5 minutes

But probably less…

Let’s take for example, the last time you flipped a coin to make a decision…

Say you’re happy with the side the coin lands on, is that some sort of numerical pattern or fate? Would you show disappointment if it doesn’t sit on the side you hoped?

Tell me again, why did you throw it in the air in the first place..?

What else have you already decided?

 

 

Artful: 2013, the year of the comeback.

A talent magnet, rising to fame as one half of Artful Dodger, now known as Artful, the chart topping British producer/songwriter who helped establish late 90’s garage among a club scene of pedal pusher, platform wearing bundles of energy, is now diving in for more. In 2013 Welsh born Mark ’Artful’ Hill, who holds four Ivor Novello Awards and a back catalogue worth about 10 mill, can’t get by without his wife, children and endless cups of coffee. “Kids forced me to play “Call me Maybe” in the car this morning….oh the pain… don’t talk to me, I think I’ll have a lie down”, he says of modern music.

Before dropping an albums worth of material later this year, waking at 3 am to feed the youngest baby, while your other hand turns controls on the desk, is this the life most bedroom dj’s dream of? He’s worked with an army of brand new talent, giving us an insight yet again to how the UK slate firms in future. Counting Ed Sheeran, Donaeo, Cairo and the highly anticipated Terri Walker [Salaam Remi, Ski Beats] among the next big game changers. Back with Busted in 2000, Craig David shot to fame from an Artful produced album Born To Do It, with David going then releasing a further five studio records, (he’s just announced a comeback too!), Artful went on to become and still remains one of the most influential multi-platinum producers to reign a generation. “UK G, needs to pop off somewhere hot”, Artful cites of his trips to LA, where he plans to showcase Future Garage, Dubstep influenced, UKG and RnB tracks. A glimpse of this sprung last year when he teamed up with Kal Lavelle for Sheeran penned Could Just Be The Bassline. Clearly on the ball with digital feeding time, listen to the brand new (and free) EP here https://soundcloud.com/thisisartful/sets/unfinished-business

Parting ways with friends, becoming a radio host and starting his own label Workhouse Records, it’s easy to consider how ‘trendy’ it’s become to board a train of reunion to fame. Nevertheless, this year Artful will embark on a tour as a live band. Having successfully created songs that people once again will run out of the toilets to dance to, continue to lead by example.
Artful- Like Unlike
Turn your speakers up and click here to listen to the brand new single which premiered on MistaJam’s 1xtra radio show earlier this week. Like Unlike is due for release March 24th.

Train life

I’m sitting on a not so high speed train from Birmingham to London, making my weekly trip to meetings and the like, and there’s two smartly dressed women in business suits at the table opposite showing me their tonsils.

I travel a lot, probably in the least jet setter style possible, but what makes it ok for you to have a nap on your way to a meeting? I assume that’s where they are going/coming from.

As I entered the train carriage I chose where I sat based on who I think is least likely to rummage through my coat pockets should I need to leave my seat and use the toilet.

I always have a cheeky little doze on a train in the evening after a hard days work, but with a full face of make up at 1 o’clock in the afternoon? Something that tells me that there’s more to this story, but trust me next time you think about snoring in public, be warned, it doesn’t look good.

Vote at 16

Today, 24th January 2013 MPs debated lowering the voting age to 16 in the British House of Commons. At the first debate in 1999, 34 MPs voted in favour, 2005 = 128 in favour, 2010 = 196 in favour.

Liberal Democrat and public health spokesperson Stephen Williams, who called the debate in the Commons raised the point that 12 years old is the age where we hold people accountable for their actions in criminal acts yet these same people have no say on the justice system they’re being thrust into.

Labour MP Julie Hilling voiced the women’s vote, because as shocking as it to remember, there was a time before women could vote, when they eventually could they wouldn’t dare be sent to fight for their country. UK law currently states at the age of 16 you can leave compulsory education to seek employment and earn money, which is of course taxable, (rates are basic meaning you may now regret your decision not to become a child actor!). It is also the national age of consent, trusting that you will be good parents. Labour Natascha Engel added “giving votes at 16 is about parliamentarians saying to young people ‘we respect you, we trust you to take responsibility’”.

Lib Dem Stephen Williams went on to include school councils and Labour Dame Joan Ruddock reminded us of the thirst for involvement where last year a total of 13,422 young people voted Rebekah Dike to be the Young Mayor of Newham 2012-2013.

However Conservative Philip Davies countered smoking at 18, driving at 17, and it’s fair to say with this logic then why not 14 or 12? He went on to say education and intellect doesn’t matter. Life experience is what gives people the worth of their vote. He expressed that it’s all well and being suggesting young people are well informed and have access to information to be able to understand the world around them, it is after all 2013. However, if people don’t know about politics, they don’t know about it, they are either informed or not regardless of what age. He concluded by addressing the speaker saying “MP’s are trying to be trendy”, raising the point that it could do more harm than good.

British ParliamentBut why not change the voting age to 16? Just because there is a general election doesn’t mean that your birthday falls in the right month (or day even!) for you to be able to vote, and now you have to wait for another five years, meaning on average some are 23 before they are able to actually make a difference regardless of their views. We must look at the Scottish following on from the decision to enable 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in the referendum on Scottish Independence in 2014. Look further into the UK at Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. Even Ireland, Brazil and most recently Argentina in November 2012, so why not the rest of the us?

Do we believe it is imperative for young people to have a say in the way their country is run, regardless of their age, active as citizens regarding needs and wants from as young as primary school? Some argue this would allow children to learn about decisions and consequences. Labour Lisa Nandy said citizenship needs to be developed into a high priority in formal education and back to further in Europe, Austria and Germany’s results have shown that if people are active in politics younger they continue to turnout to vote later in life.

119 votes to 46 – a majority of 73, was the way MP’s swayed today and although not the last we’ll hear as to whether this backbench momentum should change the voting age, there is now a solid argument on the table from all parties involved.

Got something to say? Get involved votesat16.org

As written for Community Channel, London 360 News

My Last 12

January 2012 started off with me homeless. I’d written yet another script, met with Channel 4 Execs and hoped for the best. Good news came mid January, where I worked at the now sadly demised T4. I witnessed all the backstage antics of Saturday morning television sharing corridors with Labrinth, Alexandra Burke, Stooshe, Emeli Sande and also made Ashley Walters a coffee.

Bourjois Boutique
In February I spent a lot of time up and down in lifts, working as part of the Repeats and Reversions Unit at BBC Television Centre, visiting Channel Schedulers; most of whom for various reasons are no longer there.

Soon after, I started work on a self -shot coming of age taster for BBC Three, after which I landed a job in BBC Factual Development. I picked up valuable life skills, by working on a taster for BBC One looking into the world of Crufts and Dog Grooming. As I had so much work to do, I decided it was time to get over my love for CSI as obsessive viewing made me have weird sadistic dreams. Instead I watched programmes like My Murder and wrote my first TV critique. 

BBC Development
In March, I secured a place at a hostel in Camden, and then spent a lot of time ‘working’ from home. I gasped at the media frenzy that was Kony 2012 only to see it fizzle out just as quick. I visited Celtic Manor (again).

Celtic Manor

In April, I landed my first Researcher role and hounded people to come on a talk show for a Sky Channel. I frantically put together scripts for guests such as, Founder of Gok Wan-Approved ‘Gossip School’ Natasha Devon, Rapper Ty, Broadcasters Jasmine Dotiwala, Ortis Deley, ITN’s Charlene White and after several borderline harassment phone calls to Sports Guru, Rodney Hinds, I persuaded him to do a phone interview. (Also got American Pastor, Mike Scruggs on the phone to explain why he thought having a stripper’s pole in Church was a good idea for his sermons).

Real Talk
May, I finally left London again, went to Brighton and enjoyed the one week of sun that graced the UK.

Brighton

I was then fortunate enough to attend my first ever listening party, Chapter V by Trey Songz. He actually came over to my seat and said hello to me (faints), and I gorged on Mini Cheese Burgers and Champagne alongside some of the best DJ’s that London has to offer, including DJ Trevor Nelson and DJ Swerve. Chapter V
The next week seemed to be a dream, as I interviewed Last King of Scotland, The Help and Rise of the Planet of the Apes A-lister, David Oyelowo about his latest film, Red Tails. Never have I ever seen a place as nice as The Soho Hotel and I’m pretty sure I made that clear to David and his PR. Next came the interview of my dreams, with Cheryl at The Langham. I had just under three hours to prepare for my interview with Chezza, and unbeknownst to my Editor I spent most of that time, choosing an outfit, doing a face mask and bouncing off my bedroom walls to her latest single- a routine I still practice daily.

Cerri and Chezza
In June I sold my first (actually second) car, the beloved 206 which since bought in 2007 had probably seen more Camera Kit than a SIS OB Truck. In July I celebrated my 23rd Birthday at Meat Liquor with some of my nearest and dearest, had a quick chat with up and coming rapper Maxsta and went to Dover for the day.

In August I attended the Paralympic Games and witnessed Houssein Omar Hassan’s determination and courage to fight through pain to finish his 1,500m run. This man showed me that you can never have a reason to give up. Proudly, alongside 80,000 others, I rose to a mexican wave style standing ovation as he finished his 11 minute ordeal around the track. I was also there to see Richard Whitehead win a Gold Medal in the 200m T42 Final on the same day.

IMG_3330
In September, I started this blog to document my life as it seemed to be going by so fast.
I got the chance to enter Houses of Parliament to interview David Blunkett. This was work for The Princes Trust Policy and Strategy Department, supported by News International. Tables turned and I was interviewed and featured in News International’s internal Newspaper with the headline, “Listen Up- This Is So Taylor-Made!”

Cerri and David Blunkett

I added two more print articles to my belt,  featured in the MOBO Awards Liverpool 2012 Magazine.

In October I was transported back to April 2011 where it all began, and found myself doing the first job that got me my break in TV, but this time for more money. I also got a chance to witness a real life fashion shoot, where I was assistant to the Creative Director of Rewind Creative Media for the Face of JD Sports Winter and Outside Billboards Campaign.
Face of JD 2012

In November, my Granddad Vinny passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and I left London again to be with my family in Birmingham.

Later, I became a Journalist at the Community Channel, where I was extremely lucky to attend the Spirit of London Awards, which reminded me of my own humble beginnings.

So in 2013? What can you expect from Miss Taylor?  Considering that at the start of 2012 I didn’t have a home, or money in the bank, “any dream will do”.