Tracks of the Month – June

Hi everyone,

I’m a little late with posting June’s ‘Tracks of the Month’, and that is simply because I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to upload it. So, I thought I’d kick off this year’s ‘Jammin’ In July’ with a look back at the previous month and some of the songs that have (and still continue to) dominate my stereo.

 

Talia Mar – The Voices Are Me

Posted in honour of ‘Mental Health Awareness Month’ back in May, ‘The Voices Are Me’ is an extremely poignant piano-led track, born out of singer-songwriter Talia Mar’s desire to speak out about mental health through her YouTube channel. However, as she says in the video, she couldn’t find the right words to say so she wrote the song instead and, in my opinion, couldn’t have said it better. As someone who suffers/has suffered from anxiety, I can really relate to this track on a personal level; I feel as though some of the phrases were written straight out of my head, making it really moving to listen to. Personally, I feel that it perfectly describes how anxiety can make you feel, and I encourage everyone to really listen to the lyrics and take it in. Mar’s vocals are impeccable as always, and the contrasting quiet/loud dynamic of the verses and the chorus are a perfect fit for the vibe of the song. It also shows off her range brilliantly, the flawless quality of both the higher and lower notes creating an undeniably beautiful effect.

This song touches me so much that I can’t help but tear up (cry like a baby!) every time I hear it, and I can only commend and profusely thank Talia Mar for releasing this online. I hope that it helps people, whether that be finding comfort in dealing with your own issues or helping a friend or relative understand what someone else in their life is going through. It’s a beautiful song.

 

Tom Cochran – Life is a highway

You can thank The Summer Set’s Brian Dales for this one. If you follow him on Instagram you’ll know that he posts a daily Instagram story of himself miming along to the chorus line of this classic rock song in various settings. After a week or so of waking up and seeing said Instagram stories first thing in the morning, it’s really hard not to have it stuck in your head all day! But, with its upbeat, feel-good, summery vibe I’m not complaining.

 

Anne-Marie ft. Ed Sheeran – Ciao adios

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, is there anything that Ed Sheeran can’t make sound infinitely better? It appears not, as he comes together with R’n’B/Pop singer-songwriter Anne-Marie for this acoustic version of her song, ‘Ciao Adios’. Filmed on tour, in the dressing room before a show, the stripped-back vibe allows both the vocals and lyrics to shine even more; highlighting the pitch-perfect harmonies and Anne-Marie’s ability to switch between her lower and higher register with ease. The little looks and laughs between the pair throughout the video present an endearing quality and works to draw listeners in – and the addition of the tongue-in-cheek ‘you mug’, never fails to make me smile. 🙂

 

Charlie Puth – Attention

The lead single from Charlie Puth’s upcoming second album ‘Voice Notes’, ‘Attention’ is an addictive R’n’B/Pop song that, I imagine, a lot of people can relate to. The elements of funk in the arrangement work to create something that you can really groove to, and the lyrics are dripping with sassy vibes. Puth’s vocals are stellar as always; contrasting his main, deeper vocal line with a higher chorus and falsetto accents throughout, giving the track more depth. Full of charisma, it’s a song that you can’t help but be charmed by – and let’s face it, I’m sure everyone’s got at least one ex-whatever that they’d like to sing this to.

 

Bruno Mars – 24k Magic

I know I’m super late to the party with this one but…better late than never right? I mean come on who can’t sing-along to that chorus? The lead single from Mars’s album of the same name, 24K Magic is drenched in a funk/disco vibe set to Mars’s smooth R’n’B vocals. It’s a feel good track that doesn’t take its self too seriously, and the infectious beat also makes it impossible to sit still while listening to it – I dare you to try. C’mon everyone…put your pinky rings up the moon! 🙂

 

As always, thank you for reading! I hope I inspired you to give these songs a listen. In case you didn’t know, I’ll be posting twice a week this month as part of my ‘Jammin’ In July’ series, so if you like what I do here and want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, feel free to come and join me on:

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Tracks of the Month – March/April

Hola readers,

I hope you’re all doing really well; today I’m going to share my tracks of the month with you. The eagle-eyed among you may’ve noticed that I didn’t post one of these last month, and that is for two main reasons:

#1. Most of what I was listening to I’d already done previous reviews on, and…
#2. Let’s be honest, after its release on March 3rd, Ed Sheeran’s new album Divide was pretty much all I was listening to for weeks afterwards. (I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t had the chance to review it yet!)

There have been a few songs that fell through the cracks over the last few months though, so I’ll include them too and go from the less, to the more recent tracks.

 

Little Mix – Touch (Ed Sheeran Cover)

As part of Radio One’s Live Lounge session, man of the moment, Ed Sheeran turned his attention to Little Mix’s ‘Touch’, taken from their new album ‘Glory Days’. Released online on Feb 21st, Sheeran’s acoustic-sounding cover also includes some soulful backing vocals; the stripped back arrangement giving the track a whole different – much more raw – feel. Seriously, is there anything this man can’t make sound infinitely better?

 

Stevie P, Sketch and Jack Holding

(Also) way back in late February, Rap/rock duo Stevie P & Sketch dropped a rough phone recording of an – as yet untitled – track on Sketch’s YouTube channel ‘Sketch TV’. Along with fellow singer-songwriter Jack Holding on guitar (as well as providing backing vocals) the trio jam out the song in a really raw, acoustic kind of way – even down to Sketch getting a beat going on his shoe! As is their style, the verses comprise of back and forth rap vocals, while the chorus incorporates some beautifully haunting vocal harmonies. The stripped back arrangement gives it a certain charm whilst adding even more of a sense of honesty; it doesn’t need to hide behind complex instrumentals, it makes an impact –perhaps even more so – without.

*I know it’s not a full track or official single or anything but I did just want to give it an honourable mention as it is beautiful.

To see my reviews of Stevie & Sketch’s previous tracks, click here.

 

Katherine McNamara – Chatter

Released three years ago as part of the soundtrack to Cartoon Network original movie Contest, ‘Chatter’, is the theme tune for any school underdog, outcast or ‘weird kid’. Sung by actress Katherine McNamara (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Shadowhunters), who also stars in the film, the song is almost like a helping hand letting you know that someone is listening. It’s an insanely catchy slice of pop, featuring some brilliantly encouraging lyrics (“words only hurt when you let them matter, don’t let them matter, it’s only chatter,”) and is definitely one of those songs that I wish fifteen year old me could’ve known.

 

Talia Mar – In The Day

After seeing upcoming singer-songwriter Talia Mar live, and reviewing her debut single ‘Stolen’, at the tail-end of last year I’ve been curious to hear more of her material. And, as luck would have it, the emerging talent unveiled follow-up single ‘In The Day’ online in late March. The self-produced electro-R&B track tells the story of what it’s like being the ‘other woman’ in a relationship, complete with a brooding vibe drenched in shadowy undertones – giving it an almost haunting quality. Mar’s powerhouse vocals are faultless throughout; the track really showcases her range as she glides through bold lower notes and drops in her pitch-perfect falsetto to accent certain phrases, giving it a really beautiful sound overall. If you follow her on social media at all then you’ll know that Mar is also gearing up to release her – as yet untitled – EP soon, so I’m really interested to get my hands on that and hear more of her songs. If they’re anything like the ones she’s dropped so far, the EP’s going to be absolute fire.

To see my review of Talia Mar’s debut single Stolen, click here.

 

Another song I’ve been listening to a lot is this acoustic version of ‘Eyelids’ by American trio PVRIS – or Paris to you and me. I’m not going to say too much about it as I included the full version of the song in my Jan/Feb ‘Tracks of the Month’ but, again, I did want to give it an honourable mention as I absolutely love it.

 

As always, thank you for reading! I hope I inspired you to give these songs a listen, if you haven’t already, and if you like what I do here and want to keep up to date with my upcoming posts, feel free to come and join me on:

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🙂

 

Artists I’d Like to See Live In 2017

Greetings readers,

It’s nearly the end of January; we’re a month into 2017 already! I hope you’ve all had a great start to the year and that you’re keeping up your new year’s resolutions (if you made any!)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you may remember that I did a post like this in 2015 as part of my ‘Journaling In January’ series, where I listed the artists I’d like to see that year, followed by a separate list compiling the artists I’d like to see again. I thought it’d be nice to make it an annual thing to see how my choices evolve, if any become staple and crop up more than once, and who I do actually manage to see live over the next 12 months.

I felt it unnecessary to split the list into two parts this time but, some of these artists I have seen before, so I’ll include links to any previous live reviews where applicable. So, before I ramble on too much, here are the artists I’d like to see live in 2017 – not in any particular order because trying to pick would take me far too long.

 

The Summer Set

The Summer Set at the Electric Ballroom

The Summer Set at the Electric Ballroom

I included The Summer Set in last year’s ‘Band’s I’d Like to See’ post, and my reasons for featuring them haven’t changed much. I feel as though my previous explanation perfectly sums up why I want to continue to see them live when they visit the UK and why I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen them live to do the same. As I said in my previous review:

If you’ve read my blog before then this Arizona based quintet don’t really need any introduction, as you’ll know that I’ve seen them a fair few times already. And there is one very simple reason for that: They put on an awesome show. Every single time I’ve seen The Summer Set live it’s been an insanely fun pop/punk party that nobody wants to end. Their energy is infectious and their set electrifying; with plenty of opportunities to jump around like a loon, as well as poignant moments that you can’t help but get caught up in. One thing’s for sure, they put everything they have into that moment and it always makes for a killer performance.

I’ve previously seen The Summer Set live a number of times, whenever they do a UK tour I try to get tickets as their live show is always insane.

Click here to see my most recent live review of the band at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms, on the UK leg of their ‘Stories For Monday’ tour.
Click here to see my review of their newest album ‘Stories For Monday’.
Click here to see my live review of The Summer Set from back in 2014, with support from Paradise Fears & William Beckett.

 

Set It Off

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With Set It Off’s Cody Carson after their show at London’s Electric Ballroom

The last, and only, time I saw Set It Off was in 2013 when I got invited to interview them after their London show at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, supporting Aussie quintet Tonight Alive. Admittedly I hadn’t listened to their music before that night, so I was going in totally blind, and I wasn’t disappointed. After immediately buying their debut album ‘Cinematics’ from the merch table that night, Set It Off quickly became a firm favourite of mine.

Since then they’ve released follow-up record ‘Duality’, and their newest offering ‘Upside Down’ dropped in October this year. After following the progression of their albums over the years, it’s clear that their dark, orchestral pop-rock sound has evolved into something lighter and increasingly more pop-driven. Personally, I would like to see how that translates into their live set-up – as I know their performances to be quite chaotic and very befitting of a typical rock show – so it’d be interesting to see how this shift in genre correlates.

I’ve also included Set It Off in quite a few posts over the last year so, if you’re interested in those, please check them out if you’d like to:

Click here to see why I included the four-piece in my ‘Band’s I’d Like to See Again in 2015’.
Click here to see my review of the band’s sophomore album Duality.
Click here to see my Q&A with Set It Off’s Cody Carson at Camden’s Electric Ballroom.
Click here to see my review of the band’s debut album Cinematics.

 

Against The Current

I only got into Against The Current’s music in mid-2016, but I became a huge fan pretty quickly. I’d seen some of their cover videos on YouTube – often featuring other unsigned artists such as Alex Goot and Max – but I didn’t get around to listening to their original music until more recently. However, I’m so glad I did because I absolutely love it. I reviewed their debut studio album ‘In Our Bones’ as part of my ‘Jammin’ In July’ series, and as I said: ‘the band are quickly making a name for themselves and…look set to take the music world by storm’.

I’ve since seen a lot of live footage of the band (thanks to YouTube) and it looks as though they put on a great show full of energy and fun. Chrissy Costanza’s vocals also sound just as amazing live as they do on record, as evidenced by their unofficial video for ‘Young and Relentless’ – which sees them play their way through the busy streets of London – as well as the above video from A-Sides on YouTube. After missing them on their last visit to the UK in September 2016, I’m crossing my fingers that I can get tickets for their upcoming tour in March.

Click here to see my review of ATC’s debut album ‘In Our Bones’.
Click here to see my review of the band’s cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘I Really Really Like You’ featuring pop solo artist, Max.

 

You Me At Six

You Me At Six have been one of my favourite bands since I was 17 and, now in my mid 20’s, the amount of times I’ve seen them live is well into double figures – and for good reason. With headline shows at The 02 and Wembley Arena under their belts, as well as a whole host of others, the Brit rockers have come long way since their beginning in 2005.

Now they find themselves at the forefront of British rock music, gaining recognition from the mainstream, receiving airplay from the likes of Radio One and reaching number one in the mid-week charts. They never disappoint with their live show, it’s always a whirlwind of energy and fun, and I have nothing but fond memories of seeing them. The last time I saw them was in 2012 and I think that seriously needs to be rectified.

Click here to see my live review of the YMAS at London’s Brixton Academy, on the ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ tour in 2012.
Click here to see my review of the band’s most recent album ‘Cavalier Youth’.

 

Ed Sheeran

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, I’m guessing you know who Ed Sheeran is. Named the biggest selling artist of 2014 – scooping numerous awards and playing multiple sell-out shows at Wembley Arena – Sheeran took some time away from the limelight in 2016, using the year to work on new material and to re-charge.

After catching his stunning live performances at The BBC Music Awards and The Brits, to name a few, and having watched his live DVD ‘Jumpers For Goalposts’, I’d love to experience his live show. He’s one of the few mainstream artists I’d pay good money to go and see.

Click here to see my dual review of Sheeran’s newest singles ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle On The Hill’.
Click here to see my album review of his previous offering ‘X’.
Click here to find out why I also included Sheeran in my ‘Artist’s I’d Like to See in 2015’.

 

Stevie P & Sketch

A video still from Stevie P & Sketch’s debut offering ‘Everything (Pt 2)’

Again, if you’re familiar with my little corner of the internet, then this rap/rock duo should need absolutely no introduction as I feel like I’ve been banging on about them over the course of this year. Stevie P and Sketch (the latter of whom you may also recognise from E4’s Tattoo Fixers) have dropped some great tracks this year including, beaut rap ballad ‘Street Lights’ and abruptly raw number ‘Nightmares’.

I have absolutely no idea if the guys are planning on – or even able to – fit any live performances into their busy schedules but I’d love to see it happen, mainly for the fact that they never cease to surprise me. Each time they unveil a new track they seem to add in new elements that leave you wondering what else they’re going to work into their sound, almost drip feeding it to us. As a result it definitely makes you want to hear more to see where they’re going to take it next.

As well as wanting to hear more of their stuff, I’d also like to see their on-stage personas for myself and how that correlates with the music (if you’ve seen any of their music videos you’ll know what I mean.) I just think it’d be interesting, in the best possible sense, and you’d get to hear some great music – bonus.

As I said before, I’ve featured the guys in a few previous blog posts so, if you’re interested in those, please see the list below and have a read if you’d like to.

Click here for my review of Sketch and Stevie P’s debut track ‘Everything Part 2’.
click here to see my review of their follow-up single ‘Street Lights’.
click here to find out why the duo are #3 on my ‘Top 10 Interviews Wish List’.
click here to read my original article on ‘Tattoo Fixers’.
click here for my follow-up article on spin-off show, ‘Tattoo Fixers On Holiday’.
And, if you’re interested, click here to check out my blog about getting tattooed by Sketch at his studio in November last year.

 

Talia Mar

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© Skins Elliott Photography

I became aware of singer-songwriter – and beauty/lifestyle vlogger – Talia Mar’s music when I saw her perform at a showcase event I went to back in November, known as ‘Musique LDN’. Because of the sheer volume of names on the bill each act only played 2-3 songs each, so it was a bit difficult to get a proper feel for the artists, however, I was immediately struck by Talia’s performance and really enjoyed her set on the day.

Since then I’ve checked out (and totally fell in love with) her debut release ‘Stolen’, which is entirely self-produced. I also did a review of the song in early December, and gave it an honourable mention in my ‘Tracks of the Month’. I’d love to see Talia Mar live because she has a great voice, to hear more of her material, and to just get more of a feel for who she is as an artist.

Click here to see my review of the ‘Musique’ event where I saw Talia Mar perform.
Click here to see my review of her debut offering, ‘Stolen’.

 

And that’s about it. Are there any bands/artists that you’d love to see this year? Who are your absolute staples that you know are sure to put on an amazing show every time? Feel free to let me know in a comment 🙂 .

 

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:

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🙂

Tracks of the Month: December

Hello everyone,

Now, as a rule I don’t usually upload these posts until later on in the month, nor do I generally do a Tracks of the Month in December as the airwaves are usually overtaken by Christmas songs. However, today I decided to squeeze it into my blogging schedule because I’ve been listening to these tracks non-stop recently.

One is edgy and aggressive, and the other is a delicate ballad, so they’re complete polar opposites – and undeniably a far cry from the seasonal ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas.’ 🙂

 

Bohnes – Middle Finger

After unveiling his solo project ‘Bohnes’ in 2015, ex-The Cab frontman Alex DeLeon has since dropped a couple of singles online to give audiences a glimpse of his newest venture. Premiered on YouTube almost a year ago, ‘Middle Finger’ is his second offering – and it’s a lot more ballsy than anything we’ve ever heard from him before.

Opening with an eerie two-note rhythm, the track has quite a dark, brooding theme running through it – as expected from its title. The verses carry on this simplistic accompaniment, which then allows the explosive chorus to take centre stage for maximum impact; with its swelling electro/hip-hop vibes and powerfully assertive lyrics, it hits you like a punch in the gut. DeLeon’s smooth and soulful vocals are stellar as always, further proving that he’s not one to be pigeon-holed into any genre.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t initially too keen on this song but, from time to time, the chorus would just pop into my head, so I decided to listen to it again and it’s grown on me in a big way. If there’s one thing that I’m still not the biggest fan of, it’s the recurring ‘la la la la’ refrain that crops up throughout but, with that being said, it’s not enough to put me off the song as a whole.

It’s intense, it’s aggressive and it’s totally badass. I love it and I’m intrigued to see/hear wear Bohnes is going to take this project in the future.

 

Favourite lyrics:

“I refuse to let you make me feel like I can’t fly / not only will I soar again, I’ll own the fuckin’ sky.”

“I’m done being your slave / my generation’s had enough / and you should be afraid”

“Ain’t got time for dying, I’m too busy diving / more than just surviving, heart is beating violent.”

 

I also did a, more in-depth, review of Bohnes’ debut single ‘Guns and Roses’, back when it released in November last year. If you want to check that one out too, click here.

 

 

Lianne Kaye – You

Following the release of her single ‘Clear’ this past July, singer-songwriter – and YouTuber – Lianne Kaye recently treated her vast online following to another original song. Unlike the electronic/pop-rock vibe of her previous offering, ‘You’ brings back the acoustic ballad sound that audiences are used to hearing from the 21 year old – albeit somewhat more refined.

The stripped back accompaniment really suits the romantic nature of the song and works to create something delicate and heartfelt. It also proves that there is beauty in simplicity; it doesn’t need gimmicks, it makes an impact as is. The love-song also showcases Kaye’s distinctively bold vocals brilliantly, with a sprinkling of higher notes throughout, adding dimension to the track.

Personally, I absolutely adore Kaye’s voice and I think that this song really captures her as an artist; I can’t wait to hear more originals from her. Listen to it once and you’ll find yourself wanting to hear it to again and again (and again, and again) trust me.


Favourite lyrics:

“Standing here without a guard / ‘coz you’re a light in the dark.”

“Nowhere left to run, ‘coz I’ll be here when all is done / if you ever need to hear something true, well all the cracks in the earth lead to you.”

If you’d also like to see my, more in-depth, review of Kaye’s previous single ‘Clear’, click here.

 

Another track that I’ve been listening to a lot over the last few weeks is, singer-songwriter – and beauty/lifestyle YouTuber – Talia Mar’s debut single ‘Stolen’. I haven’t included it in this post as I uploaded a review of it earlier in the month and didn’t want to repeat myself so, if you fancy having a read of that too, 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, through the New Year and beyond, be sure to come and join me on:

Facebook & Twitter

🙂

Talia Mar – Stolen (Single Review)

Upcoming talent releases bold debut single ‘Stolen’, with atmospheric accompanying music video.

talia-mar-stolen-cover-art

Allow me to introduce you to Talia Mar, a young singer-songwriter and YouTuber. Among her beauty and lifestyle vlogs, the nineteen year old – hailing from South London – also dropped the video for her debut single ‘Stolen’ in late November.

The first music video on her channel, the track is self-produced and self-released, and has racked up an impressive four thousand-plus views in a mere few weeks. The song has also gotten over ninety-one thousand plays on SoundCloud since its upload in July – which, for an unsigned artist, is no mean feat.

‘Stolen’ has an overarching electronic/r’n’b vibe, with some slight hip-hop accents in the mix too. This combines to make something very current and dynamic that wouldn’t be out of place in the mainstream pop charts. Mar’s smooth vocal is pitch-perfect as she glides between her chest voice and head voice effortlessly, hitting the higher notes beautifully. She is also fiercely confident throughout, using the lyrics to assert her independence within the music industry. Overall, the song – as well as its accompanying music video and imagery – is bold, feisty and powerful. I love it, and judging by the ever-increasing hit rate, I’m not the only one.

With an upcoming EP in the pipeline, I’ll definitely be listening out for any new songs on the horizon, and I’d also be interested in interviewing Talia in the New Year to see what else she has planned music-wise.

 

Favourite lyrics:

“You see that it’s a business, a game of sinning a game of winning and I was your ticket.”

“You told them you don’t wanna miss this / said you were so impressed and called me average at best / were you conflicted?

“Were you scared of my songs, my words and my voice? / were they stronger than yours ‘coz you ran like a little boy.”

 

‘Stolen’ is available to stream or download now on SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple Music and ITunes.

If you’ve visited my blog before then you may remember that I saw Talia Marr perform live at acoustic showcase, Musique a few weeks ago. Click here to check out my review of the event.

 

If you like what you hear and want to keep up to date with Talia Mar’s music, or if you want to check out her beauty and lifestyle videos, then be sure to follow her on:

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

Facebook & Twitter

🙂

Musique Showcase Event (Live Review)

Sunday October 30th 2016

Musique Showcase event featuring Waltzz @ Boxpark Shoreditch, London

Intimate acoustic showcase event brings together unsigned talent and looks to bridge the gap between the artist and industry.

musique

Let’s face it, there’s never really much to do on a Sunday is there – aside from sitting in your pyjamas and watching TV all day, right? Wrong! On this chilly October morning we venture up to London’s Shoreditch (aka the trendy part of the capital) which is playing host to a, relatively new, music event solely for unsigned and emerging talent.

Silver Kid and Shanika Ocean

Silver Kid and Shanika Ocean (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Held in Box Park; the world’s first pop-up mall fashioned out of a shipping container no less, Musique is an acoustic showcase that seeks to “bridge the gap between the artist and the industry.” Hosted by dynamic duo Shanika Ocean and Silver Kid – aptly named after his metallic shade of hair – the event is on track to having a permanent home in this quirky venue.

A number of acts from today’s line-up are no stranger to the showcase, having played on the Musique stage before – including rapper Waltzz, after he landed a guest appearance with friend and fellow artist, Mister Lees. With close to ten acts on the bill the event kicks off pretty quickly, with the majority performing between two and three songs each, including cover versions of popular hits as well as original tracks.

First up is singer-songwriter Harley Nixon, who takes to the stage – despite a pretty moderate foot injury, bandage and all – to perform original track ‘The Fall.’ His soulful vocals drenching the song in smooth R’n’B vibes, and easing the audience into proceedings.

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Waltzz and Luca (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Aspiring rapper Liam ‘Waltzz’ Stewart soon follows suit, accompanied by singer-songwriter Luca Martellotti on guitar and vocals. Both solo artists in their own right, the duo met six months ago and began performing together recently, fusing their respective styles of ‘hip-hop/rap’ and ‘guitar-led pop’ – and it definitely works. The pair open with a re-worked version of Luka’s original song ‘For the rest of my life’; a slower track with a chilled out vibe – Waltzz injecting some hip-hop flair and adding his own twist to it. Next, they pick up the pace with ‘For The Night’ – a track they wrote together – which would make the most discerning listener want to have a little groove in their seat. The pair then finish off with a goosebumps-inducing version of Waltzz’s emotional track ‘Whatever it takes.’ Overall, the two seem to complement each other brilliantly and balance the set really well.

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Talia Mar (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Twenty-year old singer-songwriter Talia Mar graces the stage next. Accompanied by a guitarist, known only as Joe, the pint-sized powerhouse treats the audience to some pitch-perfect originals including ‘Circles’ and ‘Stolen’ – the latter of which was originally released back in June as an Electro track, and also has a music video in the pipeline. (Check out the teaser trailer here.)

Leah McKenzie (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Leah McKenzie (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Big hair and an even bigger personality then fill the room as its Leah McKenzie’s time to shine. The X Factor 2016 contestant won all four judges over with her cover of Birdie’s ‘Wings’, which she demos for today’s audience. She follows this with an original song called ‘Change’. McKenzie strives to project an inspirational, motivational vibe through her music, urging everyone to pay close attention to the lyrics as “there’s a lot of music about sex and drugs, we don’t need to hear that anymore…it’s time to get a bit deeper [with the lyrics.]” Adding later “all of us are going through stuff and when you’re in that moment you just feel like giving up but actually you’re going to get through it…it’s about appreciating the life you’ve got.”

Dee Ajayi (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Dee Ajayi (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Next up its Dee Ajayi – who is the one of the few acts on today’s bill to play a set entirely made up of originals –opening with ‘She Loves Me Not’, a smooth and sultry song born out of a time when the singer felt quite “self-

destructive.” After a slight memory block on the following song she quickly picks things back up, demonstrating the beauty – and reality – of live music in the process. Closing number ‘Your Idea of Perfect’, is sassy and soulful. This, coupled with the solo bass accompaniment, gives the whole set a funky and fresh feel.

Harry Fisher (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Harry Fisher (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Now, if you happened to tune into this year’s season of The Voice UK, then you may recognise this next performer. With his distinctive mop of hair, Harry Fisher participated in the TV talent show as a member of team Boy George – who he is also currently writing with. Opening his set with a cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Sorry’, it is undeniable that Fisher is a powerhouse in every sense of the word. This carries through into his original song ‘Crazy’, and his closing cover of Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’, with host Silver saying that “people like Harry” are why he loves being a part of this platform. After putting out an album recently, the young talent is now performing anywhere that will have him, adding “[he’s] trying to do things like this all the time.”

Penultimate act Kestra is then called up to the stage to perform her short set of covers from the likes of Beyoncé and Rhianna. She is joined by Harry Fisher for two out of three songs, which starts as a duet but then almost seems to turn into a battle of the big voices. A songwriter since the age of 17, Kestra has written for a host of established artists including The Prodigy – which is no mean feat. However, the young mum – whose daughter is in the audience – has remained humble, stating “there are so many talented people in the world, so it’s a bit like lucky dip.” Well we don’t think her luck’s run out just yet, and with an album due for release next year who knows what’s in store.

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Emily Mutaako (© Skins Elliott Photography)

Bringing the show to a close is Emily Mutaako. Previously known as Emily Grace, Mutaako recently changed her stage name as, as she says, it’s more reflective of her artistry now in terms of her influences and culture. She treats the audience to covers of Amy Winehouse and Lianne La Havas, ending on an original song called ‘You Gotta Learn’, a track which she says is about “overcoming fear.” With an upbeat, and overall great vibe, it’s a brilliant note to end the day on.

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What it’s all about… (© Skins Elliott Photography)

So, if music is your thing and you want to uncover some hidden gems in the industry, Musique is the sort of thing you should check out. Equally, if you’re a performer and you want to get your music out to more people, something like this isn’t a bad place to start.

If I had one criticism of the event, it would be that I think it could benefit from half the amount of acts, slightly longer sets and less cover versions. This would then enable audiences to get a better feel for the artist and what they’re about, rather than hearing karaoke versions of popular hits. Nevertheless, it was really inspiring to see some great emerging talent in such an intimate setting. One thing’s for sure, I will definitely be going again – see you there? 😉

 

If you fancy going along to a Musique event, or if you’re interested in performing, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter, and if you want to check out any of the acts mentioned in this blog all their names are hyperlinked within the review :).

 

All photography (aside from the top photo) is by ©Skins Elliott Photography. For more photos from the day head on over to Facebook, or to check out his work in general go to: http://www.skinselliottphotography.com/

 

As always thank you for reading. I’m blogging every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday throughout November as its ‘National Blog Posting Month’. However, my schedule has gone a bit awry lately as I’ve had a lot going on. 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. 🙂