I still luv the smell of London

I still luv the smell of London

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Cheat Blog!!! Its still an update...

Friends, Family, Fans and Well wishers.... I need your help!
A group of fresh, innovative and very exciting and excited (too excited - if you ask me) young African professionals have decided to try their hands at this awesome project, of which I am highly interested... somehow they managed to get me to buy into their dream and their vision. However!!!!!!!!! The project management consultant in me has somehow overpowered the dreamer and writer in me... Hence the rise of the 'feasibility report'. So Guys I really need your help and your input:

First: Can you wonderful writers and bloggers , please. please, please, please (is that too many pleases) take the time out of your very busy schedules and blog trots to complete the survey below, its 3 questions and will take literally 2 minutes, if that! We need to have received the answers to the survey by close of play 04/10!


Secondly: If you are interested in writing for this publication, kindly send me an email at adespeaksheart@gmail.com and let's talk some more, or just send thru your articles. There will be no plagiarism, you will be recognised, you do not have to write as your self, we have pseudonyms for that and you can keep your anonymity... if you want to be extra careful, u can ensure that it is legally binding... heck these guys are so savvy they have a lawyer in their core team! Potential topics are sexxxxxxxxxxx, food/restaurant reviews, entertainment, health, real life scenarios ...anything!

Finally: We need hilarious stories, dead funny stories on anything, a mishap during sex, a really silly faux pas!, a cosmetic disaster, a bad hair day, a piercing malarchy, a student's folly, anything and everything! The key however is to personalise it .... Please personalise. It should be a maximum of 500 words and funny as hell. Once again all I need is a first name and location.

We will ensure that privacy rights are maintained, information is preserved and the publication is of excellent quality. Trust me with the mission, vision and backing these guys have ... you would really want to consider being a part of this! Thanks people! I wouldn't be a part of it otherwise... lol!

Thanks Guys!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

War: Naija HipHop or perhaps A rude joke?

Over the past couple of years the Nigerian music industry has grown astronomically. The days when parents frowned on their kids pursuing music as a lifetime career are clearly over... and who can blame them when ‘D'Banj’ has become a self made millionaire and Tuface Idibia has a significant trail of globally recognised awards behind him... It however begs the question as to whether we as a people and as a country are even remotely prepared for this growth?
A few days ago I stumbled on the 'face book war' between 9ice, 'Yoruba' artist ('Gongo Aso') and K16, 'Igbo artist', proclaimed 'Saviour of Naija Hip-hop'. My highly inquisitive mind somehow wouldn't let it go. On delving further, the particulars of the story were clear cut, or so I thought:

The Gist
July 2008:
Alapomeji records (9ice’s label and Krystal promotions entered a contract where 9ice agreed to do a show at the Ambassador theatre in Dublin on the 19th of September. K16 was a supporting act.
18th of September: 9ice refused to board the plane from Nigeria to the UK, his excuse was 'My body dey do me somehow!'.
Pre 'My Body dey do me Somehow': Krystal promotions had paid 9ice 10,000 Euros, had spent 40,000 Euros on planning and promotions and had sold tickets to a host of eager 9ice/K16 fans.
Post 'My body dey do me Somehow': K16's camp was presumably licking its wounds and counting its losses. They had spent time and funds promoting the event and had lost all.
Krystal gets angry, K16 gets angry
'20th of September': K16, Miss Diva and Unseen released the 9ice diss track, at the end of the track they have 9ice on tape confirming that he would attend the show and inviting fans.
22nd of September: 9ice's management release a note explaining that 9ice couldn't get a visa to Dublin hence the ‘no show’, they apologise to the fans informing them that Krystal promotions had suggested that there was an illegal route of entry into Dublin that 9ice could use easily. They also said that 9ice's life had been threatened.
23rd of September: Krystal promotions release a statement giving their side of the story and defending their reputation.
Post 22nd of September: Forums have been set up, articles written, lives have been threatened (both K16 and 9ice allegedly) and there's a lot of hate mail going back and forth... and I guess we have Nigeria’s first 'music war'.

As I read through the various statements, listened to the diss track and watched the reactions of their fans... I came to the singular conclusion that the entire situation was ludicrous to say the least. The lack of professionalism was ridiculous.
The evidence was screaming out, 9ice and Alapomeji records were in clear breach of their contractual obligations. They had confirmed that 9ice would be in Dublin and had been paid 10,000 Euros upfront and he ‘didn’t show’.
His management then released a statement on the 22nd of September, 3 whole days after the show was to be held, saying that he couldn’t get a visa.
Why wasn’t a statement released earlier? Why weren’t alternative arrangements made and what the heck does ‘My body dey do me somehow’ mean? 9ice wouldn’t be the first artist to cancel a gig, the bone of contention here is the manner in which it was done.

For me, this was much bigger than an uneducated artist doing a ‘no-show’. It was the ‘Naija factor’ all over again, it was the incessant desire certain Nigerians had to dirty everything they touched, and it was a total lack of consideration for people; promoters, fans and supporting acts.
Hard as I tried to, I really couldn’t understand it; the entire situation didn’t make any sense to me. It was even harder to accept that some of his fans were not only patting him on the back but were condoning his actions. Did they realise that their sycophantic conduct could only be detrimental to them in the long run?

It suddenly dawned on me that this had been going on in Nigeria for decades, it was nothing new, it had only reared its ugly head in a different manner and manifested with no regard in a new industry. For years government officials, entrepreneurs and mere individuals have signed contracts and been paid for projects and services that would never be delivered and have never been penalised for it. They had g0ne ‘Scott- free’ on countless occasions in different industries and scenarios... and for the first time in a long time; someone decided to have a voice. K16 and his crew spoke up.

If you had asked me a few days ago who K16 was, I would have stared at you blankly, batted an eyelid and slowly mouthed the word ‘who?, probably followed by a very quick ‘huh?’
At this stage I’m somewhat intrigued to hear what this ‘Saviour of Naija Hip-hop’ has to say. I listened to the diss track; it was funny, to the point and so much softer in comparison to the heavily violent lyrics ’50-cents’ is notoriously known for. The one thing that continuously struck me was the veracity that it was ‘intelligently and tastefully done’. It started with a mock phone call from 9ice, a slight recount of ‘the story’ and ended with 9ice on tape confirming his attendance in Dublin... I reiterate, intelligently executed!
Anyone can clearly see that this was not a direct assassination of his music; it was a statement of his failure to meet a service that he had initially advised he had the resources to deliver. It was a direct exhibition of his nonchalant and carefree character, an exposé of his substance or the lack thereof and hopefully a lesson well taught.

As Nigeria as a nation experiences exponential growth in its various faculties, there is clearly a crucial need for a paradigm shift; a brutal remodelling of our minds has become essential. Needless to say the road to achieving this would not be easy.
If it requires making examples out of individuals like 9ice, then why not? If it means that the next big artist would ensure that he is adequately prepared, organised and ‘planned’ so that he meets his next commitment, then why not? If even it means that one fan would never again buy a ticket in vain ... then why not?
As I put my pen to rest, I silently pray that as Nigeria evolves dramatically there is a synonymous revolution in our minds and our hearts.
‘Gongo Ti So O’ and maybe ... just maybe ... Naija hip-hop has truly found its voice and ... saviour...

*Should you choose to listen to the track, be advised that it contains some strong language. I am therefore stamping a virtual parental advisory badge on it. After all it is hip-hop*

Thursday, 18 September 2008

My View on Art!

My parents should somehow have known that being born and bred, even partly, in a westernised society would have had an impact on the way that I’d eventually reason… or should they?... maybe not.
The photo I have put up is one of me; however for me it represents a million and one things, a voice, a statement, but most importantly an expression of my creativity and of self.
The background I’ll give briefly: I’m a member of the ‘photography network ‘Shutter Chance’ and there are quite a few Nigerians on it. There was a bit of a ‘tiff’ when certain photographers started posting nude photos and certain others decided that SC needed to put up a ban against these. Personally I thought it was ridiculous , so I did 'unashamed'. Photography is to some an art and to others a craft. The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy simply states that the definition of art ‘is controversial in contemporary philosophy’. Those who dare to define art, come up with ambiguous and unclear definitions as:

‘Art refers to a diverse range of human activities, creations, and expressions that are appealing to the senses or emotions of a human individual’

What the heck does that mean? Basically it is dependent on the irrational, malleable, unstable, radical, controversial, changeable, mind of the earthling. Art is what the individual wants it to be, no one is saying accept it… just let every one decide what they want their view of art to be!... after all the SATC character, Russian ‘Aleksander Petrovsky’s’ rendition of Art was a dirty, silent, unemotional, size 12 chic not eating for 16 days (I think) being on display at a museum. For some, that denial of self was extremely soulful and emotional, for others like ‘Carrie Bradshaw’, it was a joke. Da Vinci’s rendition of art was a man with perfect symmetrical features; ‘The Vitruvian Man’, Dan Brown’s art was a fictional tale of the mysteries that surrounded the ‘art legend, Da Vinci,’ and a summation of weird, dark and almost undecipherable messages he had woven into his paintings…
As I look continuously to art as an expression of creativity and of self, the need to see what the world perceives as normal becomes inconsequential… I tend to look for what I like and what I find fascinating and acceptable. I was initially going to call this piece; ‘Art vs. Porn’, then ‘Normal vs. Avant Garde’ … it suddenly hit me that this is not a competition of antonyms.
The view decided upon is solely the viewer’s, that’s the beauty of art. The only thing I do ask is that you comment respectfully should you choose to, as I do not subscribe to destructive criticism… my point is don’t make it personal… ‘Live and let live’

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Maison Martin Margiela … is less definitely more?

I decided that I'd start with a somewhat editorial piece... one I guess could eventually go into a magazine, so kindly bear with the very impersonal feel of this. Fashion has always meant a lot to me. The sight of Louis Vuitton garments on the catwalk is extremely orgasmic. I shamelessly covet the worst seats in Fashion Week as elitist Parisians, Londoners and NewYorkers watch the 'laborious sleepless nights' excellently demonstrated in the form of beautiful garments on wiry hangers the world has labelled 'zero'.
This month Maison Martin Margiela celebrates 20 years in the fashion industry...
Margiela is an enigma… commonly referred to as ‘the insiders’ label in certain circles, at some stage he was rumoured not to actually exist… a myth!
The Belgian born designer studied at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Arts; which proudly lays claims to industry giants; Ann Demeulmeester and Dries Van Noten.
In 1984 he became assistant to Jean Paul Gautier for a few years, going on to open up his own line in 1988, where I guess for him was the perfect excuse to demonstrate his controversial idea of fashion.
Margiela stormed the fashion scene with weird jackets that had seams on the outside, a cobwebbier spin of loose threads and long sack like skirts. It wasn't long before the fashion world labelled him ‘deconstructionist’ as he became known for creating his pieces from flea market rejects.
I guess the industry was in for a greater shock when they realised that this ‘mass of contradictions’ was nowhere near done just yet. He went on to show his none conventional collection in non conventional locations. Elle puts it this way:

Margiela, a pioneer not just of conceptual clothes but of conceptual show venues, was dragging fashion editors to rubble strewn wasteland in the dead of the night long before any London designer with an avant-garde sensibility thought to do so’.
Some of his even more unique venues are train carriages and dining room tables in a dilapidated warehouse.
I assume nothing else Margiela did could possibly come as a surprise to the industry, but this Belgian was not going to succumb to standards raised by mere men, no Margiela had his own ideas, as he began to show off his clothes on ‘real women’. The concept behind that was simple. He didn’t feel he needed ‘size zero models’ to wear his clothes, insisting that his pieces were beautiful on any woman.
For me the most intriguing characteristic is that Margiela never faces the public, all interviews are done by fax and his studio team wear ‘ateliers’ (white lab coat type garments) to ensure uniformity at events. I obsessesed for hours wondering how one that dwells in such a visual world has never been photographed or interviewed face to face, how has he never walked the catwalk, yet his work has inspired fellow fashion minds like Lagerfeld and McQueen (consistently photographed with exquisite models).
Margiela went on to own the highly coveted position, chief designer of Hermes women’s line, where he presumably delivered his best work, showing his immense talent for engineering elegant, delicate and simply gorgeous pieces.
He went on to sell a major stake in his business to ‘denim mogul’, Renzo Rosso’, multi millionaire owner of Diesel. The headlines must have read ‘mysterious fashion designer turns shrewd businessman’.
It all sounds very dark and cult like. The intense mystery that surrounds Margiela only makes him more interesting. Do people really crave what they cannot have?
After reading a four page article in Elle, I was left with more questions than answers. ‘Did Margiela even exist?’ In 20 years no media house, has ever been granted a face to face interview with this epitome of talent, hugely admired across borders.
The one thought that did cross my mind was that 'he' could well be a ‘Martina Margiela’; yes a woman… . I had no idea.
It is safe to conclude that in the world of fashion ‘invisible is clearly more’. Margiela remains unseen.
Maison Martin Margiela embraces extremely strong values and principles such as ‘honesty’ and ‘equality’. His craft is seen in almost every facet of his expression of creativity. His garments are worn by women of style the world over; Sarah Jessica Parker, Roisin Murphy, Rachel Bilson, Asia Argento, to mention a few.
I on the other hand would remember Martin Margiela or Maison Martin Margiela for his depth and the words:
‘The ideal woman is herself and that’s what matters most, a woman who wears the clothes, and not the other way around’.

Where it all began...

It always seems to begin with someone picking up a piece of writing and saying… ‘Ai, your writing’s kind of cool, you should publish it someday’ and then you smile and think ‘yeah whatever’…
Since I don’t quite feel that I’m ready to get published in Vogue or Elle or Cosmo just yet, I thought I’d put my creative mind to good use in the interim… yeah!... on blogger.
I’ve been on blogger pretty much my whole adult life, only difference is this time I’m unveiled and totally unashamed, no masks, no pseudonyms, it’s all me.
So let me manage your expectations. I have never been into huge, ambiguous and ‘extremely hard to pronounce’ words, so although you might get the odd word here and there, this isn’t about ‘a war of intellects’, after all they do say the average reading age in the UK is about ‘11’. The writing would be extremely easy to read and enjoy. My blog will be fun and it will centred a lot on London, photography, fashion and of course Sex.
Since I’m not posting anonymously, I have also decided that my readers have to reveal themselves so yeah no anonymous posts.
I am extremely busy, like a plethora of other bloggers, please do not expect a post everyday. This is not a diary. As you comment, kindly try to focus on the writing. Its never about Ade, its always about the writing but then again… I am my writing…