My Birthday

See all the pictures here

I am beyond belief. Obnoxious, outrageous and a lil crazy. All the best creative folks are. Being slightly nuts is a prerequisite for dynamic, forward thinking genius!. This year I actually outdid my past efforts and made my birthday last well over a month. Now no-one knows whether I’m a Capricorn or Aquarius. I had an intimate PJ party chez Dotiwala in January and last weekend I had a big bash in central London. Before it even got started I had to change the venue twice cos the club policies wanted to micro manage my guest list and even requested me to take off some of my guests/personal friends from it (including Sway, Lethal B, Westwood, Rampage and more!).

These people weren’t hardened criminals but merely well known artists, DJs etc. Not liking that policy at all I switched clubs to accommodate my people. Just for a laugh, cos we know that police and the 696 bill means artists like Giggs and So Solid will be an issue, I put them all under pseudonyms. Showing that I have a sense of humour after Giggs’ diss track about me last year called ‘’Last straw’’, he and his guest were on the guest list as ‘’H.Ardest’’ and ‘’L.Straw’’. LOL!.
In the end I held the party at WILLAS in Mayfair. It was perfect. They never once asked about my guests, they accommodated my food needs; they allowed me to have my own DJ’s- my mates and brothers in arms -the triple threat that are DJ Manny Norte (the name you can trust), DJ Jarren C and Lonyo. Not only are they currently genuinely this cities best party rockers, but it doesn’t hurt that they are all fine as hell and easy on the eye too- the ladies in the house were swooning.

I guess its no coincidence that they run celeb parties when it comes to music. Well, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kelly et al, I knew and had them first-so there! he he!
Outside the club on the red carpet guests were greeted by a huge media banner board,…of photos ….of me that my media pals thought would be funny-you know me-I loved it.
Even better? Another resourceful best friend had a stamp made of my initials to brand every one of my guests entering and leaving –how fabulous, my inner need to leave my brand on all around me (like the proverbial dog stating its claim) fulfilled.
Knowing that clubs often get worried by a hip-hop looking crowd I decided to make the theme ‘Motown’.

A reason for guys to don their swanky suits with a quirky twist and the ladies to go all out with feminine, sexy ensembles. Also-immediately there’s a sense of fun and no attitudes or moody peeps. Everyone certainly went all out. By 9pm we had Rick James (Troy), Marvin Gaye (Richie P), The Temptations (Maclean, DJ Abrantee, Thadboogie, song writers to the stars Wayne Hector and Ali Tenant), next came Mary Wilson (former Mis-Teeq lead singer Sabrina Washington), The Supremes (ex Mis-Teeq member Su-Elise and Radio1Xtras DJ Sarah Jane).
Clearly a lot of guys let their beards grow a la Marvin and others wore afros for 2 hours before it got so hot there were just a pile of afros and Rick James weaves flung on a sofa-ha-at least now guys know how ladies with weaves feel-it ain’t easy having long tresses fellas!

My crew-5 girls/5 guys-arrived at 6pm in our tracksuits to get it all together from microphones and silver trays to banners and napkins. We spent an hour getting the silver and gold helium balloons together accompanied by flutes of champagne so we were merry by 8pm. To be honest without my crew I’m nothing-they sorted out everything including the giant white chocolate and exotic fruit Patisserie Valerie cake that never even got cut as the dancing didn’t stop.
The night began with Motown themed soul food from THE SPOT in Willesden.

They had tray after tray of mouth watering hot fried chicken, chicken waffle syrup mini sandwiches and corn bread served by cute waitresses.
Kiss100fm”s DJ Swerve , Master Shortie and hip-hop photographer Paul H all looked very Blues Brothers meets Motown, whilst national lottery presenter and former Eternal singer Kelle Bryan wore patterned angel wings. Legendary female rap group Cookie Crew member Cookie won the prize for dancing non-stop from 8pm-4am and looked as immaculate from beginning to end with my young Harlesden massive queuing to grab pictures with her at the end of the night. Good thing all were costumed up and they didn’t recognise Blak Twang, Mis Teeq ladies, Master Shortie ,Wretch32 and Smurfie Syco or there may have been a full on photo shoot!

However as expected at a party full of many music industry peeps there were a couple of randoms who kept trying to wrestle the mic out of my big brother Richies hands to ‘’spit for the crowd’’. One succeeded for about 10 seconds before being kicked to the kerb early in the night. Thank goodness then when as the party hotted up and Manny Norte began remixing in Motown classics with old hip hop classics that certain artists in the house were moved enough to take the mic and show how its really done.
Asian R&B trio Serese (who performed at the MTV Asia awards), jumped up first to sing the Mary Jane girls hit ‘’All night long’’ and received a rousing applause.

Not to be outdone next up was new about to blow singer Maclean (son and nephew of John and Bitty), who sang a very heartfelt sweet version of Marvin Gayes ‘Too busy thinking about my baby (Jasmine!)’
After that it was like a free for all on the mic with the gorgeous Addictive ladies jumping up to take us to chuuuch with their version of Stevie Wonders ‘Superstition’ before Kel Le Roc and Terri Walker tore the spot down with renditions of Motown/ lovers rock/reggae, you name it- it went down.
That of course (blame it on the alcohol) made the non singers brave and a completely unrehearsed or prepared DJ Manny Norte, Abrantee and Rampage founder Richie P serenaded me with their crazy version of a Jodeci classic-which people began videoing so great was their resemblance to the R&B supergroup!.

By 2am the club looked like Soul Train déjà vu-and the men kept telling me they were having to drink more than usual courage juice to approach the ladies as all the women looked ridiculously glam.
Fashion designer Patrick Kevin and his fly-as-always boys looked dapper and flew the flag for coolest male dance crew early on, though soon enough they were hotly contested once Hip hop theatre entrepreneur Jonzi D took over the dance floor making a break-dance and body popping circle which then presenter/DJ Abrantee and Presenter and radio host Kat had to show off their skills in. Actress Tameka Empson then took the circle over and had everyone rolling with her comedy impressions of a back flipping breaker. Within moments London and New York were jamming together as Former hot97 New York head Tracy Cloherty , Ice cream company mogul Pina Colicci, PR maven sisters Jennifer and Beverly Mills, my childhood Southall and Harlesden massive, Former MYSpace don Andrew Davis and PR man about town Saj Ismael, Eastenders star Preeya Kalidis-(Amira), Former Honeyz lead singer Celena Cherry and her glam squad, Warner music ladies Taponeswa Mavunga and Mel Rudder and many more were actually throwing shapes.

It was ,as we like to call it ‘’hilarity!’’.
I think the younger hip-hop grime crowd may have been stunned with the way us 80”s old school got down. Cookie said ‘’we’re old school and true school, new school ain’t ready for us’’. Never a truer word was spoken by the paralysed look on the young uns faces as they watched us electric slide, soul train and break out the stanky leg!. I smiled knowingly as I watched my 21 year old god son jamming to slowjams with his gal, the kids I grew up playing on Southall streets laughing with my former MTV News crew, music chart names singing with my family and all jamming to classics like ‘Electric Relaxation’-Tribe Called Quest,, ‘You dropped the bomb on me’ -Gapp Band, ‘Flava in your ear ‘ Craig Mack  and ‘Rumpshaker’ Wrecks n Effect.
At 3.30am , much later than I had predicted, the music was shut down and still 50 peeps hung out to chill, chat, discuss who looked the best, have a last minute dance off-it was too much. I looked across the room at all the people that I cherish in my life that have crossed my path and shaped me into who I am today from school and university pals, to Channel 4 and MTV pals, to my bosses, my interns my friends and more-they’ve all made me who I am .

I have been blessed with many moments and its all thanks to these people. The 3 morals of the story?. 1-The most beautiful view is the one you share with loved ones. Its not where you’re at-its who you’re with. 2-You can have a ‘’black music event’’ in central London without any problems, 3- I am older, wiser and when I need to change out of my 4 inch heels into my Ugg boots, even with my emerald green glam gown on-I feel no shame. Even when celeb stylist Richard Shoyemi looks on disapprovingly!

Ivana Trump

It’s been a busy week. Not least because last night was my eehh hmmm-21st-birthday party in central London-so this week I’ll mostly be recovering from that- I had to throw myself a bash as the young clubs and parties don’t really represent me like they used to back in the day. At the risk of sounding like my parents I miss the old days and old skool parties. Where people went to look fly, dance bad, and flirt. Unlike today’s getting absolutely slaughtered on alcohol and wearing nothing creative-just a hanky to cover your modesty. My party had a Motown theme so I could indulge in my diva quest to be the lead Supreme (even though I’m tone deaf and couldn’t sing myself out of a paper bag!) – more on that soon!

I’m getting too old to rave at hip hop/grime jams now anyway (most of my friends don’t still think grime is the stuff you use mr sheen to get rid of!) ,and so have made a conscious effort to continue grafting behind the scenes to make a change for young talented Brits and bring more must-see TV to our screens, but also to socialise like the adult that I’ve finally accepted I am.
After all, who wants to be like the sad lonesome oldie raving at the club by himself with kids he could’ve fathered?!- I could name a few but in my resolution not to name and shame I’ll hold it down. After all like Jigga said “30 is the new 20” and I’m hoping that means if you’re over 30 its even better!

In my attempt at slowing down my widely perceived wild life I am now a regular dinner party giver and receiver- This fortnight I have also made time to give blood, pop into Sisqos party (slight party-ban slip oops!), attend a TV function at BAFTA , went to a private screening of Bashys new movie Shank, had a private listening session to the first album of an actress whos about to put out her first music project, attend the south bank show awards-very high brow and had a lovely new year lunch at The Ivy with old mate drum&bass guru Goldie and his new wife Mika (they married in Thailand on Christmas day-how sweet!),

A more mature lady than myself is the legend that is Ivana Trump. As a teenager her and her husband Donald were figures of urban myth with their multi storied American towers and jets whizzing around the globe. So imagine my delight when seated next to her at dinner at Christmas last year at nobu in aspen around a table of power players. Boy did I feel like the odd one out. Ivana held my awe with tales of her monthly adventures around the world. “In January I take the helicopter to St Moritz, in June I take the boat to Capri, in September I…”. I was fascinated! What a world she lives in!

Post dinner we exchanged e-mails which impressed me as most over 50’s I know find the TV remote control too high tech to use. Ivana has a great sense of humour and whilst I initially expected to find her irritating and haughty in that manner that the privileged have, I soon learnt she’s actually a very collected, shrew, wise lady with a very global outlook. So I wasn’t surprised when she chose to join the final series of celebrity big brother in the UK. She’s very young at heart and so totally up for a laugh.

What I hadn’t figured though was how cool she would be in the house. Unlike many an older celeb who tries fruitlessly to battle young peoples personalities and make their mark she was just observant and joined in with the game like a wealthy cat that has the cream and doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody. Obviously she didn’t need the winners cash prize. Watching her you get a sense that she’s content and smiling inside at the yet unlearnt lessons of her fellow reality stars lives.

I was happy to join her for her post show celebrations where she got out those amazing legs of hers that put most teens to shame.
Im imagining many of us will be running around like headless chickens this week for the annual money grabbing exercise in the name of cupid that is known as valentines day.
Here are my tried and tested words to the loved up.
A Jacuzzi of bubbles, champagne and chocolate strawberries is always memorable, relatively inexpensive and fun-but don’t try and keep a hard copy of the memory- all technical devices should be banned from the vicinity unless you’re trying to be the next Paris Hilton/Kim kardashian.

Don’t go over board in trying to impress your partner with any hugely expensive surprises- they’re always desperate last minute attempts that go wrong. Your loved one would much rather you remember all their favourite things and indulge them sporadically year round than get it wrong on feb 14th.
If you’re buying underwear then for gods sakes check their size before entering the store- and don’t tell them you asked the store assistant to try it on to see what it looked like.
A permanent keepsake gift is always more thoughtful than the tried and tested flowers- I was once given a beautiful, ornate 6 foot candle stick made of wrought iron that is so beautiful its stayed with me throughout the years- much longer than its giver.
if you don’t know a restaurant beforehand don’t rely on someone’s hearsay that its good. An ex once took me to a place he found in the yellow pages cos it was described as a romantic Italian; it wasn’t very romantic when I turned up in a frock at a shack in Charing Cross road.

Doing something really simple but thoughtful is always a winner. The man who arranged a picnic in the park with all my favourite food followed by a speedboat ride along the Thames in Windsor to take me to the ballet school show at the school I trained was lovely.
Finally remember that if all else fails its only 24 hours-book yourself into a spa until its all over-that way you have spent your hard earned cash on someone who deserves it-you!

Ms Terri Walker

I left you last week with my New York New Years Eve shenanigans where Mariah showed why she’s still numero uno diva extraordinaire at Madison Square Gardens.
The following night MCC was performing a show at Atlantic City. Not wanting to exhaust her or distract her from her sleep and work duties I took up my girl Estelle’s offer to spend a couple of nights at her swish new Manhattan apartment.

Stell and I had decided to go see a Broadway show so tickets were booked and as we chilled during the day I asked her where Atlantic City was and what it was about. She explained in was a mini Vegas a couple of hours outside of Manhattan but the Lidl/Morrisons version. She suggested showing me if I wanted to go that night. ‘’But we cant’’ I questioned ‘’ we have Broadway show tickets for the Alvin Ailey dance company booked remember’’. To which she retorted ‘’jas, you only live once-we can go after the show and meet Mariah at her after paty if you like. And that’s her Estelle remixed our whole evening!.
I paged MCC and told her what we were considering. She hit me back saying ‘’ you’re so silly, if you had decided that this morning you could’ve flown with me in the jet for 20 mins now it’s a 2 hour drive-but come-it would be great to see you guys’’.

I was still contemplating it with the group when Estelle decided for us. ‘’right ,after the Broadway show we’re going-lets make a night of it!’’ and within 30 mins 6 of us were piled into a huge black escalade and en route to Atlantic city at 11pm!. The drive up was nuts, the stereo wasn’t working so we played ‘’marry,shag,dump’’. Would love to reveal some of the comments that had us rolling but you know what they say-what happens in the back of an escalade…..
We finally arrive at Atlantic city at 1am and Mariah’s tour manager meets us at the entrance to walk us in. good thing he did, cos Stell and I being typical Brits still not having learnt to carry ID around at all times in America hadn’t brought proof that we were over 18 and so the club weren’t going to let us in!.

That’s where having MCC hosting the party with her hubby nick cannon comes in handy.
We stepped in , all hugged and screamed in delight, threw back some ‘’apple juice’’, danced on the tables, all that in 45 mins-which is how much longer Nick was on the decks before the Carey Cannons made their farewells and exited , we strolled to the club next door where Jermaine (Dupri) was holding his bash, danced for 20 more mins and then jumped back into the ride to arrive back in Estelle’s crib by 6am. That’s what you call a last minute whirlwind adventure!. A 4 hour round trip with a superstar to see another superstar for an hour. It’s a mad life.

The next night I flew home to London for my official birth date where the original plan was to have a dinner party in a restaurant. but alas the brits were getting their knickers in a twist because of the ‘’horrific snow ‘’  drama so I thought it best not to force my friends and family to attempt to get to the restaurant so I suggested a pyjama party at my crib instead. That way peeps could relax and chill and spend the night if necessary.

It was the best idea.
Chinese and Indian food was ordered in, an amazing patisserie Valerie cake was organised by my mates, I put hair rollers in and by the end of the night there were bin liners full of empty cristal bottles outside the crib. It got so mad that at 5am the girls forced a big, well known, UK music man to let us paint his nails blue. Under duress and over powered by a strange alcoholic substance in a silver bottle with a foreign name, he surrendered.
At 6am when I insisted I ‘’couldn’t find any nail varnish remover’’ (wink wink) to take it off he stated ‘’fine-I’ll use that alcohol shot stuff’’.

And readers we watched as the lethal potion actually stripped his nails clean-and people drink that!
Another of my guests that night was Ms Terri Walker. Readers-Terri has one of my favourite voices of any British female artist. Terri lives literally around the corner from me so got herself into her PJ’s on route to another rave. As soon as she walked through the door and I thrust a flute of bubbly into her hand. Terri and I have known each other years. We met when we both dated band members from a well known boy band from back in the day. She recalls meeting me ‘’ I remember thinking ‘damn this girl is fabulous-you were wearing a fur jacket and just looked fierce’’. My memory of ‘Terri fun’ is once at her birthday karaoke I shrieked my way through lots of songs with enough attitude and my tone deaf vocals whilst all her guests cringed in embarrassment for me LOL!.

Now Terri’s back with her 4th album after spending a few years off when she was lending her vocals to renowned producer Salam Remi for his singles for Fergie, Jennifer Hudson, Nas and others.
Terri revealed that her new music is going to be pure hip-hop laced with infectious soulful, dreamy melodies and topics. She’s so excited she cant wait to let you all hear it. She confessed ‘’I’m just happy to have found me again, music will always stand the test of time if its from the heart and a true depiction of you. Before I was chasing the dream of being a singer, now I’m chasing the dream of leaving a mark and inspire people’’.

When she stepped away from the music biz Terri reverted back to her real name ‘’Chanelle’’ when she called me to reveal ‘’I’m coming back into the music scene-new music and Terri Walker is back!’’. (Readers it had taken me about 3 years to remember to call her Chanelle-my old brain cells cant take this!). Terri laughed at me saying ‘’I’m really excited about the UK at the moment, we have created our own scene, Donaeo is by far one of my favourites as he is consistent and had at least 3 club anthems .I also love Tinnie Tempahs tune ‘’Pass Out’’-its an undeniable hit’’. Touching on the big chart hitters from last year Terri added ‘’ I’m not opposed to the Chipmunk and Tinchy era, I think they are great young businessmen but their music doesn’t really hit a nerve for me unfortunately. I think they’re clever on how they structure their songs but after a while I feel like its very formula. I get it-but its just not for me, maybe I’m just old ha ha’’.

Terries new album  ‘’Champagne Flutes’’ which is produced by the legendary Salaam Remi will be out the first half of this year, a track from the project entitled “Hey Baby” was featured on the “Sex and the City Vol2” soundtrack. ‘‘Champagne flutes’’ will have contributions from “Skibeatz”(Jigga,Camp Lo,Lil Kim) “James Yarde” (Drawing board (moi) ) and whoever else can excite Terri!. She laughs ‘’I’m going for that Hip-hop sound with beautiful melodies and racy topics. I’m mad excited!’’
Its hard to stay focused on day to day business as usual with Haiti’s tragedy playing in the background of our daily lives, Terri agreed ‘’I think the UK should really show Haiti’s history over the years and show their struggle even before the quake. It couldn’t have happened to a more unfortunate country –we need to keep supporting them’’.

With Valentines Day mere days away Terri suggested donating Valentine gift cash to the cause and revealed ‘’I’m usually breaking up with someone or single on valentines day lol, this time however I am seeing someone and hopefully we’ll be soaking in a champagne filled bathtub’’!.
But before that readers -its my big birthday party this weekend and with its Motown meets Dreamgirls dress code Terri’s threatened to get on the mic channelling her inner Diana- more juice on the whole crazy night soon!

Mariah Carey Starts Tour in NYC

In all my years of ping ponging back and forth across the Atlantic from new York and working with the biggest music artists in the world can you believe I had never seen a gig at the world famous venue Madison square gardens? I had been there for MTV VMA related stuff but never to see a gig.
Well to kick start 2010 that was all changed!.
New York was as excitable about Mariah kick starting her US Tour out in Manhattan as Jigga fans convinced he’s a part of the illuminati.

So on a cold, snowy, biting day where the NY wind was zooming through the cross streets with vicious unforgiving cyclone like speeds, we were picked up from chez Carey-Cannon at 4pm to make our way to MSG in the black giant SUV convoy.
We were there early for sound check as the streets around the venue were pandemonium with police locking off roads in preparation for the thousands that were gathering. MSG corridors were full of excited dancers, singers and celebs. As I walked through the backstage dressing room corridors and spotted framed superstar live photos from all walks of life on the walls I was awed at the venues history! .Its not called the worlds most famous arena for nothing!.
Backstage Mariah’s dressing room was large and airy but they’d made it seem lovely and cosy,all white silk drapery, it was candle fragranced and luckily nice and warm as Mrs C was having her outfits fitted and resting her voice before she hit the stage.

The legendary choreographer Debbie Allen –who had choreographed the show-was busily getting everyone together. The best sounding vocalists anyone could ever have – Maryann Tatum, Trey Lorenz and Sherry Tatum Frederick- were warming up their vocals and keeping us entertained backstage with raucous laughter and much family style fun and frolics. The dancers were stretching, techs were running around and all was very backstage MTV Diary feeling LOL.
As it was my first MSG experience I decided to take my excited ass out into the main arena corridors to check out the vibe which was beyond hysterical by fans that were by now merry and in the mood to party .I even passed a few folks I’m sure I recognised from my twitter page! Never met them but smiled as I passed in acknowledgement!.

I always stop to check out artist merchandise to see how creative they’ve gotten but my eye was drawn to a great keepsake-the official tour programme-$25. So I bought 2. Flicking through it my eye froze over a certain page where I looked back at myself! There amongst Mrs C’s fun photos were 2 pics of me, MC and Brat on one of our vacation escapades a few years ago! . MC always looks amazing, Brat looked cute, and I was a freakin mess!. I wasn’t mad though. I was honoured to be included in such a superstars programme full stop but had to laugh at the fact that on that day I had thrown on anything at the last minute that didn’t match, AND my hair was an ocean dried mess!. I was rocking gold Adidas runners, denim shorts with the words ‘’bad gal’’ on them, a gold lame American apparel swimsuit and a Rocawear red, black and white classic trackie top-what a mess! Maturity must have kicked in though cos I didn’t give a s***. All animated I called my mum to tell her , she told me to focus on my own stuff and snapped me straight back to reality.

Starting the show were Nick Cannons new male vocal group Rydz N Rtists who were really good-the arena loved them. Thousands of hysterical young ladies were screaming for them to take their shirts off and all sorts-they were like the new Jodeci/ B2K and with no autotune helping their vocals I think they’ll go far. They’re signed to the music arm of Nicks company NCredible.
Next up was heart throb Trey Songz who had a lot of ladies hysterical and screaming. After his set I actually had to accompany some young girls who shall remain nameless to his area to get autographs and photos. They thought I was the best auntie ever until we were told by his team that he’d just left to catch a plane. I sniggered under my breath as the lil ones all looked crest fallen. But not for long cos the main star they’d come to see was about to hit the stage!.

We returned to our backstage area, I checked to see that Mrs CC was ok and didn’t need anything but of course her assistant/friend Rachel had everything covered so we just chatted for a while. The arena was full of fans, friends, celebs and family. I hugged the ever charming, smiling  Stephen Hill (HEAD OF BET TV) tight as we caught up , Mariah’s co star in Precious- Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe-was there with friends and as the house lights went down I thought my ear drums might actually burst with the screaming and roaring from the crowd.

Mariah came on around 10.30pm and for 2 solid hours sang hit after hit from her past 2 decades of smash hits wearing a number of diva esque outfits-at one point even summoning onstage her hair, makeup and assistant to ‘’refluff’’ her cos she was a diva. Loved that part-shes fly and she knows it and doesn’t give a daym what folks think-pip! The fans were delirious with excitement when at midnight she counted them down and a solid 2 minutes of pyro fireworks, confetti and balloons covered the whole stadium. Of course they were pink and lavender!. Even though I know mc has hits for days its not until uyou see her killing the stage for nearly 3 hours that you realise just how many! When ‘’Fantasy’’ dropped I jammed hard! Post show we hung out in the dressing room toasting the show with drinks before hitting nightclub M2 where Nick was dj’ing. Joining us were actress Gabourey and new American internet celebrity Love B Scott who is the hottest new celebrity blogger Stateside (check him out) and as we brought in the New Year Mariah asked me ‘’I have another show in Atlantic City tomorrow– are you coming?’’…..but I had made other plans already to go see the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe as well the  hit show ‘’Fela Kuti on Broadway’’. But my life’s never simple and the next night my whole diary was remixed again with a crazy Thelma and Louise esque adventure. To find out how catch me next week!,.