I finally saw it… AMY. 10ish thoughts/learnings from watching the Doc.

I have no idea where to start. An experience of extreme dualities that’s for sure.

1.a Great and moving to see some old school footage of Amy, family days, youth orchestra days, being goofy with friends etc etc

b. Not so sure about the clips. seeing as she had no say in what the clips were used for.

2. a. Warmed my heart to hear interviews with her nearest and dearest i.e her 2 best friends from way back exclaiming their love and admiration for Amy and her endeavours. 

b. The blame that was subtly laid on a few’s backs through these interviews wasn’t so nice to see.

3.a Super inspiring to me as a singer and songwriter her confidence and love in the craft. 

b. how quickly the music industry and culture can turn a bright spark into an addict of unsavoury substances.

4a. Love is beautiful, powerful, inspiring and far reaching. 

b. Love can be manipulated into accompanying misery in the name of solidarity.

5.a All families have a past. 

b. People that live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones i.e if anyone’s family past get’s into the hands of filmmakers there is always blame to lay, just depends on which way the slant leans.

6.a Crack is wack 

b. Crack is still wack… Stop with the comeback y’all, in the past month I have heard it mentioned way too lightly way too often. Brighton needs some TLC on the whole. Cocaine will get boring eventually everyone!

7a. Heartbreak can be a beautiful thing that can benefit mankind.

b. If something has such a positive impact broken, why try to put it all back together again? Amy cut herself too deep trying to mend herself and Blake back together.

8a. The media are OUT OF CONTROL. 

b. They must be stopped. Where are the privacy laws?! Where are the people fighting to keep safety first! Who are these rats who can stand by and mock the mentally unwell into a ‘money shot’ for the disgusting Murchocian media.

I love her all the more after getting an insight into her personality and surroundings. I know she was a drug addict, and I know she was an alcoholic, I know she smoked weed and I know she was reckless with her commitments and time. I do believe everyone around her tried to save her as best they could, and I do believe that both of her parents wanted the best for her. From the documentary it seemed like she had suffered too much damage in a short space of time that she was always going to be a young departure, but I do believe that there is more to this particular story. Too much money flying around the place for it to be mess-free I’m afraid!

I remember where I was when I heard, it was my mum’s birthday and we are both massive fans. I cried and still cry about the sadness of her passing, and believe she had a ton more to give if only she would have pulled through her twenties. 

Grateful is not the word, I am honoured to have existed at the same time as her. Everything I have learned from her fall I will take forward with me and keep keeping an eye on my nearest and dearest as best I can. 

p.s Thankyou Amy Winehouse for your truth, beauty, perspective, heart and art! 

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Alex and Andrew Parsegian first session JUNE 2015 BK, NYC

Another reason to love Greenhouse Holistic BK

I met this wonderful human being in Yoga class!

Great things will happen!

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Song of the day! (Esperenza Spalding)

‘Love me or leave me but please don’t deceive me
And say you love me how I am
You love the way I fit some ideal
Not the real woman you’ve yet to understand
See love ain’t all heaven, and I am no angel
But I do the best I can

You always wanted something more from my body
And said you needed something more from my loving
But all you got was me and that’s all that I can be
I’m sorry if it let you down’

Love her…

Love Supreme Jazz Festival Day 1

After attending Love Supreme festival last year with my brother, mostly to see Gregory Porter (who was on the main stage and phenomenal- not to mention Brand New Heavies and Esperenza Spalding), I was absolutely certain that I had to be in attendance with my mum this year. I knew she would love it, and any opportunity I can get to spend some more time with my mum is a good time in my eyes- especially because we both love music so much, I knew this would be perfect for us.

An added bonus was one of my best friends in the world had a camping ticket, and she bought her mum along too!

So we rock up just in time to see Snarky Puppy and to grab a drink in the VIP area (I know – get us! 😀 ) . Snarky Puppy were key players for Day 1 for me so I was extremely interested to see what they would do with their set and how they would pick from their mountain of material.

They did not disappoint. Talk about kicking things off right!

For a mostly instrumental collective I have always been a bit on/off with the vibe, but their live act was phenomenal and they managed to get everyone involved singing the horn lines and even as I am writing these words now, I can still remember them! The main thing I took away from watching them play live was how much they love each other and support each other’s individual skills and projects. Setting off the theme of Love nicely.

Next was Incognito bringing it for the 90s dance crew. Talk about day rave!

They had everyone on their feet the whole set and I think it is fair to say no one wanted it to end. They pulled out a couple of Stevie covers (Don’t you worry about a thing, As) and the 3 vocalists complimented each other perfectly and inspired me to no end. Inspired to try pink hair, like one of the singers was werking, but to get to working on my ceiling notes so I can shut it down like she did!

I was extremely keen to see Derrick Hodge, who had a slight overlap with Incognito, but my mum stood her ground and made me stay to the end of their set and I am so glad I did. Sometimes mums really do know best!

So up next was the man who I’m pretty sure I am in love with. He was rocking a Union Jack beater and was looking lovely lovely lovely.

I promise that is enough of the perving for the time being… (But really, you should have been there and then you would get it 100%)

He and his band were unbelievably tech and most notably the drummer was possibly the best drummer I have ever seen live. I am honoured that I got to bear witness to Derrick Hodge’s first solo project performance at Love Supreme and I really hope they all return.

Great setup, and we even got to hear what Derrick has in the vocal chops dept (gorgeously genuine and skilled – obv).

Next was local band The E.M.E.

I have had the pleasure of having seen these guys play a few times around Brighton and they always bring the cool. I have mad respect for them as a collective, bringing the ‘drunk’ sounding jazz/soul/hip-hop to my home turf (I am gna steal D’angelo/Questlove’s way of describing the drumming style, if you don’t know what I mean check out D’s Red Bull music academy lecture, The best 2 hours of my life!). I have even sung with The E.M.E once before at Audio (They have a monthly residency where they like to invite musicians and singers on stage to jam with them at the end of the evening. Super fun and great experience for someone like me who is looking to improve upon improvisation skills in a live setting – Thanks Abz and the guys again for that opportunity!).

They pulled a massive crowd, and had everyone dancing in the rain without a care in the world! Delta Lima joined them for a few tracks and an acapella. Delta has such a great tone and his lyrical content is conscious and important, Imma defo be keepin my eye on him!

I could easily go through every member of The E.M.E and gush until my throat runs dry, but that is a whole nother blog post for another day (That is for sure – These guys deserve all the hype they receive!).

Do yourself a favour and get on their soundcloud now!

https://soundcloud.com/the-e-m-e

Next we tried to catch Lalah’s set but it was pretty busy by the time we got there so we decided to go and stake out our spot for The Earth, Wind and Fire experience and man, am I glad we got the spot we did! We were so close to the front and right smack bam in the middle! DISCO!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this act, my cynical brain enabled my expectations to be pretty low for this act, and for some reason expected it to be a bit of a second rate version of the legendary Earth Wind and Fire.

I could not have been more wrong!

I can only explain how incredible this was by posting this video :-

The moves, the instrumentation, the musicianship. 10/10!

Next was Omar, but by this time I was ravenous so decided to fill my belly instead of catching the set (I know now that before I start to have some tipples in the daytime, eating is an absolute must!). But all was not lost because, luckily for me, Omar made a surprise appearance on Day 2, more about this in my next post.

To finish Day 1 was Jamie Cullum and to be honest I am not a massive fan of his music/style but I am a fan of him so I was looking forward to seeing him do his thing and tearing the stage up like I know he does like a pro!

Lo and behold he did not disappoint, and really didn’t want it to end along with us! He was feeling the Love so it was great to round off the day with a performer absolutely loving being on stage at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2014.

The only part that sucked from Day 1 was having to leave!

I really do wish I would have camped, but I have learnt my lesson and next year, camping is a must. I heard that the DJ’s who played into the night were right up my street. Gutted.

The theme that most impressed me from Day 1 of the festival was the respect that was given to the musicians, and the freedom they were given by the lead artists to play around in as many solos as possible, and we all loved every second of it!

 

#25happyhealthydaysinNYC – Days 17-24 PT.1

Final days and words for my NYC Spring Visit!

This week was mental.

Everyone knew I was leaving NY so we took ample opportunity to do as much as possible. This included Burlesque at Macao – I didn’t win musical chairs this time, but came second! This time was so funny because the guy I was up against was super into ‘letting me win’ until he was super into winning himself! Males just can’t help their competitive natures sometimes, but that was AOK because I still got a free drink anyways from my favourite bartender in China Town! 😀

We continued our mini traditions by attending Karaoke at Branded Saloon the following evening. It was rather a last minute decision as we were all pretty hangin from the night before at Burlesque, but we still gave a bloody good craic and, of course, The Spice Girls got queued up and everything after that was good times!

I tried Brisket for the first time too, and have to say I am not a massive fan of heavy meat so such a rich serving of it was a bit too much for me. Another first out of the way though, so good job, Branded!

Then came my day at Coney Island. This included stellar company, really great food, and a major fulfillment with being back by the sea. Being from Brighton, a traditional English seaside town, I realized how much I took having fresh air and open space for granted whilst living in Brooklyn. My skin has noticed the difference since being back in Brighton, gone are the random breakouts and patchy skin and back is the lovely sea air glow 😀

For my final Thursday in the states, it wouldn’t have been right if it weren’t ridiculously rushed and busy! Thursdays always seemed to be the day when I would be late for everything and rushing around like a blue arse fly, as my dad would say.

I had my final singing lesson with the ridiculously talented Angel Lea, and also my final Jazz class with the New York Jazz academy. Both of these lessons were incredibly insightful, and allowed me to leave NY with a refreshed sense of drive and determination. The first of the 2 lessons very much reminded me that you can never stop improving the foundations of singing, and the latter gave me a shock to the system in the form of theory based singing. It has been a while since I have worked out chord types, and clapped out rhythms. Back to the Music Theory drawing board for Alex then!

To relieve the stress of the day, the only thing to do was… have a party! So that evening was full of music, beer pong, dancing and madness the only way 74 Cornelia knows how! Another member of the crew was going back to Spain so this was his night. Bushwick really does know how to throw it down and shake it out!

In Part 2 of my last week I will be talking about the music video filming, getting my nose pierced, and my farewell weekend/dinner madness!

Song of the Day and Gig review – Robert Glasper Experiment and Ledisi.

So I had the honor of attending the Beacon Theatre for Ledisi’s ‘Truth’ tour on Weds 30th April. Now I am not going to lie, because of the brutal rainfall of that day, I had a couple of moments of ‘Really?! I am going to go outside again, get drenched AGAIN…?!?!?!’ But my gosh I am SO glad I soldiered through and made the long long trip from Bushwick to 75th and Broadway.

My initial pull to attending this gig was that The Robert Glasper Experiment were also on the bill, and Black Radio is in my top 5 albums of all time, so I wasn’t about to miss the chance to witness this incredible combination of artists.

I was not disappointed.

For roughly an hour I was washed over with the most incredible Jazz, Hip Hop sounding melodic loveliness I have ever heard live. If you ever get the chance to see these guys, then absolutely 100% jump on that ship, walk that river, swim that ocean and make it happen! Your brain, and soul will thank you. From Glasper on the keys creating such a warm padding of bliss, to the drummer (sorry I forget his name – But it wasn’t Chris Dave) TEARING it up, and not forgetting the legendary Derrick Hodge rinsing his bass to the ground and back up again, it really was one of the best musical moments of my life!

But nothing could have prepared me for what came next.

Enter the phenomenal Ledisi. Continue reading “Song of the Day and Gig review – Robert Glasper Experiment and Ledisi.”

MUSICAL ENDEAVORS UPDATE

Something else I was very excited to start last week was my Jazz vocal workshop course with the New York Jazz Academy. Although I have studied vocal technique for a number of years and been lucky enough to perform at some great events both in the UK and internationally, as well as teach some fantastic students along the way, Jazz has always been intimidating to me. My first class was a perfect introduction and the scatting bug has most definitely bitten!

This brings me to my song of the week.

The dynamic duo Ella and Louis perform ‘Can’t we be friends?’

This will be the first track that I will perform for my peers on Thursday, so wish me luck ☺

Busy Week!

So looking forward to this week, it is going to be a busy one! With good weather in the city apparently too! Finally. Not going to lie, being in NY whilst back in Blighty it was nothin’ but sunshine and blue skies… kinda…. SUCKED.

So as well as my usual daily routine of working, yoga and walking across the billyburg bridge here’s what else I have in store.

MUSICAL THINGS…. Yaaaaayyy!

First I thought I’d share a really amazing FREE course I am starting on Wednesday from the people at NovoEd and Stanford university (Ooooh get me..).

Creativity: Music to My Ears is a six-week course designed to explore several factors that stimulate creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. 

Sounds right up my alley. Tina Seelig of Stanford is teaching it and I am super excited to start. I will try and keep the blog up to date with news and things I learn along the way, as no one can ever have too much creativity in their lives right?

I also am starting my Jazz vocal course on Thursday, and could not be more ready to get that show on the road! Feels like I have been waiting for all of these things to kick off for an age, and now it’s all go! WooHoo!

So I gotta run now, I’m hoping to catch the sunset on a rooftop somewhere…and maybe even find a good Gin Sour to enjoy it with 🙂

Peace Love and Fun!

I’m out.

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