Delays, Distractions and Tears

posted in: Ramblings, The Music | 0

So… As you may or may not know. Today was supposed to be the last day of pre-orders. But a week or 2 ago, we had a bit of production drama (completely out of my control). We were supposed to go to print tomorrow, but alas.

I cried big hot salty tears and threw a couple of things. I had a tall tantrum! But my sweet Marcee reminded me that I am hurting myself by getting mad at things that I cannot control. Wise. So I sent out emails, texts (allow) & WhatsApp messages to all my pre-order folks telling them about the delay.

Because we are now printing we have decided to extend the pre-order process till the end of this year. I’m mad that I won;t be able to slow dance with a copy of my album as we count down to 2013. I really wanted it to be the first to touch these lips. Bleh!

So, if you haven’t pre-ordered the album. Go ahead and do it!

Image

My Little Stars

In 2009 I joined The Shine Centre as a volunteer. I was working in radio and had a feature on ‘people who are making a difference’. Everyone has a ’cause’ that is close to their hearts. Mine is education. I’m sure you can guess why. The older I get, the more passionate I get about the quality of education South African children are getting. This may very ‘Prophet of Doom-y’ of me, but I believe our education system is in crisis.

We didn’t perform very well in 2 International Assessments: Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). It was not necessarily for me to read the numerous articles written on the state of our education system. I’ve known for a long time that it is lacking. Interviewing the founder of The Shine Centre made me want to be part of the solution. My years of complaining had, evidently, done nothing to improve the situation.

shine

I joined them halfway through the year and it is one of the best things I have ever done. I met a group of dedicated volunteers who work with one (sometimes 2) child. The volunteer is assigned the same child every session. So on Tuesday mornings I met a little girl, who we will call U, and we spent an hour together. During the hour we work on reading and writing. At first it felt like I was not making a difference at all. After 2 months, U still didn’t know the alphabet very well. Then all of a sudden she started reading 3 letter words and eventually she was reading longer words and making better sentences.

shine kids

It is my 3rd year as a volunteer at The Shine Centre and I am still amazed at how much progress these children make. Its also wonderful to see someone gain confidence and grow during the school year. When the year ends and they ‘graduate’, it is such an emotional time for me. I’m happy for them because they can read and write at their age level (and most times above). But there is a little bit of sadness because I won’t get to work with them anymore. Meanwhile they move on to the next grade and they perform even better than before.

One of my students loved to build this word because she always got a hug afterwards :)
One of my students loved to build this word because she always got a hug afterwards :)

This year I had the pleasure of working with 4 very bright Grade 2 learners. There were many hugs, high-fives and tears. Well… The tears were from one little angel V. She is very hard on herself and would often get so frustrated if she didn’t ‘get’ something. On mornings like that I would just hug her and then we would build words (see pic above). She score above 90% in her year end assessment!

shine (2)

My mornings are so empty now that school holidays have started. I often wonder how different South Africa (and the world) would be if we all became the ‘solution’ instead of complaining. I know… You’re gonna call me an idealist blah blah. But just try to imagine.

February Book 1 (Sometimes There Is a Void)

posted in: Book Worm | 1

I moved from Blogger to WordPress, so I’m sharing some of the books I have read this year. Here is what I wrote about Sometimes There Is a Void, pulled directly from the old blog:

Zakes Mda is one of my favourite authors, so much so that this month I am reading two of his books. I was reading Cion when I bought Sometimes there is a Void (Memoirs of an Outsider). I stopped reading Cion, not because it was boring but because my curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to know where my favourite authors was from, where his love for writing came from, what his childhood was like etc.

memoirs

I was unable to put this book down. It made me realise just how little I knew about the history of Lesotho and the ‘arts scene’ in South Africa. It almost felt like I had gone to visit him in his home and every day was spent just listening to him talk. I am not disappointed that I bought the book. His honesty made me appreciate him even more.

zakes_mda

I will be reading Cion for the rest of the month. 2 book in February? I’m impressed with myself *wink*

Update: A few months after I read this book I got to meet Zakes Mda and his beautiful wife Gugu Nkosi. This was truly a dream come true. I have tried for a long time to blog about what this meeting has meant to me. But words fail me. All I can say is that Zakes Mda is one of the most incredible people that I have met this year. He is relaxed and always interested in hearing what people have to say. Maybe I should also include that he is funny, we had many laughs. Zakes is very passionate about South Africa; both he and Gugu want to come back home and be part of the ‘solution’. AND Sometimes There Is a Void was made it on to the New York Times list of 100 Notable Books of 2012. I am not at all surprised. Well done Ntate Mda!

18 days to go

posted in: The Journey, The Music | 0

There are 18 days to go till we print the album and start sending out. Which means you only have 18 days left to pre-order Invincible Summer. You can do it via PayPal (shipping included in the amount). Go HERE to pre-order.

Today someone pre-ordered FIVE copies! FIVE!!!! I almost fell over. Also, both my parents have pre-ordered the album. I’m so excited and so grateful.

We are sitting at 117 pre-orders right now. I know we can do more in the next few days. Don’t forget that you could win a private performance by me and my band (anywhere in South Africa) just by pre-ordering the album.

Thanks to everyone that has pre-ordered the album. Please keep spreading the word.

Breaking up with Worry

posted in: The Journey | 0

Breaking up with Worry

Yesterday I attended a very early meeting. It was good news only. Then straight after the meeting something happened that was less than perfect. Old Me would have been sick with worry all day. Instead I chose to focus on what I had to do for the day. I’m breaking up with Worry. It doesn’t serve me. Bad things happen and good things happen. Things happen! Worry is a waste of my time.

Image via The Classy Issue

Is The Album In Stores?

posted in: The Journey, The Music | 1

“When is the album going to be in stores?

“Why should I pre-order the album?”

“Can’t I just go to a CD store and get it?”

I’ve been asked these questions a lot lately… So I’m going to explain why the album is not in stores (yet -Inshallah).

I am not signed to a (record) label. My Manager Lady and I ARE the label; 2 Witches (yes that is the ACTUAL name of our label). We have financed every aspect of this project. Every. Single. Thing. That’s why I call myself a D.I.Y Artist. Remember the remix video? It was shot in my dungeon on my BlackBerry (9900) by the Manager Lady & edited by my big bro.

WHEN IS THE ALBUM GOING TO BE IN STORES?

Music Stores are business, so they don’t just accept all albums released in South Africa. I don’t blame them. They usually accept albums from established labels because they have been doing business with them for years now. And they trust that those labels will do the necessary marketing to get people into their stores and buy the albums.

2 Witches is a tiny label and this is our first release. We already know that I have had very little support from SA Radio, for whatever reason (I stopped caring). I AM however playlisted in 36 countries and people enjoy my music. I put my last few singles up on iTunes etc and people from many parts of the world downloaded them almost immediately.

WHY SHOULD I PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM?

Manager Lady and I would like to get the album in to stores. In order to do that, we need to prove that there is demand for the music/album. This is where you come in. If by 16 December 2012 (when the pre-order process stops) we have (let’s be ambitious) 1500 pre-orders… Then we can run along to the music stores/distributors and say to them “Ey yo! Look here, you can’t keep a good woman down. We got 1500 pre-orders for an album that got no radio love (locally) and isn’t even out yet.” I imagine the Music Store/Distibutor person will say “Eff off! I don’t believe you. You should be ashamed of yourself for lying.” And then I will show her/him the proof. And then the CD will be in stores. Who knows maybe even SA radio stations will get on the band wagon (he he).

So you see why this pre-order process is so important? Let’s get this album into music stores. VIVA Pre-Orders VIVA!

Go ahead and send (via sms or WhatsApp) ‘Invincible’ to +27826436020 and get the banking details. Go on.

Lucky Number 76

posted in: The Journey, The Music | 6

Its no secret that I’m excited (and frightened by) the upcoming album launch. A few days ago we launched the pre-order competition; pre-order Invincible Summer and you could win and performance by me and my band (anywhere in SA). If you’re outside of the country and are bummed about not winning a performance… Sorry. But you DO get a limited edition Invincible Summer T-shirt when you pre-order the album (YAY!!)

You KNOW you want to pre-order the album

Since the day we announced the campaign, I felt the doubt start to creep in. You know the usual B.S that goes through your mind when you are doing something that REALLY matters to you. Today my manager lady told me that we have EXACTLY 76 PRE-ORDERS OF THE ALBUM! 76! 

To some, this may seem like nothing. But to someone like me. Who has no label, no budget, just a dream, my talent, my Manger Lady and a good attitude (mostly). This is a BIG DEAL! It means that out there somewhere there are 76 people who really like my music and believe that the album is worth ordering. I am SO HAPPY! So happy that 76 people took time out of their busy lives and actually PRE-ORDERED MY ALBUM!

Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU! Please keep spreading the word and don’t ever stop being so amazing.

Grateful & ecstatic Porcelain :)

Hang On To Your Dreams

posted in: The Music | 0

I wrote this song in 2008. At the time I was working on my first EP and the lyrics were exactly what I needed to hear. Still one of my favourite songs to perform.

Lyrics

Hold on to your dreams little girl. Hang on to your dreams little boy

No matter what they say, joy is absolutely endless

People just don’t know, there’s enough to go around for everyone

So hold on to your dreams little girl. Hang on to your dreams little boy

Chorus:

They keep us out ’cause they don’t know

And we stay out ’cause they say so

Oh don’t you know.

It shouldn’t be a secret

If you believe then you can have it

Hold on to your dreams

Hold on to your dreams sister girl. Hang on to your dreams brother man

You were never broke. Inside you there’s a priceless treasure.

Fear is not a foe. Just a friend who knows what you desire.

Hold on to your dreams sister girl. Hang on to your dreams brother man

Chorus:

They keep us out ’cause they don’t know

And we stay out ’cause they say so

Oh don’t you know.

It shouldn’t be a secret

If you believe then you can have it

Hold on to your dreams

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