Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Flying free...

Words cannot express how much House Music has changed my Life. Age has no barrier in transformation or learning. I give thanks everyday for this music getting me through some of the peaks in valleys in this thing called Life.

I remember hearing on vinyl, 'What Is This Thing Called Love' by Alexander O' Neal as a child and losing my mind. First, I would look at the vinyl spinning on the deck and look at my mom. Secondly, I would twirl and dance in front of my mom and she would holler and yell in excitement and happiness because of the lyrics and beat.

However, when she played the 'Whistle Song' and 'Rain Falls', we would do the same, but dance in eternal joy, happiness and TOGETHERNESS united us.

Frankie Knuckles was from the Bronx, yes. However, he called Chicago home and crafted a sound that continues to affect the community and so many individuals, including myself, around the World. Hearing his music and mixes always had a level of Love, rawness, yet softness behind it. I would sneak and listen those tracks while my mom was asleep and sing at the top of my lungs until I got caught because a child, you were not to touch 'The Record Player', as mom ever so called it.

I can only fathom how Chicago and the World is taking this right now. I opened my page only to find that I saw his passing. He was JUST at WMC, smiling and taking pictures with fans, heads and fellow DJs. Shock ran through us all until it was confirmed. I have not cried this much since the passing of MJ. That one hurts and still hurts to this day. But this transformation of Life/loss stings just as bad, if not worse. Let me tell you why.

House Music is a soulful thing. I truly feel it within me and dance like no one is watching. I cry as if the Heavens opened up and shined down on me. Some people in my Life do not understand how or why I am a House Head or why I go out and do what I do for it. I sing (way off-key, sometimes) as if I am around a crowd of people and not caring what their faces are reading because I FEEL this music.  Age has no bearing on one's experience and feeling when it comes to music. House Music was just that. Yes, we had other genres of music passing through the speakers in our home. But I never felt complete, until I heard House Music. I would hear the beat count and the stories being told. The melodies that unfolded and the amount of Love put into it. Frankie did that.

Although I never had the chance to formally meet him, I did catch one him on the streets in Miami during WMC. He was with a group of other individuals. Respect, yet humility exuded from him. To say the least, this had me awestruck. I could not even approach.

I have read several stories about individuals close to him and how kind, humble and good of a friend/mentor he was. Then I think about now and how some of DJs, icons and pioneers still live up to that legacy, especially with the youth. Through it all, he still smiled in his photos and shared through music. From what I have read from those closest with him, it was reciprocated both ways with Frankie and the beings he made interaction with. It is few and far in between nowadays. This is a wake-up call, in my opinion. We have to embrace different sounds of this genre and mentor the YOUTH in this movement. The YOUTH also have to do their research, ask questions and find out history about this movement. Thankful for individuals in my Life who have done that such thing. Continue to school me, educate me and enrich my LIFE in this thing called HOUSE MUSIC. We have to come together so we can leave a legacy for those in the future. We cannot let this movement SLIP AWAY from us and become a fad. It has nor will ever be a fad. We remain strong in our roots and like the roots of a tree when it is fed nourishment, it grows.

The pettiness of this movement from certain individuals, I tune out. One cannot waste time on it. You may not like a sound, but its roots stem from House. I read posts about people getting upset or complaining about certain sounds and how it has not roots in House. It may not be a major root, but it is a root that is getting nourished and fed. Respect that root and you shall be nurtured and rewarded as well. There needs to be a balance and I truly feel that if the balance were there, things would flourish. Stifling a root causes it harm and eventually, death. We cannot have that on our hands. House Music, in my opinion, is slowly starting to make a comeback. You hear it in certain songs. It may not be the Deep, Underground or 'soulful' sound that some of us may be used to, but it is House. I can still groove and smile to myself.

'This is only the beginning. We must push on...'

As I sit here and listen to Alexander Hope's Dancin', it only reconfirms that for me. Dance to whatever makes your heart happy. Do not stop because some individuals tell you, 'Oh that's not House...'

Granted, I have done this a few times, as well. However, I have learned to embrace so many different sounds that my feet continue to move.

A level of respect has to be given. In order to respect, it must be earned. Frankie earned that respect. Some people say he was underrated. I disagree. He was, in my opinion, looked up to and a huge influence in many DJs careers. If you were a DJ or a House Head and did not whom this individual was, I suggest doing your research before you claim otherwise. Still researching and finding artists who continue to pave the way in this thing we call House Music.

As for soul, the music that pumps through my speakers has rhythm, Life beats, a story either through instrumentation or vocals, highs and lows, and of course, a beautiful finish. My Heart sings of JOY and HAPPINESS!

Thank You for the music and the radiant smile you gave us all through pictures and the beautiful melodies you crafted. Although tears stream and sadness fills my heart, this House Head is humbled right now.

Fly Black Bird. Fly free...


Saturday, January 11, 2014

F.I.L.A.M. = Forever I Love ATLANTA Music

DISCLAIMER: If I forgot some tidbits, my apologies. Things were coming to my mind at that moment and HAD to get it out.

My apologies for the lack of posts. Life has kept me on my toes I am now in NYC and savoring all that it offers. Truly thankful for this experience. However, I am missing my Atlanta Music family right now.

Last night was a fine example: I got to see Kai Alce at Output. Anyone who know Atlanta KNOWS of Kai Alce. Yes, he is Detroit bred in his sound, but his home is ATL. I remember meeting this being at 16, while scoping records with my mom at Satellite Records (Rest In Peace). Such a humble being, yet a music connoisseur who could tell you EVERY single piece of info about a track. Talk about amazing! One of the 1st records I bought there was from Tortured Soul. I got home and played it on my Technics and the sound was Heaven to my ears.

I say all this to say: TREASURE those who impact the movement in the RIGHT direction. The uniqueness of our movement (notice how I did NOT say scene. That ends and another chapter starts. Movements shift and create energy) is what I love. As a young being in this movement, I am always amazed and blown away by the history that paved the way for many to do what they do in this city today. Still learning and growing from the experiences that I have encountered. From people playing at Ying-Yang Cafe, Kaya, MJQ, Backstreet and so many other joints. I can go to ANY city and when I mention Atlanta, I get a few of the following:

A) I did not know that you all had a scene there
B) Yeah I have people down there that do events
C) What's that event that happens every Labor Day? House In The Park, right? Friends of mine went and were blown away
D) Tambor is the lick! I have to make it down there for it.
E) There are some fine ass women who go to the events that I see in pictures and posts. What's their names?
F) Such a youthful and open quality that you rarely see. Keep it moving!

I remember one night while at MJQ dancing on stage with Rodney, RamonRawsoul approached me. No lie, I was wondering who the heck he was. He reached out to me to check out this event that he was doing at Candler Park called House In The Park. Changed me and turned me out. There was less than 200 bodies there. We are now celebrating its 10th year. About 10k the year before and one of my closest beings that I know. THANK YOU!

Meeting Salah Ananse one day through Nina and hearing his sound was like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. He paid attention, got advice, took notes and BOOM! Respect, homie!

I remember mom coming home with Ron Pullman CDs and we jammed out. Letting the children have it and losing it all at once in the middle of May. Going to Earwax and seeing what Ron offered to everyone. Such a cool cat and I miss that sound...

Ausar bridging the Ancestral World with this realm always makes my soul sing. Opening up discussions and having powerful beings on panels that reach out to the masses. I have so much Love for this being. Respect!

The way Cullen Cole fuses B-Sides and Disco with some House favourites/rarities guarantees that all will be good while on the dance floor.

Meeting Kemit through moms and Kai, then being blown away at his sets at MJQ. Always showing Love to everyone and reaching out to those who want to know more. He keeps it funky, raw and soulful.

Going out to MJQ my first night and meeting Rodney Williams, Ruby Omar (Rest In Peace), Content, Soul, Twa, Talub, Tac, Shana, Isis, Cardrian, Pebbles, Jennifer, Brian Scarlett and so many others.  Some of us danced to House Music and some House Dancers (there is a difference, you know...). Losing our ever-loving minds (sometimes clothing) whenever a track came out. The darkness of the club and the bodies all in motion...

Thankful to have met and know pioneers of this movement, even though some may not understand or fully grasp their sound. We are losing pioneers and we must respect and honor what we have.

My definition of Atlanta's sound: You have a conglomerate of cities that influence it. However, it is of our own. You have Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Milwaukee/St.Louis, London and so forth. You cannot just peg our sound just by hearing one DJ.

Sure, you can go The Gathering and hear RamonRawsoul and Kai Alce play. You hear their distinctive cities, BUT you do notice a variance of sounds that is blended into the sets, which makes my Heart sing. You can go to Tambor and hear Stan Zeff and DJ BE spin, but you hear their roots. Just listen.

Too many people pigeonhole one city's sound and honestly, it bores me. I cannot hear Afro all night. I cannot hear classics all night. I cannot hear Disco all night. I cannot hear Garage all night. Mix it up, folks! That is what makes House Music unique.

And to those who like to create ruckus for the simple fact to bring attention to themselves within our movement: Stop it. It ain't cute. I know for a fact that I will not be attending an event if all you do is bitch and whine about things that ABSOLUTELY have no merit. If you disagree with things that occur within our movement, reach out to the pioneers and get some knowledge before you spew inaccurate statements. I have had to distance myself from several due to this. I personally do not care nor want to contribute. We are here for the music, not ANYONE'S personal agenda. If you are of that Light, do us all a favor: remove yourself. You are only causing yourself more harm to your reputation than anything.

Our family may have its imperfections, but at the end of the day, we come together in the name of music. I am sick of outsiders coming in and saying rude things about our movement. If you do not know, ASK. To be honest, it is disrespectful and detrimental to you.

I get it. Your city knows House Music and do all that it can to preserve its sound. Although that may be the case, do not come to Atlanta and think that we are behind, some country ass bumpkins or lack knowledge. You may be surprised if you step outside the box and experience something brand new. Your ears will appreciate it. Trust me.

I may be in NYC and getting a taste of the movement here, but ATLANTA will always be my HOME!

I LOVE each and every single one of those who bring happiness to many on the dance floor.


P.S.- If you are in the Atlanta area MLK weekend, PLEASE go to MJQ for our MLK celebration. Cullen Cole, DJ Kemit and Kai Alce on the decks. Date: January 19th!! One of the few events that gets me happier than a child on their birthday.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Atlanta Weekender/House In The Park


Labor Day was INCREDIBLE and one for the books! Atlanta has shown and grown within the ranks of the House Music Movement in the states and Worldwide. The Soul, Ambiance and Youth behind it truly inspires me. What a perfect weekend to close out Labor Day than to have The Atlanta Weekender and House In The Park.

Thursday night: LoveSexy Party - What a way to kick off the weekender. Working the door for Nina and Salah Ananse is always a pleasure. I have known them both for many years and to be part of a wonderful event bringing diverse communities together is key. Sabine in the building! That is my sister (dancing and Spiritual). I love her to bits. I knew this was about to bananas! Cannot forget Rescue Poetix (Jersey in the building!) showing ATL love. DJ Kwest_On and Salah on decks. Hearing 'Scandalous' made me lose it at the end. Madam CJ and myself started singing. I remember as a child hearing that track from one of the Batman films and seeing the album cover. Talk about classic. Ran into so many wonderful souls that night. This was just the beginning...

Friday night: Moodymann x Kai Alce x Ron Trent (SoundTable) / Josh Milan x Sabine Blaizin X Salah Ananse (Space2): Bear with me on this one. So much aural stimulation was being given this eve that I did not know what to do with myself. Great to see Moodymann while eating dinner. As well as seeing Ron Trent chilling and another brother that I have not seen in ages. his name slips my mind. Nonetheless, having dinner and chilling with some Chi-town folk, I run into Justin (DJ AquaBeat). I am so used to seeing him with Cher, but she did not make it this time around (bummer!). We discussed so many things and how this weekend is gonna change his Life. Food comes out and we are all in bliss. I am always raving about The SoundTable and its food selection. The Brussels and Cauliflower combo is the business, though.

So walking into Space2, it is great seeing Nina once again, Francesca, James, Teya and so many other souls. I look up and Sabine is on the decks getting it! Something about her sound motivates me. She brings so much into it and yet, still has a beauty behind it. Sleep on her if you want, this woman is doing big things. I get my groove in and then I bump into the wonderful Josh Milan. Giving him the biggest hug known to man. When I tell you that the amount of Love that I have for this being is a lot, believe it. He is thankful and excited. The first thing I ask is if he will be here for House In The Park. His reply was yes! My chest bugled in excited and happiness for my city! Little did they know how amazing House In The Park is. I pop over to SoundTable next door and Kai is warming up the crowd. Shortly after, Moodymann gets on. That was bananas and packed out. I then knew it was about to be on. Getting my 'fro all hot and bothered over the amazing beats.

It was great to see the wonderful people dancing on deck.  I pop back over to Space2 and Salah Ananse is on. Dropping goodness and getting the crowd hyped up even more. I swear Salah be bringing the pretty women all out. I guess it is a Libra thing. Nonetheless, this promises to be an amazing eve. Josh Milan steps on the decks...

Okay, he got to have his own diatribe for this because CHIIIILLLE: He truly showed out. The crowd slowly starts to grow bigger until it was PACKED OUT. He is banging out joint after joint. Even though in his blog, he stated that he played one track twice, that mug must have been seamless because I did not notice at all.  The only thought running in my head, 'Pleeease someone play 'Inside Of Me'. That would SO make my evening...' . Hearing sounds that many do not play down here was comforting to myself. It was this one track he played and I started doing turns, dips and handstands on the floor. I am going to need for him to give me those so I can pay for my download. Just sayin'!
When I heard 'You Should Be Loving Me', I lost it! The crowd went nuts! Cortney, Rodney and myself immersed ourselves even deeper and we hugged. Oh yeah! Cannot forget when I heard 'I Might Do Something Wrong' and people started losing it, singing in unison AND yelling. That track is one of the FIRST tracks I heard while transitioning into a House Head. That track just does something to the 'heads who know what it is about. We LOVE YOU, JOSH!! Your set truly set the bar for me. I can truly say that not one I stopped dancing. I may do a two-step every now and then to certain DJs, but you had a sister moving. The vocals, soul and riffs you brought were truly needed. Oh yeah, you must have read my mind because you played 'Inside of Me'. I lost it! So great to hear it through some speakers. THANK YOU!!!

Way-ment (Wait a minute...), how Deetoy gonna get on and make me get on the wall?! I cannot! I remember hearing him at Salah Ananse's Afrique Electrique event and losing my ever-loving mind in 2011. Why did you all have to tease us with that?! Sherri, Sabine, Keely, Simone and myself are losing it. I look over and others are losing it, too. Saturday promises to be an amazing day! So why is Ron Trent bringing some Kerri Chandler and some House Classics at the end?! A sista is not complaining. We all are getting it in at SoundTable to the goodness! Thank You all!

Saturday Afternoon/Evening: Passport Party x SpreadLove x Carlos Mena: Smoothies were helping me a TON this weekend and this day was NO exception. Arrgh moving day! Motivation from the past two days kept me going non-stop and it was not about to end. As soon as I finished packing, I headed down to Space2 for the day event. Aquabeat is at it. Next up is Deetoy. LAAWD!!! Why was he getting it in with all of us?! I cannot! Myself and Sabine were working it like it is Jouvert at Carnival (well, it was Carnival up in NYC). I feel alive when I dance.

Thanks for the video, Betty Castillo :)

We all got it in, including King Casamena himself, Carlos Mena. That is my homie and one of the most amazing individuals I have met. So few make an impact within my Life through music and continue to be an inspiration. He was in town to do an event called Secrets, which never disappoints. After the Passport Day event, I quickly changed and said my hellos to DJ Kemit and Aishah. These two are ALWAYS working hard and on the go! One of many power couples in the A I have so much respect for! BIG UPS!!!!! Late nights with wonderful music with wonderful company. 

Sidenote: Did I mention that my homegirl Emma from Montreal was in town? Talk about LOVE! what's up, lady? I have not seen her since WMC in Miami. Now you got something to tell your Montreal folk.

Sunday ALL DAY: HOUSE IN THE PARK 9/ AFTERPARTY: Arrived at the park around 11 or so. Tents ALREADY on deck. Folks were not playing this year. They said 8am that the park was gonna be available to the public. From what I heard, people were already lined up ready to get a spot. I said my hellos to so many beautiful souls, including Ramon's mom. She is a such a humble and honest soul. Words cannot express that enough. Thomas had the grill on deck with the Chicken Sausage. LAWD! That was a beast all in itself. I settle down and my mom comes soon after. This HITP was bittersweet for me. My last big bang in the ATL with so many wonderful souls. My goal was to keep it together emotionally, be jolly like I am everyday and to just have fun. As the music starts to vibrate through the speakers, the first pavilion fills up. 

Kemit is on and I felt this energy. He played 'Hear My Call' and to see him intertwined within the track with his eyes closed, I felt Ruby. That was her track. It takes me back to one night at The Gathering and she asked me to go up to the booth to ask Ramon to play that track. Anyone knows, I would NEVER do that, but at that moment, it was what she wanted to hear to uplift her spirit. When he did, to see her in her element brought tears to my eyes. She was a fighter until the end. I digressed and then the tears flowed. We had a mutual friend there and he caressed my back, knowing that all would be okay. I felt her smiling and the energy was just beautiful. I needed that moment to just focus and give thanks. The last time I saw her at HITP, Kai was on. Rodney and myself were dancing, she approaches us and gives us hugs. We cry in joy and gratitude.

I miss you Ruby...Rest In Paradise!

Snapped back and started dancing once more. The energy was getting out of control. By this time, Salah is on and we are all hooting and hollering in full-blown ecstasy. The energy was different somehow this year and I cannot put my finger on it (in a beautiful way, of course). For me, the number 9 signals completion. The City of Atlanta gave Ramon a proclamation and made it an official festival. Congrats to all who put the WORK in. 

Back to the music, donation boxes being passed around, Tracy twirling and smiling, Nina fanning and snapping/shooting video for all, seeing Chicago fam getting it in!

Highlights: At the beginning, Kemit was still on and the dance floor opened. Let me address this and leave it at this: I am all for people having cypers/circles and whatnot. Hell, sometimes I jump in. Just UNDERSTAND that the pavilion is ALREADY packed with people, DO NOT take up space. It kills the energy and people just stand around and STARE. We are here to release and dance in the name of Music and our Ancestors. I do not want to see someone DANCING and taking up space. It ANNOYS me to no end. So this is what Fahamu and myself implement: Operation Break-Up Circle. Not even after we stepped in, the circle ceased. I stated that I WILL NOT HAVE THAT HAPPENING and it ceased. Our ancestors want us all to rejoice! And that's exactly what happened. This young sister came up to me, grabbed my hands and we both danced. That is what means SO much to me! To see the youth interacting with its elders. Dancing is my Heart and Soul. I can only hope that this city understands its effect on the youth in the dance community. WE HAVE to come together. 

- Seeing Carlos Mena, Deetoy, Kai, Kemit, Salah Ron Trent in the booth while Ramon is beating 'Work that Motherfucker'. I LOST IT! Cortney and myself are on the table and TWERK TEAM was on and poppin'! I appreciate Ramon bringing the Chicago flair, but also respecting all levels of Music. Thank You!

-Alison says hello to my mother, who has attended EVERY House In The Park. She explains to my mother about my departure to the Big Apple and my mom makes this face. The next thing I know, I am in tears!! Goodness gracious, Alison! I LOVE YOU!

- Kai Alce on the decks and Frankie Knuckle's 'Whistle Song' come on and I in tears once again. This House In The Park was very emotional for me. I cry tears of happiness and joy. For the simple fact that my loved ones are here and we are embarking on amazing in Life. The music has us enveloped in its Love and one can only be Thankful. When I tell you that this Music has saved my Life. It truly has. It has taught me discernment, respect, Love for yourself and a mind of your own. Nothing in this World can replace that. The fact that one can travel around the World and under the age of 30 speaks volumes! ALL BECAUSE of MUSIC!!!

-Josh Milan meeting my moms. My mom is a HUGE fan of his past and present stuff. Both are from the same neighborhood that I will be residing (BK! Do Or Die!). She asks for his number to make sure that I am alright. That made my Heart smile. Oh! Ron Trent meeting my moms too?! Talk about respect and elders! WOW!!! Ron was blown away, as was I! This HITP is one for the books!!! 

 THE AFTERPARTY: Why was that STRAIGHT BANANAS and PACKED OUT?! I guess people were not ready to go from the Park. My boy, Sean Alvarez is on decks and doing the goodness! He plays Franck Roger's 'Jeware' and I am getting it in. The place is becoming like sardines at this point and I find Ramon. James is working the door and then I ended up working the door for the rest of the night. I actually liked doing it. Ron Trent comes on and starts bringing banger AFTER banger AFTER banger. Putting on wristbands and busting a move is what it is all about. Talk about an EPIC weekend! Can we just rewind? I'm just saying though... Kimberly, Nina, Karin, Al, Ramon, Kai, Salah, Teya, Francesca, James, Kemit, Aishah and so many others: THANK YOU for being the individuals that you are! This Labor Day weekend meant so much to me in so many ways. You have shaped my Life and I am FOREVER thankful for that! Okay, back to pictures!

Photo credits: Shannon McCollum, Carlos Mena, Clay Hollowman, Sean Ruff, Francesca Lowe, Sabine, Josh Milan and so many others! THANK YOU!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Djeff Afrozila's 'Soldier Ascension' album

Man has it been a whirlwind. Sorry for the lack of updates. NYC had me captivated and words cannot express the amount of music that I experienced while there. I cannot wait to be back soon. Speaking of music and the experience, I am here to give you the run down of Djeff Afrozila's album, 'Soldier Ascension'.

From meeting him a couple of years ago to now, his presence within the movement has been nothing but incredible. Still on a high from his set at Mi Casa Holiday. Talk about bananas! Nonetheless, I got a sneak peek from the man himself and let me just tell you, it is DOPE!!

Some highlights from the album:

Mwangole featuring Nacobeta,Agre G and Game Walla: When I first heard this track, I lost my every-loving mind! Where's my wall when I was getting it in and not giving a damn?! I twerked like it was no one's business. A dancer's delight who appreciates music from a worldy perspective. Angola be getting it in!! I think I found my brothers and sisters in the dance movement. Free and full of Life!

Soldier Ascension: Months before the album's release, the video came out. Not gonna lie, at first, I did not get it. However, after listening to an interview with Djeff and the concept of the video, he explains how there was no concept and that one is to just listen to the music. Such a groove to get into.

Celebration with Ade Alafia: When I first heard this, I thought of going out and just getting lost in the music and its message. Celebrate everything that is given to us and share that energy with all of those around us. Ade's vocals and message speaks volumes to me. Number three on the album and quite possibly one of my favourites. Any DJ who knows music, this should be in your arsenal. Big ups to Boddhi Satva for engineering this greatness!

Make Me Stronger with Leslie Kissumuma: When I first heard this melodic track, I sat back and listened to the lyrics and felt myself in her situation. Atlanta's own, Yoel Ben Yehuda provided flute, keyboard and bass on this track. Another banger for the right DJ to get a crowd moving.

Different featuring Kholi: If you are wondering who is bringing this track Life with her vocals, it is South Africa's own, Kholi. Providing her vocals to C.nine and Atjazz in 'Chasing', she changes up her sound and it resonates! As a woman, I can appreciate this. I digress. Simply put: Beautiful.

I am different/I am out of the norm/I am a different me...

African Mermaid: Spoken word and beautiful composition lays this tune down to a T. New York's own, Tantra Zawadi speaks of (in my opinion) the beauty that is of an African woman and the desire that many may have for her and the desires she gives to him. The poetry Tantra blends within this track is magical.

Love is her treasure...

So there you have it, folks. If you are in London, I AM URGING YOU to check him out at Club Colosseum tomorrow night with Kristelle Morin and Zepherin Saint. I promise you that it is full of goodness!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Women: We are here!

DISCLAIMER: This is not to start anything, but to progress who we are as beings in this movement. I respect those who have shaped the sound for my ears and I will always show Love, regardless. That is what it is about at the end of the day :)

Today started off as usual: Bumping tunes and getting tasks done. A conversation sparked this post and I am glad it transpired. Makes one realize the true depth of our purpose as women, not only within the House Music Movement, but in Life as well.

Women in society are conditioned to do such things as: support their man physically, emotionally, spiritually, produce offspring in the World, teach a child to be a better human being and other things. In this movement, I truly feel (I am guilty of it as well) women are to be the cheerleader for male DJs. It becomes discouraging when you put into it and many fail to see that or do not want to recognize it. However, I give major props to all that do show Love and stay looking out for us women, including myself. To an extent, this one of the many reasons I hardly go out anymore.

I give my energy and Love through dance. It makes me whole and inspires me on so many levels. I started this blog with the intent of letting all know about the movement here in Atlanta and there is so much more than what meets the eye. Still scratching the surface and finding out about some amazing female DJs here in my own backyard.

You got DJ Fyre, Rachael Pryor, Lynnee Denise (Oh I am still claiming you...even though you wanna leave LOL), Tracy Levine, Zsa Zsa ( I know you Chi all day, boo. Much Love still LOL), E-Luv and so many others. This movement is about us ladies. I know that I am not out to attend at times due to my crazy schedule and Life, but trust and believe, I support you all.

If I am correct, who wants to be at a sausage fest or a cat carnival? Mix it up with some ladies on the decks! Oh and another thing: The divisiveness must cease. I get it, you only want to cater to where you're from, your sexual orientation, who you know in the movement and et cetera. It gets boring and you are perpetuating the negative aspect of this movement. Another avenue that needs mentioning is that I am in the South. To some, this may not matter, but to me, it plays a pivotal role in the movement here. Male-dominant, religious-driven, yet lacking feminine energy.

I started listening to this music as a child because of my mother. She is the one that nurtured me to the sounds that she grew up with while in NYC. One thing she taught me: acceptance. As I mature, this is becoming of a greater need. I see what she means now.

My ears are open to so many sounds of House that I could never EVER imagine. Truly thankful.

Through travels, I have met bomb ass women, such as: Sabine, Mryto Joyce, Zandy, Kristel Morin, Anane Vega, Helen Ting, DJ Tabu, Saturna, Mikki Afflick, Miss Kai, Funke, DJ shErOck and so many others. You women inspire me to dance freely, be who I am and always give through music. This is what it is about. I am so over the politics and social aspect of it. Who gives two shits anymore?

My blog usually focuses on the male aspect of the movement because that is what I was conditioned to listening to and seeing while going out. I did recognize a post with my homegirl, Myrto Joyce out of NYC. Henceforth, my commitment to women will be highlighted on this blog on a larger scale.

This also has to be expressed in the dance arena as well. Ladies, whatever happened to us dancing feminine and being proud of it? For me, I was always scared to show my femininity to dance due to the simple fact that some would perceive it in a negative way. Enjoying my face done up, smelling right, hair looking good and wearing feminine clothing always gives me a little bit of Pride. When I was introduced to Brian Green while out at House In The Park last year, he expressed this sentiment. He appreciated the fact that dancing was free, feminine, yet had balance. For him to see that, after being a pioneer in this movement, says a lot: We have work to do. ALL OF US!

The elephant is in the room and is making a lot of damn noise.

 I cannot let this sit in me anymore. So, I say to my ladies and gentlemen, who is down?!

I Love all who give and I mean that from the bottom of my Heart.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A letter to Osunlade

One never knows the impact music can reach to a soul. I remember hearing the Paradigm CD from when I was in my teens and going, 'What is this?! I need more'. Moms going to Satellite Records and buying Tortured Soul's 'I Might Do Something Wrong' (on vinyl) and hearing EVERY piece of instrument, vocals, breaks and everything in between. I always told myself, 'I would meet Osunlade one day...'

Years later, we share hugs, laughs and conversation. What a wonderful soul to know. When I first met him, I cannot lie, I was utterly humbled, yet intimidated. The energy that one carries is insurmountable. This meant more to me because I knew that this would influence me not only on a physical and mental level, but spiritual as well. I have become more available to my ancestors and even recalling songs that I have heard without even looking up the lyrics because of this human being. So it is suffice to say that I was more than ready for Saturday night.

Saturday night was absolutely beautiful! Never in my years of listening to music have I been on a journey as I was on Saturday night for Tambor Party. I have not seen Osunlade since Mi Casa Holiday and that in itself was beautiful. I felt the energy of my ancestors while in Playa del Carmen, danced with the sun and met some amazing souls! Cannot get any better than that.

I digress for a moment. I cloaked myself with the energies of my ancestors and all of those energies which I needed to contain myself on the dance floor. Whenever he comes into town, one knows to be prepared for something unique and special. He did just that. AJ and myself arrived a little after 11 and DJ BE was on the decks warming up the crowd. Stretching is necessary, as I did not want to go kaput by the end of the evening.

We make our way to the dance floor. We receive hugs and laughter. 

Osunlade arrives and a big smile crept upon my face. The hug was one of love, being thankful and humility. The first thing we discussed is Mexico. I cannot wait for another year of beautiful energy. He is thankful to be here. Atlanta, believe it or not, is one of his favourite cities to play in. Peep that folk. That says something about the movement here. Let's keep it alive! 

When he got on, he brought the rawness and tech that I miss dearly. One gets tired of hearing the same top ten tracks and the afro sound. I really need to move and let that shit hit me in the fucking chest. I never forget when he told me how he plays music and the more raw that it is, the more one can relate and move to it. I did just that. He busted out some Lana Del Ray, Frank Ocean, Prince, Funk, Songs for the ancestors, Afro, Soul and everything in between. I damn near lost my mind when I heard 'Olmec Save Us', 'Mirror Dance', 'Personal Jesus', Nadirah Shakoor singing 'Pride' LIVE, 'Fugama Unamathe', some drums for Chango and 'Change For Me'. That track gets me every time.

It hit me when I got home that Stan Zeff did not get on and play his set. I think he did at the beginning with BE, but I cannot remember for the Life of me. Not gonna lie, I would NOT want to play after that set. That was something serious! THANK YOU Stan Zeff, DJ BE and all of the Tambor family for an amazing night. I give my sincerest LOVE to Osunlade and see you in Mexico! Mi Casa Holiday awaits us!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The TRUTH about Carl Craig

Saturday night, I took time out to refresh my ears to hear some Carl Craig. To some, he plays Techno. But let's get this straight: THIS MAN PLAYS MUSIC!! He has been all over the World and for some odd reason, these Detroit folk always keep it gangster. Project B brought him to play and let me just say: A sista was impressed.

Downside: Not enough room to dance and some of the patrons were rude. I really got a bit tired of people bumping into me, knocking me in the head and standing on the dance floor.

Nonetheless, Kai Alce opened the night with some rawness and some Detroit flavour. I mean this with alll my Heart: Kai showed out and turned it. I enjoyed the diversity of sound within his set and for that, THANK YOU! He never plays the same redundancy on the decks and it is always refreshing, yet full of soul. Bobi Stevkovski brought a big of harder, yet Tech House feel to his set.

Then the man himself, Carl Craig steps on. When his set busted out with some newness from Moodymann, I knew it was gonna be a cool night. He mixed some of his goodness, Kevin Saunderson and other Detroit greats up in that piece. One thing I can say about the crowd Saturday night: Whatever Carl played, people listened, people danced and determined with their ears through movement. That track he played at the end, AJ and myself got it in on the wooden floor.  Let me just say this: We as a community here in Atlanta MUST come together! Secondly, the dancers need to as well. And lastly, can we NOT play the same 10 tracks?! I LOVE diversity! Give me some Tech House, some Soul, some rawness. Something. This is one of the many reasons I do not go out anymore. We gotta stop spinning for the same group and DIVERSIFY! The youth need to be a part of it. Please believe that when it happens, we can mature.