Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I Love . . .

I Love . . .

Pretty notebooks where I can write a world within it of stories from things I have seen. I love to write songs based on my experiences and some not, but whatever I write, it has a bit of my life represented in it.

And I love . . .

going into the studio and laying my written words down onto a track and turning mere lyrics into a melodic tune that is singable with hopes to share it and perhaps perform it in the future.

And I love . . . 

This dress. I saw it and just knew I had to have it. It fits well. It is loose and comfortable on my body. The colors are energetic. I love how it falls on the shoulders. Perfect for an outdoor music festival. I am short and so, a long dress makes me look a little bit taller. And so, I love that it falls just below my ankles.  It was a nice day outside and perfect for a pretty spring time look. 

And I love . . .

My friends who are always there, having my back and lending their ears when I need to vent or when I want them to simply listen and give me feedback. And I love that they lend their voices and share stages with me. They are incredible singers and great friends.

And I love . . . 

JNote Band who from the beginning when I had my vision, stuck with me and were very patient with me trying to do my original music. To take the time to learn songs that you do not know that is not popular on the radio and is new content that the public may not have even heard yet is really beautiful and such a blessing. Thankful to have such decent and wonderful people in my corner. 

And I love . . . 

That I had experienced and seen things beyond my frontier to make me want to talk about love and the world and the importance of unity. It is more important to see the world with your own eyes than with someone else's description. It is more important to plant your feet on your own understanding of people than to judge them based on stigmas. It is important to remember that no two people were built the same and everybody comes with their own uniqueness that is worth taking at full value, even if you do not understand who they are or how they go about things and to love them without limits. We all have stories. We all have our own songs and dances. We all lived life in our own way, carry our own baggage, and strive in our own setting. 

I love . . . "Love No Limit" and hope you might find the time to check it out and maybe, you'll love it too.

So what do you love? Share some of the favorite thigns that you love? 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Despite your Circumstances, Smile And Enjoy Life

Do what you’re made for, yes, but then get better and better;
eradicate weakness, yes, but only within strength
Jim Collins

I am infamous for allowing vivid memories of the past, be the thicket of briers that I keep falling into and getting bruised all over again for something that is way beyond the current time restraint that I am in. Imagine being someone who is keeled over exhaustion from running backwards into sobering reminders of yesterday.

So what? I was tattered and torn. Darn scars! So what? I fell victim of my own mistakes. Darn detours! So what? The events of the moment that don’t seem so great stimulate thoughts that can mask a smile. Darn Debby downers! So What? Finances are climbing. Darn bills! So What? The driver next to me just cut me off two seconds off of getting snipped. Darn Road Rage! It has become alarmingly obvious to me that these things are a part of life and you just have to deal with it; plus there have been more good days than bad and the good needs to be acknowledged just as much as the bad! Maybe celebrated even more. 

Today’s clouds can never deny yesterday’s beautiful sunset.
The inconvenience of today’s storms can never turn us from tomorrow’s harvest
Nikki Giovanni

I had the opportunity to perform my original tune, “Enjoy Life” live with the JNote Band and it was a great experience to come before the masses and to do it for the first time and share my story in a song. Sometime it takes encouraging yourself to come to the reality of a situation. Check It out here:

I have found out that it is more important to thrive and to grow from these things. I have discovered that falling allows you the wings to fly higher than any bird in the sky. I have come to realize that your thoughts about your own self hold magnitude. It is better to think good about who you are and the possibilities than to stack your plate at the negativity buffet. 

Better to set out with confidence and greet each new day with a welcoming smile. The sun itself is pleasing to the eye and it is easier to take on the world with a measure of confidence and to enjoy life. For what is life without a little spice? A smile might just be that pinch of spice to make your life that much sweeter. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

In My Nature

Right now, in this moment in time, singing is one of my favorite things to do. it is my nature to want to get into the nitty gritty of music and to turn the light switch on to using my voice to sound art.

When I think about finding my infinity, I can honestly say that it might be singing. I have loved it since I was a toddler, running around the house and listening to my parents listening to song selections that they enjoyed. My father would sing along with his deep timbre and my mother would just start singing a song while she was in the kitchen putting her foot into the best home cooked meal that anybody could make.

Hearing them made me want to sing and so, I’d echo sounds to the four walls of my room, to my neighbors and then to the congregation at our home church. I sang in the choir with purpose, as if I had to set the caged bird free in order to live happy.  

Years and years and years and years later, I can’t go throughout one day without singing something; even if it is just one song.

I remember the first time I ever got on the stage by myself. I have a pretty huge repertoire and sadly, know more lyrics to tunes than French words to have meaningful dialogue with my family members that live in Canada. So I thought I would be able to just fly through a song and do well. I didn’t even think I would have butterflies in my stomach, but when I got on the stage, I started shaking like the 1989 earthquake that occurred while the Dodgers were ready to kick some butt at the Major League Baseball World Series. The song came next. I started singing and strike two; the lyrics slipped my mind. I was so embarrassed that I left the stage crying, didn’t finish the song and swore that I would never sing again. But thank God that I did not let my own worries, step on my own toes.

I sing and I am in my nature. I get on the stage and for me it is as refreshing as sitting at the bank of the Caribbean Sea on a scorching hot day. And when there is a band billowing in the background, even better. It enables me to reflect individuality. I get wholeheartedly inspired by the musicians and their light seems to somehow illuminate me as if their energy was up for grabs and I simply absorb it. Music fills me with the right amount of stimulation to tend to my nature. I am even more convinced now that when I am a supercentenarian and I look back at my living history, I will still make a joyful noise for all the tender moments singing brought into my life.

It definitely is “the Way” that I am loved so different in my nature, that keeps me with an open heart and mind for singing. 

Speaking of music, I have some original songs on mine on Spotify. Here are a few songs to consider adding to your playlist for this rainy weekend. 

Have a great one, be safe and enjoy to the fullest. 
Thank you for reading my blogpost. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Chronicles of an Angry Driver in New York City

Everything is so fast paced in New York City, so it is a pleasure at night when it is you and the road and the skyline and you can just ride without the heavy rush of the never sleeping town.

May Photo Challenge 2017: Skyline
The difference is that during the daytime, you are driving, stop at a red light and don’t let a second of green catch you standing behind it because you will be met with a chorus of beeps. So you start to move as you were prompted to by the cars behind you, and a person wearing all black clothes starts to cross the street in front of you. The latter example is even worse at nighttime when you can hardly see them at all. 

When I took my defensive driving class, the instructor told the class that every 3rd person on the road is under the influence of something. Whether it is alcohol, drugs, makeup or Snapchat that you decide to stream live while behind the wheel that has your attention, the driver might not see that camouflaged to the color of the pavement walker, or that crazy bicyclist who decides that no traffic law pertains to them. Yeah! I said makeup. Haven't you ever seen someone applying mascara and eyeliner while behind the wheel or using nail polish remover to take an old coat of polish off the nails? 

But then you have the city skyline to provide some extra needed comfort to that vision-zero spot you are in. All those lights keep you abreast and aware; unless you start gazing at the sparkle and decide that at that moment, patience to just enjoy life is more important than rushing through it. As that thought skates through your mind, may I invite you to "Enjoy Life" and sing along with me?

How could you not see the draped in all black pedestrian when the neon lights kind of color them in as they cross the middle of the street that you might not have seen if it were in a different area? And how could you not stop to simply let them pass without road rage getting the best of you and leading you to want to curse them out because you are in a rush? And how could you not feel like stopping just to appreciate the beauty and to capture the essence of it? Just looking at the skyline transforms a driver and leaves them feeling good. 

Thank God for those lights. Here is hoping for more patience as we cruise on down the thoroughfares of life. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Filter Out the Past and Keep Moving Onward to the Future

NuuViziun Photography

Doesn’t it feel good to know
that while playing a balancing act
of juggling the world and our passions
on our paths

we are living champions of life?
We are strong. We are fierce.
We are warriors
And our feet are spears.

Life has challenges.
It deals some cards
 that might force us to renig
and it goes to the heart
while we are looking back

Nuu Viziun Photography

because we envisioned a hand
that we didn’t really have.
Some things we were able to move on from
and some that we never get past.

And here we are in the present moment,
with all this knowledge of how strong we are
as people, thriving to fight
for what is in our hearts.

And so, all those things that held us prisoners to the past,
let them go like passing gas
And all those things that keep us bothered by our yesters
Shit them out and become a quality ply of toilet tissue invester
And all those things that no longer satisfy
Regurgitate them out of your life.

Tell the sorrows goodbye and let the sunshine in
Don’t allow the small shit to keep you dim.
It’s okay to live. It’s okay to love.
It’s okay to trust. Know that you are enough.
And eff all those who don’t believe in who you are.
If you believe in yourself, you are half way there.

As you look onward to the future.  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Happy May!

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature
is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming
of some magical rose garden over the horizon
instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming
outside our windows today.”
- Dale Carnegie 

May Photo Challenge: Windows
Photo by Willie Tillman

Happy May! Enjoy the flowers, the sun, the outdoors, the warmer weather, 
the ragtime music playing from the ice cream trucks, the smell of barbecue, 
the outdoor music festivals,
the kids playing outside more,  each moment of it, and maybe 
some of my music blaring out of your car's booming system. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for

As we cluster together, I want to invite you to see me in my essence. With my feet firmly planted on earth, I come to you in hope that you might take the time to water my seed of destiny a bit. May I invite you to drift into the arms of my video feed on Youtube to watch at least one video+, and hopefully subscribe to my channel at .

I think I have flourished a lot since I put up my first video and it is great to see my own growth and transformation. 

I have original videos on there. I have cover songs performed in a live setting on there and lots of other things. I have band videos on there.

Maybe I can get your undivided attention for at least one minute and maybe you can take me at full value and check me out.  My Youtube channel is sj1and0 and I not only post but also watch lots of cool videos as well. Let’s vibe, if you don’t mind.

So! Are you on Youtube? I’d love to catch a glimpse of who you are. What is your Youtube channel? Can we follow each other? Hope so! Drop me your handle.

Alright then, hope that this post invokes good thoughts that knock on the doorstep of your mind. Have a great day. Peace and love everybody! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

U is for Unbelievable How Time Flies

Six months ago today, Ufa, Russia was deposited into my love bank and left me feeling richer because of the experience of traveling and seeing a world beyond my own backyard and also, sharing my gifts on their music platforms. 

At Ufa Jazz Club in Ufa, Russia

It was an opportunity to embrace who I am in a different and unfamiliar setting and it had lingering effects that still empower me in so many ways.

What I learned 

By the White River in Ufa, Russia
You never know how strong you are until you let your wings get you off the ground to soar through the skies. You will never have a change of mindset if you do not clear the clutter of doubt to let possibility in.

We push hard every day. We owe it to ourselves to take chances on our pursuit to greatness. We ought to inhabit each moment while working hard and experiment with it. We deserve to expand our dreams and to marry our passions to life.  

To have been well received on the stage as I sang with the musicians, stays stored in my mind’s inventory. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget. It was just the melodic change that my song and dance deserved as experiencing the soft winds of Ufa, was the vamp to end the incredible experience that being in Russia was.


 Looking back at these moments still feels pretty darn good.

T is for Thank you

The blessings of the Lord bring wealth 
without painful toil for it” 
(Proverbs 10:22)

David A Powell Photography

Blessings overflow in my life too numerous to describe. This life has been a journey and though I know that God is not through with me yet, I want to take the time to say thank you to each and every one of you for being patient with me. 

David A Powell Photography

Thank you for indulging in all that I share about my life, music and musical directing, reading my posts about my radio show, songs and traveling episodes. Thank you for commenting with more than just the word "interesting."  Thank you for watching my live performance and original music videos, listening to my songs and for simply embracing who I am. 

It is never easy to embrace somebody else's ego when we have our own. It is not that simple to give yourself fully to someone else's thoughts and interest that might not be your own. You don't know how you bless someone else when you decide that it is okay to try to embrace someone else's writing that might be different from the way that you may word something. And thank you for  being open-minded. Again, I say that we all have our own songs and dances. Our experiences and journeys may be different but we share the idea that we all have our own paths and stories and are all striving in our own way, the same, but different. 

Blessings continue to fall and I am grateful. 
Thankful for it all! God bless!


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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

S is for Singing My Song

I had an opportunity to get on the stage with JNote Band at Shrine World Music Venue to do a concert featuring all original music. 

It is not often that I get to do something like this and so when the opportunity arose, it felt really good to focus on lyrics that I brought to life in a song. One of the many songs I sang was "I Am The One" which is the first of seven tracks on the album Finally JNote with lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot and music by Mike LeShore. 

I hope that you will take the time to check out the live performance of the song here:

Hope you enjoyed watching the live rendition of the song with JNote Band. It was a fun night of music and just being able to express myself and to share my songwriting with people willing to listen makes a difference for me and I am grateful for it. 

Ironically, it was an eventful day the whole entire day. I had just left Girls Night Out at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and that event set the tone for my drive on the stage.

Anything to keep the wheels turning and to put my energy into full gear. If you liked the song, check out the original song on CDBaby, and maybe it will resonate with you enough to want to download it. 

Thank you for checking out my blogpost!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Q is for Quotes For Earth Day

Since, 1970, Earth day has been reserved as a calendar day to dedicate to thinking about protecting the planet, the environmental climate, global warming, clean air and drinking water, using biodegradable goods and about the blue marble, for the good of humanity.  

It is a day to consider the oil spill of 1969 in Santa Barbara, CA and Flint’s present day, unclean water. Though we may not all be able to participate in the march for science in Washington, D.C. or may not be able to add ourselves into the 500-mile human chain in France, we can all put our hands into making a difference to this social safari by thinking about Mother Earth  more, loving her just a little bit more and by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Here are some ways 
you can celebrate Earth Day:

“Close your eyes and turn your face into the wind. Feel it sweep along your skin in an invisible ocean of exultation.” - Vera Nazarian

“Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your mind, body and soul” – Anthony Douglas Williams

Enjoy the day! “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished – Lao Tzu

Plant some flowers or a tree. “Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven” – Rabindranath Tagore

Sit in the park and enjoy the beauty of nature’s scenery. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein

One man’s garbage is another’s treasure. Donate your old clothes to a church or the salvation army or, bring your old, no-longer beneficial to you, items to a swap meet. "You can tell how high a society is by how much of its garbage is recycled."
-- Dhyani Ywahoo

Instead of buying bottled water and throwing those plastic bottles in the trash, invest in a stainless steel tumbler and carry it around with you to keep refilling as needed. 

Some things 
to consider on Earth Day:

“The earth laughs in flowers” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed” – Mahatma Gandhi

 “If you do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either” – Joseph Wood Krutch

“The tress are our lungs, the rivers our circulation, the air our breath, and the earth our body” – Deepak Chopra

“The case for recycling is strong. The bottom line is clear. Recycling requires a trivial amount of our time. Recycling saves money and reduces pollution. Recycling creates more jobs than landfilling or incineration. And a largely ignored but very important consideration, recycling reduces our need to dump our garbage in someone else’s backyard.” – David Morris

 “For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it.” – Marcus Samuelsson

“There's a lot to be said about what's happening to our ocean, big companies polluting it with their oil and all the raw garbage that's being spilled in there.” -  Lloyd Bridges

 “Nature is a numbers game. We need all the support we can get as our immune systems and health are under assault from pollution, stress, contaminated food and age-related diseases as our lifespans increase.” -  Paul Stamets

“Access by kids to the Internet should be like kids breathing clean air.”  - Nicholas Negroponte

 “The earth is a fine place and worth fighting for” – Ernest Hemingway

Happy Earth Day everyone! 
Here is a toast. 
The Earth is changing everyday.

Let's Change with the earth and as it turns and keeps on changing, change with it and make it a better place for the the here now and for future generations. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

P is for Pardon My French . . .

Pardon my French but,
it feels good to know that
I am a troubadour of the world!

And so, I try to put my whole heart into every performance whether I am happy or with a broken spirit. The stage gives me a reason to feel optimistic. I can declutter my mind for a moment as I box out my troubles with a song.

I release infectious laughter at the end because the joy that took over made me feel really good. I may worry or climb over familiar hurdles every time before I take the stage but the music clamors for my attention and then my focus turns to the song, the lyrics, the notes, the key signature and the audience. And so my alter ego thrives in full immersion.

I am no longer who I was a second ago and the sound art breaks the cycle of who I was and I become who I am in the moment. The doubtful whispers cease and I feel as if the music and I, become one before a score of people.  

I guess this is why my heart rattles like thunder for it. I am psyched with each opportunity to release the passion within. Even on my worst of days or when I am completely exhausted, I get on stage and my day changes into a masterpiece. I get this energy that is unreal and I experience this maniacal grin because I still don’t quite understand it; you’d think exhaustion would pose as a challenge and instead, my alter ego reboots me and I’m with a full battery.

Like for instance, a year ago this week, I was on my way to an exciting performance that I was supposed to do. My friend William Rivers invited me and my band to be on his television show, “Showcased Talent.” And so, I got all dressed up, into my car and was driving on the highway. The highway had a crazy merge from about 10 lanes to one and while merging, a coach bus hit my car. I had to sit waiting for cops to come and attend to us for two hours just to tell my side of the story and fill out a report. I was late to the television studio and still wanted to go do the performance though I was not under the best condition, being stressed and waiting out in the cold for all that time. I still can’t believe I did not cancel after all of that but, it was one of those experiences I will never forget. Check out one of the many songs JNote Band and I did that night together here:

I try to maintain a thankful spirit. It's no easy street to be a singer with an instrument inside the body that you need to preserve through weather and sickness and drama-filled days and emotions and tiredness. But singing is one of the most delightful things that I do and I am happy with each opportunity to face the toil of what is required to simply vocalize. I have genuine affection for the work because I genuinely love to do it.

Pardon my French but,
it feels good to know that
I am a troubadour of the world!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

N is for Navigating Through Life

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration.
Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own.
Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you,
spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
-       Amy Poehler

Something I learned this week, though we are only halfway through it. You have your
ideas on how things should go and others have theirs. But no opinion is wrong. Sometimes, other people's views might enhance you and make the situation and experience better, so it is important to keep an open mind and to not invalidate what someone else might have to offer. 

Just because you have always done something in a specific way does not mean that it is always the right way. But just because someone else interjects their thoughts does not make it wrong either.

Navigate through life with an opinion because it is valid and important. Don't let anyone ever make it seem like your thoughts are invalid. Believe in what you have to say or contribute because it is equally important and may influence minds. But also don't be closed-minded about trying something different. Change is good and the only thing in the world that remains the same, besides the silence of mind if you could meditatively achieve it. Change happens and sometimes you just have to flow with it and entertain the idea of it!

New Music Coming Soon!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

M is for Moved by the Spirit

All I could say was the spirit in the room moved me. Every word that Dorinada Clark-Cole delivered seemed to resonate with me in such a spectacular way that it lead me to take out my notebook to start writing. And that’s what lead to me writing the song, “Leaning On His Everlasting Arm.”

"Leaning On His Everlasting Arms" is a up-tempo Gospel tune about holding on to God's unchanging hand because despite all the things we have been through, he kept us. This song was inspired by a sermon delivered by Dorinda Clark-Cole. Lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot. Music by Mike LeShore. Check it out here:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

L is For Lady Sings the Blues

L is for . . . 

Ladies that sing the blues
Like Lena Horne and Lady Day
Like it’s golden
And in their own lucid way
Locked in the groove
Locked in the flow
Love to listen to

Them rock and roll

L is for . . . 

Loving what matters
And looking for things that
Makes you smile wider
Despite the things that sadden you up
And living your life
One day at a time
And loving yourself
despite your falls
And your scrapes
And the errors you make
As the days move on by

L is for . . . 

Longing for cures
Longing to be sure
Looking for solutions
Longing for better conclusions
To the problems knocking on the door
To the issues that seem more
Like they tie knots in our gut
And make ushave the blues
Longing for unity
And Longing for love to be
The thing that changes the world
And longing for better ways day and night
And for different ways of life
And for all To live like a kid story
Ever after happily

L is for . . . 

Life could be better
But to remember that we have endured
And lived and fell and to be sure
That there is so much more to see
And so many reasons to love and let it free
Because despite our different dances and songs
We've lasted strong 
And until this moment we stand
We rise and try again
To see the things we want
Letting passion be the force
The booster up the rungs to see
That drives love to home court
And the inner joys to present themselves
L is for the blues music that tend to bring us some sanity