Full Length Interview with Poetic Unity: With Ragz-CV, Storm & Ismael

Poetic Unity is a registered charity that encourages the unification, education and personal development of young people through the art of poetry and spoken word.

I spoke with the founder of Poetic Unity, Ragz-CV and two individuals involved with Poetic Unity Storm and Ismael.

Here’s the full Interview:

https://twitter.com/Turner_official/status/848113560324648962

https://twitter.com/Turner_official/status/847744508506775552

 

Here’s a performance by Ragz-CV 

https://twitter.com/Turner_official/status/848113481274576896

Ismael just released a poetry book by the name ‘The Lost Essays’ that’s available on Amazon and has just finished his first headlining show.

you can find him on Instagram @callmeish

Here’s Ismael’s performance of ‘Dreams’

https://twitter.com/Turner_official/status/847400447669186560

I had the chance to speak to 21 year old Storm off the mic to find out a bit more about her and her love for poetry and spoken word here’s what she had to say:

Why did you get into poetry?
“I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember but I decided to actively start writing poetry when I was 16.”

What does Poetry mean to you?                                                                                                      “Poetry means expression, freedom and creativity. No matter where you are physically, poetry can always take you somewhere else vibrationally and emotionally.”

Do you think poetry’s an unappreciated art form?                                                                 “I believe it is becoming more appreciated. The internet has increased its exposure massively which is great. However, I still believe it is underrated because of the stigma it has of being boring and hard to understand. I think the education system has the power to minimise this stigma by keeping up with the times!”

Would you encourage more people to take up poetry and why?                                          “Definitely. Poetry is healthy, it’s the total opposite of bottling things up. There are no rules too, so you can literally write about whatever you want. It’s a creative and interesting way of getting a message across.”

Here’s a performance by Storm entitled ‘Hands’

https://twitter.com/Turner_official/status/847400674367111168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country 2 Country – Cowboy Culture & Country Music

Country 2 Country is a country music festival held at the O2 arena; This Festival brings southern culture and country music to the forefront with the first concert was announced in the summer of 2012 and was held in March of 2013.

 

Amongst a sea of cowboy hats you’re greeted at North Greenwich station by a huge billboard with Pictures of the weekends three headliners (Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire & Zac Brown Band) Once inside the O2 there’s two stages spotted around the arena which are free entry to the public;

The Big Entrance Stage:

This stage hosts a mixture of British and American up and comers as well as a few established artists. In previous years the likes of CMA Award winner Lori McKenna graced this stage and this year it was host to Una Healy previously a member of girl group ‘The Saturdays’ who recently released her debut solo album.

The Town Square Stage:

while Further in, the Town Square stage is located amidst an array of market styled stools, bars and food vans which all sell something associated with southern culture, whether it be cowboy boots, guitars or southern delicacies and it’s this stage where more established artists who are not on the main arena bill perform with Artists including UK Country Duo The Shires, Charlie Worsham and last year this stage was host to Maren Morris whose career blew up over the course of a year and this performed in the main arena opening for Zac Brown Band following her Grammy win.

In the main arena in-between sets on the main stage the Yamaha music stage would become active with artists doing 2-3 songs. The artists who perform on this stage are nearly always in the early stages of their career and have usually had a radio hit or have a certain level of recognition.

Day 1

Jennifer Nettles

The former Sugarland member shone on stage with her flawless vocals as she came out all guns blazing to her track ‘Playing with Fire’, she then went on to perform crowd pleasers such as ‘Hey Heartbreak’ and the hit single ‘Unlove You’ the biggest surprise come from Nettles’ Mash-up of her song Sugar with Salt ‘n’ Pepper’s ‘Whatta Man’ and ‘Shoop’ to which she finished by saying “Bet you never expected Salt ‘n’ Pepper, did ya?” but it was when she sung Sugarland classic ‘Stay’ that the crowd when wild. This opener was everything you’d expect, Killer vocals, a whole lot of sass and a whole lot of country.

Chris young

Prior to the event I only knew of Chris Young’s Duet with Cassadee Pope ‘Think of you’ but after this set me and 20,000 other people was more than just familiar with Chris Young. Everything from the music to the stage presence was electric. Chris Young’s set was one of the only sets being broadcasted live from BBC radio 2 country and he didn’t disappoint playing all of his hits, ‘Neon’, ‘Lonely Eyes’ and ‘Think of you’ (which he brought former voice contestant Cassadee Pope out for) all included but it was his cover of Keith Whitley’s ‘When You Say Nothing at All’ that left the audience in awe and the arena shining bright with 20,000 flashlights in the air.

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley graced the main stage as Friday’s headliner with a stellar performance, with hits dating back to 1999. His Charisma shined through as he performed all of the Paisley classics we love including ‘Water’, ‘Alcohol’ and ‘This is Country Music’ not forgetting his killer duet with Carrie Underwood ‘Remind me’ and his duet with Alabama Both who appeared on the screen in pre-recorded videos behind Paisley for their verses.

 

Day 2

Dan + Shay

Dan + Shay are part of the new generation of country acts taking the industry by storm with their blend of pop and country creating a new demographic for the genre. despite popular belief these guys are less of puppets and more generally talented and proved nothing less with their set performing hits like ‘Road Trippin’, ‘You + Me’ , ‘Obsessed’ and their most recent hit ‘From the Ground Up’ which was the turnaround point for many critics and music snobs claiming their music had no substance. They also threw in a cover go Bon Jovi’s ‘You give Love a Bad Name’ which only enhanced the energy in the arena.

Hunter Hayes

Despite having a shorter set due to the amount of main stage acts Hunter Hayes did not disappoint. Hayes had the audience on his side right after he confessed his love and appreciation for the UK and went on to perform a few of his hits of previous hits like ‘Tattoo’ and ‘I want Crazy’ but mainly shifted his focus on his new Material singing two of the three singles released end of last year; ‘Yesterdays Song’ and ‘Amen’ and even giving the audience a taste of the new single.

Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker was absolutely, hands down the highlight of the weekend, everyone’s favourite southern gentleman gave a brilliant performance that fell somewhere between country superstar and songwriter extraordinaire (which just so happens to be everything we love about Country music) he gave you visuals, he gave you soul and he gave you one hell load of a voice. Whether you prefer old school country or new school everyone could raise their beers for Darius Rucker’s performance after all how can you not sing along to ‘Wagon Wheel’? He performed everything from ‘Radio’ to ‘Comeback song’ to ‘Homegrown honey’ he even included two covers one being ‘No Diggity’ and the other ending the set, with a touching tribute to the British music icons we lost last year singing Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’. As soon as he entered the stage the change in atmosphere and energy was undeniable.

Reba McEntirye

Reba, a true country icon took to the stage with such grace. There were no dramatic costume changes or change of visuals there was simply a band, a backdrop stating ‘Reba’ and a woman with one hell of a voice and career trajectory. Reba didn’t disappoint singing a total of 21 tracks the crowd defiantly got their money’s worth. She sung everything from her hits like ‘How Blue’, ‘Whoever’s in New England’ and ‘Turn On the Radio’ to tracks of her new gospel record like ‘Back To God’ and ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ This woman new exactly how to command stage and keep the audience entertained, the set list was spread out perfectly to ensure the audience wouldn’t get bored as you could do with such a long set and bored we were not. She sung her step-daughter Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Because of You’ of her duets album and ended the legendary set with a Bobby Gentry Cover.

 

Day 3

 

Brothers Osbourne

Brothers Osbourne are part of a unique Nashville collective of songwriters including; Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Lucie Silvas and Kree Harleson So them blowing up was no surprise to us. Although there set was short and sweet to compensate the headlining and first supporting acts they really left an imprint on the audience, They sung all of their hits to date including chilled, backyard banger ’21 Summer’, ‘Rum’, ‘Greener Pastures’ and ‘Stay a little longer’ ending with outlaw anthem ‘Ain’t my Fault’ which had one of the best instrumental breaks we had seen all weekend. Whatever Brothers Osbourne are doing they should keep it up. As they not only put on a fantastic performance that not only showcases their voices but showcases their technical ability, their song writing skills and their ‘street cred’ if you will.

 

Maren Morris

Texas native, Maren Morris is already flying high, with her being the first female in country to have a debut place at number one, having just coming of a Grammy win for best country Performance for _’My Church’ and being the only performer to be on the smaller Yamaha music stage the previous year she could be in a stronger place. Morris basically sung the entirety of her record disregarding a track or two. she came out all guns blazing with her huge voice and country crossover instrumentation this debut was filled with potential hits and already established ones so she we can’t blame her for playing the entire album. She’s considered one of the more unconventional country artists out there but is also creating a sub-genre that makes country music accessible for music fans who typically ‘don’t like country’ this was an exceptional performance and a perfect addition to the line-up.

Marty Stuart

Famous for being a member of Johnny Cash’s band before pursuing a solo career Marty Stuart’s mix of rockabilly and honky tonk just showed the versatility Country2Country showcases. Stuart played a lot of his own tracks as well as tracks he’d written for other artists. The standout of this set despite the killer instrumentation shown throughout the set was a song by the name of ‘Dark Bird’ for which Stuart wrote about the man in black himself Johnny Cash, while telling the back story of the song you could feel the whole arena engaged and there with him which is a rarity for a man on a stage with a close knit band with no extras but at the end of it all that’s what country’s about real stories that’s what’s at the core of every country song and that’s why we relate to it so much. Marty Stuart, job well done.

Zac Brown Band

The Headliners for the last night were of course Zac Brown Band who performed at C2C once before in 2014 and like always they always bring the high quality music and the epitome of southern culture. This is why they will continue to get booked they represent the modern day country man and their music reflects that, they have the perfect balance between classic country lovers and modern country. They are considered one of the greatest country acts to see live and we can’t denied their talent they performed all of their hit much like all the artist over the course of the weekend but it was the live rendition of songs like ‘Toes’, ‘free/Into the Mystic’, ‘sweet Annie’, ‘Beautiful Drug’ and ‘Chicken Fried’ that made the audience go wild they also through a knockout performance of Queen’s ‘bohemian Rhapsody’ that showcased their bluegrass harmonies and their stunning vocal ability. Zac brown Band was the perfect way to finish off the weekend.

Rumoured 2018 Acts Include;

  • Shania Twain
  • Dixie Chicks
  • Willie Nelson

 

Guess We’ll Have to wait and see.

 

Win for TFL as they receive sum of the budget in hopes to cut congestion and make transport more affordable and convenient for Londoners.

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s final budget proposal draft was debated in city hall Monday morning. The main topic of conversation was about transport, pollution and the amount invested in the police.
In regards to transport in London and the TFL, Mayor Khan pledged to over the next five years to;

• Make transport more affordable
• To adapt bus services without reduction
• Extend the Hopper fair
• Increasing Rail services with the construction of the Cross Rail Line and the Elizabeth        Line
• Make transport infrastructures more accessible by making 46% of stations step free
• Launching The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to reduce air pollution
• Release 300 acres of TFL land to create homes and office spaces

Transport for London is receiving a total expenditure of £6,978,000,000 with a council tax requirement of £6,000,000. Transport received the largest sum in the budget due to inflation and is hoping to break even by 2020 – 21 and hope to generate £3.4 billion in commercial revenue (Non Fares) by 2023, which will be reinvested into London’s transport supporting jobs and the economic growth.

The budget includes £39.6 million to be spent on service improvements and initiatives like the ULEZ, with other initiatives relating to the pedestrianization of Oxford Street and parliament square to minimize congestion as these are two of the most populated stations in London.

Other station upgrades include a Northern Line extension between Kennington and Battersea, which is the first major tube extension since the 1990’s Jubilee line extension, which will regenerate the Vauxhall, Nine Elms area generating 25,000 new jobs and 20,000 new homes. There is also going to be an upgrade on the Victoria line and redevelopment of Custom House DLR station. A public consultation will be launched into a new entrance being built at Camden town tube station and Ilford station will receive a major transformation as well as a project Hackney Wick Station costing £25,000,000. The money used will also support fifty apprenticeships.

During the budget meeting one of the major areas of discontent stemmed from the disregard of improvements to the tram services specifically the build of a Sutton Tram. Mayor Khan was also held accountable to his pledge to about cutting fairs, when questioned about not complying with his pledge he said in not so many words that due to several economic factors its was out of reach at this time but said he has frozen fairs for the next four years. Len Duvall; Labour AM came to his defence adding that the introduction and continuation of the hopper fair has assisted a decrease in and also the introduction to the night tube has enabled a more convenient service for the constituents of London but Mayor Khan did make the point that previous part-time Mayors allowed a 42% rise in fairs to pay for inefficiencies.

Mayor Khan also stated when asked about congestion in central London that Transport improvements and the condensing of bus routes etc. will cut congestion by a dramatic amount also touching on the fact that said improvements will also minimize the amount of private hire mini cabs surrounding the central London area making London not only less congested but a less polluted city.

The subject of cycling and the safety for cyclists was also brought up with the Mayor stating that he had instated cycle commissioner that will deal specifically in this subject.

From Underground to New Sound – Keshia Adele

Croydon born Keshia Adele has proved she’s more than just another South London girl. With her debut EP ‘The EPithany’ being released in April and her single ‘Can’t’ being released soon; she’s a star on the verge.

Keshia Adele (born Keshia Aneksi Adele Melbourne-Baynes) was born into a music family with her father, a bodyguard to the stars, her mother a backing vocalist and her external family; an array of Dancers, sound engineers, songwriters and DJ’s.

I spoke to her about her affiliation to music, her process and her musical influences.

keshia-adele-ep-art-work

So the anticipation for your music is building up, what can we expect from the EP?

This EP allows me to be very naked and allows people to see something different to what people know of me, my music is much more vulnerable and raw and I just hope it shows my love for music. It’s basically my story and that’s just how I’m putting it out there. In person I’m very guarded so this allows me to show that defenceless side to me.

Let’s start of at the beginning, when did your affiliation for music and performing start?

My affiliation for music and performing started years and years ago. I’ve been performing since I was about seven, gigging since I was about seven, seven and a half. So I’ve been gigging and performing for quite a while but I think I’ve took my performing to the next level since I performed in The Wiz in 2014. I really began to realise how important it is to bring a story to the audience and how important not only singing the story and telling the story in such a way is important but actually how performing it is really important, so I watched a lot of Janet Jackson gigs and stuff like that in preparation. I also love how art is expressed in all different ways so obviously as a singer I’m a story teller and I sing from experience and through other people’s stories.

How would you describe your musical style?

How would I describe my musical style?, in terms of my musical style I’m influenced a lot by R&B and new jack swing anyone who knows me knows Janet Jackson is definitely a huge influence and when I’m talking about R&B I’m talking about 2000’s and 90’s, Aaliyah is definitely a big influence. I love dancing so although this EP doesn’t really show the performing side to me, it is more vulnerable and exposed but there are definitely more songs to come that are more dancey. My musical style also has an Erykah Badu vibe. I love mixing R&B, soul, new jack swing and Neo-soul to make this thing called me you know?

So with that in mind who would you say are your greatest musical influences?

Obviously as I mentioned earlier I’m heavily influenced by Janet Jackson, Aaliyah and Erykah Badu but there are other people like Michael Jackson, I have a huge thing for prince as well so you can find a bit of him in there.

What was the process like?

The process was very long, I’ve been writing this EP for about 9 years now and over them 9 years; It was a lot of hard work and a lot of working through them feelings that I felt when I originally wrote the songs, A lot of changing artwork and developing my sound.

Who did you work with on the EP?

I have written the EP all on my own so yeah me, I would like to say a younger me and an older me. In terms of producers my friend Demi-Leigh (she’s also an artist) she’s produced two of the songs and then we have Tom; my band leader and Ben Becontoy who also helped produce so yeah that was it.

What do you what people to take away from your EP?

I want people to Hold on to the EP. It has an embedded message in it really, it’s for people who are going through a certain heartbreak and it’s really for them to take away and understand there not the only ones who are going through this and also for people who haven’t gone through it to know that hey if you do go through it you’re not the only one who has been through it, yeah that’s really what I want people to take away from it.

‘Can’t’ is this single so this leaves the questions on everybody’s mind, When can we expect the Single and EP?

You can expect a single very soon there will be a single coming out in March and possibly one closer to Valentine’s Day and I’m releasing the music videos soon thereafter and the EP will be released closer to April.

You can find it on my website, Reverb Nation and Bands in Town and you can follow me on instagram @misskeshiaadele or on Snapchat.

http://keshiaadelemusic.wixsite.com/keshiaadelemusic

 

 

Battles of the councils

Wandsworth Council are taking legal action against Lambeth Council, over the noise pollution and anti-social behaviour surrounding the Lambeth-backed ‘SW4’ Drum & Bass festival.

South West Four is a three time nominated drum & bass festival that takes place in Clapham Common. In recent years the festival has been subject to controversy as noise pollution, drug taking and general anti-social behaviour has disturbed both residents of Lambeth and neighbouring borough Wandsworth.

This year’s event is set to take place on the August bank holiday weekend and will feature the likes of Pendulum and Sigma with music playing from 12pm to as late as 11pm.

Wandsworth Council are taking their public battle against the noise conditions and length of the SW4 festival to the magistrates court, imposing new conditions on the new license Lambeth council have been granted whereby they can hold up to 8 days’ worth of concerts on the Clapham Common.

Lambeth Council have given the green light for the festival despite complaints made last year, restricting it to 2 days instead of three like previous years but retaining the noise level.

However Wandsworth council are imposing that the festival returns to its 2015 regulations whereby the noise levels are dramatically reduced. Environmental spokesperson Counsellor Jonathon Cook spoke on the issue saying “Our sole aim is to redress the balance in the interest of both festival goers and local residents.”

This lawsuit comes after last year’s festival caused ‘unnecessary disturbances’ amongst the residents of Wandsworth and since the common is geographically situated on Wandsworth as well as Lambeth they feel it is a ‘reasonable compromise’ They also put forward the point that Lambeth have failed to compromise despite their case benefiting residents of Lambeth who live near Clapham Common.

Festival goers expressed their discontent stating that music festivals contribute to their music culture and bring communities together and that reducing the sound diminishes the whole experience and ruins the festival for not only the audience but the DJ’s, many are also that worried the reduction in sound could potentially stop big names in the Drum & Bass scene from wanting to participate. Their last message being that they hope for a deal to be reached that doesn’t compromise the experience for music fans.

As for the drug taking SW4 officials have stated that people are searched upon entry and sniffer dogs will be in operation and any drug dealers operating will be held until police arrive and any individuals caught with drugs will be removed from the festival.

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