It’s hard for me to properly emphasise how much I love Banks. I listen to her music on repeat daily, I watch videos of her performing on YouTube, I hang off her every word when she is being interviewed… I’m just the ultimate fangirl. What I love about Banks is that her music is dark and vulnerable at the same time. There is something so honest about both the lyrics she writes and the way she delivers them, letting us see her strengths and weaknesses simultaneously. I find myself relating to Banks’s music in a way that is rare for me. I can listen to her no matter what mood I am in and despite months of constantly playing the tracks from ‘Goddess’ and ‘The Altar’, I have not found myself bored with a single song.
I recently just completed my debut album, Chemistry, and found that the songs I was writing towards the end of the recording process had more of an experimental side to them. This edge is something that I would have to attribute to how inspired I felt after listening to Banks’s most recent album, The Altar. In the past few months I have been through a lot of changes in my life, most of which have required me to toughen up and become more independent. Songs like ‘Weaker Girl’, ’27 Hours’ and ‘Trainwreck’ became my anthems and really resonated with me during this period. I love how cohesive the album is whilst allowing each individual song to have it’s own voice and message. When you watch Banks in interviews, she is so intelligent in her answers but very softly spoken and incredibly sensitive, which almost seems at odds with her persona in songs. Her songs are extremely emotional, but they are also dripping with power in the lyrics and production. It is clear she has grown as both an artist and as a woman between the release of the debut album ‘Goddess’ and the release of ‘The Altar’. Don’t get me wrong, ‘Goddess’ is also a fantastic album, with killer tracks like ‘Beggin For Thread’, ‘Stick’, ‘Waiting Game’ and ‘Brain’, however, I think ‘The Altar’ is even stronger as a complete body of work. Both albums are incredibly creative and showcase how unique she is as an artist.
As I follow Banks on Spotify, I received an email today to tell me she has released a new single, Crowded Places. Safe to say, I literally couldn’t wait to give it a listen. Well I have now listened to it at least five times, and whilst I am a little surprised, I am not disappointed at all! ‘Crowded Places’ oozes emotion and honesty like every Banks song and her captivating voice is highlighted beautifully. The lyrics are raw, relatable and wonderfully clever. The vocals and harmonies add meaning to the words and are simply stunning in parts. The aspect of the song that I found unexpected was the production. I always associate Banks with darker production and a real sense of drama, but ‘Crowded Places’ is much more mellow than her previous offerings. The layers are still there, but there is a much lighter and softer feel to this song. I find it similar in some ways to the newer material of another favourite of mine, London Grammar. This more delicate track, whilst a little shocking, has grown on me with every listen and has left me very intrigued as to what the next album will sound like. I can’t wait to get another email from Spotify notifying me about the next single. The only thing better than getting my hands on the next Banks album would be getting myself some tickets to see her live, something I didn’t manage to do when she was in Manchester last month. But with a new album comes a new tour, and this time I will definitely be there in the crowd singing along to every song.
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!
Back in November 2015, I released my first single, Stuck In Limbo.
I was absolutely thrilled to start sharing my music with the world, but also a little nervous! Luckily I got a really great response to the track, video and remixes. The single included the Original Mix, House Mix, UKG Mix and Dub House mix, which provided a great variety to appeal to different tastes.
Whilst the House Mix was the lead mix, it was actually the UKG mix which was selected to be featured on Certified’s soundcloud account. This was awesome for me as the account has over 80K followers and helped more people hear Stuck In Limbo! The UKG mix was played almost 3.5K times, with lots of loves and reposts. It felt amazing for so many people to like the track!
The Falling Back Together (Deep House Vocal Mix) – released 8th April – will be featured on the EDM Network’s soundcloud page this time around. I’m so excited for this as they have even more followers (156K) so my music will be shared with even more people! Hopefully, I get the same sort of reaction as I did with Stuck In Limbo… or better! Fingers crossed!
Listen to Stuck In Limbo (House Mix) and Stuck In Limbo (UKG) below!
The UKG remix of Falling Back Together premiered on The Popshock, on 16th Feb 2016!
The UKG mix is the first remix to premiere from the Falling Back Together single. It’s really exciting to have so many great remixes of Falling Back Together as they all bring something different to the table! I think the UKG mix is a great mix for the club with a heavy bassline and catchy hook, and that’s why it is actually the lead mix for the campaign.
Along with the Original and UKG Mixes, the single will also feature a House mix, a DUB mix and a Deep House Vocal Mix. I can’t wait to share them all, but in the meantime, check out the UKG mix below!
At the moment I’m in the process of promoting my second single, Falling Back Together, which will be released on 8th April! I wrote this song quite a few years ago and I have always loved playing it at the piano. ‘Falling Back Together’ is actually my favourite of all the songs I have ever written, so I’m super excited to be able to share it with people.
As I write all of my own songs, they always have a personal story behind them, and Falling Back Together is no exception.
The track is about a couple that keep trying to leave each other but are always drawn back together. At the start of the song the girl is trying to leave the relationship behind, but she knows that no matter how far she runs, she will always find herself in the same place. They have such an intense relationship, with a connection that they just cannot shake, so no matter how much they fight and drift apart, they know that they can’t escape each other in the end.
I guess it’s a love song, but a bit of a reluctant one!
The single will consist of the Original Mix of the track, along with House, Deep House, UKG and DUB House mixes. I think the mixes are really great as they add a different vibe to the song and make it more upbeat and dancey! Below is the soundcloud link to the Original Mix… I hope you enjoy it!!
The plan for my music video has been changed a little bit since my last post! Me and my producers spoke to the promo company that we are planning to use to promote the single, Stuck In Limbo, and they felt the video was too much like real life and a different approach may be better. As the track is a house mix, the plan is now to have a more upbeat and cheerful video focused on beautiful scenery with intimate and close up shots of me and a friend on a road trip. Certain elements of the previous storyboard remain in the new plan but with more of an emphasis on summer and fun shots.
The video will start off with me in a busy city and this scene will be shot with a time lapse effect, where it looks like the surroundings are moving at hyper-speed whilst I’m not moving. This is meant to represent the ‘limbo’ theme of the song. The rest of the video’s scenes are meant to represent a dream or memory state to a better time and take place on a road trip to the coast. The location is Dungeness, Kent, where there are some cool old boats and other interesting features on the beach to shoot around, as well as the sea and sand itself. The whole of the video apart from the short opening section in the city will focus on the scenery and natural beauty, as the aim is to keep the video upbeat and not too serious, like an escape from limbo to a better place and time.
I’m filming the video this weekend, Sunday 23rd August, in Milton Keynes and Dungeness, and despite being a little nervous I’m very excited to be doing my first music video! I’m working with a great team of really creative and lovely people, so I have total faith that despite the changes to the storyboard, the video will turn out great! I’m sure my next post will have some beautiful pictures from the shoot!
This is most of my friends and family’s favourite of my songs, I think because it’s so upbeat and catchy! At the risk of sounding like a serial dater or something, I wrote this song about two different guys and merged my issues with each of them together to make an exaggerated character. The lyrics of the song are about when you have moved on from someone and then they come to try and win you back, but you aren’t interested anymore. It refers to the point after a break up where you are finally in the acceptance phase and are ready to leave that person behind, but then they come to you and they say they feel the way you always wanted them to. In the case of the guys I wrote this song about, they were both scared of commitment and didn’t want to give up being single and all the freedom they thought they had, until it was too late. It’s basically a song about staying strong, respecting yourself and knowing when it is time to leave someone behind. This song will appear on my upcoming EP this year as both a house version and a garage version, but for the time being, check out me performing the original in the studio below!
This song is going to be on my upcoming EP and is unique as it’s the only song I have ever written where the lyrics were the component written last. Me and my producers decided we wanted to do a song with a chilled ambient house type feel, so they sent me a backing track to write to and see what I could come up with. It was a bit of an experiment to be honest as I had no idea if I would be able to write a song this way, as I usually write at the piano and sort the lyrics before the melody and accompaniment! However, I actually really enjoyed challenging myself and pushing my writing to a new level!
The subject matter of the song is also unique in relation to my other songs as it is completely fabricated and not based on my own personal experiences. I decided I wanted to write about cheating in a relationship but not condemning it in a black and white way, so I added the complication of a friendship into the mix. The story is about two friends who, whilst both in relationships with other people, cross the line and spend the night together. The song is about the consequences of a flirty friendship going too far and the implications on the relationships they are in. It’s about not being able to forget what happened and not knowing whether the friendship could go back how it was before. Anyway….. I really hope you enjoy the song and stay tuned for the house and garage remixes which will be coming soon…..
Stuck In Limbo is a song that is very close to my heart and also happens to be the song me and my producers have chosen to be my first ever single. There are three versions of the track that have currently been produced: the original song as I wrote it, a house remix and a garage remix. I can be seen performing the original on my YouTube Channel or below, however, it is the house remix that we have selected to be the debut track off the EP, as it’s just so upbeat and catchy.
The song is about a very intense relationship with lots of ups and downs. Like most of my original songs, it is written from a place of personal experience and genuine emotions. At the time of writing the song I felt like I had no idea where a relationship was going and how to resolve all the issues, despite still loving the other person. This led me to feel like we were ‘stuck in limbo’ because I didn’t know whether we would or should break up or stay together. I tried to get across the feelings of confusion and hurt through the lyrics of the song and the awkward position of being trapped in a middle place between being happy together and being happy apart. The song is one of the slowest and most ballad-like that I have written, with a slow, soulful feel to it. Below is a video of me performing the original version of this song in the studio in London…. I hope you like it!
If I’m being honest performing live isn’t something I find particularly easy! The feeling after I have finished singing is impossible to top and just such an amazing buzz…. but the nerves before, for me, are just dreadful. When I was younger I used to get so terrified that I would cry and run away and then have to sing after most of the audience had left! I finally managed to get over this and work my way up to bigger audiences when I was 17, which was great, but then I got nodules and went to uni, so singing took a back seat. Therefore, whilst I have been writing, recording and generally getting my EP and album together over the past few years I have been avoiding performing a little bit, but I know I need to get back in the game! There are just a couple of issues with this though:
1) I’m very scared and out of practice… (who knows if I’ll cry and run away?!)
2) The piano is the least portable instrument for open mic nights, small gigs and busking…. people with the guitar have it so much easier!
This being said I am currently looking for low pressure venues in and around where I live in Manchester to possibly perform a set in. I’m also considering just trying an open mic night or even karaoke just to get my confidence back up. Learning my songs on guitar is another thing on the to do list, in order for me to be able to just go and play a set anywhere, without having to lug my keyboard and pedal everywhere!
So watch this space…. hopefully I’ll soon be brave enough to be performing somewhere soon!