My 2019 Playlist (So Far)

images.jpegI’ve always had an extensive and varied music taste. From Jazz, country, rock and everything in between, its something I’ve always been able to use to my advantage as a session musician because I am comfortable when it comes to playing different styles and genres. I thought I’d give you all an insight into the music I listen to with a quick overview of my playlist for 2019.

  1. Back To Life – Rascal Flatts

I became a Rascal Flatts fan about four years ago when I discovered their song “I Wish.” In fact, it was this particular group that got me into country music in the first place. I was very pleased to discover that they had been released new music (although I’m a fan I don’t actively seek their releases) and found “Back To Life” on the list of new songs. I played it, and I loved it, there’s so much joy and emotion in the song and I really connected with the lyrics.

2. Home – Nickelback

Nickelback are one of those bands that are much like Marmite, you do either love them or hate them. I am one of the people who don’t have a bad word to say about their music, it’s intense and high energy and really gets you in a pumped up mood. The same can be said for this song, it has a great balance of intensity and calmness in the instrumental and vocal arrangement and really gets me riled up whenever I have a big day ahead.

3. I Only Have Eyes For You – Jamie Cullum 

If you know me, you’ll know about my obsession with Jamie Cullum. Jamie has been one of my  biggest musical influences for a long time now and I can never get enough of his music. His take on this classic standard is nothing short of a masterpiece, he respects the integrity of the orignal track whilst putting his own unique twist on it, something that Jamie has been great at throughout his career.

4. Lingus – Snarky Puppy

Go to most music universities and pretty much everyone you ask will have heard of this song and better still, be aspiring to play it note for note on their instrument – I’m still struggling to even touch that monstrous keys solo from Cory Henry, I will get there one day! Lingus is definitely my favourite instrumental track, it never gets skipped when it comes on and watching live videos of it gets me drooling like a baby. If you like weird time signatures and dirty solos, Snarky Puppy are the band for you.

5. Everything She Wants – Wham!

Wham or George Michael usually fall onto the guilty pleasures list for most, not for me. The arrangement and groove of this track really get to me, it’s a massive 80’s banger like most George stuff but I just keep coming back to this over and over again. Ironically, it’s one of the songs NOT in the set list for the George Michael tribute band I’m in, might need to sort that.

6. Lose Yourself – Eminem 

One of the first Eminem songs I heard and still on the playlist today, this is the perfect track to get anyone out of the dumps and give them a fresh burst of motivation. In fact, the lyrics of this one are what frames my drive and desire to not give up when working my way up the industry ladder, or  when having a tough day at uni working through my degree – I even put it on before a show sometimes to get the blood pumping.

7. Hell Above – Pierce The Veil

I was introduced to the world of metal through my younger brother when he was going through this particular phase. It took me a while to adjust to the style of music I had previously dismissed as “just noise”, but I got there and haven’t looked back since. Pierce The Veil are much like Nickelback in the sense that they receive a mixed reception from the metal community, some swear by them and others instantly insult anyone caught listening to them. I’m not a huge metalhead, I just happen to like the agression in their music, don’t ask.

8. Do I Do – Stevie Wonder

Another artist integral to my musical develpoment has been Stevie Wonder. One of my favourite tunes to play is Supersition but by far my favourite tunes to listen to is Do I Do. Like most Stevie tracks, it is less complicated than it sounds when broken down, that keys run is a different story though, will I ever be able to be fast enough to play it? who knows.

9. Phsyco – Muse

I heard this song around two years ago whilst studying music at college. Many of my classmates seemed to develop a Muse obession during the final year and I was introduced to this song through them, it comes on most days when I put my headphones in and takes me instantly back to my college days, some of the best days of my teenage life.

10. I write Sins Not Tragidies – Panic! At The Disco

For years, I heard this song and could never get the name of it. I eventually met a huge Panic! fan and she finally gave me the name of the song, it’s been on my playlist ever since, I doubt it’ll ever be replaced. This one is also the soundtrack to many a teenager’s “emo phase” – I don’t think I had one of those? You’d have to ask my parents I guess.

And that wraps up my 2019 playlist so far! I hope you enjoyed delving into my musical world with me and have hopefully some more songs to add to your playlist!

 

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My favourite acts from YPS 2016

My favourite acts from YPS 2016

Last night I attended and performed at Young Performers Showcase 2016. The annual event run by Jamie Bartlett of Miximus Entertainment is a showcase and celebration of young talent from around Essex. I have performed at this event twice now and the standard of talent has become crazier every single year! I’m going to take this opportunity to list and talk about my favourite acts from last night, in no particular order.

Macauley Elvin

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Macauley Elvin is an 18 year old singer/songwriter based in Essex. He has recently been working with London based company Charthouse Music writing original material in preparation for the release of his E.P.  He debuted one of his most recent singles “Make This Happen” and what a great song it is! Catchy, upbeat and memorable! I have to say, his stage presence and vocal ability have improved ten fold since he started working with Charthouse and he has really come out of his shell. He certainly blew me away last night, this man has got a bright future ahead of him!

Macauley’s social media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Macauley-Music 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MacauleyMusic

Grace Farmer

Grace Farmer is a 14 year old singer. She informed the audience last night that she had only been singing for around a year and a half. This was my first time seeing Grace perform and I was really taken aback by her vocal ability considering how long she had been singing for. She nailed a cover of Adele’s “Hello” to start with and then finished up with a brilliant take on “Trouble” by Jennifer Hudson. I hope to see Grace at various other events around Essex soon, she’ll be up there with the best if she sticks at it!

Grace’s social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GraceAnneSinging

Beaux Beatz

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Beux Beats are a young vocal group from Essex, they’ve also only been together for a short time but you wouldn’t’ve been able to tell! The harmonies were so tight and on the money you’d think that they’d been together practically since birth! They’re stage presence and confidence was like none I’d seen from a group of youngsters, they interacted with the crowd and even had a dance routine to go along with their performances, they basically have the full package and are going to rise through the ranks very quickly and I predict that they are going to take the music industry by storm!

Beaux Beatz online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beaux-Beatz

Liberty Grant

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Liberty Grant is a 13 year singer who is really taking the Essex music scene by storm of late! Having released her debut E.P. Louder and also being verified on Facebook recently, things are really starting to shape up nicely for this young talent! It’s no surprise either considering how well she performed last night, smashing both of her songs out of the water and leaving me and the rest of the audience fixated on her until her very last note. My favourite of her two songs had to be her cover of one of the most challenging songs out there to date Sia’s hit “Chandelier”, she sung it in the original key and hit every note with upmost precision! Big things on the way for this young star!

Liberty’s social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LibertyGrantOfficial/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/libertygrantuk 

That’s a wrap! The following people in the above post were my top acts at last nights Young Performers Showcase!

*** DISCLAIMER ***

This article is purely based on my personal opinion and does not reflect the abilities of any of the other acts not mentioned in this post! EVERY SINGLE ACT was outstanding, these were just my personal favourites, no offence or ill will intended.