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I had the awesome privilege of working with some very talented humble musicians and just general human beings while recording the Gospel of Romance EP. Here is my friend, mentor, sounding board and saxophonist Jesse Ryan.

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Studio Day (Band)

Hey family, thanks for following the story so far. We got in early on this day set up go a bite and then we recorded. We did two track that night. Let enter and see what it’s like while the guys set up. Stay locked for more information as the EP comes in 2019.

Studio Day “Band Session”

It was another day in the kitchen cooking up a fine dinner. I think we left the studio around midnight. Was so much fun tracking Whoo Hoo “So Beautiful”. What was even more fun was watching Tamba track the percussion. Stay locked for more clips of the process. Gospel of Romance EP due 2019.

Studio Day (Band Session 2)

What’s up family? Here we are again working on the EP. We are at Heaven Sent Production Studio with Jonathon Hensley on Drums, my Haitian bro James Jessey Joseph on Guitar, Charles Ryan on Bass and Shurlon “Silks” Patrick on Keys. Stay tuned for more EP is due 2019.

Studio Day “Tracking Horns”

I am eternally grateful to my friend Jesse Ryan for the amazing arrangements on the horns for the EP. Here we are tracking horns for Whoo Hoo (So Beautiful) at the beautiful GMP Recording Studio in Canada.

Christmas Single Out Now…

I had the pleasure to re-record my Christmas classic Because of Love with my friends and Contemporary Jazz Saxophonist Elan Trotman and also featuring is Pannist Mikhail Salcedo. The track produced by Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung of Elan Parle. Do check it out on your favorite digital platforms and help spread the Christmas cheer by requesting on your favorite radio stations.

Studio Day Tracking Horns 2

Hey family,

We are back at it again. Today we are tracking horns for on of the tracks on the EP “You Me and God”. Trust me this funky track is going to get you dancing. Stay tuned for more clips and info about the EP coming in 2019

Belly Full

Burpp!!

Excuse me as I wipe my mouth, I just eat ah food. My sweet “blue” food notes and curried “grays” have satisfied my hunger…till…my appetite growls again. Until I allow the acid to burn the lining called my conscience.

 

Then I eat a food again. This time a little heavier, left-hand dumplings with some “greens” and some sliced “reds” on the side please, and to wash it down how about a tall beastly cold “50”.

 

But how long before the acid burns all my conscience away, then, the ulcers one by one appear. Slowly, I cringe at first, bending over in pain. Maybe it was the dumplings, maybe the curried “grays” or the sweet “blues”. I’m… not cer..tain but it pains.

 

I’ve lost it my birthright, my good name, my character, my conscience eaten away by the food. Food that should have strengthen me, developed my muscles, food has become my poison.

 

Must I eat ah food? oh yes! but not all food must be eaten.

Copyright 2013

Weeds In My Garden

I recently visited the airport to see a friend off. While he was checking in I looked out through the glass wall into a well-manicured garden. I soon recognized that there weren’t any visible weeds. This then got me to thinking, what exactly is a weed?

A quick check of the dictionary revealed several things to me – some more poignant than others. A weed is

  1. A wild plant growing where it isn’t wanted
  2. An undesirable plant in a particular situation or in the wrong place
  3. A plant that is not valued where it is growing.

 

I thought to myself that any plant can be a weed if it is growing where it is not wanted and valued. Imagine a rose growing in a tomato field. The rose doesn’t belong there it is not wanted, it is out of place. It might be beautiful to look at but it is a weed. Think about a grapevine growing in a rose garden. Getting in between the branches and the thorns… a sticky situation.

The beautiful scenery I saw caused me to reflect on my life. Are there weeds in my life? Maybe there are beautiful traits that are out of place or undesirable. Or maybe there are attractive things that are adding no value to my well-being or progress.

My wife often tells me that I am too patient. Is she right? Yes, she is. Now, don’t get me wrong, patience is a good thing but used incorrectly or in the wrong place, it becomes undesirable and like a weed. Being overly patient when you should be acting is just as bad as acting when you should be patient.

Since then I have been doing some self-evaluation. What weeds am I allowing to grow in my life? There may be good things that no longer serve a purpose for where I am heading or habits that need breaking and removal.

Whatever it is, as beautiful as the garden may be in your life anything that doesn’t fit, or doesn’t serve a purpose, or is uncultivated is a weed.

 

Bless

Where Am I?

I recently read this quotation by Anne Lamont: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

Anne’s quote reminded me of a book my dear mother lent me titled, Pulling Your Own Strings by Wayne W. Dyer (if you get a chance you should read it). Basically, it was about taking charge of your life, and owning the things that happen/ed to you and being strong enough to maintain your individualism.

That book really gave me a boost of self-belief and a new outlook on life. Before then, I was putting off many things I desired to do because I feared the opinions of others, I feared being rejected, I feared success – at times, failure.

One of my issues was the fact that I often wondered if in any way I was responsible for another person’s response or lack thereof. After reading that book I realised that I am only responsible for my behaviour. Being responsible for my behaviour does not give me license to be a donkey and to treat others badly without consequence, but I began to slowly release myself from that bondage. It is liberating, so freeing to let yourself free of the ‘responsibility’ of and for the behaviour of others.

I have been doing some deep soul-searching and facing some demons in my closet. It is not a onetime event, but I have come to the conclusion that for me to find myself, I had to make some personal adjustments. Here are a few things I did:

  1. I had to face the fact that I am in control of myself-

I am not in control of anybody else. Every day I get the chance to choose how I think, how I respond, what I say and how I feel about people and circumstances around me. Life will throw many things at me, but in the mix are good as well as many unpleasant things. My outlook depends on my choice. The people close to me, and those who do not know me well may choose to ascribe some dubious meaning to my responses. I had to own up to the fact that I cannot control their decisions and perceptions: and it was liberating.

 

  1. I had to recognise that I was naïve-

I was and to some degree still am naïve to many things. I tend to be overly trusting and always trying to think the best of people. I would be honest, truthful and trusting only to be betrayed. As we say here in Trinidad and Tobago, “All skin teeth is not a smile”, which means that not everyone that smiles with you is a friend. My solution, I became more protective of my peace of mind, I guarded the space between my ears and my spirit. It was an extremely difficult thing for me to do. One person even mentioned “you real different now”, as I went through the process. I decided that in order for me to stop being taken advantage of, I had to do something for Stephen. I still struggle with being naïve this, but this realisation also caused me to acknowledge that there are some people who are just downright nasty and wicked and they should be avoided at all cost, in order to maintain my peace of mind.

3.I had to realise people seek after their own interest first:

I remember helping others so much that I would even put off important personal things. At a single phone call, I would commit to perform at multiple events on the same day. I would be most present to help others, because my perception was, “that’s what people do”. Then as time went by I recognised that when the tables turned, I was left empty and in need. Those who said they were “down with you”, would walk out on me when most needed. It did not feel good, and it left me devastated and depressed. I realised that I was disposable to them and what I thought was mutual was really one-sided. So, I had to pull back a bit and take the time to reassess my priorities and some relationships. Saying no to requests and seeing about myself, is not selfish, in fact, it is necessary for me to be healthy. So now I have become better at serving others, without destroying myself in the process. I set boundaries as to what I will and will not allow.

 

I am becoming better at pulling my own strings. It was uncomfortable at first, because there will be some who find you different from before and less easy to manipulate, but it is all for the better. I will end this post with these two quotes: one of my own and another from the book Pulling Your Own Strings.

 

“The moment you stop allowing someone to emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically manipulate you – that’s the moment they start to verbalise all the things that are wrong about you. Not that those things weren’t there before, it is just that they lost the power to control you.” Stephen John

 

Everything that exists in the universe does so independently of my opinion (Pulling Your Own Strings, Wayne W. Dyer).

 

Bless…