WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE ZAMBIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY?

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Hello everyone, long time no blogging, but izzz okay I am back for now. Thanks to all of you that have kicked me out of the comfort zone. It is because of you that I keep going. Recently I have been carried away by lots of things. Some of you already know that I got elected union president for my university so you can only imagine the kind of pressure I am going through. I think after this post, I still have two more posts before we wrap up this year.

So this week twitter has been blazing with enormous pettiness, but thankfully not entirely. There has been attempts to air solutions to the Zambian Music Industry stagnation. I think stagnation for lack of a better description. Also there was extreme bashing of the industry, So I decided to do a post yet again about the Zed music industry.

I guess everything stemmed from the FILL UP FNB STADIUM tour by Cassper Nyovest where 68000 people in South Africa showed up for a concert not to see Chris Brown. Cassper is getting a reputation for doing this sort of thing, as he previously filled the dome. He was congratulated by so many of his fellow musicians who do admit the 28 year old has really shifted the level to greater heights.

So the aftermath of this historical occurrence among some Zambians on twitter was how it is that none of our artists ever came close to such a milestone, how it is that we are lagging behind compared to other African countries. First of all, I wish to state that comparison is the thief of joy. We can’t suddenly wish our own artists or demand them to do something that took years to build. Because Cassper filled a stadium doesn’t necessarily mean Chefy or Jay Rox should accept a challenge.  Secondly, Cassper should not set the trend for our artists.

What I think we should do is accept that our industry is an infant for now and if we keep comparing it to The Nigerian or South African ones, we may only end up disrespecting the very artists that make us dance every Friday night at the Lounge. We can’t overlook the potential that has recently resurfaced in Zambia. Have you seen Dizmo? Lol! The future is bright. We should give it more time and the system will resolve itself. I truly doubt if anything will suddenly change, maybe two or more generations to come and we could be there. I am the most optimistic person so trust me, i am only being realistic.

You know I wish I could take my own advice, but it is kinda hard because  every  day  I am on YouTube, I see a new immaculate video from maybe Diamond, Run Town or Tekno and involuntarily I am craving and demanding  to see a similar video by a Zambian.  I guess it is what fuels our anger when we wish our own people could be that good and they kind of aren’t. I guess the frustration isn’t entirely aimed at pissing off our musicians, but to actually push them to do better. It is so upsetting to see many African musicians making global musical history and none of ours is on the  list. We can justify our comparison as some level of nationalism.

So what is really wrong with our industry?

  1. THE INDUSTRY LACKS A FINANCIAL MUSCLE. Trust me, if a tremendous amount of money was injected into it, a huge difference would be made. Musicians don’t have enough money to do incredible videos. They lack sponsors and most importantly themselves are not wiling to invest their own money into the craft. If they keep waiting for sponsors, they will wait forever.  Anyway, what they do isn’t considered very valuable and so how do we expect them to make a living or rather be competitive? Very few people are willing to pay for albums or pay for shows over K100.
  2. POOR PLANNING, MARKETING. How many management agencies do we have in Zambia? Do we have real music promoters with actual contacts to the outside world? Anyway, before we go to the outside world, how well do our artists market themselves locally? Some artists are only famous in Lusaka. There are some songs that you will only hear in Mufulira and nowhere else in Zambia. Most artists just release a song and hope it blows, not realizing investing in marketing would make such a difference. This is why so many good songs remain underground.  After the song is done, the best most do is throw it on on one of the music blogs hoping, accidentally, it will be downloaded by thousands and become a country hit. what are the odds? Artists also fail to brand themselves. How will your fans respect you when they dress better than you? How will they respect you when you drink from the same spot as them? Artists fail to create themselves into a symbol of public admiration.
  3. THE INDUSTRY ISN’T AN OPEN MARKET. In one way or the other, I feel our industry is regulated, not by the government, but by the players themselves. Radio DJs already know whose new song they will play for free. What about the population of poor underground artists? If our industry was truly a free market, so many artists would have made it to the top and replaced the Mugabes. For years now, the top artists continue to be the same. Is it because they are truly the best? How many new artists have come through in the US since 2010?  Look at how many new Nigerian artists we have seen of late. Is P.Square still running the game? There is clearly no room for rotation here because the system is regulated.
  4. INCONSISTENCY: Lots of new artists lack a level of consistency. They really need to learn something from Roberto, Slap D, Chef 187, Ruff Kaida, Macky 2 etc. Its like some artists were born to be one hit wonders and exit. Like they just wanted to taste a bit of fame and that was it. They fail to keep up with the trends, they fail to study their fans and some times lack discipline and are not humble enough to learn from legends. Of course nothing is way to easy, but if others can manage to be consistent, so can they.
  5. ORIGINALITY: How could it miss the list? Zambians sound like everyone else not Zambian these days. I do not know how and why we have failed to brand Zambian music and sell it to the world. There are a number of hit songs we have, and for respect of the singers, I won’t name them ,whose concept was stolen from foreign songs. A lot of songs done after 2010 are devoid of that great Zambian substantial touch.
  6. CREATIVITY: Truly, we can not overlook the enhancement in the creativity, but some of us are just hard to please with the little exposure we have as music connoisseurs. Poor lyrics, poor beats, production. I think we need a music school. People need a level of education, to help them analyse, focus and predict situations. I believe when you spend more time on something, you create quality. Some people can create a masterpiece in a night, but not everyone. I personally see a lot of intellect in Pompi’s lyrics. I see great production from KB, Magg 44, T. Sean, Shenky, Jazzy boy, Stash, Magician, Ricore and Reverb. They can still go a little further to change the game, by introducing a newly defined  level of Zambian music production. Evolution is everything. The idea of stealing beats, concepts and songs should remain in 2017. Also with creativity, everything is possible. You don’t need to feature Wizkid to sell. I mean look at Roberto.
  7. CAVALIER ATTITUDE OF FANS: If it comes to being indifferent to something, Zambians win. Zambian fans don’t give a sh*t. You really believe with this current attitude anyone in the world stands a chance to fill a stadium? You can’t blame them anyway for not finding music valuable. I mean they are loyal to politics and football. Only H.E Mr Edgar Lungu and Chipolopolo fill the stadium. This means if music is well marketed, things could change.
  8. LACK OF GOVERNMENT POLICY. I think the government should enforce some play local only laws.
  9. DEMOGRAPHICS: How do you expect a million views on a Zambian video when only a minute percentage of the population have access to the internet? I can just imagine how many views would be on YouTube had it not been for the Zambians in the diaspora. How do you expect people to buy a ticket/album for K100, when they live under the poverty line? How do you expect to make money off a population that don’t appreciate your craft?

I still believe Zambia has done good so far, just that because other industries are moving at a faster pace, we tend to think we not doing enough.Any way this just a subjective perspective, everyone is entitled to their own opinion really.

 

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FRIENDSHIP

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One of the most integral elements of human relations is friendship. No matter how much of an island we may be, at some point we will desire a ‘friendship’ to dock.  Friendship is very essential in multiple aspects of our lives. Friends make us smile when we feel low, they encourage us when on a daunting mission, and friends point us to a lucrative direction. At least this is what friendship should be all about and more as we look at it from a positive perspective.  It is somehow human nature that we cannot do by ourselves and to tick we need friendship, most of all nobody wants to be put to rest by a stranger.

Friendship is a tool that shapes us in so many ways. The kind of friends we choose play a role in what we may become. Energies, attitudes and personalities can be so contagious. A significant part of me today is because of the people I surrounded myself with. There is some music I listen to or some shows I watch because of some friends I met. There are also some things I believe in, do, some kind of way I talk and some things I say which I inherited from friends. This is something we can all relate to.

So the influence of our friends is something we can’t overlook. What kind of shows or music did your mates introduce you to? What kind of beliefs did they expose you to? What kind of behaviour and attitude towards life do you and your friend(s) share? The answers could be positive or negative.  We realise how a significant part of our personality is influenced by friends.  How we will present ourselves to the public will be determined by the substance we feed on with or from our friends.

The way I see it, friendship should be mutually beneficial. These days people are friends with others not exactly that they share mutual interests, but that they seek some sort of benefit or validation. I came to realise some girls wanted to be friends with prettier or popular girls so they too could seem relevant. Some guys want to be friends with another because they are wealthier and will help them in times of need. I have nothing against these agendas as long as you reciprocate the benefits.

What you do not need are burdens- friends who impede your progress.  This is where we begin to draw a line between healthy and toxic friendships. As youths we are trying so hard to build something for the future. I don’t think there has ever been a generation where youths have had huger aspirations. People have crazy dreams mostly because of the provocation they see on social media and television of the good life celebrities and other ‘happy’ and wealthier people portray.  If one ever has to achieve those goals and aspirations, they ought to be careful what kind of company they choose to keep.

If your friends are no visionaries, you are off to a bad start. It is important you choose friends that support you, believe in you and bring out the best in you. I think the most important thing really is to find friends that make you happy most of all. Talking of burdens, you do not need to be around people that the touch of evolution  always misses. You cannot be the same person you were two years ago. Growth is the most important thing. The more your friend grows the more you will be pushed to do the same, unless you are foolish enough to see that as a threat. You can’t be around people who always make other people the center of their discussion. You need to be around people that discuss ideas, make plans and believe in compassion. If the activities within your circle stay the same, you need to exit.

Learn to be thrilled by your friends’ accomplishments. This brings me to this point of unnecessary competition and jealousy. In friendship, never be imprisoned by the disease of jealousy. No matter how bad things seem for you, but great for your friends, be happy for them and simply wait your turn. Friendship is not a competition. Be kind, be generous and support your friends no matter how much your life sucks compared to theirs. Being a fake friend is evil.

 

However, great friendships are hard to come by, let alone maintain. Just like we seek a good partner in a romantic relationship, it will be imperative to find a great friend. A huge task i must add. Friendship may be beautiful, but also what sees our decline sometimes.As i conclude this article, I leave you with a quote and excerpt from The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene which is law number two:

 

 “Never Put too much Trust in friends”. “Be wary of friends, they will betray you more quickly, for they are aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and aroused to envy. They become spoiled and tyrannical.

Zambian Twitter- The Evolution

 

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The last couple of years to 2010 saw an escalation in internet accessibility and consequently a rapid increase in the number of Facebook sign ups. This was a trend common among so many youths especially those in high school and college. However, the twitter field was more less a desert. Enthusiasm levels were not so high for sign-ups.

There was a very minimal number of Zambians on twitter. The majority of these were in the diaspora and had benefited from early exposure to the social network because of the countries they lived in like the US and the UK. Many locals had not heard about twitter and even a few of those who signed up wished it came with a manual.

However, the population has come to grow. The arrival of the Blackberry Smart Phone saw more people sign up because the smart phone allowed them to use the app which proved more convenient and easier to use than the web version.  As the smartphone became more and more affordable more people signed up. With an affordable data plan, the blackberry was convenient for the most urban users.

In no time was some news of some Zambian users attaining verification. Crisis Mr Swagger, a Zambian rapper was the first to announce an official verification. More Zambians, musicians mostly, followed after him in obtaining verified accounts.

Zambians were also beginning to get together to discuss issues. Insaka became a popular Zambian twitter platform of discussion. Every evening, Zambians on twitter would hold discussions under the hashtag INSAKA.

By the years, Insaka lost popularity as people discovered other ways to utilise their twitter. South African twitter has been known to be so open where Sex is discussed openly and freely by users and this spread to a few young Zambians. A lot of female users claimed to be feminists suddenly and many political commentators sprung up.  Pan-African traits of Zimbabwean twitter also spread to the Zambian side.

Currently is an account called Zed Curate where each week, a new Zambian shares with other Zambians their experiences and directs topics for Zambians to discuss. Politics, the economy and social life are discussed mainly.

Of late, myriads have crossed over from Facebook. It is possible to hear stories of users who left Facebook for twitter. Some think it is all because the new audience is more mature, but Chansa Kapapula, a prominent blogger and Zambian twitter pioneer thinks people are just choosing to embrace a new social network.

Many youths have used twitter to raise awareness of social and political irregularities. Disliked politicians are usually bashed on the platform and some view this as a form of entertainment. But not only politicians are humiliated, in an environment with self-imposed, Grammar ‘correctors’, fashion police, everything is possible.

Zambian twitter remains an interesting community to be a part of.

 

NB: You can Interact with me on twitter here

WHAT IS ZAMBIANS CONNECT? 

On January 23rd,  I got to host Zambians connect. Zambians connect? Most of you should wonder. Well I was in the same position last year, only in my case I was left guessing. 

Was it a T.V show for Zambians in the US?  Well  at least that’s how the people tweeting about it made it seem from my perspective. Was it an event where Zambians abroad got to meet and greet? Well with patience I did find out. 

Zambians Connect or Zed Connect is a platform created by visionary Zambians who sought a platform to allow fellow Zambians to share ideas, express their views and showcase a glimpse of their lifestyles.

So technically, Zambians Connect is an account on Snapchat. I understand not many Zambians are on Snapchat,  so Snapchat is an app that allows you to share  videos and pictures from your camera. It is more addictive than my poor description of it. 

Similar to Curate Zed which most Zambians on twitter are familiar with, Zed connect has a host who answers questions or directs topics for discussion only the duration is a day for the Zed connect host and you get to see them speak in a video. 

What do I think of Zambians connect? 

1) It is so much fun. Some people have such contagious humour they brighten your day as they host. My friend, Margaret Mwanza is now a famous host. 🙂
2) It makes it easy for us who pay close attention to Zambian trends to analyse what direction modern Zambians are taking generally and what position they hold on national to global matters. 

3) It is inspiring. Seeing a host that is keen on success is an impetus for your hustle. 

What have I observed

Without a data census it is obvious that the most active Zambian users of snapchat are abroad. You can actually tell from the hosts. “Hey I am your new host my name is ……. and I live in the UK, US”. The most prominent reason as to why local users are not so active is because internet is  ridiculously expensive back home. You know the bundle life huh?  💪😬

The other reason I think is Snapchat isn’t of much interest to most people. Personally, I was on snapchat for more than a year and was unbothered  to add any friends. People are more enthusiastic about Facebook and recently twitter. 

The other observation is the prevalent attitude of Zambians being mean on social media. Most hosts complain of people ‘hating’ on their hosting (I am glad to not have encountered any incident during my hosting). I am not one to judge people, but I think we should put an end to laughing at some hosts’ accents. Zambia is not an indigenous English speaking country in the first place. Also when one does good, we need to appreciate. If one is wrong,  let us not turn them into a laughing stock and pretend we want them to host again so we can laugh,again.

The other thing I have noticed is hosts are not down to earth or simply real at times. It is imperative to be yourself. That’s the advise I got from one of the admins prior to my hosting. I enjoyed the recent hosting from the brother in Malaysia. He was so uninhibited. From speaking to singing to rapping,  he was himself. 

Some hosts are scared of speaking vernacular like they are still at a primary private school. Be proud of our mother tongues. I am telling you it is a mental prison to accept a language of another country at the expense of your own. Speaking good English is not a measure of intelligence. Be a Proud Zambian and emancipate yourself. 

Zambians connect is not about ‘flexing’. Flexing right? Well for us who don’t follow urban slang, I meant to say showing off. Personally I feel hosts should show us more of what is in their head than what they assume is on their bank accounts. 

Does Zambians connect need some rules? 

Definitely. With more than 20 000 and counting zambians following the account, it is important that hosts mind what they share. Talking of age restriction, the instagram page has a rating of 18+, but young users still have access.

How influential is Zed connect? 

 To a certain level I feel it is. I mean we now have Zambian girls and Zambians UK.Next we will have Zambians US or Zambians in Lusaka? That just shows how much of a trend setter it is .The hosts of the subsidiaries also follow the same procedures as the founding body. 

Also many people are so glued to Zed connect like it is game of thrones. I am sure some people know who the first host was up to the current one without having to check the Instagram Zed connect ‘Hall of Fame’. 😀

People are always tweeting about a host every day and when you do not know what ZC is, you get puzzled. So you can see how it has become a part of people. 

What do I think of Zambian girls? 

So Zambian girls is actually a very good platform too. Not just for us guys to see beautiful girls,  the girls are beautiful and we like that😍, but it is inspiring to see women with purpose. Nothing inspires me more or is more attractive than a focussed woman. So we are looking forward to seeing more educated ladies who we will one day work with to transform our third world country. 

How do I host?

If you are already on instagram, search for Zambians connect and message the admins who will present you available dates. On the day they will give you the password and id and voila,you are the host. 

If you are on snapchat Search for zambiansconnect on snapchat to follow the stories. 

Thanks so much for reading and also feel free to interact with me on my personal snapchat: aquila.ngonga 

 

SO LONG 2016

 

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The most amazing thing about time these days is just how fast it has begun to go by. Maybe when you get older it becomes easier to vividly remember every detail that transpired throughout the year and especially early in the year because it seems like yesterday when they did transpire. I mean it was only January 2016 a few days ago and today is the last day of 2016.

If there was ever a year I became conscious of my getting wiser, it is this one. I feel like this year has been a classroom. I may not have been a top student in it, but I still got the lecture of a life time regardless.

One of the special courses was me. I took time to understand myself. I am proud to say that I know myself better than any other time before. I will be catching up with God soon, if it were possible that is. One thing I learnt was that my social skills aren’t so good. I find it hard to converse or initiate conversation with people I feel uncomfortable with, let alone small talk. I hate small talk. I say things I do not mean while expecting the other person to perceive it a joke only to realise months later that person was hurt. ‘’why so serious though”?  I saw a meme the other week that read ‘I have a good heart, but the way my mouth is set up’.  I said I could totally relate to it.

Well, enough about me, I will keep the rest of the findings to myself.

The second course was People. Wow, I have learnt so much about people this year. It was like I was absent minded all this while.  Normally I do not feel so important to be in other people’s topics so I haven’t really been worried about that. Presently I have realised I have. I am in topics where I am discussed as proud, egocentric, arrogant, well let me just sum it up for them,  the devil. Also in other discussions, I am an inspiration, humble, determined, and focussed and all those things. The funny thing, however ,is that the people I have assisted, gone lengths to impress and please have had the most negative things to say about me. This is confusing. You know it should be the people not so close to you.

Some good things have happened to me this year. I have achieved some things and also been recognised for some of those things. I am not a sucker for praises, but I realised that it was few people who could say well done or congratulations. I can never even post my achievements on social media with a clear mind.

I have vowed that envy,  jealousy or hate never be a part of me.  The truth about being jealous is that we wish to be like another person or have something the other possesses which we do not have. In so doing, we may have created enough hate for the other person but consequently made them important. As we move to 2017 I ask you all to congratulate those who deserve, appreciate those who helped us and be humble as to learn from someone who knows better. I believe that everyone’s time will come, but who will be there to be happy for you when you already hated on everyone else?

Also if you want to know about someone, get it directly from them or you will miss the real picture. I have a friend who is so happy with how far God has brought him in life and his achievements. People say he loves to brag and label him a bad person immediately because of that, but this is a person who provides solutions to so many people and remains dependent to many, including those that do label him.

In this year, the most important thing I have learnt concerning relations with humans is to pay a deaf ear to humans for only God can handle humans and we can never please everyone. I want to encourage those who are constantly irrationally criticised, that you end up thinking you are just evil, to continue doing what you do to the best of your ability. It may be at work, church, school or anywhere because the truth is we can never completely flee impossible beings. Do not look sideways or backwards, keep looking forward and keep doing the right thing and you may put a smile on God’s face and that’s what is important. Also do not be quick to trust everyone. Know what is worth sharing and who is worth sharing to. Just like present day romantic relationships are so fragile is the same way friendships are. I never thought I could help someone only for them to talk behind my back.

In 2017 I have no time for fake people. If you have nothing to add to my progress you are already voted out. It is very important to be around people that help you grow and appreciate you. I am not saying you will meet perfect people, but do find people who try.

The other course I learnt is how we are all in our own time zone. Your timing shouldn’t be compared to others. You will make it in your own time and I pray it will be God’s timing as we all know it is the best.

I have always believed that a year is an interval we created that begins and ends, but life goes on. So I may say I will do something in 2017 only because I have started doing it now. I have no resolutions. Everything will fall into place with time. It is not like a new year is the Holy Spirit that is only possible in inducing great and instant change in us.

I am thankful to God for bringing me this far. I will never be anything without him. I am thankful to all the people that have been there to encourage and build me. I appreciate the many people that believe in me.  I pray that you all move into this new year blessed people. I wish you nothing but the best and may the almighty God bless you.

So long 2016,you have opened my eyes wider, you have turned me into a better and stronger individual.

To everyone, Happy new year!!!

 

No need of traveling to China!! BECAUSE, eambuy 

​EAMBUY is here for you….

Before I begin I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to a comrade and a brother Mr Ng’onga for hosting me as I represent my company. It is a huge honor and opportunity you have accorded me, I am highly indebted to you, much obliged.  

Back to the article, I know you must be wondering why that title name 

Well, this article is meant for everyone. For example business people, companies, students, government and many more as it bears good news!

We are currently preparing for the removal of about 1 billion US dollars’ worth of subsidies. This ugly phenomenon will really negatively affect a lot of individuals and businesses.

Many people are building in Zambia, they need roof tiles, floor tiles, sanitary & hardware products etc. The government is building schools they also need materials. Thousands of students are being admitted into universities and colleges every six months who are in need of laptops and other academic enhancement products and a lot more people with different needs. Come to think of it, all these have prohibitive prices how can one really afford to buy them? 

Prices are very high in Zambia this forces privileged people to travel to China to buy products there because they are affordable. But again how much is spent on a round trip air ticket, Accommodation, food and also hiring someone who would interpret because of the language barrier and many more expenses that come with traveling there? 

What If I told you that we are the solution to that problem? Don’t believe me? Well I present to you an online platform that makes it possible to buy the products of your choice anywhere in the world and they will safely reach Zambia! And did I mention to you that you get to buy them at China factory price? Yep I said it, China factory price! Don’t delay our website name is http://www.eambuy.com you can visit it here

Once you buy from this platform, we shall ship the products to our Lusaka warehouse as we have an already established shipping company by the name of Eamcargo/Michaelcago. We have two transportation methods; one method is by Air which takes 5-7 work days and the second is via Sea which takes 35-45 work days.

Are you interested? Would you like to visit our showroom and offices in Lusaka? Well don’t hesitate, email me: james@eambuy.com or call or WhatsApp me on +260964918404.

Much thanks and thank you for reading
Kachimwa J

Eambuy Zambia Company Ltd Admin Assistant 

 

 

SONG REVIEW: MIXXY’S PA EASY ft AFUNIKA

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Micaiah Ng’onga ‘Mixxy‘ is a third year Survey major student at the Copperbelt University. He is one of the Zambian upcoming artists on fire. He  has  done  a  couple of  other  songs  that  have  received  airplay on  some radio stations  and  clubs in  Lusaka. He has worked with Royal Prince and Mari fro­m  Cabin records. On  this  new  jam, he  features the king of New Version of Kalindula, Afunika.

Pa easy is a song that reminds us of how speed kills. Mixxy is advising us to take it easy because the consequences of speed is crushing.

The  proverbial being that  ‘life  ain’t  no  crystal stair‘ limits the shocks of  the  results  of  shortcuts taken  to succeed. Many people  take  shortcuts to  improve  their  lives  or  decide  to  create   a  dangerous or risky definition of  pleasure.

These  days  young  girls and boys tend  to  become  regular club partakers  which  is  really cool if  they  think  about  it, but  the  thing  is  they  have  yet  to  go  to  university,  but they  are  exposing  themselves  to wrong  people and  creating  a  wrong  impression as  they  become  alcoholics at  a  tender  age. They  begin  to engage  in  adult  activities and  as  Afunika sings in  the  chorus, Ichalo ichi Chilalya  (The  world eats), a bemba saying symbolic of   death. There is HIV and other consequences through such behavior which again results to death. Mixxy urges young youths to wake up and take  it  easy because everything  has  it’s  own  time.

To terminate suffering or because of  envy of people acquiring possession, people  seek  shortcuts to  get  money  or  get  rich. People  tend   to  take  part  in  illegal activities like  corruption and  theft. Eventually the  crimes  catch up  with you and  you  are  put  behind bars. Before this  happens to  you, Mixxy reminds  you  to  take  it  easy.

There  are  plenty  other  situations or  examples where  we  can’t  take  it  easy  and   so   whenever  we  try  to rush let  us  be  able to  think  of  the  consequences and  eventually refrain from  such an  action.

You  can  have  a  listen/download of  PA  EASY HERE. Please  remember to support MIXXY and share. You  can  also drop your  views of  the  song  in  the  comment box  below.