FEATURED: Kathryn Stevens – Artist

Apart from being pleasant or intriguing to experience, art, when made with pure and sincere intentions, can be a powerful healer. Sometimes your soul is looking for something cheerful and inspiring, other times for a good laugh. In this case, I’ve found something calming, profound, and quietly encompassing.

Kathryn Stevens is a fine artist and painter, originally from Cornwall and currently based in Bristol. Having studied at Bath School of Art and Design, Stevens’ speciality is abstract painting, with her main medium being oil paint on canvas.

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REVIEW: Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’

The new Spike Lee joint is pretty bizarre and definitely amazing. John David Washington stars as Detective Ron Stallworth, the black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. True story, bro.

The film, which takes place in Colorado Springs in the 1970s, is so much of everything. There’s this comical but very serious contrast of telling the story from the perspective of the local KKK group, set against the very real struggle of black people and the Black Panthers fighting for them. Side by side.

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IN RETROSPECT: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – 20th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that an album can turn 20, when it sounds as fresh as the day it was born.

On this day, 25th August 1998, Ms. Lauryn Hill released her debut and thus far only solo studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia Records).

Following her years with hip-hop group Fugees (also featuring Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel), Hill, born and raised in New Jersey, used every ounce of her creative intelligence to curate something that would not only go on to win Grammys, or receive acclaim from critics and peers alike, but would serve as an educative tool for (but not limited to) her people – hip-hop in its truest sense, and at its most important.

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IN RETROSPECT: Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

The 2000s was an important time in popular music. There was so much quality and so much of it to choose from. Pop music could be anything, anything at all. And by anyone at all. Competition within the industry definitely existed, but overall, there was a lot more variety across the board, an abundance of artistic individuality, all combined with original, well-crafted compositions.

At that time, there was also ‘just a girl’ who exemplified the aforementioned characteristics. She also happened to be the lead singer of an already established ska/punk/rock band. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I was a huge fan while I was growing up. Yes, we’re talking about Gwen Stefani.

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FEATURED: Kostis Grivakis – Artist

I don’t know if recycling ever gets boring, or if we ever fall out of love with our favourite paintings and portraits by renowned artists, but just in case, here’s someone who can kill two birds with one stone. (Metaphorically speaking of course, because when you think about it, stoning birds is quite mean.)

Konstantinos “Kostis” Grivakis is a Greek artist and art teacher who has a knack for turning everyday used household items into… art. And lots of it! Not only is he a recycling genius, but he also makes collages of famous figures in traditional Omani dress and settings, which results in something either quite amusing or exceptionally stunning (see: collage of Elizabeth Taylor). Grivakis also creates collages of world-famous works of art mixed with popular landmarks in Oman.

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Chris Brown drops new music video for “Hope You Do”

When an artist releases an album with over 40 tracks, you might think that they would be satisfied with their work. They can put their feet up and stop there. Not Chris Brown.

Yesterday the veteran and 29-years-young singer from Virginia released his seventh (yes, seventh!) music video from his latest album Heartbreak on a Full Moon (2017). In the song “Hope You Do”, which was produced by ISM and A1 (and contains explicit lyrics), Brown talks of wanting to change his playful and wayward habits for a girl that he really likes, longing for her attention and engagement, while displaying a melodic and emotive vocal performance over the sultry, silky R&B/trap instrumental.

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DESTACADO: Melvzxlife – Fotógrafo

¿Sabes cuando te salta algo en el feed que NO es un meme, ni un video gracioso, ni alguien nuevo de que te puedas enamorar, y sueltas un “joer”? Pues, casi nunca, cierto. Bueno, eso es lo que a mí me pasó esta semana cuando vi esto:

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I Wish I Didn’t Quit: Music Lessons – Nathan Holder

Many of us learned instruments as children, whether it was the recorder in class, or private piano or guitar lessons after school, and a lot of us are familiar with that excitement of learning a new extra-curricular skill… But then a lot of us are also all too familiar with a particular thought as we grow up: I wish I didn’t quit.

When it comes up in conversation we talk about it, but no one has any solutions other than a simple, “You should get back into it”. But how do we prevent this from happening in the first place?

I Wish I Didn’t Quit: Music Lessons is a new book which is intended to inspire children and parents to stay motivated as they continue on their musical journey. Rather than focus on the theory of music, the book is filled with priceless advice and anecdotes from world-class musicians and music industry professionals, something music books haven’t really covered before.

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NEW MUSIC: Ellis Aaron – “Me & You (Remix)”

Ellis Aaron is a singer, songwriter and musician from Bristol who is slowly making a name for himself on both the Bristol and worldwide music scenes. Having had his music played on local and international radio stations and received a lot of positive feedback from his fans and peers alike for his soulful and high-calibre productions, Aaron has released a new follow-up remix to his most recent single.

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FEATURED: Aiden Harmitt-Williams – Photographer

Photography is generally understood to be about capturing specific moments in time. As an artist, it’s tough enough to grasp the ability to present photographic reflections of reality, let alone go above and beyond that concept in such a conscientious yet imperceptible manner.

Aiden Harmitt-Williams is a photographer and writer from Bristol. Many of his works are portraits, but he also shoots buildings and landscapes, has worked on a number of fashion shows and shoots, and had his work featured in magazines and on album covers.

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FEATURED: Melvzxlife – Photographer

You know when something that’s NOT a meme, funny video or potential new crush pops up on your timeline, and you’re just like, “damn”. Yeah, not that often is it. Well, this happened earlier this week when I saw this:

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FEATURED: ‘Over The Bridge’ Podcast

I know this one doesn’t fall under the confines of art, but when something’s so good, you have to share it. Anyway, this blog is all about opening avenues, minds, ventricles and hearts, so this absolutely ticks the box.

Podcasts are all the rage at the moment, although they’re not a particularly new phenomenon. However, with a large volume of them to sift through, it can be hard to find the gems, and that’s where I’ve come to the rescue!

Over The Bridge is one of those gems, and it features four Cambridge graduates from London – Bilal, Kwaku, Patrick and Tom – who share their experiences, opinions and ideas on a plethora of topics now that they’ve passed “over the ‘bridge”.

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IN RETROSPECT: The Weepies – Hideaway

The Weepies are currently in the middle of a 10-year anniversary tour for their album Hideaway (2008), so I thought it would be apt to revisit one of the folk-pop duo’s best known projects and share some of my favourite picks from it!

Weepies Steve Tannen and Deb Talan1
Photo credit: The Weepies

If you’re not familiar with The Weepies, they are an American band comprised of husband and wife musicians (how awesome!) Steve Tannen and Deb Talan. Yes, their names were already kismetically like that before they met. Even spookier is that the two were fans of each other’s music – again, before they’d even met. That obviously made it easier for them to eventually meet, which was at one of Tannen’s shows back in the early 2000s. They decided to join forces and if we fast-forward to today, they’ve released five studio albums (2015’s Sirens, the latest), got three kids, and as I mentioned before are now on this tour to celebrate 10 years since the release of Hideaway… I’m almost certain you’ve probably heard them on one of your favourite TV shows.

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FEATURED EP: Oscar Jerome

London-based musician and singer-songwriter Oscar Jerome released his eponymous debut EP last week. After spending years grafting in the music scene and refining his talent, the young artist unveils a work consisting of four weighty tracks that are certainly a testament to that.

It’s hard to define Jerome’s sound as it’s a peculiar mixture. The influences of jazz, hip-hop and soul are clear, but it’s more aptly described as alternative. With contemplative and obscure lyrics, and arrangements that have carefully been thought out, he creates something original and mysterious that captures your attention from start to finish.

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