Nikita KC – Enthusiastic (Single Review)

Emerging singer-songwriter unveils dreamy new single ‘Enthusiastic’ online.

nkc-crop-black-and-white

We all know that I like to keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to upcoming talent, and today I’d like to introduce you to Nikita KC. The singer-songwriter, hailing from North London, unveiled her brand new single ‘Enthusiastic’ online in November last year. The follow-up to previous offering ‘About A Boy’ – a track from “years ago” – Nikita has said that this new release better represents her current style of artistry.

‘Enthusiastic’ is a song about the realisation that a partner has become disengaged with the relationship, and the longing to get things back to the way they were before “time and tribulations” took their toll. Nikita having written it as she was reminiscing over “precious” memories of a relationship that, she describes, were “perfect” and that “created the happiest of times.”

 

 

From very early on it’s clear that the track has an overarching r’n’b/pop sound, which, combined with Nikita’s smooth and, almost, silky vocals lends to a very dreamy feel. The chorus then drops in with a bolder vibe, heightening the drama of the song, as she asserts that the person in question is not enthusiastic about the relationship anymore, her higher register gliding over the lyrics. Even though there is a slightly sombre feel running through it, ‘Enthusiastic’ is striking and dynamic, with a catchy chorus that will no doubt get stuck in your head after a few listens.

Currently, Nikita is hard at work on recording and producing her next single, a ballad which she says will have a different feel to ‘Enthusiastic’. No release date has been set as of yet but, she has also said the production “needs some care”, and that it has to be “right” before she unveils it. Nikita is also keen to collaborate with some other producers and writers in the coming months, after teaming up with Eman Antwi & Jai Amore AKA ‘The Tribe’, for ‘Enthusiastic’. Some live performances may be on the cards too, with the aspiring talent saying that she is “dying to get on stage and perform” – whatever’s coming next, we’ll be sure to keep you posted.

 

Favourite lyrics:

‘When I thought I couldn’t see you, my heart ached / now, if we couldn’t be together would your heart break?’

 

‘Enthusiastic’ is available to stream now on Soundcloud, as is previous track ‘About A Boy’. Also, if like to keep up to date with everything Nikita KC is up to, including new releases and upcoming events, you can do so on:

Twitter   /   Facebook

 

 

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

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Goodbye November, Hello December!

Hello everyone,

Seeing as we’ve now waved goodbye to November and welcomed December (AKA: The month of Christmas) with open, festive-jumper-clad, arms, I just wanted to write a chattier post to end my November series and to say a few thank you’s. If you’ve been following my posts this past month then you’ll know that I’d planned to do a series of sorts throughout November as it was ‘National Blog Posting Month’ (yes, that is a real thing, click here if you don’t believe me!)

Now, you may’ve noticed that my list of planned posts started off a little longer at the beginning of the series, as I’d originally planned to do 13 uploads across the month every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. These included some new ‘One to Watch’ posts and some opinion/discussion type articles that I’ve had on my mind for a while. However, I did say in my introductory post that the list might be subject to change, and as the weeks went by I did actually end up halving that amount.

There were a few reasons for this change, one being that I started the series late; I’d posted my previous blog not long before, and I wanted to give it time to breathe and to give people a chance to read it. Similarly, I decided to push back some articles to a later date rather than have them squashed into a series because, again, I wanted them to have chance to breathe and not be overlooked, which is always a danger when you post more frequently as things are easier to miss. I also decided not to include certain review-based posts as they were no longer relevant (and in some cases I’d lost enthusiasm for them.)

Aside from this change of mind, I’ve also been really stressed and had quite a busy month in terms of general life things. There have been birthdays and days out, I got tattooed by Tattoo Fixers’ Sketch at his studio Reppin Ink at the beginning of the month, and I had to visit the hospital more recently for a routine appointment that ended up taking longer than I’d hoped. Ultimately, I think I underestimated the amount of time things would take, how I would feel after certain days, and how long it’d take me to re-charge and feel like myself again. I’ve had fun, but I’ve also had a lot to deal with which, unfortunately, prevented me from being able to blog as much as I’d like to and, because of this, I also didn’t really stick to the schedule I’d created for myself – I think I managed two posts a week in most cases.

However, the pieces that I did post I was 100% happy with – and I’m glad that so many of you seemed to like them too, as my monthly hits went through the roof. Over the course of November I received some lovely messages, as well as multiple ‘likes’ and re-tweets on Twitter from artists that I admire, and I never feel entitled to that. I never automatically expect, because I’ve written a piece about someone’s music, or a live event, that anyone’s going to share it or reach out to me in anyway, so it’s always exciting when it happens.

On that note, I just wanted to take the time to say a massive thank you to anyone who did read or share my work last month, in particular:

 

  • MusiqueLDN 

MusiqueLDN is a live events company whose mission statement is to “bridge the gap between the artist and the industry”, by holding showcase events solely for unsigned talent. They held an event in Box Park Shoreditch, on Oct 30th, which I reviewed as part of this series.

  • Leah McKenzie

Leah McKenzie is a singer-songwriter who performed at the Musique event, and she also sent me some really positive feedback following my review, as did her manager Olivia Connolly, which I was thrilled to bits with. A larger than life character, McKenzie is all about spreading love and positivity, and inspiring others through her music.

  • Waltzz

 If you’ve read my blog before then, chances are, you’ll already be pretty familiar with this name as I’ve reviewed his work a number of times. Upcoming rapper Liam ‘Waltzz’ Stewart also performed at the Musique event and, after a chat with him, I decided to go so I could check him out live and so I could say hi in person, because we’d only ever spoken through the internet at that point. He also dropped new two-track single ‘I’m Alright’ earlier this month, which is included in this series too.

  • Sketch

Again, this name is going to be of no surprise to you if you’re familiar with my blog as I’ve written about the tattooist/singer-songwriter a few times over the last year. As I mentioned earlier, I actually got tattooed by Sketch at his studio Reppin Ink earlier this month. After being a fan of Tattoo Fixers and his work for a while, I’m pleased to say that he has left me with some amazing tattoos that I couldn’t be happier with. He is also one of the loveliest, most down to earth people you could ever hope to meet.

Thank you to all of you for showing the love and sharing my work last month. It means so much to me that you’ve read what I’ve written and like it enough to share it with your fan-bases and friends, please know that it never goes unappreciated. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, the reason I write about anything is because, at the core of everything, I’m a fan and there’s a certain amount of admiration and respect there. So, to get any kind of positive feedback is awesome for little ol’ me who sits in my bedroom and writes reviews about things that I’m passionate about and want to share.

 

 Click here to see some of the lovely things people have said about the blog.


Click here to see some of the lovely things people have said about the blog.

 

As for what’s coming over the next few weeks as we all start to wind down for Christmas, I currently have five new blog posts in the pipeline for the month of December, then I shall be taking a break over the festive season to spend time with family and friends.

 

During this post I’m aware that I have mentioned other pieces that I uploaded this month so, if any of those pique your interest, please see the list below and check them out if you’d like to.

Click here to see my introduction to National Blog Posting Month, and all uploads throughout the series.

Click here to see my blog post all about my tattoo experience with Sketch at his south-east London studio, Reppin Ink.

Click here to see my review of Musique, a live showcase event in Shoreditch’s Box Park solely for unsigned talent.

Click here to see my latest review of Waltzz, and his new two-track single, ‘I’m Alright’.

 

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, through the New Year and beyond, be sure to come and join me on:

Facebook & Twitter

🙂

Introducing Headliner

London-based live entertainment company aspiring to become the new headlining act in online band booking.

Are you looking to book live entertainment for an upcoming party, wedding or corporate event? If you’re nodding at the screen, then look no further. The brains behind the UK’s largest gig booking platform, ‘Bandwagon’, are turning their hands to a brand new venture.

Despite engaging musicians and event planners for much of their careers, CEO Stan and COO Maria found it increasingly difficult when trying to secure a suitable band to perform at their wedding in 2013; finding the process to be confusing and time consuming. Channelling these frustrations they came together with tech whizz, and CTO, Rosario; lots of sleepless nights (and countless cups of coffee) later, Headliner was born.

 Headliner logo

Launched in June 2015, Headliner is an online band-booking platform that looks to make finding live entertainment as painless as it should be. Priding its self on letting artists manage their own bookings from the get go, Headliner connects musicians, bands, and DJs directly with event bookers, ensuring the power ultimately lies with the performers.

Whether you’re interested in being listed on the roster, or you’re looking to book an act, nothing could be simpler. Bookers, just head over to the website and search depending on your specific needs; acts can be filtered by price, type, location, event and genre. Artists, just sign up and create a profile – it’s a doddle.

The in-house team vet every artist who signs up, so be sure to complete your profile with an engaging bio and good quality images, audio and video. There are also ‘testimonials’ and ‘reviews’ sections as a continuous part of the quality control system; this is how people will decide whether they want to book you for their event – don’t give them a reason not to.

By the very nature of what they do, it’s clear the team at Headliner understand that the creative industry is a collaborative one, creating an environment that puts equal emphasis on bookers and performers alike. In the interest of connecting people and facilitating the best possible relationship between the two parties, they work with numerous event and artist partners to help create useful events and develop their acts, as well as also holding regular networking events to enable industry professionals to build relevant relationships.

With varied backgrounds including events management, design, content creation and music journalism, the extremely versatile team are working tirelessly, and ever evolving, to bring you something that they hope will one day become the first port-of-call for anyone looking for live entertainment. Finding a headliner needn’t be a headache.

 

Sophie says: If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen that I’ve recently started working with Headliner and, as a music obsessive, it’s something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s a great platform for musicians to control their own bookings and gain more exposure, while adding to their live performance experience – something which I think is a joy for any artist.

Head over to the company’s blog for more on how Headliner helps performers, and also check out my first article entitled ‘Headliners Top 5 Rock Bands’, featuring some great artists available to hire.

If you’re interested in signing up to Headliner, or you’re looking to book entertainment for an upcoming event and would like to browse the acts, click here to visit their official website.

 

You can also keep up to date with everything on:

Facebook

&

Twitter (for acts) / Twitter (for bookers)

 

For regular updates on upcoming blog posts and all things musical, come and join me on:

Facebook & Twitter

The Summer Set (Live Review)

Wednesday April 23rd 2014 The Summer Set w/ William Beckett + Paradise Fears.

Pop rock party The Summer Set took London’s 02 Islington Academy by storm on the last night of their ‘Legendary’ UK tour.

Paradise Fears kick off the night with their colourful alternative pop; there was no sign of the usual ‘first band syndrome’ here. Their energetic performance had the audience at hello, inciting ferocious sing-alongs and hand bounces en-masse, hardly surprising being that this was the band’s first time in the UK. During their set they were joined onstage by The Summer Set’s bassist Stephen Gomez and vocalist Brian Dales; who cheekily invaded the stage when frontman Sam Miller left his mic unattended.

Next up was ex-The Academy Is frontman turned solo artist William Beckett. Accompanied by just his laptop and acoustic guitar, he played a set of addictive tracks including Compromising meCracks In The Ceiling and Pick Up The Phone; the audience screaming along at every given opportunity.  He was also joined onstage by The Summer Set’s Brian Dales for a beautifully haunting performance of Just You Wait; a track Beckett penned for his sister in light of her struggles with depression and anxiety.

Shortly after, The Summer Set’s Jess Bowen emerged in the darkness and began a crashing drum beat as the others bounded on to the stage before launching into set opener Rescue. They had the throng in the palm of their hand from the get-go, screaming along to both old and new songs including crowd pleasers – like Chelsea, Young and Someone Like You – and riot inducing party tracks like, Boomerang – the explicitly titled – Fuck You Over and Lightning In A Bottle.

The band also showed that they aren’t afraid to bring it down a notch either, when guitarist John Gomez and Brian Dales took to the stage to perform some acoustic numbers, including the awe-inspiring Someday and a cover of Coldplay’s Yellow.

Towards the end of The Summer Set’s set both William Beckett and Paradise Fears took their chance to playfully get their own back on Dales and his stage invasion antics, the former joining them onstage during Jukebox (Life Goes On.) In true The Summer Set style it was a party no-one wanted to end; complete with Night Fever-esque dance moves from Dales and the collabs between the bands, you get the feeling they had as much fun as we did in the audience.

One thing’s for sure, they always put on a fantastic show and, being the last night of the tour, it definitely went out with a bang – literally, with Jess Bowen pounding the shit out of the drums before leaving the stage. I for one am already getting excited for their next UK visit!

**You can also check out my Facebook page for pictures, and my YouTube channel for more videos from the night.

Room 94 Smash Islington Academy

It’s the hottest weekend of the year so far and a generous portion of Islington’s N1 centre has been overtaken by young teens dressed appropriately in shorts, and a fair few Room 94 t-shirts, in a queue that spans the outside of Islington’s 02 Academy.  The venue is an intimate one, with two bars on either side of the room and a black banner swathed over the back of the stage with Room 94’s logo adorning it. There is excitement in the air as the crowd filters in, eager to see a band they love, and thankfully an ice-cold air blasts from the air conditioning unit – a welcome relief from the stifling heat outside.

The lights go down suddenly and first band of the night, Bentley Park take to the stage. This Yorkshire based five piece get the crowd going with their explosion of pop/punk, with some scream vocals thrown in for good measure. Singer, James struts around the stage, bathed in the warm pink of the light show with his shirt unbuttoned. You can see the guys are putting their all into this and that they love every second, commanding the crowd and even treating us to a cover of popular party track Call Me Maybe.  A really enjoyable set and a band I’d see again.

Bentley Park get the night going (click for larger image)

Next up are Burn So Bright, hailing from Hertfordshire, the band – completed by guitarists Shane and Matt, Danny on Bass, Elliot on drums, and lead vocalist Millie – are a whirlwind of crashing drums, upbeat melodies, and blonde hair. From the minute this fivesome take to the stage the night is well and truly underway, their sound is fun, catchy and undoubtedly infectious; it’ll have you bouncing along in no time. Onstage, vocalist Millie looks like she’s having a great time, throwing her long blonde hair around to the beat, and bounding around the stage interacting with both her band and the crowd – though her great vocals are never compromised and never sound forced.

Burn So Bright (Click for larger image)

This is a band that can deliver a great live show, and for someone who has never seen or heard of Burn So Bright before, I would definitely recommend checking them out on tour because I hadn’t heard of them and I think I may have just found one of my new favourite bands. So who knows? Maybe you will too.

BSB vocalist Millie

London based three-piece The Famous Class, are next to grace the stage with their sunny pop punk. Reminiscent of bands such as Blink 182 and Sum 41, this band seem to be all about the party and having a great time; they really got into the summer vibe, throwing beach balls into the crowd and letting off a giant party popper, raining confetti on the gathering. We were even treated to a cover of Rick Astley’s 80’s anthem Never Gonna Give You Up (which, let’s face it, we all secretly love.) As well as Blink 182’s Dammit, which got the crowd going even more so. It was a great set, full of fun and perfect for the summer’s night.

Bring on the summer

The final support act of the night were Oxfordshire based band Disclosure, a female fronted five piece with influences like Paramore, The Pretty Reckless, and Alkaline Trio. They bound onstage with singer Tiff screaming “Wassup London!” before launching into their set, during which they treat us to covers of Paramore’s Misery Business and Jessie J’s Do It Like A Dude, which gets the crowd going. (the latter of which you can watch below:)

The band are evidently great at what they do and bounce off one another. Tiff confidently strides around the stage, whipping her long brown hair and throwing herself around like a real rockstar, interacting with the crowd and commanding us to clap along at points. Her strong husky vocals are great and an excellent fit with the music, and being such a young band it can only be onwards and upwards for these five.

Finally our cheeky headlining foursome emerge, and launch into a blistering set including tracks like crowd pleasers Take It Back, Rewind, and You Got It Wrong. As well as slowed down, acousitc-esque track Ignorance Is Bliss, and a favourite from their first record, Best Friend’s Girlfriend, which provokes a mass sing-a-long after singer Kieran Lemon shouts: “When I say best friend, you say girlfriend.”

In between songs the boys indulge in some mischievous laddy banter, mainly of a sexual nature; the word penis was used a lot, and make lighthearted fun of each other. The atmosphere in the room is light and full of laughter and fun, between the band and the crowd. The guys remark at one point that some people may not know who the band are or the lyrics to their songs, and as they want those people to feel as though we’re “getting [our] money’s worth”, launch into a medley of popular chart songs of the moment that “are the songs I say I hate, but know every single word to” admits Kieran. The medley consisted of tracks such as Gotye’s Somebody I Used To Know, Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend, One Direction track That’s What Makes You Beautiful, Carly Rae Jepsen hit Call Me Maybe (during which Kieran jumps into the crowd) and Flo Rider’s summer track Blow My Whistle.

When the lads announce that they are about to play their last song of the night, it feels way too soon. Explosive track Tonight gets the crowd going again, and leaves you wanting more. All the bands of the night played a half hour set – including our headliners; usually headliners get a bit more stage time, and whilst R.94’s set was awesome, it felt way too short.

Kieran Lemon

Room 94

Kieran Lemon

Kieran and Kit

C’mon

Ignorance is Bliss

Kieran Lemon

I also met the band after their set and they were really lovely guys, their onstage guitarist Robbie Coles – also of pop/punk band Show It Off – and I even had a chat about The Cab. It was a fantastic night, it was great to see Room 94 as well as discover some new bands who I may not have heard of otherwise. However, I did think four support bands was a bit too much – usually at gigs I think two is a good number – although headlining acts do usually have a longer set. All the bands were of the same genre also, albeit with their own unique style that set each band apart from one another, and complimented each other brilliantly. So all in all, it was a fantastic night, fantasically put together, with some bands I would definitely go and see again.

Stand Out To Fit In

I wrote this a while back for a uni project, the brief was to do a 150 word piece on Camden  Market. As 15 year old me spent most of my weekends walking around the market and soaking up the atmosphere, I knew this wouldn’t be a problem. Incidentally my tutor absolutely loved it so I thought I’d post it here. That, and the sun is out and this piece reminds me of summers when my friends and I used to walk around Camden laughing together and it makes me smile. So I hope you enjoy reading this, I’m off to enjoy the sun!

Stand Out To Fit In

‘Coming here feels like coming home’ thought my 15 year old self amidst the whirlwind of colour, enticing smells, and overall atmosphere of Camden Market.

It seems to me, to be a place people go when they don’t fit in anywhere else. Punks with mile-high Mohawks sit on the lock bridge, all-black-wearing, pale-faced Goths shop in The Black Rose and neon-loving Cyber-Punks gravitate toward the strobe lights and pulsing rave beat in popular shop Cyberdog.

You can buy everything from crazy trinkets, band merchandise and clothes you can’t get anywhere else – without the hefty price tag – or just sample the many types of food vendors around; smells hanging in the air, beckoning the many tourists that venture here.

It’s a place that doesn’t judge people deemed different by the standards of today’s youth. To fit in you have to stand out, I did, and it always welcomed me.