Y’Akoto – Mermaid Blues

Y’Akoto’s New Album


Bio from 2014


Letting go. Backpedalling. Taking a deep breath, The easiest things are often the most difficult ones to do.

But in the supposed banality of these things lies the danger of losing oneself on the surface and forgetting them. It’s that simple.

Even Y’akoto, an artist known for her level-mindedness, is not immune from this danger. Particularly because the past two years were so exciting, eventful and grand that one can forget the little things on top very quickly. After all, Y’akoto was praised by the music press as giving a new voice to the legacy of such singers as Billie Holiday and Nina Simone and without further ado, she launched a new genre called
Soul Seeking Music with her combination of folk, pop and singer-songwriter soul with an African touch.Not to forget the countless shows where Y’akoto performed with such established artists as Erykah Badu, Nneka, Asa and Joy Denalane. And her first headline tour of her own that not only included dates in Germany, but also in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Vienna.

Even now, “BabyBlues” is still making an international impact. The album was just released in the USA in February. The track “Diamonds” is featured in the new Steve Pink film “About Last Night” and is included on the international soundtrack. And in Italy, “Without You” is climbing in the national single and airplay charts.

However, despite all of these formative events and wonderful experiences, Y’akoto remains driven by insecurity. She is still searching: for the answers to all of the countless questions about life, for the best song and, not least of all, for herself.

“I have accepted insecurity as part of my life. That’s me, I’m insecure, not always, but
sometimes, and I express my insecurity in my art.”

Therefore Y’akoto has made the best of this and made her insecurity the leitmotif of her new album. And this was a good decision. In the end, her growing insecurity is largely due to the situation that she has become more open, reveals more of herself and questions things more often. Her inconstancy doesn’t come from a lack of self-confidence, but from the courage to make herself vulnerable through her music. For
instead of writing her pains away from her soul, Y’akoto writes herself into the pain in her soul and tries to take command of the general disorientation of the world by musical means. “I let all kinds of expressions pass right through my system. I don’t let it pass through a filter, instead I just take it, there for, I feel a lot without judging. I used to protect myself against that. I even intoxicated myself, smoked some weed, but now I’m interested in the entire experience of ‘feeling'”.

Y’akoto has grown, not only musically, but also as a person. While her previous album was mainly defined by anger, sadness, defiance and cynicism, the helplessness that accompanies these feelings is transformed on “Moody Blues” to the urge for change.The fear of emotional injuries has given way to genuine care for
the needs of her fellow human beings. The thoughtless focus on one’s self has made room for a sincere interest in the world’s problems. “Through real confrontation with life and people, I feel like I’ve come a little closer to myself. I could have chosen to be mentally isolated from everyone and everything, or I could have just leaned into life and rely or trust the people around me. I don’t want to be totally independent, I want to trust and love even if that makes me more vulnerable. Being more vulnerable makes me stronger.”

Read her full bio.

Visit Y’Akoto’s website.


5 power foods that every pregnant woman should eat

pregnant woman

Pregnancy is the most special feeling for women. So, the sustenance should be unique as well. It’s very much important to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy as your little one eats what you eat. So, won’t you like to serve the best and healthiest foods to him? Of course, you would, right!! Then you shouldn’t just eat anything. During this time, your body needs additional vitamins and nutrients. In fact, consuming 300-500 extra calories is the must!

Nowadays, there are various kinds of exclusive top quality pregnancy supplements like folic acid tablets, multivitamins, etc. available in the market. These products would do wonders for the mom-to-be working ladies who don’t get much time to prepare the healthy recipes due to the hectic work schedules. These are easy to take, handy and will certainly fill up the blanks in their diet. Moreover, these supplements are the great add-ons in the healthy diet of the pregnant ladies.

But these supplements are not that cheap! However, If you’re one among such women who is expecting your baby soon, then there’s good news for you! Just check this boots.com promo offers page, and you can find a hell lot of ways to eat healthily & save your bucks as well.

Now, when you’ve got a basic idea of how good are supplements for you, how can I forget about the major supernatural pregnancy foods? Of course, the real ones are outstandingly good! So, here I’ve listed out the seven must-take nutritious foods for the pregnant women.

1.Dairy products

During the pregnancy period, you must intake extra calcium and protein as these elements are must for a growing fetus. There are two types of high-quality protein present in the dairy products. They are whey and casein. Dairy is one of the best dietary sources of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, etc.

Are you fond of yoghurt? Then, especially you should go for greek yoghurt! It is particularly advantageous for pregnant women as it contains more calcium than all other dairy products. This type of yoghurt also include the probiotic bacteria that supports digestive health.


When it comes to healthy foods, eggs are the ultimate ones. It contains a little bit of all the nutrients needed by a pregnant woman. Do you know how much calories you intake with an egg in your breakfast? It’s 77 calories!! You also get some high-quality protein and fat. It also contains many vitamins and minerals. Eggs are also a great source of choline which is responsible for brain development. So, if you go through a low choline intake during pregnancy, then it will possibly lead to decreased brain function of your yet to come baby.

3.Green veggies

The greens like spinach, broccoli, kale, etc. contain various useful vitamins and minerals like the vitamin- C, vitamin-K, vitamin-A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium which are extremely beneficial for the pregnant women. This is not the end, these green foods contain a huge amount of antioxidants that makes our immune and digestive system work pretty well.

4.Fish liver oil

This special oil is made up of oily liver of fish which is known as cod. Fish liver oil is an excellent source of omega-3-fatty acids like EPA and DHA which are needed for foetal eye and brain development. It is also a very good source of Vitamin D which is very essential to maintain your baby’s bone health. Are you allergic to seafood? Well, many of us are. But, that makes you deficient in Vitamin D. So, that’s when fish liver oil makes up for all the deficiencies, and you get enough of this vitamin in your body.

5.Dried Fruits

Different kinds of dried fruits are high in calories, vitamins, and minerals. One piece of dried fruit will give you the same amount of nutrients as a whole fresh fruit, just without water in a much smaller form. And as there is no water, it is very good for you pregnant ladies because you need to maintain the water balance to avoid excessive swelling up of your body. But, make sure you avoid the candid varieties to prevent excessive intake of sugar.

You’ve to usually pay some really good amount to buy a pack of dried fruits as these are processed ones and ready to serve edibles with high benefits. But, now you can purchase the exotic varieties of dried fruits and other groceries at affordable rates. For that, you just have to use the exciting deals from the leading grocery stores in the UK which are available all together at Vouchershops.co.uk. So, what are you waiting for? Make the smart move and snap up your saving.

I’m sure, the foods mentioned above will help you to lead a healthy and happy pregnancy. So, enjoy chomping these foods and pamper the most precious version of your life – Motherhood.

Author bio:
Henry Veno is a content marketer at VoucherShops, a leading online vouchers providing website. He is a thought leader in the realm of content marketing and strategy and relishes inditing about Technology, Marketing & perpetual Industry trends. He’s a techy geek and loves to explore latest happenings.


US tax help for Americans in Europe

Source: Taxes for Expats

expat tax

No matter where you reside – you must file. All US citizens and Green Card holders must (if they meet minimum filing thresholds) file an annual tax return reporting their worldwide income.


expat tax

While all must file – most don’t owe. The good news is that most expats don’t end up paying any taxes to the IRS. There are many tax deductions available which allow taxpayers to deduct more than $100,000 from their taxable income. But – they must continue to file. Failure to do so can lead to penalties.


Head hurting? Want to know more? What expert help? Get in touch with Taxes for Expats. They have lots of tools on their website and offer a free phone consultation.


Etzia competing to represent Sweden at EuroVision 2017

Source: SVT

Etzia in Melodifestivalen 2017: Want to help other women

On Saturday it’s time for debutant Etzia to take the stage in Malmö Arena with the song “Up”. The song is an energetic and full motion and Etzia want with it spread joy and warmth in February cold. But her participation also means a lot to her in her efforts to help other women get around in the music industry.

Etzia has a cheerful number with lots of dancing. But her contribution also stands for something much bigger and more important. Etzia has for several years been working to help other girls in the music industry through the organization Femtastic. The organization is a music network that works to highlight the girls in hip hop and urban music culture and to try to even out the difference between men and women.

Male-dominated industry

– The goal is to promote the live scene to make it 50-50 between men and women and giving women the confidence to take on more in all artistic disciplines, says Etzia.

Etzia explains how the music industry and particularly in just hip hop and urban music is male dominated and it can be difficult for women to take place. Even in Melodifestivalen Etzia mean that there have not been many women who have come forward as a songwriter but more and more people take for themselves.

– It’s only a matter of time. It is time now, says Etzia about the change.

Read the full story.


From Negro History to Afrikan History 1926 – 2016′ – Honouring The Father’

From Negro History to Afrikan History 1926 – 2016′ – Honouring The Father’

From Negro History to Afrikan History

Date – 07/02/2017
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location – East Oxford Community Centre

Discussion by local Afrikanists and Pan-Afrikanists on:

How far ‘Negro History has achieved its original objectives?

Since the inception of ‘Negro History Week’ in 1926, it has undergone various name changes, ‘Black History Month’ being the longest serving and most popular. But we must ask ourselves, should we accept ‘Black’ to define what we are talking about is the history of a continent, as old as time itself? Yet we, in particular people of Afrikan heritage persist in defining our history simply by a colour. No other continent or people would endorse such a label if it was applied to them.

Presenters to be announced.

Entry: Free. Donations toward future Afrikan History Season programmes.


Hiphop, Knowledge, and the Academy

Hip Hop, Knowledge and the Academy

Image for Hiphop lecture
Friday, February 17, 2017 –
2:30pm to 5:00pm
St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Observatory

Professor Marcyliena Morgan (Executive Director of The Hiphop Archive) will introduce students and researchers in Oxford to The Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University: the motivation behind its creation, its institutional structure, areas of research, and emphasis on the three targets ‘Build, Respect, Represent’. The Hiphop Archive was established in 2002, and its mission is to facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture, and responsible leadership through hip hop:

Why do universities need to archive and research contemporary popular culture? How can the study of hip hop foster new understandings of cultural value and knowledge in academia? Finally, yet importantly, what kind of knowledge can be exchanged between researchers of hip hop in the US and institutions in the UK working with hip hop, British rap and grime? How can we think comparatively about similar projects and initiatives in the UK? These are some of the issues that will be addressed.

Professor Marcyliena Morgan is the archive’s founding director and a professor in the Department of African American Studies (Harvard). She is the author of many publications that focus on youth, gender, language, culture, identity, sociolinguistics, discourse and interaction, including Language, Discourse and Power in African American Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2002), The Real Hiphop – Battling for Knowledge, Power, and Respect in the Underground (Duke University Press, 2008), and Speech Communities (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

The seminar will run from 2.30pm – 4.15pm, at which time a drinks reception will follow until 5.00pm.

Respondents: Lloyd Pratt (University of Oxford), Louisa Layne (University of Oxford), and Jason Stanyek (University of Oxford).

All welcome.

Registration is free but essential via eventbrite. Click here to register.

Humanities & Identities
Race and Resistance across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century
Contact name: Tessa Roynon
Contact email: tessa.roynon@rai.ox.ac.uk
Audience: Open to all


Mainstreaming Black Power

Mainstreaming Black Power

Mainstreaming Black Power

Friday, February 3, 2017 –
12:30pm to 1:45pm
Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG
Seminar Room

The TORCH Race and Resistance programme are hosting a seminar on ‘Mainstreaming Black Power’ with Tom Davies (University of Sussex).

Chair: Imaobong Umoren.

All welcome.

Lunch will be provided.

* Please note the change of time *

Race and Resistance across Borders in the Long Twentieth Century
Contact name: Tessa Roynon
Contact email: tessa.roynon@rai.ox.ac.uk
Audience: Open to all