Friday, December 31, 2010

A strange arrangement: 2010 & Resolutions

Around this time last year, I sat down with a good friend with a bottle of baileys and the scarface DVD, and my sketchbook. I can't really remember why we chose Baileys but I think it's because it reminded me of Krémas, we chose scarface because we both never seen it lol, and my sketchbook to write my new years resolution. Prior to that day, I had never written down my goals for this year, and so I did. and here's what my list consited of:

- Taking Chances
- Manage my money more efficiently
- Social life (since 2009, was highly deficient in that department lol)
- Getting Involved in the community
- Physically do something (aka, less talk more action)
- Tutor a kid (once a week)/"Big Sister"/Mentoring
- License
- Be more vocal (aka voice my concerns/be more honest with myself and with people when things bother me) [sadly this one ended up costing me a friendship]
- Apply for jobs
- Apply for Internships
- Let Go and Let God [could've been better]
- Be more active in my faith
- Lauryn Hill (I wrote it down, in a "YouNeverKnow" feel about the whole thing, and guess who bought her ticket to see her on the 22nd?? YOURS TRULY SAAAAN'!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Star ft. Rachel Claudio - 20syl Rmx by Sly Johnson

It wasn't until I was going through this list again, that I realized that I had accomplished 90% of what I had sought out to do this year. It was sort of a cool realization, that I did all of this subconsciously. When I talked to my sister about it, she said that meant that I was an "effective person" and realizing this I think is sort of cool. I feel blessed to have the drive that I have to BE, and to Do what's in my heart.

Yesterday was one of the best days of 2010, simply because I felt like I was living in the moment in the simplest form. I didn't do much, had a meeting with a few great young people who will be contributing to a newspaper article at York. I decided that I was going to be part of it, for a challenge for myself, and as a creative outlet. Then I went for a walk around downtown after buying art supplies for my music project. I was walking around with a smile on my face. I swear if someone saw me they would've thought I was crazy, I kept trying to stop myself. I kept wondering if people born in this city really realize how beautiful this city is, and how blessed they are. For instance hours prior to my walk à la solo-dolo, I was on the bus, with the beautiful people I met at the meeting, and we were just discussing making change, and creating/starting initiatives and there was a white older man that was eavesdropping on our conversation, as we were getting off the bus, he made sure to tell us, that what we were talking about was the truth, and that it was extremely positive and that we should keep doing it. I was in awe. I think that if this conversation was happening in Calgary, it would've gone a completely DIFFERENT WAY!!

Supalover feat. 20syl and David of Hocus Pocus by Ovall

Yesterday, was also an awesome hair day! lol.. Considering the fact that my family was spraying some haterade on me and my hair over the holidays, by referring me to a female version of bob Marley, it was a nice change. I took off my braids not because of their comments, but because it was time lol. ( I had several braid patches that had begun a dance on their own in unison, and dreading out of furry, every time I washed it. I was super nervous/concerned!) I took a few pics of it all, I think my sister will feature me on her blog: CoiledCreole tumblr ... *raises the roof* yaay!

This year I'm going to create a vision board from scratch. I mean, charcoal, sketchbook, eraser, paint everything my heart will almost literally be splattered all over this board. :) ... I hope for it to remind me everyday of my search to actualize myself, to realize my goals, and to simply be the best me, and bring a smile to my creator. .... so 2011's goals will go as follows:

- Big Chop! :) (... so excited for this!!)
- Be more active/Step up my fitness/health habits (for the last few months, I've been developping really unhealthy eating habits, because I'm so consumed doing the work that I do and I'm not impressed with myself)
- Blog about what I'm doing physically? (exercises? skin and hair stuff? ...?)

- Let Go and Let God x5 (With my graduation and a big unknown question mark for what is to follow this goal, has become that much more critical!)

- Love every inch of myself, morning faces, awkward gas from lactose, coiled kinks, random body hairs and ALL! & shine
- Find my 'thing', believe in my many gifts, and actualize what's in my heart
- Be more willing to be more vulnerable
- step up my dull 'dating/relationship' life lol ... (not sure how yet though)

... (sidebar: I have more goals, but these are the ones I'm sharing on this 'thing')

Happy New Year fellow readers :) ... Happy New Year to this blog!
Strange Fruit

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I got a feeling...

Blu - So Perfect (prod. Exile) by mmmikeyt

The other day, I woke up and I can't remember what I had to do that day but I remember walking out of the house feeling beautiful. Everything about my hair, my skin, what I managed to accomplish with my clothes, was just good. I walked outside feeling simple, not at all conceited but feeling blessed that God gave me the spirit and the body wrapped up into what is me. I felt confident in how and who I was. It was random but it was kind of cool. That feeling was like a high that lasted a couple of hours, and then it faded into the background of my being. lol...

I tried to figure out the reason behind this random feeling. Funny thing is that I don't think transitioning is the reason for it. I think I always had those moments but I just never thought about these moments, until I started to think about being. (makes sense?). It's almost like I'm looking at myself outside of myself. Strange Fruit of the week.

John Legend & The Roots "SHINE" (Re-imagined by Ahmed Sirour) by Ahmed S.

While I'm at it, I guess I could give an update on my hair: My braids are dreading. lol.. I think it's that time where it needs to come off. But I've solved the scalp situation I had going on, and my hair seems to have improved dramatically, and so has my routine. Pretty happy with it, I'm just praying that I can actually undo the dreading action that's going on under there. For some reason I have this feeling that I may be frustrated enough to just big chop before new years or something drastic and random like that, but we'll see lol.

Hocus Pocus - Mr tout le monde by Manuel Orkestar

I finally finished the 1st draft of my project. The easy fun part is coming now, and I get to enjoy my break! I found a DOPE 100 best Native Tongues songs from Complex mag! I found out Lauryn Hill is coming to Toronto a few days before my birthday!

Ran into the trailer for this movie feat. Liya Kebede, which I NEED to watch as soon as it comes out.

Desert Flower (Wüstenblume) - Trailer English from MajesticFilm on Vimeo.

And here's a mini-short film I just ran into. It's the story of a man who started his own suit company in NY. It's kinda cool.

Lessons from a Tailor. Directed by Galen Summer from Ed David on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This is me, after 192 hours of writting my music journal. That's a week straight of waking up, going on my computer listening to songs over and over again, analyzing it, researching it, thinking about it, reacting to it, and writting it. When I go hard on my work, I go hard, ask anyone.

I managed to reached up to 140 songs. The minimum for this project is 150 songs. And I had the fortunate realization when I got to my 80th song, that a few of my previous analyses were not very solid, so I gotta go back and fix it before I leave for Ottawa. So let's just say I have a few more days to go on this until it's over.

On a lighter note...Today for the first time in those 192 hours, I went outside. I walked outside... and I smelt fresh air, and felt the ground. I felt the snowflakes fall on my head, my nose, and my eyelashes. I don't think I ever appreciated the feeling of just being outside in the cold as much as I did just then. ....... it was glorious

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'tis the joy of consumerism

Christmas in Harlem by The Beat Juice

The song is dedicated to the joys of consumerism. I will admit this song is a guilty pleasure. But this morning I went on a spree on a lot of articles about Haiti. I read this one article that discussed how since the earthquake, the dependency on rice has risen by approximately 80%. In other words, 90% of the rice that is being consumed by Haitians, (especially after the earthquake) is coming from this ONE area in the states. The earthquake = business as usual.

When I was younger living in Haiti, for as long as I can remember, I've always liked to receive gifts on Christmas, not from people, but just from my parents. One year when we moved to Canada, things were a little bit different, and things were a bit harder, and I remember when I was in grade 1 in a school in Montreal, I was introduced to this concept of Santa Claus. I remember leaving school that day feeling somewhat annoyed and confused, because there were no chimneys in Haiti. So this idea of this fat old man giving gifts to everyone around the world in one single night by dropping down the chimney was absolutely absurd. So I went home discussed it with my sisters and brothers and of course we all couldn't make sense of it had a laugh and dismissed the theory. I was 7 years old. lol

I'm almost 22 years old. I've had the opportunity and the blessing to learn a lot not only from people around me, but in University, in hearing people's stories, in reading them and in some cases simply seeing them unfold before my eyes. The point of this post is not say that I figured it out faster than all these kids but to acknowledge the power of privilege, and the blessing of perspectives.

Who You Are by Xesxpress

I think the most valuable thing I've learned so far in my life. Is the value you get from perspectives. There is one thing that stayed constant regardless of these perspectives, is the feeling of being with family. The food, the jokes, the sharing, the endless nights of dominoes, and more food. Though there are a few things I would like to have this holiday season like (i.e. Groceries! socks! CDs!!) I know I have more than enough. But to be honest if I could have one thing for christmas it wouldn't be for me, it would be for the thousands and thousands of people who are still in those tents, still under the rubble. It makes my heart hurt. I know enough to know that I can't have that. But I will keep praying for change. (I can't believe that it's almost going to be a year since this earthquake).

So for the first time in more than 10 years I will spend Christmas in the east coast. I hope I'll finish this project soon, so I could enjoy this break. There is power in the perspective I'm getting for being where I'm at. There are things money can't buy, and I call those blessings. lol. So cheers... Thank you Toronto for Everything. Thank you for your awesomeness. I've consumed all the joys and all the experiences of your corners with the little I have. You robbed me through your means of transport (TTC), and yet I found myself smiling. It's cold now and I haven't seen you in like a month because of school... So I'm not smiling like I used to, but I am always reminded that it could be worse (see Edmonton & Calgary). So thank you.


Who wakes up to George Clinton's Atomic Dog and Michelle Branch feat. Carlos Santana's the game of love. I do.. I swear this music journal has consumed me. :-/ ... (I know the Michelle branch & Carlos Santana have nothing to do with anything, just felt nostalgic listening to it, and had to bring it back, if it wasn't for my roomates all being asleep I would've probably blasted out of my speakers instead of my headphones) ... *shrug*
but I digress.

Melaniegone by grapejuicy

Anyway, just ran into this new video from India Arie, sort of like a promo thing to let fans know that she's coming out with a new material in the spring of 2011. It's featuring Idan Raichel, an Israeli singer/songwriter. Check it out

I've been replaying this video, over and over again. Adele is amazing!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Art of Sampling

Since I started going hard at this project, here are a few gems I've discovered

Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man by levan pavlenishvili

This is one of my favourite tracks from Herbie Hancock. I have a thing for the scatts, and the runs, and almost teases from the sax and the trumpet. lol.. don't ask questions just accept it. I love it.

Herbie Hancock ''Fat Mama'' (Re-Edit) by JP Set

Though the title of this one, kinda doesn't make sense lol.. but I can only assume it's a musician-insider-jargon. ... these tracks are making me wish I took up piano lessons instead of figuring it out by ear. *shrug*

Since I'm on the Herbie Hancock tip, I just found out that his song: Hang up your hang ups was FULLY and 100% sampled by Janet Jackson, in her track don't stop.
... I was in awe. The more I keep digging back doing this assignment, the more I'm realizing that this sampling thing runs deep. lol

John Coltrane's In a Sentimental Mood was sampled, by Asheru in Mood Swing, and Hocus Pocus, in one of their tracks, I can't remember the name.

Duke & Coltrane - In a Sentimental Mood by dafnesampaio

I think If ever I'm given the opportunity to learn what goes on behind the scenes of creating music, I will probably take it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I've been working on my music project, and it's taking forever, but at least I'm actually enjoying going through it. A part of me can't understand how come this is homework, yet another part of me completely gets it (it can be a little tedious). But still ... I'm loving it.

ViolinGreen - apple juice kid - miles remixes by killingenelneima

Just ran into this video of a lecture that was given by Professor Micheal Erick Dyson and Lupe. They are talking about the future of Hip-Hop... thought it was cool :)

The Future of Hip-Hop ft. Lupe Fiasco from Entertainment U. on Vimeo.

On another tip, this morning I revisted one of my favorite albums: Timeless by Sergio Mendes. There's something about his tracks that I love, even if for the most part, since I don't speak portuguese, I don't understand, but I love it! :) ... here's the french version

Les Eaux de Mars (Waters of March) Sergio Mendes feat. Zap Mama by Flávio Assub

I think I'm going to post some more sergio mendes

Friday, December 10, 2010

to tumblr or not to tumblr ?

Lately I've considering getting a tumblr ... and also have this, because there are times when I don't want to write much... and just post things. lol. What do you guys think? ... *shrug*

Xmas Time- Dj Jazzy Jeff & Ayah by rhythmhub

So Most of my academic madness is over! The only thing I have ahead of me is my music project. Which is going to consume my innermost being for the next few days because it's so loaded!!... and it didn't really hit me that christmas is roughly 2 weeks away... until I put this track on my ipod, and watched people at the subways station with all their massive shopping bags and slight anxiety on their faces lol. smh

Anywho, I had a plan to dance outside and do kartweels and everything, as soon as I would be done everything on friday, instead I stayed at home, and just chilled. lol..(let's face it, I haven't done a kartwheel since I was 7)..The next day I went to this fashion/HIV & AIDS fundraiser with a friend, then went to a small get-together christmas thing. It was nice :)

Chiddy Bang - The Good Life (Prod By The Neptunes) by drewboat

Hopefully during the break, I'll be able to work on some art, writing, and catching up with people I haven't had a chance too in MONTHS!

(I don't usually post pics of myself on this thing... thought I would for once lol)

Peace and LOVE.