“Allow me to re-introduce myself!…”

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I attended an event one of the last times I performed last year, it was a beautiful event with very gracious hosts, good people and a nice environment, but when I was introduced I was introduced as a spoken word artist with a special poem to share. I wasn’t well acquainted with the hostess very well because she was newer to what she was doing and in general I thought that I would have been introduced a little better than a talent show participant and more like the professional artist that I was/am. I was kind of disappointed.

Later I thought (because I didn’t go the extra mile to give myself a proper introduction following the poorer one) that it was my fault.

Let me explain..

In my opinion it is your responsibility first to represent yourself. No one will be a representative of you better than yourself. You must be your biggest hype-person, representative and cheerleader through words and action. You don’t have to be dramatic and overbearing, but it’s important to conduct yourself in a way that is indicative of who you are and what you’re about. They say “first impressions are everything” so it’s important to be authentic and show gratitude for what others give to you, but if someone is not representing your fullness (which only you can really do for yourself) it’s important to use the amount of time you have to really clarify what you see fit to bring to the light. If someone mispronounces your name, correctly and politely speak your name as it should be spoken because that is what others will call you. If you don’t embrace what makes you who you are then no one else can. Be confident in this because it’s necessary to be glad for who you are and what you’ve become up to this point. There is nothing wrong with sharing that. In the words of Jay-Z “allow me to re-introduce myself!..” If you don’t give yourself the proper credit, you can’t expect anyone else to, because most likely unless you have a bio that they’re reading from, or unless they follow what you’re doing, or are prepared for your performance, they won’t know and you can’t expect that your audience knows it all either. In the moment before you do anything, you are here for yourself.

I can say this because I’m on the quieter side and I’m not boastful or a diva so people probably could think that it’s okay to interact with me that way more easily or might be quicker to do so, but this post is not really about me. Sometimes I feel younger artists may deal with these types of situations too where some will underestimate you because you’re young, you look younger than your age by a great deal, or because older people may not really know how to celebrate younger artists besides by building on the fact that they’re “so young” (which is often a remarkable and celebration-worthy thing, but should not be built upon just the fact that they’re young and so they condescendingly get false praise but that’s another story).

It can also be interesting at local shows where some look at you a certain way for not being a huge artist yet. The thing I would say to that would be to keep going, because as you go, you grow! Know your amazing-ness! As you do more and more of what you love, you improve until you get to the places that you aspire to be. Everyone starts somewhere and most likely if you’re in a place to be able to share your work, there’s a reason that YOU were chosen. Reflect on that why and build with it. Whether you’re paid or not paid, being in front of a crowd (no matter the size) is an important moment of connection. It’s a beautiful opportunity to really touch others and pour your essence into your work. Introduce yourself properly and as my former director and amazing friend and inspiration Magdalena Gomez would say before shows, “Go out there to love them.” It’s not so much about them loving you. If you’re authentic, how can people not? To me it was very clear to always go out to set your intentions free. Your work is to deliver something to the people, and that is your highest form of representation, responsibility and reciprocity. Go and GIVE. This speaks even if you actually drop the ball and don’t introduce yourself as you’d like or need to, or you let someone else do it and don’t add to it re- introduce yourself. Whatever you give, you will get back in return and guess what? You’ll meet those people face to face and you can expand from there.

You may have one shot on stage to “get it right” but life is so forgiving, that when you go with your spirit and do what you feel strongest, it all works out in the end as it did for me. I wrote this because I felt unsettled a bit from that experience and wanted to share something that I learned in the process and expand upon it to include a couple other things, but my main lesson was self-representation. You can’t rely on or expect for anyone else to do your work for you. And guess what? you win some, you learn from some, and you make it out great because when you don’t feel strong in your work, it’s a place to build from. It’s a point to strengthen and reinforce. Reinforce your intention, stay focused in your purpose and see your actualization play out and then continue until what you envisioned is closer and closer. Write it, say it, believe it, see it, and know it. Go out to set your intentions free. Let them grow what you wish to receive.

Thanks for reading & Much Love to you and yours

~Narelle

 

Copyright© 2018 Narelle Thomas

All rights reserved.

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Show Me Who You Are

This piece is called Show me who you are.

This is very different because my self-portraits are usually called something like portrait of self…blah blah blah, but this time as I was adding the finishing touches I was painting to a song with that title by Jesse Boykins III.

You are probably wondering how I got the idea for this painting or what made me want to make a self-portrait.

Well..

At the beginning of the month I thought it woud be cool to make a piece of art and a poem for Women’s Herstory Month. I didn’t force it so a little later in the month this is what happened:

It all started when I was dancing around inside the house one day, then I started picturing some choreography in my head and later saw a still image of a woman dancing and I said “hum..maybe I can replicate that and make it into a painting.”  I had my younger sister take a picture of me while I tried to stay in the pose that I envisioned. Finally found a picture I liked and started drawing the figure. I also felt the feeling of the piece and how happy the woman was. I vaguely knew what I wanted the woman to look like but it was fine.

As I began to paint, I realized I liked the way I looked in the picture so I said “Hey, why not just continue with it?!” So I did. About 85% of the time that I painted I was listening to “Amen Awoman” (Also by Jesse Boykiins III) I love that song now..something about it just connected with me the whole time.

I thought of what I liked in myself, a little of what I value as a woman and let go with it..I feel like painting to certain music really takes me somewhere different with the work and adds dimensions to what I feel in the crative process..I really had fun and tried some different things & ultimately let the piece re-develop itself from my image and visions for it. Always open to receiving what you see in it..I actually will be working on another self-portrait sometime soon. I have ideas..they’ll soon come together further.

I said I haaaaad to finish this piece before the end of the month and so..Here it is!

Although I do believe we should honor and celebrate women every day of the year. Here’s a contribution..the poem I will most likely be sharing on soundcloud at a later date. 

Big thanks to two amazing artists that I have the privilege of having so close in vicinity and heart, my Mom and sister Aaliyah for sharing advice/critiques on this picture while I was in the process of fine tuning it..

Please let me know what you think.I welcome all feedback

Much love

Narelle~Image Ankh Khepera

Blog number 2!

jesse boykins iii

This month I am kicking off the second tier of my blog.

[Insert exciting theme music here]

Add horns, bells whistles, confetti and balloons etc. when the moment is.. write

Well, in moving on, every month I felt like starting this blog but I never felt ready or dedicated enough.

I’m ready now!

You’re probably like well what is IT? IT is my music blog! As many can probably tell, I am a music enthusiast to put it lightly, simply, and tactfully. I constantly listen to different artists and want to share my favorite things with others whether they be songs, groups, sounds, etc.

I enjoy reviewing things as those who follow me on instagram may tell from my “Saturday share” that sometimes happens on Sunday lol..That is where I used to do a mini review of my favorite song by an artistic associate and/or one of my soundcloud followers.

To begin this particular blog I’d like to introduce an r&b/soul artist:

Jesse Boykins III

He’s not really new to the scene at all, but I am new to him. I found out about him a few months ago.

Choosing to write about him for the blog was a little harder because I wasn’t sure who to pick but I thought “ I’ll choose an artist that I have had on repeat starting this year and the end of last year; I’ll choose an artist I was really excited that I found out about.”

Okay so to start I LOVE the smooth, dreamy, and different sound that Jesse has when he sings. I think he probably gets compared to dwele a lot but he has a different flare to his music. I love both artists and usually don’t like to make comparisons as each brings something all their own.

His voice just swoons me because the elements in his music whether it be the beat, featured poetry, instruments, storytelling, all create a peaceful and welcome hypnosis. His music is a fresh experience. I also really like his lyrics.

The first song that I listened to by him was “amorous”.  I was listening to my Dwele radio station on Pandora and heard him and was like “Ohhhhh who is THIS????!” I have to hear more of his work. I immediately read his biography and listened to more songs by him on youtube.

I love so many songs by him.

Some of my favorites are:

1.Restless Dreamer- really nice & sensual

2. Come to my room- such a calming song

Zoner- a psychedelic, incense burning type of song, kinda dreamy..I really like the video for this one

Sunstar-the ultimate hypnotist song “you’ve fallen deeper, deeper, deeper for me…” lol but it’s such a sweet beautiful song, the video for this one is nice too

3. B4 the night is thru- a chill club song, really felt it, like the video.. it was interesting and funny to me

I wish- I feel like a lot of people feel what he explains in this song, at some point

Shine-this song is like a laid back summer day

4.Amorous- just lovely all around =)

his cover of Prototype-Yessss it’s allllllllll of that! Everything. A  must listen for those who like the original

Light to Dark-  LOVE this video.. I can’t explain it..just like the song a lot, really creative

5.Pantyhose- it’s so catchy

Fever-you can feel the temp rising in this one

6.  The perfect blues, fun, danceable, lively, fun feeling

All-Just a favorite..like the lyrics

When your ready- At first I didn’t like this one too much

I’m not really sure why maybe it was the guitar/banjo sound (please excuse my comprehension/description of sound).. wasn’t my favorite..then it grew on me.. I like the lyrics, thought the sound was kinda cool, I like it haha

I really like so many lol. I guess they can’t all count right, but here’s why they do:

They’re all so great!

Check out his music. It will definitely be worth it if you have not yet. Also really really check out the ones I mentioned, hear for yourself, if you want you can even write back with your commentary on them..share your experience.

Hope you enjoy his work as much as I have

Peace, Love, and good tunes

Until this time next month,

Narelle

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