‘Second Act’ || Private screening & My thoughts

*warning mild spoliers*

Last night I, can we believe it, was invited to a private screening of the one and only JLo’s new film ‘Second Act’. After a busy day, getting caught in the rain and then being snowed on all whilst just walking to the Soho Hotel, it was so nice to sit in a warm room and watch a film which was actually good.

As mentioned in my last screening blogpost for Mary Queen of Scots, I want to watch more films this year and so far I’ve watched two – which is progress considering I only made it to the cinema a handful of times throughout the whole of last year.

So far, so good! ‘Second Act’ starring Jennifer Lopez as Maya Vargas, is a chick flick filled with female empowerment and comedy whilst still having purpose and depth to the storyline.

I’ll be honest when I first watched the trailer although I thought it was going to be good, I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was or have such a momentous storyline.

In the film, apart the fact from JLO looked like a goddess, she switched her celebrity life to play a 43 year old discount super market worker who was underpaid, underappreciated and underqualified.

This didn’t stop her however, through a hell of a lot of laughter (seriously, the whole room was laughing out loud) we saw Maya go from local supermarket underachiever to landing her dream job as she her wish really became her command – you’ll have to watch to find out!

‘No relationship built on a lie will last’, a standout token from an abundance of motivational movie lines which Maya Vargas learnt in business, her relationship and family. Even though she thought she finally had what she wanted, was she really about what she had and how she got it?

The entire cast worked cohesively together, complimenting each other. Jennifer’s Co-stars Leah Remini and Vanessa Hudgens added a bright spark to the set as they both help and hinder her in different ways to all in all make this a great female led film.

Overall I would say this film is a must see! There is something for everyone from lots of comedy to a romance, relationship issues and hidden twists it really does pack a punch into an hour and a half.

‘Second Act’ is out in UK cinema’s this Friday and you can pre-order tickets NOW!

FUN FACT: I actually vlogged for the first ever time yesterday too so if you want to see my immediate reaction after watching and what else I got up to yesterday watch the video below:

As always thanks for the support, let me know in the comments/on social media if you go and watch the film and also let me know if you actually like these film opinion type pieces.

See you next time!!!

Mary Queen Of Scot | Exclusive Screening & My Thoughts

One of my smaller mental goals this year is to get to the cinema more (I do have more in depth serious goals for the year which you can read here). You might think why on earth would I want to do this? Why would I want to pay a small fortune on the ticket, be tempted by an array of overpriced snacks, (we all know that an ice blast is a must and if you beg to differ I hate to say it but you’re wrong) and play Russian roulette with the fact the screen could be extremely busy, you could be sat by the annoying watcher who insists to talk throughout the film or the worst – be sat in front of the dreaded chair kicker.

With all of these cons, for some reason unbeknown to me, I still have an urge to sit in a dark room of strangers and enjoy a good film. The main reason I want to make my way to the cinema more is simply because as time will tell if I don’t go to the cinema and watch a film I’ve been eagerly awaiting then frankly I never will get to see it.

In total last year I think I made it to the cinema a total of 5 times despite me filled with excitement and intent to see at least 15 films after seeing the trailers. However, before the year ended I was lucky enough to be invited to a private screening, notably my first ever, of the upcoming period drama ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ – I’ll admit this isn’t a film I would typically be inclined to leave my warm cosy bed to go out in the cold to see but my thoughts on the film will follow.

Following the story of Mary Stuart, played by the sensational Saoirse Ronan, and Elizabeth I, taken on by the compelling Margot Robbie this Medieval showcase brings history to life with Action, Love and conflict as Widowed 18-year-old Queen Mary of Scotland returns to her rightful throne. Her return raises both fear and infatuation between the two ‘Sisters’ as both Queens fight the same battle of being unmarried female monarchs trying to establish change, take charge and prove their capability in a masculine world.

A recurring take-away throughout the film is how powerful, complimenting and gripping the female duo are as they show the struggled which can still be applied to certain situations today- feeling disrespected, overpowered and just a piece of a puzzle in a male dominated world. Despite this they defy the odds prevailing on top as they are certainly the stars of the show.

The overall plot was beyond my expectations as I thought in parts the historical element would lead to drab, dull and monotonous story however I was pleasantly surprised only being minutely confused about the in depth elements of the history having never really looked into the history of the story/ been that interested in general history.

Expect the unexpected as the end may be closer than you think in this powerful, rebellious yet emotional and risqué tale of two Queens.

Overall I think that it’s an impressive performance with an engaging storyline perfect for those who enjoy a period drama and similar films and a nice venture out for those who may usually opt for something different.

Mary Queen of Scots will reach UK cinema’s this Friday, January 18 and I would definitely recommend a watch if you’re a fan of this genre or if you want to branch out and try something new.

Purchase tickets here and check out the trailer below:

If you end up going to see it let me know what you think of it in the comment below or on social media.

If you want to see some clips from the event watch my friends Vlog featuring the night below:

As always thanks for reading, thanks for the support also if anyone wants to invite me to any other screening don’t be scared i’d love to attend haha.

Special thanks to Universal Pictures and Vue Cinema.

Hope to see you again next time

MY 2018 REFLECTION

First of all, I hope everyone’s had a good Christmas, been enjoying their time off and celebrating the festive season.

As this year draws to an end (happy last day of the year) I thought I would sit down and revisit some of my achievements, memories and learning experiences from the past 12 months.

I usually do a personal reflection but I thought this year I’d do a post because I think it’s really important to look back at how and where you started the year to where you are now and explicitly see your journey. Whether it’s in terms of your personal life, work life or a hobby, reflection is vital because days pass and life happens so fast that you often get so caught up with living that you miss your progression.

Personally I feel that in particular my personal growth was quite significant this year from transitioning into my second year at university, taking more responsibility and moving into my twenties but I also had a hell of a lot of fun this year.

I travelled to three amazing countries, one of which I always wanted to go to but never thought I’d actually visit, I attended some surreal events and had some amazing opportunities. This year was full of surprises from Partying with Giggs to visiting Idris Elba’s own venue before it was even launched and a lot of different shows, this year has been a pretty crazy one.

So what did 2018 teach me?

Put yourself out there

This year I finally come to realise that sometimes you have to say stuff it and just put yourself out there, challenge yourself and just show everyone who you really are and what you can do. It can be nerve wracking, daunting and even at times stressful but it’s the only way that you’re going to get anywhere in life.

The worst that could happen is that you shoot your shot and you miss- if so, get back up, learn from it and try again.

There’s a positive side to every situation

Whether the positivity shines through right away or if it takes week and months to be recognised this year taught me there is positivity in every situation, you just need to find it.

Everything happens for a reason

I may be being naïve and just trying to justify my L’s but no I truly think that in the past 12 months this saying has really meant a lot and proved a real depth in all aspects of my life.

There have been numerous occasions, too many to count on my hand and feet where I can honestly say that things happened for a reason. Whether it was so that I could

You can be your own worst enemy but you should actually be your biggest supporter

You are the only one who is stopping yourself from doing what you want to do or being where you want to be. We can all make up excuses that its because of X, Y, Z but realistically collect yourself and just get on with whatever you want to do. The amount of time we waste making up excuses and thinking about how we aren’t where we want to be isn’t helping your situation; spend that time thinking about/ actually making those steps so you can achieve your goals.

When doing this, do it with your chest, be your own number one fan because if you don’t believe in yourself and that you’ve got what it takes how do you expect anyone else to believe in you.

Stop trying to please others

This is a kind of bittersweet reality I faced this year because I started to do what I wanted to do, for me instead of trying to please others and I can honestly say that this is the first year I feel that I’ve truly excelled and achieved whilst being happy. This did come at a price though and you will most likely lose friends and have people try to dim you because they are intimidated or nervous by your glow up.

Saying that however, the people that I lost/ that you might lose were clearly not my true friends anyway and they did me favour because I was able to make real connections with people who actually care and want me to succeed.

Just live

This is probably the most powerful thing you can do, be present and live in the moment.
The past has happened, it can’t be changed, accept what happened, forget about it, learn from it just do whatever but dwell on it. As for the future whilst you should be mindful and think about it definitely dint try to plan out every day of the next 5 years because it won’t happen and life will do whatever it wants to do so the best thing is to make the most of the current.

 

My 2018 Memories

January

Not that much happened in January it was a pretty slow start to the year but my sister did graduate but let’s not give her too much credit because just last week she thought Theresa May lost to Donald Trump but hey ho on we go.

February

February was also a bit slow but this was the first time I bit the bullet and put myself out there landing my first contributing role for CelebMix which has since allowed me to grow and provided me with some insane memories.

March

At the end of March, me and some of my friends from university took a trip to one of our houses in Wales. I hadn’t been to wales in so many years and it was nice to be by the beach, explore a new place and just make fun memories. We also done cave trampolining which was fun.

April

The start of our, what turned out to be, summer heatwave. What a good month this was having fun in the sun from days out in London to having some drinks outside it was a good month. I also visited one of my best friends in stoke to celebrate her 19th birthday with her- it was messy.

The very end of April was when a huge, significant opportunity happened as I got my first ever celebrity interview and it happened to be with an artist I’d followed since she was starting out. This was such a turning point in the year in me realising what I wanted to do and believing that I could/can do it.

May

Still warm, thank god and I took a step into something I never thought I would- local elections. I covered the local elections In Uxbridge, London, and once again had some more fun in the sun.

My cousins came to visit me at university on the day of the Royal Wedding and I saw Raye and Rita Ora in concert with some amazing people.

June

I went from hot to hotter as I jetted off to Dubai with my girlfriend and her family for a nice break. I had the best time in the water park, drinking snow cones, looking at all the amazing sights and most importantly stuffing my face with DELICIOUS food.

I also saw Camila Cabello headline her first ever solo tour in Brixton and she is a star!! I wrote a review about her show and it was kind of surreal because I logged onto twitter seeing that her fans were quoting what I had said about it and it got around 500 collective retweets and over 1,000 likes which was pretty major for little me.

July

My camera roll has a lot of pictures of my girlfriend’s dogs in July so I guess they made my month. At the end of July, I also went on a once in a lifetime trip to China where I had the most amazing time and shared it with some of the most amazing people.

 

August

My China trip spills into August and it was on a HOT, boiling, scorching, Humid day in August that I climbed The Great Wall of China. I will remember that day forever it was such a surreal moment and even though I nearly died I channelled my inner Jaden Smith and was momentarily a Karate Kid. I won’t go into too much detail there’s a travel post about it coming soon!!

And talking of holidays I also went on a two week trip to Mexico with my family for some relaxation before heading back to uni for my second year.

September

One thing I can say about this month was that it was whirlwind and it flew by. From moving back to university, starting second year, volunteering and just living life September was a mixture of everything- oh and a visit to a really cool ice cream museum.

October

All things spooky for Halloween; as usual I left my costume till last minute and created some kind of scary attempt as the shops were closing.

I went to two really cool events this month too, the first being my first ever big event which was Jonas Blue’s album listening party which was such an unfamiliar yet exciting experience, and the second Olly Murs’ intimate album listening session for ‘You Know I Know” in Idris Elba’s own venue which hadn’t even opened yet- probably the first and last time I will be able to get into there.

November

November was mainly all things music; a lot of shows, reviews, fun and a Hard Rock Café reveal launch. I also started my intern journey at OK! Magazine alongside some amazing and talented journalists.

Two notable moments were partying with Giggs at Swizz Beats album launch and attending Rita Ora’s intimate show in celebration of her incredible sophomore album ‘Phoenix’.

A huge part of November 2018 was that this was the time i finally plucked up the courage to start my blog. After wanting to do it for the past couple of years i took the plunge and just started and i don’t know where this will go but i can say I’m glad i started and I’m glad that i’ve tried.

December

We may still just be in December 2018 but it’s been a good one. I turned the big 20 leaving my teens and becoming a semi responsible adult (this is a lie), there’s been lots of festive fun, quite a few trips to Wingstop and I had some fun times at Winter Wonderland.

If you managed to make it to the end then Thank You for all your support, I hope you enjoyed it and I’d love if you continued reading in 2019.

I wish that 2019 is the best year for all of us and that everyone can be happy, successful and achieve all they could imagine.

See you next year

 

Hard Rock Cafe Christmas Party 2018

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Christmas may be over and all of the leftovers might have been eaten but before I made my way back to my family home for Christmas, I remembered I missed a post.

If anywhere knows a thing or two about good food and entertainment, it’s the Hard Rock group and they didn’t disappoint at their 2018 Christmas party.

Held at the Back Room Bar, an intimate gem behind Park Lane’s café, the venue which emulates a hearty, warm, traditional London pub transformed into a winter wonderland ready for us to rock the night away.

From great food and drinks to festive traditions and live music the night was in full swing and everyone was in high spirits curating the perfect celebration and the last event in my calendar before leaving London for a few weeks.

Overall it was a great night, in particular the endless supply of chicken wings, chicken strips and brownies- not to mention all of the passionfruit Mai Tai’s (if you haven’t tried these you really need to) The live singer Jem Tyler also kept the good vibes flowing all night.

The Hard Rock Café currently have one venue in London situated on Park Lane which I would definitely recommend if you’re looking for good food,a friendly atmosphere and an overall fun time.

The Hard Rock Café are also launching a brand new and exciting Piccadilly Circus location in 2019 so be sure to look out for that in the new year!

Visit their website to find out about the new location and to find out more about Hard Rock: http://www.hardrock.com

The Skinny Kitchen Islington | Launch Party

A couple of weeks ago I went to the launch for Islington’s newest Healthy food hangout, The Skinny Kitchen.

The brand new London Location marks the launch of The Skinny Kitchen’s second UK restaurant with a third to be opened in Ealing Broadway early 2019.

The Skinny Kitchen started out in Ibiza as they opened Ibiza’s first healthy hangout back in 2014. Since then celebrities from Nicole Scherzinger to Ella Eyre have dined at their restaurant and now they’ve finally taken to London.

With botanical ceilings and contemporary urban décor, consisting of baby pink and teal chairs matched with marble tables, The Skinny Kitchen offers an Instagram worthy New York Diner vibe curating the perfect place to fuel up and simulataneously stunt on the gram.

Whilst at the launch I sampled an array of their delicious food and cocktails. From burgers to Black Mojito’s with protein shakes and all in between TSK has created a fun and flavoursome twist to vegetarian options opposed to the ever so common bland and boring offerings at other restaurants.

Whether you’re in need of Breakfast, a quick lunch or a full blown evening feast, at The Skinny Kitchen you can have nutritious feel good food which actually tastes good, any day of the week.

TSK can be found at Business Design Centre, 52 Upper St, Islington, London, N1 OQH and Opening hours are 8am-11pm Mon-Saturday Sunday 8am-9pm.

For more information head over to their website: https://theskinnykitchen.co.uk

New Music Friday 4

So we’ve reached December, someone please tell me how we got here so fast I swear it was only just summer. I hadn’t really heard of anything that exciting that was being released this week and I was hoping that when it came today it would all be a great surprise. That was wishful thinking and I was wrong.

I’m not sure if I just missed the memo but did anyone else know that it was ‘Lets release a shoddy remix of our recent singles this week’- nope didn’t think you knew either but it was and I’m not here for it.

Starting off this week’s New Music Friday post we have a new song from Seeb and Bastille which is sitting nicely at the top of both Spotify’s and Apple Music’s playlists. The track is the typical Bastille sounding light pop rock euphoric instrumental with a dance imbue. Honestly it just sounds like everting I’ve heard from them before to the point I had actually thought this song was a re-release. Not terrible just predictable.

Despite already releasing a plethora of tracks from his album set to release this month Zayn has kept the ball rolling with his new single ‘Good Years’. At this point I have no prediction of what the overall sound of the album is as this track is completely different to all the previous releases. Not a bad one though, a light piano ballad as he heads back to his pop roots.

This week XXXTENTACION’s first posthumous album was released this week and after he passed earlier this year his career was turbulent amidst various claims and due to his personal life. I’m not here to talk about that though and the song I was most intrigued by was the Kanye collaboration ‘one minute. How this changed once I had pressed play, with a furious rock metal instrumental it actually is offensive to the ears. Kanye’s verse, quite dark at times, takes up half the song to which the other half is XXX screeching demonically. Trash. I don’t quite get how this fits in with the rest of the album which consists of melodic classic XXX material I’m excited to listen to properly.

Benny Blanco, like Zayn, has also been churning out releases and today is no other. He released his first solo project ‘Friends Keep Secrets’ today after being impressed by 2 out of 3 of his offerings the overall EP disappoints me. I like ‘More/Diamond Ring’ which features TY Dollar $ign and 6Lack but even half of that song is messy auto tune. I expected more.

I’m just going to cut this week short because the disappointment is real. Last up we have a song I actually was excited to listen to but unfortunately this also disappointed. Sinead Harnett’s ‘Lessons’ isn’t awful and maybe the listening of the other boring tracks has affected my mood for this song but It just isn’t anything special and doesn’t really catch my attention. She sounds good and it might be nice to listen in the background when you’re tidying your room.

I’m so over this week and the releases I’ve listened to so thats it!
thanks for reading and thanks for all the support so far, see you next week.

New Music Friday 3

When I started to look at the songs which were being released this week, I was unimpressed and thought it would be such a dry week but thanks to a lot of mid-week announcements and ‘surprise’ drops there’s a plethora of new music today. If i was you i’d grab a drink and some snacks for this one.

One thing that I do need to mention is the fact that I don’t get what this ‘let’s release a single on Wednesday or Thursday’ idea is and why it’s been used for the past three weeks. I just can’t wrap my head around this concept, like really how does this help an artist?

I feel that one of the biggest tracks released this week and one that twitter will be eager to scrutinise is the return of Miley Cyrus.  Her return comes in the form of a collaboration with the incredible Mark Ronson for ‘Nothing breaks like a heart’. This track wasn’t what I was expecting at all when this collaboration was announce nevertheless, I do think with all it’s uniqueness I kind of like the country and western film vibe. The chorus definitely impresses more than the verse – which notably remind me of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’.

Another exciting return to music comes from the one and only Kelly Rowland. Yeah, we haven’t really heard from her in a while but she’s back with her new track ‘Kelly’. After a little bit of mess last week with the song being released then taken off streaming services she reassures us that Kelly has bands, Kelly has deals and that Kelly has class; you know what else Kelly has…. A SMASH! This trap alter ego is exciting, confident and she’s living her baddest life and I want to hear this everywhere. In my opinion this song is arguably one of the best releases of the week don’t @ me.

Next let’s talk about Clean Bandit, the British trio have release their new album today ‘What is Love?’. I always find their albums or albums similar from DJ’s or groups so interesting because they’re filled with features rather than just the same person throughout the whole project. First of all, I’m going to start with their song featuring Ellie Goulding ‘Mama’. This is the track that is on the new music Friday playlist but after the previous singles which actually banged such as ‘Rockabye’ and ‘Symphony’ I find this just misses the mark. It’s not a bad offering and Ellie does sound amazing but it’s just mediocre and a bit generic; I will probably listen to it I it comes on shuffle but I can’t say I’ll actively choose to listen.

On the topic of Clean Bandit, they are this week’s culprits of the early mid-week release after they released an unusual Charli XCX and Bhad Bhabie collaboration with ‘Playboy Style. First things I’m the realest, no jokes aside the first thing were doing is asking who in their right mind put Bhad Bhabie on this track and took away from all of Charli’s greatness. We’re just going to ignore that Bhad Bhabie 30 second verse and focus on the fact that clean bandit and Charli came through on this one. The track shows some impressive experimentation from Clean Bandit as they adopt a deeper, sexier R and B vibe which I’m totally here for and let’s just say that Charli lost the auto tune (not that I don’t think she’s great with it) and showed up to collect her bag and let you know she’s here.

Now onto one of the most popular ex boyband members ever- Zayn. After I was pleasantly surprised by his debut solo album the string of throw away singles he’s released for his soon to be release sophomore album have not been played more than once and even that ‘huge’ Nicki collab couldn’t save him. When I saw that he released his new single ‘Rainberry’ I was expecting the worst but he’s proved me wrong; the funky pop track which boats a jazzy electronic imbue blends the perfect level of experimentation whilst still sounding like him. I think this song vocally showcases his talent and introduces a new direction which he seems to be attempting to move into nicely. An overall pleasant offering which I think will become one of my favourite songs over the next week.

Following two great hits, Benny Blanco, has released his third solo single this week after spending years behind the scenes creating some of your favourite songs. ‘Better to lie’ features Jesse and Swae Lee and honestly the guitar heavy instrumental sounds like something off a Post Malone album but then it turns into a light pop rock track which id expect from a boy band. I wish Swae Lee’s contribution was longer than and that the song had a bit more substance considering ‘Eastside’ was a piece of pop perfection but you win some you lose some- not terrible just not all that exciting either.

So the viral cartoon we happen to call 6ix9ine released his delayed album ‘DUMMY BOY’ this week and even though I don’t rate it at all as an overall album I do think the Kanye West and Nicki Minaj assisted ‘MAMA’ isn’t half bad, has a catchy beat a decent verse from West and a nice push in my estimation thanks to Nicki’s verse and I don’t think that his own contribution is that bad on this song either- I hate to admit it but I think this is a bop.

Up and coming, former X Factor girl group, Four of Diamonds release yet another smash with their catchy sass fuelled ‘Blind’. Honestly this is the third impressive release in a row for the girls in which they’ve continue to prove they have what it takes to top the charts and be be the next big group. I like the fact they offer something different and hone in on an r and b edged pop vibe remaining completely mainstream but differentiating themselves from the likes of Little Mix to make them unique.

They aren’t the only former X Factor stars releasing music this week as 2017 quarter finalist, Rai Elle, has released her debut EP ‘KSB’. In my opinion she has the star quality to really make something of herself and I was gutted when she got the boot last year and her new single ‘All About U’ is an uplifting easy listen gospel infused soul track as she curates a solid offering. Do I think it will commercially do amazing, no but do I think it’s a pleasant listen yes for sure.

Lastly for this week’s extensive new music post we have a single from Alessia Cara ‘All We Know’. Before I get onto this song I really have been routing for Alessia, her first ever single ‘Here’ captivated that perfect moody, mysterious, society rejecting energy and her debut album was enjoyable but oh my god this comeback hasn’t been all that impressive. After a series of boring, stagnant and frankly middle of the road singles which I feel all personally missed the mark in some way (apart from ‘Trust my lonely’ which i low key love) she’s just done the exact same thing again. ‘All we know’ is uninteresting and substandard and whilst I can’t say she doesn’t sound angelic the song just feels like background noise and it’s great for that purpose but it sadly feels like such a long listen despite only being just over 3 minutes long.

Whilst I sit on this disappointment and hope for the rest of album to give me something fresh and vibrant, I hope you enjoyed reading this and have a good Friday!!!

Also I’ve decided to start a New Music Friday playlist which I’ll be updating weekly so you can see what I’m listening to and other new music which didn’t make the blog’s cut.

https://open.spotify.com/user/1124546142/playlist/3pabjNcE5J3stDi5mlL4iw?si=_fl8iQ6PQJufxg0l6bftKA

Catch you at the same time, same place next week.

Rita Ora ‘Phoenix’ Review

After 6 long years since the release of Ora’s debut she’s back stronger than ever, refreshed after as she’s rose like a ‘Phoenix’ from the ashes.

Following, at one point what felt like a never ending occurrence of pushback, label difficulties and whatever else stood in her way; Rita Ora made sure to never be defeated as she inspiringly kept herself busy and in the spotlight exploring her other talents.

Ora has done more than enough to prove she can do it all; from topping the charts, acting, modelling, hosting, judging and designing she’s established herself as a true 360 entertainer, however, she’s reinstated her relevance in the music industry with the release of her sophomore album ‘Phoenix’.

The album, released on November 23, boats a respectable 16 tracks including hit singles ‘Your song’, ‘Anywhere’ and her hugely successful Fifty Shades of Grey collaboration with Liam Payne ‘For You’.

There’s no denying that Rita has the vocals, the look and the ability to churn out hit after hit and Phoenix charmingly showcases her talent making for a strong return to music.

Opening with one of her, and notably one of 2017’s, standout singles ‘Anywhere’ the introduction offers an upbeat pop-electro hazy dance moment which still sounds so fresh before entering her current single ‘Let You Love Me’. Let you love me, an interesting outpour of about letting your guard down in order to let someone in intertwined into a catchy light EDM edged pop knife.

‘New look’ kicks off the string of new material with an assertive sassy manner. Rita excels in the enticingly pulsating catchiness of the chorus which leaves you wanting to hit the replay button; whilst ‘First Time High’ presents vibrant strings in an effervescent dance pop bubble gum pop number.

Despite the new offerings previously released hits, such as female anthem girls ‘Girls’, ‘Your Song’ and Avicii collaboration ‘Lonely Together’ aren’t forgotten as they receive a new lease of life. Not to mention her Fifty Shades of Grey collaboration with Liam Payne ‘For You’ which led Ora to adopt a cinematic drama into ‘Hell of a life’ whilst heading back to familiar territory with the euphoric, summer penetrated, drum and bass smash ‘Summer Love’.

Although there’s an up tempo, feel good energy infused throughout the album, ‘Phoenix’, intertwines subdued moments with the muted pop ballad ‘Only Want You’ as she opens up about the need for one particular person. Another impressive difference on the album is the sultry ‘Cashmere’ which possess an R and B imbue for the ultimate ‘in your feels’ promiscuous playlist.

Amongst the quintessential pop album, Ora also offers an experimental side in her new material. With the jazzy, feel good rapturous ‘Velvet Rope’ in which she curates an effervescent trumpet laced ballad; along with jubilant, groovy number Julia Michaels assisted ‘Keep Talking’ ‘as they take the high road’ serving all the dreamy high notes against a contrasting bold electronic backing Rita proves she won’t shy away when it comes to exploring.

Finishing the album is ‘Soul Survivor’ in which fans get to see an explicitly honest insight into her truth and the personal struggle of the past few years as she reflects on her turbulent journey to the release of her second album. The powerful track hones in on her vocal aptitude as she bares all behind a beautifully simplistic, graceful piano instrumental unequivocally becoming one of the strongest highlights of her album.

Overall ‘Phoenix’ is cohesive, interesting and diverse curating an impressive follow up to ‘Ora’ where she dives into deep end of the music industry managing to keep her career afloat as she ensures the wait was worthwhile making up for the six-year music drought.

9/10

Let me know what you think of the album over on Twitter and send me over any suggestions of other albums to review.

New Music Friday 2

This week has been a pretty busy week and somehow its already Friday, which as well all know means new music.

This month has been filled with some pretty impressive releases and some stand out projects and today is no different…..

Today is exciting, as the long awaited (to be exact 6 long years) and highly anticipated sophomore album from Rita Ora has finally been released. The pop songstress has released a string of chart toppers in the run up to her release and today is the day to hear the full project. As the biggest album this week of course album tracks can be found at the top of every new music playlist and rightfully so!

‘Only Want You’, features on all the playlists and the laid back R and B infused slow jam offers a subdued moment. With dreamy vocals layered on top of a punchy chorus she continues to impress with yet another banger as she pours out her heart about the desire to experience of one specific individual. Credit where credit is due as Ora has continued to deliver and impress and honestly let’s be honest which other stars could’ve taken 6 years out of music and come back with a bang?

Billie Eilish released a bundle of perfection with her new song ‘Come out and play’. The melancholic emotion fuelled song is powerfully intimate before adopting a cinematic punch as the song progresses. An impressive follow up from her recently released ‘Don’t Smile at Me’ as she sticks to her mysterious roots however still offers a fresh sound.

Next up Kamille dropped her remix of ‘Emotion’ as she calls in Chip and Stefflon Don. The track feels like a Stefflon Don throw away, the start of the track is overwhelming and slightly messy however the chorus kind of salvages the verse. Chip’s verse isn’t anything special and neither gives or takes away from the track but honestly Steff disappoints on this track.

Another feature from Rita Ora, as she lends her vocals to Rudimental’s new single ‘Summer Love’ from their upcoming album ‘Toast To Our Differences’. The track is an ode to the so distant summer fun contextualising that fairy-tale idea of a summer love which all you ever want and more- but only for those summer months. Taking Ora back to her Drum and Bass roots, which originally propelled her to the top of the charts, the track offers an easy listen, with a catchy feel good chorus and subtle drop for an overall nice offering.

A standout track this week comes from pop rising star, Call Me Loop. Her new song ‘Business’ has quite the fitting title as she means business and takes control in this defiant new single. With an interesting sound, elevating vocals and a catchy beat the ex-obsessed track ditches an old love as she battles to look towards the future and move on. The emotive pop piece infuses a groovy guitar heavy instrumental with an assertive and attention grabbing energy.

Lastly British popstar, Jess Gylnne has decided to release an acoustic rendition of her already quite acoustic ‘Thursday’. The stripped back vocals delight on the empowering, self-love track, however, I can’t help but think despite my appreciation for this version and the original track this release was pretty pointless and doesn’t add anything to the song even if it is a pleasant listen.

That’s it for this week, there wasn’t much that excited me this week but there were obviously some stand outs which will I’ll definitely be adding to my playlist and having on repeat.

I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think of this week’s tracks and if there are any songs you know are being released or want me to feature let me know!!!

New Music Friday

Today is Friday and that means that yes it’s the start of the weekend but, even better, it means new music.

This is a new series on my blog that I hope to keep up weekly where I will listen to and round up some of the biggest songs out each week and give you my opinion on them which you can agree or disagree with. The music will be selected from a mixture of Apple Music and Spotify’s new music playlists and my opinions will be based off a first listen so are subject to change!

This week is my first week, and I think I chose a pretty good one to start with as some of the biggest artists have dropped new music today.

I guess this is the part where I start with the music talk….

I feel that I couldn’t write this post and not include a track from Little Mix. They are one of the biggest girl groups in the world and today marks the release of their 5th studio album ‘LM5’. Of course they are seen at the top of Apple’s and Spotify’s promo charts along with various other album material. On Apple Music ‘The Cure’ is already a ‘hot song’ and I feel that this song is a little bit of pop perfection with a sorrowful and mellow verse leading into an explosive cinematic sounding chorus. With its uplifting and important message of pulling yourself out of a bad state I find that it does however have a very Taylor Swift familiarity too it- which in this case isn’t a bad thing. I gave the album a listen and for a pop audience I feel it’s a unique offering showing off their personality and adding a level of maturity and excitement.

There were some early releases this week and the first track that I’m going to start off with is Zayn’s new song featuring Nicki Minaj ‘No Candle No Love’. After his debut solo album left me pleasantly surprised however, I’ve found his recent return to music has been somewhat lack lustre. NCNL, was an unexpected duet rather than the typical one verse feature and whilst I don’t necessarily think it’s bad I also don’t think it’s particularly great. I feel like it sounds like a Major Lazer track rather than Zayn but I wouldn’t skip it if it came on in shuffle.

Next up is Normani, she released her new 6lack assisted ‘Waves’. After hearing her on Khalid’s ‘love lies’ I’ve had the highest hopes for her and since she has released music to show different sides to her artistry but I’m still left wanting that R and b vibe. Waves is a laid back slow jam with a variety of synths mixed with a booming bass for quite the harmonic duet. Again, I’m not overwhelmed with love for this one but I think it could be a grower.

Quite a few songs were dropped this week and ready for her new album ‘Pheonix’ next week Rita Ora dropped a buzz track called ‘Velvet Rope’. I quite like this soulful love song. After a stream of hits with her recent promo singles ‘Anywhere’ and ‘Let You Love Me’ this jess Gylnne-esque R and b slow jam provides a stripped back simplistic listen for a feel good and quite festive energy.

All over social media this week I’ve seen a lot of hype over the new Stefflon Don ‘Senseless Remix’ featuring Tory Lanez. Bringing all the tropical vibes I can’t help but think this song would’ve had better projections towards the end of summer rather than the start of winter; it’s quite a good listen, especially if you want to cling on to summer what seems like a distant memory. Tory Lanez neither adds a whole lot or takes anything away from the track but Stefflon Don’s energy on this track is infectious so give it a listen.

B Young, the one behind Jumanji and 079 me, released his follow up ‘Juice’ and honestly he can keep it. The repetitive lyrics sounds like a recycled beat from the vault with nothing new or interesting and it could’ve been from any of these sound cloud rappers.

19-year-old British singer/songwriter, Liv Dawson, offers a pleasant, easy listen with her new release ‘I Like You’. The moody, vocally intricate track laces her clean vocals with an acoustic, up tempo yet washed out electronic vibe. Overall an impressive offering which I feel could be a big hit.

Lastly, Lennon Stella, alongside her new EP ‘Love, me’ and following her mysteriously genius ‘Fortress’ and Smash hit featuring on Jonas blue’s ‘Polaroid’ alongside Liam Payne we now have ‘La Di Da’. The breakthrough star intrigues me with her unique, impressive vocal ability which is so distinctive. The fresh sounding drum heavy beat with periodic beat drops is accessorised with a rhythmic lyricism occasionally featuring airy harmonies. This is definitely one of my favourite songs of the week and I’m excited for her career.

That’s the end of week one, I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think of this weeks tracks and if there are any songs you know are being released or want me to feature let me know!!!

Arun