Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reminiscing Boriquén

Wearing my favorite skirt from Cameroon, with my favorite shirt from AITF,
Vintage leather bag, H&M sandals, Dominican necklace by Positivo and my Melodica bought in a vintage shop in San Juan (PR)
Last year, I was invited by the French Alliance of San Juan in Puerto Rico to perform at the event Francia De Fiesta. It was such a great venue and I was so happy to finally have the opportunity to discover Boriquén. As a French girl, I must say we don't know much about Puerto Rico except this famous song from the eighties singing "Ay ay ay ay ay ay, Puerto Rico". But the band singing was from Belgium and I'm not sure but I think I read once, they have never been to Puerto Rico... Whatever. So, I've learn a little bit more during my long trip to New York a few years ago, especially by chatting with a Boricua taxi driver. I figure out, Puerto Rico was like French West Indies. An American island living with its own mix of North-American, Caribbean and Latin culture. And they speak Spanish or Spanglish.

Well, I'm not gonna pretend I know a lot about the island, but I can say I've enjoyed the couple of days I've spent there. That was one of my greatest show, the acoustic of the venue was amazing and I was happy to be represent the diversity of France, alongside artists from Guadeloupe who represented France as well and local bands.

I was playing my -classic- Acoustic Lounge set with my dear Isaac Hernandez on the guitar and Van Avakian on percussions.
We were staying at Da House Hotel, in the Old San Juan where we spent most of our time. We've enjoy local food but also a great Jerk Chicken at a Jamaican restaurant with live Reggae Music : The Blessed Café. We finished the first night at a live Salsa night club : The Nuyorican Café with the band Los Realengos. Yes! Live Salsa with young musicians wearing Hip Hop clothing! I loved that!

Then the night after the show, we went to see perform our friend Velcro, official DJ for the Rock Steady Crew. It was an amazing night! Velcro proved me I could still dance the night away. His skills and taste are off the hook. Classic Soul and Funk, actual dance-floor hits, Afro-Beat, Dance Hall and Hip Hop... Uuuufff! That was "brutal"!
Well, conclusion is "¡Me gusto Boriquén!".
Next time, I'll promise, I'll go for a more cultural day time trip.
Check out the acoustic videos we recorded in the lounge...

Van, Isaac & I

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Fresh Tune : Don't - Bryson Tiller

My Fresh Tune this friday is a talent hailing from Louisville, Kentucky : Bryson Tiller and his single Don't.
I like this sort of under-water-slow-motion Hip-Hop/R'N'B that is emerging sin ce a few years. I guess that's the new generation of slow jam...
Bryson calls his style TRAPSOUL, and so is called his album set to be released on October, 2nd.


More about Bryson Tiller
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brysont... 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Br... 
Instagram: https://instagram.com/bryso... 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I Can't Stop My Miserable Heart From Loving You

"My Love, come and rescue my miserable heart
My miserable heart...
My miserable heart

My soul still can’t believe our story is over,
There’s nothing I haven’t tried,
To shake you from my thoughts,
I even run away to New York,
Start all over again

I can’t stop, I will always love you,
Without you my life is nothing but loneliness,
I can’t forget about the beauty of this passion,
My Love, come and rescue my miserable heart,
My Love, come and rescue my miserable heart,
My miserable heart...

You don’t want see me waiting for you,
What about the promise you asked for?
I want to tell I haven’t forgot,
I’m willing to fulfill our pact,
And maybe go back to Mozambique,
With you by my side...

I can’t stop, I will always love you,
Without you my life is nothing but loneliness,
I can’t forget about the beauty of this passion,
My Love, come and rescue my miserable heart..."

Trivia about the music-video

  • We shot the video in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone and the Chinese neighborhood during 3 days, early in the morning before streets got crowded.
  • Sometimes, the camera was so far from me that I was just looking like a crazy girl hanging around.
  • My friend Gina Terc, Wardrobe Stylist, is responsible for the Goddess look but she allowed me to keep my personal jewelry and to rock my signature Messy Afro.
  • My daughter was on the set, each member of the crew rocked her stroller at some point. She was 10 month, I was still breast-feeding her.
  • The little globe on the floor comes from a set of 3 globes in different colors. I bought them after I learn I was pregnant. Each one represented the 3 origins my daughter has : France, Cameroon and Dominican Republic.
  • The pot full of Larimar stones is the same we used in my first music-video.

Monday, September 21, 2015

How You Really Look Like

Once in my life, around 18, I had like a couple of week wearing make-up on a daily basis. Until I started again to run out of time to do so before going to high-school. During a break this day, I looked at myself in the mirror. Although I found myself looking tired. I was probably tired, probably not looking that bad. But my two weeks with daily make-up didn't help. This is how I decided that I will not wear make-up everyday. 

I wanted to stay connected to how I naturally look like. If I look tired, then I don't need more make-up, I need to sleep. If I don't have glow, then I have enjoy life more. Don't get me wrong, I love make-up, I love how it helps to feel cuter and to add some glow in your face. I just don't wanna use it everyday (it's also to save myself some time though).

Wearing make-up every single day makes you forget about how you really look like. Then, it gets a little bit harder to accept or recognize how you really look like. Your little wrinkles, the shadows under your eyes, your natural complexion... 

It's important to deal with Your flaws, your imperfection, accept it, embrace it.

Those are Your very own History.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Fresh Tunes : Quand C'Est - Stromae

My fresh tune this Friday is not that fresh if you consider that it's from an album released two years ago but, as the music video was released last Monday, it makes it kind of fresh.
So, it is the latest extract from Stromae (reverse of Maestro, this is how we slang in French!). Stromae is an artist from Belgium, you might know him for his debut hit "Alors On Danse" who took over the world a few years ago. Among others talents, Stromae is able to write sad songs that makes you wanna dance. That's a bit paradoxical but it resume pretty well his vibe. To me, Stromae is a genius. As a singer and songwriter myself, I admire the way he uses French, how he plays with the language, managing to have smart lyrics, efficient rhymes with a mature and interesting analysis of our society. I'm also very admirative of his marketing abilities, in terms of music-videos, style and live performance; he made himself (with his team) a bankable and captivating artistic experiment. The key of his success probably comes from the sincerity of his approach. To me, it rather looks like challenges he dashes to himself rather than the appeal of fame and fortune. It's bringing him the same results anyway.

So, the Friday Fresh Tune is a bit dark as the song is about cancer and the music-video fits perfectly to that sad subject. Because I like to spread good vibes with my FFT, I'm also posting a more "joyful" song of him as well : Ave Cesaria. 
A tribute to the famous Cape Verdean singer : Cesaria Evora, who died in 2011. She was called "The Barefoot Diva". Beautiful song, great music-video.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

RIP Tupac Amaru Shakur

Tupac Amaru Shakur
Nineteen years ago, a legend of Hip Hop was shot down. Tupac Amaru Shakur was murdered and the reason why remains mysterious and opened to numerous theories.
One thing is sure, on September, 13th of 1996, one of the greatest and clever artist from Hip-Hop culture and beyond has ever had. His death was a huge loss.
If you don't know a lot about what's behind hiw music, you can learn a lot online. His story, his music, his acting, his death...
My favorite documentary is so far a French one by Karl Zero : Tupac, L'Assassinat D'Une Icône (if you happen to understand French). There's so many in English, I can't even recommend one.

Although he died before the existence of most of it (not to say any of it), he has a presence on social networks. His Facebook Page is pretty much active. I've just discovered they were organizing "2Pac's Social Media Exhibit". A way to pay hommage to TuPac's legacy on his death anniversary. Anyone can submit his artwork through social media tagging 2pac on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #2PacArt. The Estate Of Tupac will then choose the one that will be exposed on the official networks profiles.
There's also a website with a commercial campaign (?!) for Powerade, inspired by Tupac's "Rose From Concrete". I was a bit deceived it was just a commercial but that's good. Kind of inspiring though, but that's a trend in commercial anyway.

Here's a couple of interview that I think show how special and smart the man was, since an early age.
But music first. Let me share with you his beautiful "Dear Mama", one of my favorite track by him.


RIP Tupac, you're remembered.

If you want to check out his social networks, here's the list :
2Pac's Official Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Fresh Tune : Backyard Party - R.Kelly

R.Kelly threw something on the grill : It's a "Backyard Party"!
This tune is lovely, with a kind of end-of-summer melancholic mood but still joyful cause we can keep on party outside and make barbecues. 
"Backyard Party" is a perfect good-mood setter for the week-end.
Have your ribs and chicken wings seasoned and get ready to boogie. The week-end is starting!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Resistance And A Good Laxative

Nowadays, seems like when you're an around 40 years old woman, you have to show your ass still looks as good as it looked back when you were 20.
I'm 37, I gained weight that I might never loose without a strong diet. My butt is never gonna look like when I was 20. But It doesn't make me feel -that- bitter. Although I'm making efforts to eat better, I'm still having my regular meals of greasy food. After all, isn't it normal not to look the same as you were 5, 10, 15 years ago? I might as well deal with it and accept that as my mind and brain, my body is changing (as it always did, by the way). I don't understand why we have to all share the same sex-appeal. I can't help but feeling that it would be sort of a lack of evolution by being the same I was when I was 10 years younger.

Our society confuses me. It's all about accepting ourselves, embracing who we really are, not caring about what people say, "only God can judge me", bla bla bla. But what I'm really seing is that we basically are not fine with who we are. We want to be somebody else. We want all the positive things without having to pass through the so-necessary hard times. Kids without being pregnant, fame without having any kind of talent, some want to look like they're 20 when they are 40, live like a grown woman at 17 years old. Marriage without compromises. We have to post beautiful pictures, interesting quotes, be our very own paparazzi, be a mini-celebrity for our social networks audience. We have to have an interesting opinion on everything, be a rebel or a great sage behind our smart phones, computers and tablets. Oh, and we women are the favorite target of that nonsense dictature. We need to be everything. Have an interesting job and make money (but not more than husbands and boyfriends), take care of the kids, the house, be a good cook, a great lover with amazing sexual tricks, take care of ourselves, buy nice clothes, go to the gym, be smart, pretty, oh, so many things. Too many things.

Truth is, in that world when we're supposed to enjoy yoga and meditation, nature and simple things : we are all so full of shit.
What we really need is a good laxative to drain that shit outside our brains and free ourselves from those vain attempts to become what we shall never be.

"Resistance is the secret of joy"

As Alice Walker said in "Possessing The Secret Of Joy": 
"Resistance is the secret of joy" (a book which emotionally overwhelmed me)
I admire those who can keep doing their things their own way despite our social pressure. To name a few, I would mention, my father, my older sister, Sade, Erykah Badu, I should mention Grace Jones as well... They are Resistants to me. That's the kind of people I look up to. Specially as an artist as I am constantly struggling to stay true to myself and do what I really wanna do. I always have to defend myself. The songs I should sing, the people I should work with, the clothes I should wear, the audience I should reach, having a Vine account or not. My strength is that I have faith I can make it my way. I gotta make it my way. Because it's actually simple for me to be me. I can't fail at being me. Although I'm willing to explore, try new things, I know my Soul, neither my Ego will allow me to enjoy something that doesn't fit with who I am. And I'm happy about that. Managing to be me, defending my causes, open my mind, open some people's mind. Follow trends that I really enjoy. Listen and learn from the others without being a slave of their opinion. Think by myself. Resist.
Why not just resist and feel good about it?
That's what we need, yeah. Resistance and a good laxative.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

¡Playa Playa! My New It-Bag

Good mooorning!

Let me introduce you to my favorite beach sidekick : mi beach bag Playa Playa!
This is definitely my new it-bag. I've always been a maxi bag lover as I like to hang around with a lot of stuffs, that's my ready-not-to-go-back-home signature.
I invite you to discover this beautiful collection of bags, perfect for the beach obviously but also for week-ends, gym, city. I mean, everyday, active or chillin' in a woman's life.
It will be soon available in Dominican Republic but you can already order it on their website if you can't wait.

¡Buenos Dias!

Les presento mi mejor amiga playera : mi bolsa PlayaPlaya.

Esta bolsa es definitivamente mi nuevo it-bag, ya que siempre fue una aficionada de las carteras gigantes porque me gusta andar con muchas cosas para siempre estar lista a no volver a casa. ¡Es como mi sello!
Les invito a visitar la página en Facebook o el website, para descubrir esta hermosa colección para la playa, los fines de semana, el gym, la ciudad, o sea la compañera perfecta para cada día activo o chillin' en la vida de una mujer.

My top is a short handmade Cameroonian boubou (it's actually made for men), I'm wearing a Quicksilver hat and my glassses are from I-Am

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Escape to Puerto Bahia

Last week, despite the threat of the storm Erika, we couldn't refuse an invitation to that beautiful place in Samana : Puerto Bahia
Dominican Republic is a beautiful country, with probably all the best Caribbean can bring and Puerto Bahia is definitely one of it. I've been there a couple of time already, to chill, to perform.
Located in the North of the island, in the province of Samana, Puerto Bahia offers the perfect starting point if you wish to visit the region but also if you just wanna chill, have a drink and relax. It will obviously seduce yacht lovers as its basically a marina. From there, you have many options of nautical destination in Samana Bay.
If you wanna enjoy the night life, you can have a drink in the chill-out ambiance of first American Café Del Mar (yes, from the famous Ibiza franchise). As we decided to chill home, watching some French movies (The Search and Samba), I invite you to visit their website to learn more about dining and night life activities.
Enjoy the virtual trip and make it real someday!

Merci Gaby pour l'invitation!

Tank and sandals : H&M, Skirt : Forever 21

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Fresh Tune : OMG - PSquare

Friday is a good to hear some fresh tunes. Today, I wanna share with you the latest tunes dropped by Nigerian R&B duo P-Square. You might have heard them before with their smash hit "E No Eazy" featuring J.Martins back in 2009 or more recently with "Personally" (2013), a song they dedicated to Michael Jackson. So, here they are again with a groovy and bouncing tunes with that Afropop vibe : OMG (Free Me).
I wish you all a lovely week-end!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Livres : ma liste de souhait / Books : my wishlist

Quelques livres que j'aimerais avoir entre les mains pour une échappée littéraire avant la fin de l'été...
Here's a couple of books that I want to have in my hands for a literature escape for the end of the summer...

Mafia, Prostitution & Expatriation

Malerba, Giuseppe Grassonelli & Carmelo Sardo
Un Mois Chez Les Filles, Maryse Choisy
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie