Archives for posts with tag: cynikal music

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.”

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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:

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.

Been so busy handling the promo for the video itself, that I actually couldn’t summon the energy to blog it with my usual bit of prose. But here we are, precisely one week since the visuals dropped, and at least we now have the luxury of hindsight.

I’m very happy with how it turned out – the boys over at PHDLDN (directors) allowed me to incorporate my creative vision to the fullest. I wanted to capture the essence of performance, together with the sense of movement, and partnered with the use of minimal editing, creative camera play and good colour grading. Well, we have that.

It’s a warm up video, and so the key was to not get ahead of ourselves and maintain the middle ground between action and cutting. Seeing as my Exhibit A video worked so well, I thought it would be best to encapsulate some of that guerilla-style production value.

It’s been received well by various media outlets, with bloggers including DJ Semtex, SoulCulture, Hip Hop Chronicle, Yin&Yang, True Tiger and We Plug Good Music for example. The track was also placed on the A-list for a second week over at 107.3 Reprezent FM. I hope there is lots more good news to come, but for now.. lose your balance:

Also, here’s a little bonus, behind the scenes footage which was recorded via my friend Fuzzy Phase‘s mobile. The verse and outro is the actual take we used for the video!

Here’s a brand new track which I recorded recently. It’s a refix of J Cole’s Losing My Balance, taken from his The Warm Up mixtape. The track (in particular the music) really resonated with me on a deep level, so I felt to discuss some issues that I was going through at the time. I guess you could say it’s a very personal song, and I wanted to encapsulate that in the recording phase, so I ensured that the process was continuous from beginning to end – literally – if you listen closely you can even tell small differences between the choruses. I also wanted to incorporate a slightly different feel to J Cole’s version for the hook, so I worked out a singing part, as well as a couple of harmonies and brought in a friend of mine (Theo Llewelyn) to lay them down in some sort of hybrid Caribbean/Portuguese type accent. I shot a video to this a couple of days ago which should be online very soon! In the mean time, listen here:

http://hulkshare.com/u80h8gy22tiv
If you’d like to download the track, you can get it from: http://hulkshare.com/u80h8gy22tiv 

Unfortunately the much anticipated music video I recently shot for Travellin’ will not be made available for public viewing. My team and I had to make the decision after viewing the edit to not put it out for various reasons – the main ones being that it was neither an accurate representation of who I am/what I do, nor the vision I approached the director with to develop further.

It sets back my plans of course, the mixtape (Breakfast) I was going to drop in accompaniment has now had to be pushed to a later date, and so have other related projects which were pivotal to my future. But it is this kind of decision which is a testament to how much I deeply believe in becoming a success in the manner that best suits my persona.

Some new work will be dropping soon, and rest assured it will be very much the Cynikal you have come to know. Thank you for your patience, Happy Halloween.

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