So some very exciting news! I recently played a gig at the Bedford in Balham and some lovely people got in contact with me a week later on my website to tell me that they would like to use my music in a Big British Feature Film coming out late 2013, called 'The Intervention'. They had some very nice things to say about my songs and live performance, which I won't repeat here because I am modest haha. But if you would like to read them, their kind words are half way down on my about page - click here. The most likely song they will use is 'Kick Out Of You' my lead single from the new EP, but there is talk of having more of my songs as options for different parts of the film depending on the feel and the mood of scenes by the time the film gets to editing stages. I am just please they like what I do to be honest, so happy days. 😀
A little while ago I went to SWN Festival, the yearly inner-city music festival in Cardiff. I saw and enjoyed a lot of good music, but my favourite band of the weekend (and who I especially wanted to see) was 'Dry The River'. It was a great gig on the Sunday night, and at the end the whole band came into the audience 'unplugged' to sing their last song. It was cool, and I filmed it.
I just watched this video all the way through and cannot recommend it highly enough. John Cleese gives a speech on creativity which includes references to psychological findings and easy, applicable steps on how to be creative, and what you need to do to get yourself into a creative mindset. My friend Stephen E. Kennedy shared it with me.
As a songwriter and a Psychology student, this topic of research is particularly fascinating to me - I actually wrote an essay on creativity last year. Unless you are one of those people who can't listen to a song all the way through on your Ipod, watch the whole video because it will be valuable to you in many different aspects of your life.
Recently I read My Booky Wook by Russell Brand and I thought I would write a little blog about addiction as it is a subject I often think about; and also about other books I have found interesting or useful that relate to this topic in my own life. Firstly, what I liked the most about 'My Booky Wook' was Brand's honesty about his addictions and escapades. He goes into detail about a lot of different episodes of sex, drugs and narcissism whilst all the while being a fairly likeable character. I must have read it in about two days and have to admit I found it very enjoyable, perhaps because I felt he was a kindred spirit in the way his mind works, or perhaps partly because of the birds eye view it offers into a celebrity's life that most people can't but help find so fascinating.
You may or may not know that I am finishing a Psychology degree this academic year, and I think the study of human behaviour and how the mind works has a big influence on the songs I write, particularly the lyrics. I find that writing lyrics from different psychological viewpoints and extremes of emotion is really interesting, and writing and performing those songs really allows you to become that character for a short space of time.
One re-occurring theme in some of my first-person-viewpoint lyrics is addiction and compulsive behaviour, and this is why My Booky Wook was particularly interesting to me. I'm also now doing my final year research project on habits of risky behaviour. I have written 2 songs so far around the addiction theme and its associations: 'Kick Out Of You' and my new song 'What You Do To Me'. I think that although not everyone necessarily develops a dangerous addiction in their lifetime, there are unavoidable addictive tendencies in natural human behaviour that many of us have to deal with or fight.
A lot of people who know me would say I have an addictive personality, and that I am very 'all or nothing'. I usually do things with 100% intensity weather it's something not so great for you, like religiously drinking coffee (my current vice) or things that are good for you like giving up smoking (I used to smoke for a year but this book made me quit for good), to healthy eating (this book turned me into a health freak) and exercise (I did the whole P90X course and turned into a lean machine ;D even Bruno Mars mentions it in his song!).
However, I like to think that if you do have this addictive streak (for further reading on this you could start here) that you can turn it into a positive characteristic, that empowers you to succeed at things you are passionate about. You can become almost addicted to achieving a goal, or getting the most out of life. I've certainly found that when I'm totally driven and working hard at my music career, my other addictive tendencies are dramatically reduced, and I'm happy.
Italy was awesome! I want to go back. The whole time we were there, the band and I were treated like rockstars (which we most certainly are, it's just nice for it to be appreciated). As you can see from the picture, we also met a cat that belonged as an evil side kick in a James Bond film.
We met the most friendly and lovely people there; so welcoming and enthusiastic about my music, it was incredible. One of the best parts was that I got to drink about 8 double espressos each day. It was like being in heaven! The Italians REALLY know their coffee - I felt right at home.
Apparently we impressed some important people and may be back out there sooner than we know. But I guess we will just have to wait and see! 😉