Sunday Rundown: BBC Introducing Amplify Conference, Spotify Playlists and Electronic Music Composition

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This week has been another busy one, involving blog posts, Spotify playlists and me travelling down to London to attend BBC Introducing’s Amplify Conference.  As an independent musician any opportunities to learn from and potentially network with people in the industry are key, so I thought it was really important to attend as many sessions as possible!

Monday: On Monday I started off the day with tennis and then went into college for my ‘Introduction to Production’ class.  It was a really great session as we were focused on using Simpler in Ableton and designing sounds.  This is something I’m really interested in, so I enjoyed the lesson a lot.  I think it’s awesome that you can take any sampled sound and completely customise it by applying filters and changing the release time, attack etc.

Tuesday:  Tuesday was a day for plugging my new song ‘Take It All’ with blogs and Spotify playlists.  I spent most of the day researching and contacting curators and bloggers with my press release and bio.  It paid off as ‘Take It All’ has been placed on two awesome Spotify playlists and one blog so far!  Check them out:

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Wednesday:  I started the day with a bit of relaxation and pampering at Bali Health Lounge in Manchester, before going into college to work on some new music and work on my production skills on Ableton.  Then I started my new module: Electronic Music Composition.  The first session was going through the notes on the piano and the theory of scales, which was very simple for me having played piano for years.  However, I did learn a couple of interesting facts and I can tell the course is going to be really useful as we get into the more intense content.

 

Thursday:  I mostly practised with my loop pedal and caught up on admin (as well as Great British Bake Off).  As it was Thursday though, it was Thursday Twenty time!  This week’s playlist is awesome, with loads of really beautiful chilled songs and a couple of curveballs thrown in!

  1. Falling Autumn by alanya – alanya was on my playlist last week too and I have just fallen in love with her voice.  It’s so beautiful and effortless!
  2. Invite Me by Brent Faiyaz
  3. E.T. by WENS – This is such a different version of the classic Katy Perry track that I didn’t recognise the song until I checked the name!  Very chilled, very calming and very cool!
  4. Better by Sam Rui – This one is a bit sassy and is about that feeling when your ex gets a new girlfriend… very easy to relate to and loving the confidence in this track!
  5. Don’t Love Me by Janine
  6. Insecure by Brent Faiyaz – The second Brent Faiyaz song on this week… big fan of this!  Has a slight feel of The Weeknd in his early days.
  7. Memories by Kevin Lake
  8. I’m Gonna Be There by Lash – Love this!  Such a happy and catchy song with a real feel good vibe!
  9. Bom Bidi Bom by Nick Jonas & Nicki Minaj – This is so infectious and stays in your head all day!  Love Nick Jonas’s voice so much too!
  10. Find You by Nick Jonas
  11. Girlfriend by NAO
  12. Not Above Love by AlunaGeorge – I Love AlunaGeorge as they really do have their own unique sound, and this track is no exception!  You can instantly recognise it’s them and the hook gets stuck in my head all day!
  13. How Long by Charlie Puth – I’m loving Charlie Puth’s more recent material… this has an effortless cool to it and the bassline is the key to the song again, like in Attention.
  14. Used To by Sabrina Claudio
  15. Can’t Lie by MiC LOWRY
  16. Easy Love by Lauv
  17. Onanon by Kelela
  18. NUMB feat. GRAACE by Hayden James – Amazinggg vocals here and I love the instrumentation too.  The drop in the chorus is very restrained and it works so well with the relaxed, sexy vibe.
  19. Mad Woman by Sevdaliza – I was drawn to this track as it had a real ‘Banks-esque’ feel to it and I’m completely obsessed with Banks.  I’m looking forward to listening to more from Sevdaliza and seeing if that ‘bad bitch’ vibe carries through all her material!
  20. Rake It Up by Yo Gotti & Nicki Minaj – This is such a guilty pleasure and I hate myself for liking it a little bit!  However, as soon as I hear the beat I want to dance and it makes me want to go out and party… and that’s never a bad feeling!

 

 

Friday:  Friday was the first day of the Amplify Conference so I got the train down to London in the morning and got to the conference at about 1:00pm.  The sessions I attended were: Sentric Presents ‘How to Land a Sync Deal in 9 Steps’, Annie Mac’s Playlist and BPI Presents ‘Heads of Label’.  Sentric’s sync talk was something I particularly enjoyed as it was really comprehensive and informative.  I really felt like I learned things I could immediately put into place!  After the conference I then trekked over to Hammersmith to rehearse with George ready for my gig in Hoxton Square next week!  Very busy day!

 

Saturday: Another great day at the Amplify Conference!  I sessions on ‘How To Get A Gig’, ‘How To Be Good At Social Media’ and ‘Shifting The Gaze: Women in Music’.  I particularly enjoyed the women in music session as JONES, Rae Morris and Becca McIntyre from the Marmozets were the guests and all of them were very inspiring!  I’m a JONES fan in particular, so seeing her speak about how she’s curated her career was amazing!  In the evening I was feeling very motivated so I used that energy and channelled it into writing the press release for my next release and writing my Spotify Bio!

 

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Sunday: My last day at Amplify was a great one as I managed to get to four sessions, plus I had the company of one of my friends, Martins.  The sessions I attended were ‘AWAL Presents: Demystifying Streaming Data’, ‘A Guide to Self-Releasing’, ‘The Music Manager Masterclass’ and ‘Keeping Control of Your Music’.  I was originally meant to be attended a session with JP Cooper, but due to illness, that talk was cancelled.. however the talk on retaining control featured Nina Nesbitt who is an artist I like a lot, so that was a good replacement!  After the conference came the long journey home, despite being back in London next Wednesday!

Thank you so much for reading!  Next week I’ll be talking about my gig in London and then my travels on to Bath!

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Sunday Rundown: Watching Whitney, Recording for Alive and Finishing College!

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This week has been full of music but also full of decisions!  I’m not the best with change or endings of any type and I’m absolutely awful at making big decisions!  I tend to get really stressed and anxious and put off making them until it’s almost too late!  This week marked my final ‘official’ week at college, so one of my main decisions was how I am going to spend my Tuesdays and Fridays from now on and whether I want to study any further in music!  So this week has been full of mind maps and soul searching…

Monday:  Monday was such a beautiful day so I tried to make the most of the sun by playing tennis in the morning and then sunbathing a bit in the afternoon!  I was working on my release plan for the Experiments EP videos whilst I was tanning and have decided that the video for Deja Vu should be premiering towards the end of July, which is very exciting!  In the evening I went to HOME in Manchester to watch the new Whitney Houston documentary ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me?’.  Whitney is obviously a massive idol of mine as a singer and I really enjoyed learning more about her personal life, her struggles and her start in music.  What I found interesting was hearing how even she struggled with her voice on tour!

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Tuesday:  I went into college to submit all my work and record some vocals for Alive.  I started from scratch again and got the whole of the lead vocal done in about an hour and a half which was great!  I then got a bounce of the track, so I could listen to them overnight to see whether I was happy with the vocals and what harmonies I fancied putting on.  I also got scouted for the X-Factor from my Facebook page however, as I see myself as more of a songwriter than anything, I didn’t think it was the right fit for me.

Wednesday:  After deciding I was happy with the vocals, I put the harmony and ad lib parts down for Alive, which wasn’t quite as easy as it should have been as my voice was playing havoc!  Luckily it finally cooperated enough to get a take I was happy with!

I then recorded my Wednesday Cover, which this week was Somebody Else by 1975.  I absolutely love this song and had a lot of fun working out how to translate it to a loop version!  Such a catchy track with a great 80s throwback feel, which is something I’m really into myself at the moment as Alive has that vibe.  Check out the full version below:

 

Thursday: On Thursday I had my roots done, which always makes me feel better but is very boring when I’m in the salon!  I used this time to research promoters in Manchester and make notes on them.  After that I played golf and went out for tea, which was lovely.  As always, I updated my Thursday Twenty playlist, but I did it when I was slightly tipsy so got a very interesting mix of songs!

  1. Higher Ground by Aron – Love this!  I found it when searching for Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground, but it was a very happy accident!  Great track!
  2. Oliver Twist by D’banj – Bit of a throwback but a true summer favourite of mine!
  3. Wild Thoughts by DJ Khaled, Rihanna and Bryson Tiller – Not usually a DJ Khaled fan, but this track is great!  I’ve recently been experimenting with putting electric guitar in tracks and in Wild Thoughts it works perfectly.
  4. Feels So Good by Mase – Another biggg throwback!
  5. Down by Fifth Harmony
  6. Juicy by The Notorious B.I.G
  7. Proud Mary by Tina Turner – I adore this song and constantly watch videos of her or Beyoncé performing it live!
  8. My Love Is Your Love by Whitney Houston
  9. Somebody by Natalie La Rose
  10. Human (Rudimental Remix) by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
  11. Hook, Line & Sinker by Royal Blood – I love Royal Blood and from what I’ve seen they totally smashed it at Glasto!
  12. Life’s About To Get Good by Shania Twain – Another idol and I’m super excited she’s brought out a new track!
  13. The Line (Offiah Remix) by Raye
  14. Sweatpants by Terror Jr
  15. Look At Us Now by Lost Kings
  16. I’m A Fan by Pia Mia feat. Jeremih
  17. Buh Bye by LIZ LOKRE – LOVE this!  The middle 8/breakdown is especially great!
  18. Naked by Gil Glaze
  19. Rock It by Rave Radio
  20. Just For One Night by Blonde feat. Astrid S – I think Astrid S is such a fab player in the new pop scene and this collab with Blonde has a great vibe and a killer chorus.

 

Friday:  The main aim on Friday was to get a first mix done of Alive.  We spent a couple of hours looking at compression, reverb and levels.  We’d already done a mix without the vocals, so the focus was getting the vocals and harmonies sitting right with the track and tweaking the other levels.  Since then I’ve had a listen to the mix on six different speakers and written notes, ready to tweak next week.

I also had my final day at college and found out I was shortlisted for Student Of The Year and Song of the Year, which was great after all my hard work!  The track I entered in the competition is called Shackles and it is one of my favourites from my upcoming album… have a listen to a clip me performing it below!

 

Saturday:  I did some more research on promoters and did some writing for a collaboration I have coming up.  I’m dueting with a great singer from Mansfield called Sophie Smith, which will be fun as I haven’t done much collaborating yet!

Sunday: I played tennis, worked out and then started contacting some of the promoters I have been researching… fingers crossed it leads to some great gigs!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed the insight into my life at the moment! 🙂