Sunday, 12 March 2017

Right Here, Right Now // Music Loves


Finally, I return to what I started this blog for, to write about music! So recently, there has been quite a refreshment of music in the charts and well apart from what currently is 25% Ed Sheeran it’s quite varied, which I love! So, today I thought I’d run through some of the artists and songs I am loving at the moment!

Album Mania
Well of course, can we start a music post without talking about the big ass elephant in the charts right now? DIVIDE. I mean I would expect nothing less from Mr Sheeran but in the build-up of this album I have to say I was not extremely excited and buzzing about it and boy was I wrong. In my opinion this is maybe the best album Ed has produced, partly due to the rawness of some of the songs as well as the variety within them. Whilst there are the conventional love songs, they still have strings of originality as they are written on behalf of different family members followed by one or two post-break up songs because I guess everyone needs to be hit in the feels now and again!

Now then, Bruno, Bruno, Bruno. I cannot fault any part of Bruno Mars’ musical history in any way. I have loved both of his previous albums and 24K Magic just adds to my love for this Hawaiian singer. To no surprise this album is heavily sprinkled with 80’s vibes and funk soul. He brightens up the charts with retro sounds with a modern twist. You cannot listen to this album without at least toe tapping your way through it, come on! 24K Magic is the definition of a feel-good album and is guaranteed to liven up any party or normal night in actually...

Divine Duos
I am definitely stuck choosing a favourite between Dive, How Would You Feel and Galway Girl but I have to say I am also loving the mix up with Stormzy! When they debuted this mashup at the Brits I was ecstatic because this is fresh, this is new and it is fun which I think music should be, having one of the UK’s bestselling grime artists collaborate with the man with the fastest selling pop album in history is a vibrant change up in the charts and probably the best collab we have seen this year so far! 

This one is quite a surprise for me as I first heard of Machiene Gun Kelly back in 2013 when he featured on American rock band Sleeping with Sirens song Alone a song very different to what he is in the charts for now. Bad Things with ex-Fifth Harmony singer Camilla Cabello shows the contrast between these two artists which is a great idea as Camilla is seen as the innocent pretty face of the music industry whilst MGK brings about a sense of intimidation, put them together and you have quite the riot on your hands. Moving from a song entirely about love and sex, he is then featured with the UK’s sweethearts Little Mix called No More Sad Songs a song which is basically another break up song but really is perfect! It tells you to not sit around moping along to sad songs and to get up, have fun and listen to loud and happy music. Quite the ‘get ready for a night out’ song if you ask me! 

All music allows you to feel a certain way, and at the moment there are a few songs floating about which are ‘chill out’ songs. Starting off with Issues by singer/songwriter Julia Michaels. The American artist has aided her writing skills to such a handful of artists ranging from Demi Lovato to Linkin Park but in 2016 decided to keep a song to herself saying she could not picture anyone else singing it. Personally, I do not think there is a song like issues in the charts currently, although it is similar in its style to many songs, in the aspects of a quiet build up leading to a heavy beat chorus but the delicacy Michael’s brings to the song highlights a personal stamp mark in the charts, and I am excited to see what else we see from her.

Similarly, The Chainsmokers are my go to sometimes, I must admit. The DJ duo consistently put out chilled dance songs that are soon being repeated 100 times a day on every radio station, I mean how many times do you think you have heard Closer on average. Although I am not all over Something Like This purely due to the feature of Coldplay who I have slowly gone off over the recent years, tracks like Paris and All We Know make a recurrent appearance in my playlists!

New Music
Gabrielle Aplin has always been a slightly shadowed artist in the charts I believe but soared to the top back in 2012 when she sang The Power of Love for the John Lewis Christmas advert. Prior to this I had enjoyed her acoustic and raw music to have as background music whilst doing work or just for a bit of a time out from heavier, upbeat music. However, 2016 sees her return with Miss You which is considerately more upbeat and electronic compared to her previous guitar coated songs, and it is great. Aplin has quite a unique voice I believe as she is just a bit nasally but it works, I’ve even had the opportunity to see her live when she went on stage at a Hudson Taylor concert, brilliant.

Speaking of new music, can we please talk about Lorde?! The artist that brought us Royals and Tennis Court remains in her electropop genre but brings something fresh and reviving in Green Light a much more upbeat dance track; something unknown for the New Zealand artist. Lorde has been known to be a very marmite type singer where you either love her or not, but her originality and individualistic style reaches out to a number of people and I believe this is something that uplifts the music industry alongside her indietronica music taste.

Who Runs The World?
There are two female artists I absolutely love everything they do at the moment. One being Anne-Marie, who I found a couple of years ago, featuring on the work of Rudimental as a backing singer. Soon after she released Do It Right and since then her success has soared. Alarm saw her first significant appearance in the charts which I loved but it has to be said that Ciao Adios is my favourite of her mainstream songs however Do It Right is the best for the chilled vibes previously mentioned. Whilst a running theme of her songs have been cheating and highlight the fact that she herself has had to deal with her own issues, I think this is the best way for her to right because it makes her music more heart felt and powerful.

Dua Lipa. This Albanian singer is another Hotter Than Hell artist I am expecting big things from, since her first single she has become more and more wanted as a feature artist as well as working on her own debut album due June 2017. Her indie-pop style incorporates synthpop with aspects of dance and R&B alongside her deep voice, she has featured with Sean Paul on No Lie and built quite the following. I love having these female artists growing in the charts and music industry and Dua is the youngest I have spoken of being only 21, she embraces her musical life after attending the Syvia Young Theatre school, and I hope she carries on for years to come! 

I hope you enjoy this jam packed post! It have been forever since I wrote a music post so it all came flowing out in one because it is all I want to write about! Hopefully I will be back next week with another post!

Until next time,
Shannon xx

Monday, 6 March 2017

What’s it really like? // University

Hello all!

Today’s post I bring you all of the wondering questions you may have as prospecting university students or for those just generally interested! The thought of university can be daunting, exciting, promising, a range of emotions and I think there are a few key things people think about before going so I hope this post answers some of these mysteries!

Now then, I have been at The University of Hertfordshire for 6 months now and I have to say time has FLOWN by shockingly fast…my first year is almost finished! When the university application process started, I was not applying and for years I had always believed that I would not hold a degree under my belt or say that I have done the whole ‘uni experience’ but halfway through this marathon of everyone doing their personal statements and making their 5 vital choices I had a moment of madness…I have to go. Personally, I have known the career I want for a few years now and after extensive research and asking around I found out that university was the easiest way forward for me so that is what I chose…and boy was I scared!

Living away from home / Home sickness

This was not one of the major things I worried about shockingly, as I felt ready to move out of my family home for a bit of independence and adventure alongside the reassurance that I could get back to London within half an hour! I live in halls and it has to be said, there are pros and cons:

However, I am glad I have moved into halls as it does give you some more independence and responsibility although it is clear some people do not deal with that well…(There have been 3 fires this year), apart from this though, a lot of flats in my block socialise with each other and a lot of the time people from your course will live around you, so you will always be surrounded by familiar faces.
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A lot of people though, found this more troubling and alongside this of course is home sickness. I know a few people who have found it harder being away from home and it is not something you can comfort exactly…all they want is to go home! But it passes with time, distractions and uni itself. For me, I speak to my mum everyday so homesickness was not a massive issue for me, of course there was the one or two blue days but you have to remember that you are in the same position as about 19,000 other students! This is what brings me onto my next point…

“What if I make no friends?!” The big worry…also the most inaccurate worry to have because come on, you are living in a flat of new people; I live with 11 other people and there’s always going to be someone in the kitchen, just getting in or sitting in the corridor to get a better Wi-Fi connection! So chances are, you are forced to make friends!
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Of course, not everyone will choose to live on campus and in halls so will commute but you are on a brand-new course with a range of different people! Chances are you will probably sit next to someone a couple of times in a lecture, form a mutual bond for each other, maybe even classify as friends…but never learn their name. Yeah this does happen. Even so, I have a few flatmates who are friends with commuters and they come to our flat all the time for pre-drinks (highlight of the week no?) and they still love it! So whoever you are, whatever you study, chances are, you will be stuck with someone somehow!

Financial situation
Too much term you mean!
Loans, rent, food, life. It is all money yes but worry not. There are lots of services universities can offer to help with money troubles! For example, our uni has a programme in which you can borrow a set loan if you cannot afford your rent or daily living so long as it is paid within a specific time frame! Also, do your research! You might be entitled to a certain governmental loan or bursary…there is an annual bursary for being veggie! So, do your research, check what you are meant to get…as well as that though try not to shop to high end, Aldi is quite the life saver for most of us! (Alcohol and pizza is cheap)

Social life
Of course, everyone thinks of university as a year of going out, going to lectures a bit worse for wear and being poor (but not too poor than you cannot afford a night out). This is somewhat true but it all depends where you go! For example, our university is in a small town in Hertfordshire and our only club is the SU called The Forum, a very decent night out yes…but the only one. 
This also depends on who you hang out with too actually, I have flatmates that are always up for a night out, some who come if they finish all of their work and some who do not go out at all, you just gotta find your match! Our university has their main student night on Wednesday (as well as Monday, Friday and Saturday) which is called Cheeky Wednesday, Always themed, £1.50 jagerbombs and 2 dance floors. This is the real highlight of the week.
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I hope this stretch of a post was relatable for some and enlightening for most! I’ll be bringing back more music based and review type posts soon so keep an eye out for those! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,
Shannon xx