The week in pics

I’m gonna try this out. If it doesn’t work then we’re just gonna act like it was a once off kinda-thing. Okay? Good. I won’t do this every week because… D.I.Y life.

Monday

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After a super long Monday I had coffee at Vida. All I was thinking about was how much water I still had to drink. I’m trying to drink more water. It’s getting easier.

Tuesday

Went to dinner and a movie. No I didn't go see Khumba. It was Thor and OMG I LOVED it. Took a pic of the box because I thought it was cute.
Went to dinner and a movie. No I didn’t go see Khumba. It was Thor and OMG I LOVED it. Took a pic of the box because I thought it was cute.

Wednesday

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Had my first magazine shoot &b received awesome news about music things in 2014. *scream* I wanna share but the manager lady will murderise me. Also was reunited with my favourite makeup artist (Malinette Newman)

 

Went for burgers (and cheese fries) at Clarke’s. Lovely place :) Manager lady took me there to celebrate my first magazine shoot and super awesome 2014 things.

Thursday

Thursday was another super long day. Missed a deadline (writing things). So I decided a pre-bedtime selfie would be a good way to cheer myself up.
Thursday was another super long day. Missed a deadline (writing things). So I decided a pre-bedtime selfie would be a good way to cheer myself up.

Friday

Work function. I didn't feel like talking to anybody because I am only at the 'office' for 3.5hrs a day. They don't know me and I didn't feel like making 'fake office party conversation'.
Work function. I didn’t feel like talking to anybody because I am only at the ‘office’ for 3.5hrs a day. They don’t know me and I didn’t feel like making ‘fake office party conversation’.

Saturday

It was raining ALL DAY, so we went to Tasha's for the red velvet cupcakes & to 'watch the rain'. He he he
It was raining ALL DAY, so we went to Tasha’s for the red velvet cupcakes & to ‘watch the rain’. He he he

Sunday

It stopped raining and I took a walk around the hood. Also I had a million DVDs to drop off. Let us never talk about my 'late fines'.
It stopped raining and I took a walk around the hood. Also I had a million DVDs to drop off. Let us never talk about my ‘late fines’.

Award Winning Album & stuff…

A few months ago my Manager Lady (Marcee) told me about the Wawela Music Awards. “Wouldn’t it be cool if you were nominated?” she said. I shrugged and moved on with life. You could say that I am not exactly an ‘award artist’. It’s just not something I consider. I spend my time dreaming up fantastic songs, videos and performances.

A few months later I heard via Phiona, from Afripop Mag, that I was nominated for 2 awards. This all happened on Twitter.

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I excitedly called Marcee to let her know that I was nominated. She LOST her damn mind ha ha ha. I called my dad and said “I’m nervous because I am up against Lira in both categories.” My father responded “Lira is great but she is not unbeatable”. Knowing that my parents thought I could win was enough for me.

On the 28th (June 2013) we were all dressed up and ready for the big night.

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Marcee in the waiting area. She kept saying “My Afro is so well behaved tonight” ha ha ha. LOVE that Melody Ehsani neck piece she is wearing

Honestly, I was more concerned with my performance than I was about winning. Whenever I perform I focus all of my energy on the performance. Once that is done, I become normal again. I had just finished my performance when I heard “Black Porcelain”. It was for Best Creative Album.

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I don’t remember what I said. I hope I thanked all the right people. (pic courtesy of SAMRO)

Everything after that is a bit of a blur. I went and posed for a pic (forgive the crazy look).

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My mom always tells me not to pull funny faces. She says this smile makes me look crazy ha ha ha. (Pic courtesy of SAMRO)

I had to get out of my performance dress and as soon as that was over I thought I could relax. While I was looking for a wine glass, I heard “Black Porcelain” again. I couldn’t believe it. It was my second award. TWO BLOODY AWARDS!!

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Well this smile is not so bad (Pic courtesy of SAMRO)
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Aaaaand back to the crazy smile ha ha ha. I was the biggest winner that night. Surely that’s a good excuse for the crazy eyes? (Pics courtesy of SAMRO)

Needless to say Marcee and I partied (like it was 1999) and then took one last picture before we passed out (promptly)

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2 Witches. 2 Awards. We were exhausted at this point. Exhausted & happy team :)

So there you go! I can now say Invincible Summer is an award winning album and so am I. Ha ha ha ha. This silly post has taken me much longer than I thought it would. Love & strength to professional bloggers. I need a nap.

Markets, Juice & Laughter

Markets, Juice & Laughter

This weekend was perfect! Woke up after 10. Went to Old Biscuit Mill to eat food, admire bearded boys, talk to friends, buy kale (stop rolling your eyes), drink wine and act like the weather was not semi-gloomy.

After Biscuit Mill Marcee forced me to drive to Shelley’s (on Kloof) because she HAD to have juice. Not just plain old Carrot Apple & Ginger like me. She had to have Apple, Pear & Mint juice. Something about the colours behind her and the way she was smiling… It felt beautiful. I had to take a picture of her. We also laughed a lot. Till my tummy hurt.

Sunday was pretty much yummy food and watching Dr Who. I couldn’t ask for a better winter weekend.

3 more sleeps

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3 more sleeps

3 more sleeps till my little bro is in Cape Town. 3 more sleeps! I can’t wait to see him. He’s here for the Jazz Festival but I convinced him to stay longer. Yay!!!!!!

I cannot wait to misbehave in Cape Town. He always brings out the ‘best’ in me. He he he he. This pic was taken while I was at home. We had gone to dinner with the parents & took this in the car. I don’t know why my mouth is open. I wasn’t even talking. SMH

Silence, Home & Stuff

I’ve been quiet because I went home for a bit. I needed the quiet time with people that I love.

  • Discovered that I am a fan of Come Dine With Me (not so crazy about the SA version though)
  • Stayed up late with my little brother, talking, listening to music & laughing
  • Stayed up late with my mom drinking wine, getting some great advice and laughing
  • Had lots of ‘aha’ moments (thanks Oprah)
  • Didn’t miss my loud, obnoxious neighbours
  • Sold many albums & delivered them personally (except one: it was raining and I was already sick so I asked little bro to jump out of car and deliver it)
  • Drove my dad’s car (A LOT)
  • Broke out in a gross rash
  • Ate so much bad food
  • Made food for everyone (breakfast, dinner and lunch)
  • Read a book that my nephew got out of the school library for me to read. I buy him books all the time, he wanted to return the favour.
  • Went out with little bro and his friends and was a responsible designated driver.
  • Didn’t get to see as many people as I wanted to
  • Rubbed my mom’s back and feet
  • Bonded with dad over books I got him
  • Helped nephew with homework
  • Let my niece be a sulky teenager
  • Yelled at my niece for being a rude teenager
  • Went to see my big bro’s house
  • Helped big bro with some of his work ideas.
  • Had G&Ts with little bro
  • Taught dad how to make breakfast smoothies
  • Learned how to use my parent’s super complicated oven (first had to change the language from German to English first)
  • Didn’t exercise at all. Not. Even. Once.
  • Parents took us out to celebrate me being home & little brother being some sort of a genius.
  • Made my mom have a piece of sushi and dad tasted squid.
  • Got bossed around by 7 year old niece who wanted to watch Beauty & the Beast a million times
  • Lost a family member
  • My heart felt like it had cracked. I am heartbroken about the loss.
  • Took the bus back to Cape Town (long story). It’s 18 hours on the road
  • Didn’t hate taking the bus
  • Came back to my empty flat and here we are….

Something tells me it is time to get back to yoga and training. My time at home was basically me overdosing on love and food.

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Album Review (Eric Johnson – Memphis)

posted in: Fun and Games, The Music | 0

We took a bit of a break from reviews, while trying to figure out what the next single is. Have you listened to both choices and decided yet? Anyway… Summer 196 is me asking weird and wonderful people around the world to review the album. So far, we’ve had a review from Cape Town, Maputo and Geneva.Up next is Eric Johnson from Memphis :)

Black Porcelain has released her truly independent self finance album.  We first wrote about her in 2011 when she released a remix of Butterflies. Then in 2012 when she released the video of “Today Is the Day”. To this day I still love this song.  Which listening to “Invincible Summer”, I was very happy to hear it as the first track.  Kind of a feeling of being at home, and put me in comfortable place with this new material.

As I said the first song is “Today is the Day”.  It’s a very deceptive song. It’s the most upbeat positive “Get the Hell Out” song I have every heard.  The simple yet effective piano keeps the song very light and positive.  Most other singers in the genre would and have made this subject more dark than it should be.  That’s why for me it’s very refreshing to get her take on this type of song.  Also the horns arrangement on the song is excellent.

The next two tracks “Aching Head” and “Hot Pink” continue the strong start of the album.  With “Aching Head”, the bass guitar plays big part in establishing the tempo of the song.  Which could be taken as a drinkers anthem. lol.  In the song “Hot Pink”, her voice really stands out and takes over the song.  In doing so, you realize something.  That the first three songs are not similar at all, and Black Porcelain’s voice handles each distinctly and masterfully.  You don’t notice her voice strain, or reach areas where she is uncomfortable.

The album continues with song after song that describes her on her Journey.  Each song is a glimpse into that journey and her life, which makes this album very personal and meaningful.  This album has many reasons why I love independent artists.  I feel that each fan, album purchase and “like” helps that artist accomplish their dreams, which is repaid by more music for the fans.

– Eric Johnson (Memphis, TN, USA)

Eric

Eric is a music lover and blogger who live is Memphis and loves to travel. Did I mention that he LOVES music. I’m not joking. Check out his blog Soulified if you don’t believe me.

CoverGet Invincible Summer on iTunes or you can do it via PayPal or EFT. Just choose whatever works for you HERE.

Help me choose!!

posted in: Fun and Games, The Music | 0

By now you know that my self financed album (Invincible Summer) is now out and also available on iTunes… Now it’s time for us to choose which single we send out to radio and shoot a new music video for. I’m having a hard time deciding. I need your help. Which song should be the ‘next single’? Aching Head or Hot Pink. Have a listen below and then let me know.

*This is my 100th post. Look how far we’ve come. Soon I will be giving this baby a facelift :)

Album Review (Chris Born – Maputo)

posted in: Fun and Games, The Music | 0

Summer 196 continues. What is Summer 196? Its me trying to get at least one review from all 196 countries. So far, so good. We’ve done South Africa and Switzerland. This time, we have someone from Mozambique. And that someone is Chris Born :)

A few years ago, I worked with Black Porcelain on ‘Green’, a bedroom collection of eclectic, breezy pop songs – the kind of fuzzy feelgood music that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  I use ‘bedroom’ quite literally here; it was a home studio affair plagued by barking dogs and a series of freak equipment failures that I prefer not to revisit.  I do look back at this early work with great fondness but have often wondered, as any self-loathing producer would, what Black Porcelain’s compositions would sound like in the splendor of a professional studio. Fortunately for me, this album looks to be just that:  A polished, well-produced pop album that gives us Black Porcelain as she deserves to be heard.

On the surface, “Invincible Summer” plays through like a greatest hits compilation with each song imparting a unique feel, in some cases even sounding like they’re from different eras or countries. Genre bouncing is a challenging proposition for any artist, but where many albums come unglued, Invincible Summer finds its bonding agent in Black Porcelain’s smooth, buttery vocals, teasing harmonies and lyrical pique.  Pairing up with producer Mark Goliath pays dividends here – his arrangements are articulate, well-structured and sensitive to her playful phrasing. With his prolific session background, I’m not surprised to find the instrumentation richly layered and sweet on the ears; an ideal bed for Black Porcelain’s soulful musings to toss and turn in.

Of course I have my preferences, one or two that didn’t really do it for me, and a good number growing on me with each listen. “Hot Pink” is an immediate favorite, a clubland romp lamenting the misery of day-to-day life before leading into an opulent chorus a la “We Are Family”. The lyrics are suggestive, Minoguesque (if I may, an ugly word for something youthful and joyously seductive) with soaring disco synths and superb harmony work. I’ll admit the song lured my imagination through the doors of an exclusive gay club. If I do finally attend such an event, I’ll be very surprised if this song isn’t playing.

“Perfect Lie” follows suit with an unapologetically synth-laden, uptempo pop epic. In some ways, this track emerges truest to the album’s title. I felt privy to love-struck girl chat here; it’s cheeky, brimming with pride, and like a tip of the hat to the divas before her, makes sure to mention how long Mr. Perfect can last between his kitchen and cleaning duties. With my personal allegiances to pre-1976 blues, funk and soul, I couldn’t help feeling really guilty for loving this one!

Other notable tracks include “It’s not News” a piano-driven R&B ballad I could have sworn was released in the early nineties – a good thing when you consider the gems of that era: early Mariah, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Ms. Braxton, Boyz II Men, Mary J., SWV, Badu, Janet and so on – without question a golden era. Black Porcelain captures this sultry urban vibe beautifully and had me reminiscing right away. “Time for Heartbreak” also rises from the pack, for completely different reasons – a lilting, brassy jazz number with classic double bass and piano performances. The velvety, luxurious features of her voice seem more prominent here, a fitting performance with all the accoutrements of a great jazz standard.

Beyond these personal favorites, the album is full of unexpected delights. She confidently interprets a number of pop angles – Ragga, dub-step, rock and hip-hop all feature in some form. Invincible Summer’s variety lends a worldly feel to the album, reinforced by Black Porcelain’s uncanny ability to veil any obvious accent – I really like this feature of her work; it’s receptive, free from the restrictions of any niche market, and hard to place geographically. I’m sure she’ll appreciate my use of “international mystique” here.

Invincible Summer shows Black Porcelain exploring her options; while it is undoubtedly ambitious in scope, the album shines brightest when she focuses on two of her many fronts: First, her sun-drenched mega-pop sound (“Perfect Lie”, “Scandalize March”, “Hot Pink”) and second her more vintage-voiced jazz/neo-soul vibe (“Time for Heartache”, “Johnny” and “Today is the Day”). At times Lauryn Hill, at times Nina Simone, and at times Kylie Minogue, Invincible Summer is the release of a confident, versatile singer. Black Porcelain has delivered a rich, creative pop album that is implicitly feminine, fun & seductive, occasionally romantic, and filled with all the ooohs, aaaahs and laaaaas you could possibly need for a drop-top cruise with the femfam. 

Overall, an impressive radio friendly debut that will appeal to anyone with an itch for unadulterated summer pop. I can see young listeners devouring this as they navigate puberty, Generation Y-ers appreciating the clever 90’s references and a more mature audience enjoying it for her voice’s vintage appeal. For me, it’s been the perfect guilty pleasure for my aging taste, and while it is a massive first step in her promising career, I have no doubt her best is yet to come.

– Chris Born (Maputo Mozambique)

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Chris lives in Maputo with his wife and many pets. As you can see, he enjoys sipping on espresso on idyllic beaches. I can’t say I’m mad at that AT ALL :)

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You’ve read the reviews, now get the album. Its available on iTunes. You can also buy it HERE via PayPal or using an EFT and we will send it to you… Whatever works for you :)

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