DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, Knowledge, Manifesto, Movers & Shakers, Music, New York, promoters, Reflections, theshineprjct, Toronto

Manifesto 11 – Toronto (June 2017)

It’s with the utmost pride that I can say Toronto’s got an organization devoted to Urban Arts & Culture. Something I’ve always supported and it’s where my musical roots came from. Artists like Maestro,Kardi,Julli Black,Ghetto Concept and Dream Warriors is what I knew. I’ll always love Hip-Hop no doubt but I turned away when outlets remained bare.

I was so frustrated that I even started a talent showcase with fellow York U Undergrad (Dj Nana) we hoped to provide a platform for unsigned hype from Singers to Battle Rappers to Poets and it ran for a minute. We even tried to start an Urban Media Arts Association-but the work and support back then was bleak.

As I took stock of the many years learning about the music scene in Toronto, I started with my first internship at what was Flow 93.5 and from there I became a NXNE and Honey Jam volunteer to promoting parties and events over at CHRY college radio station. Manifesto is the evolved and growing version of what I’ve always hoped for.

An organization like @Manifesto_TO is something to be incredibly proud of. To see artists,acts and personalities rally around an incredible festival that’s put Toronto on the map (permanently) is quite amazing. With Canadian exports like the Biebs,Drake,Tory,Party Next Door,Weekend,Tika,Slakah,Majid Jordan and the list gets longer….. we’ve got so many more to put on display!

If you haven’t purchased tickets to anything; look for something and become a part of Toronto’s rich ‘Urban Culture’ landscape. Find an art installation, find a concert.Hit up the Opening/Closing Party and Artists Panel. If Urban isn’t your thing check it out, you’ll be blown away. Here’s the website: http://mnfsto.com/

This weekend the #theSHINEprjct is pretty excited to be stationed over at Echo Beach not just as a volunteer,intern or avid concert goer but a part of the festival reppin’ Toronto at Manifesto 11. Here’s to another groundbreaking decade!

Stay social:

Socials
Twitter: @Manifesto_TO
Instagram: @Manifesto_TO
Hashtag: #Manifesto11

 

events, Food, House Music, Music, New York, promoters, Reflections, restaurants, Travel

Travel Inspiration – Return to New York City

It’s been a minute (like 3-4 years) and glad I went this summer! So much to do out there-tons of new food places/establishments to see! My return to NYC was amazing! I’m nostalgic because this is kinda the reason why the blog started. Travel provides a sense of wonder and inspiration. This is probably where my motivation comes from.

As always its essential to figure out where to stay. I’ve stayed at different hostels, homes and hotels but this time I chose to stay somewhere accessible, comfortable and a little swanky…..It’s a smaller hotel located on the Lower East of Manhattan the best things about it is mainly it’s location. The Smyth is located at a point where three stops east you’re in Brooklyn four-seven stops west you’re in Chinatown. This makes travelling around on foot, Uber or NYCT cheaper and safer. The Smyth (Thompson) is a small but stylish hotel on Broadway Ave next to subway, Whole Foods and a Barnes & Noble.

The service is amazing there! The staff is on point and the Bellman knows where to send guests for the best inexpensive/expensive food, nightlife and the nearest Duane Reade! The exchange rate wasn’t too great- for Canadians visiting make change at home. There are 2 other Thompson locations in Manhattan and this area is the best to get to BK, Bronx or Coney Island! The hotel lounge has a homey feel-looks very much like a cozy living room.

I didn’t wanna stay on the premises for long BUT decided to have breakfast at the restaurant connected to the hotel one morning.  It’s a quaint French-style Bistro looking small from outside; when you walk inside it’s filled with people ALL day. The menu is amazing and all breakfast items have a little variation to it. This restaurant is inspired by famous chef James Beard, this you’ll notice from the decor to the meal presentation. It’s good food. There’s a full service bar and patio on the premises. The whole restaurant is quite an experience.

 

Walking around the city and also with how HOT it was there; There were many stops for water, snacks and more food. Favourites include any Afro-Muslim food places. They are clean and have a crazy variety to choose from. Speaking of African food, I purchased tickets to the Afropolitan NYC Food Festival! It was held at The Brooklyn Navy Yard quite a ways deep into BK but for a fairly new culinary event to the city, it was very interesting. Foods from all over Africa made from local NY rising chefs and well-known establishments in the area were in attendance. The restaurant booth with the most line ups were the Eritrean and Ethiopian foods. There were South African wine samples, Afrobeat DJs and refreshments. It was a hot-ass day. Any refreshments they sold were a welcome relief. The food actually looked like the picture and tasted amazing.

 

*Pics taken from https://www.facebook.com/theafricanfoodfestival/ page! My camera was overloaded with photoshots! Couldn’t find my pics.I’m sure they’ll turn up somewhere 🙂

One more noteworthy food place Brooklyn Greenery-a hidden gen on Flatbush Ave. You can take the B,Q and S trains to Prospect Park Station. It’s a healthy, healthy place but what got me is the Hip-Hop Smoothie and Green Juice names. You have your choice of a small or large Supreme Clientele (Pineapple, Carrot, Green Apple), Mos Def, Queen Bee or Redman drinks. And to make your taste buds multitask you also hear your fave Dead Prez or Method Man playing for support. The place is immaculate and earthy. They run live shows in the shop and it is treated like a community meeting place. This shop has an each one teach one concept-they have a shelf filled with books where you can drop some off and pick some up. Besides it’s Hip-Hop enviro, the main reason it’s a gem is that it’s located amongst dozens of Popeyes’, Pizza joints and Golden Crusts-all of which have one too many calories to eat on a hot day! They really stand out on that block. Here’s a quote written by a Yelper about BKG: ‘The names of the smoothies and drinks are relevant and fitting for the times. The price is worth it.’ TOTALLY.Brooklyn Greenery

Now, on the holistic tip. I visited Namaste Bookshop. Wasn’t too fond of the name but the amount of people there……you’d want to walk in just to see what the hype was about. Lots of books, Crystals, incense EVERYWHERE. There were mini workshops and Tarot card readings going on. From the looks of it-it was as if everyone is looking to expand their minds at the same time. There people asking associates all kinds of questions about body ailments and meditation tips. This shop smelled amazing. It’s sensory overload when you walk in there! Lots of trinkets to see……

namasteinside

I ate so much but burned it off with walking and dancing of course! This was my favourite part of the whole trip. There’s always something to do anywhere/somewhere in Williamsburg,NY. My favourite record store (Dancetracks) is gone so I headed over to the newer ‘gentry-fied’ Halcyon in BK. The music is still the focus. One thing I love about many establishments in New York are that they double or triple as a few things. This is wonderful for business as it brings many people to one spot at any given time. Over at Halycon you can drink coffee, listen to live DJ sets, sample records you’d like to purchase, party on the rooftop or party inside! (Output) I arrived when sound check was going on before the big event-their soundsystem was ridic……..I brought back some goodies-can’t wait to spin with them!

On of the main things I do down there is shop at the black beauty supply stores for cheaper or larger sized products and summer clothes. I visited a very neat flea market. A very stylish one with handmade but fashion forward. Who needs a mall? I found plenty of that EVERYWHERE!

The highlight of the whole trip was BBE’s 10th Anniversary celebration for JDilla’s ‘The Shining’. Parties for this anniversary celebration were held all across the U.S.and I’m sure the others were just as amazing!  It was an incredibly epic night. All kinds of freestylin’, all types of horn players. Guest birthday boy/ bad-ass drummer Daru Jones (Jack White of former White Stripes) killed it!  Subrosa NYC hosts an event ‘Soul in The Horn’ on Fridays where Soul, Jazz,Hip-Hop and any other genre meet. Hosted by Dj Natasha Diggs and friends, I was blown away. The Shining was celebrating FULLY that night. Guest DJs Rich Medina & DJ Scratch attended. Have a listen to a snippet from that night at>>>>>> Soul In The Horn

There’s so much more I can share here but if you’ve been to NY, you’d know that your adventures/travel preferences would completely differ from mine! If you head to the Big Apple, I’ve mentioned some places definitely worth checking out. Come by and visit shine2u.wordpress.com every now and then to see what I’ll be listening to and where I’ll be!

-shine

 

Biography, DJ Culture & Music, Establishments, events, House Music, Movers & Shakers, Music, New York, promoters, Reflections, Social Media, theshineprjct, Toronto, Travel

House Music Series – Jellybean Returns to Revival – International

Behind the Decks

Trust your instincts. These are the parting words of a talented artist whose career has spanned many decades.

Trusting his instincts has taken him to  places unimaginable. Literally. As a child from South Bronx, NY he says, ‘there were only two options amongst my friends…’ to be a drug dealer or a bouncer at a club…..I wasn’t gonna get into drugs and I was too short to be a bouncer’……that broke the ice! lol

Jellybean enthusiasts kept passing by; uttering comments, props and questions about when he was gonna  hit the stage. I’m not gonna lie-I knew about Jellybean as a kid because of Madonna.  I mentioned that to him-but what is fascinating is the kind of work he’s amassed in this many years, as well as the industries that he’s crossed. It is truly remarkable BUT also makes sense as he’s always ‘trusted his instincts’.

Another thing I noticed about what always came up while he responded to my questions was his need for CREATIVITY and his focus of wanting to simply MAKE MUSIC. Watching the crowd’s response on the dance floor Benitez said ‘is like GM testing cars…..as a creator of  sounds, tunes, records…..the dance floor allows you to see what works, what’s fresh and what’ll sell’

In his earlier years after Dj’ing for friends parties, his phone started ringing and requests to collaborate with big artists (Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson) to name a few- brought him into the studio. By working in the studio with recording artists,  it validated his production skills and allowed him to reach more people.  He left DJ‘ing for 10 years and produced music and soundtracks for films. This instinctual departure added more to his musical talents and skills.

Studio54 and Funhouse residencies allowed him to flaunt his production skills in the clubs and he would go on to produce (3-4 records a week???? Damn!) The music industry has definitely changed! The New York house scene is a very  different one than it was back in the day- in that it strictly thrived as an underground scene. This underground no longer exists. Perhaps this underground scene now thrives online?

I asked him about his XM Satellite Sirius Radio station that started in 2011. He was asked to program the station because of  his expertise, tenure and experience. This allowed him free reign over the design of the station’s music catalogue.  He plays FULL tracks when mixing on air  and that he mentions, has also lost its way with the new style of music mixing. He’s able to give back and educate new  listeners by introducing Disco and Classic House styles within the programming.  So every time, you tune in, and listen to Studio54 satellite radio, YOU learn something new! And just like that, our interview had to end……

Jellybean hit the decks at Revival  and  the  song he plays that draws me in is Louie Vega’s ‘Brand New Day’ feat Blaze. I almost forgot what I was gonna  write tonight.  LOL

I danced the night away 🙂

-shine

If you liked reading this please follow

@theSHINEprjct on Twitter

 

DJ Culture & Music, House Music, Japan, Music

Missed…but never forgotten + 2004 Mix (Princess Tam Tam)

About two weeks ago….I received a shocking phone call from a close friend in Chicago. I never thought I’d be hearing information like this EVER. Like the family of a fallen soldier who informed about the death of a loved one….I was told to sit down and asked if I heard from Carmen or spoke to Carmen. Carmen was attending Berkeley and completing her PhD studies….Carmen had been accepted to Berkeley while we were all working in Japan. She was working hard to eventually become a professor. She had taught me the ins and outs of DJ’ing. She’s still teaching me things now in her absence. (Go for whatever you want…she tells me) She had presented her thesis/dissertation to me a few years back.

During the research phase, she visited the Netherlands and Germany exploring various subcultures to expand her studies, she lived in New York for many years, she collected tons of records. She had dreamed of demonstrating  that a woman of visibility could become a “shero” without being an athlete or a songstress. I admired her that much. She’s the big sister I never had. Carmen battled with herself; I found out a few days ago. This- I didn’t know. She wore many hats and along with those hats came pressure?, stress?, confusion?…I’ll never know how she felt. Mental illness is serious now I know and unfortunately not everyone has the support system they need to get them through this. I cried. My friends and I all cried. We are saddened.  I’m heartbroken. There is a void now. One of  US  hasn’t made it (with life).  I’ve always thought about her. I still do. Now I pray for her soul and hope that she is here with me every step I take for the rest of my life. RIP Carmen “Princess Tam Tam” Mitchell  Here’s one of her many mixes I found a few weeks ago! Check it out! >>>2004 Mix DJ Princess Tam Tam

 

Carmen Headphones