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Janelle delivers an electric set

WHEN JAS MET JAN: Jasmine with Janelle Monae

ONE BEAUTIFULLY hot evening, US star Janelle Monae took over the London skyline during a showcase at the new hotspot for the music industry – the Radio Bar at the ME Hotel. Janelle welcomed us all to her rooftop showcase, where she encouraged guests to kick off their shoes and party with her and her team. In town to promote her new album Electric Lady, the singer told the crowd: “It would mean a lot to me if you’d take your shoes off on the grass – this is the American south in London. Immerse yourself! To be really victorious you have to find pleasure in the small things.”

Janelle was born and bred in Kansas, and like the fictional character of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz – who Janelle has previously compared herself to – she really did take the guests to a dreamlike state of happiness.

Delivering an infectiously fun and bubbly set, Janelle’s new music reminded me of a mix between Andre 3000, Dinah Washington and Bruno Mars. It was happy; much needed to counter a lot of the materialistic crap that’s often in the charts.

Dressed in black patent loafers, trousers, braces and a bowler hat with a white shirt and black and white dog-tooth checked blazer, her Rat Pack look started neat and groomed – before she unleashed her electric dancing onstage, which saw her perfectly coiffed hair flung around and falling everywhere!

She also used the evening to speak about her love of art and her paintings. She has a painting of an ‘electric lady’ and with that title, she wants to create a label that defies the “modelisation” of women. In addition, she explained that her new album carries universal stories in unforgettable ways.

In the house were Atlantic Records’ Taponeswa Mavunga; DJs Twin B and Ronnie Herel; former RWD magazine editor Hattie Collins (who is now writing a number of biographies for UK music acts); rock hip-hopper Clement Marfo (who revealed he is now solo and no longer with his band) and many more. Great evening.

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JOKES FROM GINA


FUNNY SET: Gina Yashere and Jas

The hilarious Gina Yashere took part in the Udderbelly Comedy Festival, which saw hundreds of people come out to watch a host of comics perform in a giant upside down purple cow – hence the title ‘udderbelly’!

Gina was really funny; her jokes were both shocking and hilarious, and captivated the very diverse crowd. She showed her freestyle skills by bantering with a huge hen party who were in the audience, and also a young man who attended with his mum.

The set saw her offering her crazy point of view on a variety of things including the Olympics, Oscar Pistorious, rappers and more!

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JOSH ON THE RISE


ON THE RISE: Josh Kumra

Miss killin-it-everywhere-right-now Rita Ora recently performed at a very special showcase at Café de Paris for Mastercard’s Priceless campaign. As expected, she was mezmerising and delivered an exciting set.

But before she hit the stage, British singer Josh Kumra served as the opening act and gave an impressive performance. He’s been steadily putting in the work to build his career for some time and his acoustic set showed him to be a very capable and pleasant music act. His chart time is coming soon.

Congratulations to Shaun Springer at Mastercard – another priceless night for music fans!

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GIRL POWER!


WHO RUNS THE WORLD?: Beyonce at Chime For Change

Almost two weeks on, and I’m still buzzing from the excitement of the Chime For Change concert. Featuring performnces from J-Lo, Mary J Blige and headliner Beyonce, the show was held to raise awareness for female issues globally, and saw over 40,000 come out to support the cause.

I was lucky enough to have been invited by my cuz Janet Shaw, who was working with Control Room – the team that put on the whole gig. We were treated to a spot in the executive box, where a waiter plied us with drinks and an array of fancy food.

Queen Bey came on and killed it in her usual superhuman style and as ever, her set was incredible to witness. A fantastic show, made all the more significant as it was for such a great cause. Kudos to all involved.

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