Happy!

Last night I witnessed the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony in the flesh. It was the single most patriotic moment I’ve felt in my life, but not because the show was so overwhelming (although it was), but because the entire nation felt the full force of two weeks worth of positive, heroic and jubilant spirit.

The London 2012 slogan reads “Inspire a generation“, but I think it will do much more than that. We are so fortunate to have had the honour of once again being named host city, and the challenge to stage the most important sporting event in history was enormous – but as Seb Coe stated at the end of his closing comments, “… we did it right“.

Dark Knight is a song I wrote and produced some years ago now; four to be precise. Some of you may even remember me uploading the instrumental to MySpace for a short period of time. The reason why it’s taken so long for it to surface is because I didn’t quite know how it would fit into my evolution as an artist. But with the release of the new Batman film (The Dark Knight Rises), I felt compelled to share with the world what is one of my favourite songs.

The video concept is simple – remember that scene from the film Unbreakable (starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson), right at the end, where Bruce Willis is hooded, walking through a crowded train station, brushing past the commuters? And every time he makes contact with a person, he can see the wrongs they have done in their life? That’s the exact image I wanted to encapsulate, except with the undertone of being the ‘Dark Knight of London’. By the end of the visual, I arrive at the West End première of the Batman film. Watch it here:

My Olympic Pass

“I have my artist pass for the Olympics – It’s somewhat surreal, especially because I was born in East Ham, and I grew up just down the road in Ilford. The old East End heritage played a massive role in sculpting the capital’s history, but that era has gone and a new one has arrived. I just didn’t think it would be in my lifetime.”

In the Zone

Being back at One Mic for what must be the third or fourth time was such a great experience, especially as two of my friends (Skillit and Khalaeliah) were also on the bill. The venue, Queen of Hoxton, is always an awesome place to play – the acoustics suit my flavour and the sound-man always manages to strike that delicate balance between the thumping bass of my percussionist and the clarity of my vocals – he’s done a fair few gigs of mine now.

On the night, I performed the track ‘Jim Beam’, taken off my ‘Breakfast’ mixtape for the first time. That was probably the highlight of my set, because I got to play the character I created in the song, and of course bring him to life.

Can’t stress how much fun it was, and how your receptiveness as an audience gave me another precious memory to cherish.

Thank you, and catch you on August 3rd at the next one. My website has all my upcoming performances.

One Mic

Say ‘Cheers’

I know, I know. I’m professional musician, how can I be camera-shy? But I am. Not entirely sure as to why or how this state of mind came about, but I can only assume it’s because I’d already taken enough photos for an entire lifetime by the age of 10. It was around that age I guess I “grew up” and began to morph into that teenager we all became – you know, the one that says “do I have to?” And I quickly learned that I didn’t have to, so I didn’t take them.

But I regret that, I regret it a lot. They say you shouldn’t have regrets in life but I think it’s fine to have them, because for me anyway, they keep me wanting to better myself. There are a lot of family memories which I wish I was part of, but I’m not. There are a lot of times when even as an artist I should have documented my journey, but I didn’t. But that’s something I’m trying to address. We’re in an age of incredible technology now, where the average consumer has a wealth of image capturing devices at his/her disposal, so whether I like it or not, I will get snapped. So I’ve come to accept it, and as a result my guard is down and my mind is open… a little more than before at least (still getting there!).  Next time you try to take a picture, I’ll do my best to pose instead of pull my jumper over my head, or punch you in the face and run off like I’ve done on so many occasions.

Oh, and also, I recently had a photo shoot with a really good photographer called Niran of yinnyang.co.uk – you can see the images via Facebook by clicking HERE.

 

 

‘Slurp’

Sat in Starbucks, Covent Garden, finishing what’s left of my Coffee Frap on this late sunny afternoon in London and I think to myself – I’m very fortunate. It’s been little over a month since I dropped my ‘Breakfast‘ mixtape, and in that time I’ve received an overwhelming sense of support from old friends, and new friends alike. I’m not the kind of person to expect anything in life, and nor do I take things for granted, so I guess the purpose of this entry is to say thank you to everybody who has given me a a great sense of motivation to A) continue, and B) do better.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to give a big thanks to all the media that are covering the tape, without you my music wouldn’t be heard by the new listenership it’s beginning to attract.

Much love,

Cynikal


Breakfast Mixtape Cover

I’ve purposely left it a while between my last entry and this one. Firstly, I was making up for lost time since spending the best part of four weeks terribly ill; after all, there was the matter of a small mixtape to complete. Secondly, I didn’t want to give too much information away about the tape before it dropped, and for the couple weeks after release, it was important for it to simmer on its own accord. And most importantly, I was fully engrossed in the creative process to the point which nothing else mattered – I hadn’t felt so focussed since I was in my final year at Uni.

Anyway, for those who have the tape already, thanks for downloading, and for those who don’t, you can get here.

If you’d like a bit more information on the process behind the product, have a watch of this interview:

 

Clock

Tick Tock

Imagine feeling so ill that a single work related thought did not pass through your mind for a whole week. Ok, well not not a single one, but less than a handful, of which none even slightly tempted your immune system to heal you faster.

I was there!

I’ve spent the past eight days bed ridden with a viral stomach infection, one which only time and not medication can cure. I’m nearly there, and now it’s time to start building strength again – not just physically, but mentally too. I was at one of the most productive and pivotal points in my career thus far, and it seems to all have been put on ice out of the blue.

But what this opportunity has given me is a better sense of time – how quickly time passes. Before you know it we will be middle-aged, sipping red wine in our cosy arm chairs, winding down the pace of life. Make your health count  while you have it.

Precisely a year ago, I was wandering around Oxford Street with my good friend Michael ‘Forte’ Chang. We noticed there was some sort of uprising, and after walking further to discover what was going on, we saw an even greater sea of chaos. The first thought which popped into my mind was “this is history, we need to capture it”. The second thought was “via music”. We ran back to my flat not far from the location, grabbed your standard point and shoot camera (no better than a modern phone) and hit record. This my friends, was the outcome:

I first heard the phrase coined on the Kev Brown produced “For Da Love of Da Game”, via his mixtape a few years ago. Little did I know this would become a motto my peers and I would swear by in years to come.

As I write this blog post, I re-listen to the track, gently refreshing myself with the nostalgic emotion of being back in my college years; when my judgement wasn’t interfered with so much by business strategy and responsibility. I was doing things with an extremely inquisitive attitude, almost like a child that was seeing everything for the first time, over and over again. Well, some time has elapsed now and I guess you could say that although I’m still very much that person, I’m also now much more experienced at what I love; life.

%d bloggers like this: