I had the most amazing night out this weekend with my roommate and another study abroad kid. However, returning to campus meant a combination of chilly air and dust, which has left me with a cold. Headache, sore throat, runny nose, the works. So I have been trying to keep a low profile, spending most of my time in bed when I am not in class. As the introvert that I am, it has been blissful. Munching on plantains chips, watching episodes of The Boondocks and Hello Cupid. Not talking to people. Sweet, sweet seclusion. One day, I may more morph into a more extroverted, social being. But for now, parties for one are my fave. Parties for two, if you count my box of tissues.
When I was younger, I would come home from school and join my mama in her office. While I would help her with filing and other tasks, we would have music sessions where she would introduce me to amazing music from the 1950s to the 1980s. I really owe most of my music taste to my mama. Thank you, mummy!
One of her favourite bands that she shared with me is The Kinks. Boy, did I have a major crush on 1960s Ray Davies in junior high school ..... 'Sunny Afternoon' reminds me of home and jam sessions with my mama in her office. Oh, the sweet ache of nostalgia ....
Recently one of my favourite websites, Afropunk, did a feature on Howard University students and their amazing sense of style. The photos were drawn from the Tumblr page Howard Style. The page had missing the US immensely and wishing that I went to an HBCU, all at once. It makes me miss the United States and in particular my college because I miss how diverse everyone there dresses and how they feel free to express their styles, moods and personalities through the clothes they put on their bodies. It makes want to go to HBCU because it would just be amazing to study with so many beautiful black individuals.
I have been on the lookout for the perfect jean jacket for a while. They just pull together outfits so well, and this is no exception. The lady above is giving me 90s realness with the printed mini-dress, combat boots and denim jacket combo.
This look is something I could totally see myself wearing. I love the high-waisted mum jeans and those oh-so-90s cartoons with which they are adorned. Paired with a crop and some timbs, this is a major hit for me. You could go from class to dance practice easily with this outfit.
I love the corset top, high-waisted trouser and pulled together a cute pair of fall boots. And is that a midi-length hoodie layered under a leather jacket? Slay.
I love it when a young man dressed like an old man. Like wearing Bill Cosby sweaters, or like the gentleman above, wearing a grandpa cap. The addition of the printed scarf and denim shirt, add some youthful ruggedness to his look.
Love it when guys embrace the dapper look. This fella looks classy as all heck, but also incredibly cool. *Says prayer to God for future bae to dress like this*.
I am kind of obsessed with this Tumblr, so this is only Part I of a Howard style inspiration series on this her blog. Stay tuned for more :)
I absolutely love this song by British musician Handbook. I first heard it about 4 years ago and became obsessed, playing it incessantly. It's became a summer favourite of mine and has been on replay every summer season since. Except this past summer, I seem to have forgotten about my beloved summer soundtrack. But today a status from Handbook's Facebook page popped up on my newsfeed that his song had reached 100,000 views. It brought this beautiful track back into my consciousness and boy, am I happy about that.
Uzoamaka is a role model for me for a number of reasons. For one, she founded The American Reader, a literary magazine that according to Forbes Magazine 'encapsulates the spirit of the age'. She made on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list at 25 for this and other achievements. AND last but not least, she has a banging style.
For one, she rocks a mean headscarf. From my last style post, it's no
secret that a person's ability to rock an impressive headscarf vastly
increases my respect for them.
Maduka founded The American Reader with her boyfrend, Jac Mullen. They complement each other so well, style-wise. And I love that they work together too.
generally just looks so effortlessly elegant, and incredibly cool all at
once. That is a skill few are able to master, in my opinion, especially
someone so young. But Maduka achieves this.
Today I have spent my evening listening to tracks by the amazing Dionne Warwick. My mama and I were having a conversation and she shared one of Ms. Warwick's biggests hits, called 'Don't Make Me Over'. The song has really hit the nail on the head for me with the day I was having. Thanks, ma <3. You always know what to say.
How lush is this wardrobe? I love how bright and airy it is. And the storage space. I have always wanted to have a really organized wardrobe, but I have yet to achieve that. I think with a space like this, it would be breeze keeping all my bits and bobs in order. One day ....
Nick Miller (portrayed by Jake Johnson) from the show New Girl is one my favourite characters on TV. His grumpy, old-man attitude paired with Bill Cosby sweaters and that oh-so attractive stubble really does it for me.
Lupe Fiasco (or LeePace Fiasco as my mama calls him) is one my all-time favourite rappers. He is one hip hop musician who started out with certain values and has been able to stick to them while contuining to grow and develop as an artist. His album Food and Liqour is one of my favourites of all time and this song is probably my favourite. Such a profound message.
Good day, wonderful souls. It is Tuesday and today was the first day of school after a refreshing long weekend. Yesterday was the Founder's Day or Kwame Nkrumah Day here in Ghana so we had no school. Turn up!!! .... With homework. Yeah, I was doing homework pretty much all day. Which was good. I got a lot done. I haven't done a post like this one in a while, so just sharing this photo that always gives me so much life. It is beautiful and gives the oh-so-important message of self love. Take time to appreciate yourself today. That way you have room to love and appreciate others too!
I am a turban fiend, and I have been since I was little girl, when I would watch my mum and Grandma tie beautiful headscarves and mimic them. This is wonderful stylistic tradition from my Ghanaian side that I try incorporate into my personal style. Yup, that's me having a little webcam photoshoot. *blushes*
There are so many ways to tie a headscarf, and I am always on the lookout for new ideas. I like to pair the turban with my fall and spring outfits. But since I am in tropical country for the semester, there is no autumn for me this year. Though many Ghanaian ladies are rocking epic turbans around me, my head gets too hot when I wear one for too long. Obviously, there are levels to this ish.
As mentioned, many boss ladies rock the turban during the summer. I do myself when I am deep-conditioning my hair and want an easy way to look presentable while moisturizing my hair. The ladies are above are killing the summertime turban look and making me think maybe I should toughen up and deal with the head heat. I mean it is a fair trade-off for looking this awesome, right?
I need a jumpsuit just the one the like the lady on the left is wearing (I believe she is the Paola behind Finding Paola). But getting to the point, how beautiful do these two look in their turbans?
This photo caught my attention on the Humans of Amsterdam Facebook page. She looks so poised and regal. Proof of the turban's elegance as a fashion statement.
The look worn by the girl on the right is a favourite of mine. I would definitely be rocking that if I were in the crisp autumn weather of the Midwest right now. The chunky green knit with a figure-hugging maxi and a towering headwrap. I like to imagine that on her feet, she has on a pair of brown lace-up Victorian boots or black patent Doc Martens. Perfection. Oh, and sister on the left is serving 80s realness with the blazer-mum jean-hat combo. Werk, ladiesss.
Those who know me know that I have an irrational love for the character of Fitzgerald Grant (portrayed by Tony Goldwyn) on Scandal. I mean look at him. That suit and tie swag is everything. He will definitely be receiving more love on this blog.
I follow this wonderful webpage called OkayAfrica. that is my source of all things Afro-Diasporic, in particular Afro-Diasporic music, fashion and art. They are always introducing me to new artists and designers, and I have mad love for this website. So the other day, a post from them popped up on my Facebook feed about Ibeyi, a French-Cuban twin sister duo, with their new song 'Mama Says'. I have been seeing images of these twin musicians around, but I had never given their music a listen. Boy, am I glad I did. They are amazing. Their vocals are effortless, soothing and powerful all at once. I will definitely be listening to more of them.
Also, can we address that one of these twins has a fro and the other hair that lies down? Am I the only one who think that's awesome? Okay.
One thing I am really missing from school is my dance team. It is the
place on my campus where I feel most at home, with my dance family.
Moving to the music with them just feels so right. We have shared so
many experiences, our team has become such a safe space for everyone in
it. Right about now, they are having auditions and (hopefully) welcoming
some new people into the family. So yeah, I feeling super
dance-homesick right. But today, I got to dance. We had Akwaaba Night
this evening, which is a dance party to welcome the freshmen and us
exchange kids. They set up the party spot right next to my room. As I
was getting ready, I could hear the music and was getting my dance on
big time! I geared up to go dance with this video. She is so GOOD! And
it felt so good to shake my groove thang.
So this is more like exterior inspiration than interior, but let's pretend that the title is totally fitting for the content. I love, love, love tree houses or houses made of rustic wood, like the one below. It's even better when they are located very close to water bodies. Water and wood, those are my jams.
This song is everything. I heard it on this YouTube webseries called 'First'. If you love a simple, beautiful love story with great filmography and an excellent soundtrack, you should check out 'First'. It is written by Jahmela Biggs, and featured on the Issa Rae web channel. You can find the first (no pun intended) episode here. Watch and get that goose-bumpy feeling in your heart. And of course, give 'Runnin Blind' by Elijah Blake a listen. Such a beautiful song.
Everyone, meet awesome musician Scott Matthews! Scott Matthews is a British singer-songwriter from Wolverhampton,
England (But why are my fellow Brits such killa musicians, though?). He got his commercial
break in music around 2006, when BBC radio DJ Janice Long began to play
his music on her station. That year he released the song 'Elusive' as his first single.
So a while back, I posted about a talented lady musician by the name
of Lianne La Havas. She made a cover of 'Elusive' which I love. At the time, I had not heard of Scott Matthews and did not
know that he was the writer and original singer of the song.
As I scrolled through the comment section, a small conflict had broken out with some listeners arguing over which version was better, Scott's original or Lianne's cover. Intrigued, I typed 'Scott Matthews - Elusive' into the YouTube search bar and gave it a listen.
Scott's original version is so beautiful, and for the next few weeks I listened to it obsessively. It felt like I had discovered a completely different song. The subtle quality of his voice and instrumentation of the song (oh, the guitar!) tugged at my heartstrings in a major way. I wanted to hear more of this musician and started checking out some his other tracks. I came across one of his albums, 'What The Night Delivers', and it became the soundtrack to the second semester of my freshman year.
The first song on this album is titled 'Be Myself Again'. The lyrics, as is the case with most Scott's songs, tell a beautiful story that the listener can relate to. For me this song meant a lot in the moments when I felt like was flailing. A reminder that sometimes you just need to bring it back to square one and figure out who you are.
Another song on the album that I adore is 'Ballerina Lake'. The thing that really gets me with this song is the melody. Scott softly picks the strings, almost lulling the listener. And on top of the soothing tune come the soft, yet intentional vocals. Again, invites he the listener to hear and partake in a story. He poses the question (one my favourite quotes): "What's a memory without a life?". The song entertains you, but also engages the mind. And the harmonies, *sigh*.
And let's be real, he is incredibly attractive (because it would not be me if I did not mention that, lol!). The floppy 1970s hair. The effortless brooding expression. Come on! And his personality too. In interviews, he comes across very humble and down-to-Earth. And he always acknowledges those who have inspired him musically which makes him even more attractive.
So thank you to Lianne La Havas for doing a beautiful cover of 'Elusive' and introducing me to Scott Matthews. You can find her rendition of 'Elusive' here.
So I forgot to do a positive thinking post last night. But I think it counts as yesterday's post since I am still in my pajamas and it's still morning. It's been a while since I did a list of things I'm thankful for, so I gonna bring that back. Ya ready? Let's go.
Today I'm thankful for:
1) The Grace of my Heavenly Father
2) The ability to stay in touch with my family (thanks, technology!)
3) Impromptu music sessions with new friends
4) Finding a secluded spot to sing loudly and freely
5) Fan Ice (So nice!)
6) Nutella sandwiches (Yumdelicious!)
7) Black Twitter/Socially-conscious Twitter (giving me life!)
Hello ninjas! Did you know that 'The Booty Don't Lie'? If you didn't, then now you do. I just love this song. Janelle Monae is another artist who I believe deserves all the Grammy's. She is so talented, unique and real. She dares to be different in a music scene that is becoming more and more aesthetically homogenous. Her suit uniform is beautiful. I wanna join Wondaland so I can have wear one too and dance like James Brown and be an android. Also the fact that she came together with my fave #CarefreeBlackGirl Erykah Badu aka Badoula Oblongata? Perfection.
This one is going to be a couple style inspiration post. The first one on this blog, actually. Rog and Bee Walker just give me so much life. They seem to have a love that is real and effortless. It's beautiful to see how they thrive in each others' artistic company and complement each other aesthetically too. A match of hearts and styles, what more could you ask for?
Aren't they just a beautiful pair?
And they have a Tumblr love story. Be still my heart.
In addition to the fact that she is a kick-ass photographer, I absolutely love the fact that Bee Walker rocks a gorgeous, dapper androgynous look and maintains her femininity. As she points out in her Style Like U video on boyish bodies and curves, one can embrace the tomboy aesthetic and still be curvaceous and womanly.
What is this amazing two-tone coat? Where can I find one?
And she has some absolutely gorgeous natural hair, too. One day, I will be as effortlessly chic as Bee Walker. She has mad life-swag. And God, please send me a Rog Walker. Amen.
We watched this incredible documentary in class today called Amandla!: A Revolution In Four Part Harmony about how South Africans during Apartheid realized that they would not be able to beat the oppressive minority with force. They found that they had the weapon of language and of music. They used music to keep themselves going spiritually and to incite fear in the Boers. I found it so inspiring. How Afro-diasporic people have been through so much throughout modern history and yet we continue to be persevere and to be beautiful, creative people. I pray this is something we do not lose and that we continue to honour the struggles and sacrifices of those who came before us. I will share this clip from the movie wth Hugh Masakela talking/singing about the significance of the train to South African life and music. Check it out!
Have you seen Amandla!: A Revolution In Four Part Harmony?
Anyone watch the TV show Girlsfriends where Saul Williams was Lynn's boyfriend and he was super deep and did poetry and stuff? That is where I first saw this smouldering fella. Look at his eyes, so beautiful and intense. Not to mention the hair and the beard! And he is so smart and just seems the kind of guy you could have a great conversation with.
I dream of having a beautiful outdoor chill spot to entertain people one day. The one above is so perfect. A table fire with a smore set-up would be perfect for slightly chilly evenings where you wrap up and sit around with good friends, talking till the early morn.
Can Bernhoft go wrong, musically? Not in my opinion. This guys deserves all the Grammys. He is amazing. I have been playing his song 'C'mon Talk' on repeat today. So good. I wanna be driving in a convertible under the summer sun while listening to this. And the way this man does his looping. So smooth.
Hello lovely souls! Just enjoying a steaming hot cup of Strawberry and Vanilla tea and getting ready for bed. I stayed up late last night chatting with my mama, which was wonderful. This morning, I woke up early (which was not wonderful) to do my laundry. I got it all done, but my arms are super sore and my fingers feel raw. Oh, the joys of hand-washing jeans. I spent most of the day just doing readings for my classes tomorrow and Tuesday. Now I think it is time for me to call it a night so I will be able to function tomorrow.
Recently, I have been listening to a lot of M.anifest. He is Ghanaian rapper who also happened to go to my college as well (Go Scots!). His new album 'Apae' is incredible and he spent this summer on tour with Damon Albarn (those of you who know which song inspired the name of this blog will know how excited this makes me) who is a fan of his music. Some believe he is currently the best rapper in Ghana, and you know what? I think they might be right. My current favourite track on 'Apae' is 'Someway Bi', which is social commentary on the day-today struggles of Ghana's citizens. It's great. Check it out. You might like it.
Hey peeps! I made my way to the city today and it was bomb. Went around picking up some stuff that I needed for school (water boiler, coffee (drool. hey, parenthesis within parenthesis!), and some clothessss). I had a really particularly lovely (surprising) experience in town. So usually when Ghanaian people (especially kids) see a white person, they exclaim, 'Ey, oburoni!' (foreigner or white person) to draw the attention of the person and greet them. So today I was walking with my Caucasian friend and as per usual, the utterance of 'oburoni!' was constant. Then out of nowhere, this one man we met called out to me, 'Ey, obibini!' ('obibini' meaning black or African person). I must have looked as surprised as I felt because he then repeated it, grinning and nodding, 'Yeah, obibini!', putting great emphasis on the word. Then he proceeded to acknowledge my friend with the customary 'Ey oburoni!'. I just thought it was kinda kool.
Anywhosies, we stopped my Mr. Price and I picked up a pair of Mary Janes (bringing back that kindergarten and primary school swag, y'all!) and a shift dress. Can't wait to pair the Mary Janes with tights, skater skirts and my green pea coat when I return to colder climes. And for spring and summer next year, when I'll pair the shift dress with my Air Force 1's.
So New York Fashion Week is coming to a close. Sad face. I thought I would share one more round up of my favourite looks, with images courtesy of The Fashion Bomb. You were wondering when I'd posty another set of NYFW photos, weren't you? You are welcome, friend.
The colour- and pattern-mixing in this outfit, though. It's like a technicolor dream.
Ghana-Must-Go bags turned into a banging suit. I can get with it.
That couple/friend swag, though. I want his short and her top. And her hat. And his hat too.
Short set with sneakers and crisp hair cut - it's that bae aesthetic.
I wanna look like this every single day ....
.... But I also wanna look like this every day. Fashion ADD? Probably.
London Fashion Week is about to kick off. Can't wait to see what the London fashionable ilk of London city have in store for us.
A friend posted this on Facebook and it gave me so much life. I have added it to my Christmas wish list. What better justification for my aversion to veggies? Also, I am allergic to apples anyway. Jk, I totes am trying to eat healthier. But still the humour of this tank had me cracking up and I am going to try and find one for myself.