Thursday, May 31, 2012

A New Hat

It is funny. I was just discussing with a friend that I want to go hat shopping.  When I say hat, I mean wig.

I am getting tired of getting my hair done for a stage performance, only for after the first song for my hair to fall because of how much I perspired. Except, you want to look nice. So what do you do?

The mere fact that I love to sing, dance, listen to music, perform and also have a good time sums it all up; my energy is all rawled up once the music starts and for the rest of the night. I can't help it.

I have also been trying to come up with a new look.  I love gowns but I also love the jazzy, Billie Holiday type look. I just do not want to have to run out to buy something new everytime I am set to perform somewhere. With this economy, it isn't even wise to be buying here and there and everywhere all the time.

Well, I never got around to getting that wig. But, I walked into the store Rainbows and saw a really funky hat and decided to jazz up a simple black dress that I've worn before because I heard that black is a good stage color for singers.  Instead of buying clothes, I bought accessories to compliment the hat.

In a nutshell, I wore my hat. I didn't have to worry about my hair getting soaked and it was great. I think I might try this again or perhaps, truly go out and get that wig.

Here's how the look came out:
The hat has a jazzy flower which I love. Made me want to get some feather earrings.
Covergirl's Ruby Slippers lipstick seems to go well with any outfit.

The idea of wearing a hat with a black dress seems almost
as if it is made to go with fishnets. I love them.

The look made me feel jazzy and I can appreciate that;
Made me have even more fun.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God Made It Happen

My friend has a creative musical project idea that he wants to start and invited me to be a part. And so I prepared myself to get into the swing of things at his studio.
While music was on the agenda, our conversation turned to the ups and downs of life, biblical passages, church, our experience and the wonder of God. Life is not easy. We sometimes find ourselves high on life; finding our way easy and being blessed with abundant flow. Things are good and we smile and walk around like the world was our own. But then what if? 

What if we find ourselves at the lowest point unexpectedly? How do we handle situations in our life that will make us do things we never, ever thought life would bring? When things are down, it seems almost as if life is over. How many times can we say that we've wondered why, cried, started to doubt and feel down in spirit or wished we weren't even alive to be a part of our mess?

Realize that we must invite God into our storms to perform miracles in our lives that we have yet to receive. We must remember to not only praise God when things are good but when they are bad also. God is an awesome God and even when we do not understand why God uses us in the ways that he does, many times it is simply because he wants us to include him in our hearts, acknowledge and worship who he is and bless and thank him for all he has done and will do; the things that we often overlook.
Rohan strummed his guitar and I was inspired to sing the testimonies that were present in our conversation and something amazing happened to me that never happened before.
I had been struggling with the ability to let my words unravel when it came to adding my own intentions and heart into praying to the Lord. I would go to prayer services and stumble over my words always wanting to say the right thing, but never really getting into the groove of really saying it. I was good at writing them down though and reciting what I’d written. I know the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” Glory Be,” but never was able to say my own words and pray my own intentions as freely as I would have liked, until it happened; without writing it down but to the sweet guitar strokes my friend played.
I have been inspired in my past by pastors or ministers as they preached their words, to write them in musical format. I have looked in the bible and found passages that really spoke to me that I thought would be great to share with others musically. But never had I been able to simply just be free with my own spirit. 

Finally, the spiritual growth I had been seeking to set myself free from my own self has arrived. I found myself very much inspired. “God Made it Happen.”  

I pray that it blesses someone today in their own life journey.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Divalicious

A mentor and friend of mine encouraged me to take a peek at how Leontyne Price conducts herself while on stage and so today, I decided to watch Kultur’s DVD, The Great Sopranos: Classic Performances 1950-1963 and it was awesome.

I grew up in a Roman Catholic Church and since I was young, I developed a pleasing ear for classical music. I’ll never forget the soprano that used to render music on Sunday mornings at St. Rose of Lima in Brooklyn. Her name was Joanne and her voice would just ring through the church and send chills into the bodies of the entire congregation along with the pipe organ that accompanied her. The sopranos featured on the DVD were comparable to her.

The Great Sopranos: Classic Performances 1950-1963 was about an hour long. Not only did it feature a performance by Leontyne Price, but it also featured other lyric and coloratura sopranos like Joan Sutherland, Roberta Peters, Anna Mofo, Jeanette MacDonald and many other great divas singing arias from classical musicians that are well known to the world.

Watching them was an eyeful. While I have found myself closing my eyes often when I emote as I vocalize, these true divas featured in the program showed real emotion and did not close their eyes even once.  My mentor is always nagging about it, but seeing them has made me see that singing loud and strong does not require your eyes to be closed. Instead, they opened their mouths as wide as they could to release all the voice they had in them, without restriction, distortion, and with all the clarity that could make a crowd go crazy.

Eleanor Staber was just one of the performers and she sang with much emotion and attitude. Her tone was clear and even though she was singing in one of the Romantic languages that is foreign to my ear, she sang with enough clarity to hear each note that was released. Joan Sutherland added her fascinating runs, somewhat similar to those that you might hear Beyonce add to her pop tunes.

Leontyne Price is just phenomenal. She has a voice with bass bottom that can pierce through the ceiling and send chills down a listener’s spine. I have some of her recordings and listen to her music, but to witness her grace the stage is amazing.

On this DVD, you could actually visualize that when she opened her mouth to sing, it was almost like her bottom jaw dropped to the floor. And when she sang, it was almost as if you could see the sound coming out from her feet, the way her body moved as she belted out a high E. Articulation was key. The sound that came out was simply beautiful.

It was also a pleasure to see a performance of a song I only heard in the past from watching the movie Shrek. The song is entitled Der Holle Rache and was performed by Roberta Peters. It was good to see it live from a diva, even though it wasn't so bad to hear in a cartoon program.  To have found familiarity with the song itself means that it was exposed to many people, and that's good.

I am glad that my mentor encouraged me to watch something like this because it taught me a whole lot. I loved watching the way these singer presented themselves on stage in pure elegance. They had such beautiful dresses on as they sang their hearts out. I have found a heart for wearing gowns. Maybe my performances have not been as grandiose as theirs were as most were singing in Opera shows, but even as an aspiring artist who performs, you have to wear something on stage and the long dress look is so clean and nice to me.

To be honest, my favorite fashion of all time was back in ancient times when women would wear those long dresses with slips underneath that fluffed their dresses out and carry opened umbrellas in their hands. I love that look.

Perhaps that would be a little crazy to wear in modern times like today, but I think that I will definitely be trying my best to keep an appearance like the sopranos on stage. Well at least I will try to; sometimes. What do you think?

The other thing I loved about these divas was when their voices hit the sky as high as Minnie Ripperton would let her voice ring, it was incredible; especially when they held their notes for like 25 minutes long. They weren't yelling, they sang it soft and had no restrictions to let the sound out clearly and beautifully. I loved it. Seeing their performances made me realize the importance of practicing your instrument.  If anyone could be an inspiration to a singer, divas like the ones featured on The Great Sopranos: Classic Performances 1950-1963 are definitely great choices.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Classical Flower Power

I love taking pictures. I wouldn’t call myself the professional photographer, but I think I have a good eye for photography. My favorite images to capture are flowers.  I walk down the streets of New York City and I see a beautiful flower and feel obligated to take a picture. Or I see a beautiful bouquet of flowers and there it is, something beautiful worth capturing. 


I guess sometimes, you can call me the one with nature girl. Okay, maybe I  am not someone who loves it so much that I would belt out an aria like Diva, Maesha Brueggergosman singing, "Nature, The Gentlest Mother," but I can say that I appreciate the beauty of it. Here are just some of the flower images I’ve taken in the past couple of weeks.


Now I love bouquet's, but there is something unique about the individual flower that makes it beautiful, like this one.  I like to capture images in angles.  The color at the edges of this rose is so pretty. The site of them adds this sentimental joy to my heart, even when they are not bouquets that I can claim are my own; though blessed to see the many that I did before my eyes.


During lunch time one day, I decided to take a nice walk through Battery Park and this was peeking out of one of its many bushes.  I like the way that it stands out.  Seeing nature before my eyes was almost as refreshing as listening to Beethoven's Fur Elise.  Very nice thing to see that can change the outlook of a day, like it did mine.


I captured this in a morning stroll through Manhattan.  I love the colors inside of the petals. The color adds definition to the flower like Cecilia Bartoli's voice adds definition to instrumental music. I was trying to make sure the color scheme of it was not distorted through picture taking or the editing of it.  Flowers are beautiful like art. There is a plethora of these flowers sitting pretty across from Ground Zero. I mean, what a place to be. But of all the bad things you could think about while in that particular area, these actually bring on a smile and I love that.



I couldn't help myself. I remember getting fresh bouquets of roses from my ex-boyfriend of five years at least once a month and I saw these on my coworkers desk and felt obligated to snap shot away. The bouquet was nice. The rose in this image that stands alone however is as beautiful as Handel's Gloria in Excelsis Deo; classically flavored. 

I love bouquets. I love flowers. In a sense I guess it is because like flowers, we are all growing with our thorns and all, trying our best to face the sun without hiding our beauty. While sometimes we try to mask who we are and what we have, we also sometimes try to make our individual beauty grow; like talent.

It's hard to explain, but I am just finding this true appreciation for the beautiful works of God. Like the amazing work he put into building the artists that made me want to blossom as a singer; Whitney Houston is just one of the many who made classics.

Besides taking pictures, I also like to make collages. The following youtube slide I created using computer based collages made with powerpoint and also other captured images, features a snippet of a rough draft of my original song, "I Appreciate," written as a tribute. I produced it in my little studio in Brooklyn, NY. If you get a chance, check it out. 


As usual, I am also seeking feedback on my music which when watered, helps me to sprout. I acknowledge that my ear may not be like yours and that perhaps what you say, might be the right amount of sunlight needed to add color to my petals. Whether good or bad, I appreciate your input. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bring your A Game

When you are out there expected to do your darndest, sometimes you just have to bring the winning attitude to do a good job.


I will call this the A game. It is when you want to make the most out of your experiences and also have fun doing it.

It is getting into warrior pose ready to win races in life, when the world calls on you to be a champion.

It is using your legs to run through any and all obstacles showing the world that you are strong and capable of doing any and all things.

You bring your A game because you are just that type of person; genuine, beautiful and willing to take on challenges. You are an athlete with the determination to became a victor.  You are simply ready to roll with the punches because that is who you are; brave, strong and ready for the world.

Consider a Zumba class. The instructor is doing all these crazy moves. At first, you think you get it because the steps seem simple.  But then, she starts to increase the tempo and the impact and you start to lose your step and your footing.  You bring your A game when you keep moving to the beat, even if you do not get the step but to simply participate in the hi-lo exercise component of the class. Plus, while you are keeping your feet moving,  you get a great workout and some enhancements in your dance moves.

When you bring your A game, you come with an immediate goal; to follow through. The experience is phenomenal.  Sure it is you who is out there competing for the trophies, titles, championships or simply just the thrill, but it is the eyes watching who see, get so happy at the accomplishment and water tears of contentment from their eyes, that flow like a waterfall just because.

When you bring you’re A game, you bring enough attitude and energy to do a good job. You are a champion in your own right.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A is for Aladdin

When I was a little girl, Disney put out this motion picture that has remained my favorite ever since; Aladdin.

I absolutely love it. Aladdin has a great storyline, is action packed and the music is wonderful. I know almost the entire script and the soundtrack word-for-word. Even until today, I can literally sit down and watch Prince Ali and Jasmine mesh on the screen undividedly.

I guess even for a cartoon, a love story of that sort is great. But my favorite movies are not just love stories. The film I love the most is The Sound of Music. I love the content of it and the music. Perhaps seeing Julie Andrews sing could have been that spark that made me love music and also singing.
Other favorites of mine are Die Hard II, Stormy Weather featuring Lena Horne and I absolutely love Coming to America with Eddie Murphy’s silly demeanor. I guess you can say they all have love involved in the movie. Even in Die Hard II, Bruce Willis was trying to stop the bad guys to make sure the plane that his wife was on, landed okay. Die Hard II didn’t have much of a soundtrack though, but I loved the movie so much, that my sister got me the entire collection.
Aladdin did have a soundtrack. There was nothing like that song A Whole New World. Do you remember it? That was a great tune.
That is something I would love to be able to do; write a love song suitable for a fairytale. I admit; I attempted it once. It was a few years back. Valentine’s Day was slowly approaching. My ex-boyfriend and I had just started our five year relationship together and I wanted to do something nice for him. I like to do things by hand because I like being creative, crafty and I am good with my hands.

Anyway, out of all the things I could have bought and wrapped to hand to him, the only thing that seemed right in my heart was to write a song. And so, I wrote the lyrics to the song I called Valentino, created some tracks and sang my song. I made a collage to  use as the cover to the single CD and gave it to him. 

I was both happy and surprised that he not only liked but appreciated it. That is big. I was even more surprised when my friend told me the song sounded like a song from a fairytale. I could only imagine something like that happening in my life; my song as a part of a fairtytale. But like Tamia said, imagination sets you free.

Maybe one day that dream will come to fruition to have a song featured on a soundtrack of a Disney or Pixar movie, or to sing a big ballad like Whitney Houston would or to collaborate with other great artists and musicians and work on projects that could mean something to listening ears, or to perform my songs on big stages in front of millions of people. That would be something.  I guess that is what Disney movies like Aladdin does; they make you Dream Big like Jazmine Sullivan would vocalize. Aladdin therefore its definitely a good movie to love because it sends a message of hope to all viewers. Plus, it just makes you open your mind to thinking outside the box. What a great way to escape the hard knocked life sometimes.

If God is willing; maybe someday. But I am happy simply to be able to create a song and share it with the world on whatever level it is. That is my purpose. Check out my original song Valentino on Youtube.

Monday, May 14, 2012

B is for Beliefs and Bass lines

Beliefs are ideas that you acknowledge as real or true.  It is to know something as factual and to not have doubts in it.

A few years back, I was working with a group of youth as a choir director. They called themselves New Generation. We would come together every second and fourth Saturday to rehearse and whatever songs they were able to learn would be sung on the second and fourth Sunday. 

At the beginning, I found it very hard to get a grasp at gaining the full attention of the youth; especially since the ages were so far and in between with youth ranging from 5 to 17 years old. They were beautiful people but I had never really worked with young people to truly be able to say that I knew exactly what was to be done. I just went with it because someone believed in me enough to make me director over the youth at my church. 

While I was still trying to learn what was required of me, I would often leave our rehearsals in tears for a few reasons. I chose songs that I thought were cool but the kids didn’t. I grew up in a Roman Catholic church. In the church I grew up in, we sang classical music. You would hear singers singing opera from the choir stand. Gospel music was a little different than what I grew up listening to, so my taste in what characterized a song as good for a choir to sing was different. 

I would get feedback like, “Ms. Stephanie, I don’t like that song. Can we sing something else?”  My ear also wasn't as open back then; I could hear harmonies but not to the T. So to try to teach it made me feel self-conscious because I was so new to doing things of that sort. And then sometimes getting their full undivided attention was difficult. While I was ready to get into the swing of rehearsing, they weren't always; even though Sunday morning worship would show something quite different than what was experienced during rehearsal; they were always on point when it came to singing the songs before the church.

I started to believe that I was not equipped for this type of God’s work. I mean, I was and am a singer, not someone who has the real experience to get voices to be as one except for my  starting of a youth choir in Nassau Bahamas when I was a kid.  It was only for a month then, but I got them singing; yet not quite like a Gospel choir. I never considered that as a choir director, I also had to study and practice like I would if I were singing the songs.
On one of my hour and half train rides back to Brooklyn from Harlem, I decided that crying was not going to help me get through to these kids. That  is when it came to me that I had to try to make a difference. At that point, I decided to write an album on which I would create songs from scratch just for the kids to sing.
I entitled the project I Believe. I worked night after night creating tracks, writing lyrics and laying down vocals. I gave myself a deadline that it was to be finished by Christmas Eve so I could present it to the kids for Christmas. And it happened; I was able to complete an album with 14 tracks which included 10 full length songs, an intro, an outro and two interludes. I was also able to get some of the kids to like the songs and found confidence to not only teach my own music, but to have more of an open ear for listening out for Gospel songs that would be appropriate for them to sing as a youth choir.
Click Here to Download on ITUNES
While working on my I Believe project, I wrote this song called I Know.  The song is about the undeniable truth; I know that God loves me.  It talks on the idea of being kept despite who we are and trusting in him. Because the song had a concept on love, I tried to add all the things I love into it. Harmony was definitely one. Another was a strong bass line. 

I think that when I hear a song for the first time, it is the bass line that I listen to first. Bass lines have this unique flow to them. In my opinion, it’s the bass lines that have people bopping their heads.

I am no bassist. I have a Korg Triton that I use to create and also have a strat which I sometimes plug into my Tascam to simply make music. I know chords and how to read music and thought that if I looked at a be-bop and scatting chord chart it might help me to create a bass line that would work well with the song.  I also had made myself familiar with the strings of a bass by looking at my ex-boyfriend playing his instrument all the time while I was using mine to sing in the band we were working with at the time. 

Ozzie Jones Jr, Bassist
I thought I could create something that sounded similar to what a real bass line might. But what a bassist can do cannot always be reciprocated by a keyboard. Luckily, when my boy Ozzie Jones Jr who is an extraordinary bassist heard I Know, he loved it and asked to do overlays to it.

He came by my little studio, plugged into my board and thumped to my track. It was a beautiful thing. That’s how the song I Know featuring Ozzie jones Jr came to be. And so, not only did I have a song I could add to this album I Believe for the kids, I also had a live instrumentalist featured on it. That was a true blessing. Please check out my song I Know and download it from ITUNES. Here is the link.

Friday, May 11, 2012

C is for control

Control as defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary is, “to exercise restraint or to direct influence over.”

 For instance, when driving on a highway, you exercise restraint by following the rules of the road.  You would drive at a moderate speed to ensure that you are keeping the road safe. This prevents things like accidents which then result in an hour or more of bumper to bumper traffic. Okay, perhaps I am venting a little about my two hour commute for a 45 minute ride out to Amityville today but still, driving is an example of control because the driver is in control of his/her car. 


Another example of control is when you decide to dress up and have a look that makes you look beautiful.  Maybe it is not to impress, but basically because you like to look good.  So you decide that to go out, you want to put your Best Dress On like singer/musician Joan Armatrading; or instead wear a tuxedo.  That is control. Nobody will turn you away from their establishment for dressing improperly because you set the trend; because you come with your own personality and individuality. You’ve got style and that makes you exactly who you are.  A fashionista has control because they control their own image. He also directs influece by making others step up to the plate and care about how they present themselves to the world.




Another example of control is a choir. To be in a choir is not an easy thing. You might have the desire to want to sing, but now you have to really think about it. Okay, I am singing the mezzo parts.  Sometimes even if you want to sing at that range, you might start singing the alto part because you hear the person directly next to you singing it. Then you have to make sure you remember all the words, the parts and the movements that the director taught you; especially if you decide to go out on Court Street and Joralemon in Brooklyn with your school choir to sing in front of hundreds of passersby like the young peaple in the image above. I know; I sung in choirs before and also directed one.  I loved teaching the parts and seeing the final product.  It was a lot of work but it was so fulfilling.   A choir member must control their voice as they sing, for the purpose of being in harmony with the other people in the choir because it is all about unity. A director directs influence over the choir by helping to open up the singer's ears to hear their parts and to get that beautiful final product; the song sung by them and executed well.  


Another example of control is producing music.  I see it as I put together this album that I am finally working on. My producer sits in front of his panel and controls the way he wants everything to sound. He cleans it up and gives the music this quality sound. I have tried it before; sitting in front of a panel and working all night to try to make a track sound clean, only to wake up the next day, listen back and find that it sounds exactly the way it did before you started trying to mix it.  My producer Ack  of Thundertraxx Studios got his thing on lock. He knows what to do and that is control; being able to use your expertise to make things happen right. A producer controls the flow of the track because his job is to create art. He also directs influence by inspiring the singer, rapper or whoever is in the vocal booth to approach the music differently.

I am learning somewhat of control now. Sad to say, that I let myself go a little farther than I’d hoped. A few years back, I gave up meat and rice and started working out seven days a week. In three months time, I lost 50 pounds and went from a size 14 to a six.  As fast as I lost it, I gained it back and even more because control lost its hold on me.  But then recently, my loss of control has taken a turn for the worse; a warning from my doctor telling me that I need to relearn control after crazy things started happening to my own body. And so, in order to prevent my life from being controlled by controlled substances, I have started reclaiming myself and I am doing a tad bit better. I know that God made me stronger than the things that make me turn away from my own health because he built me to know what control is even though I lose my way sometimes.  So I let go and let God lead the way because in all honesty out of all things that I may have control over, I know the truth is that God is in control.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

D is For Different Now


Every now and then,
a lyrical flow hits me.
Every now and then.
words just pass through me.

So I let them out on paper until the storm is done.
This one here is about a situation;
about a past love.
We used to be tighter
than a hand in a glove
until suddenly,
our romance got broken up.

Tears fell and things changed
Nothing was the same
because I missed him in my life.

Yet still we put out the burning flame.

We spent years together
until that one night

when he came into my door

and showed me his true light.
But after hurt and pain was gone, I realized
that I'm a strong, smart and pretty girl

and that he may have been my once
but not the only man in the world.

And when that thought came to mind
new love entered my life
and that’s when he decided to try to come back in;
his ideas and attitude seemed so interesting then.
So this song came about
with my past in my mind
and also because my boy, drummer Armand Collins

Click Here to Download on ITUNES

had a beat he let me try.

So to his beat I added a bass line,

some lyrics, a short rhyme, singing and harmony
Everything is Different Now is the name of it
Like Rakim would say, please, “check out my melody.”
If you want to support my music,  find it here on Itunes

Produced by Armand; As for me, I wrote the lyrics and Co-produced.

Monday, May 7, 2012

E is for Exercise Dancing


Katherine Dunham in dance mode
from FountainheadTanzTheatre's Website
I tend to think that I am somewhat of a dancer. I mean, I am no Katherine Dunham, but I know how to move somewhat when the music is right. I like to dance. I can’t keep still when I hear something sweet to my ears. Plus, dancing is fun and just adds a lot of positive energy to my day. 


My friend recently told me about a Zumba class that she started taking at the gym. Eventually, I am going to try to make it there once the school semester is over, but while it is still ongoing, I do not always have time to make it.

That was the case today. So decided to take matters into my own hands and utilize my Nintendo Wii while it is still working.  I was dancing with the stars without even sitting down in front of the television being lazy and watching the ABC show; though I love the show, vote for my favorites on the usual and see some great dancing on there. I think Cheryl and her partner William might take it this year, but have some competition with Maria and Derek  making dancing look like beautiful art. I  got one of the Dancing With the Stars DVDs to try and do some of their dance workouts and routines  every once in a while which is also a really great exercise tool.  
I tried the Wii game Just Dance 1 before, but never tried Just Dance 2 until today.  I absolutely love it. It has a lot more musical selections than the former and the dancing is so intense.

I thought I was a great dancer before until today when I couldn’t keep up with the dance moves. I mean, when I am singing and get on stage, I don’t like to just stand there; I dance.
To add to that, I take a Hi/Lo Aerobics class at my Bally’s Fitness and it is an intense class that involves dancing and I really move in there. My instructor’s voice constantly screaming out “energy” keeps me going. With that in mind, I thought I’d be able to survive this Nintendo game and found out that it is even harder than the Michael Jackson for Wii.
I tend to add a teaspoon more energy than is needed. Consider someone who when first finding out about Abs, Buns, and Legs of Steel, did all three programs back to back without resting. I could hardly move that day after the workout was over, but boy did I feel great while doing the workout.

I think maybe when Just Dance 2 told me I met my target goal for the day that it was meant for me to stop. But I kept going a little longer and found more songs I loved. And so, I kept on  dancing some more to songs like Proud Mary, Crazy in Love, S.O.S., Hey Ya and I Want You Back and had an awesome time doing it.

My bones and muscles might be saying a different story, but it is my own fault for not stretching. Exercising with dance requires the same stretching and warmup format you would do prior to running to keep from pulling muscles or hurting your bones; even if it is just a game.

Dancing overall is a great workout. It is cardio, so is excellent to get that heart pumping. I got my body moving and felt like I was on the dance floor. 

It is not necessary however, to invest in an expensive platform just to get exercise dancing. You could simply turn on the radio to your favorite station or put on some of your favorite upbeat songs and just dance until the break of dawn. Or maybe you could put the popcorn down, get up and try to imitate the dance moves of the instructors and their partners on Dancing with the Stars, while it is on. 

Dancing is fun when done with groups, family and friends or even on the solo tip. If you want to exercise dancing, there is nothing stopping you. I mean, who doesn’t know how to do what Marcia Griffiths was singing about in her song Electric Slide. Don't get me wrong but can't that dance be done to any song? I think I am the pro at that dance. Check out my cover version of it performed at a 90th birthday party. 





If the elderly (85 and up) in the video can move to the beat well and without getting tired at all, I have absoloutely no excuse. But that is not the only line dance that gets you moving. I love the dance called the bus stop too. And the Cha Cha slide is pretty cool.  I know there are more and more created every day that I might not be totally hip to, but any dance will work; as long as it gets your body moving and your heart pumping.

Now I know that with cardiovascular workouts, one does not lose weight but inches. Still, I think I lost about a ton of stress. I am in happy zone and that is what dancing can do; add a little sugar to your day. Your heart will thank you later.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

F is for Fresh 16

I missed a couple of letters from the AtoZchallenge that I took part in during the month of April. It was a great challenge for bloggers to find some kind of inspiration to write something everyday. For me, it was beneficial because my major in college is English. I have hopes to become a writer someday and so any writing prompt is a good push for me. 

I started about a week late at G and missed A to F and decided hey, why not let those letters give me inspiration to write also. And so I intend to go backwards with the letters that I missed starting with F.


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F is for a song I wrote called Fresh 16. I wrote the lyrics and my boy Derrick “D-Rod” Smith wrote the track.

Defined, a Fresh 16 is a musical sequence of 16 bars. With 16 bars a writer, singer or musician can create about a verse of music. This song is literally talking about connecting with someone and doing somewhat of a musical compilation. What becomes of it is love or a melody and song.

I write a lot about music because that is my first love. I can relate music to that passionate feeling of love and it seems just right.

This song was created at D-Rod’s studio out in Babylon, Long Island.  I was not driving at the time so for me to take an hour and a half train ride out there every single week was a big deal for me. D-Rod is a brilliant producer and I appreciate how much he is into what he does. He has some pretty dope tracks and it was he who first ever gave me the opportunity to record anything. We used to have sessions every Sunday, work literally from sunrise to sunset, and put together two or three songs each session. Those were great times. Fresh 16 is just one of the many songs we completed together.

Download it on ITUNES. Here is the Link: Link to Fresh 16 On ITUNES