One Time for the Love Child…


I would just like to take a second out of the usual and review something quite personal to me. Last night was amazing, to say the least. Friends, family, and loved ones of mine gathered at the famous Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe to lay eyes on me and friends, Stephen M. James (SteV Maverick) and Luis Rivera, perform our first creation…our first love child(…pause).

As rapper/singer SteV Maverick stated before the performance “This is a song with no name… from a band.. with no name”. One night I was randomly inspired and created a chord progression with a singing melody and sent it to Stephen for a performance idea; something that would involve me singing the hook and Stephen performing a rap/spoken-word poetry over the jazzy guitar. He wrote the first part of the chorus and I wrote the second, he had words already written for the verses, Luis created a poppin-ass bassline, and the rest was history. Love child was made with the thematic intentions of universal love. Meaning, even though life constantly gives you struggle, you must ironically find beauty within the madness and always respond with love.

In the words of Kendrick “My knees gettin weak and my gun might blow but we gon be alright”.

Our goal was simply to bring the weekly Friday afternoon jamming sessions to the Nuyorican stage. And that exactly what we did, the soft and intimate vibe of the song mingled with the intimate setting of the Nuyorican as all eyes were locked on the trio.

Due to the 5 minute time frame at the Nuyorican, however, we had to cut some things out. There was a beautiful transition and melodic bridge that complimented the song very well. And not to mention, a great verse by bassist Luis Rivera was also in the works. Although edited out, he still made up for its absence in his solo performance of “Cada dia” right after we took the stage. But even though we performed with the edits, we can always make a studio recorded version. Besides, what says pop hit single more than a 8 minute song “love song”.

Without further blabbering, ladies and gents, I present to ya’ll…Love Child.


Lianne La Havas: Live at Terminal 5


Terminal 5 was the place to be on the windy Saturday night of September 23rd. Not gonna lie, when my friend told me he scored tickets to see Lianne La Havas I might have overreacted a tad. I’m trying to put it into words but nothing would better serve my emotions justice than…

Since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Is your Love Big Enough, La Havas hasn’t released new music, mostly because of touring. Both fans and critics have been waiting patiently for new work, especially a new album. Finally, on July 31, 2015 Blood was released. Besides, truly embodying La Havas’ talents, this album also succeeds in leaving listeners unexpected, by showcasing different techniques we haven’t seen from her until then. All in all, it was a great album; it doesn’t match the same captivating songs and overall magnitude of Is Your Love Big Enough? imo, but still a well put-together project.
Opening Acts:
This leads us to her performance at Terminal 5. Besides, La Havas, the opening acts killed it just as much as the audience expected her to. First up is, Keenan O’meara. He started his set by wowing the crowd with his guitar picking skills, a very flashy Mumford and Sons, folk type of style. Once O’meara stepped up to the mic his voice flowed heavenly with his guitar, hitting falsetto notes that received numerous applause from the audience. Next up was Nick Hakim. Hakim had more of an indie sound. His band was incredible. Everybody from the amazing drummer to the versatile keyboardist was on point. His vocals were distinct and Prince-like in some ways, while the sounds they produced were mesmerizing, making the audience fall in love with yet another performer. I could only assume that the audience, like myself, went home and looked up these young, promising artists.
Main event:


After several minutes of waiting, everybody was itching to get a glimpse of Lianne La Havas. Once her band took the stage, excitement rose. Once her song, Green and Gold started playing, it continued to rise. Once she finally step foot on stage, looking flawless if I may add, the place erupted. Along with most songs off the recent album, La Havas played songs from Is Your Love Big Enough?, which usually got the biggest response (due to its longevity). One song that expectedly got a big response and had everyone singing and grooving was the album-titled song Is Your Love Big Enough?                                                                             I believe slowed-down ballads, however is her niche. One of my favorite moments that night was when she sang Wonderful. The intimacy and emotions in the record were brought forth in this performance, making it feel like La Havas was singing directly to you. And who knows?, maybe she was singing to me. She might of glanced once or twice over on my section, but I ain’t gonna touch on that now. Shortly after, she mistakenly said “Out with the new and in with the old…Is that how the saying goes?…idk *chuckles*”. Her overt cuteness was followed by a beautiful performance of No Room for Doubt that had everyone in the audience mouthing off the words with her, including myself. Excuse the horrid vocals… I was having a moment.
Another great moment from La Havas’ set was the use of a microphone that altered her voice with effects, as shown in the picture above. These vocal alterations are some of the different techniques she approached in her album Blood. I was wondering how she would bring some of those effects on stage. With the microphone, she brought to reality the mystical harmonies found at the beginning of her lead single Unstoppable. On the flip side, La Havas channels the distorted vocals in the hardrock-centered chorus of Never Get Enough, giving us a raw and heavy performance. Watching these innovations to her performance had me looking at her in the crowd like…
The opening act Keenan O’meara did great embodying an acoustic solo performance. Nick Hakim was great by vibing the band. Lianne La Havas, on the other hand, perfectly executed on both levels of performance, killing it on solo guitar and flowing well with the band. Surprisingly for me, as well as friends of mine, she sounded better live; which is is hard to believe considering that she has released great music recorded in the studio. Her guitar playing was impeccable and complimented her voice(which did not miss a note the entire night). Her voice live sounded so powerful and full of life, as she improvised many difficult-hitting notes. This led me to believe that Lianna La Havas is a true performer born to do just that. As she left the stage, the audience roared for an encore, as expected, compelling a surprised La Havas to get back on stage and give an exciting performance of Forget.
Check out the demand and her reaction below. WARNING: you might want to turn your volume down just a tad, it got a little crazy at Terminal 5.