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


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22nd December 2017

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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*UPDATE* – 8th July 2018

Life continues to get better, but I still find I have to take it day by day. My journey through fighting what I’ve been put through continues, but music is certainly helping to empower me. Sure, I still find I have ups and downs and there are certainly days where dark thoughts pass through my mind and there are definitely times where I’m consumed by rage but I suppose that’s all part of the healing process.

I also have to reflect on the good things in life; my loving partner, my beautiful dog and companion, my wonderful family, my ever-supportive friends, music, this blog…there’s lots to be positive about! That’s so important when you’re finding life tough – no matter how hard it is and how hopeless you might feel, take just a minute to try and find something positive, no matter how small it may be and reflect on that. Try to push the dark thoughts out of your mind (or at least to the back of it) and know that life can get better, you just have to hang in there.

And talking. I still maintain that finding someone, anyone, you can trust and talk to, is paramount to fighting your inner demons. The old saying, “A problem shared, is a problem halved,” is very true and should not be underestimated.

I feel this journey may continue for many months to come, until I feel fully back to my normal self, and so undoubtedly this playlist will continue to grow but in the months since I first posted this, I have found 10 new tracks that have continued to help me.From the beautiful William Ryan Key‘s ‘Vultures’ to the angry anthem that is ‘F.W.T.B.’ by Yonaka; Panic! At The Disco‘s ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’ is a satirical and uplifting track whilst A R I Z O N A‘s ‘Freaking Out’ helps with those times you just want to let loose and go a bit mental; music is really helping to heal some of the pain.

So, to all of those on this playlist, thank you for making your music. You don’t know how much you’ve helped, and continue to help!

Playlist

  1. Greyson Chance – Seasons
  2. Logic – 1-800-273-8255 featuring Alessia Cara Khalid
  3. You+Me – Open Door
  4. Kesha – Praying
  5. Years & Years – Eyes Shut
  6. Demi Lovato – Skyscraper
  7. Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You
  8. Kyan Palmer – Burn Mona Lisa
  9. The Fray – How To Save A Life
  10. Angels & Airwaves – A Little’s Enough
  11. SafetySuit – These Times
  12. Jessie J – Who You Are
  13. Nicki Minaj – Fly featuring Rihanna
  14. Thirty Seconds To Mars – This Is War
  15. Linkin Park – Faint
  16. Yellowcard – Fighting
  17. Story Of The Year – Can Anybody Hear Me
  18. Jimmy Eat World – Electable (Give It Up)
  19. Angels & Airwaves – Lifeline
  20. Good Charlotte – We Believe
  21. SafetySuit – Looking Up
  22. Remedy Drive – Daylight
  23. Bars & Melody – Scream
  24. MUNA – I Know A Place
  25. Kesha – Learn To Let Go
  26. Superfruit – Future Friends (Brian Robert Jones Choir Remix)
  27. You+Me – Unbeliever
  28. You Me At Six – Carpe Diem
  29. Simple Plan – I Don’t Wanna Be Sad
  30. OneRepublic – I Lived

Update – July 2018

31. William Ryan Key – Vultures
32. A R I Z O N A – Freaking Out
33. Shawn Mendes – In My Blood
34. The 1975 – Give Yourself A Try
35. YONAKA – F.W.T.B.
36. Good Charlotte – Actual Pain
37. Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry
38. Jess Glynne – I’ll Be There
39. Panic! At The Disco – (Fuck A) Silver Lining
40. SafetySuit – Victory


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 Bars & Melody


   

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With the recent release of their second album, Generation Z (check out our review), and currently touring around Europe, we were lucky enough to catch up with Bars & Melody about their recent release, how their writing process has developed, who they’d most like to collaborate with and what Charlie’s most disgusting habit is. It’s all here…


Hey guys, how’s it going?
Hey, we’re great!!!

So you released Generation Z in September and the reception seems to have been incredible, how exciting has that been for you?
Generation Z is an milestone in our career. It’s our second album, we’ve grown so much since our first album, and it’s amazing to see the reception, as it is so great.

Where did the idea for the album title come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
So we were out in Florida writing a song called ‘Scream’. The song was about all the problems of the world, and how unfair it was that our generation (Generation Z) have to live with all the mistakes that the people before us had made. One of the lines for that song is “Generation Z more like Generation Dead” and we found that lyric very powerful, so we decided to name the album Generation Z in honour of that.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording an album?
Our creative process when making an album usually consists of us playing around with a guitar, or listening into some ideas our producers have came up with. We take a lot of time writing lyrics and thinking of meanings for every song.

How did this compare to the experience of recording your debut album?
Generation Z‘s recording process was completely different to our debut album. During our debut album, we were very young and didn’t put as much thought into the writing as we did on Gen Z. Although we love our first album 143, Generation Z is our favourite.

Where do you take inspirations from when writing/recording your music?
When we write our music we take a lot of inspiration from the thought process of teenagers. All of the obstacles you encounter going through the teen phase. We also take inspiration from heartbreak, love and the beauty of the world.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
I think if ‘Bars and Melody‘ were to collab with anyone, we would love it to be Justin Bieber, we love his music!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
We love to listen to all different types of music, from Pop to Rock, Rap, Electronic, LoFi and Jazz. We love Music!

If you had to cover a recent chart song (not on your ‘Covers’ album), which song would it be and why?
If we were to cover in the charts right now it would be ‘rockstar’ by Post Malone, We love that song.

You’re heading out on tour at the moment, where are some of your favourite cities/countries to perform at?
We love Asia! Japan is a personal favourite of ours. But we love performing everywhere!

You’ve done shows across the globe but what makes a show particularly amazing for you?
There was one show in Japan where we supported Big Bang, an amazing KPOP group. We performed to over 80,000 people.

Has anything really scary ever happened to you on tour? If so, what?
Nothing really scary has happened to us on tour, luckily.

What are some of the best things that have come out of BAM?
I would say the best thing to come out of BAM is our lifelong friendship. Even after BAM ends, we’ll always have each other.

Have either of you got any disgusting habits?
Leo: Charlie likes to burp a lot and then blow it in my face.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Leo: I love to play video games and skateboard!

What really grinds your gears?
I really hate mess!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you, in life?
The most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me was when I did a school play when I was 5 years old…I wet myself on stage! Oops!

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
The best film I have seen lately is a movie called Nerve, I watched it with all my friends! It was amazing.

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your lives, who would you want to play each of you?
If a movie was made about us, I would like the cast from Stranger Things to play us.

If you were a chocolate bar, which one would you be and why?
Leo: If I was a chocolate bar, I would be a Lion bar because I’m an animal!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Leo: The best advice I’ve ever been given is to always listen to your mum!

Thanks very much for taking the time to chat, good luck with the tour and next time you’re doing a show down near Brighton I’ll have to come and review it.
THANK YOU GUYS!


Bars & Melody‘s releases are all available:


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

Muzik Speaks Interviews


#Two4Tunesday: Justin Bieber – ‘Friends’ (with BloodPop®) & Rod Stewart & DNCE – ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’


   

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Justin Bieber – ‘Friends’ (with BloodPop®)

Justin Bieber is back with his first new music since his 2015 album, Purpose, and his new single, ‘Friends’, (with BloodPop®) is one heck of a banger!

The track is everything you want from a summery, club banger and it is unashamedly so. The EDM-inspired tune has rocketed straight to Number 2 in the UK charts – just where it deserves to be!

No official music video has been released yet, but the rather cool lyric video can be seen below.


‘Friends’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/friends/id1271990063?i=1271990076



Rod Stewart & DNCE – ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’

Rod Stewart has re-recorded his 1978 hit, ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ with Joe Jonas– fronted band, DNCE and it’s thrown it straight into the 21st Century, whilst still maintaining its funky feel.

It’s not changed too dramatically, which will keep Rod Stewart‘s fans happy and the addition of DNCE is sure to bring the track to a new audience – a great new rendition and a track I’m loving right now.

No official music video has been released as yet, but you can see the funky lyric video and live performance at 2017’s VMAs, below.


‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/da-ya-think-im-sexy-feat-dnce-single/id1273235980


‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’ Live at 2017 VMAs

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist


   

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It’s the 1st August and summer is in full swing! As such, I thought it was time to present you with our next playlist – #SummerSongs 2017 (following on from #SummerSongs 2015)!

This 30-track playlist has been lovingly crafted with over 100 minutes of summery songs, both new and old, that I really love and put me in a great mood and I hope it’ll do the same for you too 🙂

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download the artwork below:

Summer Songs 2017

#SummerSongs 2017 – The Playlist

This mammoth, tune-filled playlist includes the following summer anthems:

  1. Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill (Throttle Remix)
  2. OneRepublic – Rich Love featuring Seeb
  3. A R I Z O N A – Feed The Beast
  4. Jonas Blue – Mama featuring William Singe
  5. NEIKED – Call Me featuring MIMI
  6. Sigala – Came Here For Love featuring Ella Eyre
  7. Phats & Small – Turn Around
  8. Nevada – The Mack featuring Mark Morrison Fetty Wap
  9. Rita Ora – Your Song
  10. Anton Powers – Baby featuring Pixie Lott
  11. John Gibbons – P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)
  12. Zedd – Stay featuring Alessia Cara
  13. Will Joseph Cook – Plastic
  14. Miley Cyrus – Malibu
  15. Luis Fonsi – Despacito featuring Daddy YankeeJustin Bieber
  16. Calvin Harris – Feels featuring Pharrell WilliamsBig SeanKaty Perry
  17. Katy Perry – Bon Appétit featuring Migos
  18. Ke$ha – Learn To Let Go
  19. Disciples – On My Mind
  20. J Hus – Did You See
  21. Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
  22. Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holding Me Back
  23. The All-American Rejects – Sweat
  24. Club Drive – International
  25. Busted – One Of A Kind
  26. The Maine – Bitch Better Have My Money
  27. Life Of Dillon – Rocks
  28. Paramore – Forgiveness
  29. Sheppard – Geronimo
  30. Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams

I’ve gathered only the best songs which I hope will be the soundtrack to your summer – I want this summer to be one you’ll remember…for the best reasons! Check out the playlist on Spotify.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Frankmusik (2017)


   

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It’s been nearly 2 years since we first interviewed the incredibly talented Frankmusik (see our previous interview here) and with the first release of his 2-part record, SS17, due out on June 17th (pre-order here), we thought it was about time to catch up with him.


Hey Vincent, how’s it going?
Very well thank you.

What have you been up to since our last interview with you?
Working on a two-part album. SS17 + AW17.

So, I love your recent singles ‘Going Under’ and ‘WYG’, is the rest of SS17 going to be similar?
Absolutely.

Have you written or recorded with anyone interesting recently?
Yeah, quite a few right now actually. But don’t want to single anyone out incase I forget to mention someone. You know, like no favourites between children type of thing. 😉

Which track on SS17 are you most excited for people to hear? Why?
The title track ‘June 17th’. I worked on it with Lindsay Lowend who co-produced the track. But really all of music excites me. So it’s kinda like picking favourites again. Maybe I’ll just say this, you’ll know why I picked ‘June 17th’ when you hear it. 😉

What made you decide to do 2 EPs this year? And where did you take inspiration to theme them along the lines of the fashion industry?
I decided to make a 2-part record because I wanted to shoot a music video for every track. Providing that amount of video content required me to split the music work load into two parts of the year. I got inspired by the fashion industries way of splitting collections by seasons from working with Anya Hindmarch. I’ve been creating the soundtrack to her runway shows since late 2015 now and really loved the idea of taking my music in a sort of ‘collection’ based release. There will be one mood for the summer SS17 + one for the winter AW17.

Frankmusik-009 BannerPhotos in this post are credited to Brian Jamie.

So does that mean that every track on both SS17 and AW17 will get their own music videos? If so, how has it been developing videos for each of those tracks?
That’s the idea. We’re going to try our best to shoot videos for all the songs. It’s been great. I’ve been making music for 10 years, I wanted to broaden my horizons. It’s been a big learning experience. Every video we learn something new.

Can you see yourself releasing like this again next year?
Potentially… It’s also because I produce music for so many other people it’s tough now a-days to dedicate a large portion of the year to just my personal project.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
The Lemon Twigs. They’re about the only thing that really stood out to me this past year.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I like the production on Zedd’s Stay’, so maybe that one?

If someone else was to cover one of your songs, who would you like to hear do it and which song?
Justin Bieber – any song would make my day.

If a film were to be made about your life, who would you want to play you and why?
Daniel Radcliffe cos he’s hilarious.

Are there any plans to tour the UK soon?
Not right now.

Lastly, if you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Mars Bar, cos that’s my favourite.


Frankmusik‘s releases are all available:


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

Muzik Speaks Interviews


#Two4Tunesday: Jay Sean – ‘Do You Love Me’ & Cheat Codes – ‘No Promises’ featuring Demi Lovato


   

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Jay Sean – ‘Do You Love Me’

Having released a single last year that didn’t perform as well as hoped in the USA and after being quiet for a little while since, Jay Sean is sure to burst back onto the scene with this potentially epic hit, ‘Do You Love Me’.

Following the current trends (similar to that of Justin Bieber etc.) the song uses a vocal sample as part of the hook amongst tropical house vibes and has a massive feel-good factor that makes this song too good to ignore.

No music video has been released online yet but when it does, we’ll update you.


‘Do You Love Me’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/do-you-love-me/id1217399433?i=1217400277



Cheat Codes – ‘No Promises’ featuring Demi Lovato

Cheat Codes have teamed up with the ex-Disney singer and actress Demi Lovato to create this tropical house-fuelled pop track. It’s an incredibly catchy, fun song with a hugely strong summer vibe to it. It’s got all the makings of a summer smash hit for 2017!

Again, no music video has surfaced yet but we’ll of course keep you posted when one does.


‘No Promises’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/no-promises-feat-demi-lovato-single/id1219424646


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Playlist: Cassettemix + Chill

We felt it was time to create the ultimate chillout playlist, combining as many different genres as possible into one, super-relaxing, easy-listening place. This playlist has been lovingly crafted to include a variety of chilled songs we love as well as suggestions from you guys!

If you already own the songs and want the custom artwork, please feel free to copy/download the artwork below:

Cassettemix + Chill

Cassettemix + Chill Playlist

This genre-spanning playlist includes the following chilled-out tracks:

  1. Justin Bieber – I’ll Show You
  2. Chris Malinchak – So Good To Me
  3. DJ Snake – Let Me Love You featuring Justin Bieber (Andrew Watt Acoustic Remix)
  4. Aquilo – Sorry
  5. Years & Years – Eyes Shut
  6. The 1975 – Paris
  7. The Japanese House – Swim Against The Tide
  8. MUNA – So Special
  9. Zara Larsson – Lush Life (Acoustic Version)
  10. The Beach – Geronimo (Acoustic Version)
  11. Years & Years – Without
  12. George Ezra – Budapest
  13. Amy Winehouse – Tears Dry (Original Version)
  14. Simply Red – Holding Back The Years
  15. Timeflies – Stuck With Me
  16. John Mayer – Who You Love featuring Katy Perry
  17. One Direction – Perfect (Matoma Remix)
  18. X Ambassadors – Renegades
  19. Sons Of Maria – You & I
  20. Ella Eyre – We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off
  21. Alex Parks – Out Of Touch
  22. You+Me – Break The Cycle
  23. Freshlyground – I’d Like
  24. George Michael – Jesus To A Child
  25. Chicane – Poppiholla (5am Mix)
  26. Sia – Elastic Heart (Piano Version)
  27. Miley Cyrus – Adore You
  28. TIEKS – Sunshine featuring Dan Harkna (Acoustic Version)
  29. Echosmith – Cool Kids (Acoustic)
  30. Ben Haenow – Second Hand Heart featuring Kelly Clarkson (Acoustic)
  31. Ella Henderson – Missed
  32. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece (Idol Version)

I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it! Please share the link to this post, or the playlist itself and give it a follow on Spotify too – https://open.spotify.com/user/muzik5peaks/playlist/3V0deIVNCsaBTc6haHRFrk

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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