The Vinyl Records // Round One

   Hello, hello, hello!!

Today’s post, is a kinda cute one. I get to acknowledge my beautiful group of friends (though they may not all see this), and immortalise them and their beautiful-ness on this blog in a round-about way.

I turned 21 on the 11th of August last year. However, on the 10th of August, I celebrated with my friends and my family. Most of you know Kate by now, my absolute best friend in the entire world, who without, I’d probably be dead.

Kate was the bearer of my big present for the year, on behalf of herself and a bunch of my friends. By the title, I’m crossing my fingers that you’ve figured out that the lovely bunch of legends bought me a record player, which is something I’ve been wanting for years. I’ve never pulled the trigger on it and bought it myself, so the fact that my friends did it for me genuinely made me cry, the video of which was promptly shared in their group chat.

That said, I’ve had the record player since then, and it’s had it’s fair share spin.

So for today’s post, I’m gonna do the first post in a round up of some of the records I’ve scored, where I got them, and a lil bit about the tunes on the records.

Since I scored the player for my birthday, I thought that for the first post in this series I’d share a record that my other close friend Nishika and her boyfriend got me for my 21st. I’m sure there’ll be some guesses as to what it is.

 

Jon Bellion – Glory Sound Prep

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In a very unlike me fashion, I refrained from making a post dedicated to this album when it came out in November 2018. I don’t know why, but I don’t think I can ever do this album justice in the sense of putting it into words.

However, I was super grateful to be able to experience it on vinyl. It was actually the first album I was going to purchase as soon as I got the record player, until Nishika had to spoil the surprise for my own good and let me know it was already on it’s way, which I’m very grateful for.

I also finally got to see my literal biggest inspiration in November 2019, and getting to hear the album in person was a whole different experience. Again, I didn’t have it in me to make a blog post about it because I didn’t know, and still don’t know, how you sum up nearly 6 years of dedication to an artist, into one night??? I don’t know man, this album is in my top five albums of the decade, and in my top five favourite albums ever. This album is so emotive and nuanced. There’s so much I could say about this album, and I probably should, considering that’s kinda my job around here, but I’ll stick with picking out a few tracks and carrying on about them rather than rambling about the album in it’s entirety.

Conversations With My Wife
I mean – what a way to share the fact that you’re married, than with a song like this. It’s the first track on the album and listening to it for the first time was the best indicator that this album, is lyrically, genius. There’s so much to unpack in just this song alone, but to date, it’s probably one of my favourite songs when it comes to storytelling and just beautifully constructing a love song dedication.

Let’s Begin (Roc Marciano, RZA, B.Keyz, Travis Mendes)
In a complete change of pace, this song is Jon’s opportunity to go IN. He’s not defined as a rapper when you first discover him, but when you dive into his catalogue, you find songs like this and it becomes obvious that he is criminally underrated as a rapper. I rate Jon Bellion higher than a lot of definable rappers, and that’s genuinely not me being biased at all. Just listen to this song and a few of his other tracks, for example New York Soul Pt. II, and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

The Internet
This song is featured on this list because it was one of my favourites to see Jon perform live at The Forum in November. The vibes were immaculate. It’s such a fun and upbeat song, and to hear everyone absolutely belting the lyrics while Jon and his team were clearly just having a ball up on stage was so wholesome and it was this song that gave my little, ‘holy shit this is real, this is happening, he’s real and this is actually a thing that’s happening to me right now’ moment during the concert. I’m pretty sure I even cried during this one.

Cautionary Tales
This song was probably my first favourite track from the entire record. I love the bass line in this song so much, plus the lyrics are insane. So much story telling, mixed in with incredible production and an amazing energy that I haven’t been able to find in another song since hearing this for the first time. It’s one of those songs that just delivers the switch-ups that’s become synonymous with Jon Bellion’s music.

Mah’s Joint (Quincy Jones)
This song ended me. I think because it’s written from a perspective that is so harshly definitive of where I was when he released this album. It’s essentially a song from Jon’s point of view, directed to his mother, dealing with his grandmother’s Alzheimer’s and when this song was released, it was at the pinnacle point in time of my family going through the same thing. It being the last song on the album felt all the more poignant to me, and it was the song that completely sent me over the edge and had me dissolved into a puddle of tears. I also sent it off to my cousin, my mum and her two sisters and all of them called me minutes after listening to it. My mum even shared this song on her FaceBook and I had a whole army of middle aged women tagging me in the comments to talk about the song for the next week. Then you get this uplifting and beautiful instrumentation, by the one and only Quincy Jones, mixed with Jon’s voice and his own production, and it’s like this huge celebration of life for the last 4 minutes or so of the track.

Let me know if you’ve listened to the album or any of Jon’s music! Plus – I’d love to hear about your favourite vinyl’s!!

x

Priya

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Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes // What Kinda Music

Hello boys and girls – hope you’re all well!

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Tom Misch fan, and if you’ve somehow missed the many features he’s made on this blog over the past couple of years…I don’t know what to tell you.

His latest project, has been one I’ve been anticipating very eagerly, a collaboration album with one of my favourite drummers and South-London artists, Yussef Dayes, What Kinda Music.

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It’s genuinely filled to the brim with incredibly intricate tunes, that just ebb and flow so naturally. As Tom mentions in the album documentary I’ve linked below, quite a few of the songs were created through jam sessions, without a clear cut song structure or outline, which I think only allows more room for each music to really, really shine.

Yussef is, for obvious reasons, one of my favourite drummers and producers at the moment, and this album really shows off just how technically skilled he is. The drumming on this album adds a completely new element to Tom’s already incredible instrumentation and production, and the fact that it’s all live tracked in a studio during these jam sessions gives the entire album a really authentic and raw feeling, despite how clean and crisp every sound is.

Festival, the second song on the album is one of my favourites. It’s super ambient, while still allowing for Yussef’s drumming to cut right through. Tom’s vocals serve as more of a synth at times, but he jumps back and forth between these long drawn out notes and super rhythmic singing that meets Yussef’s energy in a really understated way.

 

Last 100 was the song I added to my playlists straight away on my first listen to the album. It’s just got so much packed into it, but everything has a moment to stand out. The drums are so clean on this particular track and just provide a really nice energy and framework for Tom to swim in with his guitar. Add in the super catchy hook, and it’s just the tastiest song on the track for me. Really gets the head bobbing if we’re being honest.

Kyiv is the last song from the album I wanna mention. It’s beautiful. So much space within one song, and it all fits together like a puzzle piece. I love the fact that while there are some songs with vocals and lyrics on this album, there are also a bunch of instrumental songs, this being one of the highlights for me. It was one of the four singles that were released for this album, and it’s definitely my favourite of that selection. I personally think it’s a great taster of the whole album, and both Tom and Yussef really pull together on this track beautifully.

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I’ve had a Tom Misch post sitting in my drafts for months now, close to a year, but this will have to do for now, because as much as I love Tom and his entire discography of solo work, I’m currently obsessed with this album and I reckon it’s gonna be on high rotation for a while.

If you check out the album, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve never dived into any Tom Misch or Yussef Dayes before – this is a great taste of it for sure.

 

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x

Priya

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A Week In My Life // Iso Edition

Hello friends!

Hope you’re all well and thriving.

Today’s post is gonna be somewhat interesting, or potentially just super boring. We’ll see! I thought I’d share a week in my life, during this weird period of isolation and social distancing. I’ve seen a few of them going around, and I thought it would be interesting enough, regardless of the fact that I might not actually get up to all that much throughout the week.

That said, I hope you enjoy it anyway!

MONDAY

Monday, the first day of the week, and the only day during the week that I have had scheduled to work over the last few weeks. The music store that I work at is a small, family owned business, and as weird as it seems – we’ve done alright during this isolation period. We do a lot of online orders, a lot of answering the phone and we do get quite a lot of customers still, trying to cure their boredom during isolation I guess? That said, we’ve had to cut back on shifts to save on costs, so I’m currently only working one day a week.

Monday’s shift wasn’t too bad. Aside from being verbally abused by an absolute unit of a customer early on in the morning and using it as an excuse to have my lunch first, I managed to get a big bulk of work done, sort out a bunch of parcels and tie up any loose ends that had been floating around.

TUESDAY

Tuesday was a very good reflection of a regular day in isolation for me. Thanks to a weeks worth of setting alarms and adjusting my body clock, I’ve finally begun waking up naturally around 8:30 which has been great, because it means I get a bit more of a full day.

The current situation in my house since Miss Rona hit has my mum working from home in the study, my dad working from home at the living room table, and my sister attending online high school upstairs. Which leaves me kinda chilling on the couch or in my room or doing whatever it is needs doing for the day.

As my sister pointed out, I spent most of Tuesday in my room, on my re-discovered hobby – making wallpapers. A couple years ago I was hell-bent on making as many wallpapers as possible, and on Monday night my cousins asked me if I could make her one again. So I spent a most of Tuesday playing around with wallpapers, and ended up making more, one for old mate Kate, my other cousin Leah, my sister and my laptop, as well as a bunch of other ones just for fun! Check them out 🙂

//Golden Hollywood for Kate, Harry for Leah and Outer Banks for Sonali//

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//my current laptop screensaver//

After my sister finished her online schooling, we headed over to the park, something we’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks! If we don’t manage to go for a walk during the day, we bring a football and kick it around for an hour or so, just to get out of the house. The park’s been a lot of fun, just because while there are other people there, everyone’s pretty responsible about the rules and does there own thing, but everyone’s always friendly, if that makes sense?

Other than the park, it was a pretty uneventful day, but I managed to get some blogging done and obviously, finish off those wallpapers. In the evening, I took Kate’s recommendation and binge watched the entire first season of Hollywood on Netflix. Definitely would recommend if it’s your type of thing, I’ve always loved old movies, the Golden Age aesthetic and everything about that type of genre so I knew it was something I’d be able to get around. I didn’t get to sleep until I had finished it all, so fair to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

WEDNESDAY

Wednesday was another mostly relaxed day at home. I helped with some work that needed to be done around the house while everyone was working but for the most part just watched some YouTube and did some reading. Since corona hit, my music teaching gig, which I was previously doing in person once a week with three students has dropped, but in the last three weeks we’ve begun classes back at the studio over Zoom, so I headed to the studio in the afternoon to set up for my class.

Teaching over Zoom, is a pain in the ass, to be quite frank. It doesn’t even compare to teaching in person, sitting next to the student and helping them learn, and everything takes about double the usual amount of time. However, the student I have for these Zoom classes is lovely so it’s not completely miserable, and I get to hang out at the studio and practice some singing and piano before and after class, which makes the 10 minute drive there worth it.

Like Tuesday, my sister Sonali and headed to the park again right after I got back from teaching to kick the footy, and we hung around to catch the sunset, as did quite a few people. Well worth the mosquito bites if you ask me.

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THURSDAY

Thursday was another interesting day, which makes this week a little out of the ordinary to be honest. Late on Tuesday night one of my best friends Jess passed on the message that one of her boyfriend’s mates had asked about me possibly performing on his university radio show on Thursday, so we lined everything up on Wednesday.

I spent most of the morning just kinda relaxing at home, watching some Netflix, then around 1:30, my friend Daniel, who plays guitar for me, and I met at the studio where I teach as we were using one of the rooms to Skype call in for the radio segment. It was super chill, and I got a few friends who happened to be listening message in to say they loved the cover we did! After we finished up the Skype call, we got an early dinner of Nando’s and headed home.

The rest of the night was very relaxed. I hung out with my family, listened to some music, made some more wallpapers and finished watched The Last Dance on Netflix, which I highly recommend, whether you’re a Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan fan or not. Such a great documentary, super easy to watch in one day if you have the time like I did. Such an inspiring story and person, and getting the behind the scenes access that the documentary provides just makes his story and the history of the team all that more interesting to know. Coincidentally, Thursday was also the day my first pair of Jordan Air 1’s were delivered, which had me running down my street to the post office. I have to say, I am very much in love with the brand new editions to the family.

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FRIDAY

Friday was another chilled out day. I managed to get some jobs done around the house, including cleaning my room which was desperately needed, as well as scheduling some more blog posts.

I also took the opportunity to practice some guitar and learn new songs as well as the odd job-hunting, but I’m not gonna lie, a lot of time was spent on TikTok. That’s it.

I had a conversation with my Mum about this the other day, but for those of us in that space between university and full time work, essentially those of us who graduated at the end of last year, it’s a super weird time, because unless we got straight into a full-time job, this is essentially what I’d be doing, even without restrictions. I’d be at home, job-hunting, picking up casual shifts and working on hobbies. The only difference being restrictions on seeing friends and family, which has arguably been the hardest adjustment  for me personally.

SATURDAY

Saturday, being the weekend, was a day for a sleep-in, regardless of the fact that majority of the week had already been pretty cruise-y. I spent quite a bit of time blogging and jumping on Pinterest, as well as finishing off some Money Heist.

One of my good friends was doing a set on Instagram live, playing some of his original music and from there I basically spent the good majority of an hour and a half bouncing around between a bunch of people’s Instagram accounts, watching them perform in their living rooms and bedrooms, which was super wholesome and a great way to being my Saturday night.

I also watched Mid90s, a indie-skate film directed by Jonah Hill, which I actually really liked. It was quite different from the other films I’d watching during the week, films like Love Don’t Cost A Thing and some of the Step Up series, but I really enjoyed it and got super into it. Definitely recommend it if you’re into indie, film festival style movies.

During the day my younger sister mentioned that she’d never pulled an all-nighter (she’s 15 so I’ll allow it) and wanted to try it, so we decided that Saturday night would be the night for it. Bless her soul, she ended up heading to bed around 5, but I stuck it out and was the first to greet my mum for Mother’s Day when she came downstairs for breakfast, from my spot on the couch watching Black Panther.

SUNDAY

Sunday was Mother’s Day as I mentioned before, and unlike other years where we’d usually be heading to lunch with my extended family it was just the four of us relaxing at home.

We spent a lot of the day hanging out in the living room upstairs together and we gave Mum her present, which was a brand new pair of Uggs because she always steals my little sisters pairs during the colder months.

Later in the evening we went and picked up a cheeky Nando’s to bring home for dinner. As had been the case for the last couple of days, it was a very low-key day, but it was a good way to end the weekend.

How have you guys been adapting to the change in daily programming since lockdown restrictions?

x

Priya

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A Spotify Revamp

Hello friends!

I hope you’re all well. Today’s post is a short-ish one, but I thought it was worth sharing since it’s about my absolute pride and joy, my Spotify account.

Everyone and their mother knows that I regularly spend hours a day, scrolling through Spotify, making new discoveries, listening to albums I’ve had saved for months, curating my playlists and getting them just perfect, and it’s honestly the highlight of my weekly routine.

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//Spotify//

I made my Spotify account back in 2015, so it’s been up and running for nearly 5 years, and while sonically it’s constantly changing, developing and adapting, visually, it’s remained pretty stagnant for the last two years or so. I probably sound like the biggest loser saying this, but Spotify is such an experience for me, and nothing makes me more satisfied than going onto someone else’s page and seeing an aesthetically curated page of playlists. Whether it be through the names of the playlists, the way they’ve organised the tracks so they show up on the main page or the theme they have, it all makes me so happy to look at, let alone listen to.

When I first got Spotify, I was pretty low-maintenance in the way I organised my playlists. As long as the first four songs that were displayed on the cover somewhat went together visually and aesthetically, I was chill. Then about a year later, when some of my friends started listening to my playlists and I started this blog, I decided I wanted my page to look good. So I went with the black and white theme. Clean and simple, and it made me super satisfied to look at.

However, within the last couple of months I’ve become a bit bored of my Spotify page, and so with all the free time I found myself with during isolation, I decided my next little project would be to revamp my Spotify.

First things first was choosing the theme, and I was pretty set on using some of my film photos and adding some text to them. I have plenty of film photos that I love and vibe with heavy, you can check some out HERE and HERE, so I knew I’d have plenty to pick from, plus I liked the idea of having my own photos to switch in and out whenever I wanted. To be honest, it only took me just over half an hour to make all of the covers, which I think is pretty good considering how many playlists I have. I’m pretty happy with how it came out. What do you think?

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The last thing to do, was the big clean out. I’ve attempted to do this so many times, but for some reason I get super sentimental and attached to songs that I add to my playlists, especially if they have a memory attached to them or they remind me of a certain time in my life. It makes it super difficult for me to be as cut-throat as I need to be when cleaning out my playlists, because not only does it take up space on my computer, it also just clogs everything up, some playlists over-lap, others aren’t as clear as the others and it just hurts my head. I know, this is a huge first world problem.

So, I spent close to a whole day, on and off, picking a playlist and just going through every song. It was a feat, considering some of my playlists have grown to have over 300 songs on them. But, once I finished each playlist, just seeing each number sit a little bit smaller was very satisfying.

I think de-cluttering as been the move for me during these strange times, and while re-organising my room, going through my piles of books and clearing out my wardrobe have been the obvious move, my Spotify was overlooked for far too long, and just grew out of control like a garden. De-cluttering my Spotify was good for the soul. Say what you will, but I will say that with my chest. I mean…maybe check out my Spotify for yourself if you wanna see?

x

Priya

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PS:
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You Should Hear // This Podcast

Hello friends!

Hope you’re all well and thriving under the current conditions we’re dealing with at the moment.

Today’s post is a lil bit different, which I seem to find myself saying every second post, but this one genuinely is. I usually post music recommendations on here, but it’s called You Should Hear, and I’ve come to believe that not only are there quite a few songs you should hear, but there are also a few podcasts.

Yes, I am completely aware of how late I am to hop on the podcast train, but I’m here now so you can give me that.

In a different change of pace for me, I’ve only been dipping my toe in so far. Usually I’m all about diving in the deep end and throwing myself into my new ventures and interests, but podcasts have genuinely taken me years to get into. I tried having a listen when they first became a thing, and then every couple of months I give it another crack, but so far this has been the most successful attempt. I blame Tessa.

If you don’t know Tess, she’s one of my best friends, she’s been making a few appearances on the blog recently, and has introduced me to her little world of podcasts. Since joining her, there’s one podcast that has led to many a late night discussions and debates, and it’s this one.

BOBO AND FLEX

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I’ve always loved long conversations about topics that don’t manage to make it into every day conversations, topics that are kind of taboo, or not naturally brought up in my circle of general chatter, and it’s like there’s an episode from the Bobo And Flex series that touches on every single one of these topics and so much more.

For example, wanna talk about friendship, social media and constant need to be connected versus what you feel like you owe other people and what people expect from you? There’s a podcast for that.

Activism and in contrast toxic activism and performative activism? There’s a podcast episode for it.

There’s one about cheating, morality and secrets, there’s more about manifestation, safe spaces, hook-up culture, privilege and equality, body image, spirituality, break-up’s and platonic exes, girl code, climate change, Drake, friendship break-ups and such a plethora of other conversations between two woman who are clearly very tuned into their opinions, their inner selves and their beliefs.

@flex.mami
// @flex.mami // @bobo.marjila //

Especially for Tessa and I, this podcast alone has opened up a whole new world of conversation. Add to the mix Flex Mami’s card game Reflexa conversation starting, reflective and introspective opportunity to ask yourself and your friends questions that you don’t naturally get to ask in everyday conversation, and these girls are genuinely the gift that keeps on giving. I highly recommend you buy either or both of the Reflex packs and strap yourself in for a ride.

However. Here’s where I think the most important aspect of podcast listening comes into play, especially when listening to podcasts like this, where people are passionately sharing opinions and beliefs about subjects that matter in every day life. While I was listening, I was super ready to be very enthusiastic and encouraging of every aspect of each episode, until I got to this particular episode:

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Note how I finished the episode? That’s not to indicate that I thoroughly enjoyed it to be honest. Halfway through, I found myself getting so angry and frustrated with everything one of the gals was saying, and the way in which she was saying it.

The basic premise of the episode was on connecting to friends on social media, the need to respond to texts, what we owe others and what others owe us. One of the strongest opinions was that we owe people nothing when it comes to social media and responding to text messages or calls. I just found myself feeling uncomfortable with some of the ways one of the gals was talking, especially when it comes to her responding to her friends or her acquaintances when they reach out to her, and how aggressive she was in stating that a response wasn’t worth her time.

I’m very aware of how connected I am, and I’m a person who will respond if I can. It’s taken a while, but I don’t play the game of waiting a couple of hours before responded to come across as more aloof or cooler. If my phone is in my hand, and I’m on it, and a notification pops up, unless I have a problem with you…I’m gonna respond?

Tessa was the first person I messaged while I was listening, and it sparked a lil conversation about being an active listener vs a passive listener and why we both found ourselves disagreeing with some of the points being brought up, regardless of the fact that we both have very different styles of operating on social media. Like I said, I’m very connected, probably too connected, I’m quick on the reply and response unless I’m busy, where-as Tessa is a lot more grounded in her own moments, meaning while she’ll respond to you, it takes a little longer, out of nothing but purely having too much going on outside of her phone. Funnily enough, we both had similar opinions on this podcast episode.

 

 

Here’s the thing, that’s my opinion. If you happen to actually listen to this podcast, and get to this episode; I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I think I’m enjoying this podcast so much purely because there are so many opportunities for me to disagree and start my own conversations out of it, which I think is my listening style when it comes to podcasts.

If I had to recommend a podcast for literally anyone, boy or girl, this would make the list straight away. While the topics they talk about in detail come from a female’s point of view, they come from very a point of view that’s diverse and developed and the topics Bobo and Flex discuss are topics I believe everyone should be open to, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

I’m getting super into podcasts, clearly, so if you have any others you reckon I’d get around, please share them with me! I’d love to know about any podcasts you listen to as well!

x

Priya

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PS:
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I Wrote A Song During Isolation

Hello friends!

Obviously the title of this post is super self-explanatory so I’ll just jump right into it I guess?

Australia moved into Stage 2 lockdown this week, with my state, Victoria, being one of the first to implement the strict rules, and it’s highly likely we’ll be moving into Stage 3 pretty soon. Personally, the stability of my casual job has been up in the air since the situation escalated, and even now, we’re not sure how long our store will legally be allowed to stay open under these new rules.

I’ve been getting used to spending a lot more time at home, with my entire family. It’s not entirely new for me, however I usually have the house all to myself, and in a week, I probably see several of my friends more than two or three times, something I now don’t get the luxury of doing. It’s fair to say that like everyone, this lockdown has changed the daily routines of my entire family.

That said, more time at home is not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve had a lot more time to do the things I really want to do, as has been the case for a lot of people. Which for me, means more time to spend working on this blog, and writing music.

I think I’ve come up with more, musically, in the last two weeks, than I have in the last six months.

On the 23rd I came back from buying my friend a guitar so she had something to work on during this isolation period, and while mucking around on my own guitar, I came up with a short verse and pre-chorus of a song. It had super heavy ‘isolation’ connotations, and I thought it was pretty funny, so I quickly did a recording of it and threw it up on my Instagram story.

See below.
ps follow me on instragram @priya_francis

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// mind my facial expressions thanks //

But yeah, I just put that up on my Instagram story, didn’t really think about it, and left to get my flu shot with my mum. When I got a moment to check my phone, I had messages from a bunch of my friends and even a few people I didn’t know very well, responding to the song.

What started out as a huge joke ended up with people messaging me outside of Instagram, sending it to their friends who in turn messaged me, and essentially a lot more people than anticipated ended up seeing my story and hearing the little fun song I had put up.

It was one late night conversation that made me consider actually finishing the song, so the next day when I came back from work, I sat down and tried to finish it. Fair to say, this little ongoing joke, ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but I finally finished it. So this morning when I sat down to write a post, I thought it was a good opportunity to share the song with you!!

Hope you like it, let me know what you think :)))

x

Priya

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PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
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Spotify Made A Playlist For Your Pet And That’s Why They Reign Supreme

Hi everyone. I hope you’re all well!

Here’s the thing. Spotify doesn’t have to go as hard as it chooses to do. But it does. Stats at the end of the year. In depth statistics. Recommendations based on your unique listening patterns. The ability to discover new artists that you’ve never heard of before, simply by locking in on the intricacies of the music and artists you already listen to. Playlist-ing capabilities that wreck all others. For the music listener and lover, Spotify reigns supreme.

And now. A playlist curated for you and your pet. Apple Music could never.

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I mean, who at Spotify, came to the board meeting, ready to present their pitch for ‘Pet Playlists – Why This Is Something The People Need’, because whoever it is, thank-you. I never knew I needed this until it was presented to me, and now I don’t know what to do with myself.

If you aren’t convinced yet, this blog post is simply just going to be a quick shake down of the absolute minimal effort you have to go through, to get your very own pet-curated playlist.

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I have a dog so I picked a dog.

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That’s literally it. That’s all. And you get a gem like this:

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Plus, a link to an entire playlist, made up of songs you already know and are sure to love, as well as a bunch of brand new songs you’ve never heard before. Revolutionary. Life-changing. Never seen before. This is the reason, Spotify reigns supreme.

That’s it. That’s the blog post.

x

Priya

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Gift Guide for The Music Lover

Hello hello friends!

I know what you’re thinking. “Priya. Why are we talking about gifts? Christmas is over.” I know, Christmas is done, but just because the ‘season of giving’ has passed by, doesn’t mean the opportunity to give has as well. I don’t know about you but I either tend to be super, duper prepared, or not prepared in the slightest. I either have presents sorted weeks in advance or I’m struggling the night before I need it to sort something out. I know this would probably have been some help around Christmas time, but I didn’t think of it back then, so we’re doing it now, because birthdays exist too.

That said, one of the hardest things when it comes to buying gifts, aside from making the time to get them, is the struggle of what to get. So much to consider, and while the deluge of Christmas gift guides has well and truly passed, I thought I’d drop one more on your feed. Bookmark it for the entire year if you must!!

Here’s a lil guide on potential gifts that any music lover is sure to appreciate!

A record player: So I’m talking from experience, but when I got my record player from a group of my friends for my 21st birthday, I cried. It was so unexpected but it was something I’d always wanted, just never pulled the trigger and bought myself. This is always a popular one, and there are heaps of options out there to pick from.

Vinyls: Already have a record player? Well let’s be practical and get them some more records!! Nothing beats getting a fresh sleeve with a brand new album pressed onto vinyl and listening to it for the first time. It’s also super satisfying to add it to a physical collection. Most artists are now releasing vinyl pressings of their music so it won’t be hard to find something that you music lover will like!

Merch: This is a pretty cute one in my opinion. I think merch is severely underrated as a gift, but it genuinely means a lot for someone to consider an artist or band you love, and support them through a gift to you. At least, that’s how I choose to see it! A hoodie, a beanie, a t-shirt, (vinyls count as merch too), a poster, anything from an artist or band they love, will mean a lot – bonus points if you get matching merch!

Concert tickets: This is such a lovely gift! Especially if you know the person you’re buying for is sure to love the artist! That’s one thing to consider – I’d be 100% positive that they genuinely really loved the artist and it isn’t just a general appreciation. If that makes sense? Take them for someone or a band they love rather than someone they may just sing along to when their song plays on the radio. I’ve had concert tickets gifted to me and I’ve gifted concert tickets myself, and it’s always a hit!

Ukulele: Hear me out. If the person you’re buying for loves music, loves singing or playing the guitar or the piano or anything similar, a ukulele is such a good gift. Honestly, whether you’re shopping for a little kid or an adult, a beginner or a professional, there is honestly an option for all quality and budget levels. It’s one of the most popular instruments our music shop sells, and that’s just throughout the year. Around Christmas it goes crazy! There are plenty of brands to choose from too, so it’s definitely worthy of featuring on this guide.

Headphones: I feel like it’s hard to go wrong with these. Once you’ve figured out the type of headphone they’re most likely to want and use the most, you have so many options out there, I mean you can even read my Headphone Guide if you want an extra hand cos why not? They’re such a practical gift, especially if you’re gift-ee is someone you know is listening to music all the time! I know personally, I have a different set for the gym, a set for recording, a set for using with my laptop and a pair that I keep in my bag for on the train and general use. They cover Plantronics, Beats by Dre, Apple and Audio Technica, so already you have four brands to choose from. I know in 2019 Air Pods were a hugely popular gift, so you’re definitely spoiled for choice!

Sheet Music: Here’s the thing. I feel like no-one really considers this, but I’ve come to realise it after working in a music shop for over 4 years. Sheet music is bloody expensive. I don’t know how, but classical musicians, and anyone who chooses to buy their music in paper form, fork out so much money to have physical copies of music, which is why I guess so many people have gone digital. However, if your music nerd does in fact read music and play from sheet music, this is always something that makes a great gift. It’s super easy to find out whether their favourite musicians latest or most popular album has been transcribed into a collection, and most of the time it’s super easy to track down and order online. Does your musician have a favourite classical composer? Maybe suss out their collection and see what’s missing, there are some insanely beautiful editions of classical music that make incredible gifts.

Music Store Voucher: Okay, so this may seem boring, but I feel like it’s the obvious resolution to a lot of issues that arise, when buying for musicians in particular. I think I’ve stated this before, but musicians are some of the pickiest people on the planet, especially when it comes to their gear and their instruments and accessories. And fair enough. Music gear is super expensive, so most musicians really want to test out things for themselves, do their research and be 100% sure about what they’re investing in. Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is suss out their favourite local music shop, put some money on a voucher, and give them a gift they can essentially choose themselves.

Portable speaker: Another underrated gift. I remember a little while back UE Booms were the best thing ever, and in my opinion, they still are. Whether it’s a UE Boom, or any other reputable brand of speaker, you never know that you actually need a portable blue tooth speaker in your life, until you finally have one. Going to the beach with friends? Portable speaker. BBQ in the backyard on a public holiday? Portable speaker. Getting ready for a night out all by yourself and want to pump some tunes? Portable speaker. Speakers in your car blown out? Portable speaker. Honestly, so many instances where a portable speaker would come in handy start arising as soon as you have one, I couldn’t imagine my house without the four we already have!

There you go! Hopefully this list helped you out a bit or at least gave you some ideas to work from!

x

Priya

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PS:
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Artists Who Raised Me

Hello everyone! Today’s post is a lil sentimental one. I’m going to be touching on a few of the artists who helped raise me. These are artists I was exposed to as a young child, artists I listened to and learned from growing up, singers who inspired me and shaped the way I listen and interact with music today! Hopefully you enjoy it 🙂

Michael Jackson: I feel like I’ve droned on and on and on about how much of an impact Michael Jackson has had in my life. I was fed a healthy dose of MJ tunes and music videos, nearly every weekend my dad and I would watch a DVD with a collection of all his best music videos, and regardless of the fact that I’d hide behind the kitchen counter for when Thriller came on the screen, he’s been one of the most influential musicians in my life. I can pinpoint exact moments and memories for particular songs within his catalogue, songs like The Way You Make Me Feel, Bad, Thriller, Smooth Criminal, PYT and plenty, plenty more.

Alicia Keys: Alicia Keys was one of the first vocalists I turned to when I began singing. I was infamous for singing her songs and my dad only encouraged this, burning backing tracks for songs like Karma, No One and If I Ain’t Got You onto CD’s for me to sing along to. I can’t find it in my heart to skip any of this woman’s songs when they come on shuffle and her voice is still one of my favourites to listen to. I could listen to Alicia Keys all day.

Norah Jones: I think there’s only so much I can go on about Norah Jones. I think she was a pivotal person in me branching out with the music I listened to as a little kid, and my mum played a huge part in introducing me to her songs.

Stevie Wonder: Sometimes you might read my blogs and think, ‘man, Priya really over uses the words ‘funky’ and ‘groovy’ and it’s all down to this guy. Any single soulful fibre in in my body is thanks to the literal hours I’ve accumulated listening to his music.

Bob Marley: My family, both immediate and extended, have a deep rooted love for reggae, and the king of reggae, Bob Marley, is a sure fire way to get us all up and dancing or bopping. I can’t recall a single family party or event that didn’t end with all of us on the dance floor screaming/singing Buffalo Soldier or Could You Be Loved.

Ne-Yo: Ne-Yo. He’s an artist who seems like he’s been around for every year of my life in some form. Whether he was on MTV Hits, releasing RnB tunes that hit every heart string perfectly, dancing in Stomp The Yard or more recently, judging on World of Dance, he’s always been around. He’s one of the singers I regularly cover when I play gigs, purely cos we’re guaranteed to have people singing along. He’s such a loved musician and singer, and to me, Ne-Yo is absolutely timeless. Like, listen to So Sick, Miss Independent or All Because of You, and tell me they don’t hit just as hard as they did when they first came out? You can’t.

Rihanna: Take everything I said about Ne-Yo. Now apply it to this woman and multiply it infinitely. From her music, which assisted in really getting me into RnB and pop RnB, her business/es to her influence over popular culture, you have the recipe for one of the most successful women of the decade. I literally wrote one of my second year final assignments on Rihanna and her influence, and I don’t regret a single thing. Her music has developed and shifted so much over her career, she’s really done it all and she’s done it so well.

Whitney Houston: So, low-key, when I was a youngin, I was a belter. Like sang ballads, big numbers, long and high notes. And that’s partially thanks to Whitney Houston. Such a timeless, classic woman. Very little to say about this woman.

Christina Aguilera: Okay, so when I said ‘partially’, above, for Whitney, it’s because a large majority of my influence when I was a young kid was Christina Aguilera. Her singing is off the charts. To this day, she is one of the greatest singers of the last two decades and I’ll fight anyone on that. I mean, look at TikTok. We still have 15 and 16 year old’s trynna nail the crazy run in Show Me How You Burlesque, and as perfect as some of them may be pulling it off, it’s just not the same as the queen herself. I’ll throw hands for this woman. No lie.

Mariah Carey: I can’t say Mariah Carey was a big of an influence as Christina, but, she’s definitely up there. She was one of the singers I’d listen to over and over again, painstakingly going over every line she sang, in attempts to achieve those levels of greatness. Tbh, we’re still giving it a crack. It’s an everlasting challenge. Such a legend.

There you go!! Hopefully you guys found that interesting? I really pulled this out of the archives, from right at the bottom of my drafts, and I don’t know why I never finished it! I really enjoyed reflecting on each of these artists and how much they impacted me not only as a little gal wanting to be a singer, but as a general music fan as well! Obviously, my taste and what I listen to and draw inspiration from now has vastly shifted, maybe I’ll do a post on that soon, but these artists got me to where I am now.

Which artists raised you? I’d love to know, leave me a comment! 

x

Priya

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PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
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2019 // The Music Notes

Hi everyone.

Hope you’re well, welcome back to another post that no-one asked for. Today’s post has me feeling a little sentimental, but in the best possible way.

For the rest of this post to make sense, I suggest you read a post I wrote way back at the beginning of 2018, in January, about what I was hoping to get out of the coming year. You can read that HERE.

In the post, I shared some of the main big goals I’ve had for quite some time, and over the course of a year and half, I’ve surely but steadily made them happen, and I’m just super proud of the outcome, so I wanted to share it with you all!

 

One thing I wanted to touch on before I get into it, is a bit of a mentality I’ve picked up along the way. I think in so many industries, especially the music industry in particular, there’s this huge emphasis on staying humble. I definitely value humility, but I’ve come to realise there’s a difference between remaining humble, and under-valuing yourself. It’s okay to share what you achieve, and it’s okay to feel proud about yourself. There’s nothing wrong with having pride in what you do. If you start using it to justify being arrogant and condescending to people, and if you start using it to support a superiority complex, then yeah. There’s an issue there. But if you’re just genuinely proud of what you’ve achieved and what you’ve created, I think, the more the better. 

 

So on that note, I wanted to share some of the goals I’ve met in the last year and a half that have contributed to making these last few months some of the most productive and successful I’ve ever experienced.

 

TEACHIf you read the original post, I explain in a bit more detail my goals oriented around teaching music, specifically singing. I’m just super passionate about sharing the type of music education I had, one that was super informal, very relaxed, structured around live performances, acoustic gig nights, playing with bands and creating my own music and having fun, without the stress and huge reliance on grades and exams.

Since writing the post, this has been probably the slowest moving goal in my list, but in the last couple of months particularly, I’ve really hit the mark with where I want to head I think. Instead of teaching out of my house, I joined a music school who’s entire philosophy and ethos encapsulates everything I mentioned above. So far, I’m teaching basic piano for little tots, and singing, which I’m enjoying heaps. I also help out with a bunch of admin and reception stuff.

 

WRITE. Writing in 2017 was very slow for me, and I think I’ve definitely kicked it into second gear with this. I wrote plenty of songs in 2018, which resulted in singles like Tell Me and Same Wine which I released earlier this year. I’ve continued writing and creating songs, which means I was able to release another single this year in August, Free Rides, and am steadily working towards releasing an EP towards the start of 2020. So much writing guys. Nine times out of ten, every time I’ve picked up my guitar or sat at the piano I’ve come away with at least a few lines, a new chord progression or the framework for a song. I’ve also been writing heaps more for my band, and our catalogue of originals is steadily increasing at a rate that really excites us all.

One thing I’ve noticed with this, especially in 2019, is that the level of skill I once thought of myself of being at, has vastly improved. I think the amount of music I’m listening to, new and old, all over the spectrum in terms of genre, has meant that the songs I write now are getting a bit more adventurous. I’m having to learn new chord shapes and new progressions on the guitar to get the sound that I want and to write what I want to write, and it’s really helped my music playing in general, improve exponentially.

 

GIGS. This is a huge one. I think the biggest maybe. I’ve been gigging non-stop. One gig a month, minimum, whether that’s with my acoustic duo or with my band. One of my best friends, Daniel and I have basically secured a residency of sorts as one of the acoustic acts at a local bar/beer garden that all of our friends and the students in our area head to on a Wednesday night, and it’s always super fun. Our four piece funk/soul/RnB band has played a hugely successful night there too, which was one of the best nights of the year for me.

I think a new goal for me would now be to maybe do some gigging all on my own, just me and my guitar. All the gigs I’ve done, I’ve been able to have fun with one or more person, rely on them to bring a really high level of skill in terms of music, and focus solely on my singing, but I’m keen to try doing a bit on my own if the opportunity comes up.

 

BUILD. So this one has changed a little. I realised that it was a bit selfish to take over the entire study of my house to use as a studio, especially when my dad uses it for work, my mum uses it for her volunteering, and we basically keep all the ‘admin’ type stuff our family needs, in that room. So I’ve continued with my endeavour to get the perfect set up in my bedroom. At the moment, it’s pretty basic because I don’t have that much room, but I’m pretty happy with it. My desk is all I need in terms of space, and I’ve got all my equipment sorted. It also helps that the carpeting and the size of my room helps to make it a pretty ideal environment for recording vocal stems for mixing, which I’ve found myself doing a lot. After finally biting the bullet and buying Logic Pro and then spending a further three hours updating and setting up my midi keyboard, my demos have been taken to the next level. Easily.

 

SHARE. I think this one is pretty obvious. If you follow me on any of my social media, more specifically my Instagram account which is linked below, you’d have seen a fair share of shameless self promo for any and all music I released during the year. It’s meant that my Spotify following has grown a little bit, more people are aware that music is my main hustle and I’ve had a bunch of opportunities jump out at me to pursue.

 

COLLABORATE. Possibly another contender for the most successful goal out of this list. Since the original post, I’ve collaborated heaps. One of the biggest collabs has been with my good friend Jarrod, who produces under the name Nitecaller. He’s the master mind behind the production in all of my songs, and they wouldn’t be half the mixes they are if he wasn’t there to bring it all together. Another big collaboration is with Daniel. Our acoustic duo is going super strong, we’ve made a bit of a name for ourselves around the local area and it’s a very fun collab for me to be a part of. Added on to that, is the band that we’re a part of. Along with James and Charles (holy moly how did I never notice their names make up James Charles) on drums and bass, we’ve really nailed a good groove and it’s another project that’s really fun and welcoming to be a part of. I’ve also been collaborating heaps with one of my best friends from univeristy, Gem, and we may or may not have a single on the way … keep an eye out.

 

But there you have it. I think it’s super important to look back at the goals you’ve set, and how you’ve taken steps to get closer to them. I think it’s also really good to keep your goals evolving and changing, because who you were at the start of the year when you set them, isn’t the same person you are gonna be at the end of the year, and your goals should change and grow with you. I’m personally super proud of what I’ve achieved in 2019, and I’m only crossing my fingers that 2020 is just as good, if not better.

x

Priya

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PS:
Feel free to follow me on my social media!
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