Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Katanya first lady of Blessed Love Studios


We are delighted to share with you the latest tracks from Katanya, an amazing voice and talent who has worked alongside Culture and Tom since the formation of Blessed Love Studios providing vocal tuition and support to younger artists and lending some killer hooks to our tracks. We love 'Speak the Truth' with its funky jazzy upright bass and old school hip hop beat.
Her new tracks pasted above show her fantastic song writing talent and unique take on Nu Soul sounds with beutifully stripped down acoustic backing. Make sure you sign up as a fan at her reverb nation page or check out http://www.myspace.com/katanyauk

Katanya's channel u number track 'Father' is pasted below :

Here is Katanya performing 'Hot' at the Clapham Park Festival

Lets hope this brilliant talent gets some more recognition in 2009

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Obama and Music

Obama and Music
Reactions to Obama amongst the artists we work with has not always been universally to the new boss. Some feel let down by his apparent appeasement of the Israeli lobby or letting off Bush with any possibility of impeachment or prosecution over his war crimes; others are suspicious of some of his friends such as the rapper Jay Z (Mr Beyonce) who is seen by many as representing the dark side of hip hop (more on this later). Most seem to lack the enthusiasm and belief in him that their US peers in Hip Hop seem to have. It seems too good to be true and some are suspicions that he could be the ultimate 'Illuminati' mind trick. We really hope not and pray he lives up to all our expectations. The sense of pride in the event of a first black/dual heritage President is very much apparent and it seems a long held dream is finally here.
Regardless of these fears and hopes. We want to celebrate the man on this of all days (His inauguration) and highlight some musical tributes. First up is a mix based on his 'Perfect Union' speech. It’s my favourite speech by Obama by far and seems to open the door for possible slave trade reparations (which we as an organization have always called for)

The mix is here :A Perfect Union Mix (Opens in a new window, can be streamed or downloaded to your computer)

(Track listing below)
1.Benga 'fearless' v Obama's 'perfect union' speech
2.Dub Colosus - 'Yeka Sub City Rockers'
4.Porchy-'Kharma' (Tommy2bob remix)
7.MIA & Lil Wayne - 'Paperplanes' remix
8.Swagger like us mashup
10.Sway-'Up your speed'
11. Sway & Chamillionaire -'Up your speed' remix
12. A Millie mash up including the Obama,obama,obama remix

Next up is my favorite Obama tribute track by veteran reggae artist Cocoa T

Also pasted below is the APT remix of Lil Waynes 'A Millie' into an Obama tribute

Part of the reason for musicians loving Obama is the phonetic quality of his name and the powerful Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)contained in his slogans such as 'Hope' and 'Yes We Can' and 'Change'. Obama's oratory is also hynotic in its sonorous, powerful and emotive delivery. We would love to get him in the booth and get him to spit some bars! So many music tracks now seem relevant like The Pointer Sisters 'Yes We Can'.

Finaly one more Hip Hop Obama tribute from Nas 'Black President'

Blessed Love Shop open!

This will link (shop)will take you to our online shop, the range is currently limited to white products, but a fuller range of colours will be available very soon. You can add your text to the clothing/bag and choose other products to attach our logo (which gets us a small commission)

Islamists & Street Gangs, a response to The Observer

Islamists target teen crime gangs in London

Original article is here : http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/11/muslim-extremists-crime-gangs-london

Extract :

"Some of London's most notorious teenage criminal gangs are being targeted for recruitment by Islamist extremists, according to Special Branch officials.
Poverty Driven Children, from Brixton, the Muslim Boys, from Camberwell, and the Money Crew, from Hackney, were three gangs identified at a Scotland Yard meeting last month. All were thought to have members who claimed to be radical converts. The fusion of two such corrosive cultures has increased fears that someone could follow the path of Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber" and former gang member who tried to blow up a plane."

Dear Sir/Madam

Regarding the article ‘Islamists target teen crime gangs in London’. I spoke to the journalist in his research for the article in my role running a youth record label, Blessed Love Studios, that works with young men and women in South East London who are affected by what we would refer to as a small scale civil conflict otherwise know as ‘gang culture’.

An increasing number of our artists, we have noticed, have converted or are sympathetic or knowledgeable of Islam. I regretfully informed Rajeev that none of them wanted to talk to a journalist on the subject even under anonymity. Not because of the fear of being identified as being in gangs or criminality, but because of their distrust of the media on the subject of Islam. The young Islamic converts we have worked with have often learnt about the faith in our ‘secure estate’ for youths, and I think all would say Islam is a positive role in their life and offers a structure, meaning and value in their lives and ultimately a way of dealing with powerful the affects of racism. Without this faith in Islam or Christianity or Rastafari for that matter, these young people would be considerably more angry and destructive than they are. Sometimes this gets confused and they may refer to themselves as ‘Taliban’, but in our experience these are the individuals who are merely posturing and do not have a serious attachment to Islam.

There is evidently a problem and risk involved by these ‘so called’ Muslim gangs, but we must tread extremely carefully in dealing with them too not enrage feelings of injustice further. We need to understand more and prosecute, condemn and scare less.

Tom Collis (Managing Director)
Blessed Love Studios
99-103 Lomond Grove

The above letter was not published by The Observer

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


Tantrum and Hectic Shaks complete graffiti art for the project

The B.E.L.E.I.V.E project (which stands for Bringing Education and LEarning in Ipswich to the excluded through Voluntary Endeavour) The project works with young people on the 'Triangle' estate in Ipswich which has long been recognised as an area of social and economic deprivation.

The project started in October 2008 and was a born out of a piece of consultation commissioned by One Ipswich for CSV to deliver a media project with young people. It was so successful that CSV applied for funding from the Performances Reward Grant and were successful. The project has many strands one of which is a partnership between
CSV Media Ipswich, CK Entertainment and Blessed Love Studios and is a peer lead project that aims to empower young people to create their own media and get accreditation and leadership opportunities. Funded by Performance Reward Grants and the Youth Opportunity Fund the project has had a very successful year with the group winning a county wide Youth Arts Award, performances at the Wolsey Theatre and the use of one of the groups tracks 'STRUGGLES' on the Suffolk County Council website.

The B.E.L.E.I.V.E project by Rachel Baxter

The believe project for me has been great experience and a loads of fun as I have been able to help achieve and perform the “struggles” track. The struggles track was written by Olda Swift (Josh Woods), Tantrum (Elliot Girling) and Lauren Hall. I put in harmonies to make the female part a duet. The song is about the young people on the triangle estate who find teenage life hard on the streets. We performed the struggles track at many venues including; the Lavenam green for the Fun Day, The Respect festival at Suffolk New College, An Art exhibition at the town hall galleries, the Wolsey Theatre and a future event the Mayday Festival at Alexander park. The struggles track has been sent to the Ipswich Borough Council and they have made it an Official Ipswich Song. The experience for me boosted my confidence as a singer, I want definitely want to perform forever!

For more information about the project please contact Tonia Wilson at CSV Media Clubhouse Ipswich (01473 418014)
The music video for 'Struggles' is posted below.

The B.E.L.I.E.V.E Project by Lee Nurse (AKA Black Diamond)

The project has been great for me and has helped me become a better artist. My tracks have got much better and i have mastered programs like Cubase and Reason and Adobe Audition.
My biggest achievement however has been my involvement in the Youth Air slot on ICRFM 105.7 (www.icrfm.co.uk) I have now presented two shows that included my own and friends music and features on gun and knife crime and how the 'credit crunch' affects young people. By producing the radio show i was able to get extra unit awards on the O.C.R New Media accreditation.

Youth Air is on ICRFM every sunday 5-6pm and mondays 6-7pm. Don't miss it!
A video of me broadcasting my special feature on gun & knife crime is pasted below.



Kid Cuti and Jim Jones - Day and Night
M.I.A - Galang (remix)
Lady Sovriegn - Random
Danaeo-Devil in a Blue dress
Dizzie Rascal v Benga & Coki - Night Sirens
Sunship & Warrior Queen - Almighty Father
Benga-pleasureBenga and Coki - Night breakage mix
Adele-Hometown glory (hi contrast mix)
Hi Contrast - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
DJ Zinc - Casino Royal
DJ Zinc & Dynamite MC - Creeper

Download or stream this mix from the above link (highlighted in pink at the top of the page).
This is a mix that was broadcast on New Years Day on ICRFM 105.7FM and is a kind of best of 'bassline' in 2008; but also a tribute to producer of the moment, the uk's own Timberland and don dadda of dubstep : Benga.

Benga at the controls!

Benga's album 'Diary of an Afro Warrior' is out now and contains the awesome track 'Pleasure' which is played in its entirety in my mix out of respect for a tune that stands out. The mix also contains a couple of mash ups of his track with collaborator Coki : 'Night'. The Ipswich grime MC's we have been working with in Ipswich have been riding this infectious riddim for what seems like about 2 years and it now seems to be going 'overground' with a lot of Radio One airplay and inclusion on compilation dance music albums you see on TV generally aimed at people who have never been to a decent club in thier lives, certainly you have heard its sub bass rumble from passing boy racers recently. Everyone seems to love this track from all the tribes of bassline from RnB heads to grime purists. Everybody now : Do Do Do Do DOOO DOO DOOO Do Do Do Do DOOO DOOO DOO!!!!!

Also given due reverence in this mix is High Contrasts remix of Adelle's 'Home Town Glory'. I must admit to going off Drum N Bass recently as a relevant genre, but High Contrast has restored my faith yet again.


Also included are top UK female MC's Lady Sovreign and MIA and new heroine of uk dancehall Warrior Queen. Her track 'Almighty Father' with Sunship is the track that first turned me onto dubstep. The track is just plain Dutty! At first listen at the Vibe Bar in 2006 at one of our club nights i presumed the heavily filtered vocals were chatting about something spiritual. When i got my own copy later and listening to it carefully i realised Warrior Queen was praising something more, ahem, carnal in nature than the Almighty himself . Its also probably the most dance-able dub step tracks i know for a mainstream crowd. That bass drum and snare line is so simple and so heavy it just grabs your hips and flexes the waist.

Warrior Queen

The mix starts with Kid Kuti and Jim Jones track 'Day & Night' (Benga and Coki influenced perhaps?) You probably know the Crookers bassline remix on heavy rotation in clubs right now, but this is the original version which is a lot more chilled.

The other notable track is British producer Danaeo with 'Devil in the Blue Dress'. Dont know much about Donaeo, but check out his track 'African Warrior'. He's the man of the moment in the Bassline/Funky House scene right now.

Just for the hell of it, a colourful video for MIA's track BOYZ is pasted below.