Jammin’ In July: My Musical Alphabet

Greetings readers,

Today I’m taking inspiration from fellow music-blogger Daria, from The Music Wonderland, who created her own musical alphabet. I thought it was a great way to share your favourite artists, so I asked if I could upload my own version and she said yes. So, I’ve combed my ITunes, album collection, and previous blogs to bring you my favourite artists for each letter of the alphabet – complete with some throwbacks in there too.

(There are a few gaps towards the end though, sorry!)

 

A – Against The Current

One of my favourite bands at the moment, New Yorkers Against The Current also dropped one of my favourite albums of 2016 with their debut release, ‘In Our Bones’. They have a lot of different elements to their sound, from danceable pop-driven tracks to dark, brooding rock vibes, which all combine to make something undeniably addictive.

To see my review of ATC’s debut album ‘In Our Bones’, click here.

 

B – Bring Me The Horizon

BMTH have been around since my early teens but, admittedly, I have only really gotten into their music recently. Whilst I liked the rough and raw screamo sound of previous releases, I couldn’t listen to it for too long; I couldn’t understand the lyrics, I couldn’t sing along, it just didn’t hit me in the same way that bands like Bullet For My Valentine did at the time, with their darkly twisted debut album ‘The Poison’. However, with their newest release ‘That’s The Spirit’ came a new sound that I’m totally into. Gone are the undecipherable lyrics and discordant arrangements, to be replaced by a melodic stadium-rock vibe. Their trademark ferocity is still there, but has evolved into something different – a change for the better in my opinion.

To see my review of Bring Me The Horizon’s newest release ‘That’s The Spirit’, click here.

 

C – Cassadee Pope

If you were into the pop-punk scene in early 2007 when the female fronted era exploded, then you may recognise ex Hey Monday front woman Cassadee Pope. Having been a fan of the band since their formation in 2008, I was crushed when they decided to go on hiatus with only one album to their name – 2008’s ‘Hold On Tight’. Following their short-lived time as a band, I was beyond intrigued when I found that Pope went on to become a contestant on The Voice USA; following her journey through the competition, which ultimately saw her crowned the winner. She has since released her debut album ‘Frame By Frame’, which reached #1 in the US Country music chart.

To see my article on Cassadee Pope following her win on The Voice USA, click here.

 

D – Demi Lovato

Quite simply, I absolutely adore Demi Lovato. From her musical ability and captivating power-house vocals, to her confidence to speak candidly about her personal struggles, I think that she is someone to be admired.

For more about why I like Demi Lovato, and why she is #1 on my ‘Top 10 Interview Wish-List, click here.

 

E – Ed Sheeran

Simply put? Ed Sheeran is amazing. I truly believe that he is one of the biggest icons of my generation. He has gone from strength to strength within the industry over the years, not just with his own albums but working behind the scenes on hits for other artists, including Justin Bieber, Major Lazer and One Direction. Everything he has done, to this day, has been absolute fire; with one chart hit after another. And, since the release of his newest album ‘Divide’, 2017 has so far been another massive year for our favourite red-head – already having made history by occupying both the #1 and #2 spot in the charts with ‘comeback’ singles ‘Shape Of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’ respectively. He gets better and better with each album.

To see my review of ‘Shape Of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’, click here.

 

F – Francheschi (Elissa)

I’ve been a fan of Elissa Franceschi’s music since my late teens. Introduced to her after she did guest vocals on You Me At Six track ‘Always Attract’, I then went on to check out her solo music – and fell in love. The soulful songstress has a beautifully delicate, yet powerful, quality to her vocals and her music is always mesmerising; full of honesty and overflowing with poignancy. She is currently on a musical hiatus, as she has been for the last few years, but there have been some little signs online that could hint at a possible return to music soon – here’s hoping! It’s been far too long.

To see my review of Elissa Franceschi’s EP ‘Devoid of Rue’, click here.

 

G – Green Day

One of my first favourite bands back when I first discovered rock music, Green Day were a huge part of the soundtrack to my early teens. Admittedly, I don’t listen to them nowadays, but there will always be a special place in my heart for them.

 

H – Hobbie Stuart

Honey-voiced heart-throb Hobbie Stuart, is a pop singer-songwriter and vlogger. Having built an online following via YouTube over the last six years, Stuart uploads both cover videos and original material to his channel. His smooth, r’n’b-tinged vocals seem to be able to wrap themselves around any song; leaving their own stamp on existing tracks and giving life to his own songs. Having seen him play a short set in Brighton, where he also turned on the town’s Christmas lights, it’s fair to say that he’s just as good live as he is on record – a rare quality nowadays. As well as his hypnotising vocals, Stewart’s hilariously candid personality also comes across in his vlogs, making them even more entertaining. You just can’t help but love him, really.

To check out my initial ‘One to Watch’ on Hobbie Stuart, click here.

For my live review of Stuart’s short set at Brighton’s Christmas light’s switch on, click here.

 

I – Issues

I discovered this metalcore six-piece after recommendation from a friend of mine, and I’m so glad I gave them a listen. Their thrashing yet melodic sound draws on a multitude of different genres, from heavy rock to electronic, and even some R&B. There is a brutal heaviness running through every track, which is lifted by honey-voiced vocalist Tyler Carter’s melodic tone as it drizzles over the gravelly sounds of Michael Bohn’s aggressive screams. This provides a great contrast and incorporating elements of other genres also brings something different to the table, keeping things interesting.

To see my introductory ‘One To Watch’ on Issues, click here.

 

J – Justin Timberlake

Sorry, I’m not sorry. Justin Timberlake is up there with some of the best male vocalists in the pop scene. From the curly-haired kid in boyband Nsync to the suave pin-up that girls fantasize over, JT and his music continue to stand the test of time – his smooth brand of r’n’b drenched pop still winning hearts, and awards, worldwide.

 

K – Kelly Clarkson

Again, another artist whose vocals continue to always cause a stir in the pop charts, fifteen years after she became the first ever winner of American Idol. Kelly Clarkson has an amazing voice; strong, bold and powerful, both on and off record. The majority of her music centres on themes such as heart-break, self-empowerment and independence, much of which really speaks to me. Her second studio album ‘Breakaway’ was a big part of the soundtrack to my early teens, with its pop-rock sound and dark undertones.

 

L – Luke Pickett

Luke Pickett is an artist that, I don’t think, gets as much recognition as he should. I discovered Pickett’s music 10 years ago, thanks to my friend using his track ‘Empty Corridors’ as her profile song on Myspace – remember those days?! I fell in love with it and soon became addicted to other songs such as ‘Going Down With This Ship’, ‘Dream Love Cure’ and ‘Cruel Love’. I even came close to interviewing him for this blog at the very beginning, after emailing his management, but somehow it fell through. I still go back and listen to those old songs from time to time, and I’m always keeping an eye on his new stuff. With his level of talent, impeccable, addictive vocals and ability to craft a captivating, poignant song, I can’t understand how he’s not a mainstream artist!

 

M – My Chemical Romance

The mouth-piece for an entire musical movement, and responsible for starting a conversation about the misunderstanding of subcultures, My Chemical Romance became the voice of a generation of misfit teens and in the process became revered; seen almost like heroes. Their music spoke to so many people (including myself) and created a community. Over the years, and the many colours/styles of Gerard Way’s hair, they created so many iconic moments that will always be remembered. I’m so glad I got to see them live before they split; it still hurts my heart a little that they’re not together anymore.

 

N – Nirvana

Another band that I, admittedly, don’t listen to anymore, but who influenced my music tastes back in the day. When I started listening to rock music in my mid-teens, Nirvana were a band that I inevitably came across; I say inevitably because you can’t have not heard of them if you’re into rock, I mean everybody knows who Kurt Cobain is, right? I loved the overall vibe of their music, (I used to be into the heavier stuff!) Kurt’s gruff and gravelly vocals, and I’ve always been interested in their/his compelling story. It’s not at all surprising to me that their music continues to influence musicians and have an effect on people, to this day.

 

O – Out Of Sight

Having disbanded quite a few years ago, you might think it’s weird that I chose to include pop-punk band Out Of Sight. However, after seeing them supporting You Me At Six live back in 2009, they were a band that left a lasting impression and I loved their music. Luckily, when I did work experience for Kerrang! that same year, I was given a copy of their demo CD by Katie P after I told her how much I liked them. To this day, I’m still so thankful to her for that because, if she hadn’t, their music would be 100% lost to me – and I’m so glad that it isn’t. I still listen to it from time to time and it never fails to put a smile on my face.

 

P – Panic! At The Disco

Another band that were a big part of the 2007 explosion of ‘emo’/pop-punk artists in the rock scene, you couldn’t not like Panic! At The Disco. Their single ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ is now a cult favourite among people of that era – there was a time when everyone was singing along to that chorus!. Over the years they’ve headlined the likes of Reading Festival and gained national airplay on Radio One, and continue to sell out arenas to this day.

 

Q – Queen

Not a band that I listen to regularly, but Queen is an absolute classic – there’s no doubt about it. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘I Want To Break Free’… everyone knows at least one of their songs, and they’re great to dance to!

 

R – Room 94

I discovered Room 94 thanks to Twitter back in 2012, and they quickly went on to become one of my favourite bands at the time. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you may know that I tried for an entire year to get an interview with the boys and, after meeting them at multiple shows, luckily got that chance at the Brighton date of their 2013 ‘Three Brothers and One Kit’ summer tour. It’s still one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done and they’re really lovely and funny guys – I’d interview them again in a heartbeat!

To see my interview with Room 94, click here.

 

S – Set It Off

This Floridian foursome have been one of my favourite bands for a few years, after discovering them when I was invited to interview them at a show. I’d never listened to them, or seen them live, but their stage presence and show changed that irrevocably. So taken was I that I went straight to their merch desk after their set and bought their debut – and at the time, only – album ‘Cinematics’, which I listened to in its entirety for months. I’ve kept up to date with their releases ever since, and seen their sound evolve from dark and twisted orchestral pop-rock, to something lighter and increasingly pop-based, all whilst retaining that certain Set It Off something.

To see my review of Set It Off’s second album ‘Duality’ click here.
I’ve also done short reviews of a handful of their songs from newest album ‘Upside Down’. To see those, click here (Uncontainable), here (Something New) and here (Crutch).

 

T – The Summer Set

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, then you’ll know that The Summer Set are one of my Top 5 favourite bands ever! I try to see them live every time they come to the UK and each time is always more fun than the last; they never fail to put on an amazing show, it’s like a party that nobody wants to end. I love their unique brand of inspirational, poignant, summery, feel good pop-rock, made even more distinctive by Brian Dales’ original vocal tone. I’ve bought every album they’ve ever released and their music just gets better and better over the years. Their newest release ‘Stories For Monday’ was one of my top albums of last year and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next!

I’ve actually been lucky enough to chat to John Gomez, Jess Bowen and Brian Dales on separate occasions and they’re all lovely (the latter I even managed to interview before a show at Kingston Peel, despite him being a little worse for wear!)

To see my review of the band’s newest album ‘Stories For Monday’, click here.
And, to see my review of the last time I saw them live, at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms, click here.

U – —–

 

V – Versaemerge

Another great band that, sadly, aren’t together in this format currently, Versaemerge were part of the second wave of the pop-punk/emo scene. When the likes of Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco were established they paved the way for similar bands to breakout, one of them being Versaemerge. After being signed by the front-running label of the era, Fuelled By Ramen, Versaemerge released their debut – and sadly only – album ‘Fixed At Zero’. Over the years they battled a lot of obstacles, including significant line-up changes, as well as the long wait between releases. By the time a second album looked to be forming it came with a change of sound, gone was the dark melodic rock, in favour of an electronic vibe; times and the scene had changed. Shortly after, remaining members, Sierra Kusterbeck and Blake Harnage decided to reinvent themselves as Versa, an entirely new entity. However, the status of the band is unclear as no new material has been released, and vocalist Sierra now fronts new musical project ‘Neaux’. One thing’s for sure, I hope they revive Versa at some point because I’d be so sad if they just faded away.

As a female, Sierra was one of my main inspirations of that time, and while I was at university I was actually lucky enough to interview Blake Harnage for an article I was working on about fan-funding. To see that article, click here.

 

W – Waltzz

A young aspiring rapper that reached out to me for a review back in 2015, Waltzz is now a name that you’ll definitely be familiar with if you follow my blog regularly. Full of passion and unrivalled drive, Waltzz – real name Liam Stewart – is an artist that I really admire. From his music (and his passion for it) to the overall message he tries to convey, he is definitely worth checking out. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him and he’s a really great, down to earth guy too – which is always a plus!

To see my review of Waltzz’s most recent single ‘I’m Alright’, click here.

 

X – —-

 

Y – You Me At Six

You Me At Six have been one of my favourite bands since I was seventeen and, now in my mid-twenties, they still are. Over the years I’ve seen them grow with their music and, in turn, I have grown up with it. So many of their songs serve as a reminder of many different events and happenings, and I have nothing but fond memories of seeing them live – all 10+ times! They have yet to make an album that I dislike, and my only hope is that they continue making music for a long time yet!

To read my review of You Me At Six’s latest album ‘Night People’, click here.

 

Z – —-

 

And there you have it – if you got this far, to you I give the biggest of high-fives. I hope that I inspired you to give some of these artists a try, if you’ve not heard of them. What did you think of my choices? If you’ve got any recommendations for the letters I missed feel free to let me know in a comment.

As always, thank you for reading! I’m uploading twice a week throughout July so, If you like what I do here and you want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, feel free to come and join me on:

Facebook & Twitter
🙂

Happy ‘Single Awareness Day’: Empowerment Anthems for Anyone Who’s Not In a Relationship This Valentine’s Day

Bonjour readers,

In case you couldn’t tell by the title, or if you’ve not been past any shops recently, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Everywhere you go there seems to be an explosion of hearts and some kind of promotion for the most romantic day of the year. So, whether you’re sickeningly loved up, or you’re a person who points and rolls your eyes at those who are sickeningly loved up, I hope you have a great day.

However, Valentine’s Day does have a habit of making us singletons even more aware of the fact that we’re single – hence the nickname ‘Single Awareness Day.’ Although, that needn’t be a bad thing. We may be single, but we’re also strong, independent and we don’t have to answer to anyone. With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you my Top 5 most empowering anthems for those of you who are slaying the single life this year, or if you just need a little pick me up, these songs are sure to do the trick. But, don’t take my word for it, have a listen for yourself…

 

#1. Hailee Steinfeld – Love Myself

The first single from the 18 year old actress’ debut EP ‘Haiz’, is an empowering dance/pop track. Being honest, when I first heard this I wasn’t too sure about it – I thought the lyrics were a bit questionable in places – but there’s no denying that it has a great sound, it’s fun and it makes you want to get up and dance. The chorus is an absolute banger overflowing with positive vibes, and Seinfeld’s R’n’B-tinged vocals are strong and bold throughout. Overall it’s a song about self-love (whichever way you interpret that) and empowerment – love yourself, you don’t need anybody else.

Taken from my ‘Tracks of the Month: November 2015’ click here to see the full post.

 

 

#2. Demi Lovato – Confident

If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you’ll know that I love Demi Lovato. ‘Confident’ is the second single from her fifth studio album of the same name, and it really sees her come into her own. Gone are the days of self-doubt and struggle, this is sassy and sexy, with bucket loads of attitude. As always Lovato’s vocals are stunningly bold, full of defiance and, well, confidence. It’s without doubt an empowering track, after all, “What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being confident?”

Taken from my ‘Tracks of the Month: November 2015’ click here to see the full post.

 

 

#3. Little Mix – Shout Out To My Ex


Formidable pop foursome Little Mix premiered their new single ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ on week two of the X Factor 2016’s live shows – and they certainly aren’t pulling any punches. The lead track from their newest album ‘Glory Days’, is a bold break-up anthem full of attitude. ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ is ridiculously catchy, with a powerful driving beat and an explosive, anthemic chorus that you can’t help but sing along to.

The lyrics, although scathing, do have an edge of humour to them – almost as if the girls are poking fun at everyone who did them wrong now that they’re ‘over it,’ giving it a very uplifting quality. Each member shines in their respective part of the song, and the harmonies interspersed throughout show that their vocals complement each other brilliantly. It’s fun, sassy, sexy and a massive middle finger to that ex – I’m sure we’ve all got one :).

 Taken from my ‘Tracks of the Month: October 2016’ click here to see the full post.

 

 

#4. Orchard Hill (formerly Disclosure) – What a Waste of Time

Following some issues with their original name – which lead to confusion with a popular electronic dance act – this Oxfordshire based quintet came back with a new moniker but, rest assured, they’re still a pop-rock powerhouse. From the outset this track is a playful burst of colour, with a hook that promises to have audiences bouncing along like crazed jack-in-a-boxes. Singer, Tiff’s deep and throaty vocals are great also, sounding strong and hitting the notes on every trill with ease. It’s assertive and definitely appropriate for when you’re ready to acknowledge ‘what a waste of time that boy can be’, because let’s face it, we’ve all felt like that right?

Taken from my ‘Tracks I’m Loving: April/May 2013’ click here to see the full post.

 

 

#5. Cassadee Pope – Wasting All These Tears

This was Cassadee Pope’s first solo single after winning The Voice USA in 2013, during which time audiences saw her transition from singing, mostly, pop/rock to country. This track sees her successfully mix the two, incorporating elements of country with her signature pop/rock vocals. Pope’s vocals carry the ability to inject bags of emotion into the song, giving it the right amount of bite to tell the story in a way that you can really believe. The lyrics have a really cathartic quality and, personally, I can really relate to them – and I’m sure a lot of other people can too.

Taken from my ‘Tracks I’m Loving: October 2013’ click here to see the full post.

 

 

Now, get out there and show them whose boss. 🙂

If you liked these and want to check out my ‘Top 10 Anti-Love Songs’ from last Valentine’s Day, click here. Or, if you’re in a romantic mood and want to check out my ‘Top 8 Love Songs’, click here.

 

As always, thank you for reading! If you like what I do here and you want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, be sure to come and join me on:

Facebook & Twitter

🙂

 

Demi Lovato – Body Say (Single Review)

Demi Lovato leaves little to the imagination with brand-new track ‘Body Say’.

Demi Lovato Body Say Artwork

 

Pop powerhouse Demi Lovato has shown that her Disney days are firmly in the past with her recently released new song, ‘Body Say’. Written and recorded “a couple months ago”, Lovato has said on Twitter that she wanted fans to “hear it right away” adding, “what’s the point in waiting anymore.”

The track’s accompanying artwork also made waves online, as Lovato appears to be sitting naked on a bed, hands gripping her hair, with her back to the camera and a discarded lace bra in the foreground. She also shared a series of different, but equally as sexy, images from the same shoot on Instagram.

The song has an undeniable sexy, sultry feel from the off with a smoky, R’n’B sound; a very different vibe to the more pop tracks we’re used to hearing from her. ‘Body Say’ is also, arguably, the most sexually explicit Lovato has ever been lyrically. We’ve been given a taste of her naughtier side on previous tracks like ‘Cool for the Summer’, but this takes it to a whole new level; there is no second guessing here. As a result, the song oozes sexiness and confidence, and shows a progression into a more grown-up, womanly vibe. For all the body image problems Lovato has had to deal with, as a complete package, ‘Body Say’ shows that this is someone who’s finally comfortable in her own skin, and she has every right to be. This slays.

At present the powers that be are doing a very good job of making sure that the song isn’t put on YouTube by anyone but Demi Lovato but, if you want to check it out, the song is available to stream on Spotify now.

 

Favourite lyrics:
“If my body had a say, I’d get it off my chest / show you all the red lace, underneath this dress.”

 

Let me know what you think of this new, sexier side of Demi Lovato, do you love it? Or do you think it’s a bit too much?

I’m blogging every Monday and Thursday throughout July. To keep up to date with my upcoming posts, come and join me on Facebook & Twitter, and to see what else is coming up throughout the rest of this month, click here.

‘Jammin’ In July’ Is Back!

Hola readers,

This month I’ve decided to bring back a monthly thread that I started last year, known as ‘Jammin’ In July’. Throughout the next four weeks I’ll be posting blogs on Mondays and Thursdays, ending with (hopefully) 8 uploads.

Summer is a great time for music, with all the summer festivals and tours, so I thought it’d be fitting to bring back this series. Organised as ever, I’ve planned all the blog posts already including: album reviews, single reviews, and maybe even some vlogs ;). See the full list below.

(As the posts go live I’ll add the hyperlinks so you can just click on each entry to see it.)

 

COMING UP:

To keep up to date feel free to come and join me on Facebook and Twitter, I’ll be back on Monday with my overview of TV musical drama Nashville. See you there? 🙂

Tracks of the Month: March

Hello everyone,

Another month over, Easter has come and gone, and it seems like only yesterday I was seeing memes circulating on Facebook saying ‘how is it March already?!’. But, just before we welcome April (and with it hopefully some spring sunshine,) as is tradition around here, I’m going to share my favourite songs of the month with you.

One is a pop-rock track with a killer chorus and mass-singalong vibes, one is synthy and romantic, and the other is a beautifully emotional ballad that I’ve absolutely fallen head-over-heels for.

I’d also just like to mention here, that while I was writing this post I realised I’d also included both of these artists in my last ‘Tracks of the Month’. It wasn’t an intentional move, I’ve just been listening to these songs non-stop – that must say something about the artists’ music though, eh?

 

The Summer Set – Missin’ You

Hot on the heels of their debut single ‘Figure Me Out’, pop-rock quintet The Summer Set wasted no time in dropping another killer song from their upcoming album, ‘Stories For Monday’. Despite its love-sick-esque title, that couldn’t be further from the truth as, ‘Missin’ You’ captures that very freeing feeling of letting go and moving on after a relationship has turned sour; “since you’ve been gone I’m living more than ever/since you’ve been gone I’ve never felt so alive.” Set to the tone of singer Brian Dales’ distinctive vocals, the song is packed with positive vibes; it’s sassy, uplifting, empowering and never fails to make me smile…”hell yeah, alright, I ain’t missing you.”

 

The Summer Set – Jean Jacket

Another song of The Summer Set’s I’ve been listening to a lot is ‘Jean Jacket’. Premiered on March 17th, the track is very synth-driven and romantic, with its chorus line “coz when I put on my Jean Jacket, I still think about you.” Brian’s unique vocals are tight as ever as he flits between lower and higher notes effortlessly, and coupled with the melody, the two combine to produce a beautiful song packed with emotion, which really tells a story. I also recently found an acoustic version online, and they absolutely slay it. The stripped back arrangement gives a much more intimate feel, and the backing vocals from both John Gomez and Jess Bowen are even more pronounced, the harmonies sounding great together.

The band recently made the full album available to stream so if, like me, you can’t wait until April 1st for the release, you can already have a cheeky listen. Be sure to catch The Summer Set on the ‘Stories for Monday’ tour, starting in the US in April, before hitting the UK in May. For full tour dates click here.

Click here to see my review of the band’s previous single, ‘Figure Me Out.’

 

Demi Lovato – Stone Cold

Demi Lovato released the video for her latest single Stone Cold in late February, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. Lovato has said she is ‘very proud’ of the third single from her album ‘Confident’ – and she has every right to be. Unlike her previous singles from the album, ‘Stone Cold’ is a beautifully poignant ballad about seeing someone you love with someone else. The piano-led track also includes swelling strings and soft, choir-esque backing vocals; an arrangement that really compliments Lovato’s powerhouse pipes.

The vocals overflow with raw emotion, giving a deep rooted honesty to the track which comes across even more so when performed live, further showcasing the full extent of Lovato’s ability to captivate a crowd with her stellar vocals; a quality people may not have recognised before. One thing’s for sure, if I ever hear anyone try to write her off as ‘just another Disney girl’, I’ll happily point them in the direction of this song.

In addition to ‘Stone Cold’, I’ve also been spinning the title track from her album ‘Confident’ (click here to see my previous review) as well as lead single, ‘Cool For The Summer.’

 

I’ve also been listening to Set It Off’s album ‘Duality’ a lot lately (having received it for Christmas after not being able to get my hands on a physical copy,) so a full review of that will be coming soon.

 

So, there you have it. What do you think of the songs included in this post? If there are any you haven’t heard, I hope I inspired you to give them a listen. What songs left a lasting impression on you this past month? I love discovering new music so Feel free to let me know in a comment :).

For regular updates come and join me on:

Facebook  &  Twitter

🙂

 

My Top 10 Interview Wish-List

Greetings readers,

Today’s post is one that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I originally planned to upload it as a video, but that proved to be a bit of a faff, so I decided to write it instead and…well, here we are.

I’ve always said that interviewing is my favourite aspect of what I do; it’s always exciting for me to interview an artist because I’m just little ol’ me who started a blog at university, I don’t have the added benefit of an established magazine behind me, it is just me. As a result, there are people I’d love to interview that I’ll probably never get the chance to, so I thought I’d compile a Top 10 wish-list of my dream interviewees.

Firstly though, I’d like to talk a bit about my interview style and what inspired my particular approach. The reason I interview anyone is because I admire their work, so when I get the opportunity to talk to an artist my goal is to make them feel as comfortable as possible. By doing this the interview becomes more conversational, which makes for a better experience; let’s face it, uber-formal, stilted interviews aren’t a comfortable watch, or read, and you’re less likely to get the best responses.

I watch a lot of interviews and the person that always sticks in my mind is Ellen DeGeneres. If you watch The Ellen Show, you’ll know that it looks like a hugely fun environment – from being in the audience to being a guest – and you can tell that there’s a genuine admiration or friendship between Ellen and the majority of her interviewees. The fact that the likes of Taylor Swift and Gwen Stefani have been on the show multiple times is testament to the warm and welcoming environment Ellen creates, and it always makes for a great watch. This down-to-earth, semi-informal, atmosphere is what I try to achieve with my own interviews.

‘So who’s in your Top 10?’ I hear you ask… continue reading to find out.

 

#1 Demi Lovato

I think Demi Lovato is an extremely inspiring young woman. I’ve reviewed many of her songs on this blog and I think, musically, she’s a powerhouse. Outside of her music, Lovato has been very vocal in regards to her struggles with mental health, including discovering she was bi-polar and conquering an eating disorder. She has since spoken out about the controversy’s that have surrounded her and has chosen to become a positive influence to others, stating that she wants to be the difference for people who think they have to look, or be, a certain way to be considered cool. I watched an MTV documentary on Lovato, ‘Staying Strong’, which gave an insight into her struggles and treatment, and it moved me to tears at points. I think often we forget that people in the public eye are just that – people, and it takes a strong person to be able to admit so publicly that they have done things they aren’t proud of, and change their ways. It’s for these reasons, and more, that I’d love to talk to Demi Lovato about her career, life, aspirations for the future and everything in between.

Click here to see my review of Lovato’s single ‘Confident.’

 

#2 Alex DeLeon

If you’ve read my blog before then you’ll definitely recognise this name. Alex DeLeon is the lead vocalist of The Cab – a band I was fortunate enough to interview back in 2012, via email, after contacting their manager. However, DeLeon has recently unveiled a brand new solo project under the moniker Bohnes. Having released a number of singles it’s clear that the singer’s newest venture is a world away from the pop-rock sounds of The Cab, favouring a more synth based, pop/dance sound. So, does this mean an uncertain future for the band? It’d be great to sit down with DeLeon to chat about this new project, the status of the band, and what he has coming up.

Click here to see my review of DeLeon’s debut single as Bohnes, ‘Guns and Roses.’

 

#3 Sketch & Stevie P

If you’re a fan of E4’s hugely popular TV show ‘Tattoo Fixers’ then you’ll already be familiar with half of this duo. Let’s be honest, I feel like I could talk to Sketch about tattooing (and a mutual love of Sloths) for ages, but outside of his work in tattooing, he also makes music. I first became aware of this after stumbling across a 30 second clip of a song called ‘I Walk With’, featuring Stevie P, that the tattooist shared on Twitter. With its heavy rock sound, complete with raw scream vocals, it came across as very Bring Me The Horizon-esque; I definitely wanted to hear the full track. Following this, the lads released a song called ‘Everything (Part 2)’, and what I was met with totally caught me off guard; it was rap, totally not what I was expecting. However, the song is undeniably beautiful, and you’d have to be made of stone not to be moved by it.

Five months on, the guys have yet to release a follow-up but have teased that new single ‘Street Lights’ is in the pipeline. Stevie has said via Twitter that the duo are currently facing ‘a few minor issues,’ and Sketch has also previously tweeted that he’s unable to release music at the moment, so there are obviously bigger things at play here. Having said that, it’d be great to chat to the pair about their music at some point and see what they have planned. I bet they’d be a really interesting pair to have a chat with too.

I’d also just like to say that I know ‘Tattoo Fixers’ has been getting a lot of negative press over the last few weeks, mainly over how the show is made, allegations of plagiarism concerning designs, and its implications on the tattooing industry as a whole. These aren’t things that I feel qualified to comment on, however, I can say that as a viewer I really enjoy the show and I like each of the artist’s different styles (I’ve actually emailed both Sketch and Alice about possibly getting pieces done by them.) Personally, I’d love to hang out on-set for a day to see for myself how things are done, so I could say from experience ‘this is what goes on’.

Click here to see my review of ‘Everything (Part 2)’.

 

#4 Vicky Pattison

I don’t know about you, but having never watched Geordie Shore, I had no idea who Vicky Pattison was until she appeared on last year’s ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.’ However, I see that as a good thing because I had no preconceived notions of her going in; as I’ve said elsewhere in this post, it’s all too easy to judge someone based on their media coverage. I thought she was absolutely brilliant, hilarious and a lovely, down-to-earth girl. She gave an interview on Loose Women following winning ‘I’m A Celeb’, and I was even more struck by how eloquent and candid she was. Again, it takes a strong person to hold their hands up and admit their wrong-doings and I have a lot of respect for her for doing that and changing her ways  – and with it the public’s perception of her. I think she’d be great fun to talk to about how she, and her career, have grown since Geordie Shore (and I daresay she’d be brilliant company on a night out as well!)

 

#5 Zoe Sugg & Gabriella Lindley

If you don’t know who Zoe Sugg and Gabriella Lindley (AKA Zoella and Velvet Gh0st) are, then to you I ask, where have you been? The two are huge hits on YouTube, with their beauty tips as well as follow-me-around style videos, having racked up millions of subscribers between them. One of the first videos I saw of Zoe’s was one about dealing with anxiety, and I had huge admiration for her taking on that subject because it takes guts to discuss that sort of thing so publicly. Similarly, Gabriella is also very candid and open about her struggles with the same issues, and knowing that both the girls suffer with anxiety is one of the reasons why I’d like to interview them together. I feel like they’d be more comfortable because they’d have each other for support, rather than it being a one-on-one situation which might make them feel more pressure – which totally isn’t what I’m going for. I watch both the girls’ videos regularly and I love their personalities and the way they come across onscreen, so it’d be awesome to chat to them about their internet presence and being in the public eye. Gabriella has also started posting covers among her video content, click here to check out my review of her most recent cover of Ariana Grande’s ‘Leave Me Lonely’, featuring fellow YouTuber Hobbie Stuart.

 

#6 Taylor Swift

As I said in my previous review of Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989: ‘whatever your opinion of the darling of pop music, you can’t deny that Taylor Swift is slaying the industry at the moment.’ From taking on the likes of Apple and Spotify, she seems to be everywhere. I’ve been a fan of Swift’s since the early days of ‘Love Story’ back in 2008, and since then we’ve seen her grow into the artist that she is today who looks set to take over the world. As with the majority of people in the public eye, everyone has an opinion on Swift, be it positive or negative there will always be one, and I think it would be great to be able to have an opinion based off of actual personal experience rather than media sensationalism.

Click here to see my review of Swift’s album ‘1989.’

 

#7 Ed Sheeran

There is one simple reason for this pick: I love Ed Sheeran. From his magnificent music to his endearingly down-to-earth nature, he comes across as a genuinely nice guy – and those are always the best kinds of people. He has said things in previous interviews that I whole-heartedly agree with, and his passion for what he does is undeniable. Sheeran is currently taking a break from social media, but has said that he’ll be back in the autumn with a brand-new album. It would be absolutely amazing to be one of the first to speak to him about his new music and what makes it “the best thing [he has] made thus far.”

Click here to see my review of Sheeran’s most recent album ‘X.’

 

#8 Simon Cowell

I know this will seem like a controversial choice, but that’s exactly my reasoning. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll know who Simon Cowell is and, whether you love him or loathe him, everyone has their own opinion of the music mogul. It’s safe to say that the majority of these opinions will be based on media perception and what we read – unless you’re a close personal friend of Mr. Cowell that is. Personally, I like to judge people based on my own experience of them as opposed to hearsay, (remember the old saying ‘don’t believe everything you read’?) and I would just love the chance to talk to Simon Cowell about the industry, and discover for myself what the big man in music is actually like.

 

#9 Gerard Way

The My Chemical Romance frontman was a huge inspiration to me growing up, aside from the fact that I loved the band’s music, I watched a lot of interviews with Way and I was always struck by his way with words. He would always put his points across eloquently and with such honesty; which I think is what gained him the unwavering respect of a generation of music fans, including me. A lot of people took Way to their hearts and revered him, almost like a hero, and I am proud to say that I grew up in a time when the band existed. They had their fair share of negative attention, but I have nothing but fond memories of their music and being inspired by them. I’m so glad I got to see them live before they split; it’d be a dream come true to catch up with Gerard Way and chat about his career after MCR and what he is up to at the moment.

 

#10 You Me At Six

Again, my teenage self wouldn’t be happy if this Surrey-based quintet didn’t make an appearance. You Me At Six have been one of my favourite bands since I was 17 and, now in my 20s, I feel as though I’ve grown up with them and their music. They have yet to make an album that I dislike, and they always put on a killer live show; I’ve seen them play 10 times and the last time I went I felt like one of the oldest people in the room (long gone are the days of me wearing brightly coloured fishnets, a tutu and home-made t-shirts.) Being that YMAS are one of my longest standing favourite bands it’d be great to speak to them about their career to date, and what their next move is.

Click here to see my live review of You Me At Six at Brixton Academy.

 

And there you have it, there are some artists I’ve interviewed before that I’d love to follow-up with, but for this list I decided to just include those that I’d probably have no chance of ever interviewing.

Who would be your dream person to interview? Are there any from my list that you wouldn’t mind having a good ol’ chin-wag with? Feel free to let me know in a comment :).

 

For regular updates come and join me on:

Facebook & Twitter

🙂

Tracks of the Month: November

Hola readers,

It’s December! (seriously, where has this year gone?.) Please excuse the fact that I’m a bit late in getting this blog post online; amidst trying to get all my Christmas shopping done before December so I can avoid the seasonal rush, I haven’t posted as many blogs as I would’ve liked to these last few weeks. However, I won’t be posting a ‘Tracks of the Month’ at the end of December, as I’m taking a break over Christmas and New Year to spend time with family and friends, so I feel like this can serve as a joint post for both Nov and early Dec. Anyway, enough of me rambling on, you know the drill – here are the songs that I’ve been obsessed with this past month.

 

Hailee Steinfeld – Love Myself

The first single from the 18 year old actress’ debut EP ‘Haiz’, is an empowering dance/pop track. Being honest, when I first heard this I wasn’t too sure about it – I thought the lyrics were a bit questionable in places – but there’s no denying that it has a great sound, it’s fun and it makes you want to get up and dance. The chorus is an absolute banger overflowing with positive vibes, and Steinfeld’s R’n’B-tinged vocals are strong and bold throughout. Overall it’s a song about self-love (whichever way you interpret that) and empowerment – you don’t need anybody else.

 

Demi Lovato – Confident

If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you’ll know that I love Demi Lovato. ‘Confident’ is the second single from her fifth studio album of the same name, and it really see’s her come into her own. Gone are the days of self-doubt and struggle, this is sassy and sexy, with bucket loads of attitude. As always Lovato’s vocals are stunningly bold, full of defiance and, well, confidence. It’s without doubt an empowering track, after all, “What’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being, what’s wrong with being confident?”

 

Rudimental ft. Ed Sheeran – Lay It All On Me

The drum and bass foursome have teamed up with Ed Sheeran again – after working together on Sheeran’s previous single ‘Bloodstream’ – and the result is just infectious (in the best possible sense.) The collaboration see’s Sheeran lend his vocals to Rudimental’s new single ‘Lay It On Me’. The track has a great beat and a really fun overall vibe that I think would be great to experience live, and Sheeran’s vocals are faultless as he fluidly moves between his lower and higher ranges. It’s definitely a song that brings the party; I think it would be very much at home blaring from the speakers of a nightclub or lighting up the night in a festival setting.

 

Jamie Lawson – I Wasn’t Expecting That

The debut single from Brit singer/songwriter Jamie Lawson – the first act to be signed to Ed Sheeran’s label ‘Gingerbread Man Records’ – is an incredibly poignant love song. ‘I Wasn’t Expecting That’, is a delicate acoustic track with lyrics that will surely melt any heart. Telling the story of a relationship, from the first kiss to seeing your children fly the nest, the song has a distinct poetic quality to it that makes it really lovely to listen to. It’s overflowing with emotion and it hits you right in the chest – it’s impossible not to feel something when you listen to it. I first heard this song when a friend of mine said she loved it and told me to listen to the words, I didn’t know what to expect at the time but one thing’s for sure, I wasn’t expecting that.

 

Luke Pickett – Empty Corridors

This track is a bit of a rediscovery for me; I’ve liked Pickett’s music for years and every now and then I pick this song up and I’m reminded why I fell in love with it all over again. The delicate acoustic arrangement, Pickett’s seductive yet understated vocals, and the dark romanticism to the lyrics, combine to create something that’s hauntingly poetic. Simply put, it’s a beautiful song – I’d love to sing it with him.

 

So, there we have it. As always thank you for reading, and feel free to let me know in a comment what songs you’ve been loving recently. 🙂