Grammy 2017: We Are Lost In A Masquerade 

Adele is making my head burn. No doubt. Congrats! She hasn’t lost a Grammy since 2012 and split hers in half to give it to Beyonce…😓 who with Tupac, Prince (a god who walked among us), Mariah Carey and Kanye West never won an album of the year Grammy. Tupac said back in 1996 “we are tired of this event, it’s always the same, boring.. it’s time for something new, time to shock the people” I didn’t mentioned Taylor Swift yet (and I don’t know where Rihanna is) but I’m still baffled while playing George Benson’s song now in heavy rotation: “We are lost in a masquerade🎶” #grammy2017

11 Reasons Why The Ipad Air 2 Will Be Your Next Tablet

“Apple’s latest keynote was disappointing”, “Steve Jobs is really long gone”, “Tablets sales numbers have tanked”, “Apple’s stock has plummeted”…why all the fuss? I’ve already written about the iPhone 6 and the reason why I wouldn’t go for it. But the iPad Air 2 is really full of promises. I came to this conclusion after thorough researches online, the only tablet that could have distracted me from it is the Surface Pro 3.

Skinny rhymes with portability
How tin it really is? 6,1 mm… it makes me lose my mind. As a creative, I spent 20% of my time pushing pixels in my laptop. The other 80% are happening out there, on the field, where I’m meeting with clients, dealing with objections, educating them on my craft and selling. Imagine yourself carrying your laptop, charger, sketchbook and accessories all day; back and forth. I didn’t even mention the projector and its cables  you’ve put in a separate bag. I’m definitely seeking for more portability.
bag

Amazing screen resolution
2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 ppi, the screen looks gorgeous. Retouched photos, drawings and even your videos project will ease sales pitches. Seeing is believing.

Outstanding performances
Incredibly fast, 64-bit, A8X Application Processor and 2GB of RAM. According to Daniel Eran it “smokes Android tablets”. That makes the gaming experience on a tablet a real breeze. Check the bench below:
performances
Durability
I own an iPhone 4s since 3 years now, and it just works. My PC laptop is like 4 years old and is slow like hell. I’ve cleaned everything I could, increased the Ram, it’s still clunky and bugging. I know the battery will cost me an arm to replace. With the awful experience I get in windows environment right now, how could I expect to take on the Surface Pro 3’s journey? At least I’m sure of one thing, my iPad Air 2 will last longer.

Storage
The extra 100$ for the 128 GB version is a clever investment. Remember, you are in for a long run so why not go big? Notice that the space can go up to 1Tb with a Dropbox subscription. Coupled with external drives, iCloud, you’ll get enough room to play. A tablet is not made to store all your data anyway. Once you are home, plug your iPad to your laptop and transfer them data in your hard drives. Some may complain about Apple’s restrictions when it’s about sharing, but software like iMazing are simplifying things a lot. No need for opening iTunes constantly.

M_Mobile-Drive-Mg_MacBook

Battery life

Up to 10 hours, that’s plenty enough to take it away with me in the train or in the airplane. Enough to watch a movie, or play games. Plus we are all carrying power banks which can charge our devices up to two -even more- battery cycles. Wall huger no more.

Plenty of quality apps! 
Once upon a time, I owned a Nexus tablet. Let me tell you this Android’s apps are ugly. That’s true! Most of the apps are free there but they look terrible. Publishers are catering to the iPad too: Communication Arts for example, is not available on Android, nor GoodReader (pdf reader) and Procreate (drawing app). Trust me, when you buy a tablet and you are not seeing your favorite app in the store, you’ll put it down and get away from it with frustration. Sad experience like this makes it hard to forgive a manufacturer.

Business tool
I’ve mentioned my projector lately. PowerPoint & Keynote are tools that will move your audience in a big way.
For around 9$/month you’ll get the Microsoft Office 365 experience, and it comes with 5 licenses for you to share, including tablets. The keyboard will NOT cost you -like the Surface Pro 3- 124$ more, I got mine for 19,99 $. Oh! don’t forget a Lightning digital AV adapter if you want to use your projector’s HDMI port. Good news: Apple’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote are now free* (* for qualifying iOS 8 compatible devices with initial activation on or after September 1, 2013)
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Creative tool

Adobe’s apps are living up the iPad expectations, –although Microsoft is putting its feet into the game as well– they are exclusive to iOS. Android hasn’t catch up yet; when I type “Adobe” in Google Play’s search panel, the results are saddening. I really hope Adobe will work this out, I’d like to shoot photos on an Android phone (in general they have better cameras) and see them appear in my desktop via Creative Cloud. Yes iPad’s 8 MP camera is also great, but my Canon Powershot can do the job quietly at a wedding ceremony. Lightroom for iPad is available too! So you can shoot, make quick photo adjustments, and find them all synced on your machine at home. Digital illustrator Kyle Lambert did this amazing Morgan Freeman’s portrait with just his fingers, on Procreate!

kyle-lambert-morgan-freeman-ipad-finger-painting-color

Music on the go!

Any musicians in the room with Garageband installed in their tablet? Please, stand now! Apple has instilled music in its products. They’ve nailed it. Download Ik Multimedia virtual amps, plug your guitar into the iPad, and rock away. Want a concert piano sound? iGrand Piano will offer multiple sound choices to you. With Audiobus , you can even add other inputs, Fx and outputs apps without leaving Garageband. Transform the iPad into a drum pad with iMaschine to create your own beats. Feel the great mobile digital audio workstation experience with Beatmakers 2 or Fruity Loops and upload your creations to your Soundcloud profile.
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Open door for app development
Creatives and business people will love the iPad, but nothing keeps you from learning code and design your own apps. Apple felt that app coding was tedious and reserved to the elite developers out there. Now, they are bringing it to the masses with their new language Swift. So now you can learn at your own pace and be the next “Flappy Bird” creator, earn your money from the iTunes store in the process.  

Conclusion
I’m planning to ditch my aging PC laptop, while waiting for my new iPad. Purchase decisions are getting harder with tech competition getting higher, It’s essential to know what to expect from a device, think out of the box and getting more creative. It took me weeks to chose between two tablets.
People are complaining because they didn’t exhaust the huge amount of possibilities a tablet can do for them. Yet some don’t even know how to sign a pdf in it. They just want to watch videos & shows, take photos, and read magazines or articles. Hence, they get bored quickly. There’s so much more left to do! I think that laptop’s extinction is not around yet. For people like me, who just bought a Macbook Pro, it makes all sense. We don’t want devices that make us forget our laptop or desktop, put them in the corner -nobody puts a Macbook Pro in the corner-. The tablets are made for doing tasks on the go: light photo adjustments, quick sketches and notes. And internet now allows you to get an access to your data anywhere. The only thing I regret on the iPad right now -and iOS 8.1 in general- is a real multitasking experience. Maybe -and I hope that- folks at Cupertino are working on it.

I Don’t Believe In Free…Unless…

Yesterday U2 gave an interview on french cable channel: Canal+. I couldn’t help but think about the iPhone 6 launch a month ago, and my surprise when I found their album appears in my aging iPhone few days later. I didn’t listen to it. My first reaction was like “how to delete this?”

I guess I’m like the 500 minus 33 million people who didn’t give a fly. The problem of U2 is that they are popular, you know that they exist; but you can’t remember their songs clearly. They are stuck between generations. Young people don’t care about U2, they are more into Coldplay and Imagine Dragons or Echosmith. I don’t know why Apple wanted to push that “free” album pill down our throat, but it certainly WASN’T our desire.

My mum zapped when she watched Bono sing acapella on the show “he’s singing off key, I don’t know him he’s boring” she said. That was it. No Bono tonight.

Next time we want to give something free to our audience let’s make sure that they need it and may care for it in the first place.

What about a Coldplay free album? There you go!

Where is the Music going?

“I never listen to today’s pop music, because there’s no challenge, I easily see the patterns … I draw all my inspiration from classical music, where I often find genius, ” – Sting.

Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Berlioz and others might have been on the verge of going out of their graves when he said that.

Usually, I’m drama free. But there’s one thing on my mind when I sit down, thoughtful: why all the fuss in music industry today?! Blame it on Miley Cyrus…?
Don’t worry this post is not a rant about the girl. I try to understand why and how we got there.

Here comes the drama...
Here comes the drama…

Music is powerful! It’s everywhere! It captivates us, our mum put us some music while we were still in their bellies (for the lucky ones like me), we delve into the drawers of our parents (there’s always an old vinyl records to blow the dust off).
In the office, we are always “wired “. Anything goes: Jazz, Soul, Neo Soul, R&B, Hip- Hop – American music only, please, thank you!- I realize that in terms of melodies, I am a pure American product. The only time I regret all the noise, is when someone cracks a joke and I see the smiles on every faces. I look really stupid, removing the headphones and saying “Huh?” Hoping that a kind soul will play it back for me … it rarely happens. “Too late! The story is too long, you should be less connected next time. “
That’s all I got!

Let’s push this rewind button! (Since colleagues don’t want to!)

Here they are, all the Jazz masters looking at us, those were the good times!! Armstrong, Gillespie, Simone, Holiday, Charlie Parker, Ellington, Mingus, Davis… (You can complete the list)

Jazzmasters watching us!
Jazzmasters watching us!

However, the « Cyrusgate » reminds me of an icon: Josephine Baker.

Shake it Jo !
Shake it Jo !

 

Many were not born at the time. Make no mistakes, it was shocking to dance topless, almost naked and with bananas around the hips. How the white people saw it? And the black community? I think they also lost their bottom jaw like we did watching the VMAs. Come on folks!  This is the VMAs! We used to it, we saw others perform the same way, remember? Madonna, Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson, Britney…
Why Oh why, we are starting violent revolutions and it hurts our feelings when the music takes wrong directions like this?

The spirit is gone: “A change is gonna come,” sang Sam Cooke. I don’t see the change coming! Music used to make ​​us feel good, really good, everything made ​​sense then! It made sense when Marvin sang “Sexual Healing” or how to express a strong desire in a classy manner. Women are complaining about how we men are talking to them: seduction game. They are right, but it’s not our fault! The words of music we listen today are hollowed, it don’t help us!

Musicians are sh * t: Crazy scenario: they call an excellent guitarist out in the studio, and after that they say “thank you for everything, this is your money goodbye!” There are so many musicians who deserve more credit! After all they MAKE the music we listening to. But who will search in the booklet for the talented guitarist who played with Janet Jackson, Prince, and Jill Scott? Musicians are at the system’s mercy.

Show ’em money: Here we enter the rapper’s realm, it’s pretty basic: one must take a photo of himself counting the money! All the goods under the sun that money can buy, audience should know: we own it!

Mo' money mo' problems
Mo’ money mo’ problems

Show ’em what money can buy: Stars might think we are so into their pockets. Showcasing themselves do some shopping, frankly… who cares? Well, 85392 people!

Shopping and studio?
Shopping and studio?

Show them who is sleeping with who. Again, no comments here. The world is excited, waiting for the next sex tape to pop out. Nobody royally cares! Even Kanye West!

Give them pin-up, yeah we want prenup! Mirror, mirror, on the wall … what’s the best way to show my body? Will it help me sell more albums? I don’t know where that logic comes from, surely from this legendary attraction women have for mirrors. And their legendary narcissism too. Selfie syndrome. For example, this a singer that I like: Tinashe. Great voice, pure talent, but too much “playmate” photos of her on social media, this really saddened me.

We want Prenup yeah!
We want Prenup yeah!

I said to myself “Ok, maybe it’s an isolated case, relax… there’s still hope” I raised my hands to heaven when another of my favorite singers, Jhene Aiko, started doing the same thing!

No..Aiko too ?
No..Aiko too ?

Let’s not be hypocrite, the man inside me like that! But hey, we talking about music!

Girls gone bad & wild! I never saw Whitney Houston or Alicia Keys or Aaliyah in sexy lingerie (well it was for the sake of a movie). Girls, we guys have all the porn in the world that reminds us all the naked women we will never have. Don’t you think it’s enough?

Give them a real rant on twitter … or elsewhere!  Rihanna “Queen of disorder” loves her fans – she shows up late to almost all of her concerts- but when she decides to start dissing another artist, everybody is ready to give attention; and we will talk about that for weeks.

Laziness is key: You remember Fred Astaire? He makes ​​you move your head, clap your hands (don’t get me wrong but my mum is a big fan of Astaire) a true god of dance. I’ll add others like James Brown and Michael Jackson.
All had one thing in common: they were hard workers. Perfectionists … Youngers inspired by elders. Michael made holes/marks on the floor of his dance room because he kept repeating the same movement again, and again. Nowadays what could possibly inspire us? Must be the signs of decline.

Shock them, they will buy: Deliver scandals at all costs! We want the buzz, the number of likes, and number of views, who has the greatest power to fill stadiums. Maybe because we don’t have much content, we lack original ideas, following the flow of ambient shallow and emptiness is more appropriate.

Oh, I forgot…
Finally, the Medias & marketing have ruined the music industry, and at the same time, they keep it alive. It is an endless circle. All the communication tools available, we invite the world in our bathrooms, no problem! It’s cool! Meanwhile, we at war: R&B singers VS rappers who are now singing more than they actually rap, and they sing “we do what we want, we make more money than you anyway so shut up!”

Some artists try to resurrect the music, and they are really trying hard, the problem is: we are so lost in all this mud I mentioned before, that their albums will go unnoticed both in the opinion’s mind and in the charts. Only a few purists go buy.
I recently listened to the album “Mood Swings “from a very natural and awe inspiring artist Maxine Ashley. Maxine shares with us her world, her enthusiasm for Nina Simone’s music and we can feel that influence in her voice.
What I said and will keep saying: nothing is created from nothing, we are inspired by our heroes and add our share on top of it. It’s just about choosing the right heroes. We need more bold moves like this.

I love the character that some artists play, protecting/exposing themselves from Medias, we love actors. But once the success and money are gone what’s left?
All the greatest are gone! Don’t you feel there was a time in music where once a real star rose to success, God told him/her: “Enough! You! Come here! You making too much good noise.”

A band of music orphans, that’s all we are.
When the album will be dead, we’ll be sadder, more nostalgic, and way more old-fashioned than our parents!
Oh and when they told us that they didn’t understand our music, we said “Oh, whatever, I’ll never be like them…”  Yeah, yeah, yeah…