I haven’t blogged in a long time, but when I saw this posted on my friend Luam Kidane’s wall I had to share it. I don’t really have anything to say about it, just watch it. Thank you Luam Kidane and Jamilah Malika for putting me on.
As I write this I am sitting in a cafe in Junction in Nairobi, Kenya; one of the places that made me decide to record the album One Day Soon. I came here after spending two months travelling through South Africa (Capetown, Port Elizabeth, East London, Grahamstown, Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg) and am now on the verge trying to confirm a trip/show in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
I have been away from Toronto, for almost twelve weeks in a particularly violent summer for the city. Anyone who has worked with young people in the areas affectionately branded (yes I mean branded) as ‘priority neighbourhoods’ by government and large non-profit agencies knows that this type of violence is not unprecedented, unfortunately in many parts of Toronto it is quite regular.
What is different about this violence, as in the case of Jane Creba on boxing day a few years ago, is that these shootings have been ‘random,’ they have put people in danger who don’t usually feel that they are vulnerable to this type of violence and that freaks them/us out. What incidents like this should reveal is how privileged many of us are to live in relative safety. Many people around Toronto and many people around the globe do not enjoy this type of privilege. For some reason we are more afraid of ‘random’ violence because it might take the lives of ‘innocent’ people. The idea of ‘innocence’ is however a value judgement on human life. ‘Innocent’ people are more valuable than ‘the guilty’ by societies standards. Unfortunately ‘guilt’ is often perceived. I’ll explain. When I walk into banks, corner stores and certain neighbourhoods I personally can be perceived as potentially guilty or at least worthy of fear despite my good intention, it comes along with the territory of being a black male in North America (and almost anywhere else in the world quite frankly). Read More
This video was shot by Dre Ngozi in the summer of 2011 to document the early stages of the creation of artwork for the album One Day Soon. Jabari ‘Elicser’ Elliot and I collaborated on the artwork for the album, incorporating some of the main elements, ideas and themes in the songs. Jabari created all of the illustrations, while I did all the design and layout work.
People have been asking me when my shows are while I’m in South Africa. Below is the list of shows. This is an ever evolving list so I will re-tweet and post it when a change or and addition is made. There are a few that I didn’t list that are pending as well potentially in some other spots but I’ll try to keep it updated. In between these dates I’ll be exploring, travelling, meeting people, trying to find interesting things and talented artists to collaborate with. Stay connected. -ik
June 02_ Capetown Zula Bar (Long Street)
June 16_ Capetown Guguletu Performance
June 21_ Port Elizabeth The Barn (The Opera House)
June 29_ East London Fort Hare University (CANCELLED)
June 29_ East London Incognito (Kulcha Taste)
July 01_ Grahamstown National Arts Festival (Champs)
July 03_ Grahamstown National Arts Festival (Urban Lounge) (JUST ADDED)
July 04_ Grahamstown National Arts Festival (The Monastery / Blaze Blah Music Session)
July 05_ Grahamstown National Arts Festival (Urban Lounge) (JUST ADDED)
July 07_ Durban Alliance France (The French Alliance Building)
July 07_ Durban The Bat Centre (45 Maritime Place)
July 14_ Pietermaritzburg (P.G. Sessions) (JUST ADDED)
July 21_ Johannesburg Word N Sound Poetry (Emonti on Bree, Newtown)
July 27_ Johannesburg A Night w/ Ladies of The Mic (Home Show / Invite Only)
July 28_ Johannesburg Street Kulture Appreciation (Emonti on Bree, Newtown)
Aug 07_ Nairobi (Kenya) Kwani (Club Sound) (JUST ADDED)
Aug 11_ Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Juventus Club
Aug 15_ Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Liquid Lounge (Nigist Towers, Kazanchis) (JUST ADDED)
Aug 18_ Pretoria The Hub (Consciousness Lounge Sessions)
Aug 29_ Kigali (Rwanda) Spoken Word Rwanda (Bamboo Rooftop)
Sep 02_ Bloemfontein Dojo Sessions (JUST ADDED)
I woke up this morning on my last full day in Capetown thinking predominantly of the impact that my father has had on my life. The older I get the more I realize how much my father has affected every aspect of my life, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions and even my expectations of myself and others. I make subconscious and conscious reference to my father (and mother) every day of my life in one way or another. For the passed three weeks I’ve been staying with my friend Simphiwe Mabuya his wife Zuki and their two daughters in Nyanga, (one of the townships here on the outskirts of Capetown, South Africa). Staying with Simphiwe and his family I have also consistently been reminded of the impact of a father on his children.
I have a picture of my father helping me to tie my shoes when I was around seven or eight years old, I posted it on my tumblr a few months ago, I made reference to this picture in the song ‘yesterdays’ on One Day Soon in relation to my mother, their relationship and eventual separation. To me the picture expresses a reality of my father in my life, a care, sensitivity and humility that is not often associated with the stereotype of ‘manhood’ in many of our cultures but is essential to being a whole human being. Maybe this sensitivity and humility isn’t the best thing to express during wartime, and although I think many of the stereotypes around manhood are related to conflict, power, ego and domination, I don’t think most humans aspire to be in a state of perpetual warfare and I don’t think most people who identify as men want to live this way either, I certainly never had any desire to. Read More
Order ‘One Day Soon’ shirts by sending and email to email@example.com with your size, style (male crew-neck or female v-neck) and colour (black on black or red on white) $25 plus $5 shipping. CLICK HERE to order the album (digital or physical copies).
THE STORY: I had a few shirts made up for myself in the fall, one of them simply said “One Day Soon” the title of my most recent album. I did a show for Canadian Music Week that was curated my Shad and decided to wear it that evening. After the show two people, a guy and a girl, came up to me and asked if I had shirts to sell. I told them that I had just got it made up for myself and we spoke about the idea of ‘One Day Soon’ being about hope and asked them if I made some would they purchase them; they said yes. I decided to put the question out to a few more people, “if I made these shirts.. would you want one?” and within 48hrs had about 50 orders. I called my friend Javid; an artist and architecture student who started a social screen-printing and mural business called Under The Radar out of the youth space (The Loft) at Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre in downtown Toronto, and asked if he could screen print the shirts for me. This is the video of his process (which I’ve never seen before).
Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) is like a photographic gun-slinger, I like that, even though I’m not that into ‘fashion.’ Of course this is a commercial, but it’s still nice, just close your eyes when the logo comes up at the end (6:43).. lol