Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Interview: Baby Isako

Holding a degree in criminology and psychology, Baby Isako turned to playwriting and found success in the world of theatre with her play ‘Love Is A Losing Game’. Returning with a sequel and finding further success, also being nominated for a BEFFTA Award, I caught up with her to find out more about her journey, her inspirations and plans for the future.

What inspired you to get into playwriting?
Firstly seeing the lack of understanding that people had in relationships and also because I wanted to write something which had a stronger underlining message.

For those who haven’t been to watch it, what is Love Is A Losing Game about?
Love Is A Losing Game looks into the relationships of a group of friends. You see the ups and downs and the lack of communication and understanding males and females have in relationships. Love Is A Losing Game Part 2 looks at some of the characters now living with the consequences of their actions from Part 1. We see one of the characters living with HIV…

What made you decide to tackle these issues?
I think a lot of young people have a lack of understanding on matters such as STDs and HIV, so I wanted to write something which had a powerful message behind it.

What were the personal intentions behind writing the play?
I wanted to create a platform for young black writers and actors.

Did you find it challenging to get your vision shared and made into reality?
I think when you start anything brand new there’s always a challenge, especially when it comes to financing it. It worked out in the end.

You’ve now toured Part 2 of Love Is a Losing Game, what edge did you add to the second part to keep the story interesting?
I added new characters to give it a fresh feel. The new characters also have their own stories.

What do you look for when casting actors?
Confidence, creativity and most importantly passion

Are there any actors you would love to work with? Why?
I have a list of actors I would like to work with. A lot of them are from the USA. People like Bette Midler, Kimberly Elise and Johnny Depp. I believe they’re so versatile and they make their characters so believable.

Did you keep the cast the same for Parts 1 & 2 of Love Is A Losing Game?
No I kept most of the cast but added in new characters.

What has been the highest high and lowest low of Love Is A Losing Game?
The highest high has been selling out every show we’ve done. I’ve used any lows to my advantage

Have you got any other plays due to go to theatre?
Yes I’m working on a new play which is due to be out next year February called Bag Ladies.

What do you think are the credential components of a good play?
Being original and being passionate about what you’re doing. Take your own risks.

What advice would you give to someone feeling inspired to write their own play?
Never change your style of writing to please anyone. Do a lot of reading, research the theatre industry and see where you fit in. Also be sure it’s what you want to do because it’s not easy.

Where do people find out more about you and your work?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Out Now: Ray Foxx ft Lovelle - La Musica

I have to admit, I was a bit slow on realising the video had been released, but I've loved the instrumental (The Trumpeter) for quite a while now and I'm pleased Lovelle has done it justice with her vocals. If you're a lover of the house sound, the Chocolate Puma remix of The Trumpeter is also very hardcore.

Lovelle however has been going from strength to strength. Her previous track Uh-Oh was used for the Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara advert and now she has teamed up with Defected's Ray Foxx for this single, which has been around all the holiday islands. Finally it's now available for us all to purchase. Have a listen and tell me why it wouldn't be worth the money.... I don't think you can!

New Video: Wine De Best

Orange Hill ft Busy Signal, Fatman Scoop & Kano

Thursday, 22 September 2011

UK Film Review - The Tapes

Ever wanted to go on Big Brother and find your inner celebrity? If you lived in a town like Whitstable, Kent, where would you deem an excitable place to film your audition tape? That is the question which led Gemma, her boyfriend Danny and his film student friend Nathan down to a derelict farm in hope to film a party of swingers.
The Tapes is a feature length horror which evolved from idea to creation in just 6 weeks. Completed on an extremely low budget of £17,000 and filmed in just 6 days, what has been achieved is remarkable! Originally planning to film over just 4 days, 2 additional days had to be added to the shoot. Post production also took a lengthy and testing 20 months for the team to complete. But these weren't the only challenges encountered by the team; a favourable cameo role was spooked out of participating and Scott Bates (Producer/Co-Writer/Director) found himself skidding down a steep hill during snowfall en route to rehearsal with members of the cast, the day before filming was due to commence.   

Undeterred by the events of the previous day and being snowed in overnight, the shoot went ahead, battling through the snow. Turning negative to positive, the team saw it as a free special effect, adding an extra edge to the feature. Actors Jason Maza (Danny), Arnold Oceng (Nathan) and Natasha Sparkes (Gemma) improvised lines throughout, with clear direction of where the storyline needed to end. Together they spent lots of time developing their characters to give the film it's natural feel. A devil worshipper was also consulted and taken on board as an adviser, adding to the film's unnerving realistic edge.

Having already found familiar feet in various acting roles, Jason Maza and Arnold Oceng play their characters of a wide boy wheeler dealer and intelligent, peace-maker friend very well. But an extraordinary talent has been found in Natasha Sparkes, who made her acting debut within The Tapes, but went on to be casted in another feature length soon to be released 'Victim', premiering at the Raindance Film Festival on 2nd October. Natasha's talent shines as one deserving of the big screen, her character within The Tapes can have you laughing in one instance and anxiously staring the next, carrying the emotions of the film throughout.

If you think you can withstand the events that took place when a Big Brother hopeful wanted to stand out amongst the masses..... I challenge you to watch The Tapes......

Cinema release: 23rd September 2011
DVD Release: 3rd October 2011
Running Time: 77 mins
Certificate: 15
Facebook: The Tapes
Twitter: @TheTapes2011

Also featured on Break London, UK Choc and Niji Magazine

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Event Review: Flavour Live 14th September 2011

Having never had the pleasure to attend a Flavour Live event, I was quite excited to find out what the experience would be like as I set off to Avalon in Shoreditch, London ready to indulge in entertainment from unsigned, underground UK talent. Getting through the door, the selection of music being provided by DJ Longers was top notch causing the excitement levels to increase further.

Setting the pace on stage was Dray Delta. First song ‘Minimal’ featuring G-Range reminded me ‘Slang Like This’ from P-Money but his second number ‘Bobby Brownz’ a track about worn down leaning Ugg boots was very comical and original receiving a good response from the audience. Followed by Jaya who started her set with a cover of Rhianna’s ‘What's My Name’ to warm up her vocals. Finishing up with her own track ‘Lights Go Out’ which is a more relaxed performance and flows much better than the previous, also received well by the audience.

Joe Culpepper's performance was very lively. As he asserts himself on stage while singing about his ex-girlfriend “Tell your friends about me” is a line that caused a smirk to appear. His second number, an acoustic jam, had some of the audience dancing along with his stage jive. Joe Culpepper leaves the stage to huge applause as does is successor Hatty Keane who also boasts a very striking image. First number ‘Feel’ seductively causes the body to sway, but ‘Best Kept Secret’ her current single carries a different electronic vibe which I would describe as dance entwined with rock. Experimental but works well.

Highly favoured act of the night RD (Ruff Diamondz) take to the stage and open up with an acoustic cover of Wretch 32’s ‘Don't Go’ showing off their vocal capabilities. Rounding up their set with their latest single ‘Got Me Burning’, RD work both the stage and audience the best way they know how. RD make way for Manchester rapper Rio, who has just entered the building and gone straight to the stage. Rio puts down a lively performance of his tracks ‘Playground’ and ‘Transformer’ before walking back out the door…. Superstar behaviour!

After a short interval with entertainment again supplied by DJ Longers, the show continues with Ebru who receives great interaction from audience. Her steady flow is impressive, a style of rap with vocal injections in all the right places. Her second number ‘Prisoner’ which depicts being stuck in relationship goes down very well. I can’t help but take note of Ebru’s very smooth vocals and quality range, before she leaves the stage to well deserved whistles and cheers from the audience.

Another Manchester rapper; Meany takes to the stage and throws down a number of bars for the audience before making way for Crystal Celebrity. Accompanied by 2 backing singers who finish their set with a smooth and soulful rendition of Bob Marley classic ‘Turn Your Lights Down Low’, the songstress has the audience singing along and feeling the melody within their bones.

Last act for the night Steelo1 takes to the stage with ‘International Lover’, heating up the place with a bashment flavour before declaring that he’s ‘Better Than Your Boyfriend’. Charming a female or two in the audience Steelo1 graces the stage well telling his spectators a little bit about himself before finishing up with R&B jam ‘Round The World’ which definitely holds commercial marketability.

Performances finished, DJ Longers continues with a selection to please those who aren’t ready to leave, hoping to savour the last drop of enjoyment being provided tonight at Flavour Live.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Event Review: ILUVLIVE 12th September 2011

Taking place in what hopes to be the new home of bi-weekly homegrown talent showcase, ILUVLIVE is homed in XOYO, Central London. House packed to the brim, there is a rich audience filled with not only the regular ILUVLIVE spectators, but also many industry personalities from journalists to A&Rs to managers and budding homegrown producers and artist alike. An atmosphere brimming with unsigned talent, 6 of the best are taking the stage tonight; Femfel, Sinead Harnett, Dirty Goodz, Duke, Marger and Aaron Delahunty.

It’s only correct that the DJ and Host duo of the night are ILUVLIVE’s finest residents Ras Kwame and Marcus Nasty. The atmosphere concocted by the two oozes of euphoria and pleasured vibes. Entertainment is in full swing throughout the night, each artist putting down what they do best in the spotlight. DUKE a beat-boxing who tore down the walls the last time they performed, graced the stage to take the genres throughout the various continents of the world, sounds created by the instrument of their mouths accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

Heads in the audience bopped along throughout MARGER’s set, during which Scrufizzer and No Lay joined him on stage for the track ‘Goons’ taken from Marger’s ‘Cheeky’ EP. It’s received well by the audience who he lets know that a video will soon be getting released for it. Thoroughly enjoying his moment, Marger even treats the audience to his own beat-boxing session he lets know was inspired by earlier act Duke.

Another act recently on the ILUVLIVE stage was AARON DELAHUNTY who also dropped a number from his previous set. ‘Face for Radio’ which is finished off with a hefty dubstep injection causes heads to rock uncontrollably. It’s loved by the audience and depicted within their applause which is also received by following act DURRTY GOODZ. An act that shows exploration of his roots, the young man on the stage gleams with essence of a Jamaican culture, something he declares he is proud of while on stage. I’m reminded of Capleton at Sun Splash while I watch him performing his second number ‘God Bless Ting’ and his stage presence shows how blessed he truly feels.

Headline of the night FEMFEL is welcomed to the stage by a rapture of cheers. Cameras and phones are withdrawn from new spots throughout the venue. Femfel’s flow is easy, takes you on a journey through his mind as he releases his thoughts. The band is smiling along with him as he turns around to give his message of approval for the vibe that has been created on the stage. Joined on stage by Kurt Collins for my personal favourite number from his set tonight ‘Hero’, Femfel received much praise within whistles and cheers etc as he modestly thanks everyone for coming out and supporting his album ‘Eyes Closed’.

Marcus Nasty an attribute of his own tonight, holding the audience within his own spotlight while providing a selection of music satisfying appetites and adding to the plethora of positive vibes already in the air. XOYO a sound warming venue, allowed the sound waves to be absorbed throughout the night and a party of girls are soaking up the last moments possible as they sing and dance along to the music.

The industry special of ILUVLIVE which hummed far and wide as a great place to be in London tonight, has finished a great success despite a venue change in the week leading up to the event. An atmosphere filled with positivity and progression, I’m sure many ILUVLIVE regulars will be hoping XOYO will be a new home when ILUVLIVE returns on the 26th September with Baby Blue, Joe Calpepper, Robyn Kavanagh, Phaze One, Mym, Rebecca Storm and beyond.

For more info/tickets click here

Photography by Adeyina Adepitan
Review also featured on ILUVLIVE Facebook Page and RWD Online

Monday, 12 September 2011

New Video: Call Me A Yardie

I've been hearing this song for a little while now, first hearing it from Bashment lover @iamtheGen....

But I have to admit, I find this song seriously unnerving!


My father is a Jamaican man, born and bred. But if you call him a yardie he gets offended. Yardie is the derogatory term for a person who is from Jamaica. It's also a word highly affiliated with violence and illegal behaviour. Does Stylo G lack understanding of his roots? Why would he make a song with this wording? What next? Call me a nigga? Maybe we can have some grime artists get together in some hoodies and make their own rendition 'Call Me A Thug (or Hoodie to fit in with the present day media)'. Maybe OG Niki will do her own parody 'Call Me A Hoe'. Everybody at some point of their life is stereotyped for the colour of their skin, their origin, lifestyle etc. But when you start to stereotype yourself without in-depth knowledge of what the particular stereotype means..... It's a very sad day!

New Video: Posing & Pouting

Manga feat Little Dee & Margs

Heard this track for the first time on DJ Target's Homegrown show on BBC 1Xtra last night and loved it straight away....

Taken from his upcoming free mixtape 'Obzokey Wranglings' released 2nd October 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The 11:11 Phenomenon?

I'm back with another post about 11:11..... (If you'd like to read my previous post click here).

I saw this trailer and had to share it... My younger sister who also always sees 11:11 came up with a theory 6 years ago that something was going to happen on 11th November 2011, since she uttered the words, they have stuck with me. But I didn't think anything like this....

Yes I know, it's just a horror movie but I have to admit I screamed at the screen a few times while watching it. I'm probably going to watch this in the cinema when released on 10th November, then still tweet an extra special 11:11 on 11.11.11 because the truth is, I still don't know the relevance of the 11:11 and I'm still not truly phased..... *shrugs*

New Video: Shutdown

Frisco feat Wizzy Wow

This track and video are both HARRRRDD!!!


Smiler: Run This Town

After stating that Smiler was definitely one to watch, I don't know how I managed to miss this one.... Thank goodness my YouTube hasn't let me down!!


New Video: Feel It

Slow Jam artist Dele is known for the stimulating tones that are released when he blesses our ear drums and makes our bodies erupt in goosebumps. It's a wonder what would be the result if he attempted a dance track....

What a pleasant surprise! Although there was definitely no need for the autotune (clearly shown on his last release F U Right), Dele has shown that he has much more to offer as an artist than major female appeal. I'm looking forward to the release of his upcoming mixtape 'Coming Of Age' which I'm hoping continues to show off the commercial appeal that he holds. Dele should really have blown a LONG TIME AGO!!

New Video: I'm A Winner

Having already featured an I'm A Boss freestyle on the blog from Splurgeboys, I was quite reluctant to feature another. But then D.Walker done one......

"They said where's your postcode, I said N17!!"

I'm fully supporting D.Walker in all that he does, but that line there.... Feeling it! As time has gone by D.Walker has shown that he's a lot more than the sensual toned, slow jam, make the ladies melt, sweet boy. I have to admit though, I would love to hear some more upbeat tempo produtions that aren't freestyles based on a track from a US artist.... Now THAT would be a winner!

Friday, 2 September 2011

New Video: Go

Delilah (prod by Ballistiq)

After teaming up with Chase & Status for her debut single Time, Delilah is set to release yet another great track alongside Balistiq. I'm wondering if I would be incorrect in thinking the melody has been somewhat influenced by Chaka Khan.... Have a listen!

Released 25th September 2011

New Video: Better Me

A.L. feat Lioness

I tend to love everything A.L. does but this one got numerous reloads.... Loving the feel of the video. Not to mention A.L. and Lioness also look good as a duo as well as sounding good. But with 2 ladies who possess so much talent alone, is it really a shock that together they compose musical magic? Nah not for me either!