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My New Favorite Track: Kiril feat. Ras Tweed & Esma Redzepova (Queen of the Gypsies) – Raise up your Hand

Tuesday, 16. February 2010 3:32

Over the years, Balkan flavours have emerged to be a consistent favorite in my mixes. At first it was the freshest sound on the block, but even as the Balkan scene exploded, my enthusiasm grew. Perhaps it’s because these countries are the closest to part of my own heritage, culturally speaking (Mom & grandparents are Czech), but also – Balkan tracks are just damn fun -’specially when fused with some good ol’ fashioned Jamaican-style MCing ala Ras Tweed.

First, you really, really gotta know who Esma is in order to really appreciate this track.

Beloved singer of the Romani people, Esma Esma Redzepova Teodosievska

Daughter of a Turkish Muslim Roma (Mom) and Albanian-Serb Catholic Roma (Dad – who had a Jewish Iraqi mother), Esma is the beloved of Roma people everywhere, labeled Queen of the Gypsies during a tour to India in ‘74. Her career began at age 9 in Skopje, Macedonia, when she joined a local Romani band. By the time Esma was 13 years old she had earned enough money to set her father up with a shoe-shining kiosk in the Central Square. At age 14 she was discovered by the man later to become her husband, Stevo Teodosievski, when she won a contest sponsored by Radio Skopje .

Some 500+ recordings and two Nobel Peace prizes later, Esma – born in 1943 – is still rockin’ it, as evident by her performance in the high-energy dance track you’ll see below. She has fostered over 47 street kids and orphans and given them musical training to boot, sponsored countless humanitarian organizations, and began her own foundations: the Home of Humanity and the Museum of Music. She unabashedly admits that she is a ‘money-making machine’. However, she redistributes her wealth for the good of her people, and in fact, all people. As Esma’s own heritage encompasses the trinity of monotheistic religions and their respective cultures, she has no tolerance for the division of humanity along racial, cultural, or national lines.

Her musical history and her generosity both of spirit and material wealth are phenomenal and it is worth reading more about her if you’re whiling away the hours. Seldom does history produce a deservedly-revered performer the likes of this.

Hands up! Go Macedonia! You can expect me to be playing this fantastic treat at a party near you! (Perhaps you’ll come out this Thursday, February 18th).

Category:Uncategorized | Comments (2) | Autor: lady ra

Beats without Borders & 5 Years of Global Goodness!

Thursday, 3. December 2009 18:17

Vj Electrabelle, dj Nils, Lady Ra, T-spoon

Vj Electrabelle, dj Nils, Lady Ra, T-spoon

Whoa, 5 years working with my 3 ‘brothers’ on the Beats without Borders Collective project! It was actually Adrian’s idea, originally, one of his many. And this particular one took root and grew! He envisioned a radio show. Collectively, we thought the radio was a bit limiting for our collective talent and the club nights were born! The combining of live musicianship, dancers, dj’s, and a vj was too enticing to pass by. Oddly enough, the other ‘World’ fusion collective in town, Electropical, began at the same time and celebrates their anniversary in the same week as ours!

It hasn’t always been easy, working with our different personalities and visions, but it has been satisfying. We created our own outlet for what we wanted to contribute to this town (and sometimes far beyond) and without it, certain things most definitely would not exist (Delhi to Dublin – Tarun’s super-Indo-Irish-etc-group, born of a night we did for Celticfest). And for me, it has given me opportunities to share the music I collect and love that has spread from here, to Dubai, to Australia, and in between. I have met like-minded people around the globe and realized once again, just how small our world is.

Our past celebration was off the hook; Nicodemus and Zeb (the Spy from Cairo) were gracious guests and performers-on-fire, and the people who came to celebrate us filled the dance floor with the best vibes I’ve experienced in a long time! Gracias por todos – to my BwB home crew -Nils & Tarun, to Adrian, now living off the land in Hawai’i, to Nico and Zeb, to Suez, our Vj who’s never missed a show, and to all of those who supported us and made this all possible through half a decade! Viva la musica!

Category:Uncategorized | Comment (0) | Autor: lady ra

My new friend Zeb – the Spy from Cairo

Tuesday, 17. November 2009 22:46

Nickodemus &  Zeb of Turntables on the Hudson, NY

On Sunday morning, the Creature of the Night, yours truly, got up extra early to interview one of our special guests for Thursday night’s party. In case you’ve been hiding in a cave, on Thursday night, my home crew Beats without Borders ( will be celebrating their 5th Anniversary in bringing the finest Global Fusion talent to Vancouver (as well as developing our own).

Anyway, I interviewed ‘Zeb – the Spy from Cairo’. It was a most hilarious and highly entertaining chat and you can go to my ‘music’ page and listen to it yourself – really, you should! The funny thing too is that ‘Zeb’ is of Arab descent yet calls himself something that in Arabic means… well, if anyone can tell me what it means I will send you copies of my mixes on CD as a prize!

But the current issue is that in fact, Zeb, who was/is to be my houseguest as well as a featured musical act at my show, did not board his plane in Newark this afternoon because the crew at Continental would not allow my friend to keep his oud with him. Way to go, Continental! But we will find a way, because we want our friend and special guest with us no matter what!

Please go to the ‘upcoming events’ page or to get tickets for Thursday’s fanastic event, also starring Nickodemus, founder of New York’s Turntables on the Hudson. See you on the dancefloor, yo!

Category:Uncategorized | Comments (3) | Autor: lady ra