Mr Catra @ Guanabara Club - Ctrl.Alt.Shift

I love a Latin rave, for more reasons than one. The people (the girls... achem), the vibe, the music - put that together with Brazilian rapper Mr Catra headlining a night, and we've got a winner! Here's my Ctrl.Alt.Shift review of a wicked night on the dancefloor:

Ctrl.Alt.Shift @ Mr Catra
You've got to love a proper Latin rave up. No - I'm not talking about what you might see some girls doing on MTV Base, or the vibe at some beginner's Salsa club. That's all groovy. But boy, Mr Catra's gig at Guanabara Club in London last night was just a taste of how crazy ting tings can get when Brazilians get manic on the dance floor.

What is defined as a mixture of funk, samba, rap and electro, Catra simply calls 'Baile Funk' - the music he grew up jamming to, straight from the impoverished sectors of Rio, and a vibrant sound that Catra is now almost single-handedly trying to deliver to a mainstream audience. The Brazilian star comes fully equipped with heavy beats, the guarantee of mass booty shaking, and socially engaged lyrics about life in the favelas (shanty towns) of Rio, the harsh realities of gang warfare and police brutality, and optimistic hopes for the future...

Read the full review here


Behind The Scenes @ Donaeo 'Let It Out' Shoot

It's not all seriousness in my world of journalism - sometimes you've got to improvise, have a laugh, enjoy the rolling punches and grasp the mad opportunities that may cross your path in the bustling city that is London town - let loose and 'Let It Out!' (as singer Donaeo finely puts it).

So, despite having limited musical skills (playing lead in a band as an emo-teen band doesn't count) and lacking on acting calibre (being called 'brittle' by my drama teacher in Year 8 stunted my dreams of ever becoming the UK's first Asian James Bond) - I headed down to the making of Donaeo's 'Let It Out' video in south London; after being abruptly summoned/invited by my Ctrl.Alt.Shift editor, desperately seeking a token Asian boy extra (thanks for thinking of me Chantelle Fiddy!). In all honestly, it was wicked day, I got a free lunch, an IOU from the boss, and all I had to do was release two balloons on camera...watch below - around 25 seconds in:

It was all good - and at least better than the girl who had to spit Tesco-value cherryade into the camera lens for her bit part. Other than that, I got to see the ins and outs of a video shoot (something off my list), bump shoulders with Donaeo himself, alongside rappers Wretch 22 and Double S, the always-inspirational actor Isaac Ssebandeke (and the rest of his crew from Channel 4's Dubplate Drama) - PLUS all the lovely female extras, who were thankfully just as lost as I was. A very random, but ultimately memorable stamp in my journalism chronicles. And who knows, there may be a 007 chapter on the horizon yet...