Next live band performance is in London at Jazz Refreshed on Thursday October 20th.
Mau Mau Bar, 265 Portobello rd, Ladbroke Grove W11
Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9:30pm. Finishes at 10:45pm
Next live band performance is in London at Jazz Refreshed on Thursday October 20th.
Mau Mau Bar, 265 Portobello rd, Ladbroke Grove W11
Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9:30pm. Finishes at 10:45pm
I hope this meets you well. We’re coming up to the last quarter of 2016 (this year’s been a bit of a mad one) and I’m currently busy preparing for 2017. I’m working on new music (thanks for your patience) and doing a lot of international Hip Hop education work through my company, Student of Life. This year we’ve been across the UK, to the Netherlands and Malaysia to deliver motivational talks, rap performances and interactive writing workshops and this week we hit Germany to deliver a songwriting and poetry workshop to artists and students at the Urban Culture Academy in Cologne, as part of the Urban Africa Festival.
If you’re a Headteacher, primary school teacher, Librarian, Literacy co-ordinator, Science or PSHE teacher please take a look at our website Click here
For all my Afrobeat lovers in the UK, its that time of year we celebrate the godfather, Fela Kuti. I’ll be performing at this year’s Felabration alongside some other awesome artists. Taking place at the Camden Electric Ballroom on OCTOBER 7th. Hope to see you there. Peace and love
– Brother Reaching Each Inner Soul
Hey Fremily, a couple of events I’ll be hosting/performing at this weekend. The first being the Brixton youth open mic event at The Ritzy on August 13. Brixton, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW2 1JG London. Calling the talented kids and teens of South London to have a place to share their performance skills on a real stage in a real live venue. Either to practise mic techniques, or maybe just try a real stage out for the first time ever! Dancers, comedians, poets, singers, musicians and actors all welcome to join our friendly, welcoming and non-competitive environment.
Age: 11 – 17 years
Sign up: 1:30pm,
Performances/good times: 2pm – 4.30pm.
*This is a family & community event. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult, and even if they’re old enough to be alone – the more the merrier!
Next up on Sunday August 14th there is The Bridge taking place at Hungerford Bridge at the Southbank Centre (next to Wagamamas). This annual Hip Hop community all day event is brought to you by Scanners Inc. There will be dance workshops throughout the afternoon, great for the young and mature. In the evening the legendary Hip Hop block party vibes proceed. Be ready to dance and have a wonderful time. Myself and Ty will be your hosts. DJs on the day include Handson Family, Big Ted, Andre, 279 and more.
BOTH EVENTS ARE FREE
Hey Fremily, if you follow me on social media (@MrBreis) then you’ll be aware of my involvement with the cool funk band from France, The Horndogz. Together we make international movements and this week we embark on a mini tour, visiting a couple of cities in Spain and Germany. If you’re in town, come down. Or tell a friend who is.
July 28 Spain, Soria – Enclave De Agua (AfroAmerican Music Festival)
July 30 Spain – Imagina Funk
July 31 Germany, Munich – Kulturefestival Gräfelfing
Aug 2 Germany, Berlin – The SWAG Jam at Badehaus
Snippets from gig in Montpellier
3 years ago AKS’ dropped a classic EP – The Bus Stop EP! Truth Be Told, I’ve been patiently anticipating his sophomore project and am delighted it’s finally here. It picks up where its predecessor left off entitled Train of Thought. Apart from being a one of the UK’s top lyricists, AKS has a knack for choosing great music to flow to. Back like he never left, the EP starts off with the energetic title track, Train of Thought produced by Kefas, co produced by AKS and Self Taught beats. The lyrics here set the mood for the EP and break down AKS’ journey in music. When he begins to croon the line “look how far I’ve come but there’s still a long way to go”, so many artists will nod their head knowing that this is a predominant feeling when you’ve made mad moves but still have bigger goals to reach. Stay With Me is next up with a soulful soundscape and a barrage of lyrics full of deft wordplay. Real Deal shows off AKS’ vivid lyrical imagery accompanied by one of my favourite vocalists and songwriters, Obenewa. A lot of the EP (including this song) was produced by DemDrums who did an awesome job. Still is full of dope one liners like “I’m trying to feed my people but I don’t do trap”. Talk To Me, has a bass heavy, laid-back groove perfect for AKS’ distinctive flow and voice. He’s always been confident to sing melodic hooks and does a great job here. Who Cares might be my favourite tracks, jazzy and emotive. Coming Home is AKS’ manifesto stating he’s here to stay and do this thing called music. The EP ends with Freedom of Being Free showing his integrity in his approach to music and ends with the words “I am not a product of my environment, my environment is a product of me” BOOM!! Overall I’m really feeling the whole project and like the way he uses the theme of travel to tell his story. In the outro AKS arrives at the airport and is asked how his journey was so far to which he replies “it was delayed, but I’m here now”. A clever metaphor for the ups and downs many independent artists experience in the UK. Can’t wait to hear how he takes off in full flight from here. Download your copy.
Stay with me video
Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is to see the good around you when everything appears to be a hot mess. Life is a journey full of moments that should be acknowledged and celebrated. It’s not just about the destination but savouring those moments along the way. In this fast-paced ever evolving world, it’s easy to take things and people for granted, be that our health, friendships, relationships, our own peace of mind etc. I’m learning to slow down, enough to take stock and be thankful for the little and big things in my life. There are huge goals to reach and before all my focus and efforts go into making them happen, I’m taking a minute to be grateful for the journey so far, progress made, loved ones around me and the grace to be able to do what I do. Gratitude is one heck of a drug, we should defo use it more often. Thank you for reading this.
Blessings and love Fremily,
Here are some events I’m involved in this week that are open to all.
HIP HOP PEDAGOGY
On Wed 2nd March I’ll be presenting a talk on Hip Hop Literacy at the University of East London from 5 – 6pm. The Hip Hop Literacy Program is an educational program I deliver in schools to improve Literacy skills and build confidence in young people.
On Sat 5th March, I will be joining Sef Townsend and Francesca Beard for a children’s performance (called SPIN) at Bexleyheath Central Library at 11am as part of the SPINE festival. This is for children aged 7 upwards. It’s always a lot of fun! Click here for more details
PALABRAS REUNION (AMSTERDAM)
Early on in my music career I was invited to perform in Amsterdam by an amazing creative, Babs. The event was called Palabras (meaning ‘word’ in Spanish) held at the Paradiso. I went with Zena Edwards and it was a memorable time for me. It’s extremely humbling that I’ve been asked to return on 6th March to perform at the Palabras reunion. The night will feature some amazing acts: Sharrif Simmons (USA), Mike Ladd (USA), Patrica Foster (UK), Tjitske Jansen (NL), Breis (UK), Ntjam Rosie (NL), Ramona Maramis (NL), Curtis Worral (NL), DJ Lovesupreme en VJ Mamamess.
I’ll be facilitating a workshop earlier on during the day too. Details on Facebook
Stay awesome and keep shining.
Here’s to a love-filled, music-making, goal-reaching, money-making, head-nodding, toe-tapping, bum-shaking, finger-licking, lip-smacking, heart-warming, mind-blowing, soul-fulfilling 2016!
From Zamunda with love
BREIS aka Your Favourite MC
I recently had the honour of being one of the featured Speakers of an International Conference on English Language Teaching (ICELT2015) which took place in Malaysia. I spoke on how I use Hip Hop music to engage young people in schools and shared some of my practices with close to 1200 teachers from the South East Asia region. I also had a performance which was dubbed “An Evening With Breis”. People from the conference had to book tickets in advance and before the actual day, tickets had SOLD OUT! I had a sold out show in Malaysia yo, how crazy is that?! The intimate show (of about 200 people) was heart warming. The love and energy in the room was palpable. I performed songs from The Brilliant EP as well as my latest single, The Right Person. Other speakers from the UK included award winning storyteller, Jan Blake. Author/poet and a new friend of mine, Paul Cookson. And the lady who stole my heart, the legendary Valerie Bloom. I must admit I wasn’t sure what to expect being in a very conservative environment and being the only “Hip Hopper” in the midst of Professors and other academics, however people were curious about how Hip Hop could be used within education and were very friendly throughout the conference even before I had my talk. I had some great feedback after my talk, teachers got a lot from what I had to share and it was evident that they all just wanted me to perform more of my songs. Malaysia is such a beautiful place, the people are warm and oh my gosh the food is incredible. I also travelled to Kuala Lumpar on my last day there and met up with some connects. That trip was definitely a game changer for me. Not only did it remind me the importance of what I do as an artist and educator but it also gave me the opportunity to break bread with fellow creatives who’ve been in the game longer than me. The event appeared in a Malaysian publication too, view it here.
This May, I performed alongside Dele Sosimi at the Afro Pfingsten festival in Switzerland. It was an amazing experience and it felt good to be back on stage again. Switzerland seems to be showing me love right now as I find myself back there this coming Wed September 30th, this time with the funky Horndogz. So to all my new Swiss fans, make sure you come out and see a great show at Moods club in Zurich. Details in flyer below.
Here are a few of our songs together, ‘Rocksteady Remix’ feat Mary Griffin and ‘Moving On’ feat TY
Thanks for being patient, here are the visuals for The Right Person! Please leave your comments on the YouTube page
Sometimes it can take a long time for an idea to materialise. My latest single, The Right Person all started 7 years ago with a trip to Nigeria, a conversation with an uncle back in London and a post on Facebook. The feedback from it made me think that this would make a great song and I was right. The Right Person is out NOW on iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, GooglePlay you name it. Get your copy today
Top Image by Cynthia Torto
Bottom Image by Mikaela W
Currently in Lagos, Nigeria promoting my new single produced by Dr. Frabz entitled, ‘The Right Person’. A fun and upbeat track about finding love with that special someone. Featuring singer songwriter, Ebisan and male vocalist Mide on the chorus. Hope you enjoy it and share it with as many people as possible. #TheRightPerson
This is an audible affordable amphetamine
Music is medicine recordable adrenalin
I’m in the lab cooking it up like it was heroin
My motto nowadays is never let the devil win
The music dealer, soul healer, almost mind reader
Rhyme deeper from divine ether. Feed a
Habit and it grows it shows when I’m at shows
Highs and lows, Cortexiphan Tequila in my flows
In my shows, I can make a drunken crowd sober
Tear the roof off; give alcohol a hangover
The Ruler’s here doing lines over a cooler snare
Leave mans suffocating in a room full of air
Children go crazy ladies wanna pull their hair
Drool and stare till they fall off a stool or chair
There’s no concealing it they’re feeling it
When they’re receiving it, I’ve even tried leaving it – addiction
I left music it was bittersweet; of course I missed a beat
I was forced to sip defeat, no remorse up in the street
Now I’m back they don’t believe in me, that’s their testimony
I’m a Jack-of-all-trades and a Master of Ceremony
Screaming in a vacuum, freezing in a heat wave
Drowning in a puddle never mumble on a beat made
My Serotonin level is hell, this is hopeless
I used to be Dopamine where’s my focus?
I stop and drop the habit but an addict has a habit
Of falling off the wagon now I’m bragging that I have it
Help me Lord, help me help me help me Lord
So I can be clean and the show the people what I mean
Elevate my fellow mate let’s be great and celebrate
Levitate your mental state, lyrically self medicate
Fall victim to it, get through it or face eviction
I feel for you…if you’re dealing with addiction
Labels are a Pharmacy, pharmaceuticals harming me
My armoury stopping them, from tryna pop my harmony
That’s why you hardly see me on the scene
Mp3s go unseen into a fiend’s bloodstream
Just give me one team to distribute a sixteen
Inhaling hi hats since I was a sick teen
Junkies want 16s, F64s and hooks
I’m getting work doing workshops, tours and books
Headphones are my syringes, beat binges
My English feels tinglish, it’s off the hinges
Sniffing samples in the studio to get my fix
Lyrical hustler giving the customer the mix
My fans are my support group; I love you all
You pick me up when I’m tired, doubt myself or fall
I don’t play with word play – that’s a contradiction
And any time I rhyme – Add diction
Addiction by @MrBreis, Copyright 2015
I wrote this song to explore the theme of addiction. No music for it yet but I thought I’d share the lyrics. Hope you enjoy, feel free to share and leave a comment on your thoughts or favourite lines. Peace
Next London gig will be with The HORNDOGZ on October 10 at the Hootananny in Brixton
Here’s the second part to my performance in Nigeria. It features a new song entitled “The Right Person”
Leave comments on the Youtube page and let me know what you thought. Thanks
Earlier this year I was in Nigeria, checking out the music scene and working on some new material. I was invited to perform at an amazing event called Afropolitan Vibes, shout out to Ade Bantu. I put a mini visual together for you. Here’s the first part. Enjoy.
In Nigeria and around the world, families are crying, people are tired, people are scared, fed up with government, politicians and Ogas (bosses) at the top. By now you might’ve heard about the story of the 200 plus girls that were abducted from a school in the Northern part of Nigeria. The fundamentalist group Boko Haram (meaning “Western education is forbidden” in Hausa language) has been blamed for abducting the girls from their school in Chibok, Borno state.
Boko Haram has been terrorising parts of Nigeria over the last few years. Last month there was a bomb blast at a bus stop in Abuja, killing 75 people. It’s estimated that 1,500 people have been killed by them this year alone.
A lot of blame is being directed at President Jonathan Goodluck and his security chiefs, as their initial silence over this matter has been deafening and there appears to be no real sense of urgency or importance on the matter. Where is the intelligence, where was the security? Apparently (this is not official) over the last few years, a guestimated 76bn Naira was allocated to CCTV budget in that area of Nigeria. Where is the evidence of this money being spent? Nigeria recently celebrated the fact that the nation had the highest GDP in Africa, which to me sounds like a comedian’s joke that got no laughs, no claps, just tumbleweed. Poverty is rife but the wealth of the wealthy is unbelievable. The sleeping giant of Africa is being watched by the world, I pray it wakes up.
This is truly a sad story that hasn’t really garnered the global media attention that say a Madeleine McCann story has. Maybe it’s easier to focus and report one girl missing because 234 isn’t computable in our brains. That’s over 200 parents going crazy with frustration and fear. Over 200 families crying for help. Fathers leaving crying mothers to search for their girls in the forest where they were taken to and returning with nothing. Rumours are flying about that the young women have now been sold to militants as brides. There’s not much we can do but hope and pray, but the least we can do is raise awareness and force change via social media, which is slowly beginning to happen. Marches are taken place across Nigeria in Abuja, Lagos and Ibadan. Below is a link to a petition I recently signed. Thanks for reading and sharing.
LONDON: Please join us outside the Nigerian Embassy to show our support for the girls and their families. 1pm Saturday. NigerianEmbassy, 9 Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5BX
#bringbackourgirls Wear red if you can.
Hope all is well in your world. Since this is my first blog of the year, let me say happy 2014. Thought I’d share a few half term events for parents/guardians out there that are looking for events for young people (ideal for children aged 5 -13) in London. I’ll be performing at some of them. Click on links for further details.
WED FEB 19
IMAGINE FESTIVAL (Hot Like Fire) at THE SOUTHBANK CENTRE
Join much loved poets Valerie Bloom and Cheryl Moskowitz, along with beatboxer Badaboom Tee and rap artist BREIS, as they take over Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall.
THURSDAY FEB 20
SPIN showcase at The OLYMPIC PARK
Featuring top-class rappers, poets and storytellers: BREIS, Paul Lyalls and Jan Blake – each with their own distinct style that will send you spiralling into a poetry revolution!
The illustrator that designed the cover of my book and all the illustrations inside, Susan Morerain is holding a jewellery making workshop on Tuesday. Check it out.
TUESDAY FEB 18
Just a quick update. I’ll be on a mini Europe tour with funky French group, Horndogz. The dates are as follows:
FRI NOV 22 @ CAFE LEOPOLD / MQ
MUSEUMSPLATZ 1, 1070 WIEN
DOORS 22:00 // ENTRY: €8
SAT NOV 23 @ Lederergasse 8, 92224 Amberg, Bayern, Germany
SUN NOV 24 @ Stall 6, Gessnerallee 8, 8001 Zürich
If you have peoples in those areas, let them know there’s gonna be a funky Hip Hop show for them to check out.
I’ve got this idea about music. Music is art. But music isn’t valued as highly as art. Is it because music isn’t tangible like a painting? Do we value what we see more than what we hear? A musician can put the same time, expertise and effort into a song that a painter puts into a painting but the painting is instantly valued higher. Music has a lot of potential value as opposed to instant value. Lets say it takes me 3 weeks to write, produce *(£250), mix (£250), master (£200) and promote a song (£1000) costing me almost £2000, I then sell the song on iTunes for 79p (and collect 59p from it) The instant value is only 79p, but if it becomes a hit (That’s a big IF) it can produce royalties and gigs that turn it into £10,000 for example. I just realised I don’t know the process that a painter and their painting go through, nevertheless I’ll continue (artists please paint an accurate scenario for us in the comment section). If a painting takes 3 weeks to complete and £300 was spent on materials. Depending on your PR let’s say the painting then goes for £10,000…immediately. With time it could be could be worth hundreds of thousands. Could a song ever be immediately valued more than just 79p? Who’s gonna buy a song for £100? How do we raise the value of music again in an age of free downloads and streaming. One day I’m gonna sell an album for a £1000, I just need a few appreciators to back it and I’m good. I read this article below, we seem to think alike.
…Or just call me a Hip Hop Artist. A lot of lovely people I know introduce me to their friends as a poet followed by author and then maybe rap artist or an MC. I understand it’s all about perception and it is indeed all semantics but I don’t call myself a poet. Maya Angelou, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sonia Sanchez are great poets, but I wouldn’t call them MCs. I wouldn’t call Rakim, Busta Rhymes or Rodney P poets either (unless that’s what they wanted to be known as) I’d call them MCs. The word that best describes me is an ARTIST which encompasses the myriad of labels that come under that including musician, lyricist, poet, storyteller, emcee, wordsmith, creative, alchemist, magician, lyrical thinker etc. In my attempt not to be labelled or limited, I labelled myself which was intentional as well as contradicting. Rap as an art isn’t always given the respect I believe it deserves for obvious reasons. The negative stereotypes ascribed to Rap means that when Rap doesn’t resemble the crude, the derogatory, the bling, the gangsta, the egotistical then it can’t possibly be rap anymore it’s poetry – a type of classism if you will prevails in our minds. I teach children that RAP is Rhythm And Poetry and it should be looked upon as sacredly as poetry. That even if they love the crack rap that the gangsta gatekeepers provide them, there is more to hear that they aren’t privy to. The problem I have when being described as a poet instead of an MC or Hip Hop artist is that you ignore the nuances and beauty of my chosen poetic expression. Of course my ego is in full effect here as I’d rather my name be brought up when people discuss who their favourite MC is as opposed to their favourite poet. (Maya Angelou)
I bring balance (alongside countless other artists) to the minds and ears of both young and old, male and female regarding Hip Hop Music. In certain arenas “a poet” isn’t looked at as being honourable and beautiful (which it is) it’s looked upon as being soft, boring and “I don’t have to pay you that much for you to do a show” so rightly or wrongly I prefer not to be looked at as a poet in those instances. I am more than just a person that raps on the mic but how do you label this MC, modern day westernised Griot reciting Hip Hop Oríkì (praise poetry) for people, author, entrepreneur, a Director of an educational Hip Hop company, a creative consultant, a workshop facilitator, an encourager, an innovator, an atmosphere changer, a healer? Maybe that’s why it’s hard for people to place me or label me. (Rakim) ->
Yesterday it dawned on me that I might not be who I think I am, I might be more than I can ever imagine. Only God knows the depth that He gives us. I don’t do the things in the way the majority of artists are “supposed” to do things. Over the years I’ve offered more services than I have product. That’s why you hardly ever see my name come up in this game of Hip Hop in the UK and I’ve been in this game for years circa ’97. And this game is all about product and I get it, so now I’m giving you more product. Only it might not just be an EP or mix tape or album or a show. It might be another book, it might be a play, it might be a comic, it might be a sticker (they’re cool). Anyway I think I’ve said enough, feel free to share your views.
The Only Human video is finally here!!! A big thank you to the director (Sam Addo) and to all the actors and participants involved. Only Human is going to be presented in a trilogy of creative ways. Part 1 is audio (have you heard the Steve Austin remix OR the Kensaye remix?) Part 2 is the video and Part 3 is in progress.
Please leave a comment on the YouTube page. I want as many people as possible to see this so please share or blog about it. Thank you for your continued support.
I’m really excited about this video. Enjoy the trailer. Join the conversation online using #OnlyHuman
For two weeks in July 2013, I had the privilege of taking part in an incredible project in Aruba – ART RULES ARUBA, the brainchild of twin sisters Ayra and Ira Kip. Over 200 young people took part in this Summer Arts project. There were 9 disciplines: Street Art, Dance, Rap & Poetry, DJing, Fashion, Music & Performance, Theatre, Creative Media and Culinary Arts. I worked alongside one of Aruba’s leading poets, Rosabelle Illes to lead the Rap and Poetry workshops.
Students learnt about the origins of Hip Hop, what an MC is, how to write haiku poems, short stories, monologues, rap lyrics and improved their performance skills. Rosabelle had arranged an open mic session at a beautiful restaurant/bar, Cuba’s cooking where some of our students got to perform in front of a live audience for the first time too. One of the beautiful things I saw, was the hunger we all had to learn from each other. I even ended up learning a few words and phrases in Papiamento: “Mi ta contento, pa ta kin am” (meaning “I’m happy to be here”.) As for the participants, they were a delightful bunch and open to learning and developing their skills, I fell in love with them all. Shout out to Fresh out the Oven and the Prikichi loco crews. At the end of the two weeks we held a festival for the young people to showcase what they’d learnt. It was also a chance for parents to come and witness the brilliant work of the young people. We saw shy and introverted children blossom and come out of their shell. Excellent writers get even better and surprise themselves. Some found their voice, some found a new appreciation for their mother-tongue. It was truly an amazing experience and a reminder of the importance of art and the incredible benefits it has for us all.
For me it was also very rewarding to see the Hip Hop work I do in the UK translate so well in Aruba. The Fresh Prince of Zamunda was definitely in the house!
Being around all the other incredible art practitioners was also an empowering and enriching experience. To them I say thanks for sharing your passion and for your friendship. I look froward to meeting up with you in the future whether in London, Holland, Japan, NY, Canada, Baltimore or Aruba. A big thank you to the sponsors and to the Pancake Gallery for inviting me. Art Rules Aruba most definitely, till the next time.
Check out this video of me performing Fela Kuti’s “Sorrow, Tears and Blood” alongside Dele Sosimi from the Celebrating the Black President Fela tribute show in London last month. OkayAfrica will be releasing footage of all the artists over the next few days/weeks. Check out their site for updates. You can also follow my updates on twitter @MrBreis
It’s been a whirlwind month of touring and promoting THE BRILLIANT EP and the Audiobook. I intend to blog about the whole experience soon when things are a bit calmer. I’ve got to say one of the highlights of the tour was performing in Paris and London alongside the most incredible line up to celebrate the music of Afrobeat father: FELA KUTI. I had the privilege of duetting with an old friend, amazing woman and pop star, Shingai Shinowa from the Noisettes. We performed Fela Kuti’s classic song – Lady.
So my next gig is an important one and I’d love for you to be there, especially if you haven’t come out to see your favourite MC in a bit haha. It’s with a group I’ve been doing some work with recently in France. They’re called the Horndogz. I’ve been talking about them for ages and now we’re finally doing our first London show together. It would mean a lot if as many of you could come out and fill the house, I don’t want them to go away thinking London was dry haha. Tell your fremily. It’s this Thursday May 23 at Mau Mau bar, Portobello rd, Ladbroke Grove London W11. Doors open at 8; show starts around 9pm. £5 entry. As always I give you a little something extra at my shows so look out for some surprises!! Check out the link for more details and click join if you’re attending.
Huge congratulations to TY on his EP launch party at Jazz Cafe on 10 April 2013. Epic, incredible, amazing is how people have described that night. Jazz Cafe was ram jam with old school, new school heads and bundles good energy. Man Vs Wife, Bunny Bread, Madd P (Boogie Bunch) kept the crowd rocking in between sets. Tickets were completely sold out and some people couldn’t get in. With a line up that had Native Sun, Pumpkin, BREIS, Mystro as well as a TY feature with Akala and Durtygoodz, only good things could be expected. Every single artist brought their A game and came with their own chamber.
Native Sun and DJ KMT opened up with their blend of soulful Afro-Hip Hop. French outfit, Pumpkin was on next with an awesome sound and tight le francais delivery.
Then myself and DJ Big Ted took to the stage taking no prisoners with lyrics, vibes and lots of energy. Mystro aka Mysdiggi hit the stage afterwards and lyrically slapped up the place.That guy is too funny!
When Ty hit the stage, the crowd swayed and responded to his every word, sound, movement and joke. It was something incredible to behold. Anyone who knows TY, already knows that you’re gonna get maximum quality but what we’re in danger of forgetting is exactly how many classic tunes my brother has! He drew tunes from his past albums and his new A Kick, Snare And An Idea EP. I think it’s fair to say that the “Knock knock” dance as it’s being dubbed for the song “Knock, Knock” was a visual highlight. Over 400 people dancing in sync, beautiful.
Another highlight for me was also meeting Durtygoodz for the first time, an incredible MC. I did crack up at his unscripted freestyle, that was funny. I have to say I was really moved by the amount of love shown that day by peeps. It was really encouraging as an artist to experience that. So big up to all who were involved in putting that show together – Jazz Cafe and Supa Dupa Fly and all the supporters that made it down. Massive shout out to Javed, who was in a wheelchair right at the front. Your words were amazing. Thank you.
It is with great pleasure that I can finally announce that my Hip Hop audiobook is OUT on iTunes!! I am so excited hahaha. It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve learnt a lot during the process about myself as an artist, my voice, the art of recording, working with others etc. When I decided to create this audio version of my book, there was no exact blueprint for it so I kind of made it up as I went along and the outcome has been more than satisfying. In a sense this is my first album (although technically speaking it’s not) and I believe it has something for everyone. When I think about it, this is the culmination of my work over the last twelve years on the stage and in the classroom. I do hope you enjoy it and would REALLY appreciate your feedback whether you write to me directly or leave a review on iTunes. So here it is people, happy listening.
(The download appears as one long track, but this is what it entails)
1. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop
2. Landmarks & Spencer
3. Think Big
4. Your Favourite MC
6. Only Human
7. No Condition is Permanent
9. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop 2
10. Fill in the Rap
12. Don’t Forever Hold Your Peace
13. Fear of Failure
15. Jammin on the bus
16. Mocking Bird
17. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop 3
In the meantime check out this video from The Horndogz called Rocksteady. It really is one of my favourite videos right now, kudos to Team Horndogz for this one. They teamed up with the beautiful and amazing Mary Griffin (she sings with George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic) and myself to recreate Aretha Franklin’s “Rocksteady” tune. I had a blast shooting this video in France with them; it’s one of the songs from their new release entitled Dogfood Vol 1. We’ll be doing some shows in France and Europe in a couple of months and an exclusive London show on May 23. So put that date in your diary. Enjoy the funk!
6 years ago was the last time I officially released any music. It’s taken me this long to find the desire and strength to enter back into the music arena again. Don’t get me wrong I’ve still been doing music but not on a commercial level. Why so long? I didn’t find the UK music scene very encouraging, didn’t have a solid infrastructure around me and was too proud to put in the hard work required at the time. Whether I admitted it or not, I subconsciously quit the UK music scene. I remember promoting my song, “Identity” in Nigeria for three weeks and got more done in those 3 weeks than a whole year in the UK. I was on radio, TV and numerous TV channels were playing my video which led me to believe that this is where I was appreciated and needed to be (I can hear my cousins all shouting, “Yes now, I’ve been saying this for years!”) Was my hustling mind set different over there or was there just more support from the industry out there? I don’t know the answer, probably a bit of both. I came back to London thinking I’ll be moving to Nigeria soon but life had other plans.
Meanwhile I decided to get myself into the position where I didn’t have to be dependent on friends and family to support my music. The thought of pressuring them to “support” me was quite sickening. This led to me doing the complete opposite, sometimes I wouldn’t say a word about what I was doing music wise (I’m getting over this slowly but surely now). I focused on my Hip Hop educational business where I had more control of the outcomes. I could make things happen, there were no gatekeepers deciding whether or not I got played on the radio or reviewed in a magazine. I was making a difference and being encouraged along the way. I wrote a book and even more doors opened for me. “Music? Ain’t nobody got time for that”, I thought. However at the back of my mind I knew there was still some unfinished business to take care of and music was the root of what my business was about anyway.
(Pic of Myself and KRS-One)
So I started making plans to get closer to music again and started to record the audio version of my book, a Hip Hop audiobook of music and narration “Brilliant Rappers Educate Intelligent Students”. I worked with a sound engineer and producer by the name of D’lux Beats who was amazing. A mentor suggested I turn it into an EP for those that didn’t want to listen to all the narration, so that’s how “The Brilliant EP” was born. I shot 2 music videos back to back, one was for the lead single “Strictly” which I’m hoping you’ve seen already (if not see it here) The second one for another song from the EP called ‘Only Human’. I’ve also been inspired by some artists around me releasing material and putting in mad work like Karl Nova, TY, Genesis Elijah, GhostPoet, Eklipse, Vula, Terri Walker (with her new group ‘Lady’), Tawiah to name just a few. This time around, the focus is different and the mission is clearer. I’m fuelled by God’s grace, the possibility of greatness, humility, fans, family, supporters and even the haters and doubters. Before, I used to focus on the gatekeepers and almost started doing it again this time around… but it’s not about the gatekeepers; it’s about the reason I started doing this in the first place, for the love of the art. For the people that get it. It’s about People Power! I’m not afraid to ask for your support anymore. I’m blessed to have a stronger support system around me this time, it’s still tough but your support has been awesome and I’m grateful for you all. This project is just the appetiser, the campaign is simmering, there’s still a lot more on the way and I need you to get on board the train in any way you can. Whether it’s buying the audiobook or the EP when it’s out. Buying the single today. Blogging about it, email me questions, RT tweets, subscribe to the Youtube page, DJs play the tunes… If you’re not feeling it, it’s not a problem; I got something else for you that you might love haha. Come out to the shows, the shows are ridiculous. Basically what I’m saying is that without you, this doesn’t make as much sense. I do this for my people…Strictly For My People.
It’s OUT NOW to buy on iTunes
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Happy new month of March!! It’s with great delight that I share my new music video for “STRICTLY” with you. There are no yachts, unaffordable cars or irreverent depictions of abject poverty (thanks Rick Ross). Just myself writing some bars in the studio and a load of fremily enjoying a day on the beach in Lagos, Nigeria. We wanted to capture a natural vibe and think we managed to pull it off. Big shout out to TY, Wale, Oke, Victoria, and FEROmedia for making this video possible.
I’d like to thank you all for your support, it is the fuel that keeps me doing music. My request to you beautiful people is that you kindly share this video with your friends on your blogs, BBM, Facebook, twitter, newsletters etc. If you like the song, the video, the lyrics, say it on the YouTube page. Subscribe to the YouTube page, I’ve got a few more videos on the way very soon. Till we read again, muchos merci.
Hope this meets you well. I will be uploading music from my audiobook (out in March 2013) for you guys to hear bit by bit. The first track is a song you might have heard before, called STRICTLY (for my people) featuring the amazing vocals of Eska Mtungwazi. Watch out for the visuals of Strictly by the end of the month. Keep connected via twitter also.
Bloggers and DJs please hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org for instrumentals, acapellas, other exclusives and info regarding release. Thank you
I’m really excited about TY’s “Kick, Snare and an Idea”EP. The first song from the EP is “Like You Never”. I had the pleasure of hearing him perform this soulful jam recently, it was awesome. Put the 10th April in your diary for the Jazz Cafe release party too, not gonna give away any spoilers but it’s an event you don’t wanna regret missing. See you there!
There are a few more tbc shows and visits, but here’s an idea of what Feb and March are gonna be like for me. Kicking off the month with the amazing Jazz Club in Soho. I’ve never played there before, so looking forward to it.
Feb 3 – Pizza Express Jazz club, London (Live Show)
Feb 5 – TLA School, Colchester (Performance/Workshops)
Feb 6 – Marshalls Park, Romford (Book signing)
Feb 7 – Conisborough College, London (Performance/Workshops)
Feb 8 – King’s Place, London (Performance)
Feb 12 – Harris Academy, South Norwood (Performance/Workshops)
Feb 14 – Conisborough College, London (Performance)
Feb 21 – Panelist on DigiAfrica, Nigeria Social Media Week (Panelist discussion)
Feb 23 – Queens Park library, London (Workshop)
Feb 23 – Rock the Runway, London Top Model of Colour (Performance)
Mar 5 – Fircroft Primary School. London (Performance/Workshops)
Mar 7 – Park High School, London (Performance/Workshops)
Mar 13 – Urmston Grammar School, Manchester (Performance/Workshops)
Mar 16 – A night of Diversity Showcase, London (Performance)
Mar 19 – Tubbenden school, London (Performance/Workshops)
Mar 29-31 – Festival performance, Lithuania (Live Show)
Be sure to follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/MrBreis