Dec 14 7:02pm
I GOT A BUSINESS CLASS SEAT!!!!! YES!!!!!! After the craziest day, anxiety attacks, sore throat, headaches, the sweats, I finally sat down in my seat. I'm surrounded by upper class-ish white Americans and Germans that seem offended at my very presence. I'm wearing cowrie shells around my neck, my hair is twisted, I have visible tattoos, earrings in both ears and a nose ring. I'm 6'3 at 275 pounds. I don't think anyone is going to say anything out of pocket to me. LOL. Anyway, as I'm sitting here feeling slightly awkward because of the stares, this older gentleman, maybe 67-68 years old, Malcolm X type glasses on, light skinned brother gets on the plane. Not Alicia Keys light skinned. More Tyra Banks light skinned. He camel walks on the plane and walks up to me. And in the most Harlem sounding, Cognac drinking voice he greeted me. "Wus hatnin bruh." I responded "How you Big Bruh?" To which he replied, "Well aw rite." And just that quick, we both knew that if something jumped off on this plane, we got each others back. Man I love that! But lemme start from the beginning....... I have this silly ritual that is completely ghetto. I wait till the morning of the day that I travel to get myself together. Well.... This is the first time in my career that my ritual backfired on me. For this gig I had to perform songs that I don't usually perform. So I needed to make a new cd for my performance. I waited till the last minute to do it and my computers(2) wouldn't allow me to get it done! Now I'm 2 hours behind the time I wanted to leave. Once I got the problem fixed I had to meet Louie Vega at the airport. I got there a little late but I got there. Anxious, and sweaty. I parked my car and I learned that I will be paying over $200 for parking! That hurt. I finally park, get to the check in area, check my bags and...... I left my wallet in my car!!! Now I have to get back on the monorail. Get to my car and get my wallet. By the time I was at the gate I was hot, sweaty, my throat was sore, my head was killing me, and I was just not right. But I'm on the plane now, I took some excedrin. I saw daddy cool breeze, and I think things will be fine.
Dec 15th 10:05am
I'm in Frankfurt at the Sheraton. I don't care where a person is in life, everyone has to appreciate a nice clean hotel with a King sized bed. Just gotta love that. My connecting flight into Africa is not until 10tonight. So I'm going to crash until then. Every time I blog like this, I stress the importance of traveling. Especially people of color. And I'm not talking about going down south to visit yo cuddin. I mean do the research and find out how much you will need to travel to Europe or Asia. I'm blessed to be in a business that takes me to these wonderful places. My point is that I know it cost money that lots of us just don't have. But it's worth investigating. There are packages and deals out there for every kind of budget. Anyway..... Goodnight, or good morning. Either way I'm going to sleep.
I had a really good sleep. And now I've checked in at the Frankfurt Intl. Airport. Well of course there had to be a problem. I smoke cigars and I carry a torch like lighter with me. The fire comes out stronger than a lighter. That posed a threat to the airline. So guess what? That is considered terrorizing. So, you guessed it, I'm a terrorist!!! After the signing of papers and questions, they confiscated my precious torch that I love. And while I understand that this is policy, I was hurt. I'm kinda petty like that. Anything that rightfully belongs to me that is taken away from me makes me crazy. Here's the funny thing, I would have given it to anybody that asked me for it. But to take from me..... So then, the officer wabts to strike up a conversation with me about American politics. He ask, "How do you feel about your government?" Then he asked, "Do you suppprt Obama?"..... He began to explain that there are new Heroin operations in Afghanistan thanks to the Troops. And how German Troops are affected.
Now while that may be true, we can't point a finger at Obama. Who in my opinion is a president that I admire for many reasons. Obama inherited his problems. Our issues are Global! Certainly not American. I believe in One World for humans. America is filthy with blood on her hands. But to attack one man, only to get someone else in office and attack that man is redundant. My global views seem a little euphoric and dreamy in the real world, but change is only going to take place if there is a global summit. Most humans are born knowing right from wrong. Sounds simple right? Why can't I connect with a guy and we hash out our differences like adults? Let me change the subject. This conversation is putting me in a bad place. See? Why did you(the reader) have to bring that up!!? LOL.
Random thought, what's the difference between a blog, a journal and diary? Does that make me gay cause I journal my trips? LOL?1
Ya know.... When you sit by yourself there's nothing to do but think. And I've never said this out loud, but I think my musical taste have gotten so old and mature. I'm sitting here listening to Johnny Taylor, Roy C. Hammond, Tyrone Davis, Linda Jones and the likes. If you're reading this you probably have no idea who I'm talking about. These people are Soul singers from the late 60's-70's. These are the kind of singers that sing from painful, heart wrenching areas. Wow.. Such a rare art form.
For whatever technical reason, we can't leave. And they won't allow planes to leave here after 11pm! So I'm stuck in Germany. Yay!!!! It's always best to relax and chill especially when you can't do a thing about your circumstances. Only thing that's making me frustrated is that I checked out of a nice room that I could have just kept. I'm sitting and observing. Some people are getting so angry but they're wasting that energy because nothing can be done. Cest La Vie.
Dec 16th 2:18am
Random thought. When I was 18 or 19 Abigail Adams the hottest mix tape of just good music. She did it herself. That tape influenced me so much.
Still here at the airport. I can't believe it myself. Been here since 7:00pm last night.
Dec 17th 3:06
I finally made it to South Africa. It's so nice here. But of course there's a major problem. Louie made a cd of my show tracks for me because my equipment was malfunctioning. I get here and I want to listen to the music. The cd's are distorted. Badly! Not to mention I brought Louie's Tee shirts over with me and grabbed the wrong bag. I'm at the hotel with someone's luggage. I have to get to the airport and grab my mans stuff. What a fix. Goodnight.
The South Africans have their own version of thar dance show with Simon Cowell. It's a trip. All black gangster looking judges with dark shades. It's something to see. The show doubles as a weight loss show. They weigh the contestants at the end of the dance. LOL. Wait wait... It's called "Dance Your Butt Off" and the music is some woman singing.......(in my soul glo voice)"dance your buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutt oooooooooff"
I can't make this up!!!
Random thought. Have you seen Tony Bennett and Lady GaGa's video of "The Lady Is A Tramp". She can really sing her head off. Wow.
And I just saw Bruno Mars take his pants down to show his underwear and do a gyrating move?? Wow!
I spent my entire day in my room fighting a cold. I feel 75% there. They told me 12 midnight. So I'm sure they'll be here to get me soon. I really enjoyed quiet time doing nothing all day. But I have to go earn my keep. Lights, camera and action.
Dec 17th 12:30am
In the lobby waiting for Anané. We'll go straight to the performance once I get there. Which I love. I hate waiting. The anxiety is a killer. Once I get on stage it's all smooth sailing after that. I hope. This is my first time performing "Wish". I'm not comfortable with doing a song and never practicing with the show track. But the show must go on. No time to be a superstar. These people paid to get in this place. You do what needs to be done.
The show was more than I imagined. Crowd participation, sound quality, I was in good voice, it was wonderful. Anané and Louie killed their sets. Everybody was on fire. I woke up happy! Today we're headed over to a city that I can't pronounce or spell the name. But we're doing interviews all day and Louie and Anané are gigging tonight. I'm just going to hang. I may stay in my hotel and chill all night. Today Louie asked me to do TWO songs that I have to relearn. The work never ceases. Jo'burg is beautiful. The shops, the people, it's really something to see.
I'm really out here tonight. We're about 2 hours away from 3 hours outside of Jo'burg. It's not as city as it is Jo'burg. It's quite a different dynamic here to say the least. Greg is being an awesome host. I'm ready to hit the shower. I still have to learn the music.
OK. This is insane. 15,000 people maybe!! We're in a football stadium!!!!!! Let's just say I'm partying with the President of the ANC, Julius Malema! This is huge!!!!! I'm crazy excited. But I'm being cool. LOL. The prime minister(governor) gave me a Cohiba!!!!!!!! Black Coffee came through. That was nice. They were partying hard!! It was really off the chain. Fireworks, and everything was going off. Louie and Anané played sets. They did well. The people love Louie. His picture was on the banners with the president.
Dec 19th 6pm
We were invited to Showcase a small show for Kaya FM and some journalist and reporters. Well what we didn't know was that there were other acts there to perform. When I tell you that these people had talent that would put any Talent TV show that we watch on television to shame. I mean real real talent that you'd have to see to believe. There was a brother who sounded like John Legend and the song he wrote was something more beautiful than most songs on the radio. Lyrics, melody, vocal control, everything was there. They had musicians that were crazy with it!!! I mean carazeeeee!!!! South Africa's talent is nothing like you would imagine. We see our media on South Africa and think of Lady Smith Black Mambazo. But let me tell you, they had some Rachelle Farrell, Dianne Reeves, John Legend happening. Even better. One guy sang in his native and played. He almost made us all cry. While all of this was going down, we lost power!!!!!! Here's the good part. They kept singing!! We had a light from one of the camera men. That went on until around 11pm. Here's the bad part. When it was finally time for me to sing I LOST MY VOICE!! And I mean all of my voice. It was so embarrassing. I couldn't even recover. And then I even forgot the words to one of the songs. WOW!!!! Talk about the worse experience ever. That happened to me in Miami but this was worse. Anyway I got through it. I DJ'd and played some new Honeycomb stuff and it sounded amazing. Not bragging but it just sounded good to me. The people danced which is a good sign. My new little sister Lesego has agreed to rep Honeycomb in South Africa. That's another thing. The young people are so mature. They just had it together.
Dec 21st 2:45am
Im on the plane now and all is well. There is a distinguished older lady sleeping in the chair next to mine, farting in her sleep! OH MY!!!!! What could she have possibly eaten that smells so bad? Well anyway, I'm sure you can tell my experience was memorable. I plan to go to their conference. I plan to work with some of their talent. South Africa is so full of potential to take over many genres. Not just house. At the airport, Louie and Anané gave me something wrapped for Christmas. I almost got emotional. But I was cool. I was cool.
Joshua Milan, CEO/Founder Honeycomb Music LLC.