That’s My Girl!!!

Fifth Harmony have brought out a number of singles following their departure from the X-Factor USA in 2012. However, the first song by them to be played on UK radio stations was “Worth It” in 2015, which quickly became a breakout hit and rose to number #3 in the charts.

They have released plenty of catchy songs but I would have to say that out of those, there are probably three songs that I would class as my absolute favourites and would happily play on REPEAT!!! These are “Worth It“, “Boss” and “That’s My Girl.” Their latest offering, “That’s My Girl” is a track that I’m obsessed with at the moment. I love the pre-chorus (sang by Normani) because of its fast-tempo and melody and also the chorus which is so lively and loud 😉

[Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it
Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it
Got some dirt on your shoulder
Then let me brush it off for ya
If you’re feeling me, put your five high
That’s my girl]

GIRL POWER XxX

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Fifth Harmony

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She’s charged up, she’s getting activated

It has been no secret that Cher Lloyd (X-Factor alumnus) has been working hard in the studio and creating new music for some time now. Therefore, it was really exciting when we finally got to hear the fruits of that labour, when she dropped the song, “Activated” in the summer. The first time I listened to it, I thought it was okay, but after giving it a few more listens it has grown into a song that I really like!!!

The chorus is the best part of the song, especially when she sings “When I do the damn thing, just watch me.” It sounds really cool and fresh and the beat makes it impossible to sit/stand still.

Cher Lloyd has a distinctive voice that is very much her own and her audition on the X-Factor is one that I will never forget. It sticks in my mind because she sounded like nothing I had ever heard before on the show and her choice of song was so unexpected. (Turn My Swag On)

Miss Lloyd has been very successful in America, whereas in the UK she is still paying the price for mistakes that she made when she was younger. It is a shame because we have a talented singer on our doorstep who is being over-looked for all the wrong reasons.

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Cher Lloyd

 

The real talent of the X-Factor

Since its inception, I have managed to watch nearly all the seasons of the X-Factor (I think there were 3 seasons that I definitely missed). The singing, talent show has been on our screens for 12 years and in that time the judging panel, the presenters and the format of the show have gone through various changes. In my opinion, the quality of the X-Factor has dipped in recent years because I sometimes feel that I’m watching a rehearsed reality show rather than a singing competition.

However the X-Factor is a great platform for aspiring musicians and many talented singers have made it onto the show such as Ella Henderson, James Arthur, Cher Lloyd & Rebecca Ferguson. Even though, some people like to criticise the X-Factor, I disagree with those who slate truly incredible artists just because they started out on the programme. Or say they can’t sing live, when they blatantly can and have proved it by singing live, week in and week out on the X-Factor!!!

I was so happy when James Arthur won the X-Factor in 2012, because his voice is exceptional and he pours so much pain and emotion into every note that he sings. He recently brought out new single “Say You Won’t Let Go” which is the first piece of new music that I’ve heard from him in such a loooooong time. After three years of silence, this song re-introduced me to the artist whose voice always left an impression on me, when singing on the X-Factor.

Trust me, James Arthur’s vocals are a pretty big deal- check out his cover of Emeli Sande’s “Hurts” and Ariana Grande’s “Into You.”

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James Arthur

 

My Love is a Kaleidoscope

Guess who’s back…back again…Fenech-Soler tell a friend 😉

Basically, I was just bopping around to some of their old music, when it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t checked in on them for awhile. So I did a quick YouTube search and discovered they had uploaded a new music video only three weeks ago!!!

The new song is called “Kaleidoscope” and after the first listen, it definitely got my seal of approval!!! Plus the music video is so cool…I think we have all crawled inside our duvets expecting to find Narnia or some kind of lost city. In the music video for “Kaleidoscope”, the main protagonist does just that and finds herself in a huge duvet den!!! (after some free-falling inside her bed-sheets may I add)

Fenech-Soler have returned on top form, however they have not returned with the complete line-up. It seems that the four-piece has now halved in size as Daniel Fenech-Soler (bass/keyboard) and Andrew Lindsay (drums) have left the band. Leaving the two “Duffy” brothers as the current members  😉

I hope that going forward, the band will continue to gain more recognition because they create fantastic music. I know they are doing great because they have many supporters and are constantly touring all over the world, however I do wish that more of their tracks were played on the radio 🙂 I remember,”Last Forever”- the toe-tappingly, good song from second album, “Rituals” was played everywhere when it was released in 2012/13.

For the people who have never heard of Fenech-Soler then please check out songs like “Demons“, “Magnetic” & “Stop & Stare“.

After listening to their cover of Jessie J’s “Do It Like A Dude” back in 2011 and also reading an article, which put them inside the same bracket as Friendly Fires and indie-disco … These were the only reasons I needed to check out more of their music and 5 years down the line I’m so glad I did 🙂

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Fenech- Soler

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Fenech- Soler

Yuna @ Scala

On Tuesday 20th September, Malaysian artist, Yuna will be taking to the stage to perform at SCALA in London. The good news is that I have tickets to this show and the bad news is that I won’t be able to go 😦 So basically, it is just really bad news!!! However, I am happy that she will be in the UK and for the people lucky enough to see her live.

I don’t know how, but somehow Yuna and her music seem to have flown under the radar in the UK. Compared to our neighbours across the pond, they have known about her for much longer and have embraced Yuna like one of their own artists. In America, her songs have done very well and she has also collaborated with many musicians such as Pharrell Williams, The Internet, Kitty Cash, Owl City and Usher.

At the moment, she is currently touring, to promote the release of her latest album, “Chapters”, which seems to include tracks that explore more mature themes and that fall into the realms of RnB and even old school Hip-Hop. Please check out “Places To Go” and it will all make sense!!!

When listening to her earlier music, there were already clues that indicated that her delicate and relaxing voice would suit many different genres. Similarly, I thought the same thing about Demi Lovato whose first two albums were primarily “pop-rock.” Fast forward to the present day and we all know that Miss Lovato has an impressive vocal range and can sing in a variety of styles. E.g. rock, gospel, RnB and blues.

It is sad that I will be missing the only UK show that Yuna had on this particular tour…however here’s to hoping that she will return to the UK soon so that I can experience her songs live!!!

 

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Yuna

 

I Just Want to Live

Lorine Chia’s “I Just Want to Live” is a poignant song about the police brutality that is happening in America.

The music video is a sombre, black-and-white animation, although it does feature some colour. The police car’s flashing lights, the bouquet of flowers left at a vigil and even the shade of lipstick worn by the female protagonist (Lorine Chia) all appear in either red or blue.

In the video it cuts to a young, black man who is running away from a police car. When the vehicle catches up with him, the police officer gets out of the car to confront the man. His gun is drawn. The man holds up both hands but the officer shows no mercy and shoots him. Falling to the ground, one can only assume that the man has been seriously injured or is dead. But why did the officer fire his weapon? Was it an act of self-defense? Did the other man have a weapon too? Sadly, this scene is not too dissimilar from some of the cases that have been recently reported on the news.

In the chorus, Lorine Chia sings the line, “I just want to live” which sounds like it is a plea to the law-enforcers who are harshly targeting people for just living their ordinary lives. When was it a crime to hang out with friends or to buy something from a shop?

Please check out Lorine Chia’s other tracks such as, “Fly High“, “Lost in my Mind” and “Eve’s Perspective.”

Quote from Lorine Chia, “As Nina Simone once said it is our duty as artists to reflect the times. I saw the “State of Grace” video by Talib Kweli and instantly got inspired. I knew Dreambear was the team to help me with this one. Dani is an such amazing artist. I wanted to showcase our present times. I live in constant fear that I or someone close to me could be the next victim of police brutality or racial profiling and all I want to do is just live.” 

 

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Lorine Chia

 

 

Travis Garland mashes it up with Drake/Kevin Lyttle

Hi guys, sorry it has been TWO MONTHS since my last post!!! Time has just flown by but I will try my best to make up for all the lost time 😉

This is my second time writing about Travis Garland…in my first post I mentioned how he started out in boy-band, NLT before going it alone as a solo artist. I also spoke about his original music and spectacular covers…please check out his rendition of Tori Kelly’s “Should’ve Been Us” and you will be blown away. Staying on the topic of covers, Travis Garland has done a Drake/Kevin Lyttle mash-up. But before I tell you how amazing it is, I first want to dissect the term “Mash-Up.”

…Combining two completely different songs together is definitely not a new thing but I feel like the term “Mash-Up” is!!! I’m not sure whether the people behind the TV show, Glee coined the term but I do think the show inspired more artists to perform mash-up covers as they soon popped up everywhere 🙂

…Anyway so back to the Drake vs Kevin Lyttle mash-up which may be one of my favourite Garland-esque covers to date. It includes Drake’s chart-topping hit “One Dance” and “Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle. I really like One Dance because it samples the 2008 track, “Do You Mind” by Kyla. This song takes me back to when I was in high school and I probably first heard it on a music channel. And “Turn Me On” by Kevin Lyttle is a tune that I will never get sick of hearing. When the cover transitioned from Drake to Kevin Lyttle and Garland sang the line “For the longest while we jamming in the party…”I immediately got up and started a little one-woman party in my bedroom: winding and circling my hips because it seemed appropriate. And my limbs couldn’t contain their excitement either!!!

What I like about Travis Garland’s covers is that he puts his own spin on them and gives them a moody and edgy sound.

Another artist that has made a name for himself by doing covers is Conor Maynard!!! He recently did a cover of Panda by Atlantic rapper, Desiigner. I was a bit dubious at how he was going to approach this cover as he is not known for his rapping skillz. However he made it work in his own way.

 

Your name is Simon, I do whatever you say!!!

I don’t mind when samples are used in songs but only when done right.The new song can’t simply be an imitation of the original nor should it be a remixed version. Therefore, let me introduce you to the singer, Ray Blk whose song “Talk to me” samples Alicia Keys’ (You Don’t Know My Name) in a very clever and creative way. She seamlessly slots lyrics from You Don’t Know My Name into her own song. In fact she only borrows a couple of lyrics from the track, but they are enough for people to make the connection. Plus Ray Blk sings, “But you got me here singing like Alicia Keys” which is a pretty strong hint!!! With “Talk to me” Ray Blk has ticked all the right boxes: the song is original, it sounds very different to You Don’t Know My Name but still shares the same concept.

A lyric that makes me chuckle is “Your name is Simon, I do whatever you say.”I think it is a genius play on words and that’s why I have used it for the title of this post.

The way she sings reminds me of another musician but I just don’t know who. My first thoughts were of an American RnB artist/group that I probably listened to when I was growing-up. And then I thought it could be that Blk’s voice sounds familiar because her voice is an amalgamation of her musical influences (hmmm). Not only does she have a stunning voice but I also like the texture of it, which I would describe as being quite husky and rough!!!

If you liked “Talk to me” please check out more of her music like “5050” and my new favourite “My Hood.”

Ray Blk

Ray Blk

 

 

 

IT’S STRANGE!!!

Nowadays gamers are spoilt for choice,they can get their hands on games which feature realistic graphics, fantastic game-play and gripping plots. Plus on top of all that, games are even entertaining us with top-quality soundtracks.  The FIFA games are notorious for this…every year a FIFA game is released there is also a new soundtrack to enjoy, crammed with the best, new and alternative music from all corners of the world!!!  Therefore, thanks to games like FIFA, underground tracks have gained more exposure and are being heard by more people (hurrah).

Console games can provide a great platform for music: The first time I heard rock anthem “TNT” by AC/DC was whilst playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on the PS1 (Playstation 1) with my brother 🙂 IT WAS DYNAMITE!!!!

Just by looking online, you can see the positive effect that a game has on a track. For example comments like, “Best FIFA song” or “FIFA brought me here”are everywhere when listening to songs such as Walk by Kwabs/Kangpe by Nneka ft Wesley Williams and It’s Strange by Louis The Child ft. K Flay.

The latter is a song that I am absolutely loving at the moment. It’s funny because for awhile I didn’t know the name of the song even though it was staring me right in the face. Basically, whenever the Radio DJ said “It’s Strange” at the end of the tune, I would be like “This song does not sound strange at all.” [You can see my problem]. What I like about the song is that it switches between two different styles, which kept me engaged as a listener. It starts with the solitary sound of an instrument, which I can only presume is a xylophone and K Flay’s smoky, cool vocals. The song then continues to build until the DROP (after the chorus). On the other side of the DROP, the song explodes with synthy dub-step before it returns once again to its low-energy state for the verses 🙂 (It sounds like I’m explaining a Scientific reaction).

Tony Hawk’s THROWBACK- I used to love singing along to “Superman” by Goldfinger when playing this game. #nostalgia #ska #PS1

 

C.B.R. is our Cosmic Girl!!!

Corinne Bailey Rae (C.B.R.) is back and looks all set for the release of third album “The Heart Speaks In Whispers”. Several weeks ago, she unveiled the first single called, “Been To The Moon.” This funky, new track stands out from her others because of its distinct electronic sound, which suits the galactic theme of the song (very well indeed) 🙂

Lyrics: Our movements are elliptical/Don’t you recognise a fellow astronaut?

Everything about the song is quite grand…from the backing music to the music video. In the music video, C.B.R. stars as a fashion-forward astronaut who is exploring the lands of a sandy, desert planet!!! The visuals are stunning, it is like watching a scene from Star Wars(ish).

Although it has been 5 years or so since Corinne Bailey Rae was last on tour and/or promoting new music, she has still kept a close eye on the music scene. In particular, she has used her role as a musician to champion and celebrate the work of other singer-songwriters. Most recently, I saw her on TV at the Mercury Awards (2015) as she was a judge on the panel 🙂

No matter what time of the day it is, I am always in the mood for listening to Corinne Bailey Rae’s sweet, soothing and breezy vocals. Therefore her return with new music can only be a good thing XxX

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Corinne Bailey Rae