Ariana’s Gift To Us All

Hello, hello.

Unless you’ve been living under the world’s largest rock recently, you’d be aware that Ariana Grande currently has the world in the palm of her hand, and is killing the game. I thought 2018 was her year, but 2019 has barely started and she’s already claimed this year as her own.

She recently released her album, titled after the first single she dropped, ‘thank you, next‘ and my god, this album is everything she’s been promising and more.

I’ve never considered myself a ‘fan’ of Ariana Grande if we’re being honest. Up until last year I only ever really listened to her when she popped up on the radio, but I rarely went on to Spotify with the intent to literally binge her entire album, which up until today, I could never say I had done. That’s over.

That said, let’s get into this play-by-play rundown. Sadly this isn’t a reaction post, because I was too busy hyping every second of it to think about typing down my thoughts. But it’s close enough.

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imagine
Ok. I know this song is cute. I know it’s a sweet lil tune, and heaps of people are around it. But it’s taken me way too long to get into it and now I’m only just jumping on the bandwagon. It took me a little while to even bother listening to it, even though it was released as a single. I don’t know. I just wasn’t hooked straight away.

needy
Did someone say me? No, they just said ‘needy’, but that’s practically the same thing. This song gets me. The simple piano is something that makes it such a catchy song, and the record just sounds like a dream, really kick-starting the entire ethereal aesthetic of the overall album. I kinda want to do a cover of this song, plainly for how simple it is, but how great it is to listen to.

NASA
How genius. This is a great tune. Such a great song. The play on words and the open-ness about just needing, space? I love the content of this album, Ariana’s so honest and raw in it, and it’s an honesty that I think her audience have come to expect from her. I think with everything she’s been through, in such a short time span, she can’t afford to be anything other than honest and true. However she still manages to do so in a way that gets you off your feet and bopping.

 

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bloodline
This is undoubtedly, in my top three songs on this album. The trumpets, how simple and catchy the chorus is, the story-line, everything. This song to me, in a nutshell, throws all the necessary shade at Pete Davidson, in one, pent up go. Considering how many times Pete decided to use their ended engagement as the butt of a joke, compared to how silent she kinda was, the whole ‘letting go’ part of the song kinda points fingers at a comparison between the two and how they handled the ended relationship so differently. Regardless, the song is a really fun anthem, and I find myself searching for it while I’m getting ready to jump in the car, purely so I can sing along.

fake smile
I love the intro to this song. So much. I mean sampling Wendy Rene?? Yes please. This song is probably one of the most honest songs on the album. She’s so candid about that fact that she’s been through hell. So much, and for someone so young who’s constantly on show, being scrutinised every second, it’s gonna be hard regardless. The song remains cute and playful, but provides a really vulnerable insight into Ariana’s mind.

bad idea
This song’s just really strong and energetic, but in a ridiculously cool way. She doesn’t sound like she cares at all and funnily enough it’s what I love the most about it. I don’t know if this song reaches as high as some of the others on the album for me personally, but it’s a good song to fit into the middle of the record. It genuinely fits the aesthetic of the record and I think a lot of time has gone into crafting the perfect selection of songs that contrast yet still manage to compliment each other.

make up
We love a cheeky play on words.

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ghostin
Possibly the saddest song on the album. It’s all about giving someone so much and getting little in return, and I think it’s possibly one of the strongest yet vulnerable songs on the album for how much it says. I think the song could possibly be about how much she had to go through, especially considering she was in a relationship while at the same time dealing with fall outs and issues from other relationships. The song is so clearly about that balance between Pete Davidson and Mac Miller, and the repercussions of his death not only on her personally, but also possibly on her relationship, and the fact that’s she’s so open and honest about it is a bold move considering how much flack and hatred she received when Mac passed away.

in my head
I think Ariana’s killing it with the introductions on all her songs, as well as the sampling. It’s all done tastefully, there aren’t any voice memos included simply because it might sound good, and samples are being used in a fresh way for her music. The fact that the voice memo is of her close friend Doug who ‘was a major help’ to her through some of her hardest moments speaks volumes. I think the song could be speaking about the way she sees someone, compared to way the rest of the world sees them, and the reality in between all of that, and I love it.

7 rings
A bop. An anthem. I sing this song all the time, nearly once a day, and it’s constantly being rewound and played back again. At first I was kinda confused, but then the confusion passed, the clouds moved away and I saw the light, and now I can’t get enough.

thank u, next
The song that shook us all. The song that announced her rebirth, her resurrection, her re-brand. A lot of love for this song, man.

break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored
Ah yes, we’ve arrived. My favourite song on the entire bloody album. I feel like this song is the bad-ass sister song to thank u, next, which is quite subtle about it, but this song is so in your face, I love it. I haven’t listened to it as much as 7 rings, but boy am I getting there.  Wait for this song on my February Tunes, cos it’ll be there, I promise.

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So yeah! That’s my song-by-song wrap up of Ariana’s album, thank u, next. I’ve been loving Ariana and her music since she released God Is A Woman and I’m sure she’s gonna give us a lot more in 2019. Let me know what you think, in the comments below.

x

Priya

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@paigesspace

Hello friends!

For today’s post I’m gonna be sharing an artist who I believe you all need in your life. I haven’t done an artist spotlight in a hot minute, and as much as I’ve been enjoying sharing some different posts with you, I’m super keen to share this artist.

If you’re not familiar with @paigesspace on Instagram, you’re about to be.

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//@paigesspace//

I discovered her through one of my favourite singers/people, through whom all is good in the world, Billie Eilish, who came across the New Zealand singer’s account and promptly became obsessed with Paige, which subsequently turned to her spamming her Instagram account story with videos of Paige’s numerous covers and original songs she has posted on her Instagram account, which is linked above.

As soon as I saw the first video, or more so, heard her voice, I jumped right over onto Paige’s account, and began my investigations. I was not disappointed.

Tell me this doesn’t give you chills.

We all know how much I love Done For Me by Kehlani and Charlie Puth, but I didn’t think I could ever love a cover version, an incredibly original cover version, this much. It’s perfect.

So since Billie Eilish bestowed her gift upon the world and my Instagram account, I’ve been eagerly awaiting new covers and videos from Paige, whether that be on her Instagram, or her YouTube channel, which is equally as generous.

Which made the news of her single release, So Far, all the more exciting, considering all the newly gained, and greatly deserved fans she has welcomed to the family following Billie’s promotion.

So Far came out a couple days ago, and let me tell you. If you’re a fan of Billie Eilish, Kehlani, any good music, you have to listen to it.

I’ve been listening to it on repeat this entire morning, especially while I write this, and it’s yet to get old.

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//@paigesspace//

Paige’s voice is probably one of the smoothest voice I’ve ever heard on social media. We all know how much I love to Alice Kristiansen (@alicelk) and I’m 100% that Paige is on the same level, I definitely put those two on the same shelf.

So Far reminds me a lot of two of Kehlani’s acoustic releases, Honey and Again, both of which are beautiful songs. Speaking of, there’s also this cover up on her Instagram to really drive my point home…

 

Paige’s voice is so smooth and mellow, but you can hear how clear and strong it is at the same time. I won’t talk about the guitar because you should just feel my love for it it in your own heart the second you hear that tone. The harmonies at the end nearly made me fling my laptop across the room when I heard them, this girl has me falling in love with no-one to fall in love with.

Definitely check Paige out. She truly tugs on the heart strings, and I don’t have a heart to tug on, so you know she’s doing something right.

Paige’s Instagram
Paige’s YouTube
Paige’s Twitter

I’d love to know what you guys think of Paige, I’ll probably continue to obsess over her voice and her music until she releases and another album or something.

x

Priya

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I Have An Excuse

Hello my friends!

It may not seem like it to some of you, but I’ve been a bit off on here, haven’t been as active as I definitely could have, but to be quite frank, I’m not sorry. Why?

Here’s my reasoning and subtle attempt at begging for forgiveness while simultaneously plugging my own shit.

Most of you know that I’m a Music Industry student here in Melbourne. The first semester has just wrapped up, meaning a bunch of my friends are drowning themselves in coffee in order to utilise any spare moment to study for upcoming exams, and I’ve been locking myself in my room in order to avoid any people whatsoever, in an attempt to finish all my assignments. I say ‘all’ like I’m drowning in a sea of assessment tasks, but realistically, I’ve had a couple of essays to write and one major music assignment.

Thankfully, yesterday night, I handed the last of the lot in, and I’m now free until mid-July.


However, my procrastination game this semester, was on fire. I thought I had that shit sorted out last semester, but due to the overwhelming ‘meh’ feeling I’ve had this entire semester, I was incredibly great at putting things off until the last minute. As in, beginning the two 2000 word essays I had to write a mere five hours before they were due, and scaring the majority of my family who found me hunched over my computer furiously switching between bashing at the keyboard, double, triple checking how to reference using the bloody Harvard standard style and getting my hands on any form of caffeine I could, all while wasting more time Snapchat-ing all my friends about the self-inflicted absolute misery I was in.

I had one essay that I had absolutely zero idea about, considering I only watched about four of the movies throughout the 12 week semester, and only went for six of the tutorials, but somehow I managed to scrape through and submit the 1800-2000 word essay ten minutes before it was due, much to my parents enjoyment, as they got to watch me scram and panic for a solid hour beforehand. Then last night I happily agreed to take a very much undeserved break and go to church followed by a cheeky Nando’s that only chewed further into the short time I had left. Passing on the opportunity to go to the gym and waste yet another hour or so, I managed to compared the musical genres in Bruno Mars first album and his most recent album, to a decent length, even going the 10% over the word limit.

However, on Friday, I submitted the assessment that’s been taking up all my spare time, and that was my studio recording. If you take anything away from this blog post, make sure is this. Ya girl hates Ableton. With a passion. A loathing, fiery passion. I hate it so much. I had to create a 3 minute minimum song, using sounds in Ableton, thankfully with the added aid of lyrics and vocals on top, write a reflection on why I chose to use the sounds and mix them the way I did (answer: I don’t know) and submit it on SoundCloud for my tutor to listen to and judge. Easy.

Anyone who’s read a couple of my insightful rants about some of my music subjects may remember me mentioning that I’m a singer and a songwriter. In no way am I a producer. Which in my opinion, is the demographic that Ableton happily caters towards. Not only is it a bloody ugly audio work space to use, but it’s just finicky and difficult to manoeuvre around, especially if you have no idea how to use it. Which is the boat that myself, and two of my other friends found ourselves in.


Being three of the four only girls in the entire class, the ‘boys club’ kind of mentality irked us just a lil bit. I hate making myself out to be the victim, but there were just many instances when our calls (emails) for help went unanswered and we were finding ourselves with no clue on how to approach the assignment several times. Enter ya girl, with a fantastic idea.

Having known both these girls for a good year and a half now, we knew each other and our styles well enough that we could confidently work together. I’d spent the last year and a half working with one of them, who is also my best friend at university. So I proposed that we all just book out the studios, work together to make three individual songs, each one taking control of one particular song in regards to how it sounded, and then write the reports ourselves.

Honestly, the two days we locked ourselves in the studio from 11-5 were the best days of the entire month of May. We left only to pee and grab $9 pizzas from the best Italian cafe in the university, but other than that we were underground in the studios, totally removed from everything, only slightly shocked when we’d emerge and it was already getting dark.

I have to say, for a couple of chicks who had no prior idea of what the hell they were doing, we did pretty well. There was a moment the second day when we all listened to the song that was meant to be mine and decided that the day before was a temporary lapse of judgement that resulted in the shit-show that the song was, meaning I started all over again, but it went really well overall. We all genuinely enjoyed working the way we did, at times we’d split up several times during the sessions to move into separate corners of the studio to work on lyrics, then other times we’d descend into tribal insanity and blast catholic all-girl school bops that all of our schools used to play at mass (hit me up if you’re about Shine Jesus Shine or Shout To The Lord).

The point of this entire blog, is not only to try and explain any absence that may or may not (probably not) have been noticed, but to give yet another insight into my personal life, or more so, my life as a music student.

Not only was I down in that dungeon of a music studio (I promise, I love it, I live for it) for two days with the girls, but after submitting the song, I booked out the studio again the day after for another six hours, and went in by myself to fix up my song even more. Why? Because I was proud as heck of it. Considering I made all the sounds that I used, in Ableton, and then mixed majority of and then wrote the lyrics and did all the singing on it, it’s the most I’ve done in a hot minute, and I loved it.

To the point where I decided “You know what, I’m not keeping this song on a private SoundCloud link, only for my teacher to hear, I’m actually gonna put it up and share it cos I LIKE IT.” So I did. And this is it.


 

 


I really only shared it on my SnapChat and Instagram. Haven’t bothered sharing it on Facebook yet, but my friends have been really supportive of it so far (looking at you too, Mia). I’m proud as heck of it. Not only is it a song I actually enjoy listening to that encompasses my whole personality as a petty human being, but I’m proud of how much more involved and directly responsible I am of it. It’s all mine.

I’d love to hear your opinions on the song, or even anything I’ve mentioned in this post. Let me know in the comments below.

x

Priya

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An Awaited Album

Hello my friends!

Today’s post will be an album review/chat post, on an album that I uncharacteristically found myself really, really waiting for.

Over these past few months, I’ve been kicked into a slight obsession with Shawn Mendes’ recent songs. If you’ve read any of my recent posts, especially my monthly favourites and playlist posts, he’s definitely featured on there quite a few times.

I’ve never been a massive Shawn Mendes fan. I enjoyed his music, but not to the point where I faithfully followed his every move on social media and waited his next song to drop. But, I’ve definitely been far more interested in his recently, to the point where my cousin and I were seriously considering going to his concert together.

Due to how much I found myself enjoying his new songs, like enjoying them way more than I’ve ever enjoyed any of his old songs, I was eagerly awaiting his new album.

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The marketing for this album has been insane as well. The album art, the merchandise that’s being realised specified for particular songs and singles on the album. It’s been done incredibly well, and I’ve been patiently waiting in anticipation, so was very pleased to jump on Spotify today and listen to the whole album.

Lost In Japan was my favourite of all the singles released in the lead up to the album, just because of different it is to stuff he’s released before and because of how good his voice sounds. I’ve gone into detail in my April Tunes, but there are a couple songs on this album that are close competitions. One of them being Nervous, the second song on the album. My dudes, the story-telling in this song is so straight forward and to the point, but it’s such a fun song, the bass line is consistent and funky, and I get major Pharrell Williams vibes. I love it.

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Where Were You In The Morning is another favourite. The guitar in it makes your head bob without your control, and I don’t know what the boy has been doing, but his voice has become so much more stronger and raspier and amazing to listen to. His falsetto levelled up overnight apparently, because he uses it a lot throughout the album, and it’s always so clean.

QueenQueen is another bop. I get such amazing old school 60’s vibes from the entire album, especially his choice of guitar tones and rhythms, and I for one, am here for it. I can’t wait to see how he performs these songs live because it’s quite different to anything he’s done before.

While his song featuring Julia Michaels is fantastic, there’s something about Khalid’s feature on Youth that makes me sing along to it as loud as I can whenever I’m in the car or at home alone. I don’t know if it’s the beat, the lyrics or how much I love their voices individually and together, but it’s been one of my favourite songs since it was released.

Perfectly Wrong and When You’re Ready are the last two songs on the album, but they’re up there with my favourites. The stories in them are distinctly different from each other, and there’s a obvious contrast, especially if you listen to the album in order, but they’re both equally as beautiful, though because I seem to enjoy breaking my on heart and listening to songs, Perfectly Wrong comes out on top for me between these two. His voice, the lyrics, the arrangement, it’s all beautiful.

I won’t comment on every single song because I personally feel like it’s one of those albums you need to listen to yourself, because you’ll probably draw your own conclusions on it, especially lyric and content wise. I’ll have my own interpretation, and yours might be different. All the songs, as well as the album are linked throughout this post so you have no excuse! Let me know what you think, I can guarantee I’ll be listening to this album quite a lot!

x

Priya

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alicelk

Hey friends!

I actually haven’t sat down and blogged, yuck I low-key hate saying that but I love it at the same time, in a hot minute, just because of how far ahead my scheduling ‘game has been. Again, ew, excuse that, I’m never saying that again.

So I thought while I have a day or two off uni (more like I have one class and I refuse to travel an hour either way into the city for a single one hour class that I definitely nearly fall asleep in anyway) I’d write up some posts for you guys. I also have an essay that I could very well start writing too, but priorities. Am I right?

Side-note; I’m also three coffees into my day, so you’ll be receiving the full affect of that in this post.

Tonight’s post is gonna be dedicated to sharing the literal ray of sunshine that is Alice Kristiansen. If you don’t know who Alice Kristiansen is, please pay attention. That was slightly aggressive but I’m passionate about this chic and the music she’s putting out into the world so I don’t regret it and I won’t be taking it back.

I first discovered her on YouTube. Kind of the unexpected avenue for Alice, considering how much her Instagram has been popping off lately, I mean, Shawn Mendes is surely trying to hit her up or something because it seems as if he’s liking her pictures and videos mere seconds after she uploads them.

 

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Besides the point.

I discovered her through YouTube, thanks to, once again, Daniel Caesar. I swear, that man leads to all things good. I was listening to an acoustic guitar cover of his song Blessed and lo and behold, there on the side bar is a video of Alice covering the same song. I don’t know what made me feel inclined to check it out because as much as I attribute some of my greatest finds to YouTube recommendations, I don’t click on them all that often, but for some reason I did. Thank god.

I can’t accurately describe the honey that is embedded within her voice, specifically in that video, so to avoid embarrassing myself, the only rational thing to do is to share the video below. You’re welcome. Enjoy.

Let’s talk.

  • The vibes. The vibes are unreal and I can’t fathom how beyond incredible this video feels, let alone sounds.
  • Not only that, but how effortless is it? This song is not an easy song to sing. Trust me. I won’t attempt to prove to you how hard it is to sing, but it’s not easy and she just…does it. Like that. Kinda rude, but bless her.
  • Not sure how, but you can literally feel the emotion in her voice. It’s probably down to how little is going on in the video, but it’s still so much more emotional that 90% of YouTube covers I’ve ever watched. The amount of chill, combined with the filter, combined with her voice which is out of this world, get me emotional as heck.
  • Also, can we talk about how annoyingly symmetrical her face is? People who look this good shouldn’t be this talented, please take one and move along. Cheers.

But yeah. That video kinda had me obsessed with Alice Kristiansen for weeks on end, until I followed her on Instagram and discovered the treasure trove of short covers, aesthetic as heck pictures and videos of a gal I just wanna be, to be quite frank with you.

 

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Did I mention Shawn Mendes earlier? Yeah? Well I don’t know but if something’s going on there, I’m calling it now, because after several people brought it to her attention that the dude was liking all her Instagram vids (I’m also sure that no-one needs it brought to their attention when Shawn Mendes likes their video but there were a lot of comments so Idontknow, don’t hold me accountable for my words please), only a few short days later, she posts this on YouTube.

 

Tell me you can’t watch this video, without turning into a literal sunflower. You can’t, and if you can, you’re lying.

The Lord is good, and if you search Alice Kristiansen on Spotify, you’re blessed with her artist page, which features not only more covers, but originals as well. Currently, my absolute favourite song is In The DarkIn The Dark and let me tell you, it’s a vibe. Not what I expected from Alice at all, especially because what I knew prior to that discovery was all that I had seen on her Instagram and YouTube, but I am loving it. The acoustic versions that are there also show the insane versatility of her voice. Have a listen.

Let me know if you listen to anything that I’ve linked or done any of your own searching for Alice, because it’s definitely worth your time. I’d love to know what you think!

x

Priya

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Kick Ass Females

 

Hello friends. Welcome back, hope you have a pen and paper because you are required to take some notes.

On what? Rather redundant isn’t it, setting up this rhetorical question when the answer is literally in the title. Today’s post is going to be dedicated to some of my favourite female artists who I am listening to at the moment.

I definitely have an issue with the amount of female artists there are, in prominent positions in the music industry. Sure, there are artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, Cardi B, who are currently killing it at the moment, but I have so many more female artists who I listen to, who I feel need to be getting so much more recognition. Don’t talk to me about the Grammy’s either.

But without getting too much more into it and risking my aggressive-I mean-passionate advocacy for female musicians, let’s get into some of my favourites. There will definitely, 100% be quite a few female artists who you would have seen featured on my blog in some way or the other already.

Empress Of
Song Recommendation: Water Water

G Flip
Song Recommendation
: About You

Odette
Song Recommendation: Collide

Niykee Heaton
Song Recommendation: Nexus

Kehlani
Song Recommendation
: Honey

Billie Eilish
Song Recommendation: my boy

Sabrina Claudio
Song Recommendation: Confidently Lost

dodie
Song Recommendation: You

Julia Michaels
Song Recommendation: Heaven

Grimes
Song Recommendation: Flesh Without Blood

H.E.R
Song Recommendation: Focus

Grace
Song Recommendation: The Honey

Chloe x Halle
Song Recommendation: I Say So

The Aces
Song Recommendation: Stuck

Kali Uchis
Song Recommendation: Tyrant

Jorja Smith
Song Recommendation: Teenage Fantasy

Dagny
Song Recommendation: Wearing Nothing

Now when I say that this is barely scratching the surface, I mean it. There are so many other female artists I look up to and admire, whether they are current, past, huge superstars or unknown singers still looking for the recognition they deserve. I would love to devote some more posts to kick ass females in the music industry, not even just musicians, but the countless women who represent the growing number of girls interested in the music industry already. Let me know if that would be something you’d be interested in!

x

Priya

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Sabrina Claudio + The Girl Crush

So if you Google the term ‘girl crush’, this is what you’re presented with;

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The above, basically sums up all the feelings I have for Sabrina Claudio, the angel that she is.

 

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The first song I heard by her, after seeing her name floating around here and there, was Confidently Lost. . . and I promptly had to pick my jaw up off of the ground. Not only was I immediately in love with the song, but her voice gave me shivers. Shivers that swear to God didn’t calm until the entire song finished. Since I finally listened to it the other day, it’s one of my most played songs, and my little sister has made some complaints about how many times she’s had to hear the same song. Falling on deaf ears, but she complains none the less.

Her voice has this incredible range, and the song sticks up in the higher end of the scale for majority of the song, but she jumps notes like it’s absolutely nothing. She sings these incredibly high notes all the while her voice is so in control of everything that comes out and it’s so pleasing to listen to. The song itself is so catchy, despite how hard it is to sing, because trust me I’ve tried, and the beat is subtle but it matches her voice and her vibe to a tee.

 

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Naturally, my next move was to binge her entire discography. Considering she released seven tracks on an album named after the song I just mentioned, Confidently Lost, and then another twelve songs on another, About Time, all within 2017, it was very much an achievable move on my behalf and it was not one I will regret anytime soon.

Another favourite of mine, aside from Confidently Lost, is Frozen, from the About Time album. It’s got that old, Leon Bridges type guitar, and her voice is so soft and gentle but you can feel the emotion in it so strongly. I have a slight feeling that if I continue to listen to this song as much as I currently am, it will soon become my favourite SC song. I also have strong opinions about a Daniel Caesar x Sabrina Claudio collaboration and I dare anyone to tell me I’m wrong.

The saying goes, ‘God’s plan over my plan’ so I can only count myself blessed, when a video with her annoyingly beautiful face popped up on my YouTube dashboard this morning. Here you go, even more reason to love this girl.

 

 

Like surely I don’t need more reasons to actually want to be her, let alone be her best friend. I hope you watched the video so you could get as angry as I did hearing her sing the song, just as good, if not better, as the studio recording. And she’s not even trying. She doesn’t use any big words or confusing phrases, but she explains the meanings and reasonings behind all the lyrics so eloquently, which makes me love the song so much more.

Definitely give her Sabrina’s music a listen. I promise you, no matter what your taste, you will find something in her music, in her lyrics, in her voice, to enjoy and really admire. Personally I love it all, but have a listen for yourself and let me know what you think!

x

Priya

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Songwriting and The Big Suck

Hello everybody! Today I’m not going to be rambling about an artist, or a song or a playlist that I’m especially enthusiastic about. I don’t even have any current favourites to share with you, on behalf of someone else. No. As the title may allude to, today I’m going to be rambling about songwriting, my approach and in turn, how it sometimes, sucks.

To begin, let’s start, with when I did.

At the tender age of 7 years old, ya girl Priya wrote her first love song. Not only was it one of the last love songs I ever wrote to date, but it was a shit song, for obvious reasons. But nonetheless it was a song. From there, I realised that the poetry I was being made to write in primary school could very easily be turned into songs. So that’s how I started.

I’ve been writing since then, but not without my breaks. I’ve had a whole year where I didn’t write a single song, and up until last month, I experienced a three month dry spell that frustrated me to no end. However, within those times, I’ve written down hundreds of single lines, a verse, a chorus that I think sounds catchy, and if you were to listen to all my voice memos on my phone, it would be filled with hushed whispers when I’ve had to note down a line or chorus out in public, the same verse at least four times over, and completely different each time, and even sometimes me singing a bass or guitar line that I can’t get out of my head. Complete shambles.

And then we have these bad boys.

 

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So as we can all tell, I’ve levelled up my Canva game to bring this to you all. These are my current notebooks, but by no means are they my only books. Recently they’re the ones I’ve found myself going and back and forth between.

The two moleskins were gifts from my mum and the green leafy one a gift from my younger sister. So what are they for? It’s a system, that works for me, that I’ve used throughout different notebooks, for several years. The lighter blue moleskin, the one on the right, is where everything begins. Technically, everything begins up in my head, but if I can sift through all the crap (there’s a lot) enough to formulate a rough idea, then I transfer it that book. This is the messiest of the lot. It’s where I draw up rough verses, change verses into choruses and decide I’m too lazy to write bridges so throw in guitar solos. It’s where I plan set lists, write out possible songs to cover and generally make a mess. It’s the foundation of everything.

I’ll skip the green notebook for now, and move to the navy moleskin. This is the final destination for all the songs I’m currently writing. When they’re perfected, lyrics, formation, structure, chords and all, they find their way there. It’s here that I also label them in terms of what I plan to do with each song, whether that be to perform it live, record it, send it to someone else to sing, or leave it to rot.

However, the one that I general find myself using the most, is the green notebook in the middle. I by no means, get a song in my head and go into a frenzy to write it all down, creating a masterpiece in the process. No. That happens maybe six times a year. I do however, come up with killer lines and hooks (if I do say so myself), analogies, metaphors or sayings, that I could eventually turn into a song. A lot of the time, I can’t figure out what I’ll do with the line straight away, so it goes into this notebook, and when I actually sit down with the intention to write a song, I have a flick through and see if there’s anything in there that I could develop.

Now for the nuisances. At the risk of sounding like a total whinge and whiney brat, I want to share the downs in the ‘ups and downs’ of songwriting. There are a few.

 

Getting Started
A lot of the time, I don’t generally make the conscious decision to write a song. However there are times when I do, like for a university assessment, or when I place an invisible deadline upon myself and decide to write and finish three songs in a certain period of time. I can guarantee you. If I sit myself down at the piano or pull out my guitar, and say to myself “I’m going to write a song”, I will come away with nothing. Whenever I set myself out to write a song is when I find it the hardest to get my words onto paper. Sometimes I don’t get any words into my head either. It’s frustrating and it makes my head hurt.

 

The Technicalities
I’m no Eminem. I can’t rhyme words that aren’t made to be rhymed, and I definitely struggling with putting together verses that sound pretty or make sense syllable-wise. Other times, and oddly any time someone is watching me or writing with me, I can reel off a whole verse, pre-chorus and riff in one go and hope to remember it to write down, other times I can sit down for a solid hour and come away with a verse because I’m being pedantic and finicky.

 

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Music and Words
Theoretically this should be the easiest part. It’s my song so I should be able to do anything musically to make the words fit and sound good. Sometimes I’m lucky to get the tune and the lyrics in my head together, at the same time like a lovely package. Other times I’m not as lucky. If it sounds even a fraction off I’m prone to scraping the whole thing, slamming my books shut and re-watching an episode of The Office instead. My friend at university had a front row seat to a particularly bad melt down and I’m sure she’s scarred for life.

 

Not Knowing What I’m Actually Saying
One of my most hated questions, but simultaneously one of my favourite questions to answer is; “So what does this song mean, what is it about?” It’s one of my favourite questions to answer because a lot of the time I’m affirming myself, as to what I’m trying to say. It’s one of my hated questions because sometimes, I don’t know. I’ve written entire songs not knowing what the hell I’m trying to say. I’ve changed story lines halfway through a song, and when asked about the meaning, my A+ bullshit-ing skills have found a way to wrap it up into one wholesome meaning.

 

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Am I Done Or Just Lazy?
I’ve been on both sides of this. Sometimes I’ll get to the end of a song and not have any more juice left to come up with a bridge, so I’ll sing the pre chorus again, maybe a little softer for some expression, and then chuck the chorus back in ‘x 2’. Other times, a song genuinely sounds finished without a bridge and I have to really assure myself that the guitar solo is perfect and I’m not just taking the cheat way out.

 

The Inconvenience
Before I lost all my shame, it would be a damn pain when song lyrics came to my in public. If I was in the safety of my own home, I could drop what I was doing, run to the piano and figure something out, or record myself belting it. If an idea struck me outside, I’d have to note it down on my phone and hope I’d remember what the hell I was on about when I got back home. Now I don’t really care and if I can, I’ll write it down on my phone, run to the toilets and quickly get a voice memo in. I’ve done it at work, at a friends house, at family dinners, I’ve recorded voice memos at full blown house parties. I have a notebook on me during university because most of the time I can write something down and actually have some time to work on it later that day. Also, the shower. The amount of times I’ve had to leave my phone voice recording outside the shower as I’ve crafted entire songs in a moment of genius is ridiculous.

 

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So Much Started and Nothing Finished
I find myself in this situation a lot. I’ll have a ton of new stuff, but nothing concrete and complete. So I can say that I had a burst of inspiration, but I have nothing solid to show for it because I can’t finish anything properly. It happens far more often than I wished it did, and it does my head in.

 

 

So. . . yeah. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this post! I wanted to give you all a little insight into my experiences with song writing, the process I tend to take and everything I love/hate about writing. Because I do genuinely love it. As a person who struggles to verbally emote myself in a meaningful way, I love the fact that I can say everything I want to say in a song, in a way that hundreds of other people can relate to. Again, hope you all enjoyed reading!

 

x

Priya

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Songs That Make You Feel ALL The Feelings

 

Hey kids.

So just going over six months in this blogging business and I feel like most of you would be able to gather, that I’m quite passionate, when it comes to talking about music. Whether it’s a song that makes me feel like a badass, a song that literally transports me to the ocean, music that hypes me up a dangerous amount while driving or music that really gets me going before a big night out. I’m passionate as heck, about all the musics.

However, there’s also those songs that just purely make me. . .feel. Which is odd. So today, all my pals who are emotionally void while watching Jack sink to the bottom of the sea floor in the Titanic but have Instagram folders saved of animal videos and Jim and Pam moments from The Office, this ones for you. Hold on to your hearts.

 

ALL I WANT – KODALINE: 15 year-old Priya sobbed the first time she heard that. Ew third person, that’s over, but yeah this song made me feel things hard. Especially the live version. When I’m feeling shit, I like to throw this song on to make sure I’m feeling extra shit. Not only is the music ethereal as heck, but the lyrics are so damn sad and I really don’t like how emotional and vulnerable this song makes me feel. It’s slightly disrespectful, hence why this song is at the top of the list.

HUMAN (ACOUSTIC VERSION) – JON BELLION: Bro it has to be the acoustic version. Why? Because you can hear the emotion in Jon’s voice, extra hard in the acoustic version. If you missed me rambling about Jon Bellion in my post dedicated to the man, than I’ll fill you in. This man is magical, and this song is a bloody spell. I’m pretty sure it was the first song I ever heard from Jon and it’s the song that got me obsessed with him.

TO MY KNEES – HILLSONG YOUNG AND FREE: Yo, so I’m very selective when it comes to the worship music I listen to, because unless it gets me hyped, feeling all the right stuff, I can’t listen to it properly. This song does just that. Actual goosebumps every time I hear the song, it’s sooo atmospheric and magical, if you’re a listener of worship music or a fan of Hillsong, definitely give this one a listen.

BROTHER – MATT CORBY: I am a firm believe that Matt Corby is one of the finest things to come out of this country, and he’s doing Australia so proud with this song. The lyrics, the music, everything about this song touches you and you can’t help but get carried away in it.

RECOVERY (ACOUSTIC) – JAMES ARTHUR: Again, the acoustic version is the most important version of this song to exist. This song is probably one of my favourites by James. To date, he is one of my all time favourite male singers, purely because how much emotion he carries in his voice. It’s hypnotic and while he isn’t overly aggressive or present on stage, his voice carries his entire performance and I can only hope I get to see him live on day.

NEVER ENDING – RIHANNA: Rihanna hit hard with this song. This song definitely gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it, and it’s an easy second, after Love On The Brain.

TO BUILD A HOME – THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA: This is probably one of the most moving songs I have ever heard in my entire life, and I’ve never met anyone who has disagreed. It’s so intense, and there’s so much ‘light and shade’ in this song that it’s perfect for movies, perfect for choreography, perfect for live performances, it’s insanely magical.

BREATHE – PLUTO: I can’t do this song justice, but I sure did try to in my post all about Pluto and his EP Jessica, so definitely check that out.

GRAVITY – JOHN MAYER: John Mayer has one of the most recognisable male voices to exist, and you hear it so beautifully in this song. It’s my favourite John Mayer song, and while it sure does get you feeling shit, it’s also such a good song to play on a lazy afternoon or a long drive.

HOW TO LOVE – LIL WAYNE: I discovered this song at the tender age of 12, when I really dug deep into my soul and rode the wave with Lil Wayne. To this day, I can’t find it in me to skip this song, ever.

WHEN YOU LOOK ME IN THE EYES – JONAS BROTHERS: Yoooo. Robbed. Forgotten. Slept on. Jo Bro’s deserved a Grammy for this banger. The biggest injustice to face the music industry.

BLOOM – THE PAPER KITES: I featured this song in my post all about colours and music (check it out), and I still to this day can’t remember how I found it, but I have the fondest memories of listening to this song several times a day, driving across the midwest of the United States.

BLESSED – DANIEL CAESAR: Daniel Caesar honestly rose to the heavens in 2017, and I’ve never appreciated an artist like I did with Caesar. Whether it was Japanese Denim, Get You or this incredible song, he was kicking all the goals last year. This song is slowly creeping up to that top spot out of all of his songs. I mentioned it in my December Tunes and it’s honestly still one of my favourite songs at the moment.

DO NOT LET YOUR SPIRIT WANE – GANG OF YOUTHS: I’m PUMPED to see Gang Of Youths next month. This song is my favourite from them, it’s sad as hell, but honestly so uplifting, especially the chorus. It’s such a magical song and here’s to praying I hear it live in their setlist.

ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU (UNPLUGGED) – SAMM HENSHAW: Again, another incredible male vocalist, who’s criminally underrated and under appreciated. This unplugged version of Only Wanna Be With You was made to take you to church, and Samm’s voice is so amazing on this song.

ONE SWEET DAY – MARIAH CAREY, BOYZ II MEN: Original OG’s of all the feels, this song is everything right in the world. I especially love when it randomly comes on the radio when my mum is listening to her radio stations in the car. It’s the throwback you never knew you needed.

FEELING WHITNEY – POST MALONE: This song. This bloody song. I’m just gonna sit here patiently waiting for this song to get the hype it deserves.

CROSSFIRE – STEPHEN: Honestly, this song always kinda freaks me out a little whenever I listen to it. It’s so freaking intense, it’s insane. It puts you in another different dimension completely. Like, listening to it all alone, especially wearing headphones, kinda gets a bit much, but you have to do it, at least once. For the experience.

WATCH – BILLIE EILISH: Oh my goodness, dudes, I’m seeing Billie next month as well, and I cannot wait to hear this song live. I don’t understand how this girl is 16, like sounds fake but okay. Her voice is so mature it makes me jealous beyond belief, and I haven’t heard a song of hers that I don’t immediately love. This song however, makes me cry.

SKELETONS – YEAH YEAH YEAHS: This one is a bit odd, it’s a bit of a different genre, an interesting song, but it’s atmospheric as heck, which you know I’m a sucker for. I found it after watching Before I Fall, which I recently watched again and loved even more.

I BUILT A FRIEND – ALEC BENJAMIN: The first time I heard this song, I was kinda of like, ‘ha okay what’s this kid talking about?’ but then I listened to it again and I thought, ‘okay why am I crying?’. Trust me. It grows on you.

 

 

So I definitely didn’t expect to give you this many songs, however…I was going through my playlist (which of course I have for this very specific selection of songs, and have of course, linked) and it was the biggest struggle to pick from the more than 500 songs. Sometimes I’ll purposefully listen to this playlist to put myself in a mood, other times I use it to amplify all the feelings I’m already feeling, whatever your go, these songs will definitely get you there. Let me know what you think in the comments below, if you have other songs that will bring me to tears I would love to hear!

 

Featured Image: PLGRMS

x

Priya

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So You Think You Know

So I’ve scheduled this post for the 11th of August, and it’s currently the 19th of July. Fair to say, you’ll be reading a few weeks worth of writing and editing and complete deletions, rewrites and do-overs. Why, you ask? Because this is a different type of post, I guess. I’m putting some extra thought into this one.

Let’s start with the date. Why the 11th of August? Well, it’s actually my birthday. Ya girls 19. So what does my birthday have to do with this post?

Well, for this post, rather than speaking about musicians and bands I look up to, or songs and albums I’m currently listening to, I’m going to talk about a different topic. Myself. I can hear you gasping.

I’m not sure how to go about this without it looking like a blatant plug and self-promotion attempt, but here we go.

If anyone’s gathered any tiny hints from my last posts, you may know my name. If not, that’s chill, I don’t put it all over my posts other than once or twice. In that case; hello, my name’s Priya. p.f, You Should Hear, Priya are interchangeable now I guess.

I live in suburban Melbourne, Australia, which has a lot going on. It’s a great place. I love Melbourne. I’m currently at university, in my first year and I’m studying, surprise surprise, music. Music Industry to be specific. It’s definitely fun and interesting. I have no regrets so far.

But you guys came here for music.

Well, I actually started music myself when I was four. I started singing lessons, and for that I’m ridiculously grateful to my parents. Singing has been a constant with me since then. When I was probably too unsure and so not ready for the pain (blisters and rough fingers), I started guitar lessons, which didn’t work out for too long. Then I moved to the piano. In a sense, this started a lot for me. I learnt piano for four years. Sped through the levels actually. So it makes people laugh when I tell them that I can’t read a note of music and play by ear. I faked my way through six levels of piano by memorising every single song I was taught. My teacher even went through a whole phase of holding a book over my hands so I couldn’t see the keys and had to look at the page, but by then I had memorised the feel of the piano keys from middle C, so that proved futile for ol’ Vic.

He was quite an old, rigid, classical style teacher, and if you’ve gathered anything from my ‘writing voice’, you’ll know I’m…not. So I stopped piano lessons. I continued with my singing though, changing to a different music school when I was around nine. When I was in primary school there was also a music program you could enrol in, so hoping I could further my piano endeavours at least a little, my parents enrolled me in the keyboard classes. Let me tell you, playing Star Wars and The Simpsons on one hand when I’d previously been playing with two hands, no eyes, without taking in an actual note, was a huge waste of time and my parents money, so much to my keyboard teacher’s dismay, I stopped that after a short year and a half.

But, I kept up the singing outside school. By now I’d found myself a teacher, Nick, who I really gelled with, and we were kind of on the same page with a lot. He ended up leaving the singing school I was attending, and I left right along with him, and joined his own singing school that he literally ran out of his home studio. It was sick.

This turned out to be one of the best decisions my parents ever made, on my behalf. As well as gaining an amazing singing teacher and mentor, I’d go as far to say he was a great friend to my whole family. He eventually added small piano lessons to the singing lessons, but this time, rather than forcing me to try and read notes, he taught me chords.

I already knew the basics of the chords, but once I learnt how to build notes and trills around chords, my love and respect for the piano literally changed. One of my friends calls it ‘funky fingers’ because basically, if I know the song, and I have the chords for it, I can manipulate the chords and the way I choose which keys to play when, to sound pretty similar to if I had a note by note piece of sheet music.

It was great to find a singing teacher who was interested in the music I was, and it was around that time that I finally showed him some of my own original songs. That was when I started recording them. I think I was around twelve. The first song I recorded? Terrible. But for a twelve year old it was such an amazing thing to hear and listen to my own voice singing words I’d penned myself.

After that, I barely touched covers as much as I usually did, and we threw ourselves into building up my catalogue of songs, some that were written 100% by me, with all the music and chord progressions my own as well, others with him editing lyrics and playing the music for the recording. I only stopped going for lessons with him last year, at the end of Year 12. So nearly ten years, give or take a few months worth of breaks here and there. But, I achieved a lot in those ten years, and I’m proud of myself.

Yearly, he had concerts. Not even concerts, gigs, at a pub in Melbourne. It was open to the public, our families and friends were all invited and there were amazing potato wedges. Each student sang two songs, usually covers and the two or three of us who wrote originals performed those as well. The best part was performing with a live, interactive, highly adaptable band. I still give mad props to those dudes. It was when I first started performing with those guys around the age of 12, that my ever present interest for the drums peaked. So when I started high school and the opportunity to go for music lessons within school presented itself, I enrolled in drum lessons. Where I was made to learn to read music. Again. Drum music. That lasted a whole of a year, before I decided that was done, that was over, I was cool just chilling and making it up as I go. That said, you are hearing this from the drummer of the school church band, assembly band and rock band. Make your own judgements. I wish you could see me flick my hair.

Then in Year 10 Music at school, there was a semester assessment, where we had to teach ourselves how to play a musical instrument. I took this as an opportunity to have another crack at the guitar. Let me tell you, YouTube is a blessing, because everything I know on guitar now, I got from there, Google or Ultimate Guitar. Being able to play the guitar improved the scope of my songwriting infinitely, and I even managed to pick up the ukulele and teach myself how to play that little guy too.

All of this combined to broaden the scope and diversity of the music I was writing.

In 2014 I released an EP. You can literally listen to it anywhere. Like, iTunes and stuff. Get ready for the shameless promo that I warned you about, because here it is on Spotify for your convenience 😉 Peep the uke.

 

So yeah, that happened while I was in Year 10. It didn’t blow up or anything, but I made quite a bit of money for two charities through hard copy sales. It was an achievement for me, and I’m so grateful to my singing teacher for literally recording, mixing and bouncing the whole thing for me.

So that was that. That same year I placed third in a national songwriting competition in my age category. That was cool. The year after that I placed third again, got my school a neat electric-acoustic guitar and $500 to go towards a loop pedal I had been eyeing for myself.

Then in Year 12, I decided I wanted to do something with the collection of brand new original songs that I had written and recorded. So, I released an album.

 

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A full length, twelve-track album. Here ya go.

 

 

I released this in December, so it’s still pretty recent in the scope of my ‘music career’ if you can even call it that. Since then I’ve just been relaxing a bit.

I’m lucky that with my university course, I get 24 hour access to the studios on campus, of which I’ve taken full advantage of. Sometime in the past two years I also started recording more stripped back, one-take covers, which I posted on SoundCloud. If you’re interested, here is a link to that too. Those have continued to do pretty well. So I did some more recordings at university, which were for actual assignments (how cool though??? Like I literally go to uni to do the stuff I was doing in my spare time??) and posted them earlier this year. Now I’m working on getting through university, writing more music, and hopefully recording and mixing myself sometime soon. Though, I know that I won’t be releasing any more music for a little while. At least until I finish uni. At least.

Like I said before, covers? I didn’t do too many after I started writing my own songs, but now I’m hoping to start up again, beginning with a cover of Ever Since New York by my man, Harry Styles. I actually posted that on YouTube, with some funky clips of my holiday to the USA. Would it be too obvious of a self-promotion to share it? What the heck. It’s my blog. And it’s music. So it counts. Here you go. I did it on GarageBand. With my headphones mic. Be warned.

 

 

How aesthetic of me.

What else? Oh, I also work at a music store. Which for me, is the ultimate job. The best job I could possibly ask for. I’ve been working there for over a year now, and I don’t plan on leaving it. Plus, the discounts!!!!!!

I’m sorry if this isn’t the usual post you are probably used to, but when I finally told my parents about this blog, my mum (A.K.A my biggest fan and harshest critic) at once asked me about whether I had promoted myself. And I realised that it was unfair to tell you guys about all the new music that I’m loving, give you my open and honest opinions, but leave out the music that is a huge part of my life; my own. So yeah, I hope you guys enjoyed this post anyway, and if you bothered to listen to any of this stuff, let me know what you thought!

p.f