Illustrations: Sian McKeever
To be honest when I’m stressed (which seems to be almost always), the two things that get me through include drawing and listening to music. Like most people, I associate strong memories with music. There are songs I can’t listen to anymore because it holds far too many emotions that I’m not ready to face yet; which is a shame but in time I’m sure I’ll be fine.
A fact about me that a lot of people don’t know, is that I’m actually quite musical. I grew up playing the French Horn (lol) for 7 years, was in the Orchestra and was first horn for 2 years. After I got braces (double lol) I put the French Horn aside and started guitar lessons, while self teaching myself the ukulele. Now I play the ukulele almost every day! I wish I could sing better but I’m working on it.
Today I decided to combine my two interests. By illustrating a few of my favourite artists at the moment. My taste in music is incredibly varied, as my friends know – my playlists on Spotify range from Keane, Elvis Presley’s Greatest Hits and Disney Princesses soundtracks… But at the moment I’ve been loving three.
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
There’s been a lot of hype around Kendrick’s album, but I totally support it. Before this album I only really knew a few of his songs – whenever Swimming Pools came on at a party I would cringe. A song about sobriety used to drink to. But anyway this album speaks. No, it fucking yells and it tells the truth. You can literally feel the emotion of this man’s struggle in his lyrics. A lot of talk about America and black culture that being the caucasian girl that I am I can’t fully empathise with, but I’ve learned a lot just by listening to DAMN. My favourite tracks are Element, Love and Humble.
Miley Cyrus – Malibu
Before you close the tab, give me a chance and explain – This song is Miley Cyrus’ comeback! Miley’s talent in my opinion has been shadowed by her few years of whacky “ded petz !(!euu2123!!!! glitter and twerk!!!” -ness. I think the world forgot she could even sing. Malibu brings Miley back into the game. The song is openly about her fiance Liam Hemsworth, who she credits for helping her get out of some difficult times. It’s not lyrically particularly creative, but I don’t think it needs to be to get the message across. Also, you can hear the guitars and drums in the back. Always nice to imagine an actual band playing music in a recording studio.
Ray Blk – Durt
My beautiful friend Jess told me about Ray Blk’s music, and straight away I was hooked. (Ray Blk will be performing this summer at Lovebox festival in London and I get to see her! I’m so excited!!) My favourite song from the album is definitely My Hood – it gives a personal insight into where the artist grew up, and how despite everything (good and bad), her neighbourhood will always be home. Ray’s voice is captivating and powerful. When I listen to her music I always feel like dancing, except in my case it isn’t really dancing, but rather an awkward series of swaying movements… But give her album a go! If I had a magic ball, I can see this super talented woman making it BIG in the next year.