Many thanks to wix.com, an easy to use option that allowed me to easily create a site solely devoted to my music! A definite recommend to anyone needing a website for your business. They've thousands of easy to use, beautiful streamlined templates and I've really enjoyed this process. But you don't have to take my word for it, have a looksie yourself! http://matajibookermusic.com
Aug 30th, 2013, Old Town Pasadena: Joined by a host of friends from the local community of Pasadena and neighboring South Pas - Ben Kishaba (guitar), Jose Gurria Cardenas (percussion), Shirgeru Logan (viola) and Chris Rolontz (upright bass) helped me bring Latitudes to life in the flesh! "Love Aquarius" is one of six tunes on my newly released EP, available now on itunes, Amazon and CD Baby.
Night Shoot. Old School. Film, not digital. Longer than usual held poses. Biting cold. Energized and thrilled to be creating something spontaneous - art for arts sake. Took me back to my old days of modeling before digital was born. Things took time. Light needed to be measured and we had to actually wait (think of that) to see if any thing even came of it. Night shoot. Old School. Holding, waiting. Thrilling, spontaneous. Film...
Where the Sunset and Hollywood Blvd's intersect...
As you can see, recent LA implant Stefano Gali is a stellar artist. Italian born and bred and with a background in Film, his images remind me of cinematic stills, which naturally, I love. His images are real, sensuous and full of intrigue. We met while both working in South Pas at the edge of Summer. It was a pleasure to create and collaborate with him around Los Angeles between the hours of 10pm and just passed midnight as we moved from Summer into Fall.
Vista Theater, Los Feliz.
I've been coming here since I was a kid. I can't tell you how many double features I saw here with my big 6 person family. Well, I usually fell asleep before the second film to be honest. Warm memories.
Cinematic theater (I do not smoke)
In the photographers vintage Mercedes, Mel's Drive In, Hollywood
At the all night Denny's across the street from Union Station Downtown.
Some of the most beautiful shots from the movie "Drive" were filmed here.
And that's a wrap...
Check out phenomenal non digitized photography here at:
Here's what Phil S. of the UK's Arts and Music blog, "Leicster Bangs" has to say about "Latitudes"!
Mataji Booker – Latitudes(Independent)
A singer-songwriter, dancer, actress and model – there are so many artistic facets to Mataji Booker that the fear must be that she spreads herself too thinly. On “Latitudes” those fears are dispelled in some considerable style. She describes her musical direction as “alt-rock/folk/jazz”, which ignores both the pop element that makes the six tracks on her debut EP so instantly appealing, and her soulful delivery, which refers back to the R&B stars of the ‘70s rather than her contemporaries. It’s a stunning mix of classic styles, with more than enough hooks for radio (and television – where she’s already making inroads).
A regular attraction at various venues in her native Los Angeles, including The Whisky, The Rainbow Room and The Knitting Factory, she’s also toured Mexico and Japan, and played gigs in Southern Europe. She brings that experience to her recordings, and the often complex songs sound road-tested and fully formed, and as a result, they’re performed with confidence. Opening cut, the title track, finds Booker in a reflective mood, the intricacies of the song and arrangement both taking their time to fully unwind. The jazzy playfulness of “Checkmate” is a musical mating dance, with gypsy violin calling the tune, and “Love Aquarius” and “Molded” are older songs, resurrected for the “Latitudes” project, but they sound very much at home, and their themes fit neatly within the EP’s conceptual premise.
As the Latitudes EP project nears completion, I contemplate a ride into the future with Love & Music as my guide at home in South Pasadena, CA, where one year ago Latitudes was conceived and came to life! I wrote 'Checkmate' after running into an old flame. The song is a light hearted homage to the mating dance we play when we have our guards up and are afraid to give ourselves fully. And as the summer and our story unfolded, the guy took off, but 'Latitudes' (Sparrow & the Bluejay), 'Be with Me' and 'Words to Hold' came to visit and stayed... in that order. These four songs are essentially the journey I took last summer uncovering layers and layers of deep pain I didn't even realize was there - the catalyst of course being a short lived (Latitudes) and abruptly ending love affair without explanation (Words to Hold), which challenged me to go into places, sad and dark places in my heart (Be With Me), finally ready to be accessed for healing and a richer understanding of the one true love to seek out, the love and acceptance of myself. After much thought, two oldies but goodies - 'Molded' and 'Love Aquarius', were added to the mix completing the 6 song EP. They fit right in. 'Molded', is one of the first songs I wrote nearly 15 years ago, so it was meaningful to finally record it for real. Full circle.
Today Latitudes, formerly titled "Vertical Love" - is finished and ready to share. Well, sort of ready. We're in the final stages of editing images for the album cover, shot by friend and awesome photographer Eleonora Ghioldi. So now after one beautiful - crazy - painful - joy-filled year from setting my intention, I'll have a CD in my hands soon. A release is on the horizon. This is living.
With friend & former student (LA Leadership Academy 2008-2009) and
current incoming LMU Junior, Yessenia Hernandez.
The Inspiration Awards always marks the end of the school year and my time at Step Up. Here I am playing on the "green" carpet (above) with Brittany Ballard of Little Plow Films. Soul sista' and inspiring kindred spirit, we started out the same year at Step Up in 2008. She taught the film workshop and I the Spoken Word Poetry. What a journey! I've been Blessed to get to work with countless amazing young women in the classroom as well as connect with and be exposed to successful, empowering women set on changing things for females of all ages, creeds and backgrounds everywhere. If things don't get too hectic now that the album is done, I most def am going to try for a 6th year with the girls, but for now, I simply sit in Gratitude for the last five and all that they've given me as instructor and friend to so many beautiful young women.
Special thanks to long time friend, mentor and the woman responsible for bringing me on board:
I resonated with this quote and image so much that I just had to share it and ponder upon how yes, for me, it has been a time to let go of fear. Fears of failure, Fears of Success. Fear of what people might think or not think at all about my voice, the music, my image. As I forge forward through the final mixing stages of my first album, Latitudes - I reflect upon the countless days and nights since the beginning of this path of music I chose some 16 years ago...remembering moments, long chunks of time when I believed that this probably would never happen for me. Fear is a prison if you allow it to be.
In a short time, I will have in my hands the fruits of many years labor - not just physical, but emotional, mental, spiritual - feeling free from expectations, entitlement, fear, full of joy, gratitude and humility. Having learned once and for all that the only way out of fear is through it. Having earned once and for all a seat upon the throne of my True Self. The Self that is here to create with abandon, to share an abundance of love and to give and share freely as I grow in loving what I do - with the "wild" idea that it might help others to learn to find and love their true selves too. Today is always a good day to go of anything that no longer serves us.
She is a string Goddess : Andrea Young brought magic on the final day of recording.
Recording in a room with a view: Nashville Green.
It's like boarding a train in the dark, carrying one small piece of luggage - Destination
When I first arrived here I had 6 songs, some chords on a guitar and an incredibly gifted Producer/Musician - Brian Irwin - our train's conductor if you will.
Our train moves so fast, but at just the right speed. This is going to get corny, full steam ahead... At just the right speed, we weave through rocky canyons, swiftly pass pristine lakes and endless valleys of tall Tennessee trees dressed in leaves the color of heaven - our train spars with blinding sunlight followed by warm drops of cold rain.
We manage to pick up a few passengers along the way. A little Percussion, some bangin' Drums & two Guitars. A beauty filled Bass and a rather victorious Viola color our path with new songs and laughter.
There were of course moments when I couldn't see the sky. Our conductor swiftly twists yet smoothly maneuvers our train across the tracks - makes us
believe we can fly as we rise above more valleys, over deep gorges and dance pass undiscovered bodies of water at record speeds... We rise above the tracks as if floating through time -
suspended inside newly birthed patches of blue, we see the stars as if for the first time.
Five days later we arrive - warm, dry, safe, liberated. The journey was the destination, and the destination turned out to be : continued...
As I rehearse at home here in LA, preparing to record my first professional EP - LAtitudes, (previously titled Vertical Love), I decided to youtube a sample/teaser of the 6 songs that made it on to the album.
LAtitudes is comprised of four brand new tunes: "Latitudes (Sparrow & the Blue Jay), "Checkmate", "Be with Me", "Words to Hold" - and two oldies but goodies: "Molded" and "Love Aquarius". It struck me that once I get into the studio a week from now, these songs will be delightfully garnished with lovely instruments and layers of vocal arrangements which is nothing short of awesome.
However, I wanted to record each song in its raw and untouched state one last time before they get produce-afied, where ideally, the original tones and over all vibe of each won't be changed too much. Whatever the sound may be, I am Blessed to finally be doing it and grateful to have such a wonderful team assembling in Nashville with Producer/Musician Brian Irwin (Just Off Turner) at the helm. A special thanks to my Business Manager and long time friend George Molina (ICM Partners/The Uplifters), for making it all happen. This is my bon voyage Post! Here's to following the path's lead by our soul's heart!
It's a new year and I'm walking in the light of Gratitude for all that 2012 has brought into being. The resources and endless players who've arrived to help bring my dream of recording an album of music is coming to life. So much change - moving from busy urban jungle Korea Town to quiet tree lined street South Pasadena...to saying goodbye to an amazing job working with teenage girls at Step Up in June, only to return to it (for the third time) in January. A wealth of rich and textured experiences with my beloved friends and family (nu and not so nu) - including witnessing the birth of my niece Emmie. Surviving being hit by a car this time last year whilst on my bike rushing for the train. Slowing down. So much love and support from folks I know, folks I've never even met (re: youtube, kickstarter). Spooky journeys into the unknown, journeys into love and heart ache like never before pain and back again. Death. Going inward. Lessons. Growth. Acceptance.
Designe, Simon, Eric Bolarie Photography, Make Up Angela Johnson
2012 brought me a new guitar which heralded New Songs for my New album out this beautiful new year, 2013 - Vertical Love the EP is on the horizon and in the works. It is literally 15 years in the making. New Mentors, new alliances, new ideas and re-newed vision. New prospects, deeper connections and a beautiful black rescue Kitty, Osho who keeps me sane and teaches me true love everyday. A new road bike, the red Dragon. Watch out. A newly deactivated break from social networking ie: Facebook & Twitter. Falling in love again with the simple things in life, the basics, finally learning to folk-us (focus). Embracing the easy come easy go's, creating healthier boundaries and really eye-spying the red flags in life as a I daily strive to carry the white flag of surrender in all that surfaces. Letting go to let all that truly matters in. More and more, having more to give of myself. It's a new year, and I'm walking in the light of Gratitude for all that has come to pass and is coming.