In January 2019 I was in a bad place mentally and emotionally. I had started a job that I was so grateful to be doing yet, had no idea how I should be doing it. Most days I felt like I was a complete failure and an inconvenience. A culmination of a number of things exploded and January was the start of an emotional and mental rollercoaster. A positive from that month was I went to a gig. I caught up with a good friend of mine on a Sunday, we travelled up to Camden and watched some incredible bands play some brilliant music. Everything about that day was amazing. I suppose it could be called a form of relief — the tension of daily life was gone for 24 hours and I was enveloped in a day of music, good company and overpriced alcohol. I recall that during one of the band’s sets I cried — not out of sadness but, out of adoration for music the band were making, the energy the band were giving to the audience and vice versa. The band had a female vocalist and I was strangely drawn to the concept of if my eldest daughter chose to be in a band for her career it would be a dream come true.
I’m an emotional person. Those closest to me have witnessed this on a few occasions. Some people have observed it too many times. Recently I have shown a lot of emotion at inappropriate times and other times, the majority perhaps, I do not show the right sort of emotion or too little emotion. I am an enigma of course. A Rubik’s Cube that will never be solved. Up until recently I would wear different metaphorical hats or act differently around different groups of people, even my own family and friends. Is this a case of not feeling comfortable with oneself? I see it as a case of personal development, slow personal development; over the past 8–9 years I have been changing into the person I’d like to become and with the subtle assistance, willingly and unwillingly, of those around me I THINK things are starting to crash into place. Some experiences are better than others, I had an experience last year where I was questioning everything and forced to examine myself and reevaluate what I was doing and how I was doing things.
It’s not about being rich. It’s about appreciating what one has. I have started listening to autobiographical podcasts and audiobooks which speak volumes of remaining positive and getting through hard times. I am learning that I need to be happy with me and then I can appreciate me and the wonderful things I have around me. Health concerns have also played a big part in my life over the past 2 years and I am now forced to change my lifestyle and dietary habits. I need help to do this but have a deadline to achieve this and need to for my own sanity. I will achieve.
So, where do we go from here? This is not about a New Year’s Resolution. This is about make or break. This is about me being thankful and grateful and appreciative of my life and those closest to it. Thank you.
Let’s get onto music.
Jade Bird. Amy Shark. Two artists that I have heard a lot of great music from over the past years. Both endorsed by Elton John. I recommend you listen to their below songs:
Love Has All Been Done Before
I Get No Joy
Mess Her Up
I Got You
Another singer I quite like, well for 2 songs anyway, is Maisie Peters. I recommend her songs: In My Head and Feels Like This
What these three artists have in common is how they deliver their songs. The lyrics are quite imaginative yet so descriptive it takes the listener to the actual place. Three songs that highlight this are: In My Head by Maisie Peters, Uh Huh by Jade Bird and Adore by Amy Shark. In Adore, I love the line: “I want the entire stress out of town just so I can be alone with you”. Specifically, Jade Bird has a remarkable level of ferocity that makes her songs even more entertaining. I’d love to see Jade Bird support Alanis Morisette.
Most material released by Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) pre Lace Up (2012 debut studio album) is exciting and, in my humble opinion, fills the listener with hope and positivity. In my opinion, his musical style has progressed over the past ten years into a style that I cannot connect with however, it is great to see how far he has progressed in, what seems like, a short space of time. If I could recommend ten MGK songs to listen to, they would be these:
EST 4 Life
Half Naked and Almost Famous
Chip Off The Block
What I Do
Why have I recommended these 10 songs? They speak to me. From the darkness of D3MONS to the party-driven Half Naked and Almost Famous. From the point proving Breaking News and What I Do to the fresh sounding EST 4 Life and Wild Boy. MGK re sparked my interest in hip hop music in 2011. I’m not a connoisseur of the genre however, there was nothing that new and exciting coming out that was appealing to me until I heard MGK.
A Playlist For The First Blog Of 2021 — as always, not necessarily new songs but songs that appear in this moment, hope you enjoy.
The Mar-Keys — Last Night You may recognise this tune, it’s just brilliant.
McAlmont & Butler — Yes If you ever need a good ol’ singalong, learn the words to this beauty.
Nao — Inhale Exhale Dunno what type of music this is, part R&B and part pop song
Niia — Last Night In Loz Feliz There is something very sensual about this song, it has a good evening vibe, sunset, sensible drinking and candles.
Otis Redding — I’ve Been Loving You Too Long I don’t think one can hear enough Otis Redding.
P!nk — A Million Dreams Ooh this song, gives me goosebumps and gets me emotional, what a song. Funny thing is I thought nothing of The Greatest Showman. Heard this song, fell in love with it. Thank you P!nk.
Peter, Bjorn & John — Young Folks Love a good whistle. Ironically enough, I cannot whistle.
Pigmeat Markham — Here Comes The Judge Inspiration for early hip hop? This is from 1968 and it is fantastic.
Run The Jewels — Close Your Eyes Took me a long time to appreciate the art that is made by Run The Jewels. This song with the amazing Zach De La Rocha is phenomenal.
Public Enemy Feat. Mike D, Adrock, Run-DMC — Public Enemy Number Won A who’s who of 80’s hip hop and hip hop royalty
Royal Blood — Trouble’s Coming (Purple Disco Machine Remix) Heard the original, love dit, heard the remix and bloody loved it.
Disclosure Feat. Kelis — Watch Your Step It’s Disclosure with Kelis — this is a fab track.
Lady GaGa, BloodPop & Burns — Stupid Love (Vitaclub Warehouse Mix) It’s a GaGa song remixed and it’s marvellous.
Rihanna — Diamonds (Shahaf Moran Remix) Heard this during the early hours of 31st December 2012 while suffering from sleepless nights. Spoke volumes to me then. Speaks volumes to me now.
New Order — Blue Monday This is one of those phenomenon’s that I wish I could have experienced a) in a club & b) loud. It’s an awesome track, specifically for the introduction and the bass kicking in. Goosebumps.
If anything, I have learnt not to be obsessed with musical genres. Just listen and enjoy. I have caught up with all episodes of Elton John’s Rocket Hour and have hit the year 2000 in my book of 1001 songs to hear before I die and, I have discovered new music; some great, some bad, a few amazing’s. Importantly, I can happily listen to a playlist that has Pearl Jam, Lady GaGa, The Carpenters, 2Pac, Nas, Mary J Blige, Elton John, Pet Shop Boys, Mazzy Star and Pulp on without having a nervous breakdown because of cross genre politics.
I hope to bring you many more blogs and audio recommendations over the coming weeks. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to get in touch.