Good Friday to you! Hope you are getting your bellies ready for the chocolate fest that will be Sunday!
I am super excited to feel sick. I am going to eat Malteaser bunnies, Mini Eggs and Lindt Eggs to my heart’s content. And of course the lovely bakes Natalie will be arranging!
We’re in Scotland this weekend with dad’s side of the fam…but thought I’d share some outfits with you seeing as it’s Friday.
So thought I’d round up two outfits wearing my red Superga. As you can see this is the toilet at my work…very nice. I always take these pictures really quickly before someone comes in so they don’t think I’m a FREAK! (Most people already do think that anyway…)
I’ll normally wear trainers on a Friday as it’s ‘Dress down Friday’ and just try and be as comfortable as possible! I would say red trainers are definitely a must. I really like a red converse as well…but there’s nothing wrong with just buying some pumps from Primark or H&M for the same effect.
Friends and family had been telling me to go and visit Morro de Sao Paulo over and over again, but until this year I’d never got round to it. Every time I go to Brazil I have a full diary of people to see and a list of things I want to do and eat. So when I went in February for carnival I decided not to make any plans for after carnival to give me a chance to finally get to visit this paradise island.
The island doesn’t have any cars on it, so the only way to get there is by air or some kind of boat. I decided to go by catamaran, the ticket cost R$70 (about £22).
Like I said in BADBADNOTGOOD’s post last week, today I’ll be showing you hip hop tracks that have sampled old funk soul classics. What the 90s hip hop genre called G-Funk…These are some of my favourite songs, so it was cool to discover the originals so I can relive the songs over and over again!
This is Notorious B.I.G. and Junior Mafia, Get Money
Further to the mix, Erykah Badu in her latest album covered this tune, which is a nice soulful instrumental variation mixing both Striplin’s original and Junior Mafia:
These songs owe themselves to Sylvia Striplin, a jazz, soul and R&B singer from New York. This song was released on her 1981 album ‘Give Me Your Love’. Think this calls for a Spotify album download! Here’s Striplin:
The Fugees – so good. Their album The Score came out in 1996 – I was seven years old! Thanks to Natalie, I was exposed to lots of the greats of the 90s. One of the most famous songs off the album apart from Killing me Softly…(which is also a cover but a more well known one) was Ready or Not:
Here’s the original by The Delphonics, iconic 60s and 70s soul brothers…
Biggie is one of my absolute favourite rappers. I’ll never get bored of his Ready to Die album. Big Poppa will always get me up and dancing, one of my party playlist choices…
And here’s the sexy original by the brilliant Isley Brothers ‘Between the sheets’. The Isley Brothers have been constantly sampled over time by many hip hop greats. I think they are definitely one to download. Nice soulful listening.
And last but definitely not least, (this list is endless) but obviously Dr. Dre has to be in the mix. His 90s tracks are also very heavily G-Funk based. “Nothin’ but a ‘G’ thang” is a good example. I once met Dr. Dre at a phone launch party 2 years ago, as HTC and Beats by Dre have a partnership…that was one of the best moments of my life! Here he is in action:
We have Leon Hayward to thank for such a big tune! Here is the original beat ‘I want to do something freaky to you’…
At the launch party I asked for a photo with Dr. Dre and some pleb took it completely missing us…I didn’t ask for another one as I didn’t want to be that annoying person. I don’t know whether the guy did it on purpose but here is the picture. This is Dr. Dre’s lovely ripped torso. At least I have the memory!
That’s the end of the list for today, happy listening!
One of the things I love to do when I have a bit of time is to be a bit more creative with my nails. The nail art trend is in full force, and my go to for inspiration and great step by step guides is Pinterest. So with the nice long Easter weekend coming up I thought I’d share my fave Spring / Easter nail design that I’ve recently pinned.
To notice a real difference from doing regular exercise, you also need to eat right. Sure we’ve all heard that before right? Well it’s true. I’m not going to tell you about the latest crazy fad diet, because personally I think they’re wrong and they’re not a realistic way to achieve and then maintain a healthy balanced weight and lifestyle.
I’d always wanted to go to the Ideal Home Show, not really sure why, just always thought it might be a nice day out, where you could get lots of cool freebies. One of my close friends also shared this curiosity and last Saturday we went to find out what the big deal was.
The weather wasn’t too great, but there were stewards just outside the exit of Earl’s Court tube station handing out umbrellas for you to use to cross the road. Once inside we were pretty impressed with how much there was to see.
American Apparel has to be one of my favourite shops. The prices aren’t pretty but I love the simplicity, staple items and the cool prints they produce.
I rarely buy from them full price unless it’s an emergency…so I just browse their website, read their email updates and create a wishlist for myself and wait for them to give out discount codes. This happens every once and a while, so I would sign up to their emails if you haven’t already done so. Carnaby Street and Seven Dials have a shopping discount evening every season for the whole area so I would definitely sign up for their email updates as well!
I saw this turtle neck and loved the print instantly. Very vibrant and eye catching, and matched with my Ruby Woo MAC lipstick for more impact! It comes up quite small and can only really be worn with high waisted bottoms. My bodycon skirt is from Topshop and I love it being below the knee length.
I’m just wearing some gold hoop earrings as you don’t need much else with the top being so busy.
So carnival in Brazil is the bestest. I am bias, but it is true. For your information, carnival in Rio and Salvador are very different (Salvador is better also). To help make up your mind…If you want to sit back listen to samba and watch a phenomenal show with half naked tanned bodacious buff bodies, Rio is your gal. BUT if you want to be part of the show and listen to samba, axe, reggae, samba-reggae, pagode, baile funk and even the occasional bit of house, SALVADOR IS YOUR GIRL!
This year’s week long affair ended a month ago. My mum, dad and sister were all there absorbing the sun, sea and music with family and friends at our Barra flat – literally right next to the festivities.
In Salvador, there are 2 routes for carnival: Campo Grande in the old city and Barra – next to the beach. I used to spend my childhood in a big rented room in Campo Grande with family and friends. I have some amazing memories sitting on the window ledge watching the floats go by.
Awww when Natalie was the ‘big’ sister at Campo Grande!
As Campo Grande is the more traditional route with Afro-Brazilian groups passing by, I especially remember Filhos de Ghande bloco (group) and Ilhe Aye parading down in their costumes (I will explain ‘Bloco’ in a bit). If you didn’t know, Salvador is heavily influenced by African culture due to it being the main port during the slave trade and first capital city of Brazil.
These guys are dressed in the Ilhe Aye costumes
The famous Gilberto Gil dressed as Filho de Gandhy ‘Son of Ghandi’
Last year I went to Brazil for 3 weeks. During which my best friend Hannah came for 2 weeks and it was magical. I’ll tell you about the holiday in another post but let’s concentrate on carnival for now!
So a week of sunbathing, drinking, dancing, partying: F*CKING BRILLIANT. Minus the sleepless nights….but napping is for the day homies! So what is it all about?
Well, carnival is made up of ‘blocos’. What you do is you choose the artists you want to see at a particular time and then buy the t-shirt called an ‘abada’ or costume in the case of the above. This t-shirt will allow you to follow the custom built trucks surrounded by rope holders. If you aren’t wearing the right t-shirt, you’ll be led outside. The surrounding areas of the truck are so packed it’s hard to follow them all the way, but it can be done!
We followed Banda Eva, with Saulo singing on one night and Claudia Leitte another night. I have to say Saulo was absolutely amazing. The four of us went out; my two cousins and Hannah and we had a blast. My cousins and I got emotional a few times…it’s not everyday I get to see my cousins…and the mix of powerful music, beer and love was too much!
This was the song of the year, and it still makes me smile thinking about Hannah attempting to sing it in Portuguese…very entertaining. (Fast forward it about 40 seconds in).
Claudia Leitte is one of the most famous Brazilian female singers at the moment and with her amazing beauty, booming voice and upbeat songs it’s no wonder. But I thought I would share one of the most iconic female singers of Bahia, Daniella Mercury. She empitomizes Salvador’s Afro-Brazilian culture in her music and has been around since before I was born.
When we weren’t following blocos, we were chilling out in the front space of the flat. Perfect view for the passing blocos with looooads of space to drink and dance.
My cousin Laura and I
Me and Hannah drinking Capirinhas! Mmmm
In the morning through tired eyes, it’s time for the beach or pool…whatever tickles your fancy! Time to top up the tan! I think I went a bit overboard…but it’s bitter cold in England…got to make the most of it!
I first heard BADBADNOTGOOD a year ago now, but recently I’ve just had an urge to listen to them again. They are an instrumental jazz trio who have collaborated with Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean from Odd Future. I saw them at XOYO last year for my birthday at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide pre-party and it was so good to hear a live band in the mix of DJs. Here I am with my friends enjoying it!
It all started when the trio posted covers of Odd Future’s tracks on YouTube and it caught the eye of Tyler the Creator. Tyler retweeted their YouTube video and it went viral. Since then they have been invited to back up the likes of Tyler and Frank Ocean, and owe their recent success to Tyler! Just goes to show the power of social media changing people’s lives.
Their covers span from hip hop to James Blake…songs I already love and they twist them in a jazzy way so I can relive the song in another dimension (and I love jazz so win win)! Feast your ears on this:
Jazz is great. I also love hip hop. So what a lovely marriage! Most (good) hip hop songs’ beats are just covers of old jazz/soul classics anyway, so it does make a good combo. I will delve into this in more detail next week! Happy listening