#Playlist: Save A Life – How Music Helped Save Me…


   

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The idea for this post came about whilst I was contemplating creating the annual Christmas playlist I’ve done since I started Muzik Speaks back in 2015, but I quickly realised that I was purely doing it because of the time of year and with the thoughts that as a music blog, I should probably pump out something Christmassy.

Inside though, I’m just not feeling like celebrating Christmas this year and truth be told, I’ve been through a very dark patch for a few months now.

I began this blog as a lover of music (ever since I can remember) but also with the old saying in mind that “music speaks louder than words” and I truly believe that in many ways, it does…hence the blog name!

However, since September this year, I was propelled into an incredibly difficult place and since then my head has gone through a very dark, deeply depressive and isolated state and it’s only now, that I’m starting to see some distant, very small rays of light at the end of the long, outstretched tunnel ahead, but with those rays, they have brought just a scrap of positivity into my life.

During the period I mentioned, one of the first things to take a hit was my passion for music – something which has always been an obsession of mine, and looking back, that was a key indicator that I was suffering from depression, although I couldn’t recognise it at the time. I’ll be honest and say that at my lowest point, for a couple of weeks or so, I contemplated suicide almost every day, for what I was being put through and how I was being treated and self-harm was something that alleviated just a tiny bit of the desire/waves of compulsion I felt, to end my life. I wish I hadn’t I let myself get to that stage now, and would never advocate someone do that, but I share this as a plea for people to seek support from whoever and wherever they can, to help give them some much needed strength during their darkest times.

As cliché as it sounds, the song ‘1-800-273-8255’ by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid came into my life by happy accident and instantly made an impact on me – it truly kept me going for a couple of weeks straight.

And then slowly but surely over the last few weeks, my passion for music has been really reignited – by mainly angry/empowering rock songs at first; Thirty Seconds To Mars‘This Is War’ was on repeat for a few days and then more recently, Linkin Park‘s ‘Faint’. The tone to those two songs really helped me to channel the anger I was feeling about the place I was in and charged me up with a little renewed strength.

However once I’d started to get over the anger, I began to truly take time to reflect where I was at with my mental state and objectively begin to deal with my dark thoughts and the things that were eating me up inside. It was at that point that a whole host of songs began to play their part in reshaping me and helping me to truly confront with what I was going through.

That is why I decided to create a playlist that is very personal to me and filled it with the songs that had a hand in keeping me alive, helped me to regain a fraction of my normal self and begin to deal with things, each in their own unique way.

Save A Life - Colour

I guess in some way, I’m hoping that this playlist will reach even just one person who is going through a similar rough patch and that it helps them to fight back against their depression and regain their confidence and love of life, or that someone who has already come out the other side can relate to this and appreciate the songs for their unique qualities, thought-provoking lyrics and/or empowering styles.

I should add that I have been very lucky to have my partner, family, some good friends and even my dog (not that she’ll ever know it) to support me through this bleak time and they too have played a vital role in helping me get through this.

Additionally, I sought some counselling – at first it was over the phone but I quickly found that I was craving some human interaction and so went to meet a counsellor and that too has been invaluable to helping me, so I recognise that whilst it’s not entirely the music that has helped me, it was during the times, when I was alone, that this music kept me company, provided me with time to think and played a vital role in aiding me to recover some of my former mental well-being.

I just think that at this time of year, people can feel so alone and having been through what I have, I understand that not everything is joyous for everyone at Christmas time and so I am hoping this playlist will provide something different for people who are feeling down, depressed or suicidal and that it might provide some sort of pick-me-up that you might need or that my story or the music strike a chord with someone and give them something to stop and think about.

My message to anyone who is struggling is just know that things can get better if you hang in there. Believe in yourself and most importantly, take each day as it comes. Fill your time with things you enjoy doing, however small or simple – embrace them. Talk to whoever you feel comfortable talking to, whether it be friends, family or someone anonymous via a helpline – don’t bottle things up. Find joy in music you love, films you enjoy or any other things you like to do and try to take your mind off what you’re worrying about and try to envisage what a happier future would look like.

Finally, I really would like to take the time to ask you to donate to a good cause – if you are going through something similar to me, you have already been through it and managed to come out the other side or even just that you have enjoyed this playlist or felt something for my story, then please visit our JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/muzik-speaks or www.papyrus-uk.org/donate (please quote Muzik Speaks somewhere in your donation) and make a donation – £5 is enough to pay for one phone call, text or e-mail with a young person – you truly can help ‘Save a Life’.

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If you have a story you are willing to share or you want to discuss anything in this post, then please leave a comment; I would just ask that you remain sensitive with what you write on this post please. I also urge you that if you yourself are feeling suicidal or you are concerned about someone, to please call PAPYRUS on 0800 068 4141, text 07786 209697 or e-mail pat@papyrus-uk.org – whilst I am always happy to talk, I’m not a trained professional but people at PAPYRUS are, and will do their best to help.


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with SHELLS

SHELLS took the time to tell us about her recent EP release, weird habits and her most recent embarrassing moment! It’s all here…


   

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Here’s our first interview of 2017 and it’s with none other than beautiful songbird, SHELLS. She took the time to tell us about her recent EP release (‘Shapes’), weird habits and her most recent embarrassing moment! It’s all here…


Hey, how are you?
Great thanks! How are you? 

I’m very well thanks. So what’s new with you at the moment?
I just got back to my flat after a wonderfully busy Christmas season. I’m excited to be spending a couple of weeks in London before some upcoming shows abroad!

Can we expect an EP or album any time soon?
Yes! I’ve just released my first ever EP ‘Shapes’, and am currently working on new material for the next release. 

That’s really exciting! I was wondering, where do you take your inspirations for songs from?
Listening to people, reading books, nature, personal experience… anything and anyone.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Radiohead, for their genius!

Have you got any weird habits?
I keep buying house-plants for my flat in London, I’ve lived in Kent for most of my life so I miss the countryside a little!

What really grinds your gears?
It takes a lot to really rile me…

Is there anything other than music you’re really passionate about?
The outdoors – wildlife, trees, travelling, reading, I love running too. 

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you, in life?
Like a lot of people, my teenage years consisted of a stream of embarrassing events! Most recently, I was boarding a busy underground train during morning rush-hour when my suitcase knocked a commuter’s high-heel shoe down onto the tracks! My uninterrupted flow of mortified apologies was the only voice to break the pregnant silence between the next few stations. She hobbled off at Westminster in her single high-heel shoe! I can laugh at myself now…

That’s hilarious! Poor woman. So, what music have you been listening to most recently?
‘Reflection’ by Brian Eno, ‘Tawo’ by Jordan Rakei and lots of Robert Johnson and Howlin’ Wolf on Vinyl – all wonderful!

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
I watched ‘Youth’ last night, it was beautiful. I also saw ‘The Imitation Game’ for the first time recently which I loved. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Be present.”

Sound advice! Well, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me today, it’s been a real pleasure! Best of luck for the writing and recording of your next release…we’ll be eagerly awaiting it!


SHELLS‘ releases are all available:


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other interviews here:

Muzik Speaks Interviews


#Christmas #Playlist – Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We wanted to wish each and every one of you who has supported Muzik Speaks this year, or those who are just finding out about us, a very Merry Christmas!

We have put together a special playlist with some of our favourite songs and artists in celebration of the festive period. Please follow our playlist on Spotify and share the link with your friends too!

Christmas 2016.jpg

  1. Matt Terry – When Christmas Comes Around
  2. Justin Bieber & Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
  3. Ariana Grande – Santa Tell Me
  4. Simple Plan – Christmas Every Day
  5. The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
  6. Carly Rae Jepsen – Last Christmas
  7. Pentatonix – Hallelujah
  8. Owl City – Humbug
  9. Britney Spears – My Only Wish (This Year)
  10. Yellowcard – Christmas Lights
  11. Patent Pending – Christmas Is Already A Thing
  12. Brenda Lee – Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
  13. Destiny’s Child – 8 Days Of Christmas
  14. Christina Aguilera – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  15. Kylie Minogue – Wonderful Christmastime featuring MIKA
  16. Idina Menzel & Michael Bublé – Baby It’s Cold Outside
  17. Sara Bareilles – Love Is Christmas
  18. Perry Como – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
  19. The Jackson 5 – Frosty The Snowman
  20. Sam Smith – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  21. Tom Odell – Spending All My Christmas With You (Next Year)
  22. Fun. – Sleigh Ride
  23. James Corden – The Greatest Gift
  24. East 17 – Stay Another Day
  25. Kelly Clarkson – Underneath The Tree

We hope you enjoy this and please spread the festive cheer by sharing the link with your friends.

Best wishes,

Matt
Muzik Speaks

 

 

#Christmas #FeelGoodFriday: Kelly Clarkson – ‘Underneath The Tree’


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Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

This week, in honour of Christmas, I have been posting a daily themed track, as usual, but am adding to a special Christmas playlist, each day, which you can follow on Spotify here – https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/6NNRbSEYkO3LMXx2dSrE0I

Every day this week, I have been adding 5 new tracks to the playlist (based on the theme that day). Today, that playlist is COMPLETE!

Follow the link about to gain access to Muzik Speaks‘ special 26-track Christmas playlist (I threw an extra song in at the last minute today)! Please either subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow the playlist on Spotify 🙂

Oh, and…MERRY CHRISTMAS 2015!


Kelly Clarkson – ‘Underneath The Tree’

She may well be from a talent show, but Kelly Clarkson is remarkable – her voice is great and her music is pop, but you can’t help but love it!

In 2013, Clarkson released her first Christmas album, ‘Wrapped In Red’, and ‘Underneath The Tree’ was the lead single from it. This track has just about every ounce of “feel-good” vibes you could want in a Christmas song – it’s got Clarkson’s amazing vocals sitting nicely above a big band style backing track, complete with sleigh bells, bell chimes and even a saxophone solo. Kelly even recorded all of her backing vocals, essentially making her own choir – that’s quite some feat!

Also added to the playlist today:

  • Glee Cast – Jingle Bell Rock
  • Elton John – Step Into Christmas (thrown in at the last minute!)
  • Pentatonix – Winter Wonderland / Don’t Worry Be Happy featuring Tori Kelly
  • Ariana Grande – Santa Baby featuring Liz Gillies
  • Wham! – Last Christmas

I just want to say to each and every person who has been supporting Muzik Speaks this year and to anyone and everyone celebrating today, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Christmas #ThrowbackThursday: Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’


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It’s Christmas Eve!!!

This week, as it’s Christmas, I have been posting a themed track, as usual, but am adding to a special Christmas playlist, each day, which you can follow on Spotify here – https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/6NNRbSEYkO3LMXx2dSrE0I

Every day this week, I have been adding 5 new tracks to the playlist (based on the theme that day), which means by Christmas Day tomorrow, you should have a special 25-track Christmas playlist! Please either subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow the playlist on Spotify 🙂


Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’

Who doesn’t LOVE this song? It’s fun, Christmassy, feel-good and makes you want to sing along!

Released back in 1994, over two decades ago, this song still hasn’t lost its charm. It’s a quality Christmas pop song with a slight R&B edge due to Mariah Carey‘s amazing vocals!

The song was featured on her first Christmas album, ‘Merry Christmas’, however she has since re-recorded it for her second seasonal album, ‘Merry Christmas II You’ and as a duet for Justin Bieber‘s Christmas album.

Not much else to say, other than I LOVE THIS SONG and HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!

Also added to the playlist today:

  • The Jackson 5 – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • Dean Martin – Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • Andy Williams – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
  • Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Christmas #WildCardWednesday: The Used – ‘Alone This Holiday’


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It’s Christmas!!!

…in just 2 days!

This week, as it’s Christmas, I’m going to post a themed track, as usual, but am adding to a special Christmas playlist, each day.

Every day this week, you can expect 5 new tracks to be added to the playlist (based on the theme that day), which means by Christmas Day, you should have a special 25-track Christmas playlist! Please either subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow the playlist on Spotify 🙂


 The Used – ‘Alone This Holiday’

The Used are known for being a post-hardcore/screamo band and back in 2005, the band released a Christmas song, as a B-Side to their single, ‘I Caught Fire’.

This song is definitely not your traditional Christmas tune, but it’s a good one and makes the perfect #WildCardWednesday track! Bert McCracken‘s vocals are just incredible, as usual!

Also added to the playlist today:

  • OneRepublic – Christmas Without You
  • Echosmith – I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  • Owl City – Kiss Me Babe, It’s Christmas Time
  • She & Him – Sleigh Ride

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Christmas #Two4Tunesday: Pentatonix – ‘Joy To The World’ & Jessie J – ‘Man With The Bag’


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It’s (nearly) Christmas!!!

…in 3 days!

This week, as it’s Christmas, I’m posting themed track (as normal) but I am also going to be adding to a special Christmas playlist, each day.

Every day this week, you can expect 5 new tracks to be added to the playlist (based on the theme that day), which means by Christmas Day, you should have a special 25-track Christmas playlist! Please either subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow the playlist on Spotify 🙂


Pentatonix – ‘Joy To The World’

Pentatonix are possibly one of the most successful a cappella groups to grace the cybersphere, rising to fame both on YouTube and as part of US television series, The Sing-Off!

They released their debut originals album earlier this year but they have also re-released their Christmas album, with new tracks, including this latest addition, ‘Joy To The World’.

It’s truly impressive what these guys can do with their vocals and as is tradition, this #Two4Tunesday is based on the current songs I’m loving – and this is definitely one of them!

Jessie J – ‘Man With The Bag’

Jessie J has also released a Christmas song this year, but I’m sure you haven’t missed it – it’s been featured in the Boots Christmas advert campaign.

It’s a cover of the 1950s song, ‘(Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag’, originally by Kay Starr, but also featured in the US television show, Ally McBeal.

Jessie J‘s voice is insanely powerful, and it’s nice to hear her do something a bit different and jazz orientated.

Also added to the playlist today:

  • Kylie Minogue – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town featuring Frank Sinatra
  • Justin Bieber – Mistletoe
  • Tamar Braxton – Sleigh Ride

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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