Artist Highlight | For Mallory

Hello and welcome to my newest music series: Artist Highlight!

I generally wanted a space to talk about a single musician or band a month, but back in early April, when I went up north to visit with my family, my cousin’s daughter brought her violin and played us some songs she’s been learning in her class. She did a really great job and after the performance I asked her how she was able to play it and she explained to us in great detail. I hope she continues to play the violin or maybe switch/take on another instrument later on, if she ever does this, I hope it’s the cello! I love the cello just as much as I love the violin.

A little later I asked her if she’d ever heard of Lindsey Stirling before, and she told me no, which really puzzled me but then again, it didn’t, because in school, she’s probably forced to know classic works and nursery rhymes at this stage, so in a way to help introduce her and everybody else who happens to read this, to other violinists!


Let’s start with the lovely Lindsey Stirling.

I didn’t find out about her through America’s Got Talent in 2010, I actually found her on YouTube like most people–but I think I would have enjoyed seeing her on the show a lot! Anyways, the first song I heard was “Crystalize” of course and remember seeing the music video, thinking these two really work together. Although her music was considered hip hop on the show, for this song she had kicked up the dubstep hype that was going around at that time. I was hooked to her channel my whole senior year and honestly believe she cemented my drive for modern symphonic music.

Before Lindsey came into my life, the first violinist I was ever “introduced’ to was back in 2004, this year at its core was a changing time for me. I had just started on my hip hop phase and so I was listening to a lot of unique beats on my own without being heavily influenced by my mother. The song in question was Twista’s “Overnight Celebrity” as it features an actual violist on the track, Miri Ben-Air. I remember watching the music video for the song and was stuck by the fact there was a woman violinist. It seems kind of scary that this was the second time I was listening to two very different genres of music together and absolutely loving and wanting more of it. I had begun this a year before when Evanescence’s debut album came out in 2003.

After the song disappeared, I didn’t find anything like it again until around late 2007 or early 2008. I had found these two girl groups from England, bond and eScala. They were not your average girl groups of that time, they never actually sang, they were a string quartet. This was my first show that if you’re a part of a group, you don’t a singer. Unfortunately, by the time I had found both of them, they were on hiatus and honestly haven’t released anything new for a couple of decades.

Later on in my life, this would sort of happen again as I had discovered Apocalyptica, which was originally a tribute band for Metallica out of Finland! They have three celloists and one drummer and they make symphonic metal music. I’ve talked a bit about them over the years. They have a lot of cool songs like “Broken Pieces” with Lacey Sturm and “White Room” with Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix.

There is another group I found back in 2015 I think, it was when the symphonic metal band Kamelot came out with “Silverthorn” as it was the band’s first album with a new singer. They had a song called “My Confession” and they featured the German group Eklipse and even though they were all woman, I wouldn’t consider them a pop-y, although they have done some covers of David Guetta’s “Titanium” with Sia, and ‘Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake, they do like to take risks and create renditions of popular rock songs, and my favorite is still “Weak Fantasy by Nightwish.

Back in 2017, when I was on Netflix, I had found the Han Zimmer: Live in Prague and was just stunned by the fact that this huge music producer was getting together with his longtime friends and putting on shows for everyone. I mean, he performed at Lollapalooza a couple of years ago! How in the heck does that happen?! Anyways, the show itself was absolutely amazing and I will not lie, I totally cried when Lebo M came out to perform some of “The Lion King” songs on stage! There were a lot of elements I enjoyed but I really fell in love with the violinist Rusanda Panfill and celloist Tina Guo. You may already know Tina’s work without even know it as she is the one who did the Wonder Woman main theme. These ladies really play beautifully and definitely recommend that concert to anyone.

I was never truly able to learn to read music nor do I feel the need to play any instrument, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love seeing other artists become so passionate with their work though, it’s so interesting to see these musicians put everything into their work. Whenever I watch concerts on YouTube, I love to see them basically one eye on the maestro and the other on the sheets on the podium in front of them. They tend to have some intense facial expressions and they always seems to change with whatever tempo they are playing at that moment.

If you would like to check out the artists I’ve mentioned and/or any others (because I had an even bigger list to start, but we’d be here forever!) that fit in this post, click here to the Spotify playlist!

snowflake

March Playlist

Hello!

The music I was listening to this month was all over the place. Well, it’s like that all of the time, but I didn’t want a single artist/genre, I was switching it up every day. The reason for this was because I found my main Blog Playlist, I had on the right side of the site in 2015-16, when our internet wouldn’t allow me to have my Spotify for a longer period of time. I can’t tell you how grateful to have three separate ways to listen to my playlists now! Anyways, the playlist has some good jams, but it is super long, so I’ll probably listening to it as we make our way into April.

I’ve also made it my mission every week to pay attention to my ‘Discover Weekly’ too. I like how on the beginning and end of the weeks are controlled by the wide range of music. My DW playlist changes on Monday and every Friday we get brand new music, so they are really handy if you want something new or want to stay with a certain genre/mood. For example, if I’m in a mood for BANKS and proceed to listen to her stuff for like half a week, it’ll give you artists and songs that might be similar to her.

For March, I thought we should bring back the Top 25 because why not? If you’d like to listen to the full playlist, click here.

Transform by Julianne Hough
Trophy Hunter by Within Temptation
Bitch by Emily Vaughn
iPad by The Chainsmokers
Holding Back by BANKS
Chicken Teriyaki by Rosalia
Chaos by Hollywood Undead
Bad Girlfriend by Theory of a Deadman
Every Man Is A Warrior by Lena Fayre
Go by Meg Myers
Day Before We Went To War by Dido
God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes
Impermanence (Abbey Road Version) by Architects
Invisible by Ashlee Simpson
Now I’m In It by HAIM

My Universe by Kurt Hugo Schneider featuring Alex Goot & First To Eleven
Crystaleyes by AVIVA
Decay by Sevendust
Bad Habits by The Animal In Me
Love Me Harder by Lauren Babic featuring Radvansky
War (Epic Trailer Version) by J2 featuring Maddi Lasker
American Idiot by Halocene
Pinky Ring by Ne-Yo featuring O.T. Genasis
Butterflies by Abe Parker
Circle The Drain by Wage War

Whenever there is a situation somewhere in the world, I tend to really lean on my cinematic music, especially the superhero/uplifting type of music, but ever since the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, I’ve really pushed them away because it just seemed weird to be listening much less sing along to lyrics that these people are actually experiencing right now. Honestly, I didn’t want to talk about my thoughts of what’s going on, but there is one song that I found at the beginning of the fighting, and it was J2’s version of Edwin Starr’s “War (What Is It Good For?)” featuring the singer Maddi Lasker. I’ve only listened to it twice earlier in the month, but I can’t hear it anymore or else it’ll make me sadder of what’s going on.

What were you listening to in March?

snowflake

February Playlist

Happy Monday everyone!

The best way to describe February’s playlist is chaotic. I thought it would be similar to last month, but I was wrong. It has its own style. I discovered so much music this month that I’ve been both happy and stunned at the same time because the number of genres in it is so beautiful and I cannot wait to share it with you today.

At the beginning of the month, I was being pulled into my hard rock artists and I think I’ve had my foot holding the door to that genre the whole time. As I was traveling through pop and even epic country/rock music (which is SO ahh-mazing!) worlds I would literally make a circle back to enjoy some of my beloved tracks. I would love to share one artist or band every month, but I find it really challenging because I shuffle around so much.

And yes, I have been using the same banner I use on Instagram and Twitter as the playlist’s cover. I don’t know why I’m just doing it now, but it’s been fun coming up with different lettering to symbolize each month. Unfortunately, I can’t use the ones I made above, mainly because it is too large to fit, but since I also make the others, so thankfully I have the others!

I don’t have a general idea why I made January so gloomy, but it was just wanted for that banner. I knew for February, I wanted to go all out for Valentine’s Day, and I used the one color I hate with a passion: pink. I had to put some black in there because the hot pink was a little too strong to match with any other color on the app’s selections. I will (hopefully) continue to do this for the rest of the year and maybe it’ll attract some more people that cruise around on Spotify for more styled playlists.

Here is my Top 25 for the time being. Keep an eye and hear out on my blog’s Facebook and Instagram to see if I include any more songs. If you want to take the easy route, you can look into the entire playlist on Spotify as I’m always updating there as well!

Decode by Paramore
My Universe by Kurt Hugo Schneider featuring Alex Goot & First To Eleven
Feeling Good by Nina Simone
Man On A Mission by Oh The Larceny
Liar by Britney Spears
Your Call by Gaby Grace
Where Is Your Hero Now by Sami J. Laine x Epic Music World
Stabbing In The Dark by Ice Nine Kills

Sweere by Papa Roach featuring FEVER 333 & Sueco
Dirty Talk by Wynter Gordon
Stranger by Hilary Duff
Gold Trans Am by Kesha
Daddy AF by Slayyter
Pink Pony Club by Chappell Roan
Weak by JoJo
Surface Pressure by Jessica Darrow
Back From The Dead by Halestorm
Cutting It Close by Rain City Drive
ABCDEFU by Gayle
Hallelujah by Underoath

Rest In Peace by Dorothy
Boyfriend by Dove Cameron
Tomorrow by Avril Lavigne
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Cary Brothers
Yours by Ella Henderson

Before I let you go, I wanted to talk about the Super Bowl halftime show.

I’m not a fan of football by any means, but I enjoy watching the commercials and the halftimes shows. I always think they can be a hit or miss, and I always have some worries about what the artist would do. I did not know who was going to host until probably late November. I feel like we knew pretty early on who was going to play for the last few years, but once I heard about Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eminem was going to be on stage, I was so pumped!

As you may know, I tend to listen to a lot of old school hip hop, and even though I wasn’t expecting to see 50 Cent there, I brought me back to my middle school days because I was a huge G Unit fan and if you didn’t know, I basically wanted to become the female, disabled version of Dr. Dre after graduating high school. So, the lineup (not so much into Kendrick Lamar, though I do respect him as an amazing record producer!) was everything to my mom and me. It was incredible to see these great artists of the 80’s through the mid 2000’s performing some of their fan’s favorites!

What were you listening to in the month of February? What did you think about the Halftime show? Who would you like to host next year?

snowflake

October Playlist 👻🖤

Hello!

It is FINALLY the week of Halloween!

I’ve been looking forward to the holiday since July but you would never know it if you saw my room right now. I only put out my plaid pumpkins around my window like last year, and mom managed to hang up the wreath that Rumer did nothing but bark at throughout the month of August. Thankfully Rumer doesn’t have a glue about it so we’ve been enjoying the quiet there. I’d still like to get another one for Christmas/winter with lights on it but I fear that’ll just provoke her so I’ll have to find something else…

Since we’re discussing festive music, I thought I’d let you know that I have updated my ultimate Halloween playlist I created about two years ago. It still has all of the classics but I have also tried to save anything I share on my Insta too, just in case you can’t check those out because you don’t have an account. If you’d like to take a listen to my favorites lately, click here I would also like to add that I did not forget about my promise about including my September playlist too! .

Here are my Top 25 songs for October, and if you are curious to see what else I got into, here is your final link of the post.

This Fire Inside by NerdOur featuring Halocene
Invincible by Saysh x Anderson Rocio
Legend by Holy Wars
Get Better by Leslie Mosier
This Town by ELLA EX
Queen by Hidden Citizens featuring Ranya
Ain’t My Fault by Zara Larsson
Let Me Love You by Love and Death featuring Lacey Sturm
Whose Side Are You On by Tommee Profitt featuring Ruelle
Parachaute by Saint Chaos
Rebel by Pep Squad
God Only Knowns by for KING & COUNTRY featuring Echosmith
Show Yourself by Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood

Down by The Birthday Massacre
Wicked Game by Violet Orlandi
Crawl Back In by Dead By Sunrise
Everybody Hurts by Avril Lavigne
Somebody Else by VERITE
Does He Love You by Reba McEntire featuring Dolly Parton
Dead Inside by Nita Struass featuring David Draiman
Emily by James Arthur
Friday by Jeris Johnson featuring Trippie Redd
No Rest For The Wicked by Lykke Li
How Soon Is Noe by AG x Dressage
Gravedigger by MXMS

One thing I have been really enjoying is sharing my “Halloween Inspired” theme of ‘Song of the Day’ on Instagram’s stories in the evenings. It is the only thing I was able to keep up with throughout the entire month as the others failed fairly quickly!

I try to change it up every other day with various backgrounds and of course the music too. We started off with Ice Nine Kills’ new track featuring Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach “Hip To Be Scared” as I felt like it was a great way to start off the spooky season. The band itself is really interesting, they are definitely a metalcore type of band but like to muddle with other subgenres like my ultimate favorite: symphonic metal. I love anyone who is different from the rest and what I love about this band is that, they focus on horror films. All of the elements of those amazing, cult-like, movies like American Psycho, Halloween, etc. They recently released their newest album: “Welcome to Horrorwood: The Silver Scream 2” which is totally awesome, you should definitely check it out before the month is over.

What were your listening to this month?

July Playlist

Hello!

The music that came out in July was on another level.

I’m not sure if the Olympics in Tokyo were responsible for the increase of bangers but I am living for it anyways!

There were moments where I wanted to listen to every genre I could get my toes on, and then I back track it with just individual artists and I would be listening to their albums in two days, for example, one evening I started craving Linkin Park and I ended up listening to my favorite albums and I didn’t stop until the next afternoon and I was even looking up my favorite YouTube videos of them, and for like four days, I felt like I was in heaven. And then I realized that the date of Chester’s death was coming up and I became very sad quickly… but it was still great to get back into my favorite songs and sing them at the top of my lungs again.

Another band that I think was having a great month is Halocene. They are an unsigned band in Arizona and only have three members: Addie (vocals), Brad (backup vocals and guitar), and Joe (drummer). that love to do covers of songs in various genres. Personally, I tend to fall in love with their covers of rock and heavy metal songs. Addie does a terrific job of handling her voice against some of these darker and low vocals. The band itself released three covers and they were “Zombie” by The Cranberries/Bad Wolves, “Throne” by Bring Me The Horizon (featuring Ai Mori) and “In The End” by Linkin Park (featuring NerdOut). These are the ones on their YouTube channel but they also have another BMTH cover on Ai Mori’s channel and that song is, “Can You Feel My Heart” but I didn’t enjoy it as much and still drives me nuts!

They also released a brand new original song, called “When Demons Come To Life” and it is awesome! It has Lauren Babic and I really enjoyed the fact that she is singing on the majority of this song, because lots of people know she’s a damn good screamer but I think everybody forgets that she has this soft, child like voice too and it really works wonders against Addie’s vocals too. The music video is very creepy as they show like an asylum and it really draws you into the meaning of the lyrics and everything just works so good! They tend to do a lot of videos and they’re all different and exciting in their own ways but this has to be my favorite because it fits so well with the song and there are not many music videos like that.

I think it’s finally time to tell you my Top 25 songs are for July. If you want to check out the entire Spotify playlist, click here.

Writing’s On The Wall by Yale Out Of The Blue
Hurt by Christian Reindt featuring Lloren
Gravity by Sara Bareilles
Realm Of Dreams by J2
Rani Cypher by Raja Kumari featuring Dee MC, SIRI
Twisted by Carrie Underwood
Remember by Leah
Confessional by Janet Devlin
Weight Of Everything by Ill Factor featuring Katie Garfield
Take You Dancing by Jason Dersulo
Infected by Starset
Harleys In Hawaii by Katy Perry
Fallin’ (Adrenaline) by Why Don’t We
If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow
Say You Love Me by Jessie Ware
The Messenger by Linkin Park
Harley by Letters From The Fire
All In by 2WEi featuring Marvin Brooks
Die With Me by Gemini Syndrome
Holy Roller by Spiritbox
Galway Girl by MALINDA
Hard To Kill by Beth Crowley
She’s Fire by Diane Warren featuring G-Eazy & Santana
Drinks by Cyn
Savage (bitmastr remix) by Bahari

I said this the other day on my Instagram but I love how different my music tastes are on daily basis. They are NEVER the same to the next and honestly, it makes things even more exciting because I absolutely love sharing what I am listening and loving lately with people. I mean, I wouldn’t be doing these posts for my personal enjoyment–although I have in the past!–without influencing somebody else to look outside of their comfort zone. I like a bit of everything and obliviously I’m not afraid to show it!

Now it is your turn, what were you into this month?