Dido In Concert 2019

Writing

Is it bad that I only know two of her songs? That’s right she’s a singer not a prehistoric bird (Dodo). Although at the age of 47 years old, I wonder is her voice as strong as it use to be? Not being ageist but if Sir Paul McCartney’s croaking at the London 2012 olympics was anything to go by then let’s just say pensioner care home choirs need not audition for the X Factor anytime soon. 

 

47 is certainly by no means old, and nor does it mean you should stop singing, I mean look at Cher! But forgive me for being somewhat skeptical ahead of the hitmaker’s concert last night at The Hammersmith Apollo. Will she deliver or will her support act outshine her?

If Eminem deemed her talented enough to be the chorus belter on ‘Stan’ then she must have talent, right?

*One Moment Later

So What’s The Verdict?:

Dido’s voice is flawless, still as ethereal and controlled as it was recorded in the 90’s. The strength of her voice in addition to it’s quality was sustained throughout the full 2 hour show, it didn’t waver once. I strain my voice shouting down a taxi nevermind belting out hit records for hours on end so she gets a massive thumbs up from me on that.

Her warmth onstage shined through also, with a good sense of humour in her anecdotes coupled with context on what encouraged her to create certain songs made for  engaging stage presence.

Dido proves that women in music don’t have to necessarily perform in their underwear to appeal to the masses, afterall she’s been on a hiatus from music for 15 years and still she can command a crowd across international cities.

The evening restored my faith in the music industry (apologies in advance for the terrible quality photos):

She’s not even in this one thanks to the man’s head in the middle! But I liked the flame effect.

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I told you the quality was bad!

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Odid? My sister et moi.

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Have You Ever Been Afraid To Give Something Like This A Try?

Podcasts, Writing

Having embarked on my audio journey last winter in the form of a 10 week course with Reprezent radio, a youth-led community radio station here in London, as a result, I developed a bit of a love affair with making radio shows. Whether it was good audio content is questionable but nevertheless I enjoyed making it and surely that counts for something, right?!

 

On completion of this course I had two options, be a radio presenter’s assistant on a voluntary basis or make my own content. Eventually after a lot of inner self-doubt I’ve mustered up the courage to start making my own radio content. 

 

Since deciding to make my own content I’ve had many ups and downs, one of which is finding a genuinely good studio to record the radio shows in. Trust me, I’ve been around! The majority were too echoey, some allowed more sound in than welcomed, for example in one place I literally have the sound recordings of the maintenance guy burping in the background. I keep this version of my rudimentary show in a saved folder ofcourse to laugh at it on days when I feel like shit. After much trial and error, and finding no luck in cheap studios (I don’t have the budget for £50 an hour studios), I finally arrived at the stage where I was sitting on a bean bag in my cupboard insulated with pillows trying to crack jokes over and over again down the mic. Nothing is more awkward, trust me! And through this little makeshift haven I managed to thread together a pilot. I then, after much deliberation, sent it off to a local station in Shoreditch. I pretty much expected no reply, but to my surprise they actually decided to take me on and give me my own radio show ! I kept thinking to myself, they must’ve heard the wrong thing, not my show haha – if you wanna check out the pilot just click the link at the bottom of this post. 

 

Now I’m currently in the process of making my second show. I went to their recording studios yesterday and to record it in the moment. Let’s say I’ve got a long way to go but atleast I’m trying after half a year of stalling. I feel good about that, even though I’m now cringing at every badly pronounced word that comes out of my mouth on the recording ahahaa. 

 

Have you ever been afraid to give something like this a try? 

If you’re interested in checking out my first show, just click here

Isle of Wight Festival – The Experience

Writing

Like a herd of African wildebeest, me and what seemed like the whole world and it’s dog made our steady way from our campsite to the main event. As the muffled sounds of electric guitars and pounding drums became clearer and clearer with very step closer, my excitement crescendoed to new climatic heights (ew).

Security checks were over in the blink of an eye (which was slightly worrying) and with that I was just a hop skip and a jump away from the crooning yodels of Rick Astley on the main stage. If his name’s not familiar with you then that’s because you still have your teeth and not a blue rinse. Yes he’s the trench coat loving singer who made dances in the late 80’s the place to be with his hit track – ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

Soon after he started yodelling the rain began pouring, coincidence? I think not! Just Kidding! He was quite good really:

*No photos of him sorry, although loads down below!

Even if there would’ve been hailstones the size of golfballs which skinned you like a butcher’s knife, I still feel the crowd would’ve sang their hearts out. The atmosphere was just electric the whole day. Rain or shine the crowd stayed energetic.

Speaking of energy the next artist to get my attention was the lovely Anne-Marie, the British beauty has such a sexy voice. Mixing her bubbly personality with upbeat poppy tracks made for an entertaining midday set. Some of her biggest tunes are: ‘Alarm’ and ‘2002’.

*She’s hot and I didn’t get a picture, I’m sorry. 😦
Bastille blew me away, I think I’m in love with their main singer. His raspy voice certainly pulled at my heart strings once or twice. It’s interesting because I asked my parents what they thought of the performances (they watched the festival  on TV) and they said he didn’t have a note in his head. Bearing in mind my mum makes the dog yelp when she tries to hold a note for more than 5 seconds, something tells me she’s not one to judge. Whether you can sing or not, if you jump into the crowd and keep the song banging more props to you. Bastille’s full set was fantastic although ofcourse the big hit ‘Pompeii’ was one of the highlights. They released their new album ‘Doom Days’ on 14th June.

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With each performance passing by, my group of friends and I managed to creep closer and closer to the front, yes I became one of ‘those’, I admit it. I’m sorry I wanted to make out some features on their face! Even while halfway in the crowd I felt like I needed a telescope to make out Astley’s eye colour so no wonder we tip toed ever closer to the front.

By the time George Ezra took to the stage to sit on a stool and serenade us, I can safely say I could make out each string on each his well polished guitar. As his smooth vocals caressed my ears I suddenly had the stark realisation that my bladder was about to explode. WTF! What do I do, just hold it or fight through the hundreds upon hundreds of people back to the minging portaloos? I had to make a decision. Quick! I tried to hold it in, initially that is, with each passing word of his song my mind drifted in and out of consciousness, my eyes crossed, beads of sweat dripped from my bow, by his 3rd song I couldn’t take it any longer!

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*Yes I know I should take up photography.

My knights in shining armour came in the form of 4 ladies, each linking arms, snaking their way through the crowd. This was my moment! Using them as a divider of the red sea of people, they saw me through the first three quarters of the crowd. But with a quarter remaining I found that I’d lost them! Somehow they’d vanished and I was by this stage about to pass out from the pain of my toxic urine filled-bladder. As I made my way towards the beacon of light shining over the portaloo on the horizon, I tripped over what seemed like every foldable seat, beercan and small child in the country. Arguably more challenging to move through than human bodies I found the struggle well and truly real at the final hurdle, prohibiting me momentarily from reaching my final destination of peeing the equivalent of the Niagara Falls in 10 seconds.

 

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64895393_2567011619995803_5399880205927972864_n.jpgAfter 15 minutes of limboing, sashaying and foxtrotting through the crowds, George Ezra was still mumbling some small song called ‘Budapest’ in the background. And finally the waterfall or shall I say Tsunamis was released.

Apologies for diverging from the actual music, and going off on a rant about my bladder almost bursting!

As Ezra finished his set the sun began to set too. And with darkness approaching came the appearance of strobe lighting, lazers and the pounding synths of the megastar DJ Fatboy Slim. From his psychedelic visuals to his heart racing beat drops, he closed the show sensationally:
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**The quality of these photos are something else, you almost feel like you’e there.

Would I go back to the IOW festival – Hell Yes! Even if it meant kipping in a sleeping bag which almost gave me pneumonia. Umm…if I must. 😦

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One lasting image of this one again to finish on ahahha so smart:

 

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Isle of Wight Festival – The Journey

Writing

Getting up at 6 am may be easy for some, but for us mere mortals it’s somewhat of a challenge. Either way, I had to drag myself onto the train to meet my old university mates who were also making the jaunt to the island.

 

Fast forward, skipping a rather boring car journey (of the motorway ofcourse, not the people hehe), and I’m standing on the deck of a modest sized ferry on the brink of contracting a serious bout of pneumonia. For what felt like gail force winds pierced into the very marrow of my bones like tribal spears. Perhaps wearing a jacket would’ve prevented this, but it’s June so even if it’s not warm, I’m still pretending like it is. I refused to go inside the ferry, who wants to watch geriatrics play dominoes to pass the time? Anyhow, after an hour of beautiful coastal views in tornado like conditions we docked the Isle of Wight.

 

I was foolishly expecting to hear the deafening sounds of electric guitars and lung collapsing vibrations of the heaviest of bass beats as my toes touched the terrain, yet instead I was met with the sounds of peace and tranquility which in other means…..not very much. Accompanying this was the blurted out fact that the island despite its tiny population has 3 prisons on it’s land. Getting off to a good start I sarcastically thought to myself. As future me wishes past me knew – the real  fun that was soon to come……..
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Music To Your Ears

Writing

Although I can’t sing a note in key to save myself, the bottom line is – I.LOVE.MUSIC

From dancing to writing about it in magazines, I just can’t seem to get enough of it!

 

My favourite genres are Hip-Hop and Reggaeton but I do dabble in the odd bit of trance and classics every once in a blue moon. Here are some of the tracks I just can’t stop singing in my head. Hopefully you’ll like them too:

 

Freya Ridings – Unconditional

 

The looks of an angel and the voice to match, Freya Ridings first blew me away when I saw her perform at a music publishing company I use to work at here in London. So hauntingly beautiful was her performance then that I thought she must’ve been miming! But no way, her gorgeous tone and aura shone through then just as much live as it does in this scenic video shot in St Pancras Old Church. Definitely check out her songs, I also really like ‘Lost Without You’.

 

Cardi B – Press

 

This song makes me wanna see a text and leave it on read. Definitely a song for the gym or the club. It’s too short though, she needs a longer version of this song, it’s so good I don’t want it to end! Does Cardi B need more press? Loving the cover art, I want her body (on my body)!

 

Anuel AA – Na’Nuevo

 

I wish I knew what he was saying, but then again the beat is so hard I don’t need to! Anuel makes me love Reggaeton and Reggaeton makes me love the Spanish language evenmore. I’ve listened to this track specifically easily 10 times already today. I think I need help. Are you a fan? Do you need to know what the artist is saying to enjoy a song, what’s more important the lyrics or the beat?

 

Murlo – Ferment

 

This song makes me think of the word ‘cute’ for some reason. Not sure if Murlo was going for this adjective exactly but that’s what it evokes in me. Like if I were chasing Bambi through a little pine forest this would be our backing track. Great song to have on in the background if you’re trying to study or drown out the noisy neighbours.

 

Music says alot about your personality I believe.What type of music are you into? Are any of the above your cup of tea?

 

 

 

Disclaimer – I don not own any of the video content or music shown in this post. Full copyright belongs to the copyright owners.

Silent Disco?

Writing

Always keen to try something atleast once, I thought I’d lend my supple body to a bit of shape throwing in a silent room full of strangers. Yes, the Natural History Museum in South Kensington is home to the type of event suitable for just about anybody, from dancing dads to tameful clubbers, the event I assure you, will enthuse us all.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘silent disco’, as I was weeks prior to the event, in summary it’s like a ‘one man party’ but not in the sad kind of way. On Friday night the set up was that there were 3 DJs, each playing a different genre of music: Hip-Hop, EDM and Cheesy Classics. Every person had their own headphones provided, which had special switches you used to change the song, so for example if you were sick of listening to Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ (as if), then you just flick a switch and suddenly you’re listening to Abba’s ‘Take A Chance On Me’.

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So it really was like your own personalised party. But what made it even better was actually when you momentarily removed your headphones, it was such a bizarre experience but basically it was like some weird clashing choir. All I could hear was a mix up of three songs being sung out loud mainly by middle-aged men going gloriously off-key. Plus people were ‘dancing’ to what appeared to be no music.Weirdly enough, more people were dancing at the event than I’ve seen drunk in a club.  Yes, it looked very strange indeed. To say it was entertaining would be an understatement.

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At one stage the DJ’s had us doing the macarena followed by a massive conga line before finishing foff the night with a good ol’ rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. What a fun night out.

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To check out other fun things you could try in London or even in a city near you have a look at my other post.

Why I Wish I Was Multilingual

Writing

As an avid fan of Reggaeton I find myself desperately attempting to sing along to the lyrics of ‘Con Altura’ by Rosalia, J Balvin and El Guincho. Singing words in your own head, away from the judgmental eyes of the general public is one thing, but anytime I pluck up the courage to sing along to Spanish songs out loud I become a dribbling, mumbling mess. As a result, I resort to humming or worse, miming. My tail is well and truly between my legs. 😦

 

Not asking for the sympathy vote here but it is a bit embarrassing to say the least. And somewhat frustrating, the beat is good but I don’t have a clue about what they’re talking about! Which I guess is fine with upbeat songs, but can I really get emotional over a slow song if I don’t understand the words? I guess, if the music is good enough then yes, but do you see my point?

 

The annoying thing is, I feel like I keep tiptoeing on the line between committing time to truly learning a second language and having reluctance due to thinking will it really serve me any purpose? I guess with any tough decision I face, I try and weigh up the pros and cons.

 

Am I too old? Will it make me smarter? Do I have the time? Will I be more employable? Should I do it purely because I want to or do I need a  justifiable reason? I have so many questions, too many questions probably.

 

Like Nike says, I should just do it. Sure, 10 hours a week, £400 a month sounds like I should ‘just do it’ if I didn’t have bills to pay or a life to live. Or am I just trying to find excuses to avoid trying to learn a  language incase I’m not good at it?

 

I need to stop overthinking, have you ever wanted to learn another language? Maybe you already speak more than one and was this by choice? Either way, I wish I was you!

Robots Are The New Songwriters – Is This Morally Right?

Writing

Warner Music Group’s newest addition to their ‘artist’ roster is that of an algorithm addict destined to make your newest jam, pretty much an alexa with an insatiable interest in generating sound while simultaneously reading your heart rate and circadian rhythm. Designed with the aim in mind to produce 20 albums this year, each containing frequencies which will help you in an array of areas of your life, from being more productive in work to reducing your anxiety:

It’s called ‘Endel’, it’s a sound app, it’s ‘Artificial Intelligence’.

Am I the only one who feels slightly uncomfortable with this? With the overall concept being that a robot will be making an album which makes us jump for joy in one track before crying ourselves to sleep with another. Not by using genuine experience, or raw emotion but instead through big data compilation and machine learning.

It’s one thing having electronics play a part in the music making process, we all know that wizkid producers with state of the art technology  open the doors to having the capability to produce unearthly sounds, afterall autotune is such a common element of music currently. With image taking precedence over singing talent (but I’ll save that topic for a rainy day). Back to the point. It’s one thing having a human use machines to assist the music making process but if you remove the human completely can we really call music art then? Will it not fall under ‘engineering’ or ‘technology’? And if so, would you find an issue with that?

If a robot is evoking certain emotions in us when we listen to the sound frequencies it generates as a response to data based off of my internal functioning (heart rate, movements, temperature), it makes me question how will it be able to manipulate us emotionally further down the line? As the late Stephen Hawking highlighted that although AI may host beneficial impacts to us humans, the theoretical physicist also raised the point that artificial intelligence may also pose the threat of kickstarting the beginning of the the end of the human race if used incautiously.

I must stress, I’m not against AI, but I am cautious of it’s capability. My curiosity for its role to play in sound is sparked by my love for music. And perhaps, my disdain for it’s potential domination through the music industry stems from my subliminal believe that music is something innately human, it acted as a glue, binding our ancestors together as they danced at rituals and socials, it bonds us together today, whether sharing a feeling for heartbreak or one of pure ecstasy, music seems to be a vector to share what at its core makes us human – emotions. Do I really want to press a button on an app to release a frequency to calm my nerves or do I want to talk to a human face to face and get something off my chest?

 

Enough about my opinions, whether I agree with its motives or not, it sure is interesting, if you want to learn more about Endel, check it out here.

I’m Making A Radio Show

Writing

If ever there was a time I was more nervous, it would have to have been the day I mixed colours with whites while doing the clothes washing. But only once, and only then! *Mum forgive me!

But why am I so nervous about making a radio show? And more importantly, why exactly am I making one in the first place?

I guess answering the first one, it’s because I’ve never made one before, and with inexperience comes apprehension. Compounding this, it’s because I care. I care about the meaning behind the content I am creating, I care about doing a good job of it.

I’m making a radio show because in the last half a year I’ve been bitten by the radio bug through listening to select radio shows and doing a bit of work experience at local stations. Radio for me, sits in the crosshairs of two interests of mine: music & bullsh*tting conversation. So with all of these ingredients combined I might as well give it a go! What’s the worst that could happen? I’m too robotic, there’s too many awkward silences, my music choices suck!!!!! Well, even so atleast I can say I gave it a go!

So what will my radio show actually be about?

Watch this space! :p

**Release date: 1st April 2019

*Surely there’s something you’ve wanted to give a go but haven’t yet? Take the leap of faith just like me and we can both cry about it after haha.

Raves: Are They More About The Visuals Than The Music?

Writing

Step over the threshold of any sketchy dilapidated warehouse these days and you find yourself either having the time of your life, or fighting for it. If it’s not the epilepsy inducing strobe lighting making your childhood disco look like a piece of trash then it’s the pounding synths from the Deadmau5 wannabee on the decks giving you tinnitus before your 30th birthday. Welcome to the rave.

 

Do you believe raves are more about the visuals, the audio or an equal combination of both? If you’re answer is C please leave now for noone likes a fence-sitter. I believe it’s A and here’s why:

 

When’s the last time you’ve been to a club and not had to do the matrix under a passing fluorescent green lazer beam? Point proven. Adding further to this, do you think raves would be half as popular if they didn’t sport the latest lava lamps. fresnel lanterns or giant mechanic spiders (think Arcadia Spectaular)?

 

Would you really start throwing shapes down on a dancefloor lit with just your common old tungsten bulb? Ofcourse not! It’s the equivalent of sitting in your edgy friend’s bedroom as the two of you become entranced with their efforts to scratch the complete sh*t out of the mixer discs. Fun to watch but not exactly a ‘big night out’, right? Now, add a few disco balls and the odd fibre optic light and you’ve got yourself one hell of a club night no doubt.

 

Let me be clear, I’m not trying to take the credit away from the DJ in creating a great rave, pressing play on the laptop isn’t an easy feat to master (kidding :p). I’m just putting the question out there, would you feel like you had the same night out if clubs/ festivals didn’t put on quite as a magnificent  lighting display?

 

 

Truth is I’m just jealous I can’t be a DJ or lighting technician. Full props to both of these talented types of people. Clubs need both of you just as much, you are eachother’s  yin and yang and the reason why clubs/festivals are so popular as you both provide great entertainment!

Whats In A Tattoo Cover Art

Audio: What’s In A Tattoo?

Podcasts

Whats In A Tattoo Cover Art

What’s In A Tattoo?

 

Do you have  tattoo? If yes/no, why? Are they works of art, or, blights to our sight?

For some they are sentimental expressions of inner emotions, for others, regrets on a drunken night out which they can’t live down. When I see someone with a tattoo I think to myself that they must have a story behind it. I’m fascinated by tattoos. Aren’t you?

My mini audio documentary aims to highlight my inner thoughts about this artistic imprinting practice. I touch on the pain, question the motives, and ask if there really needs to be any?

This is my first audio piece, sorry if it sounds sh*te! I found it enjoyable to make!

Thank you for listening!

 

podcast audio credits

Tattoo Gun Sound – Credits to Shall555

Piano Music – Credits to ShadyDave

Native American Flute – Credits to ethang

Synth Bed – Credits to Andrewkn

23 Things learned At 23

Writing

1. My quarter life crisis is just around the corner (that’s at 25 for all you fraction phobics).

2. I can no longer sing the lyrics of Wheatus’ – Teenage Dirtbag without shuddering with guilt at the fact that am no longer a teenager.

3. My first silver hair has sprung out of nowhere, hopefully it doesn’t get a neighbour anytime soon.

4. I’m now eligible to start using wrinkle creams (atleast that’s what the drugstore is saying).

5. Getting asked for ID at clubs and pubs is greatly lessening.

6. Drinking does not do a body good.

7. 32 is not the new 23. I may not be a teen but I’m no old crow just yet!

8. Getting giddy about buying new curtains for the bathroom marks the loss of my youthfulness.

9. By this stage in life you’re either fresh back from travelling and stuck in an office job or dead in a ditch (from travelling or having enough of your office job).

10. I now get money and vouchers as birthday presents instead of fun days out and colouring pencils.

11. All my colleagues at work are atleast double my age.

12. Trying to figure out the necessity of a pension is like trying to figure out the necessity of wasps in our lives (they don’t make honey)!

13. My friends are now either engaged, married or popping out their second child (first one being due to an accidental teenage pregnancy).

14. Being single at this age scares my aging parents.

15. I’ve finally came to the realisation that I’m not going to grow any taller.

16. Too young to be taken seriously by men in suits, too old to be taken seriously by youths.

17. Education never prepared me for the conditioning needed to skilfully brew the perfect cuppa for the work colleagues.

18. The parents miss me but not as much as they use to. (Tears of sadness when I left for uni at 18, tears of joy when I leave after visits at 23).

19. If I was a tree I’d have 23 rings!

20. If I was a dog I’d be 〖94〗_2^1 years old!

21. If I was a cat I’d be dead.

22. 23 in French is ‘vingt-trois’ (vahn-twah)!

23. Age is but a number!