Saturday, 12 April 2014

Spirit Post: Freestyle

Hi Guys,

So I decided to type, type what was on my mind. Whatever came into my head. I love writing, poetry/lyrics so I may do some more of these random poetry freestyles; no edits.

Up against it all
Up against it all
Up against the wall
Up against the wall
It's not easy
To admit when we fall
Up against it all
Up against the wall
What's life
With no meaning at all
Up against it all
Up against it all
The trials and tribulations
Will one day feel so small
Up against the wall
Up against the wall
Always remember
You were called
For His plan
Up against it all
Up against it all
No mountain is ever too tall
Up against it all
Up against it all
No mountain is ever too tall

-Ekeisha Edet

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Life of a Year 2 Commercial Music Student: Spring Break....sorta!

Hi Guys,

So its the end of the year almost. With the thick of deadlines over, a few remain. Last week was manic with recording for the Songwriting module and writing essays and reports for The Released Recording module (Sharing and Culture pathways); often getting to bed at 6-7am! Now its just a question of composing, finishing touches and report as the EP looms and this May we are also putting on a mini London tour for uni band  XOEO; also part of The Released Recording.

As you can tell there is a blurred line between university work and our public lives as creatives. That is I feel the benefits of a practical course like studying a Commercial Music BA at Westminster.  When I studied Food Science & Nutrition at Surrey University it was the complete opposite- although interesting there was not much of the insight into our place in the industry itself.

I am trying to be efficient and plan out these weeks as much as possible. Its easy to be complacent and think that I've got loads of time on my hands. But the reality is three weeks and hand in date for EP and EPK are so close (a week) upon returning to university.

Next week is 'recording week'. I will be working with singer Sophie Ray on a song I wrote a few years back called 'In Retrospect', a song about a relationship and what I would do differently if I could, go back if I could, things that were not said, wishing I could undo etc etc. I love the word play I used in this song, and hope you the audience do too. Next week if my blocked nose and glands allow allergies I will record a song 'Thought I Could (Make it Better)'- but only time will tell. I wrote this song around the same time, a song I conjured up with Rihanna in mind strangely. Think 'Te Amo', for rhythm and vocal delivery.

The week after is....the mini photo-shoot! Finally as a songwriter I will have photos to promote and also act as artwork for the EP itself. A fellow songwriter friend I met years ago encouraged me to do this. So photos will be coming soon. It is scheduled after Easter Monday so that means not too much gorging on chocolates my White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies to be exact. I will have a recipe up for them soon!

Exciting times are coming- composing, writing and photos. I will make sure to be blogging. Let the count down begin to my debut EP 'Heart Strings'- a piece of my heart for the universe.



Monday, 7 April 2014

SOUL Post: The Juiciest BBQ Ribs You've Ever Had!

Hi guys,

So every now and then, I make ribs. These can be lamb or pork ribs. Now, when I do make them it is a time consuming process, so I have to be prepared and patient because these babies take over a day. BUT. They are completely worth it. I now often get requests from mum to make them.

I thought I'd share my signature ribs. To be honey it varies around this recipe. But the result is always tender, sweet goodness. Never will you have a tough chewy rib again.

What you will need:

A packet of ribs (pork/lamb)

For the broth:

Water to fill a medium sized pot 3/4 of the way
2 x sprigs of thyme
1 x large onion
half a head of garlic
 4 x bay leafs
 small piece of ginger
small handful of black peppercorns
 3 tbsp Bouillon Powder or (1/2 vegetable stock cube)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove powder
 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
 1 tbsp mixed herbs
pinch chilli powder

BBQ Sauce:

1 can of tinned tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup agave or (honey/maple syrup)
 2  tbsp mustard
 1 tbsp mixed herbs 
 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1tbsp bouillon 
1/2 cup of broth from ribs

(Note: this is a slightly healthier version: no salt is used as I try to limit this, as well as sugar)

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

1) Fill a medium pan with water 3/4 of the way
2) Chop onion, garlic & ginger coarsely and add to water
3) Add rest of ingredients and set pot on the stove to boil on a medium heat
4) Once boiling add the washed ribs
5) Turn the heat to low, and leave for 4-5 hours until the ribs are tender. (You don't want the ribs to be falling of the bone but the fork must go straight through without force)
6) Once the ribs are tender remove from the pot and put into a pyrex dish large enough and leave to cool whilst you make the sauce
7) Remove remnants from the pot and skim the residue from the meat- leaving a clear broth
8) In a new pot add can of tinned tomatoes, ketchup, molasses, agave, mustard, soy sauce and mixed herbs. Leave uncovered to boil on a low-medium heat until reduces down
9) Once reduced add broth and bouillon and leave on a low-medium heat
10) Continue to boil until the sauce becomes deeper in colour. Taste for sweetness and flavour desired and add water if becomes too thick
11) Once the sauce has deepened in colour, rich and sweet. Leave to cool until warm.
12) Once both the sauce and ribs have cooled, place onto a baking tray lined with foil. Spoon the sauce onto the ribs- giving a generous coating. (Save some for extra sauce once cooked.)
13) Cover with another piece of foil and place into the oven for 25-30 mins.
14) After 30mins remove the foil lid and place back into the oven to brown. Leave for another 25-30 mins making sure to turn the ribs over half way.

Serve with your favourite side/(s). Mine are usually sweet potato mash/ coleslaw (healthy version)/corn on the cob.

Bonne Apetite

Optional Side Dish:

Easy Peasy Sweet Potato Mash:

3 medium sweet potatoes
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of mixed spice
A healthy dash of mixed herbs
A knob of olive oil (dairy free spread)

1) Bring a pot of water to the boil on high heat
2) Add the potatoes and boil on a medium heat until soft, but not breaking apart
3) Drain water and add cold water to the pot. The skin will be easy to peel at this point
4) Once potatoes are peeled, add all ingredients and mash coursely with a potato masher
5) Scoop into serving bowls and serve sprinkle with a dash of mixed herbs

Saturday, 29 March 2014

SONG Post: Kelis 'Rumble'

Hi guys!

Kelis is back, looking better than ever!

She's now signed to Ninja Tune label and her upcoming Album 'FOOD' will be released soon. She has been working on the album for quite a while along with Dave Sitek (TV on The Radio) who produced her 2013 single 'Call On Me'.

I don't know about you but I'm loving her style. We have definitely  seen Kelis evolve over time as she switches up her fashion along with her musical style; its clear to see she is not afraid of experimentation.

 Her next single 'Rumble' has now been graced with a video. Kelis nonchalantly sits on a vintage upholstered chair, with her band members appearing as fishermen or riding boats. A clever video that plays on the song itself. Click here to see the video


Friday, 21 March 2014

SOUL Post: Update and Ramblings

Hi guys!

I know I never truly left but it feels like I've been away!

Over Christmas my beloved HP Pavilion Laptop declined in health after 4 years. All the keys literally stopped working, and I had to use an old keyboard, plug it in via the usb port to enable me to type! On top of this the usual Uni deadlines etc. My Songwriter EP 'Heart Strings' is coming along guys! Alas, I have a new desktop now. So happy! So I will be posting more frequently.

Now that Spring is here officially, the days will be getting brighter, the weather a little warmer, and of course the music a little louder.

It's lent, and I've got 27 days left of NO SUGAR. It's tough but Im fighting through it. No sugar for me includes honey, and even sugar as an ingredient in  drinks etc are a no-no too. Natural sugars such as fruits, and even agave nectar are fine. Although my Agave Nectar has almost run out and I plan to limit this too. The less sweetness the better. I was successful last year and it felt great. You can really feel the health benefits- and as time goes on you don't realise. There's loads of healthy sugar free recipes out there such as healthy caramel sauce from Gemma's 'Healthy Happy Life' you can find here. And not to forget my favourite healthy dessert blogger: Chocolate Covered Katie who can be found here.

Are you giving anything up for Lent?


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Life of a Year 2 Commercial music Student

Hi guys!

I haven't posted one of these in the longest! For the Released Recording module in which we have to release an EP things have been progressing nicely. 

I'm now in the recording stages and I've found a good mic, finally. Well I thought I had before but I've discovered another and it's the akg 3000. A large diaphragm condenser mic, it gives a much smoother and gentle sound for me than the akg c214 even though they are both from the same 'family' of mics. However there is one mic left to try out, probably at my next session and it's the c414 xls. It is in a much higher price bracket so I'm hoping this will be great quality and pick up every detail of the singers voice. I think when recording singers with a unique tone to pick it up would need a great quality mic. I found that the akg 214 is great if your voice is more on the alto end than the soprano however it does deliver on clarity and depth, but peaks. I'm still experimenting with mics at the mo. 

So far I've worked with two singers for two songs on the EP- 'Heart Strings' and 'Blind' and they are both being mixed as we speak. Both songs being extremely stripped and full of emotion. I recorded both of these singers with the akg c214, which was then my favourite mic. 'Better Than Before' is still under construction. Using a grand piano I recorded the instrumental but plan to add a cajon for some rhythm and some guitar before adding vocals. The final song called 'Thought I could (make it better)' is based on piano also but has rhythm from drums. I say final song but I do have a few more I may add !

'Heart Strings' is going to be a real EP designed to be emotive and pure, staying true to the art of music. R&B/Pop and  Soul influences I showcase my earliest written songs and try to show versatility also. With the main topics love and empowerment. 

I've always written songs but creating a project has been something I've put my all into. This time last year I hadn't even entered a studio so I'm excited for the future, and the release of 'Heart Strings' this summer! To any hopefuls out there keep doing what your doing! 

I will keep blogging the progress. So stay tuned for these posts.

A photo of myself and MTV video programmer / DJ Lindsay Wesker.


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

SOUL Post: All we need is LOVE

Hey guys!

I hope you are all well. For some reason valentines day meant so much more than  love for your significant other but also love for everyone & everything as intended. Love should be effortless in all that we do.

With everything that is in the world today. Let's celebrate love always and keep the positive vibes flowing. Love some love, don't you?