As we have reached the final days of February, we reflect on the new way we talk about Black artists in the Underground and all over the globe. Before I make this seem like another Black Artist asking for flowers, let’s consider how many we don’t really pay attention to even though they’ve delivered some excellent projects for the last decade. I’m proud to say he’s Canadian and even more so, he’s represented Toronto on a number of platforms most recently on his own over at IG,Patreon, Demuir DJ set – ReConnect: Deep House | @Beatport Live and Demuir Live From CODA in Toronto also last year. One of the things that caught my attention at first was the poster I saw at ADE a few years back with Demuir among many on a line up (he was at ADE) Demuir became a leader right before our eyes in a space where few speak up about issues that matter. Not only did he speak on multiple elephants in the room in 2020,he spoke on topics that get ignored but still affect the culture year after year.
There’s something to be said as COVID-19 has socially and culturally transitioned Canada into a new era-maybe I’m only speaking for Ontario and Quebec-There are frontrunners like Demuir that can beautifully represent being Black and Canadian in the electronic space at home and abroad. If not him then who? I pose this question because every win is a spotlight for the collective (it ain’t a competition or a point of contention, it’s motivation and in my case shine for all.)
There’s also something to be said where governing Canadian music entities (FACTOR,CBC,Ministry of Culture ,Sports & Tourism,CMW,Junos,Spotify,Apple,Live Nation to name a few) to take a look at nightlife as a viable cultural entity in and beyond the nightclub arena across the country especially now. Why? Now’s the time to anchor deeper roots and build an immovable legacy. It’s more than just pre-colonial museums, artefacts,colonial landmarks and I still say this: Canadian music and talent has always been lucrative and electronic music production has made a sharp boost in the last few years with remote production and tech tools being a little more readily available to most who are serious enough to take the craft to higher levels than most. Pay attention, people forget that Canadians have always supported other components of the local and international dance music landscape for long.
One of the hashtags I’ve used for years is #itsaboutthemusic and I still believe it is, but what happens in and around that though? Well, when Demuir decided to do this (online) he looked at the tools he could gather to assist his journey, the credibility he had developed over the years and the platform he already had and started putting informative pieces out. Demuir explains, ‘you see, apart from the music it’s also great to be in a position to serve people because it creates good vibes. It is about how I can help people. It’s a great feeling- people hit me up to thank me or something as simple as a personal email reply to a purchase or an exchange sets an impression…..going in with a perspective to serve others is rewarding ten fold.’
This chat meant alot because I was met with an incredible challenge a few years ago where at one point I was not able to reach, arrange and talk to DJs at home (Toronto) from a Canadian perspective for a number of years. This interview is VERY important. And in order to truly make a huge difference from a systemic standpoint; discussions should be had. I was pretty stoked to talk to an Electronic music focused DJ from this city who had a lot to say with no holds barred. If you follow him on IG, you’ll know. @Demuir
The Zoom age has actually pulled the communication standard up in that it is one of the only ideal ways available to make change and exchange. Demuir Pierre, owner/founder of Purveyor Underground contributes in more ways than one. He shares knowledge on sound & production, shows expertise on track development and genre specific techniques and very much an expert in music arrangement & instrumentation. And finally-he tells folks where to go. In addition to being informed it’s excellent to see it all come together. We talked about a lot of things and I made sure to ask about his opinion on media and press even small ones like mine and what it meant as an artist, we’ll get into that…..
His take on print and online media: ‘I think media and writers who are actively invested in what they are writing is a good thing for the music. Good and bad feedback in terms of the music itself. It comes down to the media and writer intentions. It should move between both quality and quantity.
How has COVID changed the game? Congratulations on your progress. I did notice how you’re bringing stuff on to the social space. ‘I think social media is the way. Whatever your niche, the tips and tricks is dope. Alot of people are good, but they need to level up. We talked about the huge pause levelling EVERYHING up and everyone up and the way it was reposted multiple times over. The people who get mad, with opinions are the people who pay $10,000 a month to make fans and the public think they’re the shit and then pay someone to make the music sound good with no talent.’ That’s pretty direct….but it’s the truth. If you really have to show us what you’ve got,these situations now have placed folks in a position where it forces people to re-think things-it’s an opportune time to do what is you. Be your authentic self with your craft.
What he thinks about social media platforms: With the SM tips and tricks and YouTube you have to tackle it with purpose. I’ve always had a global focus in mind. It’s (social media) is just a natural inclination to being connected to the world. By leveraging the power of socials he gets to work at what and who he likes, respectfully!
His take on copying and emulation:There used to be an old school gatekeeping mentality about sharing your signature/trademark production secrets because the thought was that someone is going to copy and your sound is gonna be out there-it doesn’t really matter.I can put you in a studio with me for a week, a month even and you will never be like me (it’s true) in terms on intuitively, that’s what makes us unique. There’s more depth to people. He has no problem sharing tips for this reason. And he feels that this way you can inspire someone today to be even better at what they do.Copying and pasting is a moment in time. It’s a form of flattery. It’s funny and frustrating. But it happens.The tips and tricks,plug ins can create something completely different than what Demuir has shown them.
What’s your musical style? For those who don’t know…..’I represent the Underground’s harder stuff.’ He does point out that some other DJ/Producers tend to represent the more commercial side of things but he points out that his stuff is more likened to artists like DJ Sneak, Sea Moss, Besassi. Real heavy hitters.
This symbol the accompanies the label name what is it? What does it represent? (Black History Moment) He brought my attention on the symbol-the concept goes back to the slave trade with the underground railroad. It’s a big part of his heritage and with Trinidadian roots he meaning is quite profound. He explains that ‘when slaves would escape to freedom this symbol would be etched into the ground for direction to the northern star.’ That’s deep.
About the labels: He goes on to explain-‘I’m a seller of free thought of artists and pushing Underground culture. The music is raw sounding, house jacking & tech house.’ He is definitive about the way it sounds. The label represents free thought of artists integrity and artists 100% in the forefront. It’s his 3rd label (Peetaah Music was in the early 2000s) He took a huge hiatus for about 10 years at the time and things had changed dramatically once Apple iTunes was just introduced. He introduced Purveyor Underground in November 2017.Purveyor Underground is an extension of Demuir. He has another joint venture Kultur with Junior Sanchez and it’s inception pays ode to Black and Hispanic roots to Underground sounds.
Strong statement about BLM/Racism in Underground – He doesn’t believe the industry is inherently racist but the method and/or practices with respect to business is an output or consequence of a systemic business model that’s been followed for a number years and must stop. They try to package the music in a way that it’s more easily consumed. He speaks very clearly in 2020 that as many Black artists should and could be on the line up representing their music and should be present at lives and festivals. ‘Factors such as the right look, age and race have affected representation. It’s about action now, visibility and no more long talk. It always should come back to the music. Let’s have more, more, more and in 2021 it looks like MORE is being shown!
What do you wanna work on the last quarter of the year?2020 Continue cultivating direct to consumer avenues particularly making music and focusing on licensing and publishing. He also enjoys the impact his music has at the creator level as well as the fans and supporters. People commend him about the progress he has helped them make when working on music production and it’s indeed fulfilling to receive the feedback. At that time of our interview he had about 11 hours worth of material ready for teaching courses so it’s coming soon. (Expect some tracks out on labels, at home still creating, connecting with true friends. And of course dealing with real people who like what he does.)
The advice about growing, building and establishing in the scene/industry? Alot of producers get caught up with others who look locally and worry about the same line up on every flyer. Work around some of the same things that seem to be deeply connected ,limiting opportunities and blocking the way. Start thinking on a global level. Work harder-think about the person across the globe who has no connections and less resources. Every city has it’s own thing, build yourself up. As an artist you’ve got to define who and where you want to be in this game. Don’t look at it from this city’s perspective. Be concerned about everything that’s happening in the city but find your place.
Amsterdam duo Barbara Rose and Andrew Foley bring sounds and styles that do not overlap. A set with them live at the hotel or pre-recorded on SoundCloud are incongruent and yet still mesh well. Lemme explain this: times are changing but prior to now, especially in Dance Music genres were quite distinct and remained separate. This is changing and can exist creatively together and I sat down with the two of them and recalled what it was like to meet them both on my first and second trip to Amsterdam’s Dance Event (ADE) and boy, do those trips REALLY mean so much to me this year! During my 2nd ADE focused visit I followed them out to a city limits radio venue (AMW for one of her very first live Techno sets) and two things stood out the most 1) #blackgirlmagic behind the decks and 2)what her story was- you see Barbara, former professional dancer was seriously looking for a comparable but creatively rewarding outlet after suffering from a dancing injury and musically paired up with Foley (Deep Rooted Soul) to form PASTRY MUSIC.
Rose recently returned to Holland after a one year foray in Spain and as many globe trotters all abruptly had to return to their respective hometowns because of COVID, she talks to me about her journey and what the take-aways were. She talks about how different it was: Djs play with passion, ‘from the heart’ Even if they aren’t spinning Deep House-whatever it is they play more deeply. In this way she learned how to listen more. She listens to music with more intention because of that kind of depth. Only a 2 hour flight from Holland and in Spain she found a whole ‘nother culture, culture. In light of her travel experience, this interview would’ve gone differently but in the thick of a global revolution, Barbara Rose put the topic out on the table about being Black in Spain.
On one side Spain is absolutely beautiful….’the food is amazing,the cultural experience is exciting….the night life is enchanting…..she describes it with fresh nostalgia. ‘You know we are world travellers,we are well-travelled. I got to know alot of Djs with the music,rent is cheap,food is great. Finding and securing gigs is an easier process….but the thing with Spain,they don’t even look at your music. If they like your vibe,they’ll book you,it’s as if nightlife has a completely place in the city. It is it’s own encapsulated experience.
This is synonymous what I’ve heard frequently. After all these positives with one huge BUT. At this very moment in out global history we as people can cross reference our POV’s soooo…with a poignant swiftness she says,’ once you’re there you feel like a minority’. Is it possible to have 2 experiences on two sides of a Euro? Absolutely.
Andrew recalls on his visit to Spain-‘they live in a bubble, bureacracy is thick’ This is pre-COVID we’re talking about here. Rose talks about not expecting it to be as intense, especially being a Black Woman when dealing with people in Spain….. But yeah, it was…..
Andrew Foley 2nd half of Pastry DJs crew shared so much about his love of Disco, Hip Hop and later and longstanding, House. He enjoyed the sounds from era to era but he also enjoyed the signature feel of what what each genre brought to the next. ‘I used to buy alot of vinyl and the sound is vintage, which is why it’s still so good.’ I didn’t know Andrew at all but I got to understand what he was like based off of the way he played on the night I met him at a late, late night party at really super tiny place after a day at ADE (Bar Karakter) I walked in really you would think we were at a place in 2004-5.
If I’m saying this don’t every think that I’m pre-dating this musical era as old or out of touch! But House Music between 2003-2006 had some of the dopest sounds I think I’ve ever heard; and from the greatest musical minds, so many great sounds came out of that era. Maybe it’s a regional thing on my part, I consume ALOT of music but I have NEVER heard some of the music I heard that night and he played the shit out of that.
I thought that this was a first listen on my part and coming from Toronto, I thought that maybe my tastes and preferences had fallen off. Then I heard Andrew (Deeprooted Soul) again at another ADE live event. Andrew, your extensive catalogue and knowledge of the genre is incredible and your delivery of this stuff is impeccable. He captures a time and space in Dance Music and if you know, you know. I urge you to tune in and give it a listen at some point with all this downtime we’re about to have. It’s nostalgic, it’s euphoric, it’s precise and it’s well seasoned-most of all the passion is in there. Check them out: starting 09 jul. | Moxy Houthavens presents:
P A S T R Y M U S I C L I V E S T R E A M a fresh weekly concept every Thursday live from Moxy Houthavens Amsterdam.
They announced their collaboration with MOXY Houthavens Amsterdam this past summer. As of Thursday the 16th of July they have been streaming live on location bringing a fresh vibe to the lockdown blahs every week! It’s the hotel party of parties. (It’s called the PAS T R Y M U S I C show.) From 19:00 till 21:00 giving you the best in House & Tech Music with a touch of R&B every week with a new set of guest DJs. Join them live! They are definitely one of many DJs helping us enter the new global #livestream life on Twitch (@pastrymusicdjs.) It’s a different vibe over there. They’ve got some feel good energy!
I had to pull out an excerpt from our Skype interview almost 3 years ago! So I asked,’You mentioned at the beginning that you’ve been to Toronto once?’ Which he replied ‘Yes. In the Winter. It might have been 2009. Or 2010. I had a great, great night. It wasn’t at all what I expected. It was an amazing party! I can’t wait to come back’
Interviewed a few years ago at Toronto music lifestyle blog theshineprjct.com at the cusp of his last album release he talked about his first visit to Toronto and how unique he thought our scene was….he returns next month with theshineprjct.com and Drumsradio UK bringing you local and international selectas together…..can’t be missed!Please read it>>>>> https://bit.ly/2Tpd3fz
It’s 2019….and folks,HE’S BACK! I’d like to add that I’ve had a list of people I wanted to interview for years. He’s one of the DJ/Producers that I didn’t expect to return my requests and he did! It was a thought provoking interview and he’s made some banging hits! It’s Ralf GUM feat. Monique Bingham – Take Me To My Love (Ralf GUM Main Mix) – GOGO 053 – that lead me to speak to him.
With a solid Discography spanning more than a decade he gifts House with new,new album Progressions. He wraps instrumentals around vocals, he handcrafts each note to match the human voice (you definitely hear this with Monique Bingham’s tracks!)
German DJ/Producer and Label head Ralf Gum of GO GO Music re-visits #toronto with a long-planned intimate night of Deep and Soulful House. After 10 years he returns and brings forth his latest album Progressions (2019).
DJ/Producer SIR LSG joins Ralf (Luka ft. Jaidene Veda – Overstanding – Remixed with Anthony Nicholson – 2013) and (Gratitude feat. Melanie Scholtz – 2017) on first Traxsource charted album ‘Moving Circles’.
This year’s Canada Music Week selected country focus was South Africa- just because #CMW2019 is over doesn’t mean the electronic rhythms by way of SA aren’t…..theshineprjct.com held a ‘Tribal to AfroTech’ panel with guests Nick Holder and Ralf Gum this past May; to shed a little light on the Canadian and South African #djculture collaboration. Part Deux will be exciting!
These blog-to-live events are the first 2 of a series of #inspiredevents created by Owner/Creator Shanay Egwuenu with her PR/Digital Marketing agency urbcomgrp.com.
With a few years under her belt as a Digital and PR Marketer- I continue to mix my love of blogging,social media and organic promotion with Underground Music. I aim to deliver a fresh perspective on traditional media. Stay tuned for more!
Arrive early, Come as you are, We are Global, It’s #aboutthemusic
Post-Manifesto re-cap and I’m still reeling from the festival’s High Energy vibe. A weekend mash up of Oldskool meets NuSkool under many historical roofs and under the open sky. (RBC Echo Beach) It was such an exciting weekend to look forward to and what an unexpected show it was! (The weather was fabulous!)
The peaceful party vibes continued all 4 days! Shout outs to local lady DJs Dre Ngozi and Nino Brown alongside special guest Selecta Vashtie for throwing down! What I loved was the way all eras and genres connected to Hip Hop legacy with pride and knowledge. All events were spread out all over the city!! Local acts Tika Simone,The Sorority,Sean Leon,Derin Falana,Matthew Progress and Majid Jordan all represented! Truly a pleasure to watch and sing along!
Sitting in to chat with Brooklyn’s Sweetheart Vashtie, we get to see the other side of urban culture and what it actually took for her to build her foundation from the inside/out. Che went from the mundane to the spiritual to the video light perspective. We learned a lot about how she ‘arrived’. Her story’s amazing. In a new age of the music industry, where it doesn’t take much to be notable, we often forget about what it takes to get there. Vashtie talked about Health/Wellness, the Art of Networking, her time at the record label, her travels, her childhood and her heritage. She’s a remarkable young woman. No wonder she’s sought after! Not only did Manifesters walk away with a little bashment but they walked away with some gems for self development.
Right now as social media reigns, Che asked about her play-by-play social postings online (prior to her arrival to the T.Dot that weekend.) She talked about her reasons for relying on it so much, “I think it comes from my filmmaking, storytelling side…..I feel like if you’re watching something, you should see it all-the conversations I have with people…..from having a blog…I want to show that I’m like everyone else.I come from a generation where we just don’t share information—and so now making a connection with people with every snap (Snapchat) I feel like I’m showing what’s happening. Back then (in 1998/1999) I felt that Social Media was so strange and I’m coming from a generation where we just don’t share information….but with technology we can talk to anyone anywhere”.
With social sharing permitted at a showcase like Manifesto-all angles of the weekend were splashed all over the web and city. Yes, there were smartphone users all over the concert but the ability to capture these moments helped show the world what’s here and it’s an incredible kind of new beginning.
If Manifesto is one of many Urban Culture fixtures that collectively brought the rest of North America to look at Urban Culture they way they did this June-I’m down. What’s most inspiring is to see the crowds of people at the live concert and parties enjoying all the incredible acts! Toronto is diverse-all ages and all faces really show what a mosaic looks like united in music and I love that.
The verdict: Toronto people love music and support local acts with force. According to Vashtie, (Che didn’t have to twist her arm or nothing) J Canadians are killin’ it with talent. Manifesto you’ve come a long way, Toronto let’s keep going!
I’m proud of these ladies because from a vision they had they created a very savvy business for fashionistas wanting to spruce up their look for multiple occasions. Looking for a few dresses but don’t wanna spend more money? You get to spend more money on makeup, shoes, a handbag and hair! Not just any kind of dress-but very high quality, high fashion on trend pieces. I walked in there and it looked beautiful. Right away I saw Carrie Bradshaw’s closet. Racks and racks of beautiful dresses.Flowers,velvet,chiffon,silk. Absolutely, Amazing!
Studio Fitzroy’s assistant asked me where I was going, when I was going and what my size was. She pulled together two racks of items and offered me some Champagne. On a lazy Sunday afternoon-why not? There were dresses in the pile she gave me that I felt right away I didn’t wanna try AT ALL-but she urged me to try. I tried the ones I didn’t like first. Surprisingly they all looked amazing.The assistance is great! The two dresses I chose: For Love and Lemons Ornate Velvet Mini Dress 100.00 CAD for (4 days) and retailing at $800 and Glamourous UK’s Dynasty Dress at 60.00 CAD for (4 days) retailing at $150! Excellent choices for the holidays!
When was Fitzroy established exactly and why a dress rental biz?
Fitzroy is 5 years old, but we’ve only been a rental business for less than a year. We were previously just a regular clothing boutique selling clothing online and at seasonal Pop-Ups several times a year. Our first one was in Yorkville back in September 2011, and since then we’ve been hovering around the Queen West and Ossington area where we’ve established a good following. Over the years as social media’s influence grew, we noticed women didn’t want to wear the same thing twice anymore, and that they were sick of spending a ton of money on dresses that would just sit in their closet taking up space. So we decided to test out the rental concept and it turned out there was a huge demand. It’s more fun,more affordable,better for the environment ; just makes more sense for so many reasons, so making the switch seemed like a no-brainer!
How is Fitzroy different from the others in Toronto? (i.e. Rent, Frock, Repeat, Rent The Runway)
We definitely have our own unique style, we call it boho-glam. There are certain brands we carry that have that edgy, cool-girl bohemian vibe for sure, a very Californian / Australian look. We’re also different in that you don’t need an appointment to come in and try on the dresses, just pop in anytime during store hours!
I visited the shop while it was a pop up located on Ossington. Why go from a Pop-Up to a full-fledged shop? (the new shop is beautiful by the way!!!!!!)
We’ve been a Pop-Up for 5 years as I mentioned, trying to figure out what we wanted to do with the brand. Once we landed on the idea of rentals we knew we needed to find a permanent home for the collection and create a welcoming, intimate space where women would feel comfortable coming in to try on the dresses. We wanted to make it feel like you’re at your best friend’s house trying on dresses, and that’s the feedback we get about the space most often – it makes us so happy!
What brands do you carry and how do you choose? Do designers approach you or vice versa?
It works both ways but we are very picky and selective about what brands we carry.They all have to fit in with our unique style/vibe, and each piece needs to be something special and unique, that you wouldn’t necessarily see everywhere.
Who’s your target market? Who did you anticipate that would become your target market-any surprises with the types of customers you’ve attracted?
Our target market is largely the same as when we were a clothing store; 20 and 30 something young professional women with a packed calendar and social schedule and a great sense of style.The Queen West girl essentially. However we’ve also had lots of dresses rented by younger and older women – which we love! Fitzroy is for everyone, and we’ve had clients in their teens up to their 70s!
What kind of events do people rent dresses for?
All kinds! Weddings are the most popular in the summer when everyone has at least a few on the horizon, then there are Birthdays, Bridal Showers, Bachelorette Parties, Engagement Parties, Photo Shoots, Trips, Awards shows, Film Premieres (we were slammed for TIFF), Charity Balls, Galas or just something as simple as an anniversary dinner or date night.
Who are your fave local designers?
We love Marika Brose, we have a ton of her pieces, lots of super fun details like feathers and sequins! Also Narces has some beautiful feminine pieces and Jordan de Reuiter makes the most beautiful tulle dresses – we have a few different styles.
What are your fave fashion pieces? Dresses and fashion accessories? (A must have for you.)
My personal go to is a 70s Kaftan! I have quite the collection that i wear in summer with sneakers and big sunglasses. In terms of the shop, we love really flowy, easy to wear pieces in fun colourful prints. The racks are a rainbow of colour when you walk in, and that’s just how we like it.
What’s in store for Studio Fitzroy for 2017?
We’re working on getting in some new styles, definitely more gowns and dressier pieces and a lot more options for our large and plus size ladies. Stay tuned!
Biggie said it best. He had quite a few musical gems that he dropped before before he passed. For those that don’t know him enough in the ‘Ten Crack Commandments’ he outlines strict rules to follow…..
So let’s talk about Narc Abuse: What is that? Would you be able to recognize if it was happening to you? Ultimately it’s about supply and demand. You supply time, supply concern, supply support and are demanded always-one way,one direction.Your time is never appreciated.Your willingness to be helpful,supportive and even caring is disrespected. Attention is always granted in one way.
You feel like you’re running on empty eventually…….the situation forms itself like a kind of heavy reliance “on drugs to boost self-esteem at the expense of the people around them.” Doesn’t make sense does it? It’s a substance/dependency issue, it could be a psychological issue, it’s a trauma issue, it’s a spiritual issue. For some people this is their reality for most if not all of their lives. For others they have a chance to change. It comes with a HUGE realization and a whole lot of reflection and deep levels of time consuming and well needed healing to create this kind of awareness.
This is probably one of the most pervasive articles I will ever write on this blog. My Stepmom didn’t want me to write this. She actually wanted me to focus on more ‘positive things’. This is a positive story, I promise! I wish I understood this in the past the way that I understand this now. But by sharing this story-I hope it helps the right people. Everyone has a story. This is mine. By sharing this story I intend to make this blog a little more personal. This is what ‘The Shine Project’ stands for………to inspire with passion.
When you are not able to recognize narcissistic abuse for what it is-unhealthy,dark,covert,twisted,confusing and destructive you may go on the rest of your life not understanding why you are served this dish repeatedly. You start to see that you are victimized unknowingly. Recognizing this pattern of abuse has helped me in many ways and has played a part in my life over and over.You won’t see visible scars but the damage is there. The abuse can often continue well after the public has moved on but the abuse replicates over and over again. To the general public this abuse is not apparent but when the abuser finds ways to direct the abuse towards you- they’ll use ways that most people won’t know or fully understand.When the victim reacts is what people see. IT has not only made me stronger but has had me recognizing what it is when I see it NOW and I get it. And I’m not here for it anymore……Sooooo how do you know you’re being abused or you’re in an abusive situation?
-when progress in areas of your life is thwarted by people around you with distractions,interruptions,diversions:family can do this to you (surprise! that’s abuse)
-using money,backhanded flattery,favours to sway your opinion when you begin to realize that the situation isn’t healthy, safe or real. (Family can and will do this-it’s deep covert abuse)
-when recent situations trigger memories of abuse in your past-abandonment,physical,emotional,verbal (all together they cause anxiety you may not be used to (you’ve been abused or have been in abusive environments.)
-when those around you dislike you and say they want to help but they don’t (it’s abusive)
-when you second guess people and their intentions towards you (you’ve been abused)
-when friends and family members cover the abuser’s actions and mishaps towards you “enabling”(that abuse)
-when you are subversively compared to another person or family members to show how much better or worse you are (it’s manipulative abuse)
-when the things that make you unique and damn amazing are projected as weaknesses….Are you mocked,mimicked or copied? Often times the abuser hates the good things about you and may twist those things to make those qualities look bad. (deep covert abuse)
-when you’re told to forgive, let it go, don’t take it personal, you’re too sensitive or you’re imagining things (sorry, it’s abuse-yo, don’t second guess your intuition.) #gaslighting
-if you find this article online, see some key phrases or words that make you continue to read this article……chances are (you are in an abusive relationship or have been abused.)
-when the abuser has others around them whom they share techniques on how to abuse you if you notice the same situations happening repeatedly (you’re being abused)
-when the same cycle repeats over and over again….most narcissistic situations aren’t unique. The pattern is the SAME with no resolution. They seem to all behave the same,we all have narcissistic traits. This is different though. (It’s abuse at the DEEPEST level-it’s probably gone on for waaay to long!)
Growing up in a narcissistic home is quite interesting because as you grow, you know something isn’t right.Surrounding yourself in narcissistic environments though?….. You look at other families and see that something is off BUT you can’t quite put your finger on it. (Every family is different.) As a child I was VERY observant and I wondered why my home environment was off. Everything looked great but the dynamic was strange. By learning to observe/feel people in their fear, anger, happiness or emotional detachment-I knew so much. Why didn’t I do anything to guard myself?
Where does ‘narcissism’ come from?
This word’s been thrown around lately when talking about the newly inaugurated president of the U.S. You’ve read about the Greek Myth…. a handsome Greek youth Narcissus who falls in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Although the story talks about ‘vanity’;narcissism runs much deeper than self-admiration. It’s more a maligned sense of self-worth thriving off of the addiction or supply of (admiration,reverence) from others. The supply can be material, physical,emotional or other. A narcissist needs very specific types of others to make sure his/her whole self can function. Without the supply there is no individual. Without that constant supply……..things get ugly. It’s just the world we live in. Once you’ve made peace with this. It’ll be okay.Narcissists are ‘created’. Depending on one’s early upbringing (the most crucial time in a child’s life) there is not much that can be done to change unless they understand that they have a challenge and WANT to change. Did you know that a narcissistic personality disorder is a personality type? It is often developed as a coping mechanism in children by age 12 who may have had a traumatic life or an entitled childhood. Sometimes parents are too busy, too unaware, too wrapped up in their own issues to make sure kids are taught healthy boundaries and either the child becomes a victim who doesn’t set boundaries with people or a predator who plows through the boundaries of ‘nice’ or ‘kind’ people. When the two dynamics cross paths it’s not a great combination. Usually the end is the worst when the victim realizes what has happened. On the other spectrum…..a child that is victimized while growing up can uncover an ’empathic’ or ‘hypersensitive’ side to them. They can sense environments,vibes and nuances. These nuances actually protect you from saying more than you should about yourself or doing more than you should for your own personal safety. (and privacy is absolutely okay.)
In both situations,children must find ways to adapt and cope. In one situation a false self is created to separate from their reality. In another case the child finds ways to ‘get along’ with everyone so that they can co-exist with other people (and eventually walk on eggshells-especially when the situation isn’t healthy.) Empaths always see the good in people and tend to see the world in a VERY positive way. (Cue rose-coloured glasses) They often notice things; but still want to hope for the best. If a situation isn’t going so well they try to sort it out or the biggest thing they don’t vocalize the problem because they don’t want to create chaos. Narcissists tend to see the positive point of view as stupidity,weakness or absolute lack of knowledge.This is where the covert or overt abuse comes in. A narcissistic individual creates a self and needs tools to make sure that this self exists in the real world but within that world there is trauma,anger,darkness,hatred, shame and deep pain from their past.
How do the two mix together? Let me discuss. We’ll start with family-usually this is where the first situations related to abuse start. My father felt he had a VERY tough childhood. He felt abandoned as a child. He was the last of 8 kids and again felt he was not ‘tended to’.He has always said he was treated like the Black Sheep of the family. The other siblings within the same family unit didn’t see it that way. They all felt that he was loved and given the care he needed and spoiled even- being one of the youngest-they thought he was lucky because he was permitted to do whatever he wanted.With so many older siblings, parents don’t have to really do anything with that child right? Either way-a narcissistic child is created by either being treated as entitled (The Golden Child) and given everything they want or by being given very little and neglected. (Either way the outcome is no good.)
Fast forward to the very near present. He tried to cover his feelings of inadequacy by getting married, having a child (children), getting the material goods (the house, the degrees, the luxury cars-everything to keep up with the Joneses’). All of which just made things look ‘normal’ but those were all surface bandages to temporarily patch up a soul that really didn’t know where it belonged and never healed from the lack, pain and suffering he says he experienced. The problem with a person like this is that they damage things, relationships and situations around them. Everyone around them is altered because either their family members walk on eggshells and enable their demands OR they abandon the abusive family member to save themselves.Children usually fall into the ‘eggshell’ category because underage children can’t always walk away from parents and parents are supposed to build strong foundations and teach healthy boundaries. But if one parent is trying to keep the peace or protect themselves the privacy/boundaries of children become completely eroded.
I was altered in a few ways-I went more into myself and became driven to succeed (especially when the abuse directed at you is designed to hold you back.) at whatever I did. I became very, very self-sufficient and even now have a hard time relying on others and even if I do it means I REALLY need the help. Sometimes I’d rely on others not knowing they were abusive and I trusted way more than I should have. The downside….I give more than I should-even when I’m given VERY little. I always hope by giving more to to others-that a rough situation will change.When my intuition kicks in to alert me to something that doesn’t seem right-I used to tell myself I’m being too critical.This comes from the dynamic of giving to make things ‘smooth’ and to ‘go along to get along’. This dynamic with a manipulative person starts with me and ends in shambles. Once I decided to make the change and put myself first-I started to see soooo many things. Things you wish to un-see or un-feel. It is always a tornado. Narcissists RAGE once they are met with a boundary setting action. I’ve understood for the last time and it will NEVER happen again.As a child of narcissists its a mixed bag because it makes you tough,sensitive,ambitious and a ‘go along to get along kind of person’. The downside is that throughout your life you are targeted (or put yourself around people) who dislike those things about you-and eventually you think the relationship you have with anyone can be fixed with patience or sacrifice or hope or mediation or attention or communication. Over time, people around you ‘take advantage’ of that sensitive side. By even speaking up and voicing your opinion you become a target. If they give something big or small to you-you are a target. This is the portion of the friendship or family dynamic where boundaries are eroded. What you give may never be of value to them the way it is to you. And when you enforce your position it’s a loss.
For the past decade or so I’ve had so many friendships that just died or that I’ve walked away from and for months even years I wonder what I’ve done….and I realize that I don’t see the signs early enough and that I’m reliving the dynamic of my childhood over and over again. The last 3 years have been trying for me because I’ve wanted to tackle this situation for so long. And as this identical dynamic had been playing out in 5 or more directions, I finally understood that I was constantly walking into VERY poor situations. You see ‘red flags’ but you subtly ignore them. In most of these situations I’d been discarded and in a portion of them I’ve had to walk away.Once this happens you take apart the scenarios so you can see why….once you see why you don’t need to alter your point of view and walk on eggshells. The information comes to you and just realize it.
With a manipulative or narcissistic person you could start out being yourself-kind, warm,giving,sympathetic,genuine,open,helpful and outspoken but by the end of it……..all the things that attracted the person to you is used against you. During my childhood I was called all kinds of names by my father to control my actions and thoughts. I was ‘labelled’ selfish for thinking of myself. I was stalked often to and from school or at jobs (up until VERY recently) but it was what I thought was a ‘strict upbringing’. And the number one thing that really hit home was that I was silenced for being outgoing,chatty,talkative,creative. I was told ‘writing will get you no job,stop writing’. Fast forward to the future the same thing happened again. When you live under those circumstances you become ‘agreeable’ or ‘independent’. It always feels like two extremes. When this happens it’s time to move away from that.I’m fiercely independent but raised to be an agreeable individual.I’ll work with you. But when boundaries get eroded. This is when the truth shows up. My father hated when I talked to people. He hated when I took care of my own financial needs. He hated me doing for myself. He wanted to silence my ability to share with people. It was hard to handle because I don’t look for the attention-I just speak my mind and talk about what I love and until this day….I’m still like that. Imagine when you do for you and your called ‘selfish’ but then when you’re forced to be completely dependent you’re given terms and conditions to have ‘nothing’. It’s a twisted dynamic. But for some you become STRONGER for it. And this is what narcissists don’t understand.
For others i’ll even offer up information,advice, a helping hand, an ear, a shoulder, a platform,direction,pointers to help others. But what I get are crumbs. The crumbs from the manipulation. Within the family the crumbs you’re given are not because they can’t give. They want to control how much they give, when they give and to some extent how far they think you can go successfully if they give or take from you. It’s about power and control. If you have a parent like this-you learn to find your way. Parents can physically be present but offer so little emotionally.How could you want to continue giving to someone like that? HOW? I’m learning to not do so much anymore and re-direct it in a way that’ll be beneficial to me. But what happens when you’ve got to spread your wings? I ended up having to provide him (My Dad) with supply (admiration,attention,constant agreement,zero point of view) and at the same time (fend for myself because there’s so much I wanted to do for me.) It’s hard to be self-reliant when your family member is thwarting your ambition…….Some of this shit was way beyond my years. I understand it now BUT growing up I did not understand how to articulate this dynamic to anyone. It made me grow up fast. He would try to make it up to me in other ways (Money?) terrible bait. Compliments? Terrible bait. And most importantly erase the things he did. (You can’t erase the abuse that happened.) Either way it’s still all about MANIPULATION and CONTROL and by adulthood you’re so used to doing for yourself and you wise up about what it means to be manipulated.
By 12 years old I became ‘shy’ and ‘reserved’ but the one thing that remained with me was my ‘intuition and ambition’. As a young adult when friendships would reach the ‘discard’ stage which is unheard of in my world (as I cherish friendship). I’d panic trying to figure out why and how and to provide solutions and find out what I could do to ‘fix’ things…..but when you’re dealing with a narcissistic situation you can’t fix anything. You were meant to be discarded once you ‘think for yourself’ and ‘choose for yourself’ or ‘voice your own opinion’ or ‘don’t do as I say’. I did well in school, did all chores, got a job, paid for my own tuition to not have to depend on my family; but it just wasn’t enough. To a narcissist you are not your own entity-you’re a part of the hand, you’re a finger controlled by the hand. Remember: You ARE not someone’s hand. You have your own hands right? When you try to work together and ‘get along’ it only works when you follow the rules as laid out to you. As this ‘formula’ expired, I’ve had to walk away. I used to give it time and re-visit to fix things over and over again and each time the covert abuse was worse. And I had to learn how to do it with personal relationships also. As soon as you begin to expand or your self-identify shines through with a narcissist or in a narcissistic situation you’re doomed. And that ain’t right. No one deserve abuse.
Over the years as I matured I started talking to older family members who knew my Dad from the early days and I realized that they hid so much from us children. They even covered a lot of information from my Stepmother when she married my Father. My biological Mom and Dad had such an aggressively intense and veneered relationship. A union with two disordered Narcissistic people may look good on the outside but that marriage was filled with issues and didn’t last.My Dad never wanted anyone to find out about the way he REALLY treated others. The reason for this is because they all knew my Dad had extreme challenges and they didn’t want to ruin his chances of getting remarried so that he would no longer be their problem. It’s so tough dealing with someone who can only survive off of ‘supply’.In some ways I thank my extended family today for their decision to hide the info because my Stepmother came into my life when I was really young and that she stayed. On the flip side family willing to step forward directly would create a feeling of trust and perhaps less damage. Our family is TIGHT. My siblings who I love so much-we’re like three peas in a pod. The downside to covering up for someone this way is that the victim is made to feel like they did something wrong or that something isn’t right with them. And it (my hunch) was always absolutely right. Sometimes in a manipulative situation it doesn’t matter what you do. My Stepmom happens to be a tenured Psyche Nurse and because we’ve been through this as a family unit-we all understand how this has each affected us. We still talk about it now. She endured so much to keep our family together. She endured tons of emotional and physical abuse that she probably doesn’t talk about today but she’s healed and she’s made our family stronger because of it.
Without darkness especially with a person who writes,like myself-your writing material doesn’t have any depth. You must have a good measured amount of experiences you can share to touch lives in different ways. I started a section on my old blog (Health/Wellness) in hopes of writing about health regimes,protein powders,shakes,foods and all that but GOTDAMN……2016 had me understanding that I will be writing about way more than that!When something like this happens to anyone…life is seen so differently and the most amazing thing does occur out of some bad/uncertain times:you come out of the fog and and see things as they are not as you hope for them to be. Not only do you see things as they are-you become reflective and gain absolute clarity with work,family and friendships among many things. Along with absolute clarity you realize your intuition is STRONG. And not only that-you realize how much your story,your path,your destiny,your ideas and experiences can create an effect that changes your life forever. Bad or good. If you look at what’s happening in the U.S.-people who would never align themselves with certain groups of society are coming together to speak up about Human Rights, Immigration, Health Care and even how they can improve society. That would not have happened if they weren’t shown the new direction their country is going in. Trump’s pending absolute control (self-centred nature) is forcing people to see the reality of what they’re about to face. It’s ironic.
An empathic and highly sensitive person with a bold personality and ambition is not a bad person but can be targeted for ‘destruction’. To be ‘destroyed’ means that you have a chance to grow and expand. Your true qualities-things that make you good; are a bittersweet combination in a Narcissistic World.Narcissism is deeper than posting selfies on Social Media. Being abused when you are strong is hard to see on the exterior but it’s there. As a survivor of abuse one becomes more reflective, more introspective, more aware-hobbies, dreams and wishes now become even more REAL. I don’t wish this on anyone but when you do experience something like this as frequently as I have- you become a changed person,a stronger person and a more EMPOWERED individual. Knowing yourself and re-asserting your identity forces you to truly seek very little validation from anyone. Self-care becomes more important than any other priority. And to prioritize oneself is not selfish.
I write this not to be further victimized OR not to be given sympathy but for those who have not yet understood what they’re going through and needs that stepping stone to open the door and understand what it is to be set free. So many unanswered questions may even swirl around in your mind about what this/that was……Narcissistic emotional abuse is more common than you know. Know that you’ve been groomed for awhile before all THIS happened.Sadly, Social Media is a breeding ground for abuse BUT if it wasn’t for the many online communities-I wouldn’t know or understand this.So Each One, Teach One right? Just read up after this blog post and you’ll see what I’m saying.
I’ll leave some of the excellent sites and Youtube channels by those from the online Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Community so you can discover more.I can’t explain all of this but the more you look up key phrases you’ll see that plenty of people have been searching for answers…just like you! Tons of Youtubers (regular Joes and Janes share their experiences and experts within the industry share a lot of useful and eye-opening information.)
Some would say that being open on the world wide web means you expose your weaknesses or blah, blah, blah BUT by putting it out there in writing you can understand who is reading your material and what it’s being used for.There are many perspectives to this subject but I’m simply speaking MY truth. With that being said: this article serves as a milestone for a closing chapter in my life and a new ass BEGINNING! Imagine being able to manifest what you DO want in life. Imagine being stuck at the same level and knowing you can be your better self year by year. Imagine being able to compete with you and only YOU and where you were 3-4 years ago and top that. You can! Sometimes abusive situations and low vibrational thinking hold you back. There reaches a point also where all that negativity and bullshit can just push you forward. It’s only until I looked back the last 15 years that I was the common denominator in all the abusive situations I’ve encountered. Being nice isn’t always nice.Being nice can even cost you your life. Sooooo through growing pains, I’ve come to understand that it’s been due time to change.
Going through repeated abusive situations (during my childhood up until recently) often slowed me down and I would fearfully choose not to reach outside of constraints or limited perceived boundaries within toxic situations and people…..Thankfully, I understand it and I’m even stronger now.A lot of the narc abuse stories tend to fall in a few categories:
‘Narc’ family units (this is how it all begins-where children can and do become victims or much later on abusers),‘Friendships’,’Peer Groups’,‘Dating’,‘Married Couples’,‘Romantic Interests’,‘Workplace Bullying’,’Bullying’,’Partners’, ‘Neighbours’, ‘Co-Workers’, ‘Roommates’,’Bosses’, ‘Landlords’,’Hospitals’,’Schools’Nursing Homes’,’Employers’,’Business Partnerships’. (I put quotes around everything because these roles are sometimes fluid in an abusive situation and most of these bonds aren’t real. They are not so defined they can shift around sometimes you don’t even know…..this is how the abuse works.)
Since I’m all about the Social Media….how I discovered this phenomenon is by Google searching for these words. Have a look at the hashtags below for a minute-look at them anywhere…on Twitter,Instagram,Tumblr,Facebook and watch the amount of stuff that pops up. For something I’ve never formally heard of-there’s mass amounts of info out there. For something I thought I never heard of-I know this damn too well. To see that much info was jarring BUT to know that our world’s societies are being run and affected by this epidemic makes me wonder how many scenarios are triggered by this.(cue:recent elections in the U.S.) Stats say that 6.2% of the world’s population suffers from this PD. It’s much higher. That’s 1 in 6 people around you and I. So how many people do you think suffers at the hands of this? I am no researcher but that’s a hell of a lot.
A victim (scapegoat) in an abusive relationship with a narcissist often doesn’t know what’s being said about them during the relationship, most often they have no idea what’s going on but they eventually find out the falsehoods shortly after they’ve been discarded or when they walk away. Sometimes it’s revealed in earlier conversations ‘when things are good’.And you still don’t even understand what’s happening because you don’t live life to manipulate people. Other times people around the victim may suggest or imply to see if the victim recognizes what’s happening. They (enablers) often refuse to speak up for fear of becoming a target like the victim OR they want to watch and see a victim ‘become unraveled’ OR they don’t see how bad the abuser really is.It’s like free entertainment. The truth is:If this is happening around you with family, you now understand what you are dealing with and its hard but straightforward to remove yourself from the situation completely.
Toxic people put you through an idealization phase until you’re sufficiently hooked and invested in beginning a friendship or relationship with them. Once they feel or see that you are beginning to notice that you’re being manipulated and it’s not successful anymore-they begin to devalue you while insulting the very things they admired or pretended to admire about you in the first place. This occurs when you no longer want to join in on the game created when you didn’t know what was going on. This is when the smear campaign begins, or (at least when you become aware of it.)
Advice to get through this type of situation:
Hunker down and let it rip. You spend months or weeks, years even-trying to prove to those around you that you are not guilty or innocent or not at fault or have not done anything that the rumours suggest. Oftentimes it takes awhile to understand and realize that it’s a waste of energy. Listening to the rumours can allow you to understand what is really going on and where it’s coming from. Can’t be hurt and offended by something that isn’t true right?
Know your square (not circle.) A square allows you to see all corners to know who really has your back and who never did.It can give you a slow but gradual fresh start in the right direction.
Expect a smear campaign, a ‘Hoover’ or possibly 4 of them. The smearing happens much earlier than you think. Often times when you start to understand what’s happening around you back track 6 months to year. (That’s when the devaluation started.) The Hoover (like the vacuum cleaner) is used to suck you back into the relationship (to fix things? not really). It gets worse. It’s just more and more abuse.
Tell your trusted family and your really close friends like family. Often times they might’ve been through it before so they’ll know exactly what’s happening.Sometimes family is aware of the abuser but no one speaks up. If you trust the family member enough to talk they will give you some insight about dealing with the person. And if they don’t understand at all….they love you, they’ll be your support system once all the shit flies. This is not something to discuss with just anyone. The person abusing you may not be the best person to talk to either.When they know how you feel and your general way of thinking which is more on the human side they’ll manipulate even more.It’s no use. Be discerning. Once you know you just know. As Narcissists get older they get worse. To my Step(MOM): thanks Mom, you’re a blessing! Crystal, thank you!
Don’t be alarmed if you are being watched at the places you frequent or your place of employment. Sometimes people within the family or circle want to see if you are balanced, crazy (like the rumours suggest) or healthy and take information back to your abuser. Also, they don’t want anyone to know that you’ve realized what they are. If you feel you are in danger; report it to the police. In the past I did.
Have a strong spiritual foundation. Believe in something (yoga, meditation, prayer,church,volunteerism,singing,writing,dancing) it helps you see past the smoke and mirrors and focus on what’s TRULY real and important. The world we live in is changing at a rapid pace. Don’t let anyone mock your willingness to embrace spirituality. This is a natural part of life and through spirituality, the best of your inner being comes alive and will propel you to heal and help others as well as yourself.
Curiosity doesn’t kill. Sometimes you need to find out more about what’s happening around you and it can’t happen by asking questions. Sometimes you wait to see who will tell you something so you can have a better understanding.Sit back and just observe.Don’t absorb.Truth shows itself without you having to do anything.
Anything you post online or say to your abuser will be used against you. You still have to live your life. As long as you understand this you won’t be as shocked when it does happen.Don’t allow yourself to be silenced by anyone. You’re not a bad person.
It takes time to heal and be who you were before this happened. You will get better, you will heal, you will laugh again. They say it takes about 18-24 months to heal.It really depends on who you surround yourself with.You’ll be stronger;trust me-this has nothing to do with being at the gym. But being at the gym will help you get through this stage in your life! Focus on you passions, what makes you happy, what makes you feel at peace, what you are good at, what feels good-those things will help you achieve success!You’ve been through stuff before this and you have much more to experience in life.
If you’ve got something going for you-your smile, your harmonica skills, your shoes,your blog, your voice,your attendance schedule,your eyeshadow,your clothes- whatever. You will be a target. Understand this and still be YOU. My biological mother hated my love of PR and communications stuff.She hated that I worked hard. She hated my ambitious nature. She pretended she was interested but secretly loathed it. She hated when people took a genuine interest in me. It used to happen all the time when I went out with her. I’m glad I got to know her much later on in life but I got to see what I would’ve gone through as a child. And more importantly she envied my life. (I love travelling,I work hard,I love the music scene,I love this blog,I love networking,I love knowing all types of people) Hobby type things may seem like a waste but if you want to build something it’s what must be done, build on those things. What she didn’t realize is how much I suffered growing up with a disordered parent and how hard it was to grow up under the same roof with one.Narcissists won’t ever admit or acknowledge how hard it is to live with them. They take you through one hell of a journey. Sometimes they are aware of what they do, and enjoy it,sometimes it’s habitual. Either way, YOU survived!
Have hope (they don’t want you to) have it anyway. It makes for a better environment.Once you recognize the repeated patterns you’ll have your many A-HA moments and the reality of the situation sets in. Place that hope in the right people and of course first and foremost in yourself. This abuse, if you survive it IS meant to strengthen you and help others. It’s not selfish it’s an act of self-love.
Know Yourself Don’t let anyone force any kind of circumstances,distractions,potential partners, ideologies on you.Don’t let anyone try to erode your privacy. Know how you feel, know who you are,know what you see, know what your purpose is and most importantly stay grounded. You become familiar with how this energy and attitude feels. This situation will pass-it’s rough when you start to understand things as they happen. In the end the only person you can be responsible for is you!
Being Discarded is A Blessing It forces you to face reality. You start to see all the ways you were treated and abused. It’s not a loss. You are being set free-the only thing left is to process the occurrences. You begin to set boundaries so you aren’t manipulated in the future. You develop a thicker skin and become EVEN more self aware. You learn to detach from the outcome of situations and stop holding on to people or things that can never change. You grow and become more expansive.You look at things with a discerning eye. Most importantly you see things you don’t want to be in and change direction. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to truly understand this dynamic and can move forward towards my future. Your intuition will show you what a discard and a manipulation looks and feels like. I want to have a family and partner of my own but I absolutely do not want to re-create the dynamic of my past again! Healing from deep-rooted emotional abuse ensures that another cycle of abuse doesn’t happen with another generation of adults. Kids don’t deserve that kinda life-it’s easier to raise a child than to change an adult. Parents: If you sense you need more assistance raising your kids- get help. Engage with your kids in a healthy way. Be mindful of who they hang around with. Make sure that they aren’t becoming abusive towards others also! Build experiences with them. Get healthy with your past. Children often subconsciously re-create the patterns they see with their parents. If you stay they think it’s okay to stay and work out that friendship, relationship or toxic situation. If your partner is on the abusive side-GET OUT! (This includes covert, physical,sexual and verbal abuse.)
Have you seen a trusted and highly sympathetic friend about your past and or current situation? Please know this:Highly sensitive persons (HSPs),Doers,Fixers,Helpers,People Pleasers-make excellent targets. We seem like push overs to many. People don’t understand that those are strengths. As a Highly Sensitive Person you can lose yourselves in a narcissistic world. They will project their negative feelings onto you. That’s what they do. Don’t be sad either. Understand that once you recognize the patterns you’re free. You can start a new life deeply rooted in truth and REALITY.Yours.
If you are newly discovering what has happened to you, I’m sure all of this is overwhelming. Start looking back. Reflect a little, reflect a lot…spend time on your own. Start a journal.Find a new shitload of hobbies. Revive healthy friendships. That dream you’ve always wanted to achieve and take the steps to make it happen. Once you find stuff to do you begin to grow and new opportunities, experiences and people come into your life! I’ve been bumping into super duper old friends from back in the day and re-connecting. Some of those old and new friends have helped me out sooo much!!! Shout out to ya’ll!
Here are some of the awesome expert abuse survivors and Youtube communities online.
My Narcissistic Healing – Sada Brown (This lady is a recovering Narcissist-it’s fascinating because she is trying to heal and stop manipulating people. She talks about her old thought process and why she used to do what she does!)I believe she quite possibly reached her healing journey as she has shut down the channel. Her information was amazing! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYjH0HO_iZ8TJZBXzOZoorg/feed
I’m overjoyed nothing happened to me sexually/physically as narcs can and do pretend to be interested in you as a partner. The biggest dupe is them trying to stay connected to you by association and I’m really okay on that I’m GOOD-not many people overcome this type of situation because it can be dangerous. Plenty of opportunities are missed because of gossip and toxic group associations and many are missed because you no longer trust those around you. What this situation does is that it catapults you to the next level in life. I think what spurred this article was the shock of really making a strong effort to change the way I looked at things and I became more aware that I was actually IN a series of manipulative situations and choosing not to participate anymore. Am I narcissist HELL NO. I do like to share my knowledge and interests and do like to create exciting experiences to make life more amazing! I understand what makes me who I am and it’s absolutely okay to exist around people who would love for me to play small. In hindsight being in close proximity to these people is perpetually toxic. In the words of a flying monkey who posted on my Google+ account a few years ago….STAY GONE! Pouf! Gone,gone!
By the time this article goes live on this new blog design, January would’ve come and gone……..I wrote this last year (2016)
Here’s to a more musically inspired and powerful 2017!
Read up on this,
Explore New Things,
Get help from the right places and people,
If it don’t feel right it probably isn’t, (and if it’s right you’ll know)
Remember the Good Things about Yourself,
You’re not a Victim,
(Nobody Needs to Feel Sorry for You-not even You.)
No matter where we are there’s always a starting point…..these ladies here revisited memory lane to talk about how they started doing what they’re doing today!
Before the official interview I spoke to Ticky Ty and for some odd reason- I discovered some interesting facts. For those of you who actually know me I’d lived in Japan for a bit and after talking for a bit I learnt that she also lived there! She worked at a local franchise club/bar Sam and Dave’s. They had many locations all across the city and country and I too worked at that same location many years ago. She had lived in Fukuoka/Osaka and I lived in Osaka. Two really happening places in the Kyushu and Kansai areas- this was an awesome surprise!
Cool facts about Miz Megs:
o She met Ticky Ty at Andy Poolhall;she booked her for an all girl DJ line-up
o She just found out about the term ‘New Jack Swing’ this year! She’s loved it long time.
Some cool facts about Ticky Ty:
o Used to listen to Happy Hardcore and Chill out. Did you?
o She started with a 2 channel Stanton Mixer and Battle Mixer Turntables
What struck my interest was the energy they had behind the decks. I wondered what it would be like to talk with them. I’d been to their shows a few times-Li’lys, CODA and Geary Lane. You see, sometimes it’s not so much what they play or how they play…it’s the passion they put into what they do. It shows. They keep the crowd going. I’d seen them spin separately and finally side by side at Love Buzz this past July! They absolutely make a great team. They took a bit of time to chat about how they got started. I’m truly inspired. I asked them what keeps the passion for music going and eventually we talked about how it all started …..
Me: What’s you earliest connection to music?
Megs:I remember being 6 years old, listening to Dance music, pushing the couch aside and watching my reflection in the TV while my parents played cards with their friends. I just loved Pop-you know, Debbie Gibson and Paula Abdul. I would turn on the Pirate Radio Sessions (Energy 108) and listen to Chris Sheppard! (I think everyone started with that.) I also danced Ballet from ages 3-16, that was very similar to Ticky Ty!
Ticky Ty: I started dance at Toronto Dance Theatre at 3 years old. All my early music connections were dance-related. ‘I went back to visit almost 24 years later and the same pianist and drummer was still there. Rhythm came naturally to me.
One thing I loved about talking with them is that they followed each others’ cues. You can see how connected they are. It’s then that I understood that these two had one of the foundational pieces that demonstrated a deep interest in music at such an early age.
Me:Which music era speaks to you the most? For me, I really Iike the 70s……
Miz Megs: 90s Euro and New Jack Swing. ‘I never knew there was a term for it until this summer’ I offered Blackstreet as the more well known groups that was known for this style in the 90s. She spent some time on Youtube listening to songs to see more groups. She never knew there was a term for it until this summer.
Ticky Ty: She says ‘Guys don’t laugh at me, but I really love the 20s. She mentioned the movie Chicago. And the truth is the 20s sound has been sampled quite a bit in Dance music. She is hilarious because she adds ‘ I probably wouldn’t do to well in that era or even be alive then. ‘I still really like Jazz and Swing.’
Me:When did you realize you were into House?
Miz Megs: Dancing at home and thinking I was in a club….’I wanted to be a GO-Go dancer’ and Ticky cheers her on and says ‘It’s not too late girl it’s not too late’ This was the interview highlight.lol
Ticky Ty: ‘For me it would be with an old friend of mine, we used to steal her older sister’s Happy Hardcore CDS and pick raspberries in the backyard and zone out.
Me:How did you both meet? Andy Pool Hall! They were both booked for an all girl Dj line up and Flipside/Andy suggested she ask Ticky for that night. Meg booked Ticky. ‘Thanks Flipside!!’
Me: Who do you wanna work with? Any production yet? ‘We’d love to work with Duro. ‘I had a song out with Jerome….We’ve worked with Flipside. Internationally they’d love to work with Chus and Ceballos and Channo.
Me: What kinda music are you both listening to right now?
Ticky Ty:‘Stuff comin out of Brazil… Groove to Light and all that dirty and hard stuff.(Okay!!!???lol) Megs-‘ Luciano is my all-time favourite but lately I have been especially inspired by Loco Dice. I love that hip hop flavor he adds to his sets.
Me:The one thing that comes to mind ladies; in the industry doing your thing spinning- Meeting people at the party, meeting people in and around the scene. What’s it like? You know, doing business?
They break it down to two trains of thought:
You get the ‘Wow, chicks that’s hot… let’s watch it OR ‘Oh mi gawd chicks;they’re probably gonna suck’…’You get a little bit of both. It’s either you don’t get the same sort of initial responses as with a guy. You’re either a chick or you’re a commodity. Or you suck. ‘You have to prove yourself past those barriers. Every. Fucking.Time. Which is fine-because every time we do it-we show what we can do…..’
Me: You ladies take what some would consider very sexy photos…..what’s up with that? They (the pics)look good by the way…
I got in shit for that a few weeks ago…..Meg said ‘someone called them out for showing side boob and abs’ they were told that on TRC….. that no one would be attending their gig because they actively/purposely used their bodies to sexually try to get a gig’. Their comment got destroyed by people defending us because they are just press PHOTOS and anyone who has actually seen us in person knows we usually wear baggy clothes and are so not like that. The guy eventually apologized. <<<interesting, yes.
Me: Wasn’t the gig already got?
Miz Megs/Ticky Ty: Yes! We didn’t make the flyer. A group discussion ensued and one of our fans supporters told the person where to go….fans are awesome that way!
Me: Where can we find you ladies?
Miz Megs/Ticky Ty:Nest, CZ (Comfort Zone) and various parties across Toronto or in cities out-of-town.
What do you both like about Dj’ing? Meg-‘The music and getting to be a part of something that has to do with the music you love….‘Just being there to dance. And creating a new sound with what you love.’
Ticky Ty:‘I love the connection I have with everybody. It’s really intense. You can almost feel the energy of this group of that people or that group of people. As long as you let go you get into a meditative thing. You can just feel it. Everyone moves as one. Not over thinking it. It’s really nice to be the catalyst of something like that. Spurring a movement, its healing for me and so many others.You can go to an underground party and a CEO of Microsoft can be dancing beside someone homeless. And it doesn’t matter. No one cares what you do in the daytime. No one asks.’ What do you do in the daytime?’ Meg says ‘I hate when people ask that’ they both agree. ‘Shut your face we’re dancing right now.’
It’s a challenge for the music/entertainment scene to really delve into current issues and/or politics but very necessary so I asked anyway:
In light of everything that has happened in the last week. (Orlando shooting) How do you feel about it as a musician/artist/House enthusiast?
Ticky Ty:I wanted to take it back to pride month because the House scene did come from the Black Gay Scene. She played the night and remarked at how special it was to spin for so many.’There are no cultural and sexual boundaries. We don’t give a shit about that stuff. We’re blessed to be part of an Underground Community that embraces everything. No cops standing around at the outdoor party. No one is being searched at the door. People are enjoying the music…..it’s such a gift….……The vibe is really connected. You can’t fake it. It’s visceral. You either don’t like it or you totally enjoy it.And beats is their gift to us.Entertainment people don’t really like to make comments about political shit but they did! So much has happened since then…..
We’re half way through the year what’s in store for 2017? At the same time they answer: Production! That’s the next step, albums will happen once we tour and produce more!!!
Alright ladies, DO YOUR THANGS! You can find them on most social platforms! @DjTickyTy @MizMegs
It’s amazing to have a blast from the past……a lady I met about 7-8 years ago we talked about turntables and vinyl. We stayed in touch. Look at what she’s up to now…..
Who are you? DJ Typical Cat
What’s Her Story?
As far back as she could remember her Dad was a drummer. He collected records. Her aunt was a country music singer. ‘When I was younger I was listening to House Music and stuff…I’d turn on the radio and I would just feel it in my heart…stuff like Electric Circus or Much Dance…you know that kinda shit?’ When she first heard something she liked she says, ‘I felt it in my chest, I felt it in my heart…. in high school about grade 8 or 9, Freaky Flow was the first guy I heard of when it came to Jungle or Drum N Bass. In high school I heard his ‘World Domination’ album and it got me hooked. I heard Nelly Furtado on a track with the drums and bass and I wanted to understand this type of music more. So I got into guys like Andy C, Dj Craze, Dj Hype. I’d always loved this music without knowing what it was. I wanted to know about it and I started to go to raves by myself and I just knew that I wanted to DJ and I was just there for that.
About her first gig…. Her very first event and it was bigger than she expected. This was one of her very first BIG events at Velvet Underground. ‘I was nervous as hell but I had fun with it and opening up for Plastician was a huge deal for me because he was a DJ, I looked up to in so many ways.’ She noticed that people loved what she was doing. She mentioned that this is something that women go through. She remarked that women should be confident especially when wanting to pursue a thing like Dj’ing. Some people will like that. Focus on the positives.
About raves….I wasn’t going to party and do drugs. I would just watch what the DJ was doing- I just knew that I wanted to DJ.
What did you do the first time around? In grade 9 my mom asked me if I wanted to sign up for-those program books for summer classes. And right away I was like I’ll take that! Then in grade 11 when I had enough money, I bought tables!
How were those classes? What did you learn? ‘I took that class and actually Oscar ‘DJ Grouch’ was the first person to teach me how to use a turntable. He taught me VERY basic stuff-he taught me motions like scratching and stuff, not cuts but feeling it out with drums and using levels. He was an awesome connect because he’s pretty big in the city. Knowing him made me feel like I was on the right path. He wasn’t just some guy turned DJ. He was part of the scene, he was a great teacher. He would even give me records. I started with Hip hop and I went from that to Jungle.
What kind of music do you like? ‘My heart’s with Drum N Bass. I love listening to the radio. I love top 40. I love funk. I love listening to things I’ve never heard. My sound right now is Bass.’ She plays unreleased dubs straight from producers-I love things that are brand new!
How’d you find your style? It was a journey. It’s taken her a few years to know her musical taste. She plays a more Housier Bass style now but for awhile she went through a Jackin’ House style even. But really, mostly ‘I need that Heavy Bass…I think I found my sound at Plastician-it has the same BPM as House’ (Yes, it does.)
Working with Alan Lam-what’s that like? Her partnership with Alan Lam (Stranjah) didn’t just happen, It came after some time. ‘He’s got a wikked business sense and very passionate about his work. I’ve thrown parties with him and I know there’s a huge following. Regardless of that-I love this music! She is grateful for her crew because they know what they are talking about. They are pioneers of Jungle. It makes her feel confident. When they’ve produced tracks he asks her opinion. She never questions his decisions when putting together events or tracks. She recalls her first ever event headlined party with Demuir which was a huge success.
About Vinyl and Serato ‘I really need to learn not to carry records everywhere that I spent so much money on. I went switched to Serato. It’s the next best thing. It’s like faking records. So now I just stick with Serato. It’s funny cuz I feel like I’m stuck in the past with all of this. People are all up on their shit with CDJs and all that. There are USBs wherever you go. Something about the CDJs are just not my thing….I’m a record and turntable person…it’s not the same feel. I need to feel it. People now know that if they’re booking me I won’t show up without turntables….I made it that way.’ She doesn’t care that it’s a hassle. ‘People have told me I wasn’t gonna make it anywhere because I insist on turntables. So many people say it’s not industry standard.’ She thanks and shouts out club owners who come through with turntables.
About Old Skool tunes…. Some old heads have said that they’ve heard some parts of her mixes/sets. They listen to her mixes and they say that the samples or funk records are from back in their B-Boy days…..’If I hear it and I like it and it’s usually from an older genre’.
Vocals? No vocals? ‘I like some singing but not too much of it. It must be subtle….not too overdone. It’s hard when you have a set with too many vocals. Actually, it’s just not my style. Sometimes I like vocals every 2 or 3 tunes. I usually like vocals at the beginning of my mixes because it draws attention to the crowd.’
How do you prep for a gig? ‘You overcome your nerves. Even if the bar is empty I used to get nervous but like always I’m still riding off of it. The rush you get from it is amazing. You break walls after the first gig. You reach out to people you don’t even know. People tell me they’ve downloaded my shit and bump it in their car. And I’m thinking…. I did that just for me….I’m still riding off the gig I did 2 nights ago’ lol
Your Mom and Cousin were at your last gig…..
She told her Mom to wear black to fit in. She thought it was everything that her Mom felt it would be. I talked to her about what my mother said also. It was something out of a movie. ‘I didn’t think my cousin was gonna stick around but she stayed ’til the end of the show!’ She remembers how her mom used to yell at her because all she would hear is Bass shaking the entire house and she’d tell her to stop. Shockingly she kinda yells out ‘Now she’s coming to my parties?!!!! It was very weird. I haven’t even heard her opinion yet. I’m so scared. I don’t even think she has an opinion it was just something for her to experience in the moment. It was amazing. My mom would ask me back in the day about the Bass shaking the walls. I think my mom was very proud of me.’
Cat, who do you wanna work with? She wants to work with anyone specifically with the people who throw Promise parties. She wants to bring her sound to Costa Rica. She sees herself in Europe. (Anywhere in the UK) and many of the people she works with are always touring there. We talked about the Underground and how our scene is quite different from across the pond. For example how progressive and genre flexible the musical tastes are.
Any advice to those in the creative field who want to venture into production, promotion, Dj’ing anything related to the industry/scene? (As a woman to the ladies out there what would you say?) Throughout our talk she kept referring to the old her…’. I was so concerned what others thought about the music I played-now I don’t give a shit’….You don’t always have to play for everybody else just play for yourself. The people who like it will enjoy it….!
How about people who have an original skill/sound….We talked about upcoming female producer Wondagurl she comments ‘I can guarantee you she’s doing shit she loves. I’m not big time nothing but I’m just doing it cuz I love it. I wasn’t ready for it before. I’m ready now. And all the things I’ve always wanted are coming to me. I love this music!’
Cat emphasizes….‘I can’t stress enough…you need to stop caring what other people think of you. Just do it. Reach out to whatever connection you have-because not everyone has them-and if you know even one person that’s into the same thing as you or if you know one person that you’ve looked up to, reach out to them’. She’s reached out to people from across the world on Facebook alone…. ‘It’s that easy, some are flattered and will do everything they can to help you. Take the plunge and just ask. She realizes that she’s the only person holding her back and if it’s meant to be it’ll come’.
Typical Cat spins next at Round Venue in Kensington Market, August 25th 2016
CDR (Create, Define, Release) – The night of ideas and tracks in the making at 805 Studio
I decided to re-cap the first CDR event of 2016. CDR thrives on genre differences and a lot of that was played a few weeks ago. Musical differences are what CDR is all about.
The idea is for all participants to hear other sounds and maybe connect each other to the musicality of sound. CDR speaks to collaboration. The last session has seen a steady progression in participants reaching out mostly on the night of the event. Gavin mentioned that it was great to see extra layers of music people coming out of the word works.
‘We’re starting to see a bit of an organic development. There were a larger number of listeners. People are bringing in gangs of friends who are also interested in making music….It’s a discovery for everyone’
Some of the submissions are spontaneous and most were last minute. Gavin and Ramon specifically sent a shout out to Peter Delorum from Kingston, Ontario. He submitted a wikked track ‘Iliad’. He drove from Kingston, Ontario! CDR Toronto had an amazing Akai software giveaway. (Just one of the few reasons why it’s a great place to be!) The reason is to empower good production people and increase the potential to make great music!
The Dego event in April really helped CDR expand their reach! One of two mandates is to promote CDR artists at other clubs/events followed by the other to create a visual understanding of other artists’ creative process.
CDR continues to focus on supporting local Toronto/Canadian-based artists. Gavin believes that Canadians are poor at self promotion. Events like these are a great way to get your musical projects out there. Ramon shouts out DJ Gareth (Snafu 76) who is always ready and attended all 3 CDRs and as always the team is excited to see more new faces. Special thanks to Elizabeth Da Costa for allowing CDR to run events at her community arts building! (805 Studio) It’s an amazing space which personifies CDR-be sure to check out the next event on June 16th! Have your submissions ready!
Upon returning to Toronto from Japan in 06-07, I didn’t know where to go. I’d been going to events and show all over Kansai (Japan) and got used to the likes of Danny Krivit, Tim Regisford, DJ Spinna and Louie Vega-respectively. I arrived here (Toronto) thinking that elsewhere could be the only way I’d be hearing great music of this genre.
For months I panicked and felt a little depressed until I discovered the mix CDs and podcast downloads. The best part is discovering the local artists that made up the Toronto scene and immediately occupied myself with the weekly/monthly fixes. One of them was Joonya T.
Currently, you can catch him every first Friday of the month at Toronto’s Andy Poolhall along the College St. Little Italy hub in Toronto! He’s got a unique event scheduled this Caribana Weekend (tonight) in collaboration with Moonraiser Ent (the African house pull) at Mojo Lounge (1305 Dundas St.W.)…and for all of you locals-Mojo’s new home is the former Pacha. This show will be demonstrating something a little different from what we normally get during Caribana here in Toronto. This event features a whole roster of DJs from Africa including female Djs! Toronto and tourists; don’t miss it this weekend!
You’ll always find Joonya T spinning in the house music corridor at College or Dundas-he’s never off the grid! You can visit him at http://www.joonyat.com/ to see what’s up, current and happening! Check out this Toronto House Music Mix he just put out to showcase the Toronto flavour! Joonya says about the inspiration for the mix that, “Toronto is very specific about what they take in terms of house music…you rarely see Toronto people pushing Toronto things…..this is why I started doing the Toronto mixes”.
Check out the mix here! http://www.joonyat.com/2014/07/joonya-t-presents-the-toronto-mix-volume-7/
Shine: Where does the name Joonya T come from? In 2007…all the same cover and just a different colour……his name is from his reggae DJ name!
Joonya T: From the Reggae DJ name I had in highschool. It stayed with me up until now!
Shine: I’m not sure if this is how you wanted to project the “JoonyaT” brand but I’ve noticed that you’ve transferred a hip-hop DJ esthetic to your DJ set style……it’s quite good and has a crossover appeal…what I mean by this is non-house music listeners are pulled in and become fans. What is it about the Joonya T style that’s a little more unique than the next guy? (It’s okay to brag here!!)
Joonya T: Prior to getting into the house scene I was definitely influenced by hip-hop. I enjoyed DJ Clue’s stuff and DJ Kid Capri’s stuff. And as most have noticed; through my podcasts with Karizma’s material!
Shine: Explain Back Corner Radio’s concept…Where can viewers locate all this info?
JoonyaT: Back Corner Radio comes from the group of friends “The Back Corner Crew”. Myself and friends all into the house music scene would go to parties and enjoy the back corner of the party hollering people in the back corner. Everyone has moved on…everyone has gone through some life changes. The name is truly a way to pay homage to the crew.
Shine: You’ve got your monthly mixes and then you’ve got Back Corner Radio sets…..why the two different ‘projects’?
Joonya T: I started with a podcast and then followed a whole slew of other podcasts…The first one was Dennis Ferrer…..he came in 2007 and I created a mix to help promote the party at the time. I wasn’t affiliated with the event but I put the word out. It got a lot of play……. And I made more mega mixes to focus on specific productions.
Shine: You attended the ADE Festival last year what was that like for you? Anything you took away from that? So so curious. 🙂 Are you attending again this year?
Joonya T: ADE is something I’ll always remember. It was crazy to be in a city with all these people who are truly into the music! Places like Amsterdam and Japan take in the various music scenes in a whole different way. Places in Europe, Asia and specifically Africa promote house and Electronic Music the same way we promote Pop Music. Billboards at the bus stop with celebrities and promotional flyers are places all over places like the airport……this was a very different experience for me!
Shine: I like the examples you mentioned it shows a little more than what we think we’d notice and understand about a country’s relationship to house/dance music in other cities in the world.
Shine: Making international rounds must be amazing! (Travelling being the best part)- What’s it like explaining to the people you meet (fans and industry heads) that you’re from Toronto? How do you explain the Toronto (house/tech/dance scene)?
Joonya T: First of all this was made possible by my good friend and confidante in the industry (Pascal Morais). He had been talking about it and encouraged me to head over there. I’m not very much in people’s faces….I’m sociable but I don’t go around to chat with people….I sort of observe and feel my environment. It was little nerve-wracking but once I met everyone I had an amazing time!
When I speak of Toronto, I always catch myself talking about a vibe…..certain tracks set things off….in Toronto. There isn’t a young scene coming up to replace the older heads. The vibe or feel is what we still have and it’s celebrated in a specific way here in (Toronto).
Shine: What’s changed for you in Toronto? i.e. promotion, DJ’ing, creativity
Joonya T: In the beginning, (2007) when I started all this, there wasn’t really a Facebook. Everything is social. You get the people who go out based on whose promoting. I used to burn CDs . Word-of-mouth reigned and flyers were part of the promotion. Right now…people are not only on Facebook but on other outlets. Technology has afforded me the extra memory to extend a mix past the usual 80 mins! House music runs differently than other musical genres….producers are trying to make the same kind of money they used to make….. Everything was still underground pre-2007 and even still I always hear good music and wanna know what tracks are being played. I used to wonder….Does anyone else know about this?… The underground was truly underground. Often, you do hear House heads talk about ‘back in the day’…..those heads are now getting older. Trends are slowly starting to change! It’s rare to have a 200+ sold out party but small events that collaborate seem to work now in Toronto. A lot of the bigger events are happening on the Tech side…DJs come to Toronto two times a year instead of once. Ask anyone in the soulful scenes We laugh about it. They don’t drink….usually I think it’s because they are older. When I started I was always doing parties on my own, now I collaborate with other DJs… My philosophy now: You gotta make your way or knit your own piece of sweater…..its okay to always push brands at the same time!
Shine: I’ve noticed you’ve concentrated on your online media presence and I’d have to say its VERY good! Who’s your audience?
Joonya T: I’ve got a background in Marketing and want to grow the brand so I’ve remained consistent with my name, image and podcasts. I’m trying to pull in a younger crowd. Frankly speaking, South African supporters and listeners have always been my audience. Next up are supporters in Europe and following that are fans in the U.S.! They consume more dance music than the average music lover!
Shine: What are some parting words you’d like to leave us with today?
Joonya T: Just like at the end of every show, I’d say to them…Love what you do what you love… that’s a mantra I live by and hopefully my listeners can grab a little something to add to their day when they tune in to Back Corner Radio!
We had so much to discuss it was pretty awesome to talk about his expansive projects!
For all you socially savvy people you can follow Joonya T’s digital footprints here: