Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OhTheBill Interviews Bukeka Shoals

This says 2006 but more specific dates cant be recovered


OhTheBill Interviews Bukeka Newby Shoals



Bukeka Newby Shoals is a pioneer, songwriter, singer, producer, and co-partner of CVE Network whose mission statement is: "Providing motivating presentations in music performance, professional development training, and educational curriculum which maximizes human potential and unifies the human spirit." I have had the great fortune of knowing Bukeka and developing a friendship with her through the years. I find that she is one of the most caring, compassionate, and loving human beings I have ever met. She honestly and truly reminds me of a manifestation of a Goddess. Her music is inspirational, her speaking engagements are provacative and inspiring. Working with her partner Jerome Johnson, her aim is to "motivate and inspire through spoken word and music and elevate the consciousness of the world" and that's exactly what she does. She fullfills her vision statement every single day by just being a wonderful inspriation to all those who come in contact with her. I had the opportunity to interview her and I am tremendously grateful to her for allowing me to interview her, and I hope you are as inspired as I am by her.

OhTheBill: First of all, thank you for doing this and letting me interview you.

Bukeka Newby Shoals: Of course!

OTB: Let’s start out really easy; tell me a little about where you were born?

BNS: Okay, I was born in Pontiac Michigan in 1962, and Pontiac is about 30 miles northwest of Detroit, and the timeframe in which I came into the world as far as that particular region and city and location was you know, very, interesting, because of all the car-makers. You know, every plant, every type of car, was American Motors, and General Motors, and Ford Motors, and there was Ford Truck and Bus, and you know, you didn’t you didn’t have anyone, or I guess, you always knew someone who was working at the plant, there was always someone associated with the plant like all big industries. It was also the early 60’s, and there was, and particularly in Michigan, being the size of the city and the scope of the city and the number of blacks in the city and everything, you know there was the Detroit riots, and all that, so it was very volatile, very volatile. But Pontiac itself is kind of a working-class town, it seats in Oakland County which is a rather prosperous County, but Pontiac itself was not reflective of that, it’s kind of like Merriam in Johnson County; you know it’s probably the same; it’s a working class town in an affluent County.

OTB: What is the name on your birth certificate?

BNS: Well on my birth certificate my name is Bukeka, I added that on my birth certificate, but my parents named me Gretchen Elizabeth. After my dad’s German piano teacher and my moms great aunt or something like that. But because we because of the environment that I was in, and so many African Americans were changing their names to African names, that they would consider slave names to African names. That was just the environment that I was in, and the other part that influenced it was that My Aunt and her husband and their family moved to Africa, and my uncle, was very connected to the going back to Africa movement and so they actually did move to Africa, and so their names, my cousins names were named, my first cousin name was born Sheria and that names means 'Islamic Law’ basically , and Nia is Swahili for ‘purpose’ and so between knowing that and really understanding that, and obviously and I think that Sheria and I are three years apart, when she came into the world, I was like 3 or 4 so it took me a while to really understand that that was a really different name that she had. But I don’t think I would have pursued having an African name of my own had I not been in that arena where so many people were doing that and that essential cultural things were going on.

OTB: Tell me a little about your family and your extended family

BNS: My father is a professor of Sociology at Central Michigan University and has been there for several years and he got his PHD at Stanford and worked a lot in civil rights. My Mom, currently she is a teacher at Paseo High School here in KC, and most of her career has been teaching music, but she also spent 17 years as head of Community and Minority Affairs for Oakland County in Michigan. My sister Mikada is a pilot, an airline pilot, she’s flown commercial for several years and wanted to break into the corporate market and so she’s done that and she’s just got that job, which means that she has to go back to Michigan for 2-6 months but I’ll survive, let’s see, my Son is Delbert Shoals Jr. and is just amazing he really is just amazing

OTB: He was telling me that he has 21 days until he gets his license

BNS: Oh for the license, God help me! (laughs) but he is really amazing, he is very, very conscious, and very mature for his age. That is the core of the family.

OTB: That is a perfect tie in for my next question: What have you instilled in Delbert that your parents instilled in you ….and/or what have you not instilled in Delbert that you’re parents have instilled in you

BNS: That’s a good one, we don’t have enough time! Well, it’s really interesting, that’s a very, very interesting question because it really goes back to a lot of the cultural, African American cultural things that I’ve really, wrestled with in a lot of ways. For instance, and I’m sure we’ll talk about this at some point; I recognize, I’ve come to recognize a lot of core beliefs that I have and where they come from and so when Delbert was born, one of the things that I took it upon my own to instill in my mind as far as being his mother, that he was not mine…that I am basically here to make sure that he is well prepared to do whatever he is here to do. Of course I am his mother, but that is my role as his mother. So I don’t think that I have the kind of “you belong to me” kind of mindset that a lot of mothers do, that my mother has had, but that was important to me. One of the things that I came to understand is that he is an African American male, and at 2 years old, that’s when I was looking at T.V. and the news came on and it had some sort of statistic as far as how many, you know the statistics of African American males are, and I kind of looked at the TV, and I looked at him and said “Oh My God”. And so I had to really shift my thinking because I didn’t want to live in fear of that. But there are things that, absolutely do come up, that just, that is generational core beliefs that spring up totally unexpectedly, when you least expect like: We were out Christmas shopping one year, and he ran through the store as five or six year olds do, and I thought, “don’t run” not because it was impolite but because I didn’t want anyone to stop him because they thought that he might be stealing something and that just jolted me, that I would have that come up automatically. There are some things that I do have concerns about, that I, I instill in him that, we both have very strong spiritual grounding (yes, which we’ll get to later) we say this prayer every night: “The Light of God surrounds us, The Love of God enfolds us the Power of God protects us, The presence of God Watches Over us, Wherever We Are God Is and All Is Well

OTB: The Prayer of Protection?

BNS: Yes, the Prayer of Protection, right. And so, I say to him, especially now that he is a going to be a junior, he’s going to be going to college in a couple of years, and I’ll say to him “I know we say the Prayer of Protection every night, BUT (laughs) when you go to school, don’t binge drink, think, be very careful as you are driving, if a police officer stops you, put your hands on the wheel, do ALL those things, do ALL those things and know that you are still enveloped in the light and love of God, but do those things, I would be irresponsible knowing that our society has these beliefs these ideologies, and then some of the other things that my parents instilled in me that I could do whatever I wanted and all of that

OTB: Ok, I have to ask, what happened to you?

BNS: What do you mean? (laughing)

OTB: I mean, to me, you are a living manifestation of a Goddess! You are! I have written down that I didn’t want to make this a puff piece, but I’m going to puff!! puff!! puff!!! (both laughing) but something had to happen, your parents had to instill something in you to create this wonderful, positive, amazing woman.

BNS: Thank you

OTB: I’m saying that as a great admirer of yours and a friend of yours, but also, what also, what happened…what did your parents instill in you that allowed you to have such a grounded son, and to have such a prosperous life?

BNS: Well the thing that my parents did instill in me was basically watching their lives being affected by racism, and that they risked their lives, they took chances, they broke barriers, they were revolutionaries you know, and so that social responsibility is clearly their influence. When you see that, you don’t really feel like you have a limit, because you see your parents putting everything on the line.

OTB: That’s absolutely fascinating

BNS: It is pretty fascinating to watch, and I wonder if other children who had parents who were active with civil rights have the same kind of experience, and how we were all effected by that, and both my parents are musical too, my father is a drummer, my mother is a vocalist, so those talents came really natural to me, because I heard them and I heard my mom and my mom taught me so and they are both very, very, talented in that, both are phenomenal musicians and vocalists so I got all of that, and they didn’t really, I mean it can kind of looked in two different ways, they never said that there was anything that I couldn’t do. Ok….now at the same time I didn’t get a whole lot of direction either, it was like “oh you graduated? Now what do we do?” But that ended up being pretty cool because I just didn’t, I was never pigeon holed, I was never ever pigeon holed.

OTB: I was talking about this the other day, and how, I was watching Oprah, and Dr. Robin was on, and she was talking about, how no matter what circumstance you’re brought up in, somehow you know, the majority of people are wounded in their childhood, and they, when they grow up, they look in their adult relationships for the characteristics of their parents, that they didn’t get, or the love that they didn’t get when they are children and we think that we look for the positive characteristics but, unconsciously we look for the negative. I just think that’s totally fascinating.

BNS: Isn’t that fascinating?

OTB: If you had to give one talk, what would the topic be?

BNS: I would think that its one that I have been really working on called “Standing in Your Authentic Power.”

OTB: It’s the one that we did the Power Point together.

BNS: Yes, it’s the one we did the Power Point on. And I did the talk down in Georgia, in Savannah, and I revised it recently to present it to a local group, and the reason why, is because, it emphasizes that we really (because there’s a lot of things that we’re not doing right now) as a nation, as a society, were not saying, first of all we’re not caring for the whole of it all, and if were not doing that we were not being authentic because we are a part of the whole so if were not taking part of the whole, then were not taking care of ourselves, ok? And the second thing is that, so say we realize that, say we realize that something isn’t working, then we have to voice it, and we’re not voicing it, we are very suppressed, dummied down, numb nation, global, society right now, we really are.

OTB: I completely agree

BNS: and the other part, that it focuses on, that we really just need to live for the love and the passion of life. There’s this big façade, lets just say why the United States is looked at as it is by people that don’t live in the United States as this golden opportunity. It’s such a false hope and foundation, because they look at it from simply from the economics of it, ok, but they don’t look at the facts, but they hear that the United States is founded on the principles of freedom, and equality and right to be, when (as I referred to in this article) that were really founded on a nation of oppression and abuse, and everything that this country has was out of killing someone, annihilating something, raping and pillaging, and there’s just no denying it, you just cant go through a history book and say anything, even the ones that lie.

OTB: Right, the history books say that Christopher Columbus, you know, came over, and had a big ol’ dinner with ‘the pilgrims’…no, they raped and pillaged and decimated the Native American race.

BNS: Right, and even though that they are starting to not put that so much in history books, because it’s just an outlandish lie that nobody one can get around it anymore, but they still at the end of the day, once you get from just basic social studies about Christopher Columbus to the time that you graduate from high school studying US history, you still have this whole thing about the United States being a wonderful place of golden opportunity, milk and honey and all of that stuff, and that’s because we have a very, we have this big façade of wealth. Not that we don’t have wealth, because there is a lot of wealth in this country, we do, but it’s just not evenly distributed.

OTB: The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.

BNS: Right, and I think the last part of that talk is about that power, real power, authentic power, is not power that overtakes but power that is shared. That’s the most important thing I can probably give right now.

OTB: I was working on this, and there’s this website that I go to, and this man just infuriates me because he’s just so pro-war and so pro- everything that I’m

BNS: against

OTB: Right, but I keep on going back and were talking about Darfur, and he says “you know, it’s not in our economic interest…and…..I know I KNOW!!

BNS: I’m putting my hands over my eyes right now!

OTB: I KNOW, I KNOW, and the thing that I always come back to, is when Clinton gave a speech when the Dole Institute was founded and one of the last things that he said in that speech, that has always stayed with me, and I’ve used this as ammunition or talking points about this…and it blew me away at the time, was this quote “Genetically, all human beings are more than 99.9% identical and the genetic differences among individuals within a given racial group are larger than the genetic differences of one group as compared to another. Now, next time you start to feel like you really need to demonize somebody, think about that” so if we don't stop this genocide, if we don’t speak up about this we are dehumanizing ourselves

BNS: Exactly

OTB: I know that you’re into quantum mechanics and quantum physics, but I think that many or most who might read this interview don’t know much about this concept, so I wonder if you could, in laymens terms, explain a little bit about the Emoto experiments, and how that ties into "What the Bleep"?

BNS: Well basically the Emoto experiments are how we can change the molecular structure of pretty much anything, by thought, we can do that because our thoughts are things basically, it’s not just random.

OTB: So this piece of furniture, (puts his hand on the dinner table) was as a thought, someone had a thought of it before it was created

BNS: Exactly, so everything that is created that you can put on that is tangible, originated in thought, in the invisible. So in the Emoto experiments, what he did was to have the focus on really contaminated water, that if there was enough focus on the water that focused on love and peace and joy

OTB: and compassion

BNS: and compassion, that it actually changed the molecular structure of the water. And in his experiments that’s exactly what happened, he would test it beforehand and you can see all the contamination, test it afterwards and see that it is pure and perfectly crystallized, so that I know that is very strange to a lot of people, and that is because it kind of goes back to the guy that you were talking about, that people see everything as being separate. Now, on NPR the other day they just talked about a new experiment that the particles, I can’t remember the name of the particles right now but these are particles that are smaaaaaaaler than anything they’ve seen before. So they shoot these particles out of something (the particle accelerator) and it actually goes through hard surfaces and it ends up coming out somewhere out and going off into space and the reason why is because there is so little, so few electrons in there that it passes through everything, and the only reason why I can touch you and my hand wont go through your body is because there is so many electrons, we’re heavy, we’re heavy in weight, but what also actually happens is that there is an electrical charge that happens, that kind of bounces everything back, but all of those things are completely invisible, and that’s what we see in "What The Bleep", and why that is important and it goes back into that man’s discussion and the DNA and all of that, is that we are all in one web of the universe, and we are ALL completely interconnected, there is absolutely no separation anywhere of anything we’re all connected, and for whatever reason, in our humanity, in our thinking, in our consciousness, we somehow we actually think that we are conscious beings, that , we come to see the diversity and the multiplicity as separation, as opposed to diversity and multiplicity being just different variations of one. If people saw that there is different variations of one, one love, one source, it would pain us to no end that there is ethnic cleansing anywhere in the world, and we would never say anything like “it is of no economic interest”

OTB: And we would figure out that any person, or any group who demeans anyone else, is just dehumanizing themselves, that’s the whole point.

BNS: Right

OTB: Well Scott and I were talking about this concept, about how we’re all existing in this sort of ‘ all potentialities occur at once’ and we’re all in this ‘quantum flux’ and I asked a question about a car accident, why, do car accidents occur, because if we are all part of this variation of one, then the answer that we came up with was that ‘unconsciously, we all believe that matter exists, and that metal is strong, and that metal crashing into metal is going to ‘crumple’….so why do we believe that there is matter? Why do we believe that two cars are going to crumple when they crash into one another……can you sort of expound on that?

BNS: Well my understanding is for one thing, even though most of what we see in terms of matter is, like most of this table, the majority of it, is molecules and atoms, and those molecules and atoms from my understanding become more dense depending on the substance.

OTB: Say the wood of this table is denser than the pencil I am holding

BNS: Right, so I guess the only way that I can kind of explain it is that no1 we have adopted, which seems very logical to believe that we cannot penetrate, that this table is something impenetrable because our core belief’s are so strong

OTB: it’s an unconscious belief though, right?

BNS: It’s an unconscious, strongly held, deeply embedded belief that’s not only within us but its within everyone, so that you have that race consciousness going on too that supports the individual belief, and so it’s all of our collective beliefs that also help to form the one, and it’s not just in this event and time, we carry on, all the race consciousness beliefs that have ever existed, so that’s a lot, of just cementing that belief in our psyche.

OTB: from the beginning of our existence, we’re taught that wood is wood….

BNS: Right

OTB: I know that you’re studying to be a CSL minister

BNS: Practioner, yes, hmm mmm,

OTB: Practioner, can you sort of explain what the difference between say CSL’s mission statement and say, a Christian’s church’s mission statement?

BNS: Sure, well CSL, Center for Spiritual Living is a ministry under the United Church of Religious Science, and Religious Science is a “new thought” well that’s the phrase that’s coined from individual’s you know, way back in history, who began to see, actually ‘new thought’ is the westernized understanding that Christianity in that there is separation, and that there is a god that is a physical being up in the sky, “new thought’ is western philosophy’s opposition of that belief. Religious Science is an organization of thought; Science of Mind is a philosophy within the new thought movement. The difference being that, one, that there is really is no, again, no separation, and it brings in the whole idea of science as it relates to spirit. In traditional Christianity, even though there is some, in some instances you do hear some ministers in traditional Christianity relating science to spirit, but in this case, in Science of Mind, is absolutely looking at how the mind and all of our beliefs create all of our experiences. We don’t believe that the best of life comes after we die, we believe that the best of life happens right here right now, and that and it’s pretty irresponsible to even think that way, because that means the whole world will just go to pot, but it doesn’t matter, because we’re all going to be saved at the end, which means that all kinds of atrocities can happen, and that’s the way its supposed to happen that the worse it gets the closer we going to be in the rapture and all of that stuff. So that’s basically the difference, that everything is here right here right now, that we’re all connected and that God is within us and we are actual individualized expressions of God and there is absolutely no separation, that Jesus was a person, that actually got this, and that there is never a point in his ministry that said what you are to do is to follow, is to worship me, what Jesus was here to do was to basically to show us that we are one with God and that everything that God is we are.

OTB: and he also said that ‘everything that I’ve done, you can do better’

BNS: Exactly

OTB: You have a self titled album, and most, if not all, if I’m not correct, the songs on that album are original songs, correct?

BNS: There’s two songs that I did not write, one my mother wrote and that was the Kwanzaa song, and the other one is called “I’ll Give You Peace” which was written by a couple by the last name of “Yarborough”

OTB: Do you have any plans for another album?

BNS: I am working with Ken Lovern who is a jazz organist here in KC and we’re about to release a jazz CD which I’m very excited about. And the one thing about producing a CD is that you know, you got to have capital. And I think that’s the biggest challenge with independent musicians, you know, I’ve got so many songs, and I’ve talked to a couple of people and say “hey, I’m ready to go back to the studio” and they go “do you have a budget?” and I say “no” (laughs) so you just have to really find some creative ways of getting those things done, especially in the type of genre that I’m in. And is also goes back to the values that I have. For instance, I could probably do a lot more and what I’m really praying for right now is that I have some more support, because you just cannot do this by yourself. You’ve got to really have a support team. What generally happens with people who do what I do, who do concerts, is that there are those performers who are either playing in the bars, or small venues like that, or they’re doing medium size venues which are mainly conferences, which is where I am, or you have people who are doing stadiums, you know it’s kind of like (laughs) the richer get richer kind of thing but the way that people make it in the medium area is that you just have a lots of product, you have lots and lots of product and all the sales from your product you use to make more product, and you have to have the number bookings and so forth so that you can sell the product and then regenerate it. And so right now I’m kind of in that mid-stream right now I feel like I’ve done very, very, well, well I’ve done very well but then there are those who do the same thing I do that I’m learning from as to how to do that more, that have the support and have just more structure because they’ve been doing it longer. So that’s what I’m working on and I feel like I’ll be there (laughs)

OTB: I know I might have touched on this before, but…is there something, a core belief, that you remind yourself of, that you adhere to that you remind yourself of all the time that has brought you to here to where you’re at?

BNS: Well it’s funny you should mention that! (OTB laughs) because this has been a building block type of thing. Years ago, I developed my mission statement, and the process that I used was developed by a woman named Laurie Beth Jones and she wrote a book called “Jesus CEO” and she wrote another book and I can’t remember the name of that but anyway, it’s all about creating your mission statement. So I created a very simple mission statement which is: “I motivate and inspire through spoken word and music” then I began to develop and figure out, why am I doing this? (laughs) I know what I do but, why am I doing this? I figured that out which is “elevate the consciousness of the planet” So, my mission is to “motivate and inspire through spoken word and music to elevate the consciousness of the planet” still, time later, you know, how do you do that? Exactly how do you do that? Which leads me to the vision statement and that is this so I’ll just speak the whole thing “My mission is to motivate and inspire through spoken word and music to elevate the consciousness of the planet. I grow spiritually in ministry, in teaching, in meta-physics. I earn a sizeable income, that increases the natural process of my own expansion of my growth internationally, I have wonderful healthy relationships that are loving and supportive. I have healthy eating habit and I have an very energetic and fun-filled life.

OTB: Wow, that’s fantastic! I’m going to blatantly borrow from Oprah here and ask “What do you know for sure?”

BNS: The first thing that comes to mind is not a damm thing! (both laugh) But what I know for sure is that I’m here to be happy and

OTB: to elevate the consciousness of the world?

BNS: ya ya, and that brings me happiness, if you’re just, if you’re not going to just shoot for just being happy, or to have more happiness than not happiness in your life then that’s just a shame, you know?

OTB: Ok this is something that I have tested, and I have had some success with and then I’ve not have success with it, but speaking of mind-action, you know Scott, my partner is a chaplain at Unity Temple on the Plaza and he’s taught me to set the intention and release the expectation of the outcome.

BNS: Right

OTB: Which is huge,

BNS: It is huge

OTB: and it just blew my mind away, and it took me a while to really catch on to that, and I test it, when I drive, and I set the intention that I’m going to get green lights.

BNS: Isn’t that fun, I do that all the time

OTB: You do? Okay good (Both laugh) and I’m shocked that it works!

BNS: Do do you do it with parking spaces yet?

OTB: No!

BNS: Oh ya, you’ve got to do it with parking spots, that’s really fun

OTB: Oh! well that to me, is the most tangible example of how you can expect something and then for it to happen, and before I knew that I was you know, just sort of going through life, and then you realize that and it’s unbelieveable, so you do know about that and I’ll have to try it with

BNS: parking spaces; ya that will crack you up

OTB: But then I ask, what happens if I get a red light? Why is that? Was it that I didn’t release the expectation of the outcome or?

BNS: Well maybe you weren’t supposed to get that green light at that moment and the universe is supporting you perfectly in your travels.

OTB: Ok, that’s just astounding, well that was my next question…I find that statement is so simple and is so powerful. Can you give me an example of this concept in your life, and maybe results you’ve gotten from that?

BNS: Ya, ya that’s pretty interesting, that’s pretty fun, that’s pretty fun, because once you get the lights and the parking spaces down, you think, because there seriously has to be some fundamental belief changes that it can happen with all sorts of stuff, like, with, the money,

OTB: Health

BNS: Health, okay, but I have seen things like that happen in my life regarding health, regarding back pain, regarding all kinds of things

OTB: I just listened (sorry to interrupt)

BNS: that’s ok

OTB: I just listened to Chris Michaels last Sunday's talk, and it was about

BNS: healing

OTB: ya, and I listened on the website and he said that he’s seen people with HIV just completely disappear, cancer, a person that was in a satanic cult that came out of it to be a fabulous person….and so you’ve obviously practiced that concept

BNS: yes, and I’m learning more and that’s why I’m going through the Practicioner training is because for instance: One thing that I’m learning is that were given divine ideas constantly but it is our core beliefs that tell us that we cannot fulfill those divine ideas so there are lots of things you can do, lots of processes by which you can break through those barriers but no matter what you do, you still have to change the core belief and then you have to immediately act on your core belief, and the action itself flips the belief that tells you that can’t do it because you’ve just done it, you understand that there is something universal, divine, that not that is outside of you, that from within you that is revealed through you and you recognize it as genius you recognize it as wonderful and and most people, a lot of people, most people will just say “I can’t do that” so as soon as that comes its our responsibility to , it should be our intention to go ahead and follow through with that. Other things that you can do when you find a core belief that is destructive or not in alignment with a foreward movement is just to simply recognize it for what it is which means it’s hard for you to swallow and I can give you a perfect example: I was in Oklahoma, I gave a talk at the church there, no, we did a women’s retreat there and so a few months later I came back to do a talk at the church, and I was when I was at the women’s retreat one of the woman there was just this sweeet, sweet young woman, cute as a button, long blonde hair, bubbly bubbly bubbly, sweet as you can be, and she was going through a divorce and she was crying, and she was saying “I don’t know what I’m going to do blah blah blah, I’m loosing my house. That was in February, April I come back this woman has this house you wouldn’t believe I said “how did you do that?” and she said “well, I just decided what I wanted to do, what I wanted and I went for it, and I went immediately into action to go get it” and I was like "Wow" okay? Now we had this conversation while outside on the porch drinking margarita’s so I came back and I said “That is about the fastest manifestation that I’ve ever seen”

OTB: “Happen”

BNS: “How’d that happen?” So I go into my quiet meditation, I go into my quiet meditation and here is the belief that came up, and I was the only African American in the group, The belief that came up that white women are more successful and smarter than black women…it just bubbled up like a little bubble… boop. Now I could have said “oh that’s just malarkey, I don’t know why I would think something like that and dismiss it”

OTB: Hmm mmm

BNS: But I didn’t I’m like I believe that, there’s something in me that believes that.

OTB: Somehow it came up.

BNS: Somehow it came up, and my ego, if I stayed with my ego then I would have said, I would have never admitted that to myself, let alone anyone else, God forbid an interview, but if I don’t address that then it’s just going to stay there, so what I did was began to see how that belief was effecting every area of my life. I could not go to any professional women’s organization without wanting to get out of that situation as fast as possible, everytime I would go to Central Exchange, American Businesswomen’s Association (ABWA) NAWBO (National American Womens Business Owners), anytime I went to any of the functions that any of those organizations had, I felt like I wasn’t smart enough I wasn’t good enough that nobody really liked me, that I was just there to sing, and they really didn’t appreciate who I am “Oh Bukeka” they would ask me questions like “do you want to stay?” “No, I've got to go” I could not wait to get out of the situation. As soon as I looked at that belief and said ok I have to change this, so I just simply reversed it. ie: I am smart, I am beautiful

OTB: I am powerful

BNS: I am powerful blah blah blah, the next time I was invited to that event, to several events, it was the third one and I was like “Wow, I don’t have that feeling at all anymore, and now I present to those groups all the time and it doesn’t even phase me”

OTB: That is wonderful

BNS: Ya, ya! (laughs)

OTB: And I think we just touched on this before because you just mentioned silence and as a performer myself and you can speak to this yourself, I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of silence, because actresses and actors say that silence is more effective than the script

BNS: It is, ya I agree

OTB: In music, silence is as effective as the sound and I get fascinated with the end of the song, you know, you sing the last part of the song “woop woop de doo doot- ya" and there is this palpable, anticipatory, silence before the clapping that you can almost hear, and as a musician I’ve always been fascinated with how music plays with the concept of silence, can you tell me about your experiences with that…or is that a tool that you consciously use? Or are you aware of that when you’re performing?

BNS: Sometimes, I mean for instance silence that’s really where the magic is, if you didn’t have silence between notes, if there was no break, there would be no rhythm, there would be no rhythm to speak of, if you didn’t have silence, if you weren’t able to go into the silence and block out all the noise, then you don’t know what you’re really hearing, you have to block out the noise to be really clear about what you’re doing here…so when I’m speaking, and it’s also about breath, you just follow the natural essence of the breath, your heart,even though it’s constantly going, it’s also in rest, and rest is a part of silence so there’s always that flow in nature, that expresses and rests, expresses and rests, that’s animation, that’s moving, that’s energy, if there was just noise there would just be static and a lack of energy

OTB: If you must be the change you wish to see in the world, what change would you like to see?

BNS: Well I would definitely like to see people understand that we are all connected and even when Mr. Bush gets on the radio I have to understand that I am connected with you we are actually one so you ought to be thanking me right now that you’ve got me in your genes! I am the President! (both laughing out loud)

OTB: I was going to ask you about that, but we’ll get to that later (laughing) One of my favorite quotes is from Stevie Wonder (I failed to mention that it was from a song called Conversation Peace which was the album title as well, but anyway) that says “whether privately or publicly convened, may love, positivity, and life’s preservation be the basic theme”

BNS: Ya, that’s good stuff

OTB: although his new albums severely trumps that, but that’s ok, the last song of this new cd but anyway, is there any quotes that just come to you? Anything like that, you were talking about your mission statement earlier, are there any quotes that just bam you come back to?

BNS: Let’s see: Be still and know that I Am God, that’s just ingrained in my mind. I’m sometimes surprised as to when that might come up, If I’m ever in fear or something like that all of the sudden there is this thing “Be Still and know that I Am God” and I’m like oh, ya, ok, so that comes up…

OTB: Ok, I want to do a sort of a word association/ kind of brainstorming/ whatever comes up sort of thing

BNS: It’s like Family Feud (both laugh hilariously) I love that game, ok

OTB: One song that you would broadcast to the world?

BNS: Stevie Wonder : Love’s In Need Of Love Today

OTB:Oh I love that song!

BNS: Ya, it makes me cry

OTB: Ok, top 3, or whatever number, top 3 or 4 artists, I know…..I know its hard to do, because I would have the hardest time with this one

BNS: Wow, top 3 artists, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Jill Scott.

OTB: I Love Jill Scott too, I don’t have her second one.

BNS: Neither do I

OTB: but I love “One Is the Magic Number”

BNS: Ya, ya, ya that’s a good one!

OTB Potentiality,potential:

BNS: I wrote a song called “Free Spirit” and it talks about “potentiality unlimited” so we’re all pretty much free spirits with unlimited potential.

OTB: Compassion

BNS: there’s love and loving one another, that’s a big deal

OTB: Violence

BNS: Well, it’s just doesn’t….there’s violence that is somewhat natural when it comes to protection, especially when it comes to compassion. I might not physically act violent to protect my son, I might, I wouldn’t want to but it’s not something, there are violent things that happen in nature, in the universe all the time, things get crashed, things are

OTB: Destroyed

BNS: Destroyed, okay, but for it to be an intentional act is ridiculous! It’s absolutely ridiculous. I mean we can look at Hurricaine Katrina as being a violent, violent storm, it destroyed things, wiped out things, but we’re seeing it from the perspective of being the ones at a loss of that, ok? Now relative to the universe, it’s just wind, but you know it just really doesn’t make sense to inflict it.

OTB: synchronicity

BNS: what we’re doing synchronisity, being connected for one cause.

OTB: Did I ask you this before? The best advice you’ve ever been given?

BNS: My Mom, told me when I was first looking for a job she said two things: Keep your best suit cleaned (laughs) and if you don’t know what to say think of someone that you know that says it really well and say it.

OTB: Wow, that’s really powerful

BNS: Ya

OTB: I’ve always been completely fascinated with fellow artists’ drive to create, you know, this might sound like a generalization but I’ve often found that when a person finds their “art” or their voice in prose, or their muse, they can’t help but express it, and there’s that song we sing in the chorus “How Can I Keep From Singing?” How can you explain that? That drive?

BNS: Here’s what I think, I think we’re co-creators with God and whenever we are creating, we are tapping into that same source, how can we not? Because when we create we are tapping into that same source that god created everything so whether we are writing a song, or painting a picture, or creating an article, or whatever we are creating, we are creating it with the exact same momentum, as that which created the entire universe. It’s not that God said “well I’ve got this idea” and it’s somehow wrong…it’s all perfect.


OTB: Okay this is my last question, and then we have a set all to themselves: What would you like to achieve that you haven’t?

BNS: I would like to own my own house, it’s not a big thing, but I think it would be really fun, I’d like it to be grand, like my name!

The Famous Last 10 Questions from Inside the Actors Studio



1. What is your favorite word? Joy

2. What is your least favorite word? Dammit

3. What turns you on? Jerome, that would be one answer, new ideas

4. What turns you off? Perpetually negative people, I can’t and I don’t have to so I don’t

5. What is your favorite curse word? Shit

6. What sound or noise do you love? Water

7. What sound or noise do you just hate? Nails on a chalkboard

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Television Broadcaster

9. What profession would you not like to do? We were just talking about that Jerome and I, can you be a professional skydiver, I would never be a professional skydiver, hand glider

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I’d probably like him to say “hey let’s do it again”


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