Vivid Sounds Music & Merchandise



How to make people feel good about themselves? What a tough question! Using the picture above as an example, I’d say the old man in the Vivid T-shirt *cough* was happy to be stood next to two young beautiful ladies. There’s no doubt in my mind that they also felt good knowing they brightened up his day! I love that photo, lol!

But it’s my blog so I’mma talk about me. Me and music. I have slowed my roll when it comes to releases and projects on the go. Life does seem to happen when you’re busy making other plans. I have never lost sight of the things I want to do and will continue to do them. Being a one (wo)man band, and trying to focus on one thing, and then another can leave you in a head spin. Whenfeel like that I start to feel less good about what is going on, although, that is probably a natural response to the pressures of trying to do a lot of things at once with limited time. I even forget that there are people around me who know what I’m doing and this is where it gets interesting..


The power of social media


I have to admit that I forget about my online life from time to time. You type things on a screen and keep it moving, so I can literally forget that I’m talking to actual people. Not so long ago I was out at a nightclub attending one of my favourite drum and bass night’s, and on several occasions I was approached by people who recognised me from my presence on facebook and instagram. They all had such lovely things to say about me (hopefully all true) and I didn’t know where to put myself when they were telling me how they felt I was a strong person for doing what I’m doing, because it isn’t easy, (and that it isn’t). My batteries were recharged after that night, not only because of the amazing music and seeing a lot of familiar faces, but also from meeting people in person that were just still pictures and a name before. That made me feel good, I mean, how amazing is it to have people approach you, be nice to you and encourage you? That made me feel good about myself and put me back on track. What topped that off for me was being approached through social media by a producer who wanted to release his music on my label. I was chuffed he approached me and I did wonder ‘why me?’ I think part of the reason is that initially I made him feel good about himself. I liked posts he’d made before; conversed with him a little; encouraged him and his efforts with his music and gave opinions about it. I showed genuine interest in his music before and showed interest in what he wanted to achieve, so then I realised… ‘why not me!’


How to make people feel good about themselves


It’s about genuinely wanting to spend a bit of time with them and showing an interest in them and what they do. Taking a bit of time to learn something about them or just be nice to a fellow human being. It really doesn’t take much, does it?! How we communicate things to people is important because sometimes it can be a case of right message and wrong messenger – meaning sometimes it isn’t up to you to be the barer of bad news! We just never know where someone is in their own head and likewise they never know where we are. Sometimes we just need a bit of acknowledgment for the efforts we make and positive encouragement. We all have room to do that for one another. Now look, I’m not a kumbaya kind of person, not everyone resonates with me and I sure as hell don’t resonate with all, either. When it comes to that it’s easier to move away from it instead of being drawn into it. If feeling good is the goal and wanting those around you to feel good bout themselves then it really is a team effort. We all know the secret to this recipe but we just need reminding. That human element is what we all want, and we also vibe off other people’s happiness. For me knowing that I have a fresh new outlook with more people wanting to work with me makes me feel good 🙂


New music will be coming soon and I am so excited!!

Am I Losing My Passion?




You know how it goes, life gets in the way of doing things, and that has been the very thing that has kept me seemingly silent – life! Some of you will want to know what has happened and I really want to tell you. I’ve had some real exciting moments in the last few months, kickstarting another project, and remembering when doing something kind of big like this it takes a lot of time, perseverance and planning. This has the effect of knocking one’s confidence, testing one’s patience, second guessing one’s reasoning for everything and at that point you either need to change focus for a while or just stop everything completely. I did both. First I changed focus and did work on other ideas totally unrelated to this new project, then even that became too much and then I just stopped. I had realised that I actually was mentally exhausted and when you’re in this state you tend to be very negative about things and don’t put much effort into your work. So what did I do? I spent a bit more time on Facebook than usual catching up with a few people and trying to get a bit of light entertainment in my days for a short while. That didn’t really make things better! It was around the time people were talking about Tommy Robinson, and the disheartening thing for me was seeing the number of people who showed real misunderstanding for muslims in general, spreading propaganda, some being totally obnoxious, and some of whom were people I thought were nice people. My timeline was stuffed with these posts, and I’m glad to say that the majority of people commenting were speaking with common sense. What else got to me you may wonder? The general drama that happens in social media. The drama specifically in drum and bass circles. I’ll admit that I want to see what’s happening in these dramatic posts and I want to know who people are talking about, I’m human! But, it starts to make me wonder, ‘do I really want to keep being in this?‘ Obviously you hear stories about other people and some of them don’t sound very good, at all! I try to distance myself from the drama even though I want to know about it – it’s a tough balancing act!! Here’s the thing… all the male egos running around, all the over opinionated people who bash one genre over another, bash the crowds who go to certain events, some of the misogynistic things I hear being said about women that men never get when doing the same things, it makes me wonder, am I losing my passion? Am I losing my passion when I don’t even want to keep up with who’s who, I just want to hear the music, enjoy the energy and the vibe and then just go home! Am I losing my passion when I find the more people I know in this industry, the less people I want to know? Am I losing my passion when I can’t separate the art of the music from the minor actions or minor polarising attitudes from the producer/dj/MC? Am I losing my passion for wanting to be a part of something so niche that to have real success you have to be a social media whizz; part time clown; DJ; producer; promoter all while holding a full time job!   To be clear though I never do this for the idea of monetary gain, that is very difficult to pull off as is, but I do it for the sheer enjoyment of it. Do I still enjoy it is the question?




No, in all honesty I haven’t. I’ll be honest in saying I have lost my drive a little. The disrespect that floats around, not towards me but in general isn’t that great. When you get to a point where a lot of people know who you are, you’ll get a lot of people to speak about you and have opinions whether they are baseless or not – again not me, but my experience in how people talk about others. It feels so school yard at times, but worst of all is some of the rip-off behaviour going on. People stealing ideas, taking credit for something that isn’t their own and countless other things, but, this kind of thing goes on anywhere and everywhere, I know that. When you just go to party at your favourite raves you miss the general bullshit, but when you know a fair amount of people, when you know who has beef with who, and when you know some of the reasons why, it’s really fucking ridiculous. Social media does air out a lot of things and people these days will hear things that wouldn’t have been so widely known before.




My focus has changed from when I first got into the scene in the 90s because everything felt was just fun and energetic and invigorating. To be real, for real it still is all those things. I’ve place the added pressure on myself of wanting to contribute to the scene, something that brought me so much joy over the years and I really am old-school because I’d love things to be how they used to be – LOL. There was so much more human contact and although we can connect with almost anyone, anywhere in the world, we can also never see or be next to another human being and keep the contact through technology. I have had full on conversations and gotten to know people on social media without seeing what they look like, I’ll be having chats with a logo or some obscure picture, whilst they can see my face from my picture. Call me old fashioned but if we’re chatting about common interests and get on really well, shouldn’t I be able to know what you look like? It’s just a further disconnect to not want to be a person – I sound like a technophobe haha. I guess, that’s what I’ve realised. I need to have more interactions with people live instead of through a screen, I need to enjoy myself out a bit more like before, I need to feel invigorated by music on a huge sound system surrounded by lots of people there for the exact same reason as me, and more often. Do you know why I haven’t been out so much? Life! Because life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans!!




10 Hidden 90s Drum and Bass Tracks To Lose Your Sh*t To




One or two were released in 2002 but the title would be a bit too clunky if I mentioned that there! This is what happens when you randomly dig through your record collection, and pull out tracks you haven’t heard for years. The odd CD gets put on, too. Some of these tracks are in my favourites list for sure, and could be part of my top 10 of all time drum and bass tracks. I love the gritty, raw sounds of the earlier stuff. A lot of people (around my age!!) feel it’s better than a lot of the stuff of today. I do think a lot of that has something to do with analogue verses digital sounds, and the era in which people (around my age!!!) were brought into the scene. I could start a debate about it, but I won’t. I just want to do a list of tunes that can keep you nodding your head for a good ole time!


Adam F – Metropolis (Doc Scott Remix)

Released in 1996 this version was a great ‘glow up’ for the original – no label.


Optical – High Tek Dreams

Released in 1997 on Prototype Recordings.


Danny C – Going In

Released in 2002 on Portica Recordings.


State Logik – Technologik

Released 1997 on State Of The Art Recordings.


D’Cruze – Importance Of Drums

Released in 1998 on True Playaz.


Jonny L – This Time (Cool Dub – Johnny 5 and Headstrong)

Released in 1996 on XL Recordings.


DJ Trace & Nico – Area 51

Released in 1996 as Various on Breakbeat Science Compilation.


Twisted Anger – Faithless

Released 2002 on Dread Recordings.


Dillinja – Silver Blade

No known release date (90s) No label.


Special Forces – Something Else

Released in 1999 on Photek Productions.

How Much Are We Influenced By Advertising?

Now, let me be a bit clearer here. How much can reports of statistics affect what we do with our purchases? I kinda view that as a form of advertising, because, it’s in national (and international) publications. Alright, I’ll get to the point – Vinyl! Ya’ll know I do love my vinyl. Once you put the needle on the record and you hear the little snaps, crackles and pops before the intro starts up, it just gives you life, doesn’t t?!



Alright, now I’ll really get to the point! A few days back I was doing my usual routine of reading through social media and seeing what my friends were talking about. One person had made a post about how vinyl sales had risen by 30%, streaming and downloads had fallen – although he hadn’t put by what percentage. This statistic made me feel rather excited and had the cogs in my mind grinding away. “My next release could and should be vinyl”, I said to myself. Then, that irritating sense of logic got in the way, which brought up my next thought. “Where did you see that statistic and was it just for classic albums? How much of those statistics related to drum and bass sales?” To be honest, I knew the answer to that, drum and bass is quite niche, whereas most statistics that are readily available will be about ‘popular music’. A fresh new thought popped up. “Does it matter where those statistics came from? He seems perfectly happy to go out and get more vinyl now because the stats made him feel happy!” I had to do my own research.

Music lovers are continuing to purchase more and more vinyl. The annual BPI report states a 26.8 per cent increase each year, pushing vinyl sales to a level not seen since the 1980s and early 1990s. Sales of vinyl albums in the UK were expected to exceed four million by the end of  2017 and HMV was predicting that 2017 will be its biggest year for sales of vinyl albums since the late 1980s –  in part to new albums released last year by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher.

What I could not find was whether sales in drum and bass records had increased in the same fashion. What was evident in the research I did do was that the majority of vinyl sales were from a lot of old popular albums, but with streaming and downloads the ability to discover other music is so much easier. My feelings (and slight worry) is that because it’s written about as fact, that in itself pushes people to buy more vinyl (that’s the good bit), and when it’s written that sales of vinyl have plummeted, more and more people will stop buying vinyl, because people are influenced by what they believe to be true. This is why advertising, or what we see in publications is held in such high regard.

My other concern is that technology has moved on so much and buying vinyl is definitely more about having a collectors item. Clubs and festivals certainly don’t have record decks for their DJs as it’s just not a wide demand anymore. Older DJs tend to judge the non vinyl playing, younger DJs as not being skilled because they don’t know how to mix with records. I really would love to see a resurgence of vinyl playing gigs for drum and bass everywhere, but it’s just not practical, not when you think about the cons of vinyl:

  • scratches
  • surface noise
  • stylus jumping
  • stylus skating across the record
  • stylus collecting dust ruining the sound of the music
  • carrying around heavy records
  • losing records/having them stolen
  • expensive buying vinyl
  • expensive replacing styluses
  • vinyl takes up space
  • vinyl easily broken/damaged
  • hard to find music due to spending long time searching
  • have to organise the vinyl

There are pros and cons with any format, this should be made clear. Does seeing the advertised statistics that sales of vinyl have risen make you feel like going out and buying your favourite 12″, EP or Album on vinyl?







Is Ghost Writing Unethical?

Is Ghost Writing Unethical?

I thought about this a lot recently. What prompted this thought was a post made in social media about a prolific drum and bass artist. The person remained unnamed, but there was a general consensus that it was a small handful of people that was being talked about. I directly messaged the original poster, and he told me who he was talking about. I wasn’t shocked, I thought it was common knowledge that this person didn’t write their own music. Not to say that this person doesn’t actually have any talent, but certainly isn’t what they present to the world. Is it unethical to do this? It’s not illegal, it’s a huge thing in music and writing books, possibly in the art world, too. I really wanted to explore this. So I had to read a few different things about ghost writing and people’s thoughts. I tried to keep it 100% about music, but I did look into this when it comes to book writing, too.

What is a ghost writer?


Ghost writers are writers who are hired for their work, get paid a fee, but are not credited for the work they produced. The named person on the works takes all the credit for the work produced by the ghost writer, and is therefore thought to be the producer of the work. Why do people hire ghost writers? This is actually in fact a common thing believe it or not. Quite honestly, the ghostwriter does a better, more professional job than the person credited for it. 

Why do people offer services as ghost writers?

This chosen path of being creative actually can make the ghostwriter large sums of money. If someone is willing to pay for this kind of service, they want a professional product to put their name to. The ghost writer needs to be very knowledgeable in their field of work, and should have a fair amount of work under their own name. With a proven track record this allows them to charge a lucrative fee for the projects they’re asked to do. 

So now that’s out of the way what’s the harm?

I want to start with Beyonce. She’s a huge worldwide star, her voice is recognisable anywhere, and her looks are adored by many. She’s beautiful, she can sing and dance her ass off, and she writes all of her songs… no wait…she doesn’t! Beyonce has been called out for claiming to write all the songs for Destiny’s Child, when in actual fact, she didn’t. She has released numerous songs as a solo artist claiming to have written them, but she didn’t. At best she had minimal input if any. Her last album Lemonade had a staggering 72 writers. Yes, you read that right – 72! So how did Beyonce gain writing credits? Linda Perry the former front woman of the group 4 Non Blondes was asked a question in a Reddit Ask Me Anything about Beyonce: “Linda, how do you feel about Beyoncé changing one word on a song and getting writing credit. Does that bother you as a songwriter?” Linda’s response was: “Well haha um that’s not songwriting but some of these artists believe if it wasn’t for them your song would never get out there so they take a cut just because they are who they are. But everyone knows the real truth about Beyoncé. She is talented but in a completely different way.”

But hey, maybe it doesn’t matter? Beyonce still sings the songs and delivers it in a way that makes them Beyonce songs. So why does it matter? Is it because she tells the world that she wrote it and therefore gets credit for it financially, and also is seen as being super talented for her writing skills? Trying to sell herself as something that she really isn’t? Trying to distance herself from us mere mortals to be able to say ‘look I can do all this and this is why I’m Queen B’? Let’s be real here, though… Beyonce isn’t the only person to sing other people’s songs
and not the first to give the impression that she did write them. There’s no denying she has talent in music – that’s obvious, but people still feel somewhat duped over the volume of talent she actually has. So let’s transfer this to the Facebook discussion I was a part of.
The person in question has been in the drum and bass scene for decades.This person certainly helped to bring drum and bass to the mainstream, was unofficially labeled the face of d’n’b and has brought a lot of talent to light through his own label. This person managed to branch out and become a minor celebrity, and all off the back of being a drum and bass artist. Is it fair that they had that light shone on them, when they actually had a ghost writer, when they had writing credits on the records, but actually didn’t even produce the music themselves??? The person who posted about it made clear their feeling on this. It “sickened..” him.”Dude is a fraud and is lauded as this great wizard”. “Everyone sucks up to him”. Those feelings are real, there’s no denying that. But let’s put a spin on it. The people who ghost write are obviously very talented, but do they have a certain something about them? Can they be a mainstream, bigger than life celebrity? Can they be the face of the scene? Do they aspire to be? I feel when you have grand aspirations and chase it and somewhat get there, there will always be people who will criticise. That’s the nature of the beast. Is it fair? In my opinion – yes, somewhat. I feel it’s a mixture of feelings at play. Maybe some jealousy, could be just pure hatred of the person, not understanding how being ‘famous’ really works and what it truly takes (certain sacrifices that means you are more like public property). Fact is there does have to be talent to begin with or there’s just nowhere to go and making smart choices to bolster your success will rub some people up the wrong way. I’ve also wondered if there’s a bit of a feeling that drum and bass is underground. Coming to the commercial side means watering it down to suit the masses and lose the integrity of what made it great in the first place. When respected artists get to a more global level they change what they do and can filter out the things that made it so appealing. So, the ‘sellout’ phrases get thrown about. You really can’t please everyone in this game, but when your credibility comes into question how much does it matter? The majority of people will probably never actually know that one used a ghost writer and maybe that’s enough for these major artists – but it must sting to be talked about like that!
What do you think? Do you think it’s fraudulent or smart? Do you think the ghost writers could have the same kind of careers the face of their work does? Everyone is involved in this, it takes a few people for it to happen, so is it so bad when they all agree what they’re doing? So many questions!!

Resources To Help You Become Happy

I’ve been a bit quiet lately due to the school summer holidays. This meant 6 weeks of keeping the children entertained, and not doing much of anything else. Usually I’d get a tight feeling in my chest if I haven’t done much work or exercise. Those two things keep me balanced, so 6 weeks of not having my customary fix of body challenges and work was sure to distress me. To my bewilderment I felt great, I really did! So what happened? How was I able to not worry about things for so long? What did I do to feel so happy about not doing anything? I must stress that doing these particular things are not what everyone should do in order to feel better when getting back into the cycle of normal life. It’s more about realising that you cannot beat yourself up about not being able to do your regular routine, it’s about realising when you continue to focus on not being able to do what you normally do is the cause of laying emphasis on negative feelings and emotions. It’s seeing that the world is a unit and we all need to interact emphatically, then,  you can start to change your mindset and find optimism and compliance in the changes.

First Step to Gaining My Happiness

Recently I’d released a 4 track EP by Artilect called Fractal EP  and the tracks gained an amazing response from people which made me very proud. I’d rushed the artwork and did receive some positive and some negative feedback for it which didn’t make me proud! I’d already released the EP and felt a bit down, but decided not to let that get to me and revisited the artwork in order to make it look better, sharper and more in line with the EP name. I sent it through to the distribution company which in turn sent through to online stores to have it changed. Phew! That helped me gain some confidence back! One thing that did stick in my mind when I was given feedback about the music was how the EP needs to be on vinyl because it’s too good just for downloads. My left eyebrow raised and my eyes widened, my lips pushed into a cutesy pout and my head tilted to the right – a look that I do when a mischievous entity overcomes me – and right there and then I decided, “That’s what I’m gonna do”. At the next available opportunity I sat in front of my computer searching for companies that do small runs for vinyl pressing, read through the requirements and chose what looked the most ideal from the numerous options. A bit of back and forth emailing ensued, then I bit the bullet. “Take my money” I said in jest! Me being a vinyl junkie I knew this had to be done. The anticipation of that wait until a flat square package arrived at my very door was second to none, and a few days into the summer holidays….it arrived. I ripped open the packaging, carefully, and stared in awe. It looked beautiful, and I immediately rushed over to my record decks for an impromptu spin. My friend was right, this really did need to be on vinyl!


I did feel a bit of a quandary about this, however. Vinyl sales have risen massively in the last couple of years which is great. But, those sales are really targeted towards old classic albums and not really in the dance music genre. Digital download sales have seen a decline by around 20% but this could be due to streaming. The shift in technology for gigging DJs has seen vinyl decks tossed out in favour of CD decks or laptops. I am of a generation of the true DJ being a vinyl DJ, but that is just what I grew up through. The switch in technology has seen little need in pressing records like the good ole days. My perplexity about this did give rise to a slight feeling of anxiety over how worthwhile the inclination would be for me to do a small run of vinyl pressings. One could do a limited edition re-release? One could find out how many people would want it? Is it only worthwhile if you’re an established long running label? The uncertainty rose about the idea, but didn’t topple my feelings about the fun I’ve had having a great mix on the record decks with the EP. Overall, I was happy.


Fractal EP one off press – Huge thanks to One Cut Vinyl

Second Step to Gaining My Happiness


Being the school summer holidays I was with the children a lot more – obviously. Usually thoughts of having to be all over the place with them unearths a little bit of unease. My daughter is 11 and my son is 6. Taking them somewhere together for fun can be tricky because of the huge age gap. If they go somewhere that is more geared towards my youngest, then the older child gets all my attention to keep her going without getting bored, and vice-versa if we go somewhere that is more suited towards my 11 year old. Luckily there are summer clubs that run for a week or two that kept my daughter busy which allowed me to be with my son and focus on whatever he wanted to do. We also spent weekends with family in other parts of England and had fun day trips out. I actually had a great time. We did things like crabbing which I’d never done before and I was like a child each time we caught one!


Caught a huge one!


The weather was wonderful, the air was fresh and crisp, we all were extremely relaxed and most importantly, the whole family were together having a good time. The day ended in a nearby Thai restaurant whose staff bent over backwards to ensure my 6 year old son would have something he liked. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of family spending time together doing things together. We can all be together in the same space, but not necessarily spending time together. Team work with the people closest to you and reaching the goal at the end is what that day was about. We wanted to catch crabs, we caught crabs, and then we let them go by pouring them out onto a rock and watched them scuttle off sideways back into the water. It was fantastic doing that together and getting close to nature. I can’t believe I said that, I must be getting old!!


Third Step to Gaining My Happiness


Sticking with the family theme here, I was so impressed with how my daughter transitioned to High School. She is no longer my baby girl (she is really) and is taking on more responsibility for herself. She’s gone from having lifts to and from school, to now catching the bus on time and organising herself. My son is starting year 1 in primary school and he’s had to transition from reception which is a bit of a jump. They are lead into more academic work and less play and he’s thriving. My son has classic autism and we never knew how he would develop. During his first year at mainstream primary school, with the help of a one to one supporter, he has managed to develop his speech at an alarming rate, can read, write and draw. At the start of the year he couldn’t even hold a pencil properly, or make a strong impression on paper. In his school subjects he is either on par with or just below his peers and if you know anything about autism, that is an amazing achievement. During the holidays his speech improved even more and I do believe it was due to family time and doing activities together, keeping up with his reading throughout the holidays and making sure he had fun. We still have a long way to go in certain areas, but we are so proud. So really, my happiness here stemmed from seeing the improvements in things rather than wishing the difficulties weren’t there.


Fourth Step to Gaining My Happiness


Back to me again! I don’t know how well it is known but I used to have a very active, fitness lifestyle. So much so, that in a former life I was a personal trainer and body-fitness competitor. I had huge ambition for a short while about it, but like anything in life you need to be 100% committed 100% of the time. That wasn’t 100% for me, because it made socialising with friends and family hard. I had to be careful about what I ate and drink, chalk up to eating at regular times and in unsociable ways, constantly assessing my physique which became obsessive and spent hours training in the gym. I enjoyed the training part, pushing myself to my limits, and the hardest part wasn’t the training but maintaining a strict diet for my body goals. I started to become miserable in this lifestyle because it didn’t feel balanced for me. Slowly but surely I backed away from those habits and adopted a more balanced approach. Food became food again and not just fuel or a way to eat to minimise body fat. I now don’t kick myself if I eat a biscuit (or 10) and if I missed a gym session I wouldn’t fear that my body would revert overnight! Fast forward to now and I feel much better and more confident in myself even though I’m not in the same tighter shape. I still look fit, still have a lot of tone but I don’t go overboard. If I eat pasta with the kids, a chocolate bar just before bed, the evil white bread or half a bottle of red wine, it’s OK. Even though I walked away from the gym and haven’t lifted a weight in about 2 years I still believe it’s important to put your body through something physical at least 3 times a week. I myself shoot for 5 days a week. These days yoga is my exercise of choice and depending on my energy levels it’s either extremely demanding fast flow with plenty of strength or more relaxation and stretch oriented. I listen to my body and don’t stick to a strict regimen – so I guess that’s why I get told that I’m still in great shape. I spend a lot of time sat at a desk or in the car so I know I need to counter that with getting my heart, lungs and muscles working and it’s usually as little as 15 minutes to 1 hour, tops. During the school summer holidays I didn’t have the chance to fit in any of my usual exercise. In fact, in the 6 weeks I only managed 2 sessions at 20 minutes each. Usually that would have a disastrous impact on my mental well being because I still feel regular exercise is important but I just couldn’t do it, not how I usually do. So what did I focus on? I was still busy and on my feet a lot, going places and changing things up. There was no set routine. I went swimming one day, for walks (not intentionally but ended up that way) another, running around with my son and being generally active with the kids. This was like a recharging period where I was active, but in a different way. For me there’s always that worry that if I don’t work my muscles for a while I’ll lose strength and if I don’t stretch I’ll lose flexibility. I still had those concerns, but to my absolute amazement I actually felt stronger coming back to my body weight yoga challenges and was just as flexible as before. It was then that I realised that sometimes it really is all in the mind. It’s natural to lose a bit of strength after long periods of not training, but if you find that you’re stronger or haven’t lost any noticeable strength, it’s an indication that your body needed a break from the usual grind. I needed a change of routine and was forced into it.


Fifth Step to Gaining My Happiness


This one is important and often overlooked in my honest opinion. An imperative resource for your own happiness is observing the happiness of others, and feeling joyous for other people’s achievements, and not just your own. I feel this for my children constantly, but I would, they’re my children. When it comes to other people’s accomplishments it can go one of a few ways. You can be happy for them, jealous of them, or indifferent. I was thinking about this recently when scrolling through my Facebook news feed and stumbling across a post made by someone in the drum and bass community. I can’t remember it word for word, but the overall effect of the post was about how when other DJs, producers or MCs in the scene start to stand out and do well, a lot of heads throw shade! Now, I do get it. The scene is a tight knit one and a lot of people trying to make their mark in the drum and bass world, and everyone is trying to mark out their territory! I guess it’s like, if certain people are doing well, it takes the spotlight off you and you have to fight harder to be seen and heard. If you feel you’re fighting as hard as you can and still aren’t getting anywhere, whilst seeing ‘your rivals’ do well you may feel some envy. It’s understandable and human nature. The idea of how much talent someone has verses how popular they are also becomes discussed which tends to bring out green eyed monsters, haaa! For me, I’ve always respected other people in the scene whether I like them or not, whether I like their music or not. But when I see people doing really well for themselves (although that is subjective) I’m genuinely happy for them. I like their posts, I support their pages, I buy products or their music. Seeing people happy with what they are grafting for makes me feel happy for them. They are human just like me, so therefore I have what they have – ambition. I’d rather be happy for them and use them as an example to model myself on rather than try to chat crap about them in posts for brownie points, showing off my resentfulness. Everyone does it be it industry leaders or up and comers, and to a certain degree it is more about opinion than trying to be harmful. BUT, and a big BUT, there is way too much division and not enough appreciation. You certainly deep deep down, cannot genuinely be happy with yourself, if you can’t be happy for others.





  • Don’t let fear hold you back
  • Do what you are passionate about to the best of your ability
  • Do something you’ve never done before no matter how big or small
  • Spend more time with family / loved ones
  • Change a stagnant routine
  • Learn to relax about things you can’t change
  • Allow yourself to splurge on things once in a while
  • Keep physically active
  • Keep active with your family / friends / loved ones
  • Enjoy your achievements
  • Enjoy other people’s achievements




Edit: I am not a health and well-being guru, I don’t have everything in my life sorted out and I still have a long way to go before I reach the optimal place of being fantastically balanced. I am however learning about myself still at the age of 37 and what makes me feel like a worthy human-being. I still make mistakes, don’t always have a happy demeanor,  probably drink too much on occasion and still have fear in my heart that stops me from finding my true edge. But, I am getting better at things every day, and realising that simple little things can make a huge difference is something I’m constantly relearning. I just wanted to share my realisations about myself, because as obvious as a lot of it seems, especially with Facebook memes and quotes – who actually does even half of that? ………Exactly!! Do it, live it, and feel blessed to have the opportunity to even fail, let alone achieve 🙂





Can We Please Talk About The Evils Of Racism?


Racism is a subject that comes up a lot when you are subject to social media, when you’re out in the world, and when you watch the news. It’s an even bigger subject when you are an ethnic minority. I take this very seriously because there is no room for racism in my life. I spend a lot of time on social media promoting music, staying in contact with like minded people, and staying in touch with friends. They are all of different races and ethnicities; religions; age; gender; sexual orientation. I certainly like to think of myself as being rather liberal minded and accept people as they are, as long as they accept me, too. Drum and bass is a huge melting pot of all these things and for that I am truly grateful. My interactions don’t start and end with people in the D&B scene, nor would I want it to. I certainly come across people with some strange ideas.

Today was one of those days. Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came across a post someone had made about the late poet, Maya Angelou. One person in there wrote how he was glad she was dead because she was racist. I had to take a deep breath for a moment, step back and try to be pragmatic about that statement. I had to try and understand his point of view on what made him think that she was racist. Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, born in Missouri in 1928. As a black woman in those times she was subject to abject poverty, had a very unstable upbringing and was surrounded by racism from white Americans, just because of her genetics, nothing more and certainly nothing less. She was born in a time when the system was almost 100% against you unless you were white. Many would argue that not much has changed, but it certainly has, although non whites are still generally living in poverty and seen as second class citizens. Maya Angelou wanted equality. Equality is not oppression, but fairness amongst all people.

I put this point across in the discussion to try and get the other person to view that perspective – but I will admit I was rather firm in how I came across 🙂  I also had to think about what I’d said means to a group who are not so marginalised. Now, I’m not saying that black people or ethnic minorities cannot be racist, because I believe they can be, but I also believe it comes from a different place. When we live in a global system that favours one group over others, there tends to be a downward trickle of ideas about the oppressed groups – almost like they are there because they are not as good as the rest. Now I’m not saying that anyone who is white is racist because they are in a better position in general to do better in life, but they do have certain advantages, white privilege if you like. African Americans have an unemployment rate almost double that of the overall population, and 64% of working African American women hold “white collar” occupations compared to 50% of African American men. Thirty six percent of employed Black men hold “blue collar” occupations compared to 8% of Black Women. African American women are certainly making great strides statistically, but when you delve deeper into why that it is, it is heartbreaking for me. Black men are often seen as more threatening, lazy, untrustworthy and unlawful. When those feelings are held by possible employers, you can see why the men have a harder time finding employment. Is this systemic racism? I would say it is. The unemployment rate among men with college degrees in 2009 was 4.4% for whites, and 8.4% for Blacks. For those with high school diplomas, unemployment was 10% for white men, and 15.9% for Black men. For those with less than a high school degree, it was 13.9% for white and 24.2% for Black men.

What is Racism?

The definition of racism seems very clear to me: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. When we have a global system that shows on the world stage that one race is more superior than all the others, it helps to create this evil-devil of hate. There are certainly, in my mind, different levels of racism from different groups of people, and for quite a while now I’ve tried to understand the differences. Extreme racism does involve violence and complete hatred for a group. That violence can come in the form of murder – for example the murder of Stephen Lawrence; the idea that different ethnic groups shouldn’t mix; bullying using racial slurs to antagonise the group; racist jokes in order to get a rise out of the person by intentionally trying to offend them; as mentioned above, systemic racism in the workplace. Interestingly society has different ideas about what racism is or what can be classed as racism. It’s quite a spectrum and depends an awful lot on whether you are the recipient or the donor of racist behaviour. Then you have the awkwardness of some people not being offended by certain things within a certain ethnicity, but others being very offended. In some places it’s hard to know where to draw the line.


Can I explain My Thoughts on Racism?

It’s a non question really because I will explain it! I do believe that without power racism isn’t quite the same. Meaning, when a white person is racist to an ethnic minority, they are in a position of power. The operative word here is minority. Racism from a white person in England if you are from a different background altogether is more daunting than racism from a white person in a place where they are the minority. When their power is taken away, it is still abhorrent but also feels less threatening. It isn’t acceptable wherever you are, but sometimes the point of view needs to be switched. Yes, a black person can be racist – I said it! But where does it come from? If you’re black and in the United States and have made racist remarks to a white person, you’re sill not the one in a position of power or privilege.You are a minority. A hate crime is a hate crime, full stop. But let’s think about it. A black person in the States who has been subject to racism to varying levels throughout his or her life because they have dark skin gets to you. Chips away at your confidence, your self-belief, your self-worth. You have to build yourself up, fight the demons and keep going with your life. But, everyday is a blow to you and it’s not even personal its because you are black, not because of what you have actually done or haven’t done. When your life experiences have been that, is it any wonder that you may carry a chip on your shoulder? Is it any wonder why you may not feel very trusting of a certain group of people? Now, I am talking from a black perspective. White people have their own perspectives of ethnic minorities.

When I was growing up watching TV the baddie was always a man of darker skin, the robber was nearly always a black man, the angry violent one was nearly always someone of colour. These are powerful projections that help to mould the thoughts of people, and especially if they have never met a black or brown person before. Negativity sells more than positivity and it really saddens me. The number of rappers videos you see with semi naked black girls shaking their asses, looking loose, glorifying gun violence through lyrics, showing black women being aggressive and not good for anything else other than sex and having lots of babies by different men, all these things help to build a picture in some people’s minds of what it is to be black. Where’s the images promoting the black doctors and nurses who save lives everyday? Where’s the images showing black scientists? We had Obama in office which was on the world stage, but there are other black people, men and women in positions of power that aren’t brought to the forefront. Where are they? To me it feels like the media wants you to believe that all black people are violent, uneducated and drug dealers. The truth is that every ethnicity has those things. I can’t help feeling that the media are highly responsible for keeping groups divided into stereotypes and it’s so wistful to me. Not all muslims are bombers but lots of people are scared to stand next to one. Not all blacks are robbers, but there are scores of people who have clutched their handbags walking past one on the street. Not all asians are forming paedophile rings full of vulnerable young white girls… the list could go on and on…. It’s sickening that these things happen. All races have the ability to be good or evil, everyone has the ability to love and hate. The only way to dispose of the beast of racism on all sides, is to change the global system. Can it be done? I believe it can be. Will it be done? I don’t think it will be, and I’ll tell you why. In order for there to be equality in the world for all, those at the top would have to lose something for the rest of us to gain something, in order for there to be a more level playing field – and isn’t that dismal?

Remembering Kemistry

Remembering Kemistry

What a beautiful woman she was. Today is a day for Remembering Kemistry, because it marks the 17th anniversary of her untimely death. She was definitely one of the most influential women in drum and bass, and was part of the formidable duo Kemistry and Storm. You know how you can always remember where you were when you heard some terrible news? Well, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. I was a door to door seller back then, and went to work in a daze of shock, in fact, I shed a few tears. I was incredibly sad because it was such shocking and freakish circumstances through which this horrendous tragedy occurred. The short side of the story is that it was a road accident where she was a passenger in a car and a cat’s eye from the road was dislodged and flew through the windscreen of the car and hit her, killing her instantly. It’s a totally bizarre occurrence and she was taken away far too soon. One cannot fathom such a strange accident which was so fatal. But, her memory is with us always. What is so beautiful is that to this day, people pay homage to her contributions to the music, and never forget that at a time where women weren’t hugely involved in DJing and production – which they still aren’t, but more so now, Kemistry and Storm were trailblazers and were loved by everyone in the scene.

A Brief History

Kemistry was a DJ in the early 90s who co-founded Metalheadz, there isn’t much more to say about that when you think that to this day Metalheadz is still a force in the industry and sets a standard for many people. She was responsible for bringing Goldie into the drum and bass scene and when you think about it, without her influence, we wouldn’t have what we have now with regard to that label and the music. Her influence alongside her good friend Storm paved the way for many female DJs.

Taken Too Soon But Never Forgotten

17 years on remembering Kemistry is as strong as ever. Rest in peace, angel, you have an amazing legacy.

Popular Music – What Would It Take For You To Stop Supporting An Artist’s Music?

What would it take for you to stop supporting an artist’s music?




I was involved in an interesting discussion recently about people’s view over whether liking the art that someone produces, but finding out questionable things about their views, or actions, and whether that would make you think again about supporting their craft.. The question was: What would it take for you to stop supporting an artist’s music? I instantly reflected on ideas within popular music when thinking about my reply.
It’s an interesting debate, because it seems for some people there’s no question, the two things are separate and you can like their music but not the person, and still be happy to buy what they produce. For others, the fact that the kind of person that has such vile views shouldn’t be supported by anyone, which would give them the feeling of superiority, because they can basically get away with it and still have fans supporting them. I have a few views about this, and it confuses me that my views are not as black and white as they should be.
I used to follow R.Kelly’s music heavily in the 90s at the height of his fame. There were lots of rumours about his love of young girls, and he allegedly married a 15 year old Aaliyah – who tragically died in 2001. There were court cases about his alleged pedophilia – which would technically be termed hebephilia as the girls he tended to be attracted to were adolescent rather than prepubescent, but does that change anything? It certainly didn’t stop me liking his music, but, I did not like him as much and felt where he was once [to me] a talented artist and musician, he was now tainted in my eyes as a person. My thoughts here were echoed by other people that I spoke to about this. One person did say when I posed this very question to them: “It obviously makes me think less of them as a person, but throughout history, many great artists have had less than perfect private lives, and now I’m no longer a teenager, to a very great extent, it’s the art that’s important to me rather than the artist themselves – it might make me buy slightly less of their stuff, but unless they were the musical equivalent of Jimmy Saville, I don’t think it makes a big difference to my spending.”
So I very quickly got the idea that we accept that no one is perfect and human beings makes mistakes. In a lot of cases most people are able to separate the art from the person. But where does that separation merge into one? At what point do we say we cannot accept them as two separate entities because, at the end of the day, that person created the art we like. To promote your music on a big scale you do need to promote yourself as a person, get people to like and trust you. That’s why they do interviews, to get you to know more about them and not just know they make the music you like, and to be popular. If the artists can let people connect with them on a more personal level, it allows the fans to feel more deeply about their work. I do wonder if that plays a part in our opinions?
A more extreme case than R. Kelly would be Ian Watkins from Lostprophets. I didn’t know anything about their music and the first I’d heard of them was when I heard about the most depraved things that he had done, it sickens me to think about it as I type! For those who don’t know, he is a convicted sex offender. Now, we are not talking 14 year old girls here, but babies and very young children. I wish to not go into much detail about him as it is absolutely sickening, but I do know his fan base considerably lessened after details of his crimes emerged. I did jump onto youtube to find their music just to see what is was like, and it wasn’t bad for the kind of music that it was, I suppose. I did notice that all the videos that I clicked on had the comments disabled. I can only imagine what people would’ve typed! I have read some absolutely sickening details about this sub-human and it’s easy to understand why he’s lost a lot of fans, but, from being a relatively obscure rock band, they got a lot of attention. Since news of his crimes came out a few years ago, people not knowing who they were instantly looked up the band. I guess you can call that negative publicity!
Some people’s perversions are more on the weird side, although still twisted. Take Chuck Berry who died recently. He had a sick lust for watching women relieve themselves in the toilet by use of a hidden camera. Obviously disturbing and he had several run-ins with the law throughout his life. It tainted his image, sure, but he was prolific in rock music and had huge hits which had a legacy. Then think about James Brown, he was literally the king of funk, the Godfather of Soul and the most sampled man for his music. James Brown was a musical king in my house when I was growing up, and a black activist which meant a lot to me, being black myself. As I got older I found out things about him that weren’t very nice. He was abusive verbally and sometimes physically to band members, took a lot of hard drugs – like most artists do – and was a woman beater. Sure, that made me feel less about him as a person, but I can’t deny how much I love his music and would still add to my JB catalogue. Then, there’s Michael Jackson, and there were a lot of weird things said about the King of Pop, but you cannot deny his absolute world class talent to entertain with singing amazingly and dancing his ass off on stage! The constant stories of him being a child molester didn’t help his public relations, sure, but his fan base had started in the 60s up until his death.
I do wonder if there is a correlation between how big a star you are/were, and how bad the alleged offences were? If Michael Jackson did what Ian Watkins had, I’m sure it would’ve totally ruined his career, but to what extent? Does your existing star power have anything to do with what people will ultimately think of you? I think to a certain degree it does. We all are sensitive to many different things, and if I found out that someone who I admired musically was the kind of person that held extreme racist or homophobic views, that would be enough for me to stop buying any of their music, but that possibly may not be a deal breaker for their other fans. Most people would agree that harming young children is one of the worst things any human being can do, so maybe that holds more weight than the idea of racist views, or even murder. Several rappers have been charged with murder over the years, and that public knowledge hadn’t seemed to really hurt their careers. Why is that OK and more acceptable? Is it because the culture of crime and murder seems to go hand in hand with gangsta rap? It’s confusing isn’t it…? I do think that maybe a part of it is about the public image they want to portray. If you rap about drugs, money and murder, and get caught for that very thing in real life, then maybe it isn’t such a surprise? That question doesn’t work in all cases, like the Ian Watkins one for example. I very much know where I’d draw the line, and do think that most people would be pretty much the same.
I can go left from centre sometimes when thinking about things in music. A lot of artists try to promote very clean images of themselves. The other side of that is a more controversial way. I just see it all as marketing and nothing more, but sometimes negative marketing is positive for your brand: 

Gender Bias In Drum & Bass Part 2

Gender bias female MCs

Female Drum And Bass MC



My Gender bias in drum & bass part 2 was inspired by a discussion I was having with a few people on this very subject. It made me think a lot about the obvious inequalities in music as a whole, and specifically drum and bass because it is a male dominated scene. There are many reasons why it happens to be so dominated by men in the clubs and elsewhere, and this is something that I will go into much more detail about another time. For now I do want to stick with what prompted today’s thoughts. Today’s thoughts are about female MCs.

Can A Woman Be As Good An MC As A Man In Drum & Bass?


I will say right now that there is, in my opinion, gender bias in drum & bass. I will be the first to say that I’m not really into the notion of MCs as a whole. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some very good experienced ones who know and understand how to keep the vibe going. They know when to keep quiet and know how to get the crowd hyped up. It’s a very ‘macho’ thing to be an MC. A lot of lyrics can be quite misogynistic, violent, and funny, but they all have to be delivered with a certain amount of toughness and intent to get the crowd moving. The delivery needs raw energy and sometimes if they’re that good at the delivery, then the lyrics don’t even have to make much sense! The MC has blown up in recent years with more and more emerging on the drum & bass scene. Nowadays you’ll get just as many MCs on a flyer as DJs, and in fact more. But the fact that there are women wanting to get involved I think is great. Drum & bass could always do with diversity. What makes a woman stand out would be for the same reason as a man – she needs tough delivery of her lines, she has to command the room, be confident and have an interesting flow. Most women will draw inspiration from other male MCs and emulate that because after all, that’s what they’re inspired by. If a woman is spitting her rhymes to a club full of mostly men, her lyrics need their respect and those would contain most likely violent and or ‘unladylike’ material. I have heard some very good female MCs, the flow and lyrical content is important if I’m going to keep listening, but the lyrics need to match the vibe of the music. There aren’t as many females doing this and therefore with less to choose from compared to men, it’s harder to give a balanced opinion on whether a woman can be as good as a man. What I gathered about this subject from my earlier discussion was that most of the people didn’t like the fact that the lady MCs sounded like ‘men’. They tried to deepen their voices, and throw out outrageous lyrics for approval from the drum & bass music lovers. But what is a girl to do? You can’t please everyone! To match what is currently out there you need the same kind of impact or if she was to be more ‘ladylike’ would have to soften her delivery which wouldn’t have the same effect for the music overall. The other option would be to be a singer, but if that isn’t your bag why should you be!




Why Does Drum & Bass Have These Gender Issues?



junglists to both genders

a young drum and bass styled couple in love hugging during sunset in a urban environment.



I can only give my personal opinion on this, largely because I’m female so maybe a bit on the defensive here 🙂 but my opinions are also formed from the responses to this earlier discussion I had. This music scene, drum & bass has a huge gender slant – men.. so with that they cater more for themselves. Men generally like a tougher side to this scene so there is a lot of testosterone flying about. A lot of girls into the music tend to dress the way the men do, it’s comfortable and they want to fit in, plus that’s how they choose to express themselves. There are two ways a lady can stand out in a male environment – from what I have witnessed. Be like one of the lads, or be like one of the girls. Being overly girly doesn’t garner the kind of respect a female MC would want, she’d want to be treated as an equal. Looking more like how the men dress gets her there to a degree. That isn’t so attractive to the majority of men, especially if they think women should look like ‘women’! Then there’s her efforts on the mic, she needs lyrical flow, decent rhymes and tough delivery. That also changes the normal thinking of what a ‘female’ should sound like. The female voice tends to be not as strong sounding as a man’s, so the extra effort she needs to put in could come across as forced – another reason to say why a female isn’t such a good fit for the role of MC (by the haters, not me!) I think that it may seem to blur the lines between males and females, almost like when a female bodybuilder works hard to achieve her goals, it takes her further away from the traditional idea of what a woman should look like and closer to the general idea of what a man should look like. The idea of women in drum & bass taking on these positions is shifting the idea of how a woman should look, behave, and sound. If she is very good at what she does she will always have respect, but if she’s not ‘up to scratch’ as in like the leaders who just happen to be men, then she will get ridiculed, and can have people drawing the conclusions that generally speaking women are just not as good. So it does have me wondering here, is that it? Is it the idea that these roles shift the ideas of what women should be like are a bit more uncomfortable for some men, and women to take? Does the fact that we really shouldn’t be gender specific in roles in all walks of life sound so strange?