monthly mixtape – April

2019, music

Hello!

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post ever since my last monthly mixtape, if I’m honest!

Two things before I start chatting about the tunes – one; I haven’t had the chance to listen to my discover weekly playlists on Spotify this month because I haven’t had any time on buses or on my own at home, so I’ve not listened to a whole lot of new music in that way, but somehow this is my longest monthly playlist so far!

And two; I called the playlist Gray because I was watching the ‘Crisis on Earth X’ Arrowverse crossover (Supergirl, Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow) and without spoiling it, something significant happens to a character called Stein who is nicknamed Gray and I was feeling sentimental about it in the moment I made this playlist so that is literally the only significance of the playlist title this month, if anyone was interested!

Let’s start at the beginning – I was only interested in Lewis Capaldi because I’d seen ads for his song Someone You Loved all over my instagram and it gripped me because Peter Capaldi, yes the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who, is the main focus of the music video and I have a big old soft spot in my heart for Peter Capaldi. Then I properly listened to the song and I think the lyrics are just beautiful, I think it’s one of the saddest love songs I’ve ever heard but it’s so mature and melodically striking, I would love to cover it on my YouTube channel one day.

Next are a couple of songs from Simple Creatures as their EP Strange Love came out in the last month. Alex Gaskarth is hands down my favourite vocalist of all time, I’ll be perfectly honest – I’m really not mad about Mark Hoppus’ vocals, but I do love the sound of the band and it really reminds me how much I do love slightly heavier music (but only slightly heavier, I’m still a pop gal at heart). Strange Love and Adrenaline are Class A bops and I thoroughly recommend.

I don’t want to talk about every single song on the playlist, otherwise this post would be about three thousand years long, but next is a new single from Bash! and I’m so here for this band – they’re music students in Southampton, they performed at my graduation ceremony and that’s how I know them at all but their music is sick, they’re so funny and I really hope they get the break they deserve because they’re so professional and the lead singer is Pop Queen, she’s so cool.

The last four songs on the playlist I literally added yesterday – I saw on Instagram that The Vamps had released a new EP and they’re one of those bands that I know I like but then I listen to their music and I’m like a subconscious fangirl. I’ve followed the Vamps since before the bassist joined the band (shoutout to Carrie Hope Fletcher for featuring them on her channel like a hundred years ago) and Waves is a really sweet song.

Niall Horan is another one that I almost didn’t realise how much I like his music – he features on Julia Michaels song What A Time and it went straight on the playlist after one listen – it’s chill, it’s catchy, I love the sound of the sincerity in Niall’s voice.

We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel is a song that my dance teacher used to use as a warm up in my tap class and I really liked it but I never got round to asking her what the song was. Then it came on a radio when mum and I were at work and I wrote it down straight away because it’s been in my head for months now, I’m so pleased I found out what it’s called.

My shoutout of the month goes to leaving this (Danny Padilla) – I think this one was a discover weekly find but it’s a song that gripped me straight away. I love the fusion of pop and a more electronic sound with classical instruments but somehow it still sounds really stripped back? The melody is really catchy and I want to choreograph to it which is a sure fire sign that I instantly connect to a song (but I’m bad at choreographing so I probably won’t do that).

As always if you have any recommendations I’m all ears (literally! Geddit?) – I’d love to hear what you’ve been listening to so if you’ve got any songs or playlists drop them in the comments down below!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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little | monthly mixtapes

2019, music

Hello!

So far I’m doing well at sticking to my New Year’s Resolution of listening to lots of new music – I’ve been religiously listening to my ‘discover weekly’ playlist and making another playlist of the songs I like plus an additional playlist of the songs I like the most that are my go to.

And because the playlist was originally just three songs it’s called ‘Little’. It’s no representation of the songs that I’ve been listening to recently, but the playlist is a little shorter than last month. But we’ll get to that!

If you want to listen to the playlist (or just nosy at what songs I’m listening to) you can find it here!

I’m pretty sure I’ve been listening to Monster (dodie) for a couple of months now but I’ve recently just really identified with it. She’s said that the song is about watching someone’s opinion of her slowly deteriorate until they saw her as a monster and I love the lyrics. It’s catchy and it’s a full on bop.

Second Star To The Right (The Devil Music Co.) has a special place in my heart – it’s a reference to Peter Pan which I have recently decided is my favourite Disney movie and it’s a proper pop-guitar-heavy song that I would class as the definition of my genre. This one might make it onto next months playlist too.

The harmonies in Jealous (The After School Specials) are absolutely mind blowing – I think it’s a cover, I should really look into it but I just love the acapella voices together, it’s just beautiful.

Two of Us (Louis Tomlinson) and Ribcage (Plested) are songs I only added in the last day or two so I’m not fluent in every lyric yet, but they’re both lovely songs lyrically and I’m going to have a few days more days to really appreciate them before I start next months playlist, for sure.

I have to mention Seventeen (Heather’s OCR) because this song and the entire soundtrack has been a proper anthem for me this month. I posted my first cover in a very long time because I was so inspired by this song and this musical. I just can’t stop listening to it and it’s properly reignited my passion for the West End and I’m seriously considering ways I can get into musicals as a career because my desire to perform and sing at the top of my lungs is getting incredibly strong. And with that in mind…

This months favourite is actually an album that doesn’t feature on my monthly playlist at all but I can’t not mention it – I went to see School of Rock on the West End this month and I’m obsessed with most of the soundtrack, notably Stick It To The Man. It’s such an empowering song and I find myself jumping round the kitchen and wishing I was 12 again so I could beg my mum to let me audition for this show. I thoroughly recommend entering the lottery for £15 tickets because it’s genuinely amazing!

I love writing about music and I love finding new music but at heart I will always be a girl who loves a song so much she leaves it on repeat for at least 100 listens. As always, if you have any suggestions please do let me know!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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February Music Favourites!

2019, music

Hello!

Today, I wanted to try something new – I love music and one of my goals for this year was to listen to more new music rather than listening to the same music I always listen to. The way I’m doing this is not by going searching for new music but letting Spotify algorithms do it for me and picking songs from my discover weekly playlist!

I then add songs I like to ‘Liked from Radio‘ playlist and when I’m done listening to my Discover Weekly for the week I generally put this playlist on shuffle in the background when I’m cooking or travelling or whatever!

If I’m wanting to listen to anything more specific I add it to my ‘Current jams‘ playlist and if I want slightly more familiar music that’s the playlist I go for and that’s the playlist I’m going to be talking about today!

Rather than doing a song by song review I thought I’d just have a chat about the playlist as a whole. None of these songs actually came from my Discover Weekly this time around – ‘On My Way’ is a new song from Sheppard that was their bid for Australia’s Eurovision entry that’s I’m obsessed with, Burned Out is my favourite song from dodie’s new EP ‘Human’ and the rest of the songs are mostly inspired by what I’ve been watching on music channels on the TV!

‘Come Along’ by Cosmo Sheldrake is the song used in the new iPhone advert and I think it’s really catchy and boppy – not enough for me to buy an iPhone but a good song regardless!

‘Exits’ (Foals), ‘Sweet but Psycho’ (Ava Max) and all three Billie Eilish songs on this playlist I first heard from one of those nights when mum and I just shoved on MTV music and tried to get on with some work.

‘Drug’ is the debut song from technically new band Simple Creatures, which is made up of blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and my all time favourite band All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth who is my favourite vocalist of all time. If I could describe my perfect voice to listen to it would be Alex Gaskarth. His voice is the entire reason I like this song but it is also an incredible song. Excited for more of Alex Gaskarth’s voice this year.

‘Blue Tacoma’ by Russel Dickerson actually came from a radio on my boyfriend’s Spotify and I thought it was a Busted song – it has a lot of original Busted vibes and I really liked it so it went immediately onto my jams playlist.

I’d love to make this music post a monthly series and I want to give it more of a structured format which includes having a shoutout of the month – this month it has to go to ‘Sweet but Psycho’ by Ava Max  because gosh darn I’m obsessed with this song, I have it on loop most of the time and it makes me want to try covering it, I’ve got ideas so 100% no shadow of a doubt this is my favourite song this month.

So that’s my first music favourites! I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this blog to be and I’ve seen so many ads on instagram and facebook about making my blog profitable and growing it but they all focus on such a specific niche that I just don’t think I want to put myself in. But I am making an effort to write about more of what I love – travel, organisation/bullet journalling, fitness/body positivity, outfits/fashion and music! If there’s anything you really like seeing on my blog please do let me know in a comment down below – I’d love to know what you like reading from me!

Also if you have any ideas for a series title for these posts any recommendations would be fab, something musical but maybe a little bit funny.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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playlist: Summer ’18

2018, music

Hello!

With the amount of new music that’s been released by a bunch of artists I really like this summer, I’ve been slowly adding to my Summer ’18 playlist for a couple of months now.

And I’m a huge music geek – I love how the algorithms work on Spotify, I love following music people on Instagram, my whole final uni project centred around music, I’m just obsessed. But building playlists is something I’ve seen a lot of people on twitter talking about but I’ve never really ‘designed’ playlists in the same way – I just chuck a bunch of songs that I enjoy belting when I’m home alone in one place!

Some may argue that those are the same things, but I thought I’d have a little chat about the new releases I was really excited about this summer and the playlist I’ve had on for the last couple of months.

Watching the Sky – Sheppard

Sheppard are an Australian band that my boyfriend found on Spotify through their song ‘Geronimo’ because it was inspired by Doctor Who. Since then, we’ve been eagerly anticipating every one of their releases and Watching The Sky is actually one of my favourite albums of this summer – it’s light and fun and the songs are catchy and ‘We Belong’ had us dancing around the kitchen whilst we cook dinner. Such a fun album.

Everything Is Fine – All Time Low

I mean, the band teased this song for maybe 24 hours before it was released and I was on holiday and I wasn’t ready and I love it. All Time Low are my absolute without a shadow of a doubt favourite band and have been for like 10 ish years so I was very excited when I saw this song had come out and I love it. I love the vibe, I love the sentiment behind it and Alex Gaskarth’s vocals are just stunning. I’m excited for the album that is likely to follow, though I don’t think anything has been announced yet.

Youngblood – 5 Seconds of Summer

I’ve got a funny relationship with 5SOS – I used to be a huge fan, had a tumblr blog that reached nearly 30k followers and built this amazing little community but then there was an article published that showed a side of the band that hadn’t really been exposed before and I’d just started studying journalism and a lot of people blamed the publication ‘for making them look so bad’ but reading into it I could tell that the writer was just working with what they had and my opinion of the band lowered so much. Saying that, I’d listened to a couple of the singles they released before the album came out and I was so frustrated by how much I liked it?

To be honest, Youngblood has been my most played album of this summer – the last five or six songs on the album are absolutely bangers and I really do love them! I think the way I’m settling it in my head is that I like the music but I’m not big fans of the people in the band and I don’t feel too bad supporting them because they weren’t doing terrible horrible things, they just aren’t the nicest people. I hope that’s okay?

Sunnyland – Mayday Parade

This album I added to my playlist on a bit of a whim – I loaded up Spotify one day and it popped up that Mayday Parade had released a new album. I’m not a huge fan of the band but I know I like a few of their tracks and their vibe is very me so I just dropped it in and I actually really like it! It’s a bit heavier than the other albums on the list but I really like that because the slightly heavier, more guitar based sounds are my absolutely favourite. I was pleasantly surprised but really enjoyed Sunnyland!

Pray For The Wicked – Panic! At The Disco

So, Panic! are up there as one of my favourite bands (after ATL in a Solid First Place, I have a group of joint second favourite bands which also includes S Club 7, ngl) and I was so pumped for this album. I preordered the vinyl as my post-FMP-hand-in-present-to-myself and I’m obsessed – the vinyl itself is actually stunning but the album is just so great. Death of a Bachelor was always going to be a difficult album to follow (and I think I do still prefer it) but Brendon Urie’s voice is just absolutely astonishing. Saturday Night, The Overpass and Hey Look Ma, I Made It are for sure going to become some of Panic!’s new anthems. Thoroughly recommend, it’s been on loop in the car for a while now.

Birthday – All Time Low

Two new tracks was very overwhelming and exciting? I’ll be perfectly honest, I prefer the first single out of these two but I stand by that All Time Low have never released a song that I don’t like and I do still enjoy and listen to this song (hence why it’s on the playlist!) – it’s fun and I can imagine it being played at a lot of birthday parties, for sure. Two new songs released so close together hopefully means a new album maybe by the end of this year, but it’s only just been a year since All Time Low’s last album came out, so I’ll be eagerly anticipating news that’s for sure!

Six – We The Kings

Like Mayday Parade, this is another one that Spotify popped up and told me had been released and I’ve liked a fair few of We The Kings songs in the past and I follow the band quite closely on social media, especially as their bassist Charles Trippy is King of the Daily Vloggers and he documents a bunch of behind the scenes music stuff which is 100% my jam, so I added the album to my playlist. It took me a few weeks to actually get round to listening to it and I really enjoyed it! It’s a great pop sound with some really fun riffs and catchy tunes, perfect for a summer party!

‘Lie To Me’ Spotify Sessions – 5 Seconds of Summer

Back to 5SOS again! I saw on Instagram that they’d done another version of ‘Lie To Me’ at their Spotify Sessions recording and I absolutely adore it – it’s not quite acoustic but it’s very stripped back, I love the indie tones in the lead vocals and the harmonies are just magical. I’m very much enjoying belting it at the top of my lungs when I’m home alone.

The playlist is linked down below and if you do want to follow me on Spotify, then you’ll never miss how often I’m listening to Youngblood!

I definitely need to get into making more playlists and writing more posts like these because I love finding new artists and writing about the music I’m loving! If you have any recommendations please, please leave them in the comments below!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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“The Impact of Social Media on Breaking into the Music Industry” // my FMP

2018, music, photography, student

Hello!

I feel like the only thing I’ve talked about for the last three or four month is my FMP – my final major project, ‘my degree’s equivalent to a dissertation’ (I hate having to say this); the big project to show what three years of uni have taught me.

My FMP included making a 10-20 video, 10-20 minutes of audio, 20-40 pictures and 3000-6000 words of copy. I also had to do a pitch presentation and contextual essay but that’s the boring bit.

And the topic I chose was how social media effects musicians trying to break into the industry – how social media effects how much work they get, what defines success and how both social media and the music industry have effected musicians and those wishing to work in the industry at the beginning of their career. It was a really interesting investigation and I learnt so much about the industry I’d like to go into in the future – social media is a massive passion of mine (as in creating content, not just scrolling through twitter for hours) and I love music so making digital content within music is a huge dream of mine.

So I thought I’d do a little run down of my project! For anyone that’s interested in what I did, interested in the topic or maybe a multimedia journalism students looking to what their final project may have to look like!

For our project we had to pick a publication to write for, so my project is done in the style of BBC Three.

The copy articles I don’t want to just drop in here otherwise this blog post would be thousands of words long, but I wrote four articles about a variety of topics – an introduction to the topic, a look into a relevant example from this year and a couple of listicles. I didn’t think my writing was going to be very good but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how pleased I was with my copy in the end. If you’d like to read it, I put the copy doc (and the full final hand in doc if you want to read 100 pages of that – it’s not all words, it’s just everything I had to hand in) you can have a look at this Google Drive folder.

My pictures went hand in hand with the copy, but in the style of the publication BBC Three don’t use a lot of pictures so I made a few stylised edits but predominantly used my pictures as if they were promotion on social media which all felt very relevant to the project. I’ve chosen a selection to include here:

This is the thumbnail I made for Episode 2 of my video series interviewing Producer Connor Panayi. This is my favourite photo from the whole project

I then edited that thumbnail to look like a tweet from BBC Three’s account – using the photo, a screenshot from my own twitter to get the font and the style and a screenshot from BBC Three to get their twitter profile. I think it looks pretty legit

I used this style for my Radio interviews as well

This edit was used as an image in one of my copy articles – I was writing about music that had blown up on social media and wanted a more relevant way of using images that also showed my ability to use and manipulate photos (from the point of view of the grading of the project)

I actually took this photo when I worked at Reading Festival last year but 1) I really like it, it’s a well taken photo so why not use it? 2) It was a really relevant way to show how people get so passionate about music

This photo was taken on a shoot for one of my videos but I loved having the opportunity to photograph live music – the Blue Lion Band were amazing and if you get the chance to see them you definitely should, they’re incredible

Another still from the Blue Lion Band shoot (and another one of my favourites)

I also made a couple of infographics to represent some of the statistics in my articles and I really enjoyed making these, I’m going to work more on my graphic design skills in the future for sure

I was going to include a full portfolio of my photos but I don’t have enough space in my Google drive, so if there’s anything else you’d like to see shoot me a message and I’ll find a way!

Onto audio – I did my audio as two radio interviews as if it was a Radio 1 Breakfast Show takeover promoting the new BBC Three series. I uploaded both episodes to YouTube so you can listen to them here:

And lastly video – the pride and joy of my whole project. Making video content has always been my favourite (I’ve been on YouTube since December 2013) and I wanted to use this project to push myself with my videography as much as possible and boy did I.

It’s the most high quality video project I’ve ever shot – with the help of friends and the beautiful 50mm lens, I think the quality and aesthetic appeal of my video is better than anything I’ve ever made on my channel. I taught myself how to use AfterEffects to make a title sequence for the end of the video and I daren’t calculate how many hours I spent editing the whole project. The video element of my project is the one I am most proud of and I’m so happy to share it.

So rather than one long documentary, I made a three part episodic series and a series trailer.

Series Trailer:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:


I’ll be honest, I was aiming for a First with this project – my life and soul went into it and I was (and still am) really proud of it. Unfortunately I didn’t quite achieve this but I was awarded a high 2:1 (68%) for this project.

Overall in my degree I will be graduating with a 2:1 – 69.06% (only 0.44% away from a First). Yes, I did want a first and I thought I’d done enough but you know what – it is what it is, I did my best and I can’t change it now. I’m going to be writing a blog post about holding too higher standards for yourself at some point in the future because getting those results were somewhat heartbreaking.

But either way, I’m proud to share my project and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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“a million dreams are keeping me awake” – The Greatest Showman

2018, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I’ve been running Sonar Film, my university’s cinema and film society since last June. One of my favourite parts of what we do is being able to look at the films coming out and picking what films we show.

I’ve had my eye on The Greatest Showman for a little while now and we started showing it on Friday. I worked opening night because I’d heard such mixed reviews and I was so excited – Hugh Jackman, Zendaya and Zac Efron in a new original musical about the first circus, it was right up my street!

There aren’t any words for how obsessed with this film I now am – I was completely absorbed from the first note to the last. I had tears in my eyes for most of the film and I felt this weight in my heart as the credits rolled because I was just so full of love for the music, the characters and the story.

I think this film is everything La La Land wanted to be without being tailored to Oscars, it’s not pretentious or trying to be nostalgic – it’s full of genuine love for musical theatre, incredibly passionate songs and a surprisingly modern soundtrack considering it’s based in the 19th century.

The rhythms and drums I think are the thing that really modernised the music for me – it was a huge part of the opening number and paired with the choreography it was really impactful and, as part of the audience, it was really gripping. I was genuinely sat watching the film bobbing along in time, resisting the urge to clap on multiple occasions. The rhythms and choreography were really poignant in ‘The Other Side’ and ‘From Now On’ – ‘The Other Side’ was really clever and the way the bar man was choreographed in was just so much fun. But while the rhythms are modern, the music doesn’t seem out of place for the time.

Side note, the dancing was so much fun – the bit where his daughters join in the dance from the audience is just so cute.

It’s such a beautifully human film – there was a quote from the critic character James Bennett at the end that said something along the lines of ‘a happier critic would describe it [the show] as touching every circle of humanity’ or something along those lines (I’ve scoured the internet, I just can’t find it anywhere) and I feel like that’s how the film should be summarised because it’s a beautiful celebration of everyone and anyone. It very delicately touches on issues like racism in a gentle and realistic way for the 1800s – it was relevant without being focal and I adored it.

The words I wrote in my initial rambly ‘omg I’m obsessed‘ plan for this post were that it was heartfelt and human and flawed – the characters weren’t perfect and where it was so easy to be stereotypical and predictable and it was so genuinely not. I’m now really interested to watch Barnham (a West End Musical about the same circus) and somewhat compare the two and how they tell the same story.

I did make a lot of jokes about Wolverine and Troy Bolton singing together though, I can’t lie. And can I just say – Zendaya is only ten days older than me, she must have been part of the High School Musical generation and omg I was fangirling on her behalf because while Zac Efron is so much more than he was in the DCOM days, he was still one of my first celebrity crushes.

I really wanted to make this more than just a review of The Greatest Showman and at this point I don’t know if it’s even a review or if it’s just me gushing about why I love it, but I think there’s a place for sharing things you love in your own words on the internet, so here’s me adding to my corner.

Also, I read at the end of another post about the film (I’ve done a lot of reading about it since seeing it two days ago) that I wanted to reiterate – my adoration for this film doesn’t mean I support the idea of the modern circus and treatment of animals as performers. It’s something I hadn’t actually thought about (partially because the animals in the film are quite clearly CGI) but it’s something I want to reiterate because supporting the film based in the 1800s doesn’t condone it now.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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August favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

I’ve not done a favourites for a while, but it’s nice to be able to look back on the month and pick out the things I enjoyed the most. Lots of new content came out in July and August and I spent a lot of money on things I really didn’t need, so I really love the selection of things I’ve picked this month!

Image result for spider-man homecoming

Spider-Man Homecoming: Spider-Man has been my ultimate favourite superhero since I first saw The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield in the cinema – his wit, morality and agility are just everything I would like to be really (who wouldn’t want to swing so high you feel like flying – yes please!) so I was nervous seeing this film. I had every faith in Tom Holland having seen him in Civil War but there’s still every chance this movie was going to be awful. But it wasn’t! It was incredible! Every film has pros and cons and no film is without it’s flaws, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t recommend it more (and omg Zendaya).

‘You’ – dodie: A new dodie EP? Of course I’m obsessed. I treated myself to a bundle with a t-shirt, the EP and a vinyl version of the EP and I just love it. I love how the yellow of the case brightens up my room, I love having a studio version of ‘6/10’ (because god knows that song is my anthem) and ‘Would you be so kind?’ is just so happy. On the first EP, ‘Absolutely Smitten’ was the token really happy clappy mood lifting song and wybsk is the ‘You’ equivalent and I just can’t put into words how much it makes me smile.

Overwatch ‘Summer Games’: I think I’ve mentioned it fairly regularly – I’m obsessed with Overwatch, it’s all been very sudden but I’m now properly invested in my first and only video game and there’s been a fun event with extra things to collect and a fun new game to play and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My elephant water bottle: We all know about my major obsession with elephants, but I was going to Primark to buy plain black t-shirts to work at Reading and it was in the aisle you have to go down towards the tills and it was all by itself and it was calling my name. It’s just gorgeous and I could never resist. I love it.

From Ikea’s website

Ikea shelving unit with wheels: For some reason, I went to Ikea three times in August and the first time I went I spotted this unit that I became utterly obsessed with it. On the second trip, I resist and it was that third trip that I gave in and just did it. I’m not recommending just spending money like I did if you can’t afford it but I knew exactly where it was going to go in my room, what I was going to put on it and how gorgeous it would look and I don’t regret it for a single second. I love it and it looked beautiful.

Jeffrey the bear: In August my sister was doing a summer course at Arts University Bournemouth and I went over to see her for the day. My boyfriend and I love this arcade cafe place called Fun Central and we’d decided we were going to win the bear that was worth 6,000 tickets for sure on this, our third time to the arcade. Shock horror, a new bigger bear worth 14,000 tickets had been added but my bear had been reduced to 5,000 tickets. We totally smashed it and I named him Jeffrey. I love him so much there aren’t even words.

My new hair colour: I haven’t really photographed it properly at all but I finally got my hair fixed at the hairdresser! It’s a deeper pink than I wanted (I was going for red) but I adore it because the blue is gone and it’s actually a nice colour and I’m still growing it out – think I’m going to get it dyed properly again in December when I’m next home and can go to the salon again. Can’t wait.

jelly > meringe > melted chocolate > sprinkles

The best dessert I’ve ever made: Just a silly thing I got very excited about – strawberry jelly with crumbled meringue, drizzled in melted chocolate and sprinkled with an excess of brightly coloured sprinkles. I recommend stirring it all around and mixing it all together but I’m very excited to have it again soon, I’m not going to lie.

Reading Festival: I wrote a whole blog post about why I loved working at Reading Festival, but I wanted to include it here as well because I’m still just so in awe that I was lucky enough to get to go.

VEDA: I’ve known for a few months now that I wanted to take part in VEDA and I’ve been noting video ideas for that long. But you know what? I never thought I’d actually manage it – 31 videos, let alone all of them being edited and uploaded by 6pm! But I did it, and you can watch the whole playlist here.

Wasn’t that a wild ride? I’m excited to do this again in September because September is my favourite month and my birthday month, very exciting! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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know how good you are – working @ Reading Festival 2017

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student, travel

Hello!

Getting the chance to work at Reading Festival  as a Camera Operator was something I was never going to turn down – if I had to apply in any other way I wouldn’t have got it because I haven’t done any camera opping before, but my housemate was recruiting and he took a chance on me (hopefully he thinks it paid off).

When I went to Channel 4 and BBC Three (and Sky next week) I always say there was no luck – I spent a lot of time and effort getting those placements and there was no luck involved. Reading however – it’s all because I happen to live with the guy that needed camera ops. Obviously there was a bit of skill involved – if he didn’t think I’d be good at it he’d have said no but Reading was all chance, and I’m very, very grateful for it.

Watching every act from the side or right in front of the stage is something I’ve dreamed of for so long

I was so unbelievably anxious before we left I can’t even put it into words – I felt ill, I was overanalysing everything and I contemplated not going because I was so scared of getting things wrong or being bad. But I knew I couldn’t turn down Reading.

And I went. And I did well. And I loved it.

Camera 2 – my favourite Camera

I learnt a lot about how to work the cameras but I also realised how much I already knew – I know what a good shot looks like, I knew to keep an eye on what was happening on stage, what the other ops were filming and the crowd (filming someone holding a Lightning McQueen balloon was a highlight of the weekend).

I felt comfortable doing the job – it was like I’d found something that I should have been doing all along – filming live music, surrounded by artists, techies and heavy bass. I don’t think I would camera op for the rest of my life, but working with bands in environments like this is what I want to do. Now I have more of a focus to get to that.

The crowd for ‘The Hunna’ were absolutely mental, favourite crowd of the whole weekend

No one really expected me to excel at this festival, and I don’t think I’m the kind of person to make the assumption that I did, but I did learn this – have faith in your own skills, don’t be afraid to say you’re capable and you’re good enough. I’m definitely the sort of person who puts themselves down (to no end), assumes that I will never be good enough and I’m afraid to apply for jobs or work experience opportunities in roles that I could do but I haven’t done before but I know what I’m good at.

The last sunset of Reading 2017

I’m a good writer, I know how to film and edit good videos, I know how to take a good photo, I’m a good presenter and I’m really good at research and organisation. And there’s nothing wrong with knowing your skills or talking about them.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go to Reading and prove this to myself. I am capable of it even if there are people who would quite happily tell me I’m not.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

The sunrise at Basingstoke station on 6.30am on Monday morning was worth the all nighter

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“As long as I’m playing music, I’m happy” | Sam Harding interview

2017, lifestyle, music, student

Hello!

In my last semester at uni, I got to do a couple of optional units – the two I chose were Lifestyle PR, where I wasn’t taught anything and had to use common sense to do the assignment, and Music Journalism, where the teacher kept giving us examples of why he was an awful journalist and a bit of a dick as a human.

However that didn’t deter my love and passion for writing about music and musicians – part of my assignment was to create a music journalism portfolio, including a new artist profile. I reached out to my friend Sam to ask if I could interview him and thankfully he said yes. But I’ll let the interview speak for itself.

Photo by: Dani Blakeley

Getting a foot in the door of the music industry is harder now than it ever was before – the door is infinitely bigger, leading to a huge variety of different paths that determine ‘success’ and there are millions of feet trying to make their mark.

Sam Harding is a musician from a small town in the East Midlands, now studying at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and working on countless projects as a freelance musician. But Sam’s work ethic hasn’t changed since he was at school in that small town.

“I’ve been performing in bands since I was 13, starting off gigging all over the place with a really heavy metal band. The last year before I moved away from home to study gave me a taste of what it would be like to be a professional musician, and taught me a lot about music and what I wanted out of it.”

Sam has always had a very clear focus, determination and drive to get where he wants to be. “I picked up the bass at the age of 11 and fell in love with it instantly. Bass and guitar are the main instruments I play but recently I’ve been trying to get my chops together on upright bass and synth bass in an effort to make myself more versatile.”

With a taste of being semi-professional in playing in pro tribute band Latino Sound before Sam left home, he knows what he wants to work on to make himself a more diverse musician and give himself an edge in the industry he has already had that taste of.

“When I was 10, I discovered My Chemical Romance. They were the first band I really listened to and followed in a serious way. The music, the aesthetic, the energy – I thought it was all so cool! I remember spending most of my time playing along to My Chemical Romance tunes in my bedroom in my early teens. After a few years of playing I just suddenly found myself in a position where there was no question about it – music was just what I needed to do.”

Sam has not let moving to a new city over a hundred miles away phase his journey: “I’m playing with a few bands including a pop-funk band called Fresco, a neo-soul band called Silcaa, a jazz quartet and with the Tom Knight Band, as well as various one-off gigs. I have also started a production company called Blue Handle with my good friend and fellow RNCM student Tom Knight. We provide studio recording, live sessions, videography and photography services to musicians in Manchester and I’m feeling really excited about that project.”

But the music industry is unpredictable – there’s no distinct method to become ‘successful’; it’s not a clear career path. “I set goals for the projects that I am a part of, as well as for my own playing. Setting yourself targets to hit is a good way to stay focused and have things progress in a more efficient way.”

“I have a rough plan. I want to finish my four years of study and then further my career as a professional musician. It could be playing for artists live or in the studio, it could be writing and performing original music, it could be a combination.”

Sam has had a long history with music but he’s still young and has a long career ahead of him. “As long as I’m playing music, I’m happy.”

Sam’s pop-funk band Fresco has a new EP ‘Muy Funky’ and it’s out now on iTunesSpotify and Bandcamp.


Being able to interview Sam and see how successful he’s already being was genuinely a pleasure and, on a slightly less heartwarming note, I got a pretty good mark for my portfolio. I thoroughly enjoyed writing up this interview and I can’t recommend Sam’s music more – his passion shows in his talent.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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May favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student

Hello!

Another favourites post! I’ve done this one a little differently and separated it into different categories, but I’ve been loving a lot of things this month so let’s crack right on!

beauty

Highlighters are my new guilty pleasure and for the first time in my life I don’t mean the florescent stationery kind. My ‘go to’ every day make up is eyebrows, mascara, lipstick and highlighter because it just makes me feel cute because I have glittery cheeks. I picked up these beauties while I was home last week in the shades Iridescent Gold and Pink Shimmer from MUA and they were only £3 each! They’re super pigmented and the colour is really clear – it’s not very subtle but I like to go a bit overboard on the highlighter so if that’s what you’re into I’d definitely recommend them!

organisation

As I’m lacking in the florescent stationery highlighters, I need a new way to organise! Not really – I love my bullet journal and it’s good for organising the finer details of things but for an overview of what my month looks like in a more general way then I like putting everything into Apple Calendars. I like being able to have different categories and I can sync with my other Apple-product-using friends and I like having it on my computer where everything else is in my journal. I like the combination of the two.

food

I think it was April when my mum and sister came to visit and we drove to the beach and had ice cream but this New Forest Toffee Crunch Ice Cream was beautiful and I can buy it in big tubs at Asda but they’re £3 a pot and somehow a highlighter feels like a better way to spend my money. If you’re on the South Coast of the UK at any point over the summer I thoroughly recommend it! I might have to treat myself.

watching

Fairytale – my boyfriend is really into anime and he’s been asking if I want to watch this one for a while. He gave me no context of what it was about but the other day he said to me “I just want to show you the title sequences!” and then proceeded to show me all of episode one. Whilst I wasn’t too pleased to be manipulated into watching his show (when he outright refuses to watch anything I suggest even when he watched a couple of episodes and enjoyed it… not that I’m salty) it is actually really good – I often find animes to be too melodramatic and serious (which I don’t mind, like I still enjoy them but it’s a tiny grievance of mine) but this one is really funny and the title sequence song from the first arc is amazing, I thoroughly recommend putting this cover by NateWantsToBattle on repeat for a while.

Doctor Who – I’m one of those Doctor Who fans. I’ve been watching the series since Freema Agyeman was David Tennant’s assistant in 2007 and I’ve watched every episode since and this season is really close to being one of my favourites (but nothing will ever beat Matt Smith and Karen Gillan’s series 5) – I wish this was what Capaldi’s first season as the doctor had been like because I feel like fans would have liked that so much more (though I have a lot of opinions on Series 8/9 Doctor/Clara Who). It’s something I could write a whole blog post about so let me know if you want that!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – I saw this film right at the beginning of the month so I couldn’t write a full on review for it, but all I can say is if you like comedy go see this film, even if you’re not into action superheroes and even if you’ve not seen the first film it’s absolutely brilliant. Personally I think it matched the first one in the perfect way without overshadowing it – the special effects were absolutely astonishing, the action moments were incredible, it was hilarious, surprisingly heartwarming and I wish I could afford to go and see it again!

Also Baby Groot – I’ll say nothing more.

things I’ve created

I wasn’t so sure of this as a segment but I’m really proud of this content and why not a favourites post to be able to share what I’m proud of?

2017 beginner’s bullet journal flip through – this whole video was really last minute and took me a surprisingly long time to edit but I’m really proud of it and the comments are so positive! I’m can’t wait to do another flip through in a few months or when I finish the book! I got to nerd out about organisation and stationery and I loved it.

New instagram – ahealthiersophie – I started this because I watched John Green’s series ‘100 Days‘ and he said he found it was much easier to control his diet when he made himself document it all and that’s what sprouted the idea. But I didn’t want the account to be 100% food so I post twice a day to break it up a bit. The intent was to post lots of workout photos and show how I was being healthy in that aspect but that only really started in June when I started this 30 Day Ab Challenge but it’s been an outlet for me to talk a lot about my mental health. May has been a really tough month and I’ve multiple people message me like ‘u okai??!11!’ and I’ve had some amazing conversations with my friend Sarah about a potential diagnosis (obvs not going to say anything ‘official’ (???) until I’ve been to the doctors but I’m working on the courage for that) and it’s been very therapeutic. It’s also highlighted a lot of scary things that go on in my brain but I think that’s a good thing.

Lupton and Luckett – new YouTube channel with Alice! My friend Alice and I kinda joked in Instagram comments about starting a channel now here we are – Video 1 live, Video 2 filmed (it’s a baking video, I thoroughly recommend subscribing for that going live next Thursday!) and videos planed all summer. I love Alice and I’m so ridiculously excited to create with her. She’s so little and cute (and I look like a mouldy purple potato next to her) but I love this girl and I think you’ll love her too.

my ‘no spend’ month – the blog post I wrote literally two days ago! In May I found out that I had a savings account that I’d completely forgotten about and I closed it and withdrew the cash (which was vewy nice) but it’s going straight into my other savings account for my travel funds but on a similar note, I’m trying to really save my money and get out of my overdraft right now so I cut back a lot in May and I wrote a whole post about it which I’m really excited about because I tried a new kind of format and style and I’m really excited about it.

These posts always end up being really long and I don’t think I mind, because it’s nice to share things I like and just type and type and type and suddenly there’s a thousand words. Blogging is really therapeutic for me and I’m very excited about not having uni distract from it for a few months.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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