Monthly Archives: March 2015

Rihanna Pays Homage

With her animated movie ‘Home’ sitting at number one at the box office, Rihanna stepped on stage at the iHeartRadio Music Awards over the weekend with such ferocity she needed a helicopter to enter the building.

Paying homage to the original Queen B, Lil Kim, RiRi showed up decked out in neon/emerald green fur and thigh high boots. Earlier in the week she had posted a pic of Lil Kim on her Instagram page with the caption #BBHM, her new single, alluding to her upcoming performance’s inspiration.

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Wanna bumble with the Bee huh?

Tinashe – Amethyst

It was at OVO Fest last year that I saw Tinashe perform ‘2 On’ and that was probably the first time I heard her. Since then my ears have perked up whenever her sultry voice comes on.

It reminds me of early Aaliyah and T-Boz from TLC. That lower register whispery voice that goes well with dancing super close, late nights and intimacy.

I did an earlier post on her debut album Aquarius, which I really enjoyed, and I’m happy to see she didn’t let the momentum drop. She was recently featured in the remix of Nick Jonas’ hot song ‘Jealous’, which is all over the radio not to mention she made the smart move dropping out of Iggy Azalea’s tour to join Nicki Minaji’s tour.

A few weeks ago she released a free mixtape Amethyst featuring seven tracks. With her midnight voice and the late night cruising beats.

A lot of folks say R&B is dead or that it’s gone ratchet, but Tinashe has a sound that reminds me of female R&B singers from the mid ’90s. Check out the mixtape and let me know what you think.

Back

Tracklist:

01 Dreams Are Real
02 Wrong
03 Something to Feel
04 Looking 4 It
05 Wanderer
06 Worth It
07 Just the Way I Like You

Janelle MonĂ¡e’s Wondaland

Ever since Janelle came on the scene with her debut album ‘ArchAndaroid’ in 2010, she’s been enchanting us with her style, music and charm. The Kansas City native is a force to be reckoned with – her music comes with powerful social messages, is full of depth and she can sing first and foremost. And now this talented woman is at the helm of her own record label, Wondaland.

Based of Atlanta, Georgia the label already boasts a colourful and eccentric roster of artists including Jidenna who’s new song ‘Classic Man’ is dripping of bespoke coolness.

Janelle recently spoke with AdWeek regarding the new label and here are some great excerpts:

Janelle, you have developed a terrific artist’s persona. How do you stay true to your style and vision within the commercial landscape?
In the very beginning, I used Jim Collins’ book Built to Last to figure out my core values. And then I gave those core values to everyone I worked with: Atlantic Records, CoverGirl, etc., and as I embarked on new creative projects or business partnerships, I weighed my core values and the proposed opportunity and I decided accordingly. Style is important, having fun and being whimsical and free is important, but I’ve always believed I can accomplish anything I want while also inspiring young girls and pushing for change around the world.

What do you see as the greatest challenges marketing music today, and how are labels and artists working through those?

We’re big believers in the 10,000-hour theory. Practice makes perfect. Get your 10,000 hours in onstage and in the studio, and success will follow. In terms of marketing that work, you have to be strategic as well. There’s so much music nowadays! But first, the artist needs to be aware of what she is and what she wants to accomplish, and then you market outward from that unique perspective with a unique voice because that gives the entire viral campaign passion and authenticity. And passion and authenticity works in every format and every era.

Check out the full article and look out for great things from the Queen Janelle.

All Natural Skin Care

For some, their self confidence is connected to having a good hair day. My battle with my hair is never ending so I’ve learned to never rely on ‘her’ for my self-esteem. My skin however is where my confidence can be heightened or shattered. Nothing more annoying that waking up to an un-welcomed zit, and most likely on an important day.

So I’ve been looking into healthy and natural remedies for skin care, in my attempt to move away from drugstore solutions that have harsh ingredients. It takes a bit of experimentation and a lot of questions for the workers at Healthy Planet.

Thus far Rose Hip oil has worked for me. I’m using it as a light moisturizer after my cleanser. It’s been great clearing up scars from previous acne and the hyper pigmentation resulting from it. Rose oil has fatty acids that help the skin cells absorb and retain moisture. This gives the skin a smooth and hydrated glow, as well as combating the appearance of fine lines.

This is the brand I use.

This is the brand I use.

Here is a list of other natural oils that have been known to help with skin care. Ask questions before trying anything out and do skin tests before going all out with any new products.

Algae/Kelp Extract

Algae and kelp are full of nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. They are also full of collagen-building zinc and alleviate puffiness. By applying a seaweed face mask once a week, you can give your skin a clarifying boost.

Green Coffee Extract

With ten times the antioxidant power than green tea, green, unroasted, cold-pressed coffee beans contains the right amount of acids to fight free radicals. These antioxidants also heal scar tissue and promote rapid cell regeneration. Keep an eye out for green coffee as an extract in serums to help combat the signs of aging and dullness in the skin.

Turmeric

Turmeric, more than just a great spice to add to your cooking, is a great anti-inflammatory agent. The orange pigment in tumeric is called curcumin and acts as a melanin production inhibitor directly treating skin damage from acne scars and/or hyper pigmentation. I use a dash of tumeric powder in a homemade mask of egg yolk and honey. Leave it on until it dries and take it off with a warm cloth. Proving to me again that the key to our health can be found in our kitchens first before a drug store.

Do you have any skin care issues and what are you doing to remedy them?

Shad – The New Host Of Q

There’s been a slow and steady shift in Canada for a while now. Hip hop has never received an open welcome in the mainstream music industry here. It’s had to forge its own path and cultivate an audience on the outskirts of the status quo. But it thrived and flourished on its own terms and pace.

Amidst that growth was the rapper Shad, a Kenyan-born young man with Rwandan parents who grew up in London, ON. Shad has relentlessly created music drenched in stories and as a child of African immigrant parents I identified with his stories. So I was quite happy to hear that he has been chosen to be the new host on CBC’s show Q. What a great outlet for a storyteller such as Shad and a treat for audiences.

The Canadian version of the Grammys, the Junos, are this weekend. I remember in 1998 when the Vancouver based rap group the Rascalz won for Best Rap Recording, but declined the award citing an intentional neglect and dismissal of hip hop in mainstream Canadian music. And here we are now, a rapper has taken a coveted seat on the nation’s leading radio station.

An article that moved me was written by CBC host Nana aba Duncan, Shad’s New Job At Q A Victory For All Of Us, highlighting how proud she was hearing the news.

One of my favourite parts…

So let the kids who love hip hop know about this. Let them be aware that you can have so many sides to you and be proud of each. Most of all, let Canada see that a rapper who wears hoodies can have a serious, intelligent conversation with anyone.