#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.

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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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#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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#FeelGoodFriday: Ne-Yo – ‘Friend Like Me’ (from Disney’s Aladdin)

Without a doubt, this song is the definition of feel-good! You may remember our Disney week earlier in the year and ‘Friend Like Me‘ was one of my chosen songs for that week!

Well, good news Disney-lovers, Disney are are getting set to release the mother of all cover albums on 30th October 2015, ‘We Love Disney’. The album is set to feature covers by a range of artists including Jessie J, Jason Derulo, Gwen Stefani, Fall Out Boy and of course Ne-Yo, all covering a range of well-loved Disney songs.

This is the first song to be released from the upcoming compilation and it’s hard-hitting, jazzy and downright fun! I can’t wait to hear the rest of it!

What do you think of this song? Are you a fan? Are you excited to hear the rest of the album? What’s your #FeelGoodFriday song of the week? Please leave a comment below or Tweet/Facebook us with your song choice.


‘Friend Like Me’ is available on iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/friend-like-me-from-aladdin/id1031309098?i=1031309099


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Mi’das – ‘Too Little Too Late’

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Mi’das (aka Mike Davies) has worked hard to create his own unique blend of soul and pop, which he has combined with his trademark vocals and guitar playing.

His sound has been described as “timeless, but discernably of its time” and he has worked his way from his hometown in Brighton, around the UK and across the pond, to the USA by busking on the street as well as sharing stages with the likes of Jessie J, Rita OraLabrinth and Jamie Cullum.

He has also been featured as an iTunes ‘Ahead of the Curve’ artist in the UK and US, earlier this year.

Mi’das recently released a new music video for the second single taken from his EP (‘Stronger’) called ‘Too Little Too Late’. Mi’das describes the song as being afraid of getting old and regretting not following your dreams and this message is clear throughout the song.

The soulful gospel vibe of the song brings it a uniquely timeless feel and makes for an interesting, intriguing sound. I am genuinely excited to hear what else Mi’das has to offer in the future!

How do you feel about this particular track? Do you think this timeless song has a place in today’s chart? Please show your support and share this link across your social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Too Little Too Late’ can be downloaded off iTunes right now! Please show your support for Mi’das, by downloading his latest release – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/too-little-too-late-single/id1001996694


#Two4Tunesday: Owl City – ‘Verge’ featuring Aloe Blacc & LunchMoney Lewis – ‘Bills

This week’s #Two4Tunesday consists of some monster tunes from Owl City and LunchMoney Lewis!


Owl City Banner

Although this is our second post about Owl City (previously we wrote about Fireflies), this time, we’re bringing you a brand new track from Adam Young and this one features guest vocals from Aloe Blacc.

The song is taken from Young‘s forthcoming, 5th album, Mobile Orchestra, which is due out on 10th July 2015.

It is a very catchy, electro-pop tune and sees two big stars unite for an awesome, summer-time-vibe track. I can’t get enough of this song right now!


‘Verge’ can be downloaded off iTunes, from his forthcoming album, ‘Mobile Orchestra’, now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/verge-feat.-aloe-blacc/id992475634?i=992476649


Owl City – ‘Verge’ featuring Aloe Blacc



LunchMoney Lewis Banner

LunchMoney Lewis is such a unique artist; he started his career notoriety, whilst working with Dr. Luke as a producer. He then went on to write a series of hits, such as Jessie J’s ‘Burnin’ Up’ and Fifth Harmony’s ‘Bo$$’. He then went on to lend his vocals to Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint, album track, ‘Trini Dem Girls’.

Since then, he released his first solo track, ‘Bills’, which has gained great recognition and is storming up the UK charts…and it’s use of trumpets makes it all the more fantastic!


‘Bills’ can be downloaded from iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bills/id966617416?i=966617419


LunchMoney Lewis – ‘Bills’


That’s the end of the week’s #Two4Tunesday! Please feel free to share our post on your social media accounts and tell us what your two favourite tracks are right now. We’d really appreciate it!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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