Sunday Rundown: Gigging at the Acoustic Lounge and Plans for the Future.

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I’ve been debating about what to do with myself and my career next year for a while and this was the week I finally made a decision, which feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders!  Feels so nice to have my direction back and not be constantly worried.

Monday: I worked out the setlist and set order for the gig on Saturday at the Acoustic, practised my set for an upcoming wedding, registered some songs on Music Gateway’s sync Portal and started reading a great book on promotion and marketing in the music industry.  It was a day of admin and rehearsals, but it felt like a very productive one!

Tuesday:  I spent most of the day learning my cover for my Wednesday Cover and trying to record the video…. despite multiple interruptions!  I then read more of my new book: ‘The Music Marketing and Promotion Road Map’ to help me work out how to best get my music out there!  So far I think it is a great read and it’s given me loads of new ideas.  I played golf in the evening too to get some fresh air!

Wednesday: Golf again first then followed by a very long rehearsal session with my guitarist George.  It was a much less than perfect rehearsal, so fingers crossed all the mistakes are out of the way before the gig.

This week’s Thursday Twenty is Ella Eyre’s ‘Ego’ as I think it’s a great track and not that many people have given covering it a go yet on YouTube.  I thought I would do my own acoustic piano version and put my own spin on it!  I’d love to know what you think on YouTube!

Thursday:  I had a golf competition but played terribly… so we won’t talk about that any further!  I did put together my Thursday Twenty playlist for this week and it’s my favourite one yet I think!

  1. Glue by Fickle Friends – I only discovered Fickle Friends this week but oh my god… I am in love!  The whole EP is so 80s nostalgic, catchy and fun!  Definitely check it out!
  2. Heartlines by EMBRZ & Meadowlark
  3. Only Us by Paperwhite
  4. Show Me (feat. Madison Ryann Ward) by John Splithoff – I love this song as it feels so cheery and summery and the production is so good!  It’s a windows down, driving kind of song!
  5. Fire by VHS Collection – A bit more indie/alternative than my usual picks but I really like the 80s vibes in this track too and how they are mixed with a modern sound.
  6. You by LINES – I literally can’t get this out of my head and it is SO satisfying to sing the chorus with the cheeky swearwords emphasising the frustration in the lyrics!  I can definitely relate to this one!
  7. Childhood Dreams by ARY
  8. Bathwater by WESLEE – OBSESSED with this one!  So so catchy and it has a slight echo of Terror Jr, who I love, so it’s right up my street.
  9. Find Yourself by Great Good Fine Ok & Before You Exit
  10. Lights by NOVAA
  11. Alive (Ashworth Remix) by XYLO
  12. Quicksand by Tim Legend & Colin Dieden
  13. Friends (with BloodPop) by Justin Bieber – I have to admit I do have a bit of a weakness for Justin Bieber’s recent music… it’s always so catchy and has amazing production on it!  Friends is a good example of this, catchy hook (nothing earth changing in terms of songwriting though) and great beat.
  14. The Author by Wildwood Kin – Much more chilled than my usual taste in music but I love the layering in this.
  15. Fading Youth by Punctual
  16. Chasing Marrakech
  17. Hymn by Kesha  – I really like this song as I think a lot of younger people feeling lost (like me a lot of the time) could relate to the lyrics and feel the urge to sing it out.
  18. Unpredictable by Becky Hill
  19. Pitfalls by Sistek & Tudor – I found this track (and artist) whilst researching managers and I think its fab! Definitely one of my top picks this week!
  20. (Not) The One by Bebe Rexha  – At this point in my life I can really really relate to what she’s saying in this track!  I get the feeling of not wanting to be in a relationship but liking the option of having someone there when you need them… good pop song that broaches a topic usually ignored!

 

 

Friday:  I started off the day by touring The Manchester MIDI School, which was awesome.  Ever since I started producing Alive and experimenting with looping, I have been wanting to learn more about music production, but just didn’t know the best way for me.  After visiting the MIDI school today I’m really excited that I’m going to be studying Music Production, Electronic Music Composition and Music Business there next year!  I think it will really help push my writing to the next level and hopefully bring something new into my live set up too!

Saturday:  I had a great day of rehearsals followed by an amazing gig at the Acoustic Lounge!  The crowd was really engaged and enthusiastic, which always helps to make a gig memorable, and it was my last gig with George before he heads to London for university, making it even nicer that we had a great time!

 

Sunday:  On Sunday I had a golf competition with my Dad and we actually won third prize so that was a great end to the weekend!

Thank you so much for reading!

 

 

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Sunday Rundown: College Showcase, Mixing and Parklife!

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This week has felt a little bit like two steps forwards, one step back!  Although I have been really happy how things have progressed in some areas, in others I’ve just felt like things could have gone better… however I think you have to take the successes with the failures and just crack on!

Monday:  Monday was a great day as it was my final college showcase performance!  I performed a set of seven songs from upcoming album, Chemistry, including Poison with a live band.  I really enjoyed performing and getting to show off my songs like that and when I look back on the videos that were taken during the performance, I look the most confident that I have ever looked, which feels like massive progress for me!  Check out a clip of me performing Poison with my backing band for the night ‘The Phat Express’, below!

Tuesday:  Tuesday was a college day as usual and I used my time to focus on mixing and getting vocals on my track, Alive.  We did a studio session on mixing and sorting out the levels of everything roughly, which went well, but then when it came to putting vocals on, not everything went to plan!  For some reason I just couldn’t get a good vocal performance and I wasn’t in the right frame of mind!  Hopefully, next Tuesday will be a different story!

Wednesday:  I spent most of the day finishing my college research project and then went to the driving range to blow off some steam!  I also uploaded my Lead Me Down performance from my Liverpool Gig to YouTube 🙂

Thursday:  I played golf, had a three hour nap (oops :O) and then got my college research project finished!  I also updated my Thursday Twenty playlist on Spotify with all the artists I’m most looking forward to seeing play at Parklife this weekend!  Check it out below:

 

Friday:  Another day at college, this time focused on rehearsing with a new guitarist I’m working with for my cover gigs!  We’re putting some really cool loop versions of chart songs together so hopefully it will all work out well.  I also got banned from Facebook entirely for 3 days for ‘breaking copyright’ when I posted a 1 min clip of my cover of Shawn Mendes’s ‘There’s Nothing Holding Me Back’, which frankly I think is utterly ridiculous!  Plenty of artists do covers to try and raise their profile, but now I can’t even send messages on my personal or business pages.  What a huge overreaction from Universal Music.

Saturday:  Today I saw Oliver Heldens, The Martinez Brothers, London Grammar, BBK, and Wilkinson… and I also rode the really high up swings!

Sunday:  Sunday was filled with more great artists, including: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Mura Masa, Wiley, Flying Lotus, Stormzy and Frank Ocean!

Sunday Rundown: Camden Gig, Exploring London and Producing a New Track

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This week has been super busy music-wise, which is always great, with the main news being that I performed at my first ever gig in London on Friday! 🙂  I’ve also been keeping my new Spotify playlist up to date, booking more gigs and been working on the track I am self-producing… Here is my day by day account of this fab week (15th April to 21st April)

MONDAY: I guess Monday was a fairly boring start to the week as it was admin based mainly… however, I did get closer to finding out where and when the video for Poison is going to premiere, which is very exciting news!  Hopefully on next week’s Sunday Rundown I will be recapping about that! 🙂

TUESDAY: I was at college and actually the only student in!  That sounds boring but it was amazing for my productivity and I got sooooo much done! The main progress was made on ‘Alive’, the track I was talking about last week.  I think the arrangement has been fully worked out now and we added some amazing rhythmic guitar to the choruses, which I feel added so much to the vibe of the track!  Next things to do are record my lead vocal, harmonies and backing vocals and then look at transitions!  So excited to share this when it’s finally finished!

WEDNESDAY: This week I’ve had no voice at all so I couldn’t record a new video for my Wednesday Cover but I did edit some live footage from my Gullivers Gig last Saturday… so this week’s cover is ‘Into You’ by Ariana Grande!  I absolutely love this song and love performing our version with the loop pedal… so check it out and let me know what you think!

THURSDAY: On Thursday I picked my set lists for my upcoming gigs, sorted out all my backing tracks and packed for my trip to London.  Thursday is also the day I update my weekly Spotify playlist ‘Thursday Twenty’ and this week I added some amazing tracks!

  1. Attention by Charlie Puth  OMG I’m obsessed with this song…. so catchy and the bassline is just amazing!
  2. The Cure by Lady Gaga The first Lady Gaga song I’ve liked in a while, but I do loooveee this!
  3. Siren by Kid Cupid – Kid Cupid are playing with me at Hangar 34 in Liverpool on June 1st and I’m really excited to watch them perform after hearing this track.
  4. Strip by Clara Mae
  5. In the Blood by John Mayer – My favourite of his newer songs that he performed last week… such a beautiful track.
  6. Whatever I Want (Young John Da Wicked Producer Remix) by Classixx – Thank youuuu to my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify for this one…. such a tune.
  7. Despacito Remix by Luis Fonsi & Justin Bieber
  8. Like Home (LUCIANBLOMKAMP Remix) by JOY.
  9. Oh Woman Oh Man by London Grammar
  10. Blades by Farr
  11. Rollin with the Flow by Geek Boy – I love the wordplay and the vibe of this track; it’s got a really fresh sound.
  12. Hypnotized by WeAreTreo – The rhythm of the lyrics in this track is so clever and different and the production has something really cool and summery about it… maybe even my track of the week!
  13. Don’t You Feel It by SubFocus
  14. Can You Hear Me? by Amber Mark
  15. On My Mind by Disciples – Another song I’m obsessed with… just brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it and I can’t help but dance and sing along!
  16. Eyes Closed by Halsey – This is a song I wish I’d written!  Such a relatable theme done so beautifully.
  17. Let Me Out (Banx & Ranx Remix) by Gorillaz, Mavis Staples & Pusha T – Been listening to Gorillaz as I’m so excited to go and see them in December after buying my tickets this week!  I think this has to be my favourite track off their new album ‘Humanz’.
  18. Quit by Cashmere Cat & Ariana Grande
  19. Hot2Touch by Felix Jaehn
  20. 4am by Huntar

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/11155725702/playlist/3fsHErchu1TvOs4URkHZWu

FRIDAY:  Definitely the most eventful day of this week as I had my first ever gig in London at Proud Camden as part of Absent Kelly’s ‘Camden Clique’.  I was the first support for London-based band arC and was also joined by Bisola, Gabriela Eva and Samuel Hyde.  I was incredibly nervous before as it was the first time I’d performed some of those tracks live with just backing tracks and I also had a really sore throat!  All in all though, it was a really valuable experience and I felt like I learned a lot from it.  I had some great support from the crowd, despite being first on, and I got to meet and watch some great musicians!  Afterwards I had such a feeling of relief too as I’ve been anxious about it for a while, so it was awesome to let loose and party 🙂

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SATURDAY: I was feeling slightly fragile from the night before but still took the opportunity to go and explore Camden Markets and Piccadilly Circus in London.  Felt good to be out and about and to be spending time with my brother and his friends.  London is such a good place to be a tourist and I think Camden is now my favourite place I have visited there, although I love Shoreditch too!

SUNDAY: Another admin day as I had to write a press release for my EP (although it is a little bit late) ready for the premiere of the Poison video!  I am on a bit of a health kick at the moment as I feel like I’ve let myself get very unfit and have developed some bad habits, so I did go for a hike near my house.  It was really nice to get some fresh air and just be able to relax whilst listening to music.  Plus I saw these horses, who were just too cute not to share!

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Thank you so much for reading – even though it has been even longer than last week!  I don’t want to make any more false promises, but hopefully I will have a little bit less to say next week! 🙂

Autumn 2016: New Directions

Me and My Career

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Following the release of my first EP, Not Stupid Anymore, in June 2016, I thought it was time for a change in my music.  Since the time that I wrote and recorded that music, I have been through many changes in my life and in myself, which made me feel like this music wasn’t completely true to the person I had become.  So I’m going to give a little insight into the reasons behind my new music and image and, also, what to expect from the new musical offerings!

Recap! Who am I and what do I do?

I’m a 23 year old pop artist from Manchester who has been writing songs since I was 15 and releasing music for the past year.

How would I describe the EPs and singles I have already released?

The singles and the EP, Not Stupid Anymore,  featured the original mixes of the tracks, which were very poppy and girly, along with house, dub house and garage mixes.  The lyrics were all inspired by personal experiences and my emotions, making them very honest and easy to relate to, in my opinion.  There was also a running theme of relationships, love and heartbreak.

 

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Why the change?

Although I was proud of the music I had created, I felt it wasn’t entirely the right direction for me as an artist.  As the original mixes and the remixes covered so many individual genres, I thought it seemed a little unfocused.  When I wrote the songs for ‘Not Stupid Anymore’ I was in a relationship, that I had been in for four years, so this influenced a lot of my ideas for song concepts.  However, I am now single, so my perspective on a lot of things has changed, and I wanted to put that into my music.  In addition I am a bit older now, so I felt like a more mature sound and image would suit me better and be more true to my personality.

I became very influenced by producers such as Chase and Status, The Chainsmokers and Cheat Codes and wanted to draw some inspiration from the electronic genres those artists were rooted in.  I started working with Division Productions in early summer and immediately the creative juices were flowing.

I then travelled down the East Coast of America for 5 weeks with my best friend, hitting 12 different destinations on the way and visiting 10 states.  Included in our stops were some very musical places such as New York, Nashville, Miami and New Orleans, which gave me a lot of appreciation for different genres, new directions and sounds to include in my songwriting.

 

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What has stayed the same?

The main reason I write songs is because I like to share my feelings and stories with other people, in the hope they can empathise.  I believe music has the power to unite and inspire when it is truly heartfelt, and this is what I aim to achieve as an artist, so this underlying philosophy remains intact in my material.  The emphasis I put on the vocal line within my compositions is also very similar to my previous work, as is the pop feel to my melodies.

 

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What to expect from my new music?

The music itself is rooted within the genre of pop, but takes influences on the production side from many other genres, giving it a bit more of an edge.  The focus has been on bringing the other genres I am influenced by, such as tropical house and drum and bass, into the actual pop songs themselves, rather than using remixes as with my previous EPs and singles.  I think this has helped to push my music to a new level and made for a selection of songs that are varied whilst remaining connected by my songwriting style.  The music has quite a commercial feel to it because I have the intention that people will want to sing along and dance to it, however, my lyrics are still heartfelt.  I want people to be able to empathise with the emotion behind my music but also have fun listening to it.

 

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When to expect a new release…

The first single off the EP I have been working on is called Take It All and will be released on November 17th on all major retailers and available to preorder on iTunes on October 20th.  The music video to Take It All, which was shot at the start of my America trip in New York,  will also premiere on October 20th.  Following that, the EP should hopefully be released around Easter 2017 and the title will be Experiments.  I am currently writing new songs for my debut album and hope to have news on the progress of that very soon!  I shall be performing live as much as possible to promote my new sound, so check out when you can see me next!

 

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Falling Back Together (Deep House Mix)

Me and My Career

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Back in March, the deep house remix of my second single, Falling Back Together, premiered on Deep Sounds Soundcloud account.  This was amazing as they have such a huge following on soundcloud and meant that my music was able to reach a wider audience!  To this date, the mix has had over 68K plays and over 1000 likes!  The deep house mix is my favourite remix of Falling Back Together, so if you like dance music I recommend you give it a listen!

Call Me Whatever You Want

Official Music Videos

Call Me Whatever You Want was the single that I chose to use to promote the release of Not Stupid Anymore (The Deluxe Version) as it was so catchy and upbeat.  It was actually the first song that I ever professionally recorded so, for this reason, I chose to keep the imagery fairly simple and just focus on the lyrics and the message I wanted to get across.  The song is about finally having the courage to move on from a relationship and admitting to yourself that it is not working.  The concept of the person leaving not being ‘the bad guy’ but being the brave and selfless one is what I wanted to get across with this.  I felt that this was a slightly new perspective on a typical relationship milestone and something I wanted to explore.  The pink crumpled background in the video with the lyrics on top is almost like a goodbye letter that has been written and then discarded, which I thought was perfect for this song with its theme of a bittersweet farewell.

Not Stupid Anymore

Official Music Videos

As Not Stupid Anymore was released in April, I felt like a summery, happy video would be really perfect for this track as we were approaching hotter months of the year!  For this reason, we decided to shoot in Portugal and create something with really vibrant colours and a positive energy.  The end result was a ‘flipbook’ type of effect, with lots of snapshots played in quick succession, giving the feel of holiday memories.  The pictures were interspersed with performance videos of me in different coloured bikini tops and pop-ups of the key lyrics in the song.  We focused our scenes on the most quintessentially summery things like sangria, the beach, the pool and partying to create the most fun snapshots we could!  Also, as the song is about love and girl power, I couldn’t help but add some heart shaped sunglasses and a heart shaped rubber ring!

Falling Back Together

Official Music Videos

For my second single, Falling Back Together, I thought it would be really fun to do a GoPro type video, following me around my favourite places near where I live, in Manchester.  We shot mainly in four locations: the centre of the city, Crosby beach (near Liverpool), The Edge and Etherow Country Park, which are both in Cheshire. The UKG mix of Falling Back Together was used as the lead mix for the video, which worked really well as it has a real sense of movement in the track, matching the walking in the video.  So many of my favourite places are featured in the video, including The Northern Quarter in Manchester, the cathedral and the forest at Etherow! I decided it might be a good idea to do a black and white lyric video to really emphasise the meaning behind the words of the song, and make it even easier for people to learn them!

 

 

Stuck In Limbo

Official Music Videos

Stuck in Limbo was my first ever single and for my debut video we shot down in the south of England.  The song is about a difficult relationship and feeling like you are trapped in a bad place because you can’t let go of the good memories and move on.  We ran with this theme and decided on a video concept of me being stuck in the city, unhappy, whilst reminiscing on happier times on a summer road trip, almost like a daydream. The city scenes were shot in Milton Keynes and we travelled down to Kent to shoot the beach scenes.  We found some really cool abandoned boats and shacks in the Dungeness Nature Reserve, giving us some interesting scenery shots!

Falling Back Together Shots

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