I follow this pretty dope guy on Instagram named Darien Birks. From his pictures, I knew that he was a talented designer and had a fondness for classic tunes but I didn’t know that he actually produced music. After downloading one of his mixes a while ago, I was sold on his skills. A few days ago, he and Allan Cole (collaboratively called The Styvesants) released a project dubbed ‘Refined’. It consists of 25 songs and 25 cool covers.
Before the jazz festival this past weekend, I’d never heard of this woman. All of my friends were excited to see her perform and here I was embarrassed because I should have known who she is! I love jazz. So anyway, I’ve been listening to some of her music since then and I’m in love with her voice. Her sound is like a tranquil symphonic wonderland. Super smooth and tender. And what she does with her mouth (no homo)…
Now that I think about it, her voice reminds me of Amel Larrieux’s. If they did a duet…man!
It was right before bed when I first heard Janelle Monae’s song, Q.U.E.E.N. I thought to myself, “what is this noise that I am I listening to right now?” By the second and third listen the next day, I finally realized how perfect it actually was. Oh yes, Miss Monae brought it with the funky beats and hip-hop slash gospel tones. But more than that, her lyrics spoke to the very thoughts I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. It was at that moment that I decided to reclaim my Queendom. I decided to reclaim the respect that I feel I’ve lost along my way.
“Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.”
Have you ever been so happy that it made you sad?
Okay so, random. I’m in love with sadness. Like, I’m immensely intrigued by it…
I try to understand what makes people sad. Why they do certain things when they’re sad. I try to figure out the stories behind brilliant songs that are created from a sad place and time. There’s something so raw and beautiful about sadness. When you’re sad, you’re open to being vulnerable. I can connect to that. Deeply.
“I have found that the saddest people are also the funniest, and only those who understand complexity can communicate simplicity.”
Have you ever been in that space where you just feel weird? Not bad, not necessarily good either. Maybe like you’re not exactly sure how to feel. Or maybe you feel everything at once and you’re unsure of what to do with all of those emotions so you just sit with them. Let them play out on their own. That’s kind of how James Blake’s music makes me feel.
In another place and time, I was a dancer. Specifically, a ballerina. Last Sunday, I got the chance to be an African dancer extraordinaire! From my seat, anyway.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I never did my research on Fela Kuti before going to see the show. I knew of him and of his music but not much about his story. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: a Nigerian musician, composer, activist and revolutionary. Fela! the musical tells the story of Kuti in the 1970s, at the height of his career and also his contempt for Nigeria’s corrupt government. I can imagine him thinking to himself, “man, I just want to make music that incites political unrest, smoke weed, and make love to my many wives”. Lol. Kuti was a rebel with a cause and a message in his music.
It takes a lot to impress me. We’ve gotten so used to being impressed by mediocrity that we can’t recognize the beauty in the simplest things. Take creativity, for instance. When it comes to creativity, I know what I like. Colors, shapes, symmetry, blurs, concepts, angles, direction, etc. If I see something and I’m immediately hypnotized by it, most likely, I am impressed.
This is how I felt when one of my friends put me on to a new artist named Laura Mvula. Side note: I absolutely LOVE when people see something and think “Lucy would like this”. Makes my heart smile. Anyway. Laura is an English songstress hailing from Birmingham, UK.
What I love about the video:
- The muted colors (huge fan of tans); the soft beams of light
- The organic feel: no props, just people, a parking lot and a garden
- The sounds: the harmonies, the consistent clapping & beat of the drums
- The people: all I can say is, I LOVE BEING BLACK
- The dancing: reminds me African dances from slavery
There were so many different sounds happening at once in the video but everything blended perfectly. Purchase her new album, Sing to the Moon, here.
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go.
Sigh. I miss this past weekend so much. Probably the best three-day weekend of the year. Maybe. Friday, I cooked a meal for a friend and I must say that I did very well.
I found a recipe for green beans and bacon (yum) and it turned out great. I can never go wrong with my oven roasted ranch red potatoes. And then I topped it off with cheese. Good enough to DIE for. Oh, and blackened tilapia. The best.
Saturday, my sister graduated from Cosmetology school. YAAAAY!!! I thought I was going to be late because I couldn’t decide what to wear…
…but my sister LIED to us about the start time -___-. It was so interesting to see a sea of weaves and “beat” faces. Nothing but the premium of hair. It was a very long but enjoyable service.
Sunday was my relaxation day. Got a good Word in at church and had a yummy solo brunch. I went home to take a nap and woke up to a text saying to give the person a call. When I called back, he told me that he had tickets to see….FRANK OCEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Backstory. A month ago (maybe a week or two before he “came out”), I tried to purchase tickets but they were sold out. I mentioned it to my friend and he mentioned that he would see if he could get his hands on some tickets. But in my mind, I wasn’t going. So I pretty much forgot about it. So when he told me he got them, I was sooooo giddy!!!! I managed to pull something together and head out to Center Stage to see my boo.
Siiiiigh. *major swoonage* Back to reality
I won tickets to see Yuna and Graffitti6 perform and Vinyl. Never heard of either artists but after seeing them live, I am in LOVE with them.
Yuna is a Malaysian songbird. Her sound is kinda indie/pop. I can’t even say which song I love from Yuna’s album. Every song is good. And she is such a personable person! My friend Nykita and I tried taking pictures with her several times and she was patient through it all. Awesome chic.
But if I have to pick a song based off the lyrics alone, it would be Decorate.
Graffitti6 was toooo sick! They are like….Marvin Gaye, mixed with the psychedelic feel of the 70s and Amy Winehouse all rolled in one. These European lads love soulful American style music for sure.
If I had to pick, my favorite song is Over You. The lead singer is dreamy beyond words and has a voice as smooth as wine. Also, they do an amazing cover of the Bee Gees tune To Love Somebody.
Listened to a few artists at Atlanta Live at Park Tavern. My favorite was The Voice’s contestant, Mathai. That girl has such a cute and light vibe. Love.
I Love Atlanta.