Sunday Rundown: Finding locations, shooting videos and finally finishing Alive

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This week I have been working on loads of new projects including shooting a video, planning another and finally finishing the mix on my track Alive.  I’ve also been talking to some promoters about booking some gigs very soon, so hopefully I’ll have many announcements coming soon!

Monday: I was travelling back from London so I was just doing admin stuff on the train!  Pretty boring!

Tuesday: Tuesday was a great day as I was shooting a video for one of my upcoming songs, which is called Shackles!  The song is quite dramatic and dark, so we thought a very simple black and white video might work really well.  The track starts with just piano, so it was fun filming that part with me playing what is on the track!

Wednesday:  On Wednesday I was back in the studio for the first time in a while, to put some new vocals on a couple of tracks I recorded back in February.  However, I ended up changing the structure of three of the songs from my Chemistry album… which just goes to show the creative process isn’t always finished even though you thought it was!

My Wednesday Cover this week was a duet with the lovely Sophie Smith and we did cover of Strangers by Halsey and Lauren Jaugerui.  Check it out:

Thursday:  On Thursday I was playing in another golf competition and I played the best I’d ever played, which was a great feeling!  I actually ended up winning the whole competition and having my handicap dropped.

As it was Thursday I curated my Thursday Twenty playlist for the week, with a lot of emphasis being on holiday songs again, particularly Spanish songs!

  1. Higher Love by Charming Horses
  2. Mind Games by Nicolas Haelg
  3. Save Me by LISTENBEE
  4. Freak (Sam Feldt Remix Edit) by R3hab – I love this track as it reminds me of the Sugababes version from when I was younger… such a nostalgic track!
  5. Low by Matt Kali
  6. I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Taladego Tropical Mix) by Sara Farell – I really like this version of this song as it’s so summery and happy!  I actually prefer it to the original!
  7. Take It to the Beat by Sons of Maria
  8. No Vacancy (with Sebastian Yatra) by OneRepublic – In summer I always listen to a lot of Spanish music, so I was really happy to see Sebastian Yatra had teamed up with OneRepublic for this track!  It’s the perfect sunny day song and the Spanish parts work really well with the English hook!
  9. Mala Mujer by C. Tangana – This track has such a sexy vibe and it really makes me excited to go partying in summer!
  10. More by Total Ape
  11. Get Low by Zedd & Liam Payne
  12. Came Here For Love by Sigala & Ella Eyre
  13. Love$ick by Mura Masa & A$AP Rocky – I bought my tickets to go and see Mura Masa at the WHP this week and I’m super excited, so I thought I would include a track on the playlist this week!
  14. Fetish by Selena Gomez & Gucci Mane
  15. Mi Gente by J Balvin – I loooovvveee J Balvin and this track is no exception!  Such a great beat and definitely my favourite song this week!
  16. Loving Life by Rationale
  17. Love Me More by Chase & Status & Emeli Sande
  18. immortal (Snakehips Remix) by Elley Duhe
  19. Sober (Jerome Price Remix) by CVIRO
  20. No Love in the Jungle by Harper – Another favourite this week!  I’m new to Harper but I love what she’s doing so far!

 

Friday: I finally fixed the mix for Alive and put a master on and started editing the video for Shackles!  I also had a meeting about potential locations and ideas for a videoshoot for Alive.  Exciting stuff!

Saturday: Rehearsing during the day and then gigging in the evening!  Such a lovely crowd and a great atmosphere, including two encores!

Sunday: Brunch and then the golf presentation evening, when I got my trophy!

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Thanks for reading! 🙂

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New EP Release: Experiments!

Me and My Career

Check out my new EP, Experiments, which has just been released on all major retailers!  The Spotify Web Player link is below, so you can give it a play and follow me if you like it!

I’m extremely proud of this EP as I feel like it really sums me up as an artist and embodies the sort of music I want to make moving forward.  All the songs have their own videos, with the Poison video being the next one to be released… so keep your eyes peeled for that!  The EP is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer and most other digital distributors… so go and have a listen and let me know what you think on Facebook.

 

 

Artist: Banks

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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.

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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.

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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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.

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!

Get To Know Me Q & A

Me and My Career

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Favourite Artist/Band?

This is a difficult question as there are so so many artists I admire and love but if I had to pick three, I would pick John Mayer, Nirvana and Fleetwood Mac.

 Favourite Album?

This is easy for me as there is one album I will play all the way through whenever I need to relax, and that is John Mayer – Where The Light Is.  The album is the whole of his concert in LA live, so has all of his best tracks along with the audience reactions and great guitar solos linking the songs.  For me it’s just perfect!

Favourite Song?

I have two favourite songs and they are both a bit odd! One is Len – Steal My Sunshine, as it just cheers me up whenever I listen to it and it’s perfect for a sunny day.  The other is Sufjan Stevens – For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti.  I just think that song is so beautiful and the banjo part is so relaxing and lovely.

Best Performer I Have Seen Live?

I have seen many great artists in concert, such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Sam Smith, but hands down the best was London Grammar.  I saw them at a festival in Nottingham called No Tomorrow and they were just amazing!  The whole band is so talented, with great songs and Hannah Reid’s voice is mesmerising.  The album is great, but live they are out of this world!

What Instruments Do I Play?

I mainly sing and play piano to accompany myself, but I also play saxophone (badly nowadays!).

How Do I Write My Songs?

I’m a strong believer that you can’t force song-writing or the song won’t have feeling and will be pretty crap.  I carry a notebook with me a lot of the time and always take one on holiday, just in case any ideas hit me when I’m on the go.  Then I go to the piano and work out a melody and chords.  Usually I write lyrics first, then melody and then accompaniment, although occasionally I think of the melody and lyrics together.

How Would I Describe My Original Music?

If I had to label my songs with a genre I would probably say Pop, but I would like to think that they aren’t superficial even though they are upbeat.  I write mostly about my own experiences and emotions, which I think makes my songs heartfelt and easy for others to relate to.

My Music Career So Far?

I’m really just getting started as I have spent the last three years concentrating on my academics, whilst doing music on the side.  My parents wanted me to have a back up plan, in the form of a degree, in case singing doesn’t work out, so I have been at university studying for the past three years, whilst writing music and travelling down to London to record.  At the end of these three years I now have a 1st Class Honours Degree in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, a fully produced 10 track pop album and a 10 track EP of house and garage remixes of my songs ready to release this summer (hopefully!), so I’m ready to tackle whatever life throws my way!

And Finally, Why Do I Want To Be A Musician?

I’ve always loved singing ever since I was young and when I was 18 I decided I wanted to make the transition from hobby to career.  I’ve spent the last three years focusing on my back up plan, so now I’m ready to give what I really love a shot! Music has got me through some rough times and I love the idea of being able to touch people with my music and maybe provide the same sort of peace for someone else.  The absolute dream would be to perform and have a crowd singing my lyrics back to me; I think that would be the most amazing feeling in the world!