2019 has been a difficult year for me – but the following guys and gals have been there to keep me focussed, help me to make the best possible decisions, add a broad range of activities to my personal bucket list and round-off-the-edges of the more unpleasant things life has thrown in my general direction.
So without further ado – let me introduce you to the gang – six awesome individuals making their own fantastic contributions that are worthy of your time.
1) DJ Krush
Once-upon-a-time, real-life Tokyo Yakuza gangster (who managed to keep all of his fingers before leaving that life) has become known for his extraordinary ability to create breath-taking genre fusions.
DJ and producer, he is associated with pioneering the rise and success of underground Japanese hip hop, although the music he produces transcends genres, and by token – repositions his sound somewhere closer to the ambient side of the electronic spectrum.
Krush’s albums (his latest tenth album ‘Kiseki’ – meaning ‘miracle’ was only released a few months ago) are all sublime works that splice old, nu-skool beats, underground hip hop, trip-hop, breaks, Japanese wind-instruments, jazz – yeah, you name it. Many who listen to Krush find his sound deeply hypnotic, while still bearing his distinct aural insignia, irrespective of genre.
Live, he doesn’t disappoint – choosing to speak to the audience through the most fluent of mixology dialects; this legendary turntablist frequently combines the most unlikely sample tracks that succeed in creating something that sounds entirely otherworldly.
Extremely humble about his success, I think Krush represents the closest we’re likely to hear a turntable jedi play in a galaxy not so far away. DJ Krush remains the epitome of cool.
And, like Yoda, he defies the aging process – at time of writing DJ Krush had turned 57! The Force is indeed strong in the original DJ Godfather – check out his site and discography here.
2) DJ Nastia
Admittedly, I’m joining the party late with this incredibly talented DJ. But on the upside, I am now having a blast discovering the past DJ sets of Ukraine’s most precious jewel – and now, so can you!
Real name Anastasia Topolskaia – she has become an importantambassador and voice for the rapid transformation of dance music culture that continues to sweep our Eastern European neighbours; establishing Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, as the new mecca for electronic and club music in the process.
DJ Nastia has been tirelessly pushing the boundaries of electronic music for nearly 15 years and has been lighting the way – not only for female DJs in the industry, but for DJ purists who prefer to focus on performance, over producing. Her sets are bursting with heart and catching her live is a mesmerising experience for her open display of energy and heart that each of her track choices and mixes.
Take a look at some of her live performances below – and don’t forget you can catch her on BBC Radio One’s residency.
3) “Jocko” Willink
No, I’m not trying to convert anyone to go into active service with this entry (although after you see John Gretton “Jocko” Willink – retired Navy Seal Commander you’ll either want to enlist – or he’ll totally intimidate you and you’ll lay that career option to rest) but when you hear him apply his leadership qualities to a wider business audience he makes some excellent points.
His ‘extreme ownership’ ideology (and name of his best seller book) is an antidote to the blame culture and self-entitlement which causes so many leaders to become stuck in an endless loop of making the same mistakes without learning from them. Check out the video of Jocko when he appeared on London Real.
4) Robert Kiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki makes my list for his disruptive approach to financial and investment theories & practices. The author of celebrated best seller: ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ has a fascinating take on the problem with how we are educated (or, rather our lack of real-world education) when it comes to learning about money and how to invest.
His argument is that the failure in school and college to really advocate business skills and acumen comes from a model of lack of will to do so – with education preferring to see most young minds that graduate become employees rather than entrepreneurs.
His stark views are not without controversy – but there’s a fantastic amount of logic in his challenging of our misgivings about capitalism being inherently evil and the understanding that we have never really employed ‘true’ capitalism but rather neo capitalism which sees governments bail banks and reward them for unwise and morally wrong investments with their customers money.
It’s certainly no problem for Robert if sources are accurate with their $2M per month estimate of the property mogul’s passive income. The Hawaian born, Japanese American certainly shows no sign of slowing down. You can catch an interview with him on London Real and see what you think:
5) Dr Jordan Peterson
A man who most likely needs little by way of introduction. A celebrated clinical psychologist who, with his no-nonsense but extremely articulate communication style, will likely endure in polarising audience groups for the foreseeable future.
Whether you love him or hate him for his contribution to our views on gender politics, like his distinction between the ‘equality of opportunity’ (which he argues society should always strive for) and the: ‘equality of outcome’ (which he says will always be unbalanced as males and females will continually seek different roles -even within a society that doesn’t discriminate) – Jordan Peterson does an amazing job of raising the quality bar for debate both in his supporters and his opponents alike.
Part of this comes from the Canadian’s refusal to regress into ‘trash’ talking. Instead, his intellect and constant questioning of both his own views and those who stand opposed to him – has created a storm of interesting discourse, rather than allowing speakers to simply regress into mindless parroting of media soundbites without first considering where these come from.
His book ‘12 Rules for Life’ is a fascinating read which draws many compelling observations from human behaviour and the causes of these as well as advice for changing these – starting even by getting your home in order.
He even manages to establish comparisons between humans and lobsters, as our neurochemistry remains very similar despite some 350-600 million years of evolution that separated us from our crustacean brethren.
Still, that said – scientists have discovered that anti-depressant drugs work just the same on both species!
Check out Dr Jordan Peterson in his interview with podcast master – Joe Rogan.
6) Ross Edgley
I couldn’t leave this list without an inspirational adventurer making it on here. For those unfamiliar with the insane physical achievements that this young British athlete, author & and thrill-seeker has performed – here’s a shortened bullet list sourced from Wiki to give you a quick overview
- Ran a marathon while pulling a 1.4 tonne car
- Climbed a rope the height of Everest (8,848m)
- Ran 1,000 miles barefoot in a month carrying a 50kg backpack
- Completed an Olympic Distance Triathlon carrying a 100lbs tree
- Swam over 100km across the Caribbean Sea pulling a 100lbs tree
- Swam non-stop for 48 hours at the Commando Training Centre for the Royal Marines
- Swam 2,000 miles around Great Britain in 157 days (that’s over 3 months!!)
But it’s not these incredible feats that really impress. It’s the sheer off-the-scale enthusiasm and positive outlook that Ross has in spades that amazes. I’m certain you’ll agree when I say I you would be hard-pressed to find an individual who is more elated from putting themselves through the most extreme, gruelling & super-hero challenges – than Ross.
But don’t just take my word for it – check out this Ross Edgley being interviewed by Joe Rogan – with the former frequently showing his loss for words when it comes to trying to comprehend what the adventurer has been through: