Adventures of Zhi Xin: A Collection of Short Stories By The Eaghams This short story is an original, and one of a kind type of story. Drawing on experiences travelling the country whilst the author waitered, it is inspirational. The themes of travel, work, British-Asian explorations figure strongly in this one. There's a poem included, in this finely woven tale. Read on and be entertained by this classic story. The Eaghams. Zhi Xin in The Early Years Zhi Xin spent many hours by himself for a period in his life, he watched films he recorded from TV over once more and his magazine and first EP were read and heard with delight and pride, especially the crisp Super Nintendo magazines. He later kept his memories in a folder. He wanted a career that he could navigate in the same free way. He used to play Role Playing Games (RPGs) before he set out into the world he explored, ready to play the game of life. He was in search of new lands and hidden treasures in his free time. He spent time away from friends who had drifted apart after his parents divorced and he was obliged to see his father on the weekends, as he was expected to, as a son. He shouted through the letterbox on Saturday mornings, to collect him when he was a teenager. He remembered the TV shows they watched together, the comedies where they laughed heartily, it was Saturday night TV. In all their closed traditions, there was a more liberal attitude toward happenings on the TV, as if not quite as real as everyday life and living, where the introverts would grin in merriment at all the clownish antics. Was it because the white folks were making a fool of themselves allowing the self judgement to be forgotten for a while, or was it because it was simply funny? Even cheeky nudity flew. Did humour allow people within their household to forget their differences? Where extroverts could entertain the introverts, who would receive and appreciate their company, and the white people he worked under, would be forgotten during prime time? For a while he would forget the severity somehow nuanced in his spectacles, where he ran the household with strict discipline. Why did humour and lightness come only in those hours, was there something to learn from the jolly and exuberant TV shows, did we need a louder colleague to cheer us on, to be a complete working team? Could they learn something from our unassuming, plain modesty where hidden was great discernment and subtlety? More brooding at other times than deep, his father gazed into the distance. Later, he rented out a double bed room purely for his own leisure and space. The loneliness he felt before was like iron, and he wept for it, and his existence. It was when he had no part in anything bigger than his CD tower, no pillar of faith and the previous generation were immigrants he did not completely accord with, being an English speaker and a British-Asian westerner in East London. It was something like the rootless modern isolation that some writers in their fragmented state wrote cerebral about, and without reservation. He hadn't found where he belonged and he was lost. He wore plain clothes such as plain blue jumpers, black trousers and white shirts, this is about as much statement I can make of his clothes. He read and poured over thousands of books. He had time to explore vast tracts that people were too busy to explore and he became quite knowledgeable. The time he had to himself allowed him to reflect on things others found no time for. Reading philosophy made him brood. He saw the lonesome old man who worked at the local Chippy on his way home from the local library, frying chips visible through the shop window, so he would need to take a different route, because he felt that the old man was forlorn and sad, but it was Zhi Xin that reminded the man of his own solitude in turn. The books he read educated him and got him out to meet people, he learned how to present his interests and all the time he had spent on books enriched him greatly with imagination, and epic possibility, he would newly realise in a fresh life of action and meetings in the City. The books made him entrepreneurial, and made him snap out of his long brooding -- he was busier than ever, loneliness no longer bothered him, he had moved on, moved to a new home. He would make things happen, keeping his diary full of acquired contacts and a jacket pocket full of business cards from networking events. He had a lot to bring to the table, not realising his jottings were a source of interest to others, including publishing houses where staff read through several cups of coffee from the vending machine, as overtime at work. Things he had written in desolate and dreary days. He had time to invent stories, and entertain ideas, that were useful to him in the years that followed, he had kept in a cream folder. He knew London was a place rich in possibility. He surmised that the sleepy villages around England were the loneliest places, so that the youth would resort to taking drugs, on that you could hedge your bets. The city was always alive with people laughing and chatting outside, people going to and fro about their business, and the hum of motor vehicles, and neighbours heard through walls talking on international phone calls on landlines. In the city people kept their boundaries. In the village you would be expected to talk for twenty minutes to the shopkeeper, it was friendly he supposed. People in the city were alot businer and would have played with their mobile phones if they had less to do. London had rhythm and movement, livelier than the villages around England, where an Asian person was rarely found. London had created it's own sounds, and rhymes: Drum N' Bass, Garage, and the rather gothic sounding Grime, as part of it's liveliness were created in the city. You could wake early at dawn when the air was not filled with the energies of the people rushing to work, for a sense of meditative calm, inspired walks in the park, or a time to watch the dawn at Embankment. He had seen the people in the rush hour, who all behaved and thought in the same manner, they prided themselves on their homogenous conformity, of their faceless anonymity, of their conservative professionalism that sometimes gave them little time to dream, their faces in newspapers, provided to the commutors, everyone reading off the same page, of the same daily stocked at the station front. Not a single soul was inattentive generally speaking to their surroundings, not a single soul talked out of line, the train regular as clockwork. The grafitti questioning and contemplating societies values, colourful urban characters. Zhi Xin and Native Speakers A kind English man from North London was helping an immigrant buy a burger from the fast food chain. The European woman was after soup, and coffee. He asked her what she wanted, attempting to close the language barrier by saying his words in a Russian accent, deep and baritone. Zhi Xin never understood why people would do that. If there was a language barrier, how would pronouncing things in a feigned accent of the foreigner make the man more comprehensible to her? Would not pronouncing English in a feigned Russian accent make the English more incomprehensible? Perhaps the native could make out a few English words in Queens English or American English. Maybe it was itself an expression of modesty, an understanding that English wasn't the only language spoken on the planet. However, Zhi Xin found it rather irritating. Perhaps, being a British educated man himself, he wanted the English to be pronounced properly. He was born and bred in England and he was not a fob, (fresh off the boat). This could apply to the Europeans or the Bangladeshis, they both came from abroad. Zhi Xin and London Zhi Xin was the last to put boundaries around himself, he had a British passport, proud of it's insignia, and travelled widely. He was inconvenienced when he had to pronounce his name to correct people in middle England, and white people. He was an expressive kind of man, that people would not always be understood in standpoint. Perhaps that's why he spoke so much. He was working through a box of vinyl in London, multi-genre, a world in a box. He listened to an eclectic range of records, symbolic of the city itself. In a way, his dual British-Asian identity made him jealous of those completely native to England, being white. Their backgrounds and tastes were perfected over the generations. Their roots were simpler. He was open to other cultures ready to sample, and scratch beneath the surface of classes and cultures, he would sample a classical concert and it's material, a battle rap at Scala, an alcoholic beverage from France, without losing his compass needle, but others were not always as open-minded, perhaps they were not brought up in that way, growing up in middle England, in the rural districts. He took his own way away with him like a self-painted skateboard he dreamed up the colours vivid and with various hues. He experienced his own consciousness, remaining sober from the brainwash of the more cruder forms of commercialism. He neither belonged to the rock tradition or the rap tradition, or maybe he felt that he belonged wherever he should like, he was socially adaptable, having an exuberant mix of people from all walks of life in his place of residence. He believed that artists could always challenge the box, because everyone was unique. Zhi Xin The British-Asian He felt that the British-Asian generation had a background and complex environment that was conducive to the creation of artists in the town, whether in art, fashion, theatre or music. They were needed to push things forward, to question and understand structures anew, add a little lightness and creativity, since the larger boxes of society were being decentralised so that smaller territories of individuals and smaller groups were emerging, free to become the individuals they should be. His generation questioned everything anew, combining elements in new ways, it wasn't much like the old bullish simplistic days, in some way. Zhi Xin At The Call Centre Zhi Xin worked at the call cantre for a phone company, selling packages that were superb: free call time, no cancellation fee, five year guarantee, and twenty four hour customer service line. The choice of three models, and five price tiers, with the first tier being the luxury package. Alan, the Supervisor who had interviewed him in his personal office, smiled at Zhi Xin on his first day to work as if he had known his strengths behind introverted shyness, and was obviously cool with that. There was the call teams names on the whiteboard, coloured in marker pens, and lead scores from the previous evening. The names on the board created a competition in the office, as staff on their allotted tables chuckled at the low scoring team members, in a good humoured manner. Alan and Tom had snatched the phone from Zhi Xin's hands as he progressed to convincing the buyer of the best possible deal, the lead was going somewhere. Zhi Xin worked his magic with a phone manner that was open, friendly and unassuming, unassuming of some coerced deal, that worked simply, without brazen intentions, as a deal. His method worked as good as the fast and smooth talking pros who had withstood the company's relentless weekly target goals, over the months of promotional activities. Alan spoke for a moment or two - time was of the essence - so as he spoke Tom gently prized the phone from his hands to close the deal succinctly, picking up the tone again after a short pause. He merrily slammed the phone back to it's receiver, and they were all in laughter and smiles, as Terry scoffed in embarrassment in a far corner, attributing things to some kind of beginners luck. Terry wore a long trenchcoat to work, he sold man dem the latest phones, he rang up those people who were at the Saturday dancehall, hip hop venues, garage and house venues, and other raves. He got digits to make figures, he knew people. Alan was Chinese, he was calm and collected but would jump on the phone like everybody's business. In him was all that was admirable in man dem but with the class of a high flying posh white middle class male, or a kind Chinese woman. It was home time and Tom the gregarious, steely willed gent, was relaxing, kicking back with DJ style headphones, listening to euphoria dance compilations. Zhi Xin loved work, coming home elated and exhausted him from a full and satisfying day that made Zhi Xin sleep deeply and contentedly. He thought sombrely of Cathy, in between dreams his mood shifting to moments of nostalgia and reminiscence. Zhi Xin The Musician Zhi Xin worked as a Kitchen Porter in Lincolnshire Tandoori. Zhi Xin worked closely with the chef. In music, he is that chef. Meaning, he is the guy that cooks up the beats. It's his job as songwriter, producer, and performer to get that fine blend bang on. There's a number of ways in which cooking up beats is like cooking up excellent dishes. In cooking you have to get a balance of ingredients right, the flavours have got to be just right, that takes good taste and proper judgement. A great dish is like a great beat. As Craig Mack said, a beat is like a Flava in Your Ear. The Chef got menu. It's well designed, presentable, a logo. Like a tracklisting and your artist logo, or name. The seating area is your audience, they feasting on hot beats, fresh off the grill. An emcee or musician needs to dress right so the Chef has a hat and ladel, likewise, an emcee has his or her attire. Some like their beats hot and spicy, others like korma-mild. You always bring a fire, but you might have it be mellow, sweet or especially fiery. Stir the soul. Cooked with love it always tastes better. Come at the art form from heart it's gonna be live then. Zhi Xin, Winston and His Sister Winston lived in South Kensington in a tower block. He knew secrets about the city and with honest integrity he created an EP, taking the urban London art form of his music to new dimensions. His later work could not live up to his early idealism. He had become savvy, lured by the false promise of commercialism. He owned a Macbook, recording superficial lyrics he began to market himself, to no avail. Zhi Xin had seen him change his artistic approach over the years of their friendship, for a whole load of business spiel he dictated to him, after meeting his friend over a several year gap. He cited popular musicians and their success complete was his theory. He asked Zhi Xin to change his lyrics. Remembering how Winston had shrewdly edited out their musical collaborations from his debut EP, his integrity was now sneakily questionable. You reap what you sow. Zhi Xin had left Winston to his new greedy frame of mind, where the competitive Winston had competed seriously with him, when in fact it was just his own seriousness that set him apart from jesting Han Xin. Winston had married a giant of a woman, contrasting with his timid, though militant frame. The days of womanising at Scala were stopped in light of a convenient matrimony however practical its benefits were, given the times. It gave him weight and a council home. Who can blame those in the barracks of their struggle, as they perceived it. Zhi Xin once borrowed Winston's Khaki puffer deflated by a ketchup stain he accidentally spilt on the jacket together with the rain, on cleaning the stain. He was mocked by Winston for being airy fairy. His friend, a rapper was called General in a strange synchronicity city of events. Han Xin wanted to go passed his friends melancholy, self pitying ways, he simply wanted out. No matter how correct and good his initial tracks were, all admiration was tempered with grounded realism, no excuse for his friend's cynical commercialism that met with little success. He kept to the integrity of the old tracks of true self expression and friendship based on real values, the real business of being a human being, meant that he drifted away from Winston, an old image of success now changed. Meanwhile, Zhi Xin had kept true to himself, which involved creating a sound that reflected the person he was, now he was in his thirties. He had made no secret of playing left handed guitar as he had listened to hundreds of hip hop records seeing DJ Elixir for dope beats that intoxicated him, bus'ing verses seeing Wu-Tang Clan at The Island in Ilford with James. Han Xin wanted out from where he found himself. His sister tried to oblige him to see her every Monday. When he refused, she brought the girls round the family house he was last to leave with an assortment of cleaning products, of spray bottles and dusters. She delayed his inheritance money of £30,000 whilst leaving him to pay for the bills of the entire three bedroom house. It was a shrewd and detached move she played on her brother, and it leaves a stain. In the heated stress of circumstances in that summer, he punched his lodger through her door and going to the crown court he was penalised with a common assault charge. It was a wake up call doing community service at Earlham Grove, he thought nobody would want him for any graduate level job, but this was untrue and there is benevolence in the consideration of job applications and a calm neutrality in the decision making processes at a typical company office. He watched large men with large backs, much unforgiven hunched over tables listening like silent assassins to their i-Pods, their stories as dramatic as the relentless rap flows they listened to. One young man was a soldier, having a drink and driving charge to pay. He was composed in a way he hadn't seen a seventeen year old man be, he was so solid and his minor misdemeanour's did not seem like a childish prank. He was a boy who had seen a lot, more than most men he knew. He was left to go to his second sister's quaint suburban home, where something of the courtesy of Pride and Prejudice remained as the women brought him his breakfast and tea. Zhi Xin at the Bengali Jobcentre He was left at the jobcentre in Bricklane, where a Bengali with an A4 pad complete with handwritten entries was connected to the entire UK through all it's A roads and cities, every Bengali restaurant owner was in contact. They employed from the jobcentre in Bricklane where the office was kept primitive, dusty as Bangladesh to make the freshy immigrants shipped in for Chef, Tandoori Chef and Waiter positions to feel at home, even as though the middle men lived in decorative council estates, awarded by the Council to immigrants who made it to British Citizenship, entitled to all the accoutrements of a normal Westerners life of benefits and allowances where required. His own people rallied against him, standing outside their shopfronts in groups as regular as clockwork. Their backward ways meant they had not heard of airers or washing machines, resorting to buckets and industry strong detergents for the restaurant dishes, and pinning their trousers and longees across their shared rooms or left in the bathroom, left to soak. They talked on the phone with £1 phonecards at 3.30am all in good time, for work had begun at 11.30pm, there was time to lie in. They never adjusted to English time, it seemed they had still come from the airport after the eight hour flight from Bangladesh. They ridiculed free expression, taking his guitar to be an object of ridicule. Zhi Xin at The Restaurants Diary entry of a poem by Han Xin: Called Zhi Xin At The Restaurants I have seen the decor of many restaurants Made in good taste with hosts of flowers The welcome of coats taken and put on I have added the sauces to signature Starter plates in my very own hand Two heads corner a table to discuss Business every Sunday evening I have made napkins as origami: Poetry with paper squiggled lines On serviettes or on the drinks pad Where I have written the poetry Of cadenced wines: Pinot Grigio, Merlot or Rose or I have drawn pints From the barrel rolled into the bar I have stood at the bar Served those who believed They were head and shoulders Above the rest in the restaurant The bottles and their years Their place on their necks That I have travelled within the outlines of this country sketched That these restaurants Have brought the world closer Like suitcase stickers these bars Looking back over these years Some of the restaurants were said to be concerned about Zhi Xin carrying a guitar to their premises. On occasion it had been smashed by one restaurant Chef, who paid him in extortionately low wages on some poorly planned weeks. He celebrated the fact he was old school, when all Han Xin wanted to do is get past all the old crud, to something fresher. He had seen the back of the drab, ugly restaurants and also got to work in more upmarket restaurants on balance. It's during this time working as a waiter he patiently completed his material, something to write about.Hopefully, his guitar would triumph and his talent would further him, as he travelled miles of land of the shore, closer in view. Although he never turned his back, he always seemed to leave them behind, his world was changing at the count of a day. These days were like a dream, and he could see evermore clearly through the haze as the ice melted away, sunrise. There were those in the game who were older who saw where he was going with things, some the same age and some younger. He believed that all the districts in London were made up of different trains of thought and attitudes, and he wanted to align with good thoughts, and everything in the city was a thought of something. He imagined the names of everything as he saw them and people's thoughts coming out as words in the air. He believed birds of a feather flocked together and that the world would always reflect like a mirror all that you and I were, all that we thought would make us ourselves, the universe is principled. As he set out in the world again, he knew the person he had become. Though scores of friends were left behind, they have him a perimeter and definition, returned himself to himself, as it were, to play the role he wanted to play. His direction had been formed in life by idling and making room for himself to make the changes in life that he wanted. He didn't want to compete with his friends so much as to discover his own way, which sometimes requires distance and insight, for a little soul searching. It was his saying no to things that made the way apparent. He knew what he would not do leaving him with what he could or would. There were Indian restaurants around the country. Zin Xin Journal Entry tiger-lager-beer Above: Bengal Tiger Beer Source: https://mayagroupjaipur.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/indias-most-favorite-beers/ As a bartender, I have served pints from the barrel, as a waiter I have served bottles of wine, usually bottle of rose, napkins around the shoulders of the bottle like someone fresh out the shower! In bucket and stand. Don Perignon encased in a busty outfit, is not something I've served up, perhaps it's what they drink in the playboy mansion house in America, at their pool parties. The Italian restaurants start with bread baskets and butter and a chopping board of meats, the bread kneaded from the dough of harvests and stored in windmills, brought over. I've never worked in Italian restaurants as yet, only Indian, where new generation Bengalis make their bread and butter. I wander what the butlers do, different from us, is it etiquette, is it manner or attire? I am familiar with butlers from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro entitled Remains Of The Day, and the old butler in the Batman series, on TV ages ago. I wonder if I can bring myself out into something new, instead of bringing out another dish from the chef's kitchen. The most I've been tipped as a waiter is ten pounds with a compliment I noted. I've set flowers on the table, where couples dine, my tie set straight, the napkins unfolded from their silver bracelet rings, as couples join hands on the table, pounds of lamb with spices and coriander in the hotpot, drinking in the scene, your own. A note about the flower arrangements: I should like to see restaurants using Ikebana flowers in their vases, it's a Japanese tradition, it's rather austere though so that they should be used sparingly, coupled with a floral basket, would be wonderful. I've had some raises from where I started out, near my hometown, forest gate, where I started out, growing up as a kid. I've been reared in these stables, ready to run the breeze. Zhi Xin at the party Zhi Xin gatecrashes a party (he stormed out of his hometown forest gate in his car driving evenly), a party where there's a mansion. He gatecrashes the party, when he's not being a flaneur, those artistic folks who travelled and saw. There's a collection of artists, art gallery directors, dressed up a perfect picture: There's property devlopers, Amazon explorers creating a blend of the perfect teas, restuarant owners. There's a huge chandelier and classically trained pianist playing Mozart. The bar is immaculate cabinets, cases, and bottles and coloured glass, and a diamond and silver sheen of cutlery, and bracelet rings around napkins. There's a view of the skyline. The windows and mirrors are large. Everyone has their own views of things. There's one room that is more for one's inner life than outer. There is incense, Persian rugs decorated with flowers, birds and foliage. There are candles. It's a large torquise painted room, with plants and there is a real ambience to the room. He sat with a leather bound poetry book that was large as an atlas book. A glass of wine seated him in one corner. A splendid assortment of cool magazines are fanned along the table, in a perfect curve as yet untouched. There were large italic fonts of quotes from writers on spacious walls. The musician had the energy and charisma to draw to him lots of people and resounding success. A storm was brewing. He peered into his glass to see his reflection and the froth were as clouds. He was immaculate and creative and naturally made an inpression without consciously willing it. He wasn't a person that was too caught up in the affectations of a rock star, the quagmire of Englishness, but worked quietly on his multifarious craft with dexterous fingers that packed a punch. His craft spoken more than he did. His music projected much strength and personal power. He could sayalot by not saying too much. He despised the musicians who sold their souls, not their goods which were merchandised in a fake manner, the sounds too synthetic in their formulaic boredom. That said, he felt an affinity with alot of people, his music was nuanced with everybody he seemed to meet, with every book he looked at. His music was an eagle that flew, to the farthest reaches, to the depths of the heart, returning to his glove worn lightly like leather jackets, rolled up two tone jeans, the whole package. He retained his identity in the cacophany of sound, and characters who were out there doing things in their enterprising manner. Fire straightened him out. The broad sweep of the spiralling starcase the banisters polished mahoghany, made of the rootsy trees. The characters were like planets in orbit in the journey. Gatecrashing spoke to him of his independent spirit and his personal power --Gatecrashing was his free spirit --Gatecrashing was his experimenting in the world, bringing different elements together -- Gatecrashing gave him many gates that he could pass through, beyond the sole gate of his hometown. These constellation of influences made up his environment and his world was what it was, it grew richer and more varied as time went on, a colourful show. Our influences brought us out into something new, it brought us out of our provincial attitudes, conservatism, and our reluctance, it reinforced our connections and related us with the world at large around us. The world was an expanding treasure and a jewel. He recently took to the calm pleasures of Renaissance painting. In them he say the stories of his life, the earthy farmer's daughter with a goose, the saintly figure who looked like a barmaid he knew at work was unmistakable – transcendent of her secret deeds, her life with men. He saw the story of the traveller in the Tate, a traveller he knew. He read the paintings strongly and wrote what he ciphered in quatrains of inspired poetry. He knew there must have been hundreds of masterpieces beyond those in London which were in sight. Zhi Xin At The Gallery The ceiling paintings were painted directly on the walls. It's different to the standard canvas and easel. You look up at the painting, it's easier to the freedom of the sky and it's expansive vision sweeps the sky. The figures seem to be levitating, they seem light and buoyant, and therefore their positioning on the ceiling seems even more appropriate. It's such a massive painting that seems to capture the sky, a microcosm of the macrocosm. The Judgement of Soloman Painting. The depiction of Solomon shows how his energy is looked through the markings of the building behind him in the distance, his aura, something like his halo. His small face is modest we suppose in it's meek expression yet he looks with much directness toward his subjects. The attention he receives being depicted in the centre of the painting is cover because he doesn't seem to look like a person who would act grand but just was some kind of king or with some kind of formally attired shows. A smaller face than the subjects. His face is brown depicting emotion as a connotation (associated, as such) and having the mystery of the shadow transcended, to a kind of benevolence. His might is reflected in the larger characters. The insightful paintings in the Louvre, Paris, the paintings across Europe. He wrote what he saw, and he saw what he wrote. He spoke to one art gallery director in San Francisco. The art gallery director is divorced and cannot see his daughter, so he collects paintings. He becomes caught up in the story of the painters interior lives who is similarly divorced and cannot see his daughter in the 1800s. He collects all of his works in place of being able to see his daughter, he has a frame of her on his polished mahogany wood desk. The paintings give her personal story a related connection as the past comes alive for him, as he realises it's not only he who felt this sense of parting and longing of her daughter now grown up. He has read the Story of Art by EM Gombrich and read the Carribean poet Derek Walcotts works on the European painter Tiepolo. He travels to Europe, America, to the great museums to collect great works.On the train where the advert panels where he imagined the pictures were photos of his past with inscriptions and ancedotes of his life, the hall of fame of his prized moments. One day he receives a letter from his daughter who tells him of her new life, she had obtained his address from her mother, who only let her know later after past grievances. This is what he had heard in the conversation in the gallery, the marble statues calming the anxious director, his work was cut out for him, creating a grounding influence in the vaulted ceilings of the museum, as his imagination soared. 1. Mustapha 2. Actor Dude 3. Boy from Bath 4. David 5. Imitiaz 6. Agnieska 7. The Workplace 8. Jack and Joseph 9. On Motivation 10. Angela 11. The Deep Sea Diver 12 After The War 13. Nigel, Samantha and Luke 14 James Changzhu 15. Ali and Some Books 16. Joe Bloggs 17. Naveed and Rupesh 18. Lionel 19. Abdul 20. Ajaz 21. Mr Jameson 22. Little John 23. Adventures of Zhi Xin 24. Dave and 'Jim' 25. Timothy Appendix British-Asian Music, Writing and Other Races by Han Xin In this piece, I wanted to write a summary article about my music and literary influences which span over two decades, and still continue currently. I have divided these into the categories of British-Asian Music; American-Asian Writers; Black Writers; American-Dominican writers; Favourite songwriters; Favourite music producers. British-Asian Music I have listened to a number of British-Asian artists being a British-Asian Londoner myself. I remember seeing Dida of Asian Dub Foundation, the Forest gate crew, smoking a cigarette at my old school Elmhurst junior school when I was a kid. I remember when my brother bought the Countryman mini LP by Fun-Da-Mental. It was fusion, fusing music samples from the Asian subcontinent, with Western instruments and all to urban beats. It represented something of my identity. They later split and one half of the band formed an offshoot group Det-Ri-Mental, equally good if not better. The rap crew The Kaliphz stormed the scene with their Vibe Da Joint EP. These were fundamental music experiences for me. Later, I came across the sleek music of Nitin Sawhney, and his Homelands LP represented an urbane sound that is upmarket London all over. Currently, we have been listening to Riz MC, the Oxford educated bad man. His song How We Roll is quite dope. British-Asian Writers Hanif Kureishi has been quite the satirist, exposing the hypocrisies of the middle classes with panache, in his novel Buddha From Suburbia, I'm not too keen on the irreverent title by the way, which was made into a successful TV series. In one anecdote in the book, he describes how an Asian actor is cast in the role of a monkey in a theatre production. Thankfully, we have come a long way from then, with Asian actors like Riz MC (real name Riz Ahmed) blowing up in the US. I enjoyed Kureishi's novel about the 90s, The Black Album. It typified some of the British-Asian experience for myself. American-Asian Writers I enjoy Jhumpa Lahiri's works, including The Namesake, she is an elegant Bengali lady writer. Black Writers Derek Walcott is a Jamaican legend! He is from the Carabean. I went to see him at The National Theatre in Embankment, and he autographed one of his books, back in 1998. His Selected Poems, and The Prodigal, makes more banal poetry of modern times seem trite in comparison. He brings together past, present and future in his writing in a way that sets an example for us modern poetry people. Benjamin Zephaniah and his spoken word poetry was impacting. His Propa Propaganda, was straight talking and powerful. He is my hometown borough's poet - Newham. More recently, I discovered some work from the 90s that the poet John Agard has written, (which I have covered in more depth in an up and coming article). His We Brits series, again gives me new perspectives on what it means to be a multicultural British-Asian Londoner. Favourite Songwriters Australian Neil Finn blending of moods, on the cusp of euphoria and longing, is unique to this songwriter. American Jeff Buckley was a great virtuoso, as his albums Grace and Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk, attest to. Joseph Arthur's futuristic urban soundscapes were impacting on the albums Big City Secrets and Come Where I'm From. Billy Corgan's grand opus of tracks is just really vast, Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness was a great album. His Chicago background informs a sound that is strong and productive. He never shies away from imaginative and ambitious creative splendour.
Favourite Music Producers Flood's production I respect, and hip hop's equivalent RZA of Wu-Tang Clan. Current Artists and Bands We are into Tricky's recent work, The Foals' Holy Fire, Washed Out and their Paracosm album, Radiohead's Moon Shaped Pool. If you enjoyed this post, please share with colleagues, friends and family. Check out The Eagham's song Prospect Calendar from the forthcoming album The Lyric Play. ARTIST BIO:The Eaghams aka Zubyre Parvez is an Urban Indie singer songwriter from London. His song The Roots was played on BBC 1Xtra by DJ Excalibuh. He has collaborated with artists such as Mr Hectic and Jason Air formerly of Island records. He has played at The Garage, and various open mics. © Zubyre Parvez 2016 All Rights Reserved WRITER BIO: Zubyre Parvez (BA hons) studied English Literature at Hertfordshire University. He writes song lyrics, poetry, short stories, reviews, and articles for The Taoist Crucible. His poetry won runners up in a competition judged by Simon Armitage and Margaret Atwood. His poetry has been published in Kobita. His articles have appeared in The Epoch Times as a journalist for the newspaper. He has worked for New Tang Dynasty Television as a journalist. You can catch up with his tweets @TheEaghams