A Pop-up Look at a Rising Singer, Emil Beckford

A Pop-up Look at a Rising Singer, Emil Beckford

The Narrative Matters always wants to keep you in the know on what is going on in the world, right within your reach. As we strive to help you stay entertained and well informed of our new creatives, we also want to make sure the talents we interview give you all the information to keep you abreast of what is trending on the Independent music scene.

I was delighted to get the opportunity to sit down and do an over-the-web interview with a very aspiring and articulate young musician by the name of Emil Beckford. A quick and blasé name, you would remark. However, there isn’t anything simple about this young man with the plan. 

So, sit back and catch up with what is new in his music catalog and how is he making effective changes in the social world around us.

Hello sir, how are you? 

Emil: I am good! Thank you for making this space for me. 

I am hearing that you released a new album, so what is it called? 

Emil: That is indeed true. The new album is called Songs About Isolation. It came out a few weeks ago and it’s my first album actually, which is really exciting.

I checked out your last song “Prove Me Wrong.” How is it doing on your platforms? 

Emil: Yeah, “Prove Me Wrong” I think is the fan favorite from my last project, Songs About Pickles. I don’t really pay a lot of attention to numbers and things but I’m glad it seems to be a song that resonates with people and makes them want to return, even after two years; and you can’t beat a music video shot in France. 

Okay, with your new album, what was the inspiration behind it? 

Emil: Definitely the Covid of it all. After Songs About Pickles came out, I was excited to share other songs I had about things besides love, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that I felt like I had a device to explore those things. I was literally in the back of an Uber getting ready to start my quarantine when the idea hit.

So how does Covid-19 figure in the delivery of your new work? 

Emil: The album definitely dives into a lot of what quarantine has evoked in a lot of us over the last fifteen months or so; namely the isolation, stress, doubt, and fear, but also learning to be kind to yourself, slowly opening back up to the world, and being satisfied.

And from a production standpoint, it was a lot of Zoom calls and sending files back and forth with people because we just couldn’t make it in the same physical space, so ironically, I had to learn how to make this album about isolation in the most collaborative way possible.

Tell me about some of your writers on this album. 

Emil: Speaking of collaboration. I’m very used to working alone (I wrote most of these songs over the course of the last five years and produced them throughout quarantine), but I also realize that you can make better art oftentimes if you relinquish a little control. “Why Do We Suck?”, for example, is a co-write with my best friend, Sofía Campoamor, that we originally made for a class years ago but polished up for this moment. She has exciting stuff coming soon so look out for her.

And then “LoveHurt” is a two and half minute song with seven writers because I thought it would be fun to get a bunch of songwriters on Zoom, throw an idea in front of everyone, and just talk about it until we have a song. Sofía also participated in that, Maria Campos Saadi and Thomas Hagen, who are half of this really cool band Sargasso (Thomas also helped a lot with the production on the album), Archer Frodyma, who played guitar and is an incredible artist, Emma Longhurst, who I wrote with before on Songs About Pickles and is super important to me, and then the icon, Emily Li, who’s literally a pop star in China.

I also want to note that Noah Silvestry, who mixed the album, had a huge hand in shaping it through his production work and mixing, especially on “Never Awake”, which he re-produced from the ground up.

So, can we buy or stream the new album? Give me some information. 

Emil: Yeah, Songs About Isolation is out everywhere you get music online, so your Spotify’s and Apple Music’s. If you’re still with Tidal, I got you. You can listen on YouTube and watch the music video for “Why Do We Suck?” while you’re there. If you’re a “buying music” type of person, it’s on my Bandcamp, which is where I recommend you buy it from, but also on iTunes and Amazon.

Are you looking to go on any tours or open mics soon? 

Emil: Probably not. I’m very proud of this album and want to share it with people, but making it was my major goal in life since March 2020, so I’m honestly a little drained. I’m very interested in re-learning how to be a person in society. I also don’t have a proper band, so I don’t really go looking for gigs, but if something comes my way, who knows? Anything is possible.

Is the music industry tough in your town? 

Emil: One of the things I love about the music scene in New Haven is that it’s much more community-focused than industry-dominated. People really want to support and help each other out and that feels really special. I’m very fortunate to have some incredible New Haven-based artists like Ro Godwynn, who sings the end of “Another Gospel Song”, and Ben Cohen, the guitarist and duettist on “Happy”, on this record.

Who is your biggest supporter, your mom or your dad? 

Emil: Haha this isn’t a trap at all. I’m very fortunate that I have four parents who care about me and want me to pursue my dreams, even if it means I’m belting high notes in their houses at all hours of the night.

Do you see yourself getting married as your music takes off? 

Emil: Well, I’d have to find a partner first! If anybody’s in the New Haven area, wants songs written about them, and likes long scooter rides, my DMs are open.

Thanks for your time and I am looking forward to hearing more of your music in the near future.

Emil: Thank you so much!

You can catch Emil this Tuesday at 6p.m. EST during an interview with Powerhouse Radio of CONN.

Listen here


Singer, Songwriter, Producer | He/Him/His


Sign up for Emil’s mailing list: tinyletter.com/emilbeckfordemilbeckford@gmail.com

The Rock Steady Black Catholic Church of St. Louis

The Rock Steady Black Catholic Church of St. Louis

A church symbolizes the body of Christ. It’s a place where its congregants gather to give their praise to the Most High. The St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church, commonly known as “The Rock,” extends an invite to anyone who wishes to learn more about Catholicism and its practices.

The Rock is a historical Black Catholic church based in St. Louis, Missouri, and its history runs deep. Dating back to 1861, the Redemptorists, a congregation of the Catholic church, were invited by Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick to permanently live in the city of St. Louis.

On May 1, 1867, ground was broken for creation of the church, and six months later on November 3rd, Reverend Joseph Melcher laid and blessed the cornerstone. The Rock Church gots its nickname from the Gothic stone used to create it, as well as the rock wall, which was constructed to surround the church.

The Rock continued construction on the church until 1872, and that same year Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan dedicated the church.

Over the last two centuries, many milestones have been made, such as:

  • Beautiful stained glass windows being installed in 1904
  • The Rock started the weekly novena in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in 1922
  • The integration of the St. Alphonsus School in 1948
  • Father Wendell Sams became the first Black Redemptorist priest ordained for the St. Louis Province in 1961

To see a complete list of The Rock’s historical milestones, click here.

The St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church has served as a beacon of hope and fellowship for individuals in the Missouri area since the 1800s, and the church is still going strong today. Its congregation has expanded and the church welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms.

If you would like to learn more about The Rock church or get information regarding their Mass times, we encourage you to visit their website.

Covid-19 and caring for your loved ones at home

Covid-19 and caring for your loved ones at home

Taking care of a loved one can be tough, especially during these times of Covid-19. Your disabled, frail, and/or elder family members may be confused and very overwhelmed. Some are wondering why they can’t go around a large crowd or other family members.

If you are caring for someone who has slight dementia or failed memory health, it may a hard obstacle to get them through what the world considers a “new normal.”

Covid-19 has placed a damper on a lot of family’s caregivers, as well as regular home health aides, home nurses, and companions, who work to care in the homes. Home care is the biggest industry in the healthcare field, but being at home can have its disadvantages.

Take Gladys from Greenwood, MS, for instance. Her mom, who recently died of Covid-19, was being cared for in a nursing home. Gladys, wife and mother of three teen sons, was recently laid off from a chicken plant, and took her mom home.

At the time, she thought that bringing her home would help. Her mom was suffering from dementia, and during that time, Covid-19 was agitating most residents at the Jackson, MS facility.

Her mom’s health took a turn for the worse as her illness progressed, along with being around family who loved her. She had come in contact with the virus, unknown to Gladys until it was too late.

Gladys and her family had to quarantine as her mom fought for her life. When her mom died, Gladys was devastated, thinking that taking her out the home would save her.

So, taking a patient or resident into new environment can be dangerous, as well. It is best to seek advice from a physician.

And being in a pandemic that seems to be dissolving into reality, we now know what we are up against, and most families are opting to take over the care of their loved ones.

There are many consumer-direct care agencies in the states that pay family members to care for their own. This is a great idea, especially during these times with the virus still lingering.

The vaccination is in full swing, yet frail, sickly elders with underlying conditions might not get the shots fast enough, so, it is indeed an option to just let the family care for them.

While the pandemic seems overwhelming to these elders, it also can take a toll on the family too. Some people may have children to care for at home, a spouse, or even a heavy social or employment lifestyle; lifestyles that may get neglected if the person they are caring for needs more of their time.

There are many ways to assure that your loved one is getting all the time they need and immediate care. The family member, who may not have any nursing certification, can always get information from the physician and nurse of the patient. Then you have family members who do have nursing skills that can provide total care and get paid, as well.

The CDC has been around for years. It was implemented by Medicare to help low income patients stay at home and receive care by non-skilled family members. However, if the patient needs advance medical care, then a skilled nurse will also be available to check on patient in their homes.

Courtesy of Time Magazine

There are things you can do for elders, disabled patients, or family members that have all of their cognitive functions. I am a caregiver and have showed my clients how to invest in a computer, load it with apps, and or find games that will keep their minds active and vital. Some found that computer games are very effective; games like Solitaire, Poker, or Scrabble does the trick. My elder parent even loves playing the Casino sites to keep their mind sharp and focused.

There are also video apps, like Portal, which allow the person to chat with family members from other states or locally. It is a fun way to let them know that people care about them, and it gives them a sense of purpose beyond what ails them.

There are a variety of portals from Facebook available. Amazon had a smart video calling portal for $99, marked down from $172, so hop online and grab it while it is hot.

A friendly pet in the home is also a way to help an overwhelmed patient or client get over the loneliness of being sick in the home. Check your local animal shelter, and make sure they are not allergic to the dog or cat.

Breaking news from AARP: Supplement from AARP

(This piece is courtesy of AARP)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced the Credit for Caring Act in Congress. The bill would create a new, non-refundable tax credit up to $5,000 for working family caregivers, who are struggling financially as they care for a sick or disabled family member at home.

The financial toll of family caregiving is growing; the Credit for Caring Act will provide some aid. Tell Congress to grant caregivers the relief they need.

For more updates on caring for loved ones, check with your local Health and Senior Services in your state.

Breaking the fast

Breaking the fast

When you first wake up from that comfortable resting place, you may hear the wonderful sounds of the sparrows outside the windowsill as the sunshine peaks throughout the sky behind the fluffy clouds; floating like boats on a cool, pleasant, slow-blowing windy morning. 

You find yourself feeling empty and maybe a bit hungry. This is due to the fact that you were fasting while asleep. Now your brain, along with your body, is in need of nourishment. The most important part of the day is “breaking the fast.” You and I know it as “breakfast.”

Taking in a nutritious breakfast is the best, healthy meal to get you started right on your day. By doing so, you are giving your body the fuel that it needs, and the energy to simply take off.  Think of yourself as being like the vehicle you drive. If there isn’t any fuel in it, you can’t move it and take off fast in it, so you have to gas it up.

The same goes for our bodies. We have to add some type of nutrients in order to get the engine running. If you have no fuel, your energy levels will become low, and you then will show signs of being fatigued. Your body sugar will also begin to drop, so make sure to eat a nutritious breakfast and break the fast in a healthy way. 

Psalms 136:25: He provides for food for all living things. His faithful love will last forever. 

Job 12:11: but just as the tongue tastes good, the ears test the words they hear.

Graduating Growth

Graduating Growth

Graduating growth is the idea that you have took the time to learn something new to accomplish a goal that has added value to your life. It can be a very minute lesson which can enrich you with the knowledge that can help the next person you may come in contact with.

This is another way of saying “greet one teach one” or “each one teach one”; whichever phrase works for you. The point of understanding is to learn something today and pass on the information tomorrow to whoever is ready and willing to hear it.

Knowledge is power, and the information from that power is the key to success; so nevertheless, continue to be a receiver of information, whether it’s large or small. Your dreams should become your goals because it takes a dream or idea to achieve them. That’s leveling up, and that equals the terms of graduating growth.  With God’s blessings first, there is nothing too hard to accomplish.

The doors of opportunities will continue to come open as long as you trust and believe within Him.

You will reach the true meaning of graduating growth. 

Mark 9:23: Jesus said if you can believe, all things are possible to those who believe. 

Matthew 17:20: And he said unto them, because of your little faith, for verily I say unto you. If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed. You shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.