Songwriting

It’s currently 3am, and I find myself pulling out my journal & pen again. I find that my best ideas come around this time.
I have been anticipating the release of my new music, but I also know I have a long ways to go in getting my single & my EP just right.
I want it to embody everything I am as both a struggling & growing artist in my own right.
If you scroll way back into the early posts of my blog, you’ll find some poetry pieces I’ve written throughout the year(s).

For as long as I’ve remember, I’ve always had a liking to poetry.I wrote my first ‘real’ poem when I was 8, which was then hand picked by my teacher for me to recite in class. This poem (though I do not remember verbatim) was about a star & how bright it shines. Fast forward to high school, and I submitted a poem for my theology class in which my professor (a Yale graduate) had referred to me as ‘gifted’. And I didn’t quite understand. Years later, and I found myself sitting in a poetry class in college. Some had praised me for my musicality in my poetry.. And since then was when I decided to hone in on my poetry skills. And not to say, I love music as well. Combine the both, and you’re in the world of songwriting. Moral of the story?

This is not to brag or boast but to spread the message of never giving up on something that brings you joy, regardless of the doubt & uncertainty. Follow your heart & trust yourself. You’ll only become as good as the what you give & feed into the process. If you’re good at it and/ or it’s your passion even if your work receives not response or even criticism, keep doing it. Chances are you’ll only get better and spread this inspiration to others too.

Anyhow, as you can probably tell by the batches of posts I’ve been posted, I have had my creative juices flowing.
I also have been putting my energy & love into my songwriting. Drafting, editing, revising, just to do it all over again, so it has the sound I envision. It’s so important I get it right and it mirrors who I am as an ‘artist’, regardless of the numbers it reach. I will definitely keep you updated on further progression in my EP journey. so much more to do, but so much to be excited for too.

How about you guys? What brings you immense joy & you would love to get better at, but don’t feel it may be entirely recognized?
I would love to hear from you guys below!

Much love,

x Lo


Upcoming Artist: Yebba

Been following Yebba (Abbey spelt backwards, full name Abigail Elizabeth Smith) for a while now, and I am so glad she is know getting the recognition she deserves. Yebba is known to perform quite frequently in an artist local showcase in various states like Los Angeles & New York known by the name SoFar Sounds (which is one my dreams to perform at one day). And every time, she does not fail to deliver. With a wide range, melodic rungs, and milky smooth tone, I hope ya’ll enjoy this one. Yebba just realized a new album “Distance” (2020) which is heaven sent. feel to check it out below.

For All Lambilys

I think it might be safe to say Mariah is living legend. Though 2020 Mariah may not sound like 90’s Mariah Carey, no one could deny her international/ commercial success as a one of the greatest vocalists who has made a name for herself in an industry that many artists like to call cold and dark. While her gift (of many including songwriting) has perked the ears of many, softened the hearts of others, and opened the gates of heaven, her unique ambition is truly what set her apart. Carey had a vision that forever changed the game of the industry, setting the bar high for those who truly cared for and wanted to create music. And as someone who absolutely loves music and deeply idolizes her, I could hear it clearly in her artistry & music. You guys know, as an aspiring singer and musician, she will forever be a hero, not only to many others out there, but also for myself. She has yet to receive the respect she has worked for and rightfully deserves. Only five grammy’s in span of 30 years of her career? Ha, her son, Moroccan, said it best, “The Grammy’s are bo-ing”.

post-quarantine: all that jazz (& festivals)

So I know we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and we are all without a doubt quarantined in our homes under the shelter-in-place policy, so you’re probably wondering how on earth this article might be of use for you at this time?

truthfully, it’s not. However, I’ve realized what harm will it do to keep this list when you’ve had your share of Netflix binges & awful sleep schedules from not seeing the light of day for months (or year as predicted), to coming to the other side of this with our minds & bodies ready to explore & relive life as we once remembered.

Well, I figured this pandemic is going to subside eventually and this makes use for a good time once the chaos and this anxiety-ridden catastrophe is over– for good. That is if we remember how to have fun, that is.. And I know that my audience ranges from age teens to older adults, but no body said jazz is only for one page group? I mean how awesome would it be for more people my age (early/ mid 20’s) to be exposed to the gift of jazz? I wish that’s where the direction of our generation’s music would head, but I won’t hold my breathe.

Anyhow, I was watching a the documentary Quincy, which you can read about here on my article review if you’re interested, and the talk about jazz festivals. And it dawned upon me… why don’t I share this with you guys here? I mean who wouldn’t like to indulge in great company and great music?

Given that these events are subject to change due to COVID-19, below are some of the biggest (local) festivals that you may have you in mind when the time comes:

Rochester International Jazz Festival
October 2-10, 2020
Established in 2002 and presented by M&T Banks, Rochester International Jazz Festival takes place in June every year in Rochester, New York.
They do host free shows / events which you can find more about here.

Acura Celebrates 20 Years as Proud Sponsor of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 22- May 2, 2021
New Orleans is known for its rich and lively culture. And of course, for it’s strong culture in jazz since New Orleans is the birth and home of jazz.
New Orleans “Jazz Fest” was given its name due to the local unaffiliated night clubs in the area during the festival weekends. I’d absolutely love to one day attend this festival, and would definitely make this the top of my list. You can keep updated on their website here.

Montreux Jazz Festival
2020 cancelled; TBA
The Montreux Jazz Festival is held annually in July and takes place in the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
At my work at KJazz, we host seasonal sweepstakes where listeners can win a trip to amazing locations to witness & enjoy all that we call Jazz.
I’ve been told these festivals are magical, you can learn more about them here (might want to translate to English) and if interested tune to KJazz 88.1FM to sign up for sweepstakes when they are available.

Chicago Jazz Festival
August 28- September 26, 2020
The Chicago Jazz Festival is a four-day celebration of jazz located in Millennium Park in the loop area of Chicago.
The Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago (JIC). Best part, admission is FREE.

Newport Jazz Festival
2020 Cancelled, TBA
The Newport Jazz Festival is a music festival held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island.
You can search their site here for updates on the next Newport Jazz Festival.

Black Sea Festival
And lastly, I know this might be a reach, but I thought it would be worthwhile to share anyway.
The Black Sea Jazz Festival is an international jazz festival held annually, traditionally in July, in Batumi and nearby locations on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, which, along with Tbilisi Jazz Festival, is one of the country’s main jazz events. These festival is one of the biggest in the world mostly because of it’s location which is on the Black Sea. great music & a view? life’s gotta be good.

New Account on Pinterest

As you know sole objective behind my site is spread my love and knowledge for arts & the music– which is what in part led me to create a Pinterest account!

I know for me, and as many others do too, I used to think Pinterest was a way to solely find aesthetic/ cute pictures to browse (which it’s fantastic for) but it didn’t occur to me that I could also use it as a platform to attract more audience to my site, and in effect, inspire may art/ music fanatics out there (woo hoo). It’s crazy how much opportunity there are out there with a simple touch on your mouse pad. I feel more than ready to really put myself out there & create a brand that I have always dreamt of creating. (And again, I thank you each of you for your support & encouragement to allow me to do so)

Anyhow, on my account, I created boards which are organized into an array of genres including: pop, country, soul, jazz, rock, etc. And within those genres, I have divided them into era’s which I think will make it that much easier for viewer to consume & also provide all visitors with a timeline behind the music & artists– as history is important in learning, conceptualizing, and understanding the evolution of music world today.

I am so excited by what I have come up with so far & only hoped it has inspired you. Whether that means searching up a music video on Youtube just to relisten to it, researching a song out of curiosity, or maybe bringing you back in a time or place in your life that evokes some feeling. My Pinterest account will act as extension of to my site, and am stoked for you guys to check it out!

You can find me on Pinterest here.

Netflix Documentary: Homecoming (2019) Review

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so ya’ll might not be surprised about this one.. I mean, how can I run a music blog but not talk about Beyonce right?

As you can tell from the title, along with my other Netflix binges, I watched Homecoming not too long ago. For those of you not familiar, and I quote, “the film finds the artist getting candid about her journey to her historic Coachella set. Beyoncé’s headlining set at Coachella in 2018 was a master class in pop performance: an instantly iconic celebration of blackness, HBCUs and her own historic 22-year career” (Rollingstone.com). Now, I don’t think anyone can truly get tired of Beyonce. I mean she might not be a-so-called-“legend”, but she has paved a way for many artists in this generation and has done so in an iconic fashion. She is talented & very hard working.. and how can you give criticism to someone like that?

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But that is not to say (and im sorry to say & beehives don’t come for me– or do) that I exactly identify as a Beyonce Stan. Because quite frankly, at one point, I considered her quite overrated. I just didn’t exactly understand the hype of Beyonce throughout my high school years when her career was in her prime circa 2012-2014. While she is a great vocalist, I think the over-sexualization of her image kinda offsets me, which is sad to say because I do admire her as a vocalist. And to me, for the amount of fame and glory she got.. something was lacking and wasn’t hitting right in her music for me. I guess she didn’t exactly possess quite the same charisma & poise (& perhaps technicality?) that the late great Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey had/ have, which might be why they had to up sell her image? might sound odd, not entirely sure. Or maybe it was because I simply didn’t want to identify with the homogenous opinion & wanted to go against the grain? Is that what truly great artists force people to do? Idk what to think honestly. All I feel I can say is, coming from a musical stand point, Beyonce does not compare or even come close to these legends (regardless of how much fame & public praise she attains). This might upset a lot of Bees out there, but it’s only my personal opinion, though an unpopular one, that I’ve only had the courage to share.

But all tangents aside, the documentary was entertaining while informative, as it dips into the empowerment of the black culture– which I am entirely in for (I graduated with a b.a in sociology. so go figure.) while using Beyonce as the “face” or representation of black culture. But I do have to point out my observation, and call me a critic, in that while she does identify as African American, I don’t think she is entirely accurate representation or exactly the most epitomic figure of the movement only because (and wait for it) she is considered the lighter of African Americans. As we may all infer and I think it is fair & safe to say, much the same way colored people do than white, African American women of darker color do experience much more discrimination and injustice. While she may speak for African American, she cannot necessarily represent the very true population/ culture/ story of the black community; she would be, in a lack of better words, the privileged of the minority. I mean do we have to talk Destiny’s Child? Can we even relate her strive to stardom with the historical struggle of an entire oppressed generation of people? But I guess this is a discussion we might have to save that for another topic as I don’t want to delve into that here.

All in all, the film was not entirely a disappointment. I noticed how the film did refer to the Great Miss Nina Simone and her profound message of BLACK power– which you can read here. If you have been following my blog for quite some time now, you’d know that the very first post I made was dedicated to the High Priestess of Soul. I admire her for her intellect, genius, grit, & her musical gift. They also quoted W.E.B DuBois, a sociologist who coined the notion of “double consciousness” (I can go more into this on another post as well if interested). The film showcases what hard work (and a little bit of luck) can bring you all the while celebrating the beauty of black culture in all its glory. And who wouldn’t want to experience that?

Be sure to add Homecoming on watchlist, and let me know your thoughts below!

we did it: we hit 200

wow, what can I say..
it’s honestly been such a long time coming guys.

I literally gave birthed the idea of creating blog back in 2016. my love for the music, arts, vlogging, and writing led me here. that was four years ago! four years ago. (& counting of course) but sheesh! And she’s only growing! & just recently, very quickly!
I know I could have spent much more time only my blog all these years, but know that this blog has always always been on the back of my mind. I found it really difficult to make the time & be in the right creative space to produce for you guys (in the midst of school, working 3 jobs, and others problems, etc). but I am glad I am back on track. I am only finding my niche, sound, & style as an artist and am only continuing to develop over time. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
I always put in the energy that I can when working on my blog. For those who are new, thank you for joining me on this journey. You are bound to find something on here that will pique your interest.

My blog/ site is like my baby and I’m only here to nature here & watch her grow!
For those who follow, leave a like/ comment, or simply visit.. Thank you! For those who have been with me since day 1, you guys are everything! I really don’t know where my blog would be if wasn’t for you guys!

There’s always much, much more coming on the arisen so, as always, stay tuned!

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revamped my site may ’20

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sorry to bombard ya’ll feeds tonight, but I just got this ‘zoomie’ of energy, creativity, and inspiration couldn’t help it!

Anyhow, did a total reconstruction on my blog site. I worked really hard on it (almost all night) & would love for ya’ll to check it out! You know I love to keep you guys updated & in the loop in terms of new content that I post– whether it be on my blog, my instagram(s), yt channel, etc.. I always make sure I feel that the content I post is of some quality and/or value for ya’ll or for me as an artist/ individual or I wouldn’t be posting it!

Well that’s enough of me talking, go check out my new site! go go go!

Aretha Franklin “What you See Is What you Sweat”

Ya’ll if this song doesn’t get you up & moving, stirring your soul.. oof! child!
I don’t know what will! So, so, so grateful to have grown up with such legendary artists to bless my soul & ears

He’s sweatin’, he’s got to conquer, he’s sweatin’ by the hour
He’s sweatin’, he’s got the taste, still sweatin’ on the flower
He’s sweatin’, he can’t stand it
He’s makin’ moves that’s how he planned it
He’s not satisfied with the best, he’ got to check out all the rest

The Dramatics “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get”

Who else loves stumbling across great music? I know I do!

In the midst of editing my first youtube video (which you guys should check out! & pls cut me some slack I was kinda nervous if you couldn’t tell LOL), I came across just the right song I needed for an reference in my video. If ya’ll been following me for a while, you would know how much I love old-school classic soul music, which is what I found. I couldn’t wait to present it in my Saturday Shazam Series (where I collect all the greatest songs I’ve found & share em all with you here) so I thought I’d make a separate one here.

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Okay, enough of my rambling it is Thee Dramatics “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get”. Never heard it in my life but so glad I came across them! Feel free to groove to it and check it out here.

much love,

x Lo

Netflix Documentary: Amy (2015)

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Just finished another documentary, Amy (2015), and hadn’t realize how much of a true talent Amy Winehouse is. To provide some context, Winehouse is an English singer- songwriter. She was known for her deep, expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues and jazz. Before watching the film, I had absolutely no idea that Winehouse was mostly influenced by jazz singers such as Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, and Tony Bennett. It makes so much sense now. Her songwriting ability and vocal gift only has inspired my own creativity an artistry. (For those new to my site, I currently work at KJazz 88.1FM & am always excited when hearing about new jazz music). Anyhow, when I first heard Valerie by Amy Winehouse I fell instantly in love with her sound.

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To see how her life ended with such tragedy through the highs & lows of her career, battling alcohol & drug addition, was absolutely heartbreaking to me. The film showed the dangers of fame combined with pressures from the media and world watching you. It is not for the faint of heart. It does sadden me that her addictions weren’t taken as seriously as they should’ve and were overlooked by those who managed her career; and that those who did reach out to her couldn’t get to her. It also really shows how powerful music can be in transcending individuals from a dark place, giving light to those listening. However, I feel that Winehouse has blessed the globe with her talent and music, leaving her mark to inspire following generations.

I hate to give out all the details, and totally recommend ya’ll give the film a shot on Netflix.

new content on instagram

I am trying my very best to create in spite of this inexplainable slumber I am feeling during these times. It’s such an odd time, isn’t it? At least that’s how I feel, but as an artist, I also know this time is a gift for all creatives as this provides us an God given opportunity to spend more time into our artistry and craft. and no doubt I feel blessed & quite rejuvenated! This couldn’t have came along a better time in my life..

Anyhow, I just posted new content on my instagram which I encourage ya’ll to check out which you can find here. I know I’ll be creating much much more!  If ya’ll have any song requests, I would love to hear them! I have a whole list of songs I would like to cover but haven’t found quite the right inspiration and space to do it (which truly makes me sad). As I have already begun my songwriting process and have found so much joy in the creative process of my EP, alongside other musical pieces I have been working on here & there. Anyhow, hope ya’ll enjoy & thank’s for sticking with me!

5/11 Mariah Carey Performs Live At Rise Up New York

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Sorry I’m a bit late on this guys, but nonetheless thought this post was worthy to post and inform ya’ll about~

Such an amazing way to celebrate Mother’s Day, and of course, to provide relief for those needed in the midst of this pandemic.
What better gift than for me Mariah Carey to serenade us into a deep musical slumber or sending us on a magic carpet ride to the moon?

(And not to mention, she sang one of my favorite songs, and of course most commonly talked about here on my blog.. “Make It Happen”. Not only is it the musical composition, but the lyrics and message of the song. It just hits home in the right way for me.)

Anyway all jokes aside, 2020 Mariah has not lost her mojo in spite of what the media and public mock her of! She did some things in there that people can only wish they can honestly! Not only her voice, but her motive behind participating in this event brings me great joy. The Robin Hood Relief Benefit is a fund created due to the pandemic of COVID 19 to provide nonprofit organizations. 100% of donations will provide emergency support through food, housing, job security, and more. These times can be extremely rough for some, but these events that many musicians participate in give me massive hope for the future! What better gift than to share your love of music behind a purpose to serve the community and vulnerable?

Feel free to watch it below to find out for yourselves!

Oh, & happy belated Mother’s Day ya’ll & sending my prayers to those needed due to COVID-19.

Netflix Documentary: Quincy (2018)

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Quincy Jones

So, I was ecstatic (faced with a tinge of self-disappointment for being late) when I was mindlessly scrolling through my Netflix dashboard and came across a documentary film about the great Quincy Jones. Not hesitating to click the film, I watched the whole thing entirely. in one sitting & no breaks. By the end of the film, I had absolutely no regrets.

For those who aren’t familiar with Mr. Jones.. first off, shame on you. I’m kidding, but how can you live your life blissfully without knowing this man? Not to sound dramatic or anything, but not entirely sure if you have experienced life. All jokes aside, Mr. Jones is a game changer. He is an American record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer who began his career in the 1950’s. He started off as a conductor— working with jazz ensembles and orchestration by learning alongside some of the greats in the game. Decades into his career and he learned all the trades he can, he worked for Mercury Records as executive president in which he mastered his hand behind music production. With a knack for film scoring, Jones also then got into film which proved to be a pivotal moment in his career as he became the mentor who birthed the biggest name in the industry— the great Michael Jackson.

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Some of his biggest works include: =The Color Purple (Oprah Winfrey), The WizThriller & “We Are The World” by Michael Jackson, to name a few. Almost 80 years later, and he remains a driving force in the world of entertainment.

I found this film enlightening because I found his personal struggles (both personally and professionally) very inspiring. Jones came from a broken home and was haunted by a broken relationship with his mother much throughout his life that influenced and bled into his professional career. However, he used this void and hurt to drive his creation and vision, ultimately bringing him to high levels of success and accomplishments. For me personally, I found resonance in his story that feels almost identical in my own personal journey as well. But I may save that story for another time.

In the beginning scene of the film, Jones sits with his daughter Rashida Jones in the back of the limousine. She asks him what he has learned about art & work. And Jones’ response not only put me in a place of peace, but also brought me great reassurance in my own journey. He responds, “be humble about your creativity and gracious about your success”.  Later in the video he emphasis the importance of nuturing one’s own skills & abilities in their own artistic craft. He shares that his father would tell him, “Once a task has begun, never leave it til its done. Be the labor great or small do it well, or not at all”.

To say the least, the film was very much informative and inspiring in the same token and would recommend up next for your watchlist if you may be a music fanatic as myself. As I always like to say, thank you to those for reading up til this point. much love. Feel free to check out the trailer which you can find below.