and Instagram are becoming increasingly important, replacing social networks for Generation Z and enabling them to act on their impulse to “live in the moment” and “narrate their lives”. As such they help build engagement around music and artist profiles.

More recent apps like Musical.ly and Dubsmash – video social network apps for video creation and messaging – are also growing in popularity. This is in part due to a rate of app innovation that is accelerating thanks to the “Millennial feedback loop” of older millennials shaping app experiences for the younger Gen Z.

But Spotify dominates music space and drives discovery…
The research additionally shows that, as teenagers develop as music consumers, they are likely to be drawn to audio streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music. For those aged 16-19 Spotify is overtaking YouTube as the main music app, with 53 per cent weekly user penetration compared to 47 per cent for YouTube.

This helps to underline another finding highlighted in the report from previous MiDiA research showing that younger consumers (16-19 years: 67%) are more prepared to pay for music than other age groups (56%).

Streaming is, however, also transforming UK Teens’ relationship with music, with Millennials increasingly accessing individual tracks or playlists rather than engaging with artists or albums See LINK XX to full report and key summary findings below.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “If we are going to prepare for the future of music, we need to better understand Generation Z and the influences that shape their engagement with music. These young digital natives are not only important as a key segment of the market, but the way they interact with music helps to unveil trends that will become more widespread among music fans over time.”

Kim Bayley, Chief Executive ERA, said: “It’s not news that entertainment is changing, but none of us should underestimate the achievement of the streaming revolution. Not only has it helped stop piracy in its tracks, it has created the first real growth in the music industry in more than a decade and has done so with an unbeatable consumer proposition: 24/7 access to virtually all the music in the world. In the fast-paced digital world, however, nothing is forever and it is vital to stay close to emerging generations of music fans, many of whom were not even born at the dawn of the MP3 age.”

Generation Z: Meet the Young Millennials – Summary of Key findings:

· 85% of 16-19 year olds say that music is an important part of their life.
· Authenticity, relevance, shareability and context are key to Gen Z.
· YouTube is the most pervasive entertainment platform for Gen Z, peaking at 94% monthly penetration among 16-19 year olds.
· However, for these 16-19 year olds, as interest in music develops, Spotify is overtaking YouTube as the main music app, with 53% weekly user penetration compared to 47% for YouTube.
· Music is the most widely watched content type among 12-15 year olds on YouTube, with YouTubers such as Zoella (11.8m subscribers) and KSI (16.1m) becoming the new pop stars for Gen Z.
· UK teens (16-19 years) are more willing to pay for music. 67% consider it to be worth paying for regularly compared to 56% of overall consumers.
· A third of 8-11 year olds in the UK use Snapchat, rising to 67% for 16-19 year olds, while 63% of 16-19 year olds use Instagram.
· Messaging apps like Snapchat and Instagram are replacing social networks for Gen Z.
· Among 16-19 year olds YouTube and social media unsurprisingly dominate, with much higher penetration rates than the overall population.
· Streaming is transforming Gen Z’s relationship with music: 74% of all 16-19 year olds say they are mainly listening to single tracks and playlists instead of albums.
· 71% of 16-19 year olds listen to music radio on an at least monthly basis, just 3 percentage points above the all-ages average.

Table 1: Weekly use of music apps by UK teens (compared to all users average), December 2016

Table 2: Snapshot of Gen Z social media useage

Jasmine’s Juice – Football Legend Chris Hughton Surprise Celebration!


JASMINE WITH FOOTBALL INDUSTRY PLAYER, NOW MANAGER AND LEGEND – CHRIS HUGHTON AND HIS WIFE CHERYL AT HIS SURPRISE CELEBRATION IN WEST LONDON.

Last night the great and the good came out to celebrate a man thats broken down barriers in the British football industry. Chris Hughton – an Irish former professional footballer and current manager of Brighton & Hove Albion, who has achieved above and beyond in the ruthless world of football as a black man.
The venue was Soul Store West in Kilburn High Rd, which was the perfect location as aside from football, Chris loves his music and so the night was called ‘The Soul Of The Game’.

In 1979, Mr Hughton became the first mixed race player to represent the Republic of Ireland national team and has a tumultuous career since then, negotiating a perilous path that many at his surprise celebration last night recognised.


INFLUENCERS FROM THE WORLDS OF FOOTBALL, MUSIC, BUSINESS AND MORE CELEBRATE CHRIS HUGHTON.
(L-R FORMER VIRGIN UNITE AND SONY BMG PR MAVERICK JODIE DALMEDA , STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP SOLUTIONS M.D AND FORMER SONY BMG HEAD HONCHO MERVYN LYN, JASMINE DOTIWALA, FORMER FOOTBALLER PETER EVANS)

After making his professional debut aged 20, Hughton spent most of his playing career with Tottenham Hotspur as a left back, leaving in 1990 after 13 years. After relatively brief spells with West Ham United and Brentford, Hughton retired from playing in 1993 at age 34.

People celebrating his efforts at the SOUL STORE WEST in Kilburn High Rd included Valerie Amos, Michelle Mathers, numerous present and former footballers like Ossie Aediles, young sports journalists like Channel 4 News’ Jordan….BBC’s Jeanette Kwakye, DJ’s Trevor Nelson and DJ Spoony and the legend Jazzie B OBE. The night was supported by the KICK IT OUT organisation that aims to make racism and discrimination in football a thing of the past.


SPORTS BROADCASTERS LIKE BBC’S JEANETTE KWAKYE, CHANNEL 4 NEWS JORDAN JARRET-BRYAN, JAZZIE B OBE, DJ SPOONY AND TREVOR NELSON CELEBRATED CHRIS HUGHTON.

All anyone could talk about was Mr Hughtons incredible journey. (I know zero about football so it was an enlightening evening for me!).
I was told that from 1993 to 2007, Chris Hughton served as coach and then assistant manager for Tottenham. He joined Newcastle United as first team coach in 2008, and, following their relegation, became caretaker manager. He led Newcastle back to the Premier League in his first season in charge, along the way breaking a number of records and securing the permanent managerial position.


A VERY HUMBLE AND SURPRISED CHRIS HUGHTON MAKES INELEGANT SPEECH ABOUT HIS CAREER AND DIVERSITY IN FOOTBALL.

Controversially, he was sacked as manager by Mike Ashley the following December, with his side 12th in the table. Hughton managed Birmingham City for a single season, leading them to fourth place in the league, before joining Norwich City in June 2012. Norwich sacked Hughton in April 2014.

It’s interesting that a black man is more likely to play football for England’s national team than ever hold a senior position in the music industry. Whilst there are hundreds of BAME footballers playing for clubs all across the UK , its still just Chris Hughton who is currently a team manager. Whats that about?


FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER AND BROADCASTER GARTH CROOKS INTRODUCES AND SPEAKS ABOUT THE LEGACY OF CHRIS HUGHTON.

However, as we know, a tenacious winner never stops pushing through whatever the obstacles. Following his departure from Norwich, Hughton became manager of Brighton & Hove Albion midway through the 2014–15 Championship season, securing the club’s safety within the division.

In the following 2015–16 season, Hughton guided Brighton to an impressive third-placed finish, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League through an inferior goal difference of two goals.


CHAIRMAN OF THE PFA SAID ””It’s a pity that the Blk community is not represented well in football management and leadership but Chris is always outspoken and leads”

In the following season, Hughton guided Brighton to promotion to the Premier League and to the club’s first season in the top flight of English football since 1983.

On 18 May 2016, Hughton signed a new four-year contract which will run until June 2020! A huge deal and stand-out moment in the football industry. Last night diversity in football organisation Kick It Out supported the evening where guests feasted on chicken, ribs, burgers, fish and flutes of champagne kept flowing.

Just weeks ago, on 17 April 2017, Brighton achieved automatic promotion to the 2017–18 Premier League after a 2–1 win at home to Wigan!

The man responsible for ALL this…Chris Hughton – salute!

Jasmine’s Juice – Legends TLC Are Back With a Great New Album And Lots To Say!

TLC need no introduction. They’re the nineties girl group that are the modern-day blueprint of what girlbands are based on.
With their unapologetic, no-holds-barred feminist anthems, calling out everyday sexism before it was even a thing, standing up for equal rights for those with hidden voices and more, their hits are still rinsed around the world.

I grew up, as did every other wannabe cool urban city chic back then, wanting to be TLC. Their clothes, attitudes and strength in speaking up was aspirational. Their new self-titled album focuses on the world in 2017, women dying to be perfect, the state of the new world, getting over life’s obstacles and more. You see, its for us, for now, for my generation and the new generation, different era, same needed danceable anthems.


Ladies, welcome back! How does it feel to be back and what inspired the comeback?

T Boz – Timing is everything. And it was organically right for us now. The fans have been asking for us to return for long time. The opportunity presented itself and here we are – boom!

You’ve never really been away though, TLC have in the past few years been constantly in demand on shows and awards, but how much for you has changed in 25 years since you started?

T Boz – The Industry and social media have been the main changes and of course we lost our group member so I guess…pretty much everything.

Tell us why you decided to go down the kickstarter campaign route to finance the new music? (Celebs like Bette Midler / Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry all donated). Was this an attempt to control things yourselves as opposed to a record label?

Chilli – Our manager Bill Wiggins brought that to table for us, talking about the freedom of it all and not having to deal with a record label and stuff so we said let’s do that and incorporate the fans like we have in the past. Like we did with the album Fanmail where we put fan names in our CD cover, so they funded this.

T Boz – Also, we gave them packages like sleepovers, personalised messages, movie dates, and stuff like that.
Chilli – If I could have done that with Michael Jackson (when I was a young fan) -whooo you have no idea! I’d give my rent, money, and car…everything.

You have a new self-titled album coming June 30th – what can you tell us about it?

Chilli – It’s called TLC. As far as the lyrical content., people know us and our style, we won’t stray far from that. The tracks are jamming. You know we thought Dallas (Austin) was gonna be on this project but with all of our busy schedules we just couldn’t make it happen, so we had writing camps in L.A and Atlanta and found all this new raw writing talent which has been great.

What instructions did you give the writers?

T Boz – I think the mistake people make, is trying write for what they think we should be saying now – you can’t do that. Or they usually try and outdo something we’ve already done in our past. What we are saying to them is ‘‘we hired you cos we like what YOU do. Working organically is the best way. To get to the essence of who you are and then it just naturally happened. Once people didn’t feel the pressured to outdo Unpretty or Waterfalls and did what they do best it just organically came together.

So many of your past songs are still or even more relevant today than they were so many years ago. What are you talking about this time around?

T Boz – Well, its less focus on fashion as we did so much of that early in our career but watching people over the years I had A LOT to say. I couldn’t WAIT to get a pen in my hand! ‘’Perfect Girls/ American Hold / Way Back….I helped pen these songs and all of them mean something to me.

American Hold talks about all the politics in the world, and all the turmoil that America was going through with certain situations, and our troops..,there’s a dedication to them…they fought on this soil and died over it, so its a dedication to them as a thank you.

“It’s Sunny” is like life a story about overcoming in life. Good overcoming your fears and bad stuff. We covered a lot of stuff.

Chilli – also social media is a very a very narcissistic system and all these selfies and filters that people are obsessed with, and by the time the world sees the image, that’s not you and that’s not realistic. It’s fun to do and we all do it sometimes, but that can’t be what you’re living for? I
t’s easy to talk about those things and even though we have No Scrubs and it will exist for ever and ever and ever – some girls weren’t even born when we put those songs out – so we have to be repetitive until it really gets in there. I mean we’re not preachers or anything like that, but we do it in a fun way in a way that feels good. We’ve been called feminists, which I take it as a complement and we just tell it like it is.

T Boz – a lot of young girls try and be perfect and that’s not realistic with that instagram shot and that’s what ‘Perfect Girls’ is about. No one’s perfect, we all have flaws and insecurities. But a lot of people alter their bodies and so that’s cool, they altered them, so let’s just call a spade a spade “I didn’t like this part of my body so I altered it and made it better”, but just be real about what you’re doing, before the youngsters out there who are striving to for perfection that doesn’t exist, we are all flawed in some way!

How will your new music translate to new generation of young women?

Chilli – this generation are hungry for that stuff. This generation are repeatedly going back to the 90’s cos the music back then was so diverse! For example at the MTV Awards we would be in same category as Hootie & The Blowfish and all these other guys, it was crazy and so you had a nice, beautiful variety of music. But today, it seems like its just one box and the sound is all the same and so I feel it’s important for groups like us to come out and not jump on bandwagon. Also we’ve always been on our own train, people just need to know what their lane is, own it, be confident about that, don’t worry about what’s going on everywhere else.

T Boz – and also I think people now praise promiscuity and being promiscuous. That’s unfortunate. Strive to be bigger and better cos some of the goals are just not really that great these days. You wanna respect yourself cos no one else will if u don’t.

How much is better for young people nowadays compared with when you guys first started out?

Chilli – it’s definitely better now. Social media is a blessing and a curse. We opened up a lot of doors for women to have that girl power thing in them and do what they wanna do.

T Boz – I think the whole word ” public figure” is very interesting. I think if instagram went away a lot of people would have no jobs.
It’s funny I saw an insta model tweet “they should get rid of the title instamodel”. I was like why? Don’t be ashamed of what u are!
That’s what you do! …and then they change and call themselves public figure?! I just think that’s funny! Things have changed for the better for women but also focused on the wrong stuff. ” Public figure” is funny to me. That’s not hot. If that were me, I would want an actual job title that’s legit. A real job!

With your new music, even though there are two of you in TLC now, have you managed to capture the spirit of Lisa within the new work at all?

Chilli – It’s second nature to us. Lisa’s spirit lives on through us forever. When we perform you’re gonna see that. We have a Left Eye interlude on this album. We’ve had 15 years to try and continue to move forwards. It’s just the two of us now but we know that she would want us to continue and so this is the new TLC.
We’ve gotten past the part now where we know she’s not here, but she’s forever missed, that’s our sister. But I think about it this way. No one else is ever gonna be in this group, it’s just the two of us. We’re never changed that. She’s always with us.
T Boz – With Lisa we made history together ….

It’s an unusual and horrific experience to lose a fellow band member so young, there was a lot of shock worldwide. How did you personally deal with that time?

Chilli – losing a family member is heart-breaking. I lost my grandmother but you expect that as she’s older, but to lose a sister at the age of thirty? That’s like what? It’s unbelievable cos you never think that that’s gonna happen!

T Boz – and then with the world watching, there’s no way to grieve. That’s not something you’re taught and to go to a grocery store or anywhere and everyone’s talking about it…”did u hear about Left Eye …” You almost wanna become a hermit seeing the headlines on every counter …that’s really your life. I didn’t know how to take people approaching me and smiling going “I’m sorry for your loss but can I have a picture with you?” And I’m like “did u mean that?” Or they’d say “sorry that she died, but I can Rap!” People just say the most insensitive things.

T Boz – I was most probably depressed for a couple of years over it, it was hard.

Chilli – I spoke about her like she was still here for a long time cos I could not talk about her in the past tense. I just, I just couldn’t do it. And that’s how I had to grieve and deal with it.

T Boz, you just mentioned depression, something else that’s been huge with young people recently with many young pop stars and even our British Royal family talking about it is mental health. Have you ever had any difficult experiences in this area? Do you think young people today have it much better or worse than your own teenage experience?

T Boz – I think everyone shouldn’t ever be ashamed. We all deal with something and the reason people don’t get help with something is cos they’re embarrassed. And I’m glad more public figures are speaking out and admitting that they have problems. I got a whole bunch of people I know with mental disorders. They’re locked up they’ve been medicated. Some have psychiatrists. You have to let it out.
We have a campaign in the states called SILENCE THE SHAME and a lot of people are getting into it cos u have to silence the shame. There are too many suicidal kids out there. Like when I hear two of my friends with ten year olds – at ten years of age, what can be soooo bad?
You don’t wanna be here at ten? I think it’s a taught and learned behaviour where your child can go to school and talk to people like they do and the parent knows about it and doesn’t stop it? That crazy, that’s a problem!!

I wanna blame the parents. There’s no way my daughter would go to school spark to anyone that way and upset them. That is a no no!

Chilli – some people are born bad. I do believe in a bad seed. You have to recognise there’s a problem but recognise and deal with this problem.

T Boz – but I promise you if I see my kid has a mental health problem I’m gonna take care of them. Cos I really believe that if family and friends had spoken up before then, a lot of these tragedies wouldn’t have happened. And a lot of people would be alive today.

Chilli – with my son I’m like “close the door? For what? Privacy? What are u talking about? No. The only time he had a lil bit of privacy was when he needed to go for a shower .I know what’s going on. I’m listening to his conversations with his friends. You have to be involved. These are developing years and teenagers are not cool, they’re emotional. That’s when parents are needed the most. It’s not about stunting their growth; it’s about paying attention to things and their lil personalities and guiding them correctly but not to break their lil spirits and stuff.

T Boz – I look at my daughter. I have the two T’s. They’re good. Compared to what I see on the streets they’re good. If all I have to deal with is a smart mouth I’m good. Cos I have one too. But that’s better than my child being on drugs. Or beating on me, and stuff I hear other parents go through, I can’t fathom what that’s like.

You’ve seen the impact and power of elections in the states. Something that’s big on the UK News agenda this month is our General Election. How do you feel about voting? Do u vote? Should young people be encouraged to vote?

I’m in the middle with that. It’s important to know what you want to do but maybe you’re not happy with both parties? If you think that it’s important for you to exercise your rights to vote then do. Pick someone you feel most comfy with. But all these politician people at the end of that day are the same and they’re not as upset with each other as we get with them! They’re really cool with each other! Half of them are really good friends and much of the time you vote and you’re pumped and you think these changes are gonna happen and then they usually don’t… so politics to me is just ….tricks.

T Boz – I’m all for keeping hope alive so maybe you should vote …

You’re known for taking songs about serious issues to the top of the pop charts (AIDS-waterfalls / female self-esteem-unpretty),
One thing that’s been a big talking point in music recently has been equality for women in music. You had your own issues with your record labels and management years ago…. How have you found being women in music…was it and is it still sexist?

Chilli – I personally think some stuff is just the way it is. I’m not saying it’s right so as women we have to continue to kick those doors down and continue to have a voice.

T Boz – it’s not right. I remember sitting in the record company and I had said something two weeks prior to this man and no one had said anything. Two weeks later he says what I said …but see WE are different women …I hit the table I was like I HIT THE TABLE I said no no!
I will stand up like a man and speak up. He ain’t about to take my credit. If I can pay manly bills I can do manly things. I’m gonna stand strong, and loud, and say what I wanna say, how I wanna say it, and when I wanna say, I’m not gonna let you take anything from me man or not!

Chilli – even in the acting world male actors can still be cast with a young actress, but with a female you are hot for a limited time, but as I said it’s always been the way, but you just gotta keep on fighting.

Your new single WAY BACK features Snoop…

Snoop! No other person who would fit that track except him. Everyone has that person in their life, when no matter how long you haven’t spoken in, when you do its all good, and its still ‘you’re still my everything’.

Finally, your legacy is historic. TLC formed the blueprint of modern-day girl groups. Beyonce says you influenced Destiny’s Child and you can definitely hear it. How would you describe the legacy of TLC?

T Boz – I just want us to be remembered for the things we’ve done and the doors we’ve opened.
When we came up there was no social media and we had to work really hard …men then could in those days could just take off their shirts and people would scream and we’d be like OMG we’re fully clothed? Like how we gonna get that reaction and do that? But we did, so our talent and everything spoke for itself.
But when u look at TLC it’s the dancing, the clothes, the timeless music, the lyrical content, and the true essence of what we stood for to make you feel good. Feel good in everyone’s life and not just girls but everybody. And not to come across as preachers but we did it in a fun way with music and dancing and energy and it should just be a good old feeling!

The next night TLC took to London’s KOKO venue for a sold out gig and they smashed it!
Full stage set with a full energy and very capable band, dancers in gold lame tracksuits, T Boz and Chilli’s sultry, distinctive vocals both sounding as dope as ever, and their high impact choreography and stage presence was as amazing as it ever was, putting many acts half their age to shame.

For us UK fans it was well worth the wait and their new album ”TLC”, dropping June 30th, is awaited eagerly by R&B and pop fans globally.
A truly brilliant comeback – welcome back ladies, we’ve missed and needed your presence!

—————————————-

NEW ‘’TLC’’ ALBUM TRACKLIST

1. ‘No Introduction’
2. ‘Way Back’ ft. Snoop Dogg
3. ‘It’s Sunny’
4. ‘Haters’
5. ‘Perfect Girls’
6. ‘Interlude’
7. ‘Start a Fire’
8. ‘American Hold’
9. ‘Scandalous’
10. ‘Aye MuthaFucka’
11. ‘Joy Ride’
12. ‘Way Back’ ft. Snoop Dogg [extended version]

Jasmine’s Juice – Darcus Howe, A Renegade Rests In Peace.

Today a great man was laid to rest.
Darcus Howe was an incredible man. Google him and his work.
Encourage your young ones to read up on how he and his peers laid the path for many of us to be able to do what we do in 2017.

Leighton Rhett Radford “Darcus” Howe was a British broadcaster, writer and civil liberties campaigner from Trinidad, who arrived in England as a teenager intending to study law. Here he joined the British Black Panthers, a group named in sympathy with the eponymous US organisation. He came to public attention in 1970 as one of the “Mangrove Nine”, who marched to the police station in Notting Hill, London, to protest against police raids of the Mangrove restaurant, and again in 1981 when he organised a 20,000-strong “Black People’s Day of Action” in protest at the handling of the investigation into the New Cross Fire, in which 13 black teenagers died.

Darcus was an architect of change in Britain for multi cultural irrecoverable change. At his funeral in west London today the church was packed full, with well-wishers spilling out all over the street outside and by the time the service was over the whole of All Saints Rd and nearby Portobello Road was at a stand still with the Mangrove Steel Band leading a guard of honour procession for Darcus’ hearse.

I attended, not just to pay respects to this man who I had grown up hearing about from my dad and his peers who were all friends, not just a man I had watched on TV rustling feathers and being provocative (CLEARLY had an influence on me no?), but a man who inspired and nurtured many including my friend- Darcus Beese – son of Darcus Howe. Darcus Junior is always supportive of any request I make of him and is also the first ever black man to head a record label in the UK and leads with vision, authority and grace bringing up young black people in his own footsteps at his label. How incredible is that for a legacy of father and son!

A plethora of people wanted to pay their respects. the congregation today included people like BBC Chief / Sugar Films FounderPat Younge, Black Cultural Archives Director Paul Reid, ITV/Shiver Productions talent exec Michelle Matherson, Record Label and TV company CEO’s, print press writers and columnists, fashion designers, pop star managers like Raye Cosbert (Amy Winehouse) and Trenton Harrison-Lewis (Giggs), Jackie Davidson, fashion designers like Mary Martin, music industry key influencers like Alex Boating (Twin B) and many, many more.

It’s no wonder, Darcus infiltrated many worlds. He was an editor of Race Today, and chairman of the Notting Hill Carnival. He was best known as a television broadcaster in the UK for his Black on Black series on Channel 4, his current affairs programme, Devil’s Advocate, and his work with Tariq Ali on Bandung File. His television work also included White Tribe (2000), a look at modern Britain and its loss of “Englishness”; Slave Nation (2001); Who You Callin’ a Nigger? (2004); and Is This My Country? (2006), a search for his West Indian identity.He wrote columns for the New Statesman and The Voice.

In 1982, Mr Howe began his broadcasting career on Channel 4’s television series Black on Black, was subsequently co-editor with Tariq Ali of Bandung File and later White Tribe, a look at modern-day Britain and its loss of “Englishness”. Howe continued to write in the New Statesman and fronted the Channel 4 current affairs programme Devil’s Advocate. He was a keynote speaker at the 2005 Belfast Film Festival’s “Film and Racism” seminar and presented his documentary Who You Callin’ a Nigger? at the festival.

Darcus Howe appeared on the discussion programme Midweek (on BBC Radio 4), to promote the documentary on 19 October 2005 and, live on air, became involved in an angry debate with American comedian Joan Rivers. The dispute began when Howe suggested that Rivers was offended by the use of the term “black”; Rivers objected strongly to the suggestion that she was racist and accused Howe of having a “chip on his shoulder”.

He was interviewed by Fiona Armstrong for BBC News on 9 August 2011 at the time of the 2011 England riots.During the interview, Armstrong twice referred to him as “Marcus Dowe”, then asked: “You are not a stranger to riots yourself, I understand, are you? You have taken part in them yourself.” Howe denied this, saying: “I have never taken part in a single riot. I’ve been part of demonstrations that ended up in a conflict. Have some respect for an old West Indian Negro, and stop accusing me of being a rioter. Because you wanted for me to get abusive, you just sound idiotic—have some respect.” The BBC apologised for any offence the interview caused and said “it had not intended to show him any disrespect”.

More recently, asked about the unfolding situation in London, Howe discussed the death of Mark Duggan: “What I am not – what I’m concerned about more than anything else, there’s a young man called Mark Duggan. He has parents, he has brothers, he has sisters, and two yards away from where he lives, a police officer blew his head off.”

At the funeral his friend Sheila Graham from Jamaica talked about him as a young boy and his travels from the Caribbean to Southampton a few decades ago in 1961.


JASMINE, WITH MULTI-MEDIA LEGEND AND ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE BRITISH BLACK PANTHER GROUP – FARRUKH DHONDY AND HIS SON.

Next, my uncle Farrukh Dhondy – who was also Darcus best friend and Black Panther UK founder, made a brilliant tribute speech about meeting Darcus many moons ago on a tube train from Hyde Park and their subsequent years of friendship, travelling to Delhi together and work escapades.


FARRUKH DHONDY PAYS TRIBUTE TO HIS FRIEND DARCUS HOWE.

The funeral was interspersed with music from the Mangrove Steel Band and their pan playing.


GENERAL MANGER OF THE TABERNACLE AND MANGROVE STEEL BAND ARRANGER MATTHEW PHILLIP PAYS TRIBUTE TO DARCUS HOWE.

Co-ordinator of the Tottenham RIGHTS & Race Advocacy Officer at The Monitoring Group – Stafford Scott (who also happens to be music star Wretch32’s uncle),also made a beautifully powerful tribute about Darcus legacy…

STAFFORD SCOTT PAYS TRIBUTE TO DARCUS HOWE.

Stafford said ”Darcus used to call me by my full name on the phone ”Leila!-it’s Stafford Scott!”…..he called me initially and told me “you remind me of me when I was younger. He was the Mangrove 9. We were the TOTTENHAM 3. He always told me to ‘Say how it is. Stand up and be counted”. He was a unique pioneer. From Trinidad to the UK to USA he was known for his political forsights and insights. He was always someone that I would always turn to in moments of concern. He was a renegade. I was the rebel. The renegade would burn down places strategically. He would actually call and tell you he was coming to burn it down!. He stood decade after decade on the frontlines. He held everyone to account. Especially those who didn’t seem to have political rights. He was classless, the likes of whom we will never see again. The greatest accolade I can give my brother is that he wore some massive shoes. They are some big shoes to fill. If we are going to respect him let’s talk the truth to power. Where we can contribute to the community let’s do it. Cos without him the world is a harder place”.

Finally Darcus daughter Tamara made the emotional but commanding eulogy.
Tamara said ”I never expected to have to be here, saying these words, so soon. But Dad was unpredictable. He did his thing his own way. When he ready to go from somewhere you knew it…. I’ve been moved by the tributes…..he was a campaigner and a warrior but also a father, brother, son and more. We kids all know where we all came from, who we are,and that black was beautiful and come what may we were here to stay…. He as a legislator in every sense of the word. ….”Interference would be met with gunfire!!!” He would bellow…..

A great moment during the service was when Sheila added a surprise last minute addition by reading aloud...a note from Jeremy Corbyn to Darcus wife Leila Hassan… ‘‘Dear Leila. I am so sorry i am unable to be with you and your family today. Sorry to hear of the passing of Darcus. From rural Trinidad to Urban Britain…. Few people understood the exploitation of people from the Caribbean to Britain….thank you Darcus for all you have taught us. Jeremy Corbyn”.

Mr Howe was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2007 and subsequently campaigned for more men to get tested. He died aged 74 on 1 April 2017, at his home in Streatham, London, where he lived with his wife Leila Howe.

Thank you Mr Howe for many decades fighting for equality and justice. Thank you for being bold and brave and inspiring me to be so too.
The legacy that you have left will not be forgotten.
We appreciate you, will hold your name and stories high and we now have the baton to run forwards with.
Onwards and upwards. Love and laughter. Rest In Power Darcus Howe.

Jasmine’s Juice – Stormzy Album, Number 1 In the UK Charts – Here’s Why.

Congratulations to Stormzy ON HIS NUMBER 1 chart position this week. Against the odds, he has taken the grime music genre to another level. Here’s why;

1
His team embraced the DIY millennial mind set of shunning the old skool record label gate-keepers and within a team that you could count on both hands, had an ‘all-hands-on-deck” approach. Big up manager Tobe, PR extraordinaire and more Rachel Campbell, Akua Agyemfra, Kenneth, the rest of the team including Twin B, Holly, Angie, James and more.





THE GUERRILLA MARKETING ON THIS ALBUM WAS IMPRESSIVE! BILLBOARDS JUST SUDDENLY SPRUNG UP ACROSS THE CAPITAL AND NEAR STORMZYS OLD SCHOOL IN SOUTH LONDON. THEY DIDN’T SAY MUCH, BUT THEY SAID EVERYTHING!

2
His album was produced by AN ABSOLUTE UNDERSTATED LEGEND IN THE MUSIC GAME- Fraser T Smith! A man that is a multiple Grammy Award nominee and worked with the biggest names from Drake, Adele, Britney and more. He told me in his London studio this week that this was his best work ever.
The sounds are panoramic, beautiful strutted, with hard ear worm hooks all through every track. Its a musical journey without one weak song.


THE LEGEND- PRODUCER FRASER T SMITH IN HIS LONDON STUDIO THE WEEK STORMY WENT TO NUMBER 1!.

3
He had the most hectic, most innovative launch week campaign I think I have ever seen. From mainstream national TV appearances on Good Morning Britain, to Channel 4 News (with me), to Sunday Brunch and more. He was covered by every hot digital platform from Complex, to Fader to Noisey to NME.


STORMZY ON SUNDAY BRUNCH.

4
By a stroke of genius within his team- I see you Akua/ Kenneth- when they learnt he was in with a shot at the number 1 spot but the mighty Rag N Bone Man was snapping fast at his heels, they organised a wild marathon signing session all over the country from record stores, youth organisations and the brilliant Man UTD Football Club signing at Old Trafford! A meeting of industries, celebs, genres and more all puling for the underdog!


STORMZY AT OLD TRAFFORD.

5
He speaks up when it matters. Its all well and good being a music star but what do you stand for? Stormzy has spoken up on racist nightclubs, lack of diversity at The Brit Awards and politicians and the system not working for the average man on the street. He’s an advocate of people power and has put this thinking into practise.
A wise man once said ”if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”.


STORMZY CALLS OUT RCAISM IN TWEETS.

6
I have never seen a grime star that is so loved across generations that both kids, middle aged fans and people from every possible background gravitate towards him. His fearless and boldness to speak and be vulnerable has made him a champion for all.


STORMY DID LOADS OF SIGNINGS AND ONE-OFF UNANNOUNCED PERFORMANCES ON THE DAY HIS ALBUM CAME OUT. FROM CAMDEN, TO PICCADILLY TO CROYDONS BOXPARK FOR REDBULL WHERE HIS HOMETOWN CAME OUT IN FULL SUPPORT!

7
He’s able to code switch like a chameleon. He’s a well rounded dude. One minute bantering with the lads over a drink, the next rolling with his homies, the next being the most articulate 23 year old and then gushing about loving his mum, now known across the musical industry as ‘auntie Abigail”.


STORMZYS MUM ABIGAIL- AS HAPPY TO GET DOWN IN ONE OF HIS VIDEOS AS PRAYING FOR HIM ON HIS ALBUM #GSAP

8
He is proud and bold in talking about his faith and love of God. Nuff said. Amen.

9
His celeb fan love is untouchable. Household names from Adele, to One Direction stars, to Eastenders soap stars, to Rio Ferdinand to Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn have bigger him up on twitter!

LABOUR PARTY LEADER JEREMY CORBYN IS DOWN WITH THE #MERKY CREW.

10
You can watch his extended, insightful conversation with me in an interview with Channel 4 News here.

He says a lot of great things and discusses his album GANG SIGNS AND PRAYER as well as young peoples issues, the system, education, Brexit, the Brit Awards, Trump, record labels, his love of God, his mum , depression and people power!

Jasmine’s Juice – New Edition Biopic Finally Hits British Screens on BET This Week!

Who doesn’t love R&B and swing beat classics like Mr Telephone Man and Candy Girl, My Perogative, Every Little Step, and numerous other New Edition and Bobby Brown hits?

Over 3 decades the band went though drama, line-up changes and global stardom and now finally their story is being told in a 3-part biopic season on BET. Following critical acclaim in the U.S, the story of legendary ‘New Edition’ reaches UK screens and I have been glued to the screen.

BET Networks is the leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for people that want to know what’s hot, what’s next and what matters in black culture and without their platform and brand us R&B lovers would have no chance of re-living and being informed about our early musical passions. Thank you BET.

BET UK threw a launch party, screening and Q&A session with the cast in London this past week to the delight of R&B music lovers and New Edition fans.
I was just born when an 11 year old Bobby Brown got together with his pals Ricky Bell, Mike Bivins, and Ralph Tresvant and convinced them to perform at local talent shows.

A couple of decades later the boy band were mega stars until the band forced Bobby Brown to leave the group in 1985 following a period of misbehavior and rebellious behavior on his part.

Starting a solo career, he became a hit success with his second album in 1988, Don’t Be Cruel, which spawned a number of hit singles including the self-penned “My Prerogative”, and the Grammy Award-winning “Every Little Step” which became his signature hit. Brown had a string of top ten hits on various Billboard charts between 1986 and 1993. He returned to the group for a reunion album and tour from 1996 to 1997, and has returned with all six members for another stint since 2005.

New Edition laid the foundation for how modern-day boy bands look, feel, and sound. Boyz II Men, N’SYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and New Kids On The Block all took their cues from Ronnie DeVoe, Ralph Tresvant, Michael Bivins, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell & Johnny Gill.

After 30 years of breaking hearts, New Edition have finally got the biopic that their stellar tenure in entertainment so richly deserves. This epic three-part miniseries follows the group from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global mega-stardom – weathering the highs and lows of controversy, personal changes, and the ultimate cost of fame.

The star-filled THE NEW EDITION STORY cast includes Bryshere Y. Gray Elijah Kelley, Luke James, Keith Powers, Algee Smith, Woody McClain, Dante Hoagland, Caleb McLaughlin, Jahi Winston, Myles Truitt and Tyler Williams as NEW EDITION along with La La Anthony, Yvette Nicole Brown, Monica Calhoun, Lisa Nicole Carson, Sandi McCree Wood Harris, Michael Rapaport, Faizon Love, Duane Martin Tank and Bre-Z.

The musical sound track, as you can well imagine is gold…..along with a stellar cast, THE NEW EDITION STORY includes a collective of award-winning producers and directors including iconic music powerhouses James “Jimmy Jam” Harris, Terry Lewis and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Executive Producer Jesse Collins and award-winning director Chris Robinson.

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BET’S EPIC THREE-NIGHT MINI-SERIES “THE NEW EDITION STORY” PREMIERING THURSDAY 2 MARCH AT 9PM ONLY ON BET – SKY 187 | VIRGIN 184 | FREESAT 140

#NewEditionBET | Twitter – @BET_Intl | Instagram – @BET_Intl