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Let’s Talk: Can ANYONE be a Musician?

The rise of musicality stature, record labels and music business organisations tell us no.

But, the transparency of social media, the number of bedroom artists rising to fame, the term of ‘music’ losing its meaning as each day passes, tells us a different story.

I believe that anyone can be a musician. Putting in the practice is the first step, your musicianship will then carry you the rest of the way there.

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If you have the perseverance and determination to succeed, you can be more than a musician but a businessman, too. But, I think being a musician takes more than picking up a guitar. It’s learning the ins and outs of the music industry, making sure you know you every loophole, every important name in the industry and making sure it’s who you know and what you know. That all too familiar catchphrase that is so present in creative sectors – and that is no different with the music industry.

I think it’s also more to do with your audience. The hardest thing about being a musician is having a decent audience. Playing an instrument or being able to rap and make a good beat is only the half of it. The ability to market and campaign yourself almost as if you’re running for office yourself is the difficult half. You could argue that if you’re good enough, then the audience comes to you. But that’s not strictly true at all, now is it? I know thousands of talented artists, singers and rappers who are making their way slowly to an audience – despite making amazing music. The audience is hard to achieve, especially within such an over-populated and over-saturated industry that is the music one.

For me, I’m a drummer. We’ll leave the drummer jokes at the foot of the door, thank you. But, it took me 10 years of practice to get to the skill and quality as a drummer where I am today. In no way to represent in numbers of my social media fanbase or a following on this blog, and so it’s important to know your achievements and success, I think.

For me, being a drummer is amazing, fun and downright beautiful. Anyone can be a musician if you have the energy and time for it. I wouldn’t say the talent for it, because I think everyone has talent. The right amount of practice and you’d be up there with the greats. After all, how do you think they got up there?

Anyways, I’ve rambled on enough about this topic – clearly a lot to say! Let me know your thoughts on this one below. And above all else … let’s talk. Because it’s good to talk.

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ISLAND: A New Tale in the Alternative

The Work of Island: Problems from an ever-changing line-up whilst working in dingy London studios …

… Comes a new tale in the alternative.

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From the fibres of the alternative rock scene – loosely translated as a much more tame beast as opposed to its distant relative of hard rockISLAND are a prestigious band gleaming with prospect.

Inspired from their distant adventures on the road, the band released their 2018 debut, Feels Like Air. Since then, they have kept themselves busy with European tours, stretching as far as the coast of North America, even. Whenever they have had time off the road, they’ve been knuckling down in the studio, creating joyous tales once more. In 2019, they released coveted EP, When We’re Still with Editors-inspired plateau, Just That Time of the Night.

Prior to all this however, it seemed that regardless of their reverent line-up, the name of ISLAND would prevail throughout as 2015 was the year when they such things to be true. With feelings of maturity and a hope filling the air, they released Girl in 2015. Who knew the beautiful simplicity of Stargazer would rise the band to new heights?

Bringing a completely new set of tools and brand to the wares of alternative music that seem simplistically beautiful in creation, they are bringing a fresh perspective to musical songwriting and ask for those to join the congregation.

Forged from the inspired thoughts due to their extensive time on the road, Feels Like Air, champions exactly that.

Music that is so effortless and seemingly made so emphatically, it is equally fair to listen every bit the same, too.

I’m sure those echoic guitars first thrilled the studio when they heard them.

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Feels Like Air

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Ride (a powerful album start-up)

Try (For fans of Grizfolk and Circa Waves)

The Day I Die (for fans of Editors and Radiohead)

Something Perfect

Interlude

Horizon (for fans of JAWS)

Moth

We Can Go Anywhere

God Forgive (empowering moments make it my favourite amongst the list)

Feels Like Air (self-titled makes it a close second)

Lilyflower (light acoustics settle the album to a close)

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KSI: Breaking Boundaries

From FIFA to Forbes, KSI has become one of the most successful start-up stories throughout the music industry.

In an unexpected tradition of starting from YouTube, he has tarnished his shaky reputation he received in ’13 and has gone on to music stardom with the likes of Craig David, Rick Ross and Yungblud.

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Breaking boundaries since his pinnacle rise – and he’s only just getting started.

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Originally as an internet personality strife with making FIFA videos from the comfort of his own bedroom. He has ultimately broken his own comfort into becoming an international icon known for breaking the boundaries of countless genres, industries and expectations of a “YouTuber”and with the Internet star drawing up two top ten songs in the space of a couple of weeks, I think it’s time we give him his due credit, don’t you think?

Merely starting out with his own DIY EPs with Keep Up in 2016, and entertaining singles like Lamborghini the year prior, KSI (formally known as Olajide “JJ” Olatunji) soon shed the laughing stock off his back, took himself far more seriously and gained instant momentum in the music industry. Not only creating the incandescent flavours of UK grime and polished rap, but also unafraid to exploit the tropes of popular music, KSI has broken ground like none other. In a short span of 5 years or so, it is a success story for the ages. Literally casting the tropes of Drake’s “started from the bottom,” his music has ultimately become more confident, competent and mature in production and artistry.

Don’t Play, Lighter, Really Love, Patience. The list is ever-growing and he becomes more and more hungry for growth and opportunity. You could certainly argue that it is easier to break through the music industry with an already avid fan base from his YouTube entertainment, and it essentially allowed him to do half a job. But that other half is equally as important. JJ still required the drive and ambition to shed those stereotypes, that reputation of him and go on to do greater.

Whatever you think of him, his ambition in music, boxing and business is next-to-none and greatly inspiring to those that have similar humble beginnings to what he had.

His fanbase may have shifted, and his videos may not be what entertain me today, but I’ll always remain a fan of his, even if it is just for his journey.

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Kings of Leon – ‘When You See Yourself’ Album Review

Tennessee-bred quartet draw up eighth studio album that replaces swagger for subtlety that strengthens over time.

Reprising their roles as emphatic titans in the rock music industry, they have returned from their 2016 album, WALLS with their eighth release, When You See Yourself in early March of 2021. With less temper and angst to it than most other records compared to Find Me and Waste a Moment on their previous, it is ultimately fashioned with progressive playing, delicate sentiment and glossy productive finish.

Unfortunately – while this record is a blissful listen – it carries itself with not a lot of substance. Whilst dirty guitar hooks are present in pre-single, The Bandit and halfway-down-the-list Stormy Weather, the album soon becomes lost in itself and an intermingling of songs folding into one another seems to happen. For a while, while listening to this album, I did seem to forget where I was, who I was listening to and would often take a step back and play the record again. Nevertheless, it is still a confident and mature direction from the rock quartet that no doubt stamps their mark on their triumphs they have had throughout the years they’ve been active.

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For Kings of Leon, their legacy drives a hard bargain and majorly wins over your opinion for such a delicate studio album.

While it does seem to lose itself on rare occasions, it is a blissful listen with its glossy textures, playful guitar song-writing and exact ambiguity that was present on some of their first records like Because of the Times and Come Around Sundown.

Favourites from the 11-track selection include When You See Yourself, Are You Far Away, A Wave and Golden Restless Age.

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I made a playlist: The Blissful Collection

Here it is folks, the esteemed playlist of The Blissful Collection.

Nothing beats bliss. Stick this beauty on, and you’ll get lost in it forever … Critically acclaimed sorrows are abound in this playlist, and are guaranteed to de-stress your muscles and de-clutter your thoughts.

20 songs – 1 hour of euphoria, a selected paradise of musical beauty. Folk, lo-fi pop, soft rock, psychedelic pop – it features a wide array of familiar casts and characters.

As the same before, this playlist is entirely collaborative and wishes for you to get involved, have a feel for the playlist and earn your own interpretations …

Have a gander below and see for yourself.

As always, if you don’t happen to have Spotify, do let me know of any alternatives you use and I can sort that out for you. Thanks folks – – GET LISTENING!