I was very close to giving up blogging but how could I do that? This is a good practice to keep up even if blogging isn't that hot right now. The year has been a busy one so far, I have already started doing a lot of travelling doing workshops and it is only march. I am very happy about that.
I have done creative writing workshops in Hounslow, Essex, Central London, Stoke Newington and Wembley Stadium so far and work from the six week project I did in Hackney with Kele Le Roc is now part of an exhibition which is currently going on at Hackney Museum, I went for the launch of it and I felt really proud of the young guys we worked with. Read more about it here
I dropped a song called "Blackstar" recently, I consider it just a warm up song. I made the beat on the day I found out David Bowie died (January 10th). I was listening to a lot of his music and I came across "Fame" which I am sure I have heard before but couldn't remember when or where. That track is so good I just HAD to sample it. I checked and I am not alone, many others have sampled this track including some very famous artists. I ended up writing lyrics that are very much influenced by me thinking about issues of race and being proud of my African roots. I called the track Blackstar because David Bowie's last album that he released just before passing away was called that. It is also a nod to the duo Blackstar comprised of Talib Kweli & Yasiin Bey (the artist formerly known as Mos Def). Their self-titled album remains a classic and it contained very positive pro-black content. I have always wanted to come from that kind of angle that they came with that breathes consciousness, positivity, introspection and fun. I have done that a couple of times before.
Rapzilla were nice enough to post "blackstar" much to my surprise. I saw some funny soundcloud comments that were not positive. It seems someone wasn't too happy that I was being pro-black and Afrocentric. I was accused of being divisive and "remixing the song of a heathen" (lol) It seems being pro-black will always be a threat to some who don't understand that being pro-black doesn't automatically mean being anti-white. I even say in the song "this aint black supremacy, I'm just being me.." Ah well, it is what it is. Listen to the track below:
I am currently rounding up my next album as well as a couple of EPs. I am also working on a book that ties in with the workshops I do in schools. More about that later, let me not get ahead of myself. The name of my next album is "Unseen Unheard Unknown" It is inspired by the book "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison as well as many other things I will share soon. If you are supporter from a while back and you were on my journey with me from the 2012 album "Delayed But Not Denied" this new album follows on from that. In fact every album and project has been following a narrative. They are all linked. All will be explained soon.
Here is another track I dropped at the top of the year. I was just trying out a different kind of sound and tempo. If I am really being honest, I wrote this and made it when I was feeling depressed. When winter comes around I experience the blues a lot because it is cold and dark. I end up producing a lot of beats and writing to deal with all my feelings even more than ever. All these tracks I have been dropping won't be on my upcoming album. I kinda dig this one. Press play on "Turn up/Turn Down" below
The track called "Love" that I produced for Fiona Yorke and also featured on was released as a single and the response to it has been amazing, In fact I got to perform it live with her outside London all the way in Ipswich at a gig that I did. It was such a wild gig though haha. I had to wear a suit and all that because it was a ball kinda situation. It went on until 2am. I got home about 4am. Hahaha. The DJ was playing some crazy jungle and drum and bass and that really inspired me. I went home and produced like 4 jungle/drum n bass influenced records hahahaha. You will hear all this music soon. Anyway listen to "Love" below. It is out on itunes. amazon and all digitalstores and part of Fiona Yorke's EP called "Sound Freedom"
oh yeah I have let my beard grow longer than I have ever done in my life hahahaha. I just didn't shave after Christmas. I might cut it soon though. Anyway I am gonna go and live a bit and create more. Follow me on twitter if you are there: http://www.twitter.com/karlnova (@KarlNova) I am on snapchat too at: therealkarlnova