Author Archives: Angel Mel Selector

AMMP – Spread Love Promote Music

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AMMP was borne out of a genuine desire to ‘spread love and promote music’.
We pride ourselves on being more than your average music agency; our aim is to nurture the talents of our artists, to provide support to the promoters and develop long lasting relationships on both sides.

Our current roster represents the finest in established and rising talent on a national and international scale. We are proud to represent the following artists: Kev Beadle, Rainer Trueby, Lay-Far, Opolopo, Gabriele Poso, Craig Smith, Jo Wallace and Mixjah.

Our first passion is music, we understand the importance of marketing your music. We are always looking for and finding opportunities to nurture and develop your talent. We strive to provide a holistic yet professional and friendly approach to working with our clients.

Stay tuned in for updates on interviews, music releases, events.

For more information on bookings go to http://www.ammpromotions.co.uk

Love & blessings Angel Mel x

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My love for the Suncebeat Festival and the Children of the Sun.

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This is a piece I have written especially dedicated to all the Suncebeat family or as I affectionately now call them ‘Children of the Sun’.

There are several stages of being when it comes to the Suncebeat festival simply put, before, during and after. I will now attempt to give a brief description; If you are discovering Suncebeat for the first time, read on this may just tip the balance in your favour to book up for next year. On the other hand if you have already sampled the delights, then join me as we relive the memories.

Before – Did you hear whispers amongst your friends about a festival somewhere in the Dalmatian coast that was more beautiful than you could have ever imagined? Not just aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but a festival full of like minded souls who had gathered together for the love of music. Such places exist and are your for the taking.

Once you have stepped into the realm, you will never view life in quite the same way again.

During – Were your mind and body prepared for the delights that lay in store for you? Having reached your destination, taken your first tentative steps in a country that was mainly unfamiliar to you. Did you look across Tisno, up to the mountains and along the calm blue sea in wonder? 11800773_10153391083056154_636989748_o

On site there is a palpable rush of euphoria, this place is unlike anything you would have ever experienced before. Is this what togetherness feels like? You look from left to right, to faces turned towards the sun with an expression of sheer happiness on their faces. At that moment in time you surmise there is no better place than this and nowhere else you would rather be.

Hot summer days follow warm summer nights, this is hedonists groundhog day without the monotony. The world blossoms before you with the visions of boat parties, intimate gathering of DJs and music lovers, all thrust together out at sea. You may cry tears of joy, it happens to be true, for there are few greater experiences in life that evoke such deep emotion.

11780063_10153388315946154_1566440064_oFor me the Mindfluid boat, with Kev Beadle firmly at the helm and followed closely by Rich Medina, Rainer Truby, Lefto, took proceedings to a whole new level. Until you have experienced nearly an entire boat moving in unison directing energy from the ‘souls’ of their dancing feet towards the DJs, it is a feeling like no other. On the Yoruba Soul boat, Osunlade, Rainer Truby, Craig Smith and Eddie Ramich; gathered our spirits and invoked the gods and goddesses of dance. Such were the vibrations pulsating through the boat, that several dolphins joined the party and jumped with joy alongside us. Revellers flocked to side of the Argonaught to catch sight of these magestic creatures, all at once causing the boat to lean precariously to one side. Occurrences like these are rare, they are what I call a world appreciation moments and are to be cherished. 11790321_10153388316276154_1785678119_oJust when you think you can not take any more happiness, you discover how to dance on the beach stage! Wide wild steps, sweeping arms as you sassay across the dance floor. All is right with the world the DJ is spinning your favourite tune, whilst the disco ball showers in you in an iridescent glow. Where else could you experience a plethora of DJs from Osunlade, Andrew Ashong, Lay-Far, Floating Point, DJ Spen, Dean Sunshine Smith, Lil Stevie, Gavin Kendrick, all displaying a kaleidoscope of the finest soulful underground dance music around?!

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I will take this opportunity to salute my dear friend Neil Pierce, who is one half of Rhemi, whose track ‘Diamond’, must be the winner of anthem of the week, not a day passed with out the lyrics ‘Just be the diamond that you know you are’, cascading across the beach stage. All who are in agreement with me say I!

But wait there is more Barbarellas! Here you become the mistress or the master of keeping the vibe alive as the coach takes you to your destination. Barbarellas is a world within itself, an out door arena, free from walls allowing you to be free. Time moves slowly we dance for hours to an assortment of; Disco edits, Deep South African House, Soulful and uplifting grooves, to the ancestral tribal Afro House. We dance until the first light creeps it’s way over head, the morning sun makes it way to greet us, (haven’t you gone to bed yet) it whispers.

I must not forget to mention the pleasure of seeing the live acts Roy Ayers and Brand New Heavies and how we swayed and sang along to the songs that have provided the soundtrack to our lives. Or the Soul stage with Terry Jones & Ronnie Herel, as it throbbed to the sound of happy singing voices.

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Make way for the DJ Queens, Natasha Kitty Kat Probert, Simmone Black Fox and Blonde Flash, who displayed greatness behind the decks.

As the days progressed and with the greatest ease, you find you have became a member of Suncebeat family. Never has it been so easy to connect with people from the worldwide community in one small place. Facebook will light up with the clicks of new connections and shared experiences.

After – Is the stage of utter exhaustion but only as a result of having the best time of your life. Most of us at some point have lost our voices, some folk have temporary lost our minds, lack of sleep can do that to you. All forgiven and after a good nights sleep is forgotten.

The most profound realisation of what you have just experienced can not be found in words, it hits you between the 2nd and 4th day of being at home. When the slow trickle of Facebook statuses become a torrent of adoration and love. Video clips and photos topple across the screen, confirming that yes this is your life. The revelation hits you square in the heart and mind, that you now belong to something deeply powerful and moving. Suncebeat is more than a festival, it is a way of being with one another and a way in which we connect with our spiritual selves. Since the dawn of time our ancestors have joined together under the sun and moon, we have danced in unison sending our earthly bodies into the heavens. For those 7 days we have followed in the footsteps of ancestors celebrating lives bounty.

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I end my review with a quote by Ptolemy an ancient Greek geographer and astronomer, I read this quote and thought of us.

‘I know that I am mortal by nature and ephemeral, but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of heavenly bodies, I know longer touch earth with my feet. I stand in the presence of Zeus and take my fill of ambrosia’.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt blessings and love to Alex Lowes, Dave Gardener, Nick Connelly, Gavin Kendrick, Kev Beadle, Ben Brophy Yasim, Ceri Ann and to all the people in front and behind the scenes who help this extraordinary festival possible.

Give thank the DJs, for their energy, for keeping us dancing and for being the conduit in which unifies us: Roy Ayers, Brand New Heavies, Louie Vega, Tony Humphries, Kerri Chandler, Osunlade, Sandy Riviera, Miguel Migs, Black Coffee, Dimitri From Paris, Floating Points, Andrew Ashong, Motor City Drum Emsemble, Marques Wyatt, Rich Medina, DJ Spen, Reverend P, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Lefto, Rainer Truby, Eddy Ramich, Lay-Far, Djeff Afrozilla, Craig Smith, Dean Sunshine Smith, Ronnie Herel, Souldynamic, Phil Asher, Kev Beadle, Gavin Kendrick, Mark Stone, David Fiorese, Luis Radio, Jonny Miller, Ben Brophy, Steve Butler, Lil Stevie, James Morgan, Natasha Kitty Kat Probert, Simmone Black Fox, Blonde Flash and Colin Williams.

To my roomies Jan and Karen, here’s to our nudist apartment, Benny Hill sketches, Prosecco and life long friendship.

My business partner Laila – welcome to the family we the world is our oyster.

Last but not least children of the sun always keep the love of Suncebeat in your hearts. Until next year big love,  11791053_10153396101661154_2018424216_o Angel Mel x

To relive the whole experience tune into my Suncebeat 6 soundtrack, just follow the link below.

An Interview With Josh Milan – Spreading The Musical Gospel Of Love & Unity To The Masses

The name Josh Milan encapsulates all that is emotive, life affirming and conscious in the ‘Soulful’, ‘House’, music scene. With a voice that is as unmistakable as his name and an impressive career that spans over 30 years. Josh has remixed chart topping successes for the likes of Lisa Stanfield, Diana Ross and Baby Face to name but a few. After achieving world wide acclaim with the now legendary partnership with Kevin Hedges and Chris Herbert AKA Blaze.
Since the split, Josh has ascended to new heights taking his love, passion and vision for music to a higher place.
Join me as I interview Josh; as we discuss spreading the holy gospel of love and life and bringing unity to the masses.

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Josh you strike me as a person who has triumphed over adversity. Since the split from your former partner Kevin Hedges of Blaze several years ago. This must have been a difficult period for you. Can you describe what you learned about yourself during this period and how you turned this situation into a positive?

The music is business is just that, a business. And anytime one is doing business, that person should be responsible for their own business. And that is the lesson I learned from my experience while with Blaze. Never allow anyone to handle your business, friend or whoever. Handling your own business will allow you to fully understand what you’re dealing with, and not be taken advantage of. It’s an age old lesson in the music industry. It happens often because most artist want to do their art. Learning the business of music is very much like taking a college course. It’s not at all fun for most musicians.
What I learned about myself is that I’m very much a business man. For 25 years I didn’t know that. But after being devastated by the business, I quickly learned how to read contracts to the point of fully understanding them. It’s not rocket science, but it’s not the easiest thing to do for most musicians that can’t wait to perform.

Having a career that spans over 30 years you have undoubtedly seen many changes to the music industry. For example the changes in social media have affected the way that music is shared on a global scale; platforms such as YouTube have become almost instrumental in promoting tracks, much to the disdain or delight of the artist depending on your stance. What are your thoughts on this issue? In your opinion if you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?

Social networking and media sites have allowed the independent artist to have a much bigger voice. It gives the smaller, less known artist the chance to introduce themselves on the same platform as the superstars of the industry. That’s great. But it also allowed for the listeners/audience to be saturated with music from anybody that feels that they have talent. And, it also opened the crippling door of file sharing. It was the beginning of the end of the music industry as we knew it. Budgets, have seriously decreased because of the lack of sales. Many record labels went out of business. Artist are now DEPENDING on gigs/performances for income.
For today’s artist, on the other hand, social networking, media, and file sharing is all they’ve ever known. And they don’t seem to be stopping. So yes, I think YouTube is awesome. I just feel like artist will have to accept that sales will never be what they were. Artist will have to find a creative way through social networking to introduce themselves to the world. All artist must be proactive. The days of the label doing EVERYTHING is over. The music industry is no place for artist that aren’t willing to learn how to work social media and networking sites. If I could change something in the music industry it would be the treachery. Ironically, the music heals, speaks to our hearts and should, encourages, amongst many other things. I’ve heard it said that music is the voice of God. But the music industry/business is the opposite.

Josh your talent is multi faceted. There are few who are able to compose, produce, write and play a wide variety of instruments, let alone have a voice that touches the very soul. When working on new material, what processes do you tend to go through? For example do you write the words first then compose the melody?

That’s very kind of you to say. Thanks for that compliment. I have many approaches when doing music. I get inspired many different ways. It’s very similar to cooking. A chef cooks many different styles and ways. Sometimes he cooks the same product, but prepares it differently. Sometimes I start with a great lyric that I loved, or heard from somewhere, or I start with a chord change that I heard in another song and build a musical statement of my own around it. Sometimes I’ll start with a rhythm. It all depends on the mood of that song. I just finished my first solo album. A lot of the songs I started with lyrics. A lot has happened, and I had a lot to draw from. I did some cover songs, and because the lyrics were already written I was able to try my hand at reharmonization, and arrangement. So the approach varies.

In 2010 you started Honeycomb Music – who is Honeycomb Music made up of? How would you describe the style and music being released from the label?

Honeycomb is comprised of myself, Adam Cruz, and Tasha McZorn. The reason I don’t give any titles is because everybody does what needs to be done. We are a very small operation, however, we are very dedicated and focused on Global appeal. The sound is soulful. The term soulful umbrellas so many styles of music. Professionally, my roots in this business is Soulful House. However, Honeycomb is not a soulful house label. It’s a soulful label. The last project released on Honeycomb is the Honeycomb presents Black History Music album. There is a wide range of musical styles on that project, yet it all sounds related to each other. The entire album is free. at HoneycombMusicStore.com.

There is something intrinsically spiritual about your music; from the lyrics whether they be inspirational, motivational, uplifting or display honesty in human nature. I would go as far as to say that your work feels like you have brought the essence of the church into each track. How important is your faith to you and what impact do your beliefs have on your music creativity?

Thanks you so much for saying that. In my personal life, though I am not at all the perfect example of a Christian man, I do take my relationship with God very seriously. I believe in a very basic moral system of right and wrong. For me, vulgarity in my lyrics can never happen. The glorification of things that are not edifying in some way, is not part of my musicality. If it’s inappropriate for your children to listen to, then I won’t do it. I did a song like that one time in my entire career. It was fun. I enjoyed it, and a lot of people enjoyed it. It was a hit! But I felt spiritually convicted after doing the follow up to that song. So I will never do a song like that again.

Which artists / bands have you heard recently that gave you cause to cry tears of joy? Or at the very least are fine examples of emerging talent on the music scene?

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Jarrod Lawson’s self titled album. And also Laura Mvula’s “Sing To The Moon” album. Both are well produced, the lyrics are very very clever, and well thought out, there’s some serious orchestration happening with Laura Mvula, and with Jarrod, the musicianship is totally high. Can’t call either project “cheap”.

In the ever expanding world of ‘House’ music; there are as many sub genres as dance moves and countless artists / Producers all vying for attention. There has been a tidal wave of music being released. In this fast pace of life there is little time to absorb let alone listen to each track. Do you feel the urge to hit the breaks and slow the whole process down or do you thrive under the pressure? How do you balance the quantity and quality of your productions?

That’s an excellent question and I’m so glad you asked. Honeycomb is not at all interested in quantity. It takes me a while to finish some songs. I believe the soulful house scene has suffered partly because labels are rushing to put music out. I know some labels that have a schedule to release music before it’s done, which in turn puts pressure on the producer to finish. Causing the music to sound under produced. It’s so bad that now the consumer has developed a taste for that synthetic, under produced music, which makes it difficult for producers and songwriters that are really trying to come with some tangible music. So the way we deal with the fast pace and short life span of new music is to not deal with it. We believe in consistency over any schedule. However long it takes to get the song we feel is the right one, will determine the release date, not the other way around. The shelf life for new music is said to be two weeks at best. There’s nothing we can do but be consistent.
The music legacy you have created with Blaze, Elements of Life and of course through your own productions have a well deserved and special place in people’s hearts. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with me.

Angel, it’s people like you that help preserve the music we love so much. You’re as important to this as the songwriter. I’d like to encourage you to continue doing what you’re doing.

Angel Mel



Honeycomb Music LLC.
http://www.honeycombmusicstore.com

Southport Weekender – Celebrating 28 Years Of Life, Love and Music at One of Britain’s largest & longest standing indoor dance events. Collection Of Music and Memories

We are family.

We are family.

Back in October 2014, the organisers of Southport weekender brought Southport back home to it’s original humble beginnings at the Pointins site. I made it my mission to interview and record as many of the SPW family, in celebration of our 50th anniversary. My aim was for people to share their first time and most cherished memories of the Southport Weekender. Since starting out on my mission, the recording of people’s stories was the easy part, but editing and putting it all to music was quite a different kettle of fish. I had to learn how to use the audacity program from scratch! So please excuse the all the ambient sounds in the background,and the imperfections. All the stories were recorded live from the event as it was happening. I’ve been holding on to this project for months, I was uncertain whether the finished product was good enough to share with my beloved Southport family. That is until I received the news on Wednesday 20th March that would no doubt change not only my life but the lives of those around me, when I heard that this years Southport Weekender would be the last. I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming since of loss, I felt bereft. Hearing the news was like losing a dear friend. Selfishly I could only think of life never being quite the same again, and that there could be nothing to fill the hole that it left behind. For Alex Lowes, Dave Gardner and the team to come to this decision must have been heart breaking for them. But I can not dwell on the sadness or sense of loss, when belonging to the worlds most friendliest music event has brought me and many others so much joy. Nothing can take away our memories, or the life long friendships and experiences that we all shared together. We belong to a unique community, fueled by our passion for music and togetherness which has ultimately changed our lives for the better. Remember there is no Southport without you, us or them. With every dance move we ever made, when we wiped the tears of happiness from our eyes, from the collective call of ‘Good Morning campers’, the infamous chalet parties, the mind blowing performances, our pride as we display our collection of SPW lanyards, the intensity of the build up as the event approaches. We have all be touched by the magic and it has left it’s mark like indelible ink right across our hearts. This isn’t the end it’s just the beginning of a brand new chapter in our lives. Lastly I want

to thank all the amazing people who contributed to this podcast and to everyone single one of the SPW family for having such a profound affect on my life. I hope by listening to this podcast it makes you smile and to bring back your own special memories. Special thanks to Corina & friend, the brilliant Antony Elson, Susie, Steve Smith, Rebecca Wann & Champs, Simon Schooly Philips, Fitzroy Da Buzzboy, Siobhan & Tracey, Adeva, Marcia Carr, Jean Carne, Rob Lawrence, The Beast, Annie & Alan Kenny Arscott from Mucho Soul, Mike Dirguid, John Stewart, (my soul sista Jan Whalley, Peter Borg, William Loonen Thanks to Colin Williams for the image. Music 1. George Benson – You can do it baby 2.Cheryl Lynn – Got to be real 3. Masters At Work – To be in love 4. Armand Van Heldon – You don’t know me (instrumental) 5.Sounds of Blackness – I’m going all the way 6. Maze – Twilight 7. Nu Colours – Greater Love 8. The Rebirth = This journey in 9.Jean Carne – Was that all it was 10.Omar – Dancing (Zed Bias remix) 11. Roy Ayers – Liquid Love 12. Kerri Chandler – Rain 13. Louie Vega – Cerca De Mi (instrumental) 14. Gregory Porter – On the way to Harlem

http://angelmel1979.podomatic.com/entry/2015-03-22T08_47_41-07_00

Presenting One Of Sweden’s Finest Producers – Opolopo In Full Effect

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This is the tale of the ‘Synthesizer’ kid, who dreamed that one he would spread his love of electronic dance music to the far corners of the earth. The kid worked hard, hidden away in his studio mastering his craft. Today we know of him as Opolopo, the Producer & Remixer Extraordinaire and Turntable Dynamo.
With a name that means ‘Plenty’, in Yoruba, Opolopo has much to smile about. He has a string of dance floor smashes under his belt including his track featuring Shea Soul – Be Enough, Choklate – The Tea, the now infamous remix for Gregory Porter 1960 what? and recent a track featuring 1990s soul singer Lisa Stanfield for her Picket Fence, not to mention the Sacha Williamson heavy weight slammer ‘Blame’.
The time has come for Opolopo to stand and be counted as one the most prolific producers around.
The 4 X 4 not only a classic house beat – it forms the foundation of the interview 8 questions only.

1. Tell me one thing about yourself that most people do not know?
I can beatbox with my teeth.

2. Do you remember the first tracks you heard that turned you on to a life of making music?
I’ve always been into “making music” for as long as I can remember. I have no formal training but as a kid I was always messing around on the piano, coming up with simple riffs and melodies. The big thing for me though, that really sucked me in, was the discovery of electronic music. One of my earliest musical memories is hearing the synth-pop tune Popcorn on the radio when I was 3 or 4. The track featured the Moog synthesizer and I remember being fascinated by how it sounded and how it was different from anything else on the radio. But the biggest moment was probably hearing Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene during a relaxation exercise in gym class in the late seventies. It sounded so alien and mystical. It was all synthesizers and drum machines. Synthesizer was kind of a dirty word back then -“you don’t have to know how to play, just how to press a button”. But I didn’t care. I loved the sound. So I went and bought Jarre’s The Concerts in China album, and it was listening to that album that made me go -“One day I’ll have the synths and machines and I’ll be making electronic music.”

3. I first became aware of your music, after hearing your now infamous remix of Gregory Porter’s 1960 what. How did you keep your feet on the ground after creating such a dance floor anthem?

I’ve told the story many times but it was just a simple edit/tweak I did for myself so I could play it in a clubby context. Then Gregory’s label heard of it and the rest is history. I only added the minimal elements I felt it needed for the dancefloor: a synth bassline, kick, hats and a bit of percussion. The success of the “remix” lies in the power of the original. All I did was to present the track to a new audience.

4. Peter you had the unique opportunity to go on tour with your keyboardist father, what did you learn about music that you may not have learned otherwise?
Yeah, I was just a kid tagging along every now and then with my dad, who played keys in a cover band. We went playing on a cruise ship or supporting some big show artists at hotels. Don’t think I learned so much about music itself. It was more of getting a, not always so glamorous, glimpse of musicians and artists lives in the spot light as well as backstage. I loved the experience but it didn’t really make me want to become a musician. I was more interested in production and the music making process than being on stage.

5. The ‘Opolopo production sound is distinctive, what do you think makes your sound and style so different that other producers?
It’s just about musical and sonic taste I think. I have certain things that I like and I kind of now how to get there. The rest is just tools to get the job done.
My musical journey growing up, as a listener and fan of music, goes from electronic through fusion and jazz, through funk, soul and boogie. I think all those elements are present in one way or another in my productions. I guess that gives me a certain sound.

6. If you had the choice between DJing in a world class music arena full of music lovers or writing and producing a double platinum selling record, which would you chose and why?
Haha, well there’s not much money in selling records anymore so financially I should go for the full music arena. But then again, my arena style fist pumping is a bit rusty so I’d still go for the platinum record.
But seriously, as much as I love DJ:ing, my first and biggest love will always be producing and making music. There’s something about locking yourself up in a studio, creating and controlling your own musical universe, that’s hard to beat.

7. You are the master of the remix. The last album you did was ‘Voltage Controlled Feelings’, released on Tokyo Dawn records back in 2010. Do you have plans to produce another album and can you tell me more about your future plans?
I co-wrote and produced vocalist Amalia’s debut album, Art Slave, for TDR in 2011. So there kind of was one more after VCF. 😉
But I’m releasing a spanking new full length album for Z Records later this year. A mix of boogie, funk and house. It’s been in the making for quite some time but I’m very excited to finally unleash it upon the world.
Other than that there’s a bunch of new remixes coming up.
8. If you have a mission in life what is it? How will you know once you’ve achieved it?

When it comes to music my only mission is to never compromise with the quality of my work. Sure, in retrospect some things might not have worked so well or turned out differently than I thought while making it. But I always try and put in the same amount of work and dedication no matter what the project is. I’ve always thought that if you set your bar high enough all the time, people will eventually catch on. I’ve always wanted to let the music speak for itself. If you keep doing that and have the stamina and are stubborn and foolish enough – you might succeed.
So being able to make a living doing music is in a sense a result of achieving my mission.

Thank you Opolopo for sharing your passions and ambitions with us. For more from Opolopo please follow the links below:
http://www.facebook.com/opoloposweden
http://www.soundcloud.com/opolopo
http://www.twitter.com/opoloposweden
http://www.youtube.com/opoloposweden

An interview with Oveous – A Lesson in Dropping Conscious Bombs.

Oveous

Oveous

And then there are those who do more than just stand by and watch; absorb the world around them, filter it through multi- coloured lenses. Repackaged  for the masses, under the buzz line you WILL listen. In the words of Gil Scott Heron ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, the revolution will come to you via your android phone, all seeing eye iPads and what ever futuristic medium we decide to hold on high. My aural revolution was brought to me by Osunlade, location Suncebeat 5, Barbarellas at 6am in the morning. Such were the blows of the lyrics of OVEOUS’s Ipoem, that the masses fell silent, apart from the occasional screams of delight, as we stood trying to get to grips with reality through a haze of hedonism. Profound!

In recent years we have mourned the passing of conscious street commentators / poets such as Gil Scott Heron, Maya Angelou, who will take on the baton and carry the message forward to a new generation? There is one man, OVEOUS that we could take to our hearts and minds to new places; who has the ability to combine exceptional poetry, collaborate with Grammy award winning musician Roy Ayers, renowned producers Louie Vega, Osunlade and Atjazz, while still delivering the message.
Join me as I interview OVEOUS.
O – Offering social consciousness, an alternative to the main stream
V – Victorious open your eyes will win against oppression
E – Eloquence, words delivered skilfully with accurate precision
O – Omnipotence, the power to overcome
U – Unify, one nation under a groove
S – Social Commentary, life reflected, complacency rejected, people stay connected.

How did your experience growing up in New York (and then Miami) form your views of the world?
New York is an amazing city. There’s a reason why we call it the Empire State, Empire city, and its because so much creativity and culture stems from here. Naturally, when you grow up here (for me it was from Uptown Washington Heights to the Bronx), you get inspired by every single thing you see and hear on a day to day basis. And living in New York, you get to see and hear a lot. We have five boroughs filled with people from all over the globe. So it truly is a melting pot and you can almost say a “preparatory school” for exploring the rest of the world. As far as Miami goes, I did live there for almost 4 years back in the late 80’s as a kid. It was a fun time. I learned a lot there about loyalty, friendship, and the importance of family. It was just Me, my mother and my brother at the time. The rest of my family stayed back in NY. Miami is a special place to me cuz that’s where I fell in love with video games and also BMX freestyle biking. The sun was always out and inviting us to go out and be active. Miami is also the reason I went from being a fat kid to being in shape. LOL. Yo, its true tho, I was a chubby one man, till biking and basketball took over in Miami. But anyway, yea, NY was my world view tutor.

You and your little brother Carlos Paul were raised by your hard working single mother. When you reflect on life back then, what is the most valued lessons that you take with you through life?
Never, ever, take any of the small blessings you have in front of you for granted. Ever. I kid you not when I say this, but there were times where we didn’t know how we were gonna eat or pay the rent. But Moms always fought hard, hustled hard, and somehow always came thru 4th quarter in the paint. I will forever L’Ove her for that. Her loyalty to us was Priceless.

New York city is renowned for it’s kaleidoscope of musical influences. What music where you listening to that got your creative juices flowing? What first attracted you to those artists?
I love these types of memory lane questions because they always challenge me to go back deeper into the early influences that pulled me in to the music world. As far as I can remember, the first cassette tape “album” I ever bought was that of LL Cool J. And unfortunately I bought it a bodega not knowing what a bootleg was. I was just too young to know what that was. LOL. Rakim, Fat Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Heavy D, Gangstarr, and NWA were some of the first artists that caught my ear. And I really liked their music a lot. But I gotta be honest and say that although Hip Hop will always be my heart, House music was my first true musical L’Ove. I say this because I remember the first time I heard Crystal Water’s “Gypsy Woman”. That beat, classic piano and vocals was just something that hit my soul like nothing else had before. I mean, I was seriously hypnotized by this sound. A few weeks later I went to a club in New York called Vinyl and another in Boston called “The Loft” who had a friend of mine playing there by the name of Armand Van Helden (now one of two guys in Duck Sauce, shout out to him and A-Trak). So yea, I fell in L’Ove with them beats man. It was just too beautiful to ignore all of the great records that were coming out at that time. So for me as a fan of guys like Masters at Work’s Little Louie Vega, Yoruba’s OsunLade and Atjazz, and to now be working as a producer and vocal collaborator with these guys is an incredible feeling.

If you could be any computer game character who would you be and which game most reflects your character or life experience?
EASY!… MEGA MAN ALL DAY, EVERYDAY. Lol.. I’m going with Mega Man because I can really relate to this dude. Mega Man is an android designed by scientist Dr. Light to simply be a lab assistant. But when the world gets threatened by evil forces, Mega Man steps up as a battle robot instead. Attached to his right arm he has a cannon called the “Mega Buster” that changes and adapts according to his enemies and the environment. I can relate to this cuz In my personal life I’ve had to change and adapt many a times in order to survive. It’s crazy to think that a Japanese video game can be that Deep, but it really is! lol. Shout out to Capcom Yo!

Both you and your brother shared a passion for writing lyrics, Carlos Paul aka Ziiinc Blue originally showed great promise as a lyricist. In 2002 tragically Carlos Paul made the decision to take his own life, after battling with depression. Having experienced such personal trauma, you took the brave and courageous step to deliver your own tribute to Carlos – Ziiinc Blue. For the first time you performed your work in front of an eagerly awaiting crowd at the Nuyorican Poets Café. Can you describe the build up to this performance? How did you harness the essence of spirit to take you through this emotional & transitional stage?
This is actually really deep man. Honestly, I’ve never even discussed this with my parents or even family in detail. But around that time (October 6, 2002) after learning about my brother’s suicide, I became completely cold, removed, and emotionless from everyone. At the same time, I was also hit with a divine energy of inspiration and became very focused as I began to write what would be my (tho I had no idea at the time) first internationally recognized piece of lyrics. It was all just coming at me at once. Lyrics pouring out of me. Ideas flooding my brain constantly. To the point that I got fired from the ONLY job I ever had out of college. lol. (Best thing that ever happened tho). So on some real ish, best way I can explain it is that I wasn’t really in control. I just do what I always do. I write when the writing comes to me. It comes to me and I just document the messages that were sent to my head. As far as the first time I performed at the Nuyorican Cafe… Man, that was CRAZY ELECTRIFYING!!!! Literally, it felt like I had been shocked with goose bumps for 15 min straight. During that time I used to write poems and raps on the subway train all the time. On that particular night, I took the train to Nuyorican, arrived just in time for their open mic on a Friday night after their slam battle, and I read one of my first pieces ever written. “For The New Yorker” a rap/poem hybrid about living in the concrete jungle. It was crazy. I got a standing ovation my first time on a stage. Its been a blessing and a fun ride as an Artist since. *THANK YOU NUYORICAN! I love ya’ll! Oh and you too LouderArts 😉

Where do you gather the impression for your songs and poems?
I think I answered this question earlier in brief, but to go into further detail, I believe that to be a great Artist you have to illustrate the human experience from a new perspective. One that inspires generations. One that pushes the boundaries of what we thought we already knew about ourselves. And Our lives. You have to be open to the possibilities of expression and the exploration of new terrain. No matter what your medium is as an Artist, you should always try to find the hidden treasures of expression. You have to find what hasn’t been seen or spoken about or at least a new path to a familiar road. It isn’t easy to do, but the ones who are blessed with this unique vision, stay in your mind forever.

In the past you have worked with a whole host of respectable musicians and producers, including Roy Ayers, Osunlade to name but a few. At what stage did you start to put your lyrics to music?
I would have to say that it pretty much started in 2007 when I performed the acapella of Mirror Dance at WMC in Miami at a dance battle. Some buzz went around about how people were moved by that piece. A few months later I met Osunlade and Quetzal Querrero aka QVLN at SOB’s in NY after a show. We all bonded, became family instantly and next thing you know I’m in the studio with my engineer/producer and good friend Dave D Sol Rivera recording the official “Mirror Dance” tune. At the same time!… My good friends Anane and Louie Vega had seen my performance at the Apollo theater on TV and they asked me to join them on their next “Elements Of Life” LP which is out now on Fania Records. Whats really ILL, is that I’m on a record with one of my favorite artists’ growing up… the great URSULA RUCKER! Man, I can’t believe I can actually say that. So humbled.

Recently you did a few DJ sets in Greece and also at the Ace Hotel in London, how does Djing compare with your poetry stand up? Do you have a preference? Or is it a case of having more creative freedom?
I L’OVE doing both! So now that the word is getting around the world that I can do both, its been really opening a lot of doors for me. It’s really the best of both worlds for me. I get to party, play music, perform, and expose people to poetry and beats in a setting that normally wouldn’t expose it! It really is great. This is a very exciting time for me as an Artist. I’m producing records and playing them. I’m rapping. I’m doing stand up poetry. I even landed an acting role in a film that we’re shooting right now! lol. I’m the type of Artist who loves to explore and push my limits. I love to conquer the fear and take on the challenges ahead of me. By the time you publish this, it will be no secret that my new album is coming out on my own label (Moca Arts Music). It is a very soulful hip hop album titled “Passion In Veins” and dare I say, people are calling it a future classic (their words, not mine I swear). It is my best work to date. This album is truly about the PASSION it takes to survive in your life. Lyrically it really pushes the envelope in that It has a ton of positive and  messages you can relate too, without being preachy and yet it’s still very poetic and prolific. I’m really proud of my learning and evolution process as I get older and more into Music. I’m also very proud of the album cover. As I believe it is one of the most original album covers ever conceived. Or one of the coolest and most raw. I say this because to achieve the artwork, I literally had to BLEED for this album. Yep, I cut myself several times, drew blood, and began to paint the cover art with my own blood. I have to give credit to my friends at creative agency Johannes Leonardo who conceptualized this with me over dinner and wine one night in NYC. lol.

There is something about your construction of words and performance that has the power to hold the listener spellbound. Describe the magnetism to your words? I think it boils down to being Real. From the moment I open my mouth the audience can tell if I’m being real or fake. They can also feel the impact of the message. Because I always write about our lives, our struggle, our pain and our joy from new perspectives.

I first became aware of your work through tracks such as “Soldiers” and “I Apologize”, and more recently when Osunlade dropped “iPoem” on an unsuspecting Suncebeat crowd at 6am. For me and many others it was a profound experience. Have there been any incidents recently that have left you creatively speechless? Perhaps in terms of positive feedback.
First of all, shout out to my brother Boddhi Satva who produced “I Apologize” for me! Second, I’m always being entertained and moved by even the smallest things on a day to day basis. But recently I witnessed some amazing talent at a “DayBreaker” event here in NYC. From dancing to singing, there’s always great talent out there.

There are whispers by some, that you could be our 21st century social messenger. If this is true what is your message and how will you know when you have achieved it?
Me?… The 21st Century social messenger??? whoa, that’s heavy yo. That’s some big shoes to fill. But hey, if its me, then so be it cuz I came into the Arts with the right intentions. Always for the People. To uplift and inspire the People for generations to come. And my message would be to live a life that does good for not only yourself, but also to others. With all these shootings and killings, we could really could use a dose of understanding and forgiveness.
The ultimate message would be to find peace within yourself so that may translate to the energy you contribute to the rest of society.

If you could go back in time and reconnect with your 16 year old self what one piece of advice would give and why?
I’d say to myself, “ Yo O, f*ck all the bullshit, stop being so afraid, work hard on your craft, and trust your PASSIONS. Everything is going to work out just fine!”

What are your future plans and where can readers find out more about your work?
My plans for the future include the release of my new album “Passion In Veins”. Also releasing some remixes I’ve done with Atjazz for the “Soldiers by Soldiers” LP. I have a Lady Alma remix dropping for OsunLade and Yoruba Records hopefully in 2015. And a remix on Agogo records for Gabriele Poso’s “Invocation” album track 006. So basically, I’m gonna keep busy with writing and producing records and DJing more this year than ever. I’ve put out a lot of hip hop music in my career thus far and btw, i.e..( Me and QVLN dropped that J Dilla Tribute that has gotten tons of L’Ove), so I’m going to focus now on making more of that classic future House music sound that’s been in my head now for a few years. Its definitely time to let the people hear the future.

Moca Arts Music (ASCAP)

Wildstyle Junglist Warrior K aka DJ Krust in the area

A show to remember an evening with K aka Krust, there is much more to this man than meets the eye. Innovator, deep thinker, rule breaker with his roots deeply rooted in Knowle West & Wildstyle. Props to my co pilot Russell & Mark we were all little star struck

Bristol Streetmap family with special guest DJ Krust aka K

Bristol Streetmap family with special guest DJ Krust aka K

Angel Mel & DJ Krust go head to head (interview dated 12/8/14

When Angel met Rainer Truby 003East meets West – When Angel Mel met Rainer Truby

Still reveling in the after glow of the Southport Weekender 50th anniversary. I caught up with Rainer Truby on a warm sunny evening, ahead of his performance alongside Futureboogie owner and DJ Dave Harvey at the Love Inn.
Rather like catching up with an old friend rather than an interview, Rainer & I discuss; Southport Weekender, Level 42, his early years as a volunteer DJ at an old peoples home. his involvement with Danilo Plessow from Motor City Drum Emsemble and other magical moments.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Rainer for his time, and excellent sense of humour and of course his music.

Track List

Martin Pantino – Hommage A La Sodomie
Truby Trio – Carajillo
Tosca & Lucas – Stuttgart (Marlow & Truby remix)
Joey Negro & The Sunburst Band – Face The Fire (Rainer & Marlow Refix
Rainer Truby & Vanessa Freeman – Living In Te Music
Rainer Truby – To Know you

 

Angel Mel, Peter D Rose, Mikee Freedom, Ray Mighty

Angel Mel, Peter D Rose, Mikee Freedom, Ray Mighty

Bristol Music Legacy – Smith & Mighty / More Rockers

I have put together a radio documentary named Bristol Music Legacy; the documentary takes a behind the seen look at the artists, Producers, DJs etc that were instrumental in putting the Bristol music scene on the map. I will be charting Bristol’s unique historical influences by shining a light on the people behind the music.

This episode I interviewed Ray Mighty and Peter D Rose from Smith & Mighty / More Rockers; alongside Mikee Freedom of (Nomad – Devotion fame). Join us as we discuss Sound Systems, the early years and mash ups.

Follow the link  date 24/06/2014  to hear full interview

Osunlade – Age of the (Aquarian Moon) Review

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Age of the Aquarius.
Aquarian Moon was originally released by BBE back in 2006. Now re-released in 2014, several new tracks have been added to this Deluxe edition.

Osunlade is a man that needs no introduction, revered and adored by his dance floor believers, known to many as the ‘Black Messiah’. With a style that is fluid as the water that flows from the Aquarian star sign. Osunlade latest offering is an ode to his beloved adopted home Santorini in Greece, each track is a unique love letter detailing the many ways in which it has become his spiritual home.
Sculptured and shaped like wood made by the skilled hands of an devoted artisan. Rich, with a bounty of ethnic percussive elements which are the roots of the tree. At the core, Osunlade never loses sight of the importance of a his spirituality, to invoke the listener into experiencing a shared existence. Like the branches of an oak tree, each track holds it’s own by thrusting outwards an array of musical influences in it’s garden of earthly delights. The track, ‘Aquarian Moon’, fuelled by the beat of bongo drums, hand claps, melodic strums of the guitar and rhythmic slaps of bass; while ‘Twophish’, is a funk infused flute fest. ‘Circles’, is a beautifully orchestrated piece, with a broken jazz components. ‘Sokinsikartep’, is a track that is deep as it is wide, an electronic pounding thunderous storm, while ‘Casablanca Soul’, is the polar opposite, the sweetest sounding horn sections, fingers tips that skip across the piano keys in sheer delight, happiness in a love letter.
The Age of Aquarius is believed by some to herald in a time of peace and harmony, if this is true ‘Aquarius Moon’ would be the place that we all gather together in love and appreciation for the places we call our spiritual home, where ever that may be.

Artist: Osunlade
Title: Aquarian Moon Deluxe Edition
Label: Yoruba Records
Release date: Out now
Available from: Bandcamp
Listen again: http://yorubarecords.bandcamp.com/album/aquarian-moon-deluxe-edition