I’ve got that Friday feeling…so it’s time for a little dance with Flying Lotus…Do The Astral Plane!
I’ve got that Friday feeling…so it’s time for a little dance with Flying Lotus…Do The Astral Plane!
Ahhhh I am so happy it’s Friday. The weather makes such a difference, I can’t wait to be outside absorbing the sun rays. It’s also my Henry’s birthday and we have sweet plans for the weekend! Including Mumford & Sons Summer Stampede at the Olympic Park tomorrow will let you know how it goes! Until then…
Recently I’ve been listening to Disclosure‘s new album Settle…sounding completely like a music snob (sorry), a lot of the songs I had already heard ages ago! But there are some new ones on there that I really love. Disclosure manage to have this magic formula of garage and deep house which makes me want to pardy every time I hear it! Recently I’ve been listening to them at the gym, and it is definitely motivational listening. Doing weights and listening to them at the same time is quite euphoric!
So while listening at the gym this song came on: Second Chance. Loved the slow off – beat baseline, then started to hear the lyrics…I RECOGNISE THAT FROM SOMEWHERE! It’s Kelis. Her R&B album Kaleidoscope is one of my favoritosss. Produced by The Neptunes – anything they touch I am addicted to. Get Along With You is also one of the best and my favourites off the album and they have sampled it on this song. Neat huh!
I’ve mentioned James Blake before, but this got me thinking of CMYK. One of my favourite James Blake dance tracks…he also sampled Kelis, this time it’s Caught Out There, off the same Kaleidoscope album, the song that put her on the map.
Some weekend listening for you! x
Today I’m off to Brazil for 10 days to spend São João which is this weekend! Yes, it’s their winter, and it might rain the whole time I’m there, but it’s one of my favourite times of year. Other than carnival the other biggest music related event in Brazil is São João – St John’s, also known as Festa Junina or June Festival.
The festivities originated during the colonial period to celebrate the nativity of St John the Baptist, and are historically related to the European Midsummer festivities. The Northeast of Brazil has very dry and arid landscapes and the festival was an opportunity for the people to give thanks to St John for the rains. Although closely imbedded into the North-eastern culture the festival is celebrated nationwide.
Now a days the festival has evolved into a celebration of traditional rural life, with big street parties in rural areas and now capital cities, with traditional clothing, food, and dancing.
Clothing – guys dress as farm peasants in straw hats and patched up chequered shirts, and girls dress in colourful frilly dresses, their hair in pigtails and freckles painted on their faces.
This morning was nat pleasant. Power walking to the station in humid mist meant I got to the station covered in sweat. NOT HOW I LIKE TO START THE DAY. But look now! It’s bright and sunny. My bones are warm and I hope this is the lead up to a wardrobe change!
Whenever I think of the summer I think of this song by Roy Ayers ‘Everybody loves the Sunshine’. It should always be on your summer playlist. Perfect at BBQs and mid-summer night drinking sessions. ROLL ON SUMMER!
My playlist is generally a mix of new and old. Thought I’d talk about the R&B ones in particular. Recently I’ve been listening to these tracks walking to the station in the morning to get me in a good mood for the rest of the day! So I thought I’d share them with you to either help you start your day, or relax and unwind in the bath. Whatever makes you happy! You might not even like it or already know them! (If you already know them you can reminisce or appreciate a good song when you hear one!)
The Weeknd aka Abel Tesfaye is a Canadian born singer/producer. He started out two years ago releasing songs off his website and since then become a massive success. I really love his slow, melancholy take on R&B. Spinning it around giving it a post-dubstep feel, it has been said that he has sparked a new sub-genre PBR&B. Genres really baffle me these days, it is really hard to describe anything to anyone anymore and keep up with genres, sub-genres, sub-sub-genres!!
My favourite song of his is “What you need” from his Trilogy Album. The rest of the album has a bit of a rock feel which I’m not so keen on. Apparently he’s got a new album coming out this year so I’m looking forward to it!
Going back to the oldies, I will stick a bit of Faith Evans on here. This one is more appropriate for bathtime/nightime me thinks! I remember this from a compilation CD Natalie used to have called Funky Divas. Might be a bit cheesy for some but it’s so 90s and I love singing along to it…(I feel sorry for my family) This video’s even recorded from MTV Base! (Not sure the content on there is as good as it was back in the day though *sigh*)
“Soon as I get home” produced by Puff Daddy (I will call him by his original name)
Next up is SBTRKT, who have been around for 2 years and I saw them at Bestival last year. It’s made up of music producer Aaron Jerome and Sampha on vocals (most of the time). It’s an electronic mix of garage, funky post-dubstep and Sampha’s vocal’s gives it that R&B feel. SBTRKT have also collaborated with Jessie Ware (one of the stepping stones to her success) and Little Dragon. He can always be recognised by the mask.
“Hold on” has to be one of my favourites
Amerie – what a beauty: She’s half Korean and half African American so that would explain why. Not sure what she’s up to these days but ‘Why don’t we fall in love?’ was her first single from her album ‘All I have’, which I must have listened to about a million times. I can’t believe this was released in 2002…her songs remind me of being a teenager! Awwww…
Why don’t we fall in love?
James Blake is one of those weird ones where you can’t pin point exactly what genre he is. He’s a producer and dabbles in making and remixing post-dubstep tracks, which is how he got known in the music industry. He also has recorded 2 studio albums which are on the cusp of R&B but more on the soul side. I’m obsessed with his latest song ‘Retrograde’, gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
I’m going to have to stop here as this is by no means a definitive list!
I know Nissa recently posted about carnival in Brasil last year, but I can’t lie that I’m still on a bit of a high from carnival this year which was almost two months ago now booo!
So I thought the best way to share a bit of it with you was to share videos of the three most played songs in Salvador this year.
The first song which, I am not exaggerating, must have heard at least once every ten minutes is Ziriguidum by a band called Filhos de Jorge. I heard somewhere that it’s a version of a Columbian song, but don’t quote me on that. What I must warn you though is that this song will get stuck in your head! As soon as the intro to the song started playing everyone in the street would stretch their arm out and start doing the choreography, which is dead easy so even the most rhythmically challenged could join in…enjoy…
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!
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
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:
Cover of one of my favourite Nas tracks, The World is yours
You guessed it: Kanye West, Flashing Lights
Live cover of my favourite A Tribe Called Quest’s song Electric Relaxation
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
Hello blog. I’m sorry I have been M.I.A. for a while. I really need to be more organised! I have tried to start a new regime where I get up at 6am. It worked Monday, but after reading about lucid dreaming on Monday night, I decided to try it out on Tuesday morning rather than get up :-/ I WILL GET UP AT 6am!!! My excuse this morning was that I’m going to my friend’s leaving dinner tonight in London, and will therefore be going to bed late…so should try not to overdo it. I am recovering from a cold after all…I have read if you stick to it for a month, your body gets used to less sleep. So I will be more determined to get up in the morning to write more!
StumbleUpon is SO good. Thanks to my friend Nicola who introduced me to it! Such a good way to find out hidden treasures on the internet that you may never come across. The idea is you press the ‘Stumble’ button and it picks a website that it thinks you might find interesting. When you sign up, you select all your interests from a range of things such as animals or computers, and you can either stumble within one interest or at random (but it will only show you things from the interests you have selected). Then if you like it, you can ‘Like’ it and it saves the page for you in your profile. You can also ‘Dislike’ and it will avoid showing you similar pages. I came across this page on High Existence 50 Life Secrets and Tips and found it inspiring. Not that I don’t abide by some of the tips already…but No. 17 is an encouraging point for me right now! (Like I already mentioned) Not sure I’ll be going for 2 hours of sleep per day because I’m not a total freak, but may try out the alternate sleep cycles.
17. Fully adjusting to a new sleep cycle can take up to 21 days so don’t give up if you feel tired after switching to 5-hour nights. The “required” 8 hour/night is for normal people. If you’re reading THIS article on THIS site, you are not normal. So figure out how much sleep YOU really need and adjust accordingly. As enjoyable as sleep is, waking existence is much more fulfilling and efficient. IF this really sparks your interest, check out alternate sleep cycles with which you can be fine off of 2 hours of sleep per day.
Anyway we’ll see…Talking of M.I.A. (Missing In Acton) I have recently been sporting my Nike Air Max trainers, which do remind me of the singer that I love. I’ve had these since I was 14 – no joke. (Yes I’ve had size 7 feet since I was 13) I remember wearing them to Thorpe Park back in the day when I used to go with just one other friend (Hannah from the wedding special photos), we were a gruesome twosome. Bless us loners. But these have had a comeback for the better. I’m wearing a Corduroy Jacket: Gap, Checked Shirt: Charity Shop (my friend Frankie’s), Vest-top: Topshop, Bag: ASOS Jeggings: Topshop, Trainers: Nike (obv)… and the Bandeau in the last photo is H&M.
Thought I’d leave you with this song to reminisce – released in 2003!