Tag Archives: Breis
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Jazz Refreshed

14 Oct

Next live band performance is in London at Jazz Refreshed on Thursday October 20th.

Mau Mau Bar, 265 Portobello rd, Ladbroke Grove W11

£5 entry

Buy tickets in advance 

Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9:30pm. Finishes at 10:45pm

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Urban Culture Academy/Felabration

26 Sep

Greetings Fremily,

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

BREIS
– Brother Reaching Each Inner Soul

Brixton Youth Open Mic & The Bridge

12 Aug

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

Gratitude

5 May

_V5A3748 as Smart Object-1Sometimes 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.

My trip to Malaysia

26 Nov

Greetings Fremily
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.

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SWITZERLAND

25 Sep

 

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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.

 

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Here are a few of our songs together, ‘Rocksteady Remix’ feat Mary Griffin and ‘Moving On’ feat TY

Behind The Music

17 May

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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
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Top Image by Cynthia Torto
Bottom Image by Mikaela W

The Right Person

24 Apr

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

Mini European Tour Dates

21 Nov

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Hi guys

Just a quick update. I’ll be on a mini Europe tour with funky French group, Horndogz. The dates are as follows:

AUSTRIA
FRI NOV 22 @ CAFE LEOPOLD / MQ
MUSEUMSPLATZ 1, 1070 WIEN
DOORS 22:00 // ENTRY: €8

GERMANY
SAT NOV 23 @ Lederergasse 8, 92224 Amberg, Bayern, Germany

SWITZERLAND
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.

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The Value of Music

6 Oct

Music-is-art-music-7125109-1024-1024I’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.

http://rapradar.com/2013/10/04/nipsey-hussle-on-releasing-100-album/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

*approx

#MusicIsArt

I’m An MC…Don’t Call Me A Poet

27 Sep

LKJ…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)
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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) ->
RakimYesterday 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.

– BREIS, Your Favourite MC
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Only Human (Trailer)

11 Sep

I’m really excited about this video. Enjoy the trailer. Join the conversation online using #OnlyHuman

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Only Human TEASER

12 Aug

Subscribe to my Youtube channel for new video updates.

Jazz Re:freshed on MAY 23

20 May

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. IMG_1787

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.

https://www.facebook.com/events/580416208658613/581168128583421/?notif_t=like

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Prof Chinua Achebe and Legacy

1 Apr

“I love my culture, love my heritage/ but every where I turn – depicted as negative” – Strictly

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Image by Onyinye
On March 21st 2013, the world lost Professor Chinua Achebe. My eyes welled up as I heard the news and was completely dazed for a few hours. I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was the fact that he contributed to part of my childhood memories, my education, my respect for writers. It’s been ages since I read one of the world’s greatest novels: “Things Fall Apart” published in 1958 and it’s time to revisit it. The one thing I thought about after I recovered, was how beautiful it is when a man or woman leaves a legacy behind. Are you working on your legacy?
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As a writer and musician, this quote is my motto. We have to write our own story, make our own documentaries, document our lives, teach our children our stories and encourage them to write theirs. Through my music and my books I’m writing my own story, creating my own narrative and controlling the narrative (I got that bit from Nikita). Tell your story, work on your legacy.

The Hip Hop Audiobook

26 Mar

Greetings fremily

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.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE HIP HOP AUDIOBOOK

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TRACKLISTING

(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
5. Wahala
6. Only Human
7. No Condition is Permanent
8. Strictly
9. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop 2
10. Fill in the Rap
11. Identity
12. Don’t Forever Hold Your Peace
13. Fear of Failure
14. Sharon
15. Jammin on the bus
16. Mocking Bird
17. It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop 3

Click here to Purchase your copy

1st single from Audiobook/EP

18 Feb

Strictly

Greetings Fremily,
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 bambreis@yahoo.co.uk for instrumentals, acapellas, other exclusives and info regarding release. Thank you

Feb/March – Shows and School Visits

2 Feb

PZE e-Flyer Feb 2013 JF & Breis

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)

A Fruitful 2013

3 Jan

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Greetings fremily,

Hope you’re enjoying the year so far. I’d like to declare a fruitful 2013 to you and your family. Motto for the year: “Let’s Do This!”

2012 saw me working with some amazing artists and recording new music, recording an audiobook with D’Lux Beats (OUT March), taking part in my first TEDx event, shooting a new music video (coming soon), delivering inspiring Hip Hop Edu workshops to 1000s of students alongside Karl Nova. Meeting some incredible people, being introduced as a Hip Hop author, running a 10k race, getting fitter (thanks to RunDem crew and Spartanfam).

One of the biggest lessons I learnt from last year was that I need to stop doing things last minute dot com and I need to keep my supporters posted with what I’m doing in good time. Time management is key this year. A big thank you to all who came to my shows, bought my book, downloaded or played my music, retweeted a tweet, liked my page, blogged about the  music, referred me for amazing projects, encouraged me, prayed for me…I THANK YOU.

To paraphrase some words from Kendrick Lamar: My New Year’s revolution is to stop all the pollution, talk too motherlovin much, I got my drink, I got my music, I WILL SHARE IT, but today I’m yelling please don’t kill my vibe, please don’t kill my vibe…

😉

Do share and comment. Thanks

B

 

 

Jazz Refreshed

26 Oct

If you were at the Jazz Refreshed birthday gig I did here a few years ago, you already know the deal. If not, then don’t miss this one! This’ll probably be my only live show in London for the rest of 2012. It’s gonna be a blessed night, bring a friend. This is where ‘Fremily’ was born.

Here’s to the Upthinkers

10 Oct

Upthink: Thinking on a higher plane. Keeping your mind on possibilities and opportunities. Lateral thinking. Upgrading your thought patterns. Solution seeking. Thinking outside, inside, around and under the box. Learning.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – (Philippians 4:8)

Here’s to the Upthinkers

The Hip Hop Debate

28 Jun

I was at the Barbican yesterday for the Hip Hop on Trial debate. The motion: “Hip-Hop Doesn’t Enhance Society, It Degrades It” in itself was annoying but I thought this should be fun. Once I got over the fact that the panel was an imbalanced representation of global Hip Hop (okay to be honest I meant legit UK representation) I went there with an open mind. I missed the first 20 minutes or so but found it quite interesting listening to people like Dr Eric Dyson, KRS, Dream Hampton, Questlove, Q-Tip, Benjamin Zephaniah and too many to mention. Dr James Peterson, Prof John Sutherland and Prof Tricia Rose made some brilliant convincing arguments, but overall there was way too much rhetoric and simplifying of complex issues. PJ O’Rourke via satellite cracked everyone up by asking the host, “What the f*&$ am I doing on this panel?” Joe Budden got cocky, then frustrated and left early. Estelle and Q-Tip were very passionate. Sean Bailey made some good points although he wasn’t getting any love for most of the negative things he had to say. KRS surprised me a little, I think I wanted more from him. There were too many discussions on semantics, the n word, the b word, this took up way too much time. Jason Whitlock (who was on the side for the motion) said Hip Hop had been taken over by prison culture. Which to me means Hip Hop therefore isn’t what should be on trial. Man of the night though goes to the man whose mum calls him Stinky. He’s got 99 problems but his name ain’t one, hit me!

During the debate I realised two things 1) Hip Hop wasn’t on trial, rap music was. There was no talk of the other elements of Hip Hop (unless I missed it earlier on) and 2) The motion itself was like asking if someone was either good or bad. All this debate was set up to do was to have us go round in circles. At best this was a Hip Hop pantomime that was enjoyable at times but I couldn’t take it too seriously. I had a blast afterwards though, catching up with peeps and meeting some really interesting people. I must say some fascinating convos kicked off in the foyer. I think we need more debates like this but more relevant ones and solution seeking ones too. You can watch the debate below.

The five stages of an artist

18 Jul

Everything happens in stages. Miss one out and there will be a sense of lack. As a hip hop lyricist, author, workshop facilitator, actor, publisher and sometimes beat maker I realise that I spend a lot of time creating new work. I’m an ideas man, similar to Tom the inventor (Apprentice 2011). The hard thing for people like us, is following through and completing a project. Just as you make headway with this amazing idea, another idea comes along that is slightly sexier. This makes it very easy to stay trapped in the sweet and sour creative zone. I’ve realised that I have different stages or zones I operate in and to have a sense of fulfillment, moving through all the stages is essential.

1. Creating – This is probably my favourite place. I get a buzz when I create lyrics and vibes. Translating what’s in my head for others to enjoy. It’s a place that loved ones don’t always appreciate as it’s usually an isolated place.

2. Sharing – Allowing others to see and hear your work; a nerve-racking experience encapsulated by Erykah Badu when she said, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t”.

3. Impacting – When your art becomes bigger than you and means something to others in a way you never would’ve imagined. You become a real artist.

4. Promoting – the business side of things we sometimes want others to deal with. This is the hustle, the bustle, the knocking down of doors, getting in people’s faces, Facebook or twitter timelines. Telling the world that this is what we do.

5. Earning – When all the creating, sharing, impacting and promoting is done and whilst it’s still going on, you’ve got to know or learn how to make money from your creations.

I’m making sure for the rest of this year I do more sharing, promoting and earning. With that said allow me to introduce you to Student of Life the site to visit if you’re in education or working with young people and the only place to order a copy of my new book, Brilliant Rappers Educate Intelligent Students.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the five stages and where you spend most of your time and where you need to be spending more time. Please feel free to share this. Thank you kindly.

B

The Revolution is Right Here in Front of You

17 Feb

Egyptians protested for 18 days to stop the regime of President Mubarak and on Feb11 2011, they were rewarded. I can only imagine the elation of witnessing a revolution unfold right in front of you. But a revolution is rarely a revolution without bloodshed and sadly people lost their lives in the process. On twitter a lot of people were saying Tunisia’s done it, Egypt has done it, now it’s time for the UK! Hmmmm. Minus the fire extinguisher debacle, I’ve been impressed by the student protesting this year in the UK, however it might take a whole lot more before our government start listening to the people. But lets not lose hope, we’ve seen people power in full effect! And with that said, SAVE OUR LIBRARIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!


RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOU

“Mummy travelled over 3000 miles to turn 3000 tears into 3000 smiles”

Anyways this week I thought I’d share this revolutionary tune (some of you might know it already) it’s a track called Right here in front of you produced by Unsung Heroes and is featured on The Rough Guide to African Rap album. The drums on this track were by the legendary Tony Allen who alongside Fela Kuti created the Afro beat rhythms. I got a call from TY who asked if I wanted to join him on the track and I jumped at the chance. It was an honour to be part of such a project and remains one of the highlights of my musical career. It’s possibly the most encompasing verse I’ve ever written. The opening line summed up what the whole verse was gonna do. It defined what we do as MCs and had some Yoruba in there, I later added some Pidgin English, name checked everyone involved on the record, gave a shout out to mum and imagined this being an audible telegram to my people in Nigeria. I remember writing the lyrics in the studio and running them past Ty to see what he thought. He really liked them so it was all good. I laid down the vocals and that was that. Ty came up with the catchy chorus from a line from his 1st verse. I don’t know if he realised how powerful it was when he chose it.

BOUNCE

“I rhyme for an Englishman, Dominican, Algerian
Brazilian, Sicilian, Nigerian or Indian…”

Here’s another archived tune I dug up the other day, courtesy of Reggae Hip Hop producer and DJ, Keith Lawrence. It’s another track I did with Ty full of vibes and just having fun. It’s called Bounce, enjoy. Next week we’ll return to the unreleased and unheard tunes, so stay tuned. Spread the blog!

You are who you are

10 Feb


“Celebrate who you are, a reflection of a star…”

This is an unreleased track called You Are produced by Justin ‘Top Rock’ of the Uprock crew. A very gifted musician, artist and all round top bloke. You can catch him DJing or chilling at Jazz refreshed every Thursday at Mau Mau bar on Portobello rd, West London. The chorus vocals are by the beautiful and awesome Drea Parks. The tune is multi-textured and sweet like pounded yam and spinach soup with smooth supermalt guitar riffs that help wash the vocals down nicely (I was slightly hungry when writing this). Bon appetite.

Here for You

3 Feb

LISTEN TO MY PROMO

“Before Breis was the bona fide geez, I was teased in school for being African by other black kids”

The last 2 years of Secondary school were quite rough for me. I had just returned to London after spending six years in Lagos, Nigeria. During this time unbeknown to me, I had acquired a slight accent which immediately made me stand out. I had no real idea about racism or racial prejudice before then (minus a few skinhead scares when I was younger) and soon found out that my Asian and West Indian classmates considered Africans to be uncool. I couldn’t get my head around the teaching styles and did miserably in my GCSEs. Those were some lonely and depressing times. Things improved in College; I moved on from Jason and Kylie to Neneh Cherry, Mantronix, Guy, Johnny Gill and EPMD (EPMD changed everything). The club that was killing it back then was Roseberrys in Hackney. I spent all night mustering up the courage to ask a girl for a dance, after no takers I got into bussing crazy moves. Swing beat was my thing. Emceeing, university and job hunting were next on the menu as was music.

This song chronicles those times.  This was also around the time garage was blowing up, I felt like Hip Hop was being ignored and so Here for you was about me saying I’m here for you Hip Hop even if others abandon you. In hindsight I think I was also saying music was there for me when I felt no one else was. This is the original version I did, it later got remixed by my friend Terrence Yoshiaki. His version went on my first mixtape called “Your favourite MC”. Terrence was one of the musicians for Black Eyed Peas when they first started out alongside Kim. That’s when they were killing it with the dance moves and freshness. Anyways wanted to let this version breathe. Let me know what you think.

The Year was 2001

27 Jan

SOUNDS SO FRESH

I was a young man, ready to take on the world of Hip Hop. My biggest fans were my sister Funmi, my best friend Sean and my cousin Spyda, it was time to get the word out. I’d been building up a name for myself on the London scene and was the host of a popular monthly open mic session called Urban Griots in South London (started by 2 lovely ladies, Fatimah and Julianna). It was an amazing arena to grow as an artist and was an integral part of the London spoken word scene between ’97 and 2003. In 1999 I made a demo track called “Underrated” and a few DJs were playing it, in particular DJ 279 played it on Choice FM radio station for 9 weeks straight! The feedback was brilliant and really encouraged me to take music more seriously…

“…menacing prejudice I faced at 15
took my retakes in Kilburn college canteen
it was Femi, George, Skitz and RIP Armstrong
Steve Austin, Bunny Bread and Spyda made me strong”
Push

A few years before this I was in Kilburn college escaping boring Maths classes by Mr Palamedes, playing black jack in the canteen, playing arcade games on the high street or playing penny up the wall with friends in a nearby estate. During these years, I began to come out of my shell and started digesting Hip Hop culture and soon realised the art of freestyling. I was hanging out with my own cool crew but started chilling more and more with my cuz who knew some serious Hip Hop aficionados. He kept telling me I had to meet some artist called TY (that was to happen later). He also knew two members of the Espionage crew that also attended Kilburn college. A really cool, loud mouthed DJ/producer/graffiti artist called Bunny Bread and a booming voiced friendly giant MC known as Lord Omega 7, later as Steve Austin. I thought to myself I’ll be as Hip Hop as these guys one day.

One day finally came and I had the privelage of having Bunny Bread come up with a track for my debut single. Bunny, Daz-I-Que (from Bugz in the Attic), Steve Austin, Motet, Adam Rock, Toprock and Darren started Uprock recordings and wanted to put out the single. I wanted to show my lyrical skills, personality and pay homage to my Hip Hop and musical elders like Rodney P, Jonzi D, Black Twang, TY, MCD, Omar, Beverly Knight and the numerous poets I’d met through Urban Griots. The result was “Sounds so Fresh”. I was finally getting the word out. 10 years on and it still sounds fresh!

To be continued

01 Sounds so Fresh by Breis

2 Thousand and Elevation

25 Jan

Greetings fremily!

Music lovers, Hip Hop heads and blogaholics, I greet you all and wish you a productive 2011.  Allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is BREIS (pronounced breeze) which stands for Brother Reaching Each Inner Soul.  I’m an Emcee, Educator, Writer and Entrepreneur. Over the last few years I’ve taken a break from music and concentrated on building up my Arts Education company called Student of Life.  After a long hiatus, 2011 marks the prodigal son’s return. I recently had an epiphany; it was that perfectionism is a major cause of procrastination.  Last December I came across a CD with a track I recorded with Estelle about 9 years ago. The data files had gotten damaged (flood in the studio) and I never got the chance to redo my vocals. I remember thinking it wasn’t good enough to make the album, so I just left it.  Listening to it again I realised that even though the track was nowhere near perfect, it was still dope! I soon discovered another track, then another and another until finally I had an imperfect, unheard album on my hand. I had to laugh. I’d been trying to make an album for years and didn’t realise I already had one in my possession, despite its imperfections.

Music is for sharing and so I’ve decided to share some of these tracks with suspect vocals, dodgy singing all included. Each week I will be sharing a track  that I’ve recorded over the last 10 years.  Some are unreleased, unfinished, under the radar and there are a few cool collaborations too.  I will also be giving some background information on how these tracks came to be.  Hopefully sometime in March, I’ll be uploading a free EP for you to download. Feel free to give me feedback and share your thoughts and spread it like butter on toast via fb, twitter et al.  This is a cleansing period for me, both spiritually and musically. Out with the old to make room for the new. First up will be my debut single (2001), Sounds so Fresh.

P.S. fremily = friends and family