Friday, June 27, 2008

A single girl's Friday night song

Ne-Yo's Closer! Oh damn!! I'm ashamed to say i only heard this song last night on MY show. How embarrassing! I LOVED it immediately! This guy hardly ever gets it wrong. Another one to add to my dream team of people to collaborate with in the future.

If I wasn't so tired, I would be wearing my fabulous Green dress with a Long Island Ice Tea in my hand getting down to this song with all my favourite girls.

Ne-Yo Closer


I give up

Okay... Not really! But I have decided to be kinder to myself. I feel like I have to remind myself to slow down once very 4 months. That's why I'm so grateful that I have people like Marcee and Bridget in my life.

I stayed in bed ALL DAY today. Well I didn't really stay in bed. I first had to go to work and do an interview for my show. Which was very interesting! I will tell you about that just now. Then I came home and lay in bed because I wasn't feeling well physically. While I was lying in bed I suddenly thought: all the things that are stressing me out REALLY DON'T MATTER! None of the deadlines, arguments, to-do lists... None of it really matters.

Don't get me wrong. I have to make a living like the next person, but some of the other things can be postponed. I struggle with that word... Postpone. It doesn't even sound right. But I have decided to postpone some things. I have decided to finish up work on the EP in the next 3 days and postpone sending in the first draft of manuscript to my editor. I listened to my entire Stephen Marley CD and suddenly everything was okay again. Had an afternoon nap and woke up a NEW woman.

I am now sitting here with a glass of red wine with a big smile on my face. I'm BACK!!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Feeling a little fragile

Woke up this morning feeling a little fragile (physically and emotionally). So I put together a playlist to perk me up:

  1. Corrine Bailey Rae- Call me when you get this
  2. Kanye West - Everything I am
  3. Common - The people
  4. Nina Simone - Baltimore
  5. John Mayer - Clarity
  6. Lupe Fiasco - Go baby
  7. N.E.R.D - Don;t worry about it
  8. Alicia Keys - Superwoman
  9. Common - It's your world
  10. Coldplay - Fix you
  11. Talib Kweli - Oh my stars
  12. Aerosmith - Jaded
  13. Dinah Washington - Mad about the boy
  14. Oleta Adams - New York state od mind
  15. Marvin Gaye - What's going on

I think I may have been a little unkind to my body, so I'm gonna TRY and take it easy today. I'm just chasing so many deadlines. Which wouldn't be a problem if I could just shake being an over-achiever. I'm not sure why there are still traces of this terrible illness in me. Sometimes when i think I've beat it, I find myself woking on a new song, while finishing off a chapter of my book, constructing and email and contemplating answering my phone (which would have been ringing non-stop for half an hour).

I woke up 36 minutes ago and I'm already thingking about what needs to be done and how much time I have. I think I might need to meditate after I have my oats. I'm terribly anxious this morning and the music is not working as well as it usually does when I'm feeling like this. a part of me knows that some of these deadlines are ridiculous and that I might need to give myself a bit of an extension, but the other part is fighting me. DAMMIT!!!

At the beginning of the year Alan Knott-Craig, the MD of iBurst wrote an email to his staff. You can have a look at it here. The words below struck a chord with me:

"The nice stuff makes me feel good, and the challenges remind me why we can beat the competition. Most importantly I'm looking forward to having fun and making memories."

This months has been filled with more deadlines, than stopping and enjoying life. Maybe that's why I'm feeling so fragile. I'm off to meditate for half an hour and hopefully I will feel a little better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Something to keep you going

I'm much too tired to post anything meaningful today, so I thought I'd put up something that is easy on the eyes. Too much happening and not happening with the book and the EP. I can't wait to be a full time musician.

Enjoy the hotness!!!!

There is something very appealing about the shot above, I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's because it's not so 'pretty-boy-ish'... Yeah, maybe that's it :)

Disclaimer: I didn't choose this guy, Marcee did. I was a bad little artist today and I have to make it up to my (yet) unpaid manager somehow :)
Ladies love this guy. I like his music though, in fact I 'connected' with N.E.R.D about 3 yrs ago. I knew who they were but I finally got both their albums and we 'bonded'. They have a new one out (Seeing sounds), I might have to get my hands on that one, when the EP stops sucking me dry LOL!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Writing to Electric Circus

Today I decided to change my scenery and work from the office. I spend everyday in my little flat, working in the comfort of my home. But today I had to organise interviews for the radio show, a production meeting (which was then cancelled) and I had an interview in the morning.

Working from the office is nice, if you’ve been away from it for a while. There is no TV tempting you to watch Tyra, Dr Phil, Dr Hatchett or whatever is on at that time that will serve as a distraction. The office that I work from is quite boring and the only distraction there is… Uhm… Nothing!

After doing all my radio work, I started working on the first draft of the novel. There were a lot of people walking past my office, so I put my earphones and on and listened to my iPod. At first I couldn’t find the right music and I was getting irritated. That’s when I landed on Common’s ‘Electric Circus’. I was a little skeptical about how good it would be for ‘writing time’, it’s always great for when I need to take a walk and clear my mind.

Before I knew it, I was writing away happily with the most amazing sounds playing softly in the background: inviting, but not intrusive music. When I needed a break from the world that I was creating on the page in front of me, I would just turn up the volume and walk around my desk for a bit letting the story solve itself in my mind while I enjoyed ‘Hustle’, ‘Between me, you and liberation’ or ‘I got a right ta’.

I’m so glad that I decided to do something different today. I was getting a little claustrophobic at home and my creative juices seemed to be drying up. Usually I would have just gotten frustrated, but today I tried something different. I’m grateful that I did because something wonderful happened with my writing and I frediscovered my love for ‘Electric Circus’. I’m not entirely sure why some people were 'hating' on it! Maybe it was before it’s time.

Monday, June 23, 2008

EP Diary - Lovelies

Met up with C.B today. he had done some work on Lovelies, but it just wasn't what I had in mind when I wrote the song. It was sounding a little... Slow. The song itself is not a fast one, but something about it wasn't quite working, so we worked on it together for a bit and then I left him to do his thing.

Creative challenges are not the best when you are working on a tight deadline. I am tempted to lose my cool, but that wont fix anything. I want to put out the best possible product and if that means delaying the release slightly then I guess that's what I have to do.

After my meeting with C.B I realised that I want to create my own music. at the moment what I'm doing doing everything on my piano, adding lyrics and then meeting up with C.B to flesh it out a bit. What I want to do now is to create a rough idea of what I want the song to sound like. With drums etc added to the piano track. I know what I want but I don't always know how to articulate it. So next on my list (after guitar lesson in 2009) is finding software that is penguin-fingers friendly LOL!

I am content with the way things are and I'm also grateful that I am in charge of my music career. It is a little weird to be both artist and record label though. Yesterday I was choosing pics to use for the sleeve and I had to be critical but not in a 'me' way. How do you put yourself aside long enough to make an impartial decision? It took about 3 hours, but I'm happy with what we have. I have to think about all aspects of this project but still allow myself to be creative, which is something some artists struggle with.

I'm so into this ME RECORDS thing, I even bought a book on the South African Music Business by Jonathan Shaw. It's kind of refreshing all those ideas I read in Donald Passman's book, except this one has more of a South African focus, as the title suggests. I will let you know how tomorrows recording goes :)
Thought I'd let you in on some of the good stuff. below is one of the photos that didn't make it (not because we hated it, but because we couldn't use all of them for the sleeve- how sad)
Marcee says I look a little like my brothers in this one, maybe that's why she voted so strongly against it LOL!!!! It's okay to look like your family right?! LMAO

The Hulk truly is incredible

On Friday after singing my little heart out in studio Marcee and I decided to go see a movie. The last movie I watched was 'The Happening' by M Night Shyamalan and I felt like divorcing him right there and then. I really had huge hopes for this one and I left feeling so unsatisfied. I wont give up on you M Night, not yet!! I know the next one will put a smile on my face... *Sigh* Ever the optimist.

Well The Incredible Hulk did not disappoint AT ALL!! OH NO SIR!! It was lots of fun, not as HAWT as Iron Man, but it definitely appealed to my inner little boy. That says a lot considering that I am woman. It was just non stop action, with a little bit of drama. I wanted to feel sorry for the hulk, but I was torn because he was hurting people, even though the people were hurting him etc. It was a great movie! Go see it... NOW!

Movie business aside. I think Edward Norton is a cutie... Don't judge me! Usually I find it hard to concentrate (or act normal) around men I think are sort of cute or HAWT (I seriously think it's some kind of disease), but the the movie kept me distracted long enough to enjoy it. I think he is cute, even if a friend of mine said he looks like an Ostrich LOL!! I don't know about the friends that I keep :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

EP Diary - the recordings

The reason I have been so quiet is because I have been hard at work. The EP (Green)is coming along WONDERFULLY! I am so proud of the work that C.B and I have done. This has literally been a 2 man show and we've both done so well. 3 of the songs on the EP will be written by me and the other 2 by my dearest producer C.B.

It wasn't more than 3 years ago that I couldn't play an instrument, write a song or read music. And now I'm playing the piano, teaching myself to play the guitar (I will attend lessons next year when I'm comfortable enough), reading and writing music and writing my own songs. I have truly come a long way and intend to keep going further.

Firstly: we finished up the Teacup song last week and it is sounding amazing. I noticed how free I was this time around. The first time around I felt so uncomfortable and scared. Even when I was doing my demo, I always felt like the mic was judging me. Which was ridiculous because all (unfair) judgement was coming from me and no one else. This time around I was not feeling judged or scared, i just had a good time.

On Friday we recorded the second song at a REAL studio with a REAL grand piano at Cape Town Sound's studios. They recently moved from Landsdowne to Woodstock. Nice stuff!! C.B played the piano so beautifully and I sang my little heart out. Now all we need to do is add some strings on that one and we are ready for mastering- YAY!!!

Today we worked on Lovelies, we will record it tomorrow afternoon and then we will have 2 more vocals tracks to lay down. I am extremely excited, as you can tell. Renee sent me the final pics on Thursday and I really like them. She is a GENIUS LOL! The sleeve is being designed soon. There is still much to do dear hearts...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

5 in 1 this week

I have been terrible at doing updates for my radio show. I used to say who is on 5 in 1 (5 questions for one interesting person in 1 week) for the week and then I stopped. This month I've spoken to Bridget McNulty:

Lindiwe Matshikiza, she's a theatre actress that I went to varsity with and she was in Mike Van Graan's play: Bafana Republic.

and this week: LEBO MASHILE!!!!She was a lot of fun to talk. She has a new book out and it sounds like she is trying to become more of a business woman. GO GIRL!!!

That's the Midnight Xpress (midnight - 3am) weekdays on Radio 2000 (97.2 - 100FM Nationwide). 5 in 1 comes on at 01:40am. Do join me LOL (I couldn't resist).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wise words

I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.
Langston Hughes
Problems are chances for us to do our best.
Duke Ellington

Shoot sneak peek

On Thursday I had a photo shoot with the lovely Renee, it was fun and a little terrifying. I was terrified because I had never really done a photo shoot and the focus was on ME!! Oh goodness, there was no hiding from the lens, no sucking in of the stomach (ha ha ha ha) or asking for shots of my best side only (which I don't have by the way). I was a little nervous at first, but Renee, Marcee and Dana (make up artist) helped me relax.

I always roll my eyes when i hear models talk about tiring it is to 'pose' all day, but now I have a new found respect for those skinny model types. I was exhausted when we were done, absolutely TIRED!! So imagine my surprise when Renee sent me a few shots to 'whet my appetite' LOL!! I actually look kinda good.

And to prove how good I look, I have included one of the shots she sent me. The rest you will have to see when I OFFICIALLY release 'Green' the EP. It's finally happening.

P.S I am still working hard on the music, will have 2 to go by the end of this week. Who knew a 5 track EP would take so long?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My record deal

I've been thinking about this whole music thing and releasing my own EP. I realised that I have been going about it the wrong. I have been feeling like I'm at some sort of a disadvantage with no support of a real record label. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the fact that I am in charge and I don't have anyone telling me what to do, how to look and what 'sound' works.

So that got me thinking: if I'm making all the decisions and paying for everything, doesn't that make me MY RECORD LABEL? So I'm going to sign a 3 album deal with myself and invest a lot of time and money into building the Black Porcelain brand. I'm even going to draw up a contract between me (the artists) and me (the record label).

It is a great idea to draw up the contract, but I think it's also a way for me to take 100% responsibility for everything that happens with the EP and the rest of my music career. Bridget did a blog on giving your all, committing 100% of yourself. A while ago I read Jack Canfield's book 'How to get from where you are to where you want to be (the 25 principles of success)' And the first principle is taking 100% responsibility for your life.

Jack Canfield talks about how we all feel like we are entitled to a good life, like someone is go to save us, provide us with a better life, make us happy, give us a record deal etc. And we can wait for the person, lottery ticket, perfect woman, perfect man, perfect job for as long as we want but it is not gonna come until we do something about it. That is what I truly believe and just as it has helped Bridget with her insulin it has helped me with my music as well.

So I'm working on the contract and I'll let you know when I've signed the contract with 'ME RECORDS'.

"All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you."
Wayne Dyer
"If you don't like something change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."
Maya Angelou

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The week that was

I know I have been bad at doing these weekly updates, but I've had the week from HELL!!!

  1. Spent some time at the World Economic Forum helping out some colleagues. No I am not one of those high-up-let's-fix-the-world types. Our station was doing a broadcast from there.

  2. I did 2 airport runs in 2 days, which was lost of fun- NOT!!

  3. First airport run was to fetch little brother a.k.a Myspace man. He is back and demanding a whole lot of ish from me. I'm actually about to leave now and buy him groceries. He is apparently STARVING!! Whatever!!

  4. Second airport run- Marcee who spent a day in Jhb doing whatever it is that she does during the day.

  5. Got the John Legend 'love in Philadelphia' DVD almost a week ago. Good times!!

  6. Had a sore throat for a few days, so cancelled one of my recoding with C.B, but we still got some work, just no recording. We worked on 'Lovelies'.

  7. Photo shoot moved to next week... Might be on Friday, not sure yet! beautiful photographer was busy with another pretty talented musician.

  8. Sent an email to a potential editor for the novel. It's actually happening!!! Yay! She said she was interested and we are now communicating via email. I'll let you know what happens as it happens.

  9. Finally got around to getting material for a promo for the Midnight Xpress: midnight to 3am on weekdays, only on Radio 2000 (shameless advertising).

  10. Marcee and I painted the wall in our mansion a.k.a lesbian lovepad. No we are not lesbians, but that is what people think because we have been living in this tiny flat for 2.5 yrs. We are moving out and also looking at dating. It would be a little awkward to bring a guy home and the say 'Ey yo Marc, could you skoot over so that this here young man can fit in?" LOL!

  11. Saw Chris Rock... On TV because I took my own sweet time getting tickets.

  12. To console myself I watched Katt Williams Pimp Chronicles 1 and America Hustle the movie. I prefer the first but I still think that he is a funny guy. I LIKE HIM!!

  13. Went to go see Prince Caspian yesterday. Uhmm... I think I really liked it :) It was better than the first one, but this is the last time that we see good ol' Suzan and Peter.

More Shine from Stelly

New video from Estelle!! If the good folks from Musica don't get their act together I might just have to download the album from iTunes- FOR REAL!! I've been waiting patiently. Well people here is South Africa are LOVING 'American buy', so we'll see how 'No Substitute Love' does.

I like it! But I'm a little biased, so don't take my word for it. Have a look at the vid below, I even think the video is cute. I need to call Estelle's stylist, because I'm looking for someone to make me look good to ha ha ha ha. I'll have to warn them that it wont be an easy job though LMAO!

Estelle - No subsititute love

PS- Estelle, when you do go on tour, please don't forget about the good folks here in SA :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Living life like it's Golden

Yesterday I went to 'Laughter Yoga' for the first time, lead by my good buddy Bridget Mc Nulty. It was her first class and she was soooo nervous. I was also kind of nervous too, but we both decided to 'feel the fear and do it anyway'.

It was a little weird in the beginning, but once you get into the laughing you really can't stop. Well at least I couldn't... I LOVE to laugh! It makes me feel good and I like to do it more than 20 times a day. I bet if I felt that way about sex I would have a happy man LOL! I felt so light at the end of Laughter Yoga. I think everyone should try it just once.

After Laughter Yoga I started thinking about my life. I am so GRATEFUL that I am able to live the life that I live. Now I know I always say how grateful I am, but yesterday I was really moved. I am releasing my first EP (on my own terms with my own cash), writing my first novel (which I intend to self publish in SA), I have a radio show that I love (which focuses on positive things around our country), starting up my NPO to help the kids who need help, I'm moving into a bigger place AND I'm planning a December trip to New York!!! Yessir! What's not to love about that?

I made a decision to enjoy each day, regardless of how much madness is going down around me. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the madness that we forget how blessed we are. There is always something to be grateful for... ALWAYS!!! So go ahead and find something to be grateful for and then LIVE YOUR LIFE LIKE IT'S GOLDEN!!!

Thanks to Jilly from Philly for the song 'Golden'

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I feel like...

...having another Aeromsith day. I listened to Aerosmith all day yesterday. Here are some of my favourites:

Crazy (directors cut)

I dont wanna miss a thing


Yeah, that's good stuff! Steve Tyler is sexy in his own Steve-Tyler way :)

EP Diary - More songs

I hooked up with C.B (producer) yesterday and we are now working on the next 2 songs. They are sounding great. Marcee (the greatest manager on earth) has organised us studio time and a grand piano, one of the songs needs a piano... I can't wait to get the recordings done.

I'm also working on a reggae-type song and a funky cheeky song about guys (love them or hate them, they are here to stay those men-folk LOL). I believe that is 5 songs. We are thinking about adding one more song to this EP (Green), but we will see how it goes, we might not have enough time.

The photo shoot is happening this weekend and SUDDENLY my face is covered in pimples. I've had nearly flawless skin for the last 2 months, which by the way has never happened to me, and now when it's time for someone to take photos of me.... AAAARRRRGGGHHH!! I'd really rather my face be a little spotty than to lose my voice before we finish recording all the songs.

Speaking of photo shoot: Went to get some clothes for the shoot with Marcee (my manager/stylist/songwriting partner/sister and everything) and I think I may actually look decent. I was told that if I want to take any shots with no shoes on, I should go for a pedicure. I didn't think my feet were looking that awful LOL! Don't even get me started on Marcee wanting me to get my eyebrows shaped... I might as well go for an Extreme Makeover LOL!!

Junior is coming back tomorrow, so work on the MySpace page will start this weekend.

Next update on Wednesday!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The joys of releasing this EP

Let me just start of by saying that I accept both the good and the bad that come with being an 'independent artist'. I consider myself very lucky to be able to make my own music and finance the release of my first EP.

That being said, this EP is turning into a monster. An absolute beast! It is like a broke boyfriend (with no shame), it just keeps sucking me dry LOL! I have been working out the finances for this EP and it looks like I wont be able to move out of my tiny bachelor just yet. Just when I thought that I will be sleeping in my own room, without being woken up by Marcee's INCREDIBLE snoring. It is not to be just yet!! I guess this is one of those things that I am willing to do to get to where I need to. It will be a good story to tell on Oprah's couch one day LMAO!!!

Anyway I'm gonna have the songs up on the MySpace page by the end of the month- the page is taking so long because my trifling little brother is taking his sweet time. The songs will also be available for download by the end of the month. So please add my songs to your budget- HELP A SISTA OUT!

My friend Taz said that it takes a long time to build a brand, I really needed to hear that. She is so sensible and offers really great advice (all the time). So when I start feeling like this EP is sucking me dry, I think about how good it feels to be making MY music on MY terms. Even if this EP is treating me like a broke ass man who is really good in bed. Hopefully it will turn into a responsible man who will pay the bills and still be good in bed. Only time will tell :)