And the Oscar goes to….

It’s that time again… time to choose the best of the best.  It’s Oscar time!

This sunday all the stars will be out, walking the red carpet and telling us ‘who they’re wearing’.  I don’t know if Joan Rivers will be doing her usual show but I hope so, she’s so wrong but often so right!

As most people, I enjoy watching movies and like to think I’m a pretty fair critic.   With that said, every year I set a goal which is to watch all the movies that are nominated for an Oscar so I can give my honest opinion of who is deserving of the award.

Well, this year is no different then the past 12 years…all I’ve seen is half of one them.

The Help.

Of what I saw, it was good but I have to be honest.

Disclaimer: Some may be offended by what I’m about to say so please skip the next two paragraphs if you’re easily offended. Yes, I’m being a little dramatic….I am talking about the Oscars here people!

I’m tired of seeing actors being cast in a certain, almost stereotypical role and winning for it.  I would love to see Viola Davis win for best actress but I can’t help to wonder if she would have been honoured for playing a role other than a maid.  This is not an attack on her acting skills at all. In fact I am confident that she would give a spectacular performance in any role she took on, I just can’t help but wonder if there’s more to the award selection then we know. I’m just saying.

If you’ve been following the Oscars over the years, then you know that Denzel Washington won for playing a dirty cop in Training Day and Halle Berry (coincidentally in the same year as Denzel’s win) won for playing a prostitute in Monster’s Ball.  I’m not saying they’re not deserving of their awards as they are both amazing actors, I just find it funny.  But I’m a conspiracy theorist so perhaps it’s just me looking for something to dig into.

Denzel Washington in the lobby of the Dorothy ...
Denzel Washington at 62nd Oscars!

However, these are just observations and would not deter me from attending the Oscars if given the opportunity!

*Just putting it out there incase any actor is reading this and is in need of a last-minute date, I’m your girl…a-hem.*

All that aside, I hope that Viola wins because is a great actress and deserves it!

Here is my ode to “OSCAR” from the statues point of view…

And the Oscar goes to…

*YAWN* It’s february already…look at all these actors, waiting for their moment to shine.   Man I’m so tired, I wonder who I’ll go home with, honestly, I can’t wait to leave this line. I hope I go home with Brad, he seems cool, both him and his spouse…wait he has six kids and they’re all under 10 waiting back at the house. Scratch that – he’s out.

I wonder if Meryl will win…again, she seems to be alright. OMG I swear I’m dying inside,  I’m not going to make it through this night.  I can’t believe no one made me a chair, why can’t I be sitting through this show?  And who crossed my arms in front of me. It was who? FRANK?! Where is he so I can tell him where the *censored* to go.

George Clooney seems like a really nice guy.  I could stand on his mantel all day. He’s not a bad actor and a nice piece of eye candy…wait, what did I just say?

Here we go again with another long speech…can they start the music now?  What! who just won for best supporting actor – Nick Nolte? I’m not going no way, no how!

Talk, talk, talk…that’s all I hear – I’ve had enough of this place. Blah, blah, blah – did I hear that right, he just thanked his teacher from 3rd grade?

I’m done with this whole thing, this is my last year, I can’t believe my name is on this event.  Finally the end! Wait why is everyone leaving…I was joking – don’t leave me…I just needed to vent!!

Click here for a full list of nominations

Enjoy the Oscars!

This was my first entry and I feel the need to share it again – I hope you like it! Thanks PJ

Red's Canvas

Back in November 2010, my friend was involved in an exhibition where a number of talented artists showcased their artwork which answered the question ‘What is Hip Hop?’.  This was the first time I attended an event of this nature and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to do so.

As an exhibitor, my friend had asked me to create two poems based on his artwork.  Here are the writings:

What is Hip Hop?

Hip Hop is a feeling, an emotion, an experience and is slowly becoming a distant memory. Deep thoughts have been replaced by deep pockets. Tight rhymes and hard beats have been traded for diamond encrusted grillz and life-sized platinum pendants. Meaningful lyrics have been sold for meaningless words. Tattoo Hip Hop on your heart, not on your arm. Redefine Hip Hop.

This poem described one of his pieces which portrayed Hip Hop as a female.

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Love is in the air…for a day?

Now I’ve always been a strong believer that people shouldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day to express how much they truly love another. 

Valentine’s Day isn’t about how many flowers you give/receive or about heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.  It’s about showing someone how much you love them and this should be expressed everyday. It’s as simple as a note on a desk or a single rose on a pillow or just a quick call to say hi.  There are so many ways to show how much you care about your loved one…everyday.

Though I’m single now, I’ve been in relationships that have been toxic and somehow this one day could turn a guy into Mr. Suave only have him to turn back to Dr. Evil when the day was done.  

I will always believe that love isn’t about one day, it’s about 365 days!!

Here is a poem in honour of this day.

Colours of love

Emeralds are green, onyx is black. Trust me with your heart and never look back.

Tulips are yellow, lilies are white. I think of you every day and dream of you at night.

Amethyst is purple, moonstone is grey.  My love for you will span forever and a day.  

Roses are red, violets are blue. Today and everyday I will always love you.

– end.

It seems fitting to have one of the greatest love songs apart of this poem.

I will always love you by Whitney Houston: http://youtu.be/8QaI-M9sxW4

Honey Jam – Then & Now…Toronto at it’s best!!

Last week I attended an annual event called Honey Jam produced by PhemPhat Entertainment group.  This event has been happening every year since 1995 and showcases talented female artists from a variety of genres. PhemPhat is a non-profit organization which also provides educational and mentoring opportunities for artists as well as supports and promotes women charities such as the YWCA’s programs for women and girls.

A number of our own Toronto female artists have been apart of this great event over the years including: Jully Black, Tara Chase, Jemini (from G98.7), Kim Davis, Motion, Eternia, Michie Mee and so many more! 

I had the privilege to attend the event and get the backstage experience. 

When we arrived, some of the artists were already there.  I was standing to the side when Kim Davis came in.  I had to tell her my story.  See, my name is Kim David and seeing how people have a hard time believing my last name is a first name, they often call me Kim Davis so over the years, I’ve been asked a number of times “Are you the singer?”.  (Well, if they heard me sing, they would clearly not be asking that question.  I mean, I’m not bad, but I’m not Kim Davis!)  When I walked over to Kim, she greeted me with a hug and I told her my story and she said “I will never forget you Kim David.” – Love it!

Back to the matter at hand, as the artists arrived, they welcomed each other with warm smiles and hugs.  It was so nice to see these ladies get the chance to share a few moments together to reminisce and laugh about good times.

I was in awe of what I saw that night.  So much talent!  From rapping to singing and everything in between. They each sang a song representing a wide variety of influential ladies of the past. Motion represented Queen Latifah with her rendition of Ladies First.  She even nailed Mony Love’s part. Eternia rapped and surprised the crowd by bringing out Tara Chase. Everyone went nuts when she came out and tore it up.  The ladies had a spectacular night and Michie Mee hosted the event.

There are two performances that really struck a chord with me because these two performances were songs sung by our most recent losses.  Etta James and more recently Whitney Houston.  Kim Davis sang “I will always love you” and tore the place down.  No one could have ever guessed that a week later we would be hearing of Whitney’s unfortunate demise.

Jully Black broke it down with ‘Seven Day Fool’ and ‘Fool am I’.  Both songs sang by the late Etta James. 

It’s hard to believe that so many of our legends are leaving us but after watching these ladies of Honey Jam, I have hope in knowing that with this talent, Whitney, Etta and so many we’ve lost, that their legacy will live on and new legacies will be created.

We live in a digital age with autotune and other ways of enhancing a sound.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve sung many songs that have been digitally touched but  there is so much raw talent out there.  Not everything can be ‘autotuned’.  We need real music to come back.  We need to expose true talent!

Here is some footage of the Honey Jam performances.

Jully Black: http://youtu.be/GOTJih55v_o

Kim Davis – http://youtu.be/tZlzLQAk3sU

A summary of the evening: http://youtu.be/L7x-yiuJmAY

The Greatest Love of All – By the greatest singer of all…Whitney Houston

I don’t know where to start.  The headline “Whitney Houston dead at 48” seems surreal. 

As the hours pass, further details are revealed about the events leading up to this tragedy. Everyone is outpouring their respect and regards.  Pointing fingers of who was the cause of her tragic turn and the signs that were missed, reminiscing about where they were when they heard “Saving all my love” or what occurred when “How will I know” played on the airways, or how they attempted to hit that note in “I will always love you”.  We can all recall a time.  I remember when I was at my first sleep over, we watched videos and it was the first time I had seen “How will I know” and loved her big hair..lol.  My friends and I all sang and pretended to be her for just a few minutes.

For me, it feels like so many of my favourite artists are slipping through my fingers.  With the art of music and technology, we will always have these artists at a our fingertips and be able to share them with generations to come, but it still hurts.

My heart goes out to Whitney’s family.  To us, she was an amazing singer and someone we admired.  To her family, she was a daughter, a mother, a Queen and so much more.  May their hearts be light knowing that her memory will always live on and the amount of joy she brought to the hearts of millions.

To say Whitney Houston was a legend is an understatement.

Houston was the most awarded female artist of all time, according to Guinness World Records, with 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. She held the all-time record for the most American Music Awards of any single artist and shared the record with Michael Jackson for the most AMAs ever won in a single year with 8 wins in 1994. Houston won a record 11 Billboard Music Awards at its 4th ceremony in 1993. She also had the record for the most WMAs won in a single year, winning five Awards at the 6th World Music Awards in 1994. (source Wikipedia)

She achieved more than people can image but life isn’t about what we achieved, it’s about the lives we touch and the hearts we move.  With 415 career awards, there is no doubt that her fans and peers were touched by her soul. Whitney shared her talent and blessings with us all and I can only pray she knew how much she was loved. 

Though I don’t know all the details about her personal life.  It’s obvious that there was a sense of unhappiness in her life.  Many people don’t realize that though a person may appear to have everything, one can still feel alone and depressed.  Good fortune is not able to buy happiness.  Depression is real and we need to take heed to the non-verbal cries of our loved ones.  I’ve experienced the darkness of depression myself and never want anyone I know to deal with it on their own.

I pray that her mother, daughter, family and loved ones will remain strong and keep the memories of her life alive.  Always looking to the stars for the ones that shine brightest are our loved ones looking down on us.

Rest in Peace Whitney and your memory will always live on forever!

I will always love you: http://youtu.be/14ivtcelIoO

Backstage Pass at the Jamaica Jazz Festival Weekend – The Show (Part 2)

Mornings in Jamaica are a beautiful thing.  There’s a gentle hush in the air as people wake to start a new day.  Besides those who were working at the resort, many guests had already been out early to claim their spot on the beach marking a chair with a towel.  It’s nice when your biggest concern is to ensure you have to grab a chair before they’re all gone.

We all woke at different times but made a point to come together for breakfast. We were all joking and laughing about events to date.  You would have never known that this group was just hours away from performing to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th year of independence.

As breakfast finished, we had a few moments to enjoy some time.  I went back to my room to gather all my needs as we wouldn’t be returning to the hotel before the show.  I grabbed my stuff and headed over to Jully’s room.

Her well-known stylist Peter Papapetrou (lovingly referred to as “Papa”) worked his magic by putting together various ensembles for Jully to wear through the course of the evening.

With make-up and clothing complete, we were now ready to head to the venue where Jully and her crew were scheduled for a sound check to ensure the vibe would be on point!

Getting into the mini bus....

We were on our way to the Trelawny Stadium!

When we arrived I was surprised at the size of the stadium.  It was amazing to know that in a few hours it would be filled with people.

Beautiful Stands
Appleton...yum!

We were ushered to the artists green room where we set our baggage down and waited  until the dressing rooms were ready.  While we were waiting, we heard someone else doing sound check on stage.  It was none other than Celine Dion!

Squint tight - Celine's in the red pants

Unfortunately my camera wouldn’t zoom in any further.  Of course I figured out how to do that after the show :..(

While Celine was doing her sound check, some early birds were entertained to a quick preview of what to expect in the evening.  She brought out Diana King to collaborate on “Treat Her Like a Lady”.  They sounded great!

Jully’s team was up next for sound check.  We made our way down to the stage as Celine was finishing up.  Everyone took their place.  Jully had a moment to show us her sexy mic.

Mic check!!

 I’d like to introduce you to her band.

Jully and Andrew (wicked guitarist!!)

Andrew has been in Jully’s band for well over 10 years!  He’s an amazing guitarist and extremely intelligent!  He’s such a peaceful soul : )

Don't let this pic fool you... DJ Shine is electric!!

DJ Shine was on the ones and twos. He always brings an extra “wow factor” to every show making the performance explosive!

D.Shon chillin..

D.Shon is a great vocalist and a good friend of Jully’s.  I have no doubt that their 17 year friendship is the key factor that takes their performances to another level.  Besides supporting vocals, he adds flavour to the show itself.  He’s fun and caring and loves to take long walks on the beach…..I’m joking!  He is fun and caring though. He was my roomie and we shared a lot of laughs!

Young Pete Alexander and Andres

Here’s Andres and Young Pete Alexander.  Andres along with Jeremy (not in picture) worked hard to ensure the sound was on point, a goal which they surpassed.

Young Pete Alexander is Jully’s producer and drummer.  There are no words to express how amazing he is on the drums – and like any true artist, he makes it look effortless.  You have to witness it in person to feel what I’m trying to say.  Jully, Pete and well-known choreographer Luther Brown are collectively known as “The Officials”.  They worked on Jully’s new album (8)ight which is scheduled to be released this year!

Little did the people of Jamaica know they would be treated to a collaboration with one of their own home-grown artists.  Leftside A.K.A. Dr. Evil added his flavour to Set It Off.

YoungPete, Jully and Leftside

Here’s Papa..

Papa's feelin out the crowd...

After sound check, we headed back to the dressing room to relax for a bit before the show.  I have to say, I just loved this group!  One of my favourite things to do is laugh and they always had me laughing.  I loved every moment of it.

Finally it was show time.  We made our way back down stairs where we were escorted backstage.  Though I must have looked like a true foreigner, I didn’t care that I was wearing high heels walking around on a grass soccer field.  It just meant that I had to walk on my tippy toes which made me look a little “Stush” in others words “Posh”.  At 5’2, you will often find me in heels claiming height whenever I can.  And this was such a big event, I couldn’t walk around in flats, it just didn’t feel right..lol.

Me ina mi red heel shoe...

The show was just amazing.  Jully and the whole crew killed it!  They were sensational and, in my opinion, I felt sorry for the following acts leading up to Celine as they couldn’t hold a light next to Jully and her crew!

The sounds and lighting were phenomenal and everyone was feeling the vibe.  She definitely woke the crowd up!  If you’ve ever been to a Jully Black show, you know what I’m saying – if you haven’t, you need to check one out!

Jully giving a spectacular show!
Jully and D.Shon setting the mood.
Jully sharing her love for Jamaica!

Seeing the masses in the stadium was surreal.  Over 30,000 people and 1.1 million online viewers!

What I didn’t realize was that after the performance, Jully’s work still wasn’t done.  She had to meet the press for a number of interviews.  So, it was back to the dressing room for a quick change and make-up touch up.

There was such a buzz in the press room. Etalk, HBO, FlowTV and a number of other media members was there covering the show.  I found out TMZ was in the audience!

Jully and YoungPete gracefully answered all questions asked of them.

Jully and YoungPete talking to the press.

Finally it was time to go.  We left the show a little early to beat the traffic and thank God we did that.  The next day, we heard that it took some people 3 hours to get back to their resorts/homes.

I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity to see the show first hand and see what really goes on behind the scenes to make these type of events a success.

Here is a good summary of the show on the night Jully performed! http://youtu.be/XMwY4nIthAo

Backstage Pass at the Jamaica Jazz Festival Weekend – The Arrival (Part 1)

What an experience! I had the privilege of attending this year’s Jamaica Jazz Festival with Toronto’s own Jully Black.

Jamaica is such an intriguing island with the people as beautiful as the land.  The weather was perfect and though the nights were cooler than I had expected, it was still way better than what was happening at home in Toronto.

From the time I touched down at the airport, I knew it was going to be an amazing time.  I’ve been to Jamaica before but this was the first time I had been back since they finished renovating their airport.  It looked fabulous.  I was greeted by a pleasant immigration officer who warmly welcomed me to Jamaica.

The first day was filled with fun and laughter.  Everyone was obviously happy to be away from reality for a few hours.  We all piled into the bus and made our way to the resort.

On our way
Jully and Young Pete Alexander

When we arrived to Sunset Beach Resort in Montego Bay, we were welcomed with many smiles and cool tasty beverages.  The resort was spacious and inviting, instantly releasing a positive energy.  After we all checked in, we had a few moments to unpack and unwind before meeting up again.  When I opened the curtain to the balcony, I saw massive cruise ships in the distance.  With recent events aside, I’ve always marveled on how these liners float.  Simply Amazing.

Check out the water slide!

We eventually made our way to the grill side restaurant for a quick bite to eat. After we finished up, I walked around taking time to enjoy my (temporary) new home. The grounds were beautiful with soft white sand and clear water as far as the eye could see. I allowed all my senses to embrace the moment.  The slight scent of spices in the air reminded me of my mother’s baking. Colourful sights of beautiful exotic flowers and bright surroundings brought a sense of happiness to my heart.  The much needed warm rays of the sun touched my skin softly and the sounds of the birds and island music playing in the distance made me smile.  All these combined satisfied my soul and allowed me to enjoy every minute of the experience.

As dusk approached we regrouped at the resorts entertainment area where we watched the resort’s band as they entertained us with a variety of songs from different genres.

Some of the guys...chillin

 

Some of the girls....chillin

 

Jully and Me

I, along with many of the guests at the hotel, were treated to a song by Jully’s band mate and close friend D.Shon Hendersen.  It was a nice surprise not only for us but for D.Shon too as he had no clue that he would be performing.  Jully later joined him on stage supporting him with back up vocals. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with.  They’ve built a strong foundation with a 17 year friendship under their belt.  This must be how they can make their performances look effortless and like so much fun!

Everyone had to get ready for the big event the next day so we eventually all parted ways and later turned in to be in top form for show time.

Stay tuned for a review from  “The Show”!

“The More You Know…about Jully” moment – Jully loves sugar cane! : )

I will try to add these tidbits to each review.