Honeycomb Music Celebrates with Black History Music produced by Josh Milan

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FREE LINK >> http://tinyurl.com/blackhistorymusic

(The following is an open letter written by Josh Milan, published in 2015)

I'll be the first to admit that in a lot of ways I'm old fashioned. I never thought I'd hear myself say things like "back in my day...", or "when I was coming up...", but the older I get, the more I hear myself say those things. While it's the shortest month in the year, Black History month, to me, is very important. The story of the Black American started with hardship beyond most of our comprehension. An African man taken from his home, family, and everything he knows. And after he was beaten into submission, he would be chained to the bottom of a wooden ship. His people would be packed very similar to the way companies pack sardines in a can. There were no bathroom breaks. A small portion of watery porridge was given to sustain them. You and I would probably not survive the long trip. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and urination, were done while laying on top of each other during the trip. They weren't at all washed till they got to their destination. "The Land Of The Free, The Home Of The Brave!" His story is sad, full of murder, torture, and mental anguish. His women were raped and sometimes in front of him. His teeth, knocked out for sport. The slave traders managed to affect the minds of his people with violence and bone chilling fear.

So much so that they would eventually abandon their own culture to embrace the oppressors teachings. These people were once full of pride, culture, self awareness, spirituality, and most importantly, love. Many years after this tragic event happened, these people were given a very limited sense of freedom. And expected to be grateful for what was given to them. If anyone showed any anger, or resentment over the position they were in, they would be killed. To this day, 2015, I feel that Black Americans are targeted by law enforcement, and any sort of authority in America. And today, just like their ancestors before them, the Black American is beaten, wrongfully accused and punished, even killed by the same authorities that oppressed their forefathers.

I think it's amazing that, given the origin of the black people in America, they were able to contribute so much to the advancement of this country. At the same time I feel that pride is lacking amongst Black people in America. We've developed a culture that, in my opinion, does not reflect the spirit of self love and progress that our people once had. Here's where I get a little old fashioned.

I have friends that "lovingly" call each other "bitch." Sometimes they'll say "I'm not calling you a bitch, but I'm just saying". Our men call each other "Nigga" daily. I have family members that wear their pants sagging so low that one can see their underwear. Young girls fighting each other because someone texted "their nigga". Gang violence is still alive and well. Young black men killing each other over trivial, small issues, taking pride in doing longs terms in the prison system.

So this project is about two things:
One, we celebrate the contributions of the Black American. I think celebrating their contributions is something all American people can and should do. All people have benefitted from them.
And two, we celebrate Black people and all of their achievements while in America, while in slavery, and while being forced in an unimaginable living situation. It's my hope that pride can be instilled in the hearts of Black people everywhere and that you will enjoy this project and pass it to others.

Happy Black History Month,
Josh Milan

I really believed my trip to South Africa going to be good but..


January 25, 2018 8:05am
I was awakened by the light being turned on in our room and the sound of my lovely, sweet, beautiful, ever so caring wife trying to be careful not to wake me as she goes through her earrings that are right next to the bed in a little crystal, noise making, glass thingy. 
Awesome! LOL. The frequencies of the clinking sounds were like ice picks pounding away at my ear drums. Today is going to be awesome!!!!!!!! South Africa Yay!!!!!!!

I’m on the plane. Whew. Made it!! I bought some Animal Crackers and I’ve forgotten how much I love these little gifts from God. The flavor reminds me of my childhood. So many memories. Anyway, I’m sitting next to a talker. This dude won’t stop. He’s telling me about his travels to Vietnam and how cheap it is to live there and all of that. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. But his breath. Lawd his breath was making my nose hair want to commit suicide. His breath smelled like manic depression and garbage truck water. It was as though he had a cigarette for breakfast and washed it down with Urine. 

Atlanta is always so funky. This plane is going to ATL and then I change planes to go to Jo’burg. (Something I’ll never do again.)
And the people on the plane look so fly. This one woman has a curly fro. And she’s wearing it so funky. You have to love ATL. 

Lawd the man next to me is scratching his arm and every time he scratches, dead skin cell flakes are flying off of his arm. This is so gross. At one point I think I breathed in a flake. Gross. 

I’m chillin at the airport. All is quiet. I was talking to Adam(Cruz) yesterday and I’m inspired. 
So many things we want to do. And we plan to do everything we want to do. It all starts with incredible music. And the events that we want to put on will follow the releases. We did a cruise last year. And through it all, I feel that it was a major success. However, we were green. And we learned so much about hosting events like that. So we’ve decided to wait for 2019 before taking on the task of hosting another cruise of that magnitude. But it’s going to happen.  

I’m on the plane. Feeling slightly weird. Someone who was on our plane randomly got off. The flight attendant kept saying “he deboarded”. I don’t think deboarded is a word. I’ll have to check. But it made me feel strange because I’m wondering did he leave a bomb on board? Did he leave some sort of chemical for us to inhale? My mind was playing all kinds of tricks on me. 

January 26th 3:17pm(Johannesburg time)

Ummmm.. Why am I still on this plane? The attendant gave me a seat in the back where there were no other passengers. At first I thought “This is great!” 
But as soon as I started to sleep, and I mean good sleep, I quickly learned that this is where the bathroom line builds. This is where people congregate. This is the area where people like to talk. With their nasally voices, and God forsaken smells. “Hey Jer(short for Jerry)”. “Oh hey Tom”. And the rest was senseless nasally gibberish. The kind of crap you’d hear at the dinner table of some corny politicians home I’m guessing. 
Either way I was trapped. I could have said “HEY!!! Do you mind?!?”
But why bother. I just hate the disregard. The inconsideration. The lack of respect. I’m 6’3 tall, 319 pounds of sweet blackness. You can’t miss me, yet I’m experiencing this feeling that I’m invisible. It seemed like they got really loud at one point. This isn’t good. 
Just as I started to lose it, the attendants came around with food. And that’s when I got really angry. The choices were pizza or chicken salad. The flight attendant looks at me and says “You want the chicken I bet.” 
WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT? What is it about my appearance that screamed to her I wanted chicken? I’m wearing a bandana. Gauges(ear plugs) in my ears, tattoos everywhere, I would have thought pizza if I had to judge myself. But nope, she saw chicken. 
I mean really?? In the millennium must we still carry that banner of prejudice? 
Now the chicken was delicious, but that’s not the point!

We’re landing finally. 

I’ve arrived at my hotel. These are some young guys doing something good for their people. The spot I’m doing is considered to be urban. And it’s very much a big risk they’re taking on bringing an artist like myself here. People are inboxing me on Facebook wondering if I’m really coming. They don’t believe. One of the brothers whose name is Zeedan explained to me that we’re doing this in the hood! So there’s a little bit of disbelief that an international artist is coming. 

I ordered a sandwich. The guy brought the food to my room and he smelled like stale cigarettes he found in the garbage. I can’t get the smell out of my room!!!! UGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

January 27th 9:24am
So far, this trip is really quiet. I’ve been in my room since I got here. And honestly I prefer it like that. Rest is everything. And I really do appreciate this wonderful bed. 
This morning I go to the restaurant for breakfast. And for the first time I’m having the coffee here is SA. 
Ladies, if you ever wanted hair on your chest, if you ever entertained the idea of growing a beard, if you’ve ever wanted to feel testosterone,  let me recommend the coffee here is SA. I poured a gallon of milk in my cup and it was still dark! 
It’s moments like this that I find to be most rewarding. Quiet times alone with a good breakfast and a cup of good coffee. Soft jazz playing in the speakers. 
All I can think about is the music we have coming out on Honeycomb. This year will be a very interesting one. 
The common thread that runs through my music is soul. Ritmo Y Tumbao, Dawn Tallman, Diviniti, Taihisha, Janine Lyons, Natasha Watts, Sheila Ford, Lamone, Anestesia Bedncourt & Caramel Honey, Essence and my music is not the normal quarter note kick drum or 4 to the floor. Everybody’s project is way way different from each other’s, yet somehow, SOULFUL! 
The music that I love is what I produce. The influences are always Stevie, EWF, Donnie Hathaway, Airto, Jaco Pastorius, Flora Purim, The Singers Unlimited, James Taylor, Sting, Pat Metheny, Weather Report, Al Green, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Return To Forever, Bobby McFerrin, Andrae Crouch, Thomas Whitfield, Al Jarreau, Minnie Riperton, Jon Lucien, and Johann Sebastian Bach and Jon Peters(musician from Brooklyn). Just to name a few. All of those artist, somehow, find their way into my productions. And the artist I produce seem to enjoy it. 
On the other hand, I can’t get too deep because a lot of DJ’s are limited musically. Labels and Producers rely heavily on DJ’s to play the music. Sometimes a quarter note kick drum or 16 bar drum intro is forced into the music so House DJ’s can more easily blend the record. 
Even if the production is impeccable, if the DJ can’t hear it, we have nothing. And these days, music lovers only hear what DJ’s and radio stations play. They’re not exposed to different time signatures, and creative productions. The spiral, to me, seems to be going down. The new producers are thinking that music should be relegated to 4 to the floor kicks and 16 bar beat intros. 
The answer to this dilemma is simple. 
I may need to do an event once a month to showcase these kinds of sounds. I’m interested in a party where the DJ doesn’t have to mix records. This party can go on with one turntable or CD player if necessary. There will be no judgement. Just good music and good people. A gathering of sorts. Sound good? DJ’s will be forced to play good music because there’s no blending. 

Just came back to the hotel from having a sound check. And in that short amount of time I learned a lot about this area. One of the things that really impressed me was the sale of animals. There were goats in cages being sold on the side of the road. And I asked, in typical American fashion, “After you purchase the goat, where do you take it to get it killed cleaned and chopped?” I’m thinking that there must be a butcher around making crazy money. The brother(one of the organizers whose name is Lox-One, said “The backyard”. 
“Yes we take it in the backyard to kill it and clean it. It’s better to do it when it’s warm” he continued. Now I’m feeling so westernized. Apparently this is very common. Our meats in the states are so messed up with steroids and junk. These people are eating fresh meat. The animal was alive an hour ago. That’s really fresh. And the taste is better. I saw a rooster walking behind a chicken. Right there on the sidewalk next to the people! And before you laugh, consider who’s eating better food. Some of us may not recognize the flavor of meat with no chemicals. Amazing stuff. 
After the sound check I came straight back to the room. I have to rehearse. 

January 28th 2:39pm
Yesterday Night was insane. So many different things happened in one night. I’ve seen and felt many things. So many feelings. Joy, happiness, a sense of profound belonging, accomplishment, gratitude, humility at how great God is, just an emotional whirlwind. We arrived at the venue and parked in a woman’s driveway. The area was a residential one. The streets were packed with cars. There were no spaces. Apparently the woman that owns the home next door to the venue allowed the Promotors to use her driveway. When we got out of the car, the people came rushing us for photos. I really don’t mind it at all. Sometimes these situations can get out of control. But so far so good. Once we got in, DJ China was playing. He’s a DJ from here and he had the people screaming. This was a moment. They see this dude all of the time. You would think he was a guest from way out of town. The people loved him. He was smiling from his heart. And killing his set while doing so. This is a real moment. I enjoyed his selections. And his entire set was under 120BPM!!!!
Ralf Gum is an awesome producer/DJ. He’s done some amazing jams over the years. It was a real pleasure to see him and QB Smith. They were both very kind to me. I must have taken 100 or so pictures with the people. I feel good. Soooooo much love from so many strangers. This is a love I can feel. There’s nothing fake about this. These people are serious about their music. And they love me. And I love them back. It was clear. I almost feel emotional. 
There is something about this moment that is extremely spiritual. This is not a game folks. And I’m not smiling as I type this. This love is a real love that is very fulfilling.
One guy kept calling my name. And I didn’t want to walk over to him because he was in the crowd. That could be dangerous. But after the millionth time he called me I went over to him. And when I got there, he could barely talk. He just got emotional. I had to console this dude!! 
There was another guy who said, “Your music saved my life.”
I feel blessed to be used by God.
Did you hear what I just said?
I know singers and musicians who I look way up to(way way up to) that haven’t been blessed with opportunities like this. I’m grateful y’all. I’m very grateful. 
Well, in other news, I’m now in my hotel room watching TV. And just like at home, “Ghetto” sells. 
They have scripted “reality” shows just like we do. And they have black people acting ignorant and foolish. Just like we do. Maybe I’m just a crabby old man that’s taking everything way too serious and I need to lighten up. 
I’ve never been rigid. But enough is enough. Scandal sells. I know, it’s business. But at what expense? I do business daily. But I will never earn a profit by presenting myself as a buffoon, a clown, a low class fool. I will never argue to the point of violence to make a dollar. My mom(whom I miss so much) taught us by example how to keep pushing for excellence. Acting stupid for money(in my opinion) is not at all excellence. Getting paid a lot of money to go on TV and represent the lowest me I can be is one step below suicide. 
But I digress.  

Just when I thought this amazing trip was coming to a close, Lehlonono, Zeedan, and Fentse took me to this fancy African themed restaurant.

 DJ China cane in and joined us. He was the DJ that turned the party out before me last night. Again, I’m happy. I love these dudes. 

I’m talking their heads off. There’s music playing in the background. “Forever Mine, Oh Girl. You’re One Of A Kiiiiiinnnd”. The O’Jay’s!!!!!
We ordered the Maputo Chicken Livers! Delicious. Zeedan ordered the lamb shank for me. The meat was seasoned perfectly. It fell off the bone and was so tender that I didn’t need a knife. Here’s a photo. But I must apologize. I didn’t think to take the photo until after I destroyed it. 

I’m about to board the plane and a couple of workers at the airport recognized me! To be perfectly honest, that never happens. I felt honored. They later came to the gate to take pictures with me. It was such a pleasure. I feel good. 

As I’m waiting to board, this woman walks by. I notice her feet immediately. She’s wearing sandals with very little strapping. Her entire foot was exposed. She took the time to get a pedicure, which I appreciated. And then I had an interesting thought. We laugh at women and some men with big feet. I wear a size 13. Her feet had to be a men’s 15. Easily. But my thought is, what’s so funny about it? Why do we laugh at that? Why do we laugh at things people can’t do anything about? 
On the other hand, there’s no excuse for ugly feet. It cost $25 for a pedicure. I guess all I’m saying is that if you’re going to wear sandals at least get a pedicure. If you’re going to subject the public to your feet that look as though they have full time jobs, get some paint on those puppies and sandpaper that hard skin off please. I’m no better. My wife hates it when my feet are very rough.
No disrespect to my sisters that enjoy the hard working look. But I’m feeling like I want to show some appreciation to the sisters that respect the polished route. 
Anyway, this trip was life giving. I have so many feelings. But what stands out to me is something the late Richard Pryor said. The whole time I was in the motherland, enjoying my host and the people, I didn’t see any niggers. 

Cuba Jazz Festival

Cuba Jazz Fest. 
Jan 16, 2018 10:00am Usually I have some story to tell you all about something crazy happening on the plane or at the airport. But so far, nothing. No crying baby, no smelly passenger, or talkative person. This trip, so far, has been smooth as ice. I’ve done the Jazz festivals maybe twice in my career. And there’s always a bunch of electric energy that flows through everyone involved. This particular project is special because we’re joining forces with a group of Cuban musicians. Some of which don’t speak English. We’ve rehearsed, and now we go out to Cuba and rehearse with them. The actual event takes place Thursday. So I’m sure it’ll be cool just vibing with Cuban cats tonight over some music, and things. So, guess what? I’ve decided that while I’m on my musical path, I will start a North Eastern chapter of The Little Bit Group/Project or something that mirrors the efforts of that particular group. I’m one of the busiest people I know. LOL!! However, through singer/songwriter Diviniti(founder of “The Little Bit Project”), I’ve learned how possible it is to help lots of families who really need it. I really enjoyed participating in her, now annual, Christmas drive this past December. So I’ve decided to bring her idea closer to home. And with respect to The Little Bit Project I will move forward under her umbrella. I’m about helping. And a lot of you are also. But I’ll let you all know when that time comes. In the meantime, CUBA!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!

We’ve gotten off to a questionable start. The plane that we’ve boarded hasn’t been properly checked and that means we must get off and board another plane. But Louie saw to it that I was upgraded. That was nice. Ever since America put Trump in office, I feel a slight tinge of embarrassment when I travel. I think we can all agree that Trump has said more than enough inappropriate things that should embarrass any American. This country has never been more divided than it currently is. Black people love Obama. And most of them will quickly tell you that. But Obama is not the president anymore. Trump supporters tend to point out Obama’s mistakes in an effort to lessen Trumps stupidity. Either way you slice it, the country is divided as much as it was in the 50’s. Anywhere in the world I visit, they know who America’s president is. Mainly because of his ignorance. And there’s nothing like an ignorant racist who’s in denial. Obama’s term in office has seemingly shined a light on how unqualified and ignorant the current president really is. Especially his lack of class. He’s not at all a gentleman. My point is to say that traveling as an American born person has it’s embarrassing side. “I just grab them by the pu__y.” Yep. The POTUS said that. I heard one Trump supporter say that she’d rather have Trump in office because she’s tired of the polished, TelePrompTer reading presidents we’ve had in the past. She wants a president that’s going to speak and make mistakes like normal humans. Mistakes and inappropriate language seems to be where the POTUS lives. Anyway, I’m inspired. With so many new artist coming out on Honeycomb, I feel like we’re moving in the right direction. Ritmo Y Tumbao’s album is insane! The album listening party is approaching. We’re all so psyched. It’s going to be a Listening Party for their album “Ay Dios Mio”. The gathering will be an invitations only event. I wanted this event to feel like the old school Listening parties. Not really a club thing. Dres and Cuba are definitely going to change the entire game with this project.

After eating the chicken meal on this plane, which by the way wasn’t that bad, I feel like I’d better go the restroom. I wanted to go before everyone else. The restroom line could grow fast on these planes. I go up to the restroom at the front of the plane. I get there and don’t see anything that remotely looks like a restroom. I ask the big and tall, bald, black dude who was our flight attendant, “Hey bro. Do you know where the restroom is?” To which he pointed at what I thought was just a wall or partition of some sort. It was, in fact, a door. I thought to myself “There’s no way a bathroom could be in there. It’s way too small. He must not have heard what I said”. The dude saw the look of confusion on my face. So he did what any brother from Brooklyn, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, or Brixton would have done. He opened the door and said “That’s how they make them.” His actions felt a little snippy. I go in and it was like a restroom for a baby. It was a broom closet with a sink and toilet inside. Imagine for a sec, the front of a plane, kind of narrow and short. Once I squeezed in and managed to shut the door behind me, I quickly realized that standing straight up was not an option. So I had to bend my knees ladies and gentleman. And even while bending my knees I had to slightly turn my head to the side because there wasn’t any headspace. Now for those of you reading this that don’t have a penis, you can skip to the next part of this blog. So I’m in the upright coffin of a restroom, trying to pee with my knees slightly bent and my head turned to the side. Now at this point, I’m realizing that the task of pulling my junk out, aiming it and shooting in the right direction was going to be a task. It’s bad enough I had to kinda lean against the wall a little. I had no doubt that old pee drops, and the like, from other male passengers have riddled the walls that my clothes are now touching. But I have to focus right now. This is a task. I then go for it. Everything I’ve drank within the last 24 hours was on its way out of me!!!!! It’s at this moment that I remember why I could never excel in Basketball. My shooting and aim is off!! At first I thought I shot in the bowl “all net” because I didn’t hear the pee hitting against the inside of the metal toilet. But it turns out, I was way left. So I panicked a little and jumped, splashing a very small stream of pee on the wall. In an effort to not soak the seat and floor with urine I tried to turn my head to look and see where I was aiming. That’s when it happened. “BAM!!” Slammed my skull right on the wall that I was trying to avoid by turning my head to the side. Slammed it good too. Somehow I felt humiliated and embarrassed! LOL!! So now that I’ve actually done everything I was trying not to do in this Rikers Island styled restroom I figured I may as well try to clean this mess a little. So as I shake to get that last droplet out(y’all know what I’m talking about! Stop being such a prude!), one disrespectful droplet went the wrong way and landed on the bottom of my shirt. How do these things happen to me? Lawd I messed around and got the cooties within a 5 minute time span. I’ve become the peeboy. Do you remember the little boy in school who used to smell like pee and the children called him the peeboy? That’s me right now. I’m thinking “Will this one drop on my shirt dry and smell when I get under the sun in Cuba? I’ll be honest with you all. I was really going to take a dump. But it was tight in there and I thought I’d just take a whiz instead. Geez.
It’s a little after two. We’re landing. That took almost 4 hours. I thought it would be sooner.

Martin Luther King day just passed. I’m not sure if anybody noticed. Growing up I saw all kinds of specials on TV about his life and all that he fought for. I don’t think I’ve seen any tributes this year. Hmmm. I’ll have to do something in honor of him next year. The other night we presented Poetry Night on our radio show on MixLR.com/honeycombmusic and if you weren’t there you missed a real treat. 2 hours of poetry. Some with music and some without. I’m getting older. And for me, lyrics are very important. I think we had a successful night on the show. Why am I blogging about it? I don’t know. Just felt like sharing.
I think I want a French Bull Dog. I’m going to name the dog Disco.

I’ve collected my luggage and now I’m sitting here waiting on everyone else. While I’m waiting I notice that the female TSA workers all look, and I say this respectfully, they look a little street walkerish. Fishnets, very tight mini skirts, lace stockings. What’s going on here???? Call me crazy, but somehow I don’t feel secure around these security guards. If something broke out around here, are these the people that are suppose to keep things under control? And they're all standing around not really doing anything. Nobody is working. They’re huddled in groups, laughing and talking.

We just finished rehearsing. Ray Chew put together a proper ensemble. An orchestra. And I was one of the vocalist and keyboard players!!!!! Don’t I sound like an excited child? Truth is, I’ve never played with a small orchestra. And this is a moment for me. Wow!!!! We worked through some kinks but it’s going to be good. I’ve met some amazing musicians in this orchestra. Everybody is trained. It’s really something to be a part of. I feel blessed.
Now that rehearsal is over, we’re all kinda hanging around the studio, waiting to go to dinner. The technology in Cuba is a little behind. WiFi, cable tv and things like that is very slow and unreliable. I’m sitting in the lounge right now with maybe 10 guys watching a baseball game and the TV screen is all snowy. And yet we’re watching it. And nobody had any issues with this. Just saying we are blessed.
At dinner. Sitting at the table with all of these artist. Everybody is feeling good. Most of us ordered the lobster. We’re drinking some amazing drinks. The food is well cooked. The restaurant is on the water. It’s kinda raining. So the water is splashing against the wall of the restaurant. I’m feeling what Essence(poetry artist) calls Zen. Our waiter is this tall and dark Cuban dude. Looks like he’s been in the gym. Bald head. Nice smile. Typical lady magnet. Dude was on point. I never had to think. Dude was bringing all of my thoughts to me before I could verbalize them. Once again, I feel happy. Parenthetically speaking, happiness, that is true happiness, is always present. However, times like this make it so much easier to find and enjoy.
 January 17th 9:38am
Today we’re off. Legendary Pianist Chucho Valdez is in town. We’re going to check out his performance tonight. I have the “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door knob. I plan to do absolutely nothing.

I saw Kathy Grier today. She’s one of the 4 people responsible for putting this entire project together. Brilliant woman. She knows things. I like that.

We had dinner in this absolutely beautiful place. It looks like it was once someone’s home. The ceilings were at least 15-20 feet high. There was some stained glass. The tiling on the floor is something that looks antique-ish. All I know is that it’s not cheap. Everybody from the project is here. All of the artist and musicians are here. We’re talking music, drinking, and just overall vibing. This is awesome. Again, I’m happy. Vivian’s personal assistant is a sweetheart. Kinda like a niece but a boss when we’re working. Today is her birthday. And it’s dope to see a young person with their head on straight, doing things right. I see so many young people just out here doing whatever. No real plan. And that’s almost accepted because of their age. But the younger generations are forced to get it together even earlier because of the pace of the world. Anyway, this is awesome.

 January 18th 2:37pm
Today is the day. Showtime!! We’re headed to sound check. Off topic, I’ve never disliked a president as much as I dislike Donald Trump. This man is such a horrible person. If I had to choose between him and Bush.... that’s a great question. If you had to choose between George Bush(either one) and Donald Trump, who would you pick?

Random thought. I love when Candy Crush gives me 6 hours of free playing time and a bonus candy bomb. Shut up. Don’t judge me!

We’re doing a sound check. As with any sound check, things come up that we can’t avoid but I’ll admit, yet again, I’m happy. I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud but I love playing with a group of musicians that are amazing. Strings, Brass, Percussionist, and we’re all speaking the same language musically. For some of us, music is the only language we’ll share. And I really love being able to speak to them on the piano and they speak back on their various instruments.

So let me tell y’all what the heck I just went through. After having the sound check we had to do an interview with a journalist while walking down the street. The problem started when we saw a truck with a smoke spraying device on it. We learned that Cuba has a mosquito issue. Now, in my heart, I’m totally freaking out. My entire family knows that I don’t do bugs of any kind. Especially mosquitos. The guy in the truck starts his spraying device and it makes this super loud, lawn mowing sound. At this point I’m uncomfortable. And the sun is going down. Fast. Now this is the perfect time for blood sucking mosquitos. And Axel’s mom told me that the mosquitos here carry the Zyka virus. Not that I plan to get pregnant, but I’m just saying. As the interview comes to a close it’s dark. I’m thinking “Mosquitos are out here for sure!” So I feel myself getting itchy, but I say nothing about it. I didn’t want to get on anyone’s nerves. Most people feel that my fear is funny or a joke. So I keep it on the low. And that is when it happened. I feel a small plop on my shoulder. And I immediate freaked out! I’m thinking this must be the Mandingo, man eating mosquitos. As I slap my shoulder in an effort to kill this beast that landed on me, I feel a slight wetness. Something Hey felt like a small soft pebble or something. And it occurred to me, that couldn’t have been a mosquito. I tell the journalist that something must have pooped on my shoulder. And she says, all nonchalant and calmly, “I saw a bat fly right over your head.” Now my first thought is to run. But I don’t know where I’m going. And I’m truly freaked out at this point. I took my shirt off because I wanted to see the bat guano on my shirt. And there it was, smeared in because I thought I was killing a mosquito! And when I saw it I felt my blood pressure sky rocket to the heavens. At this moment I know that I’d better calm all the way down. The journalist asks if we can walk up the street to take a few more pictures. I look at Louie because I’m thinking maybe she’s a little high or tipsy or something. A bat just flew over my head and crapped on me. And she wants to take pictures?!??? At that moment, I felt the spirit of Ike Turner fall on me like a dove. It was a sweet anger, a beautiful and soft rage. I started to take my shirt off and rub the bat poop in her hair. But she was so sweet I decided against that. The hotel was close, so we walked back. I’m calming down. As we were walking I notice a guy painting in his little room which was right next to the street. I stop to look and he invited us all in. This man is a true artist. Amazing paintings in this little room. While we were talking and looking, a BLACKOUT happened. A BLACKOUT!! I thought I’ve been through enough for a night and now this. Fine. We bid farewell to the man and walked to the restaurant across the street from the hotel. While we’re ordering food in the dark using our phone flashlights to see the menu, there’s a motorcycle accident right outside!!! What the ham sandwich is going on? And if one of you says anything about anything being in retrograde, I’m slapping you when I see you.

I ordered the fried pork chunks(no disrespect to my non pork eating friends and family) with rice and black beans. The dish came out cooked to perfection, and they put yuca and onions underneath it. Lawd I had to contemplate on whether or not I’m coming back to the states. This food is so deep and mind bending. It’s as though they put mood changing qualities in it. I’m telling you all, this food has to be from Jesus. I’m so serious.

I’m watching the show on the side of the stage. We’re all an hour or two behind schedule because of the Blackout. But it’s ok. People don’t seem to mind. But there’s a problem. I had fried pork chunks for dinner. And that means that I’m ready for bed.

 January 19th 3:30am

The show last night was good. Some sound issues, but nothing crazy. Y’all should have seen Vivian. She looked like the Queen Bee. She looked awesome. And that alone made me feel very proud of Ray! Anyway, all of the singers sang their faces off. Xiomara Laugart, Jon. B(who by the way brought his lovely wife. Lovely couple), Telmary, Jean Rodriguez(Latin Grammy Award winner), and a bunch of other singers that I don’t know their names. But they were all so so very good. It got spiritual at one point. There was a woman singing African prayers accompanied by a dancer. The singer is a Yoruba Folk singer. I think that’s what she’s called. And the dancer’s dance went with the song/prayer that the woman sang. The singer is a dark Cuban woman. Very very tall and Queenly. I couldn’t remember her name. So I called her Reina(Spanish for Queen). I met another singer who sang jazz fusion mixed with a little modern day soul but in Spanish. She looked like an African priestess. Here she is. The theater was very old. Probably not renovated since the early 60’s. The seats were the old styled theater seats with hand painted numbers on the side. And for me, it speaks to the testimony of Cuba surviving dictatorship. Axel told me that he remembers when the government would shut ALL of the electricity off at around 8 or 9pm, and turn it back on in the morning. I’m about to go home so I’ll stop this blog here. If you’ve read all of this, then you must really love me. I can be ling winded. But Cuba is rich with culture, spirit, beauty, happenings, and especially love. It’s hard to capture it all in a blog.

NEW MIXES ADDED! Janine Lyons, JoeKing and Josh Milan deliver their stellar new single!

link >> honeycombmusic.bandcamp.com/album/forbidden-song


IMPORTANT: For those who have already purchased this release and would also like JoeKing's mixes, simply go back to your original order link and re-download the package. The new mixes should now be included. If you still have an issue, please contact us directly at: licensing@honeycombmusicstore.com and the new mixes will be sent to you at no added charge.

Honeycomb Music is proud to present the fantastic follow-up single from Honeycomb Music recording artist Janine Lyons, entitled “Forbidden Song.” The music, produced by super talented producer and CEO Josh Milan, ties together elements of Chicago house, African rhythms, and a deep dance style that has made Honeycomb synonymous with quality soulful productions. With “Forbidden Song,” Josh makes no exception. Janine penned a profound spoken word piece about a forbidden love and a forbidden song. Her words and performance instantly transport you to a sexy and intimate moment between two connected souls. “Can’t look into his eyes too long. They may give me away…”Forbidden Song” and her prior “I Need To Dance” give us a taste of what we can expect from her forthcoming “Epiphany” EP – stay tuned for more from this powerful poet and artist.

Learn more about Janine Lyons in this dynamic interview on the Honeycomb website.

Visit honeycombmusicstore.com for more details!

Direct Link: honeycombmusic.blogspot.com/2017/12/honeycomb-music-artist-spotlight-janine_22.html


Spoken word written and performed by Janine Lyons.
Honeycomb Mixes written and produced by Josh Milan.
Recorded and mixed by Josh Milan at Honeycomb Music Studios in East Stroudsburg, PA.

JoeKing's Seduction Mixes produced, engineered and mixed by Joseph Tshokolo Dlamini aka JoeKing SA.
Additional music by Jay Sams (S.A.)

Mastered by Adam Cruz at EbbnFlow Studios in Bloomfield, NJ.
Published by Janine Q Lyons (BMI) and Josh Milan Songs (BMI).

Cover art design by Adam Cruz.
Executive Produced by Josh Milan and Adam Cruz.

©2017 Honeycomb Music, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Distributed by The Cruz Music Group, a Division of Mixtape Sessions Music, LLC.

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