JJ Bola Debut Novel to be published by OWN IT!

OWN IT! is excited to announce that it will publish JJ Bola’s brilliant debut novel, No Place to Call Home in June 2017.

With great characters and seamless prose, set between London and the Congo, No Place to Call Home is a tale of belonging, identity and immigration, of hope and hopelessness, of loss –not by death, but by distance – and, by no means the least, of love.

JJ Bola is a well-respected London poet who has built a strong reputation on an international stage (he currently holds the Oakland Poetry Slam title). He is also an educator as well as the creator of the increasingly popular adage ‘Hype your writers like you do your rappers’.

His agent Maria Cardona said, ‘At the Pontas Agency we couldn’t be more delighted. JJ Bola is a very special writer with a unique voice. OWN IT!’s passion and vision for this debut is exactly what we were looking for and we expect great things. There’s already been much registered interest from different corners of the world.’

Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Publisher at OWN IT! says, ‘JJ Bola is a beautiful storyteller and this is a unique and accomplished novel made all the more exciting by the fact that it’s a debut. It is both light of touch but deep in feeling and meaning. Full of localised nuances in different times and places and masterfully woven together to simultaneously capture the essence of human heartache and human triumph. I’m confident that JJ has an exciting career as a literary fiction author ahead of him and I couldn’t be happier that OWN IT! will be a part of his journey from the very beginning’.

For more info on JJ Bola and his work, please visit: www.jjbola.com

MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN by Robyn Travis publishes today (3rd October)

Debut novel by Robyn Travis MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN publishes today and is now available to buy at all good online and physical retailers including here.

Each day this week we will share a performance from the musicians, comedians and poets who helped launch Robyn Travis’ book at a sold out Hackney Empire launch.

Below is the stunning performance by House Gospel Choir who opened the book launch with a specially written song entitled MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN featuring hiphop emcee Daniel Rain.

MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN is an eye-opening exploration of different definitions of masculinity in today’s society told from a black male perspective. Brimming with intelligent and thought provoking ideas, it cleverly challenges, debates and raises uncomfortable questions while drawing the reader into the world.

Sitting somewhere between Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, this is a unique novel which unfolds through a series of prison letters, taking the reader into the minds of a colourful cast of characters.

MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN recently featured in articles in the Guardian and The Bookseller Magazine and with over 900 people attending the Hackney Empire book launch, it has been reported to have been the biggest of the year.

New Book Cover for ‘Prisoner to the Streets’

To celebrate the publication of Robyn Travis’ debut novel, MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN (October 2016), OWN IT! is publishing a new edition of his first book PRISONER TO THE STREETS (originally published by The X-Press in 2013). Available from June 6th 2016, the new edition has been re-edited and given a brand new cover, revealed for the first time here.

PRISONER TO THE STREETS is a raw, honest and uncompromising reflection of Robyn’s life ‘on road’ and explores the perils of being a young black man in inner-city London, growing up between Tottenham and Hackney. Touching, at times uncomfortable to read but ultimately inspiring and uplifting, PRISONER TO THE STREETS offers a rare glimpse into an underground world. A world where disputes were settled with violence. Where familiar faces from childhood became bitter enemies in war, and misguided pride led to devastating consequences.

“We were in prisons the size of our boroughs and each estate felt like a different prison wing. The joke is we thought we owned the streets. We thought we were free.”

Prisoner to the Streets became an underground classic and garnered much support from Robyn’s peers and community. With such a powerful message from a man who almost used up all 9 lives before he even hit 17 years of age, it’s little wonder it received such wide spread praise.

“This Book changed my perspective on gangs” – Russell Brand

“Everyone should read this” – Wretch 32

You can get your copy of PRISONER TO THE STREETS here and all orders will receive free shipping. It will also be available in all good physical and online/digital shops.

MAMA CAN’T RAISE NO MAN, Robyn’s debut novel will be published in October 2016 with a special book launch at Hackney Empire. More information and jacket reveal coming soon. Line up for Hackney Empire event to be announced shortly (after which tickets will go on sale).

OWN IT!’s first multi-media product is released

Don't Be Alien Book Jacket

 

Today OWN IT! releases DON’T BE ALIEN – a digital book which weaves together lyrics, music and animation to create a multi-layered way to experience the story within a song, and a song within a book, offering a truly immersive experience.

It’s the story of two people once desperately in love but now distant strangers. One day a chance encounter prompts a montage of memories…

The book also includes a behind the scenes ‘making of’ story which gives readers a fascinating insight into how this animated songbook was created. Features include unpublished sketches, character turnaround boards, ‘storyboard to final film’ videos and insightful commentary from the animator and illustrator, Ewan Green.

Speaking about the multi-media nature of this story, Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Founder of OWN IT! commented

“Defining artistic ideas in terms of them just being a book, a song, a film or anything else is no longer relevant as we’re now able to tell stories across all of these formats simultaneously. Its been extremely exciting working with this talented collective of creatives to bring DON’T BE ALIEN to market in such a new, fluid and immersive way.”

DON’T BE ALIEN began as a song written and composed by Cuba. Soon the lyrics and composition came to be told in multiple ways. A collaborative approach to storytelling from a talented collective of artists including: Ewan Green, Call Me Unique, The Next Room and Cuba means DON’T BE ALIEN has been brought to life across animation, singing, music production and songwriting all of which is woven together in this digital book which offers something a little different.

The Book is available to buy through Apple iBooks and the OWN IT! shop

DON’T BE ALIEN is also available to buy as a stand alone song for those who just want to enjoy it as a listening experience from Apple iTunes and the OWN IT! shop

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Two weeks to go until the release of DON’T BE ALIEN

 

With only two weeks to go until the release of DON’T BE ALIEN, an animated song and multi-media digital book, we share another exclusive image.

Animated by Ewan Green, sung by Call Me Unique, and music production by The Next Room Studio, DON’T BE ALIEN started off as a song written and composed by songwriter Cuba, which then grew into a multi-media digital project.

Cuba commented

“When you write a song, you never know what will happen with it. To see it grow in the way that it has and have such talented artists interpret my lyrics and music to tell the story within the song has been both exciting and fascinating”.

DON’T BE ALIEN will be available to buy from the 30th November as a stand alone song and a multi-media digital book which will include the song, animation and a behind the scenes ‘making of’ story featuring extras and unseen material from the animation.

The song and book will be available to purchase from the online OWN IT! shop and all good digital retailers.

Spread the story, tell a friend #DontBeAlien

Exclusive from multi-media project DON’T BE ALIEN

An exclusive image from OWN IT! multi-media release DON'T BE ALIENOWN IT! is delighted to announce the publication and release of a digital multi-media animated song and book, DON’T BE ALIEN on 30th November 2015

With lyrics and composition by Cuba, vocals by Call Me Unique, animation by Ewan Green and music production by The Next Room Studio, DON’T BE ALIEN weaves together lyrics, music and animation to create a multi-layered way to experience the story within a song, and a song within a book, offering a truly immersive experience.

Here we share an exclusive still taken from the animation created by the very talented Ewan Green. DON’T BE ALIEN will be released as a stand alone song, as well as a digital multi-media book which will include the song, animation, lyrics and stills. The book will also include a behind the scenes ‘making of’ story which gives readers fascinating insights including: how the animation was created, a chance to see the unpublished sketches that underpinned the process, plus a visual experience showing how the characters and settings were created and changed as the project developed.

DON’T BE ALIEN has been an excitingly collaborative process bringing together a songwriter, animator, singer and music producers to create one story originating from a song written by Cuba and told in multiple entertainment forms by several artists.

OWN IT! founder Crystal Mahey-Morgan commented

‘Defining artistic ideas in terms of them just being a book, a song, a film or anything else is no longer relevant as we’re now able to tell stories across all of these formats simultaneously. It’s extremely exciting to be working with this talented collective of creatives to bring DON’T BE ALIEN to market in such a new, fluid and immersive way’

DON’T BE ALIEN will be available to buy as a stand alone song and a separate multi-media digital book from the 30th November 2015 via the online OWN IT! shop and all good digital retailers.

Spread the story, tell a friend #DontBeAlien

Call Me Unique, announced as the singer on multi-media song and book DON’T BE ALIEN

Call.Me.Unique Resized

We’re delighted to announce that Call Me Unique is the singer on OWN IT!’s forthcoming release, DON’T BE ALIEN, an animated song and multi-media digital book.

With lyrics and composition by Cuba, music production by The Next Room Studio and an animation by Ewan Green, DON’T BE ALIEN offers a multi-layered immersive experience which can be enjoyed as both a song and a digital book.

OWN IT! is excited to be working with Call Me Unique as the singer for this project. Known for her eclectic and soulful sound which fuses together elements from a wide variety of artists and influences including Jill Scott, Billie Holiday, Lisa Lopes, Lauryn Hill and Ella Fitzgerald, Call Me Unique‘s vocal brings a truly unique quality to the project.

DON’T BE ALIEN will be available to buy as a stand alone song and a separate multi-media digital book from the 30th November 2015 via the online OWN IT! shop and all good digital retailers.

#DONTBEALIEN