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! 🙂

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Sunday Rundown: BBC Radio Manchester, Recording Vocals and Christies Summer Ball Charity Gig

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This week has been mainly focused on finishing my academic year at college and making plans for the future!  It’s actually been quite a memorable and enjoyable week though on the whole, with lots of progress made in various areas!  Now I’m just not looking forward to having to make bigger life decisions next week!

Monday:  This was mainly just a day for recovery after having too much fun and not enough sleep at Parklife!  However, I did finish my final piece of academic work for college, I practised looping with my keyboard and I wrote the lyrics and melody for the first song I’m writing in a harmonic minor key… so all in all, not bad for a hangover day!

Tuesday:  Tuesdays are my full day in college and this was the day I presented my final presentation about how I have grown as an artist and developed my brand in the past year.  It was actually really interesting to do the presentation as it made me quite proud of the amount of work I have put in and how much progress I have made!  Although, I did start to panic almost immediately after I had done it, as I realised that I had to work out what plan is for after I finish college!

Wednesday:  On Wednesday I recorded my cover for my Wednesday Cover on YouTube.  I chose to do Beyoncé’s ‘1+1’ as I love the song and had been reminded of that when playing it on piano on Monday.  The loops I built were pretty long, which meant the vocals don’t come in until about 3 mins in, but after that I think it works pretty nicely!  I’m still learning with the loop pedal and I’m really enjoying playing with it and putting whatever I come up with on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.  Check it out below:

Thursday:  Thursday was a great day!  I played golf in the sun in the morning and then in the afternoon I went to Media City in Salford to the BBC Studios.  I was one of three students from college asked to go on the radio to talk about our experience at Access To Music and what we were aiming to do in our careers.  It was a great experience and really cool to see the inside of the BBC building!  I’ve put a Facebook Live video of the experience on my Facebook page so check it out!

 

I also updated my Thursday Twenty Playlist as I always do on Thursdays… here are this week’s selections:

  1. Know No Better by Major Lazer (feat. Quavo, Camilla Cabello and Travis Scott)
  2. No Diggity by Campsite Dream – Great remix of an absolute classic!
  3. Show You Love by Kato and Sigala (feat. Hailee Steinfeld)
  4. In The Arms Of A Stranger by Mike Posner (Grey Remix) –  I really love this as I think the story in the lyrics is something that a lot of people will have experienced at some point.
  5. My Favourite Faded Fantasy by Damien Rice – Recommended to me by my guitarist and it is beautiful and tragic.
  6. Somebody Else by The 1975 – Literally obsessed and I didn’t even think I liked the band before I heard this!
  7. Nothing To Say by Tara Mobee
  8. Can’t Feel My Face by Ember Island (Joe Mason Remix)
  9. I Have Questions by Camilla Cabello
  10. Strangers by Halsey (feat. Lauren Jauregui)
  11. Blinded by Emmit Fenn – Such an unbelievably gorgeous and moving song… the way it builds is just effortless.
  12. Survivors by Selena Gomez – Little throwback from one of my favourite pop princesses.
  13. Old Thing Back by Matoma & The Notorious B.I.G (feat. Ja Rule & Ralph Tresvant) – This is one of my ultimate happy songs… perfect for summer and that sax is just to die for!
  14. Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye (Kygo Remix)
  15. Nasty Gal by Betty Davis
  16. Higher Ground by TNGHT (feat. Hudson Mohawke x Lunice) – I never get bored of this song… so fun to turn it up loud when you are driving and wait for the drop!
  17. Master Blaster (Jammin’) by Stevie Wonder – Currently learning this for my cover set and am just loving it… so excited to perform it!
  18. Come First by Terror Jr – So much sass in this song that it actually inspired me to write my own sassy bitch song (Solo)!
  19. Places by Martin Solveig
  20. Run Me Dry by Bryson Tiller

Friday:  Friday was spent at college and I had a really productive studio session!  I got all the lead vocals down for my track ‘Alive’ and a few harmony parts.  The plan is to finish the rest of the vocals on Tuesday and then have a mixing day on Wednesday!  I’m hoping to have a clip to share really soon!

Saturday:  I was playing with the cover band I play with, Inhale, at the Christie’s Hospital Staff Summer Ball at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.  It was for a great cause and the crowd was great as they were definitely there to celebrate and let off some steam!

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Sunday:  I have been napping in the sun today after a really late night last night after the gig!  Going to be doing some planning for my career in general, especially to do with my new videos… so stay tuned for that!

Thank you for reading!

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!

Not Stupid Anymore (Deluxe Version)

Me and My Career

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The deluxe version of my EP, Not Stupid Anymore, was released in August 2016 and featured five new original songs along with two remixes of Not Stupid Anymore.  I released the single ‘Call Me Whatever You Want‘ as the lead for this EP as I thought it would be a perfect poppy song for summer!  The EP features all the songs I recorded with The Next Room Productions in London, which all have a similar youthful, girly sound, so if you are into Katy Perry, Taylor Swift or Meghan Trainor, I think you would enjoy this EP!  Not Stupid Anymore (Deluxe Version) is available to buy or stream on all major retailers, including iTunesSpotify and Amazon Music… so get your copy now!  My favourite tracks are Not Stupid Anymore, No Going Back and Love’s Willing Prisoner.