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Jamie Cullum: Profession of Jazz

Upending the notions of jazz, Jamie Cullum is the splash of colour that redefined the world of melodic pop.

Surly vocals and elaborate chops on the keys, Cullum has achieved critical acclaim for his vibrant mix of originality. His depth of character is fully flourished in his music too, with his ability to swoon us with emphatic ballads to witty pop in a matter of song listings. Cullum first broke into the scene back in 2002 with Pointless Nostalgic and 2003’s Twentysomething. Dazzled with classic retellings of jazz classics and emotional originals that slotted beautifully within each, Twentysomething broke the foundations of the complexity of jazz and Cullum became a household name over night.

His complexion to intermingle within genres didn’t stop there though. Cullum subsequently released Catching Tales in 2005 and The Pursuit in 2009, which embraced his soft rock – pop progressive ballads and careened beautiful showings of his songwriting material with bold-and-brash Get Your Way, witty ramblings of Nothing I Do, and of course, sombre ballad retellings with Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down.

For fans of both enjoyable soft pop work and the establishment of jazz with orchestral styles, Jamie Cullum is a singer-songwriter for the ages. His most recent release in 2o19, Taller, established Jamie’s talents and allowed him to break the top ten in record sales. My favourites from this record have to be the fancy-and-fast of Usher and the enchanting dazzle of Marlon Brando, that is seen to be on the B Side for this one.

Prolific in sound, voice and immense piano chops, Jamie Cullum is a redefining motion in the industry.

Cullum ultimately cements himself further as a music anomaly every new record he releases.

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My guilty pleasure.

Well, I don’t think this is necessarily my own guilty pleasure. This may very well be a guilty pleasure everyone shares. My guilty pleasure is pop music. Cheesy, catchy and damn-eternal-sunshine-pop. Happiness comes in many forms for me. Rock music gives me an unwarranted thrill and chaos that no other genres provides. Jazz makes me relaxed and complacent, and intrigues my musical mind into how it is composed. Metal is a mind of its own and does whatever it wants to do to its listeners. But, pop … pop gives me a feeling of happiness that is unparalleled with the rest. Worthy for a good sing-a-long or the fastest way for a cheer-up, bright pop music brings unbridled joy. Despite the connotations that pop has from those certain listeners, you can’t not enjoy pop for what it’s worth. Whether it’s the comprised electronic pop, bubblegum pop, indie-pop, or just the downright “I shouldn’t really be listening to this” pop, we have all our favourites – what’s yours?

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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.