Fantastic Music Videos ALERT!

Hi guys!

There has been a lot of great music released in the past few weeks but I wanted to share my two favourite new songs with you. Two of my favourite artists released new music videos and they are both worth the watch! This week P!nk released a music video for “Beautiful Trauma” and Rita Ora released a wonderful music video for her new song “Anywhere” last month.

Let’s Break it down, shall we?

Starting with Rita Ora. Last weekend she hosted the EMA’s [European music awards]. She was GREAT! She was full of energy and had the most outrageous costume changes! On stage, her hosting never felt forced which can sometimes be noticeable with award show hosts. She was, obviously, passionate about the theme of the award show and was so supportive of all the nominees and winners. I really enjoyed the show. However, the highlight of the show was her performance!

Ora performed a mash-up of her widely popular songs “Your song” and “Anywhere.” It was awesome! Her voice is beautiful and her look was so laid back which added value to her performance. Instead of focusing on her appearance, you focused on her music and it was refreshing to see an artist perform without all the bells and whistles. She did have dancers included in her performance but what made it so interesting was that her dances were all dressed in the colours of the rainbow. The artistic direction of her performance was just beautiful and this beauty was carried over into the music video for “Anywhere.”

The video is simple. It is Rita and her music. She looks beautiful and you can see that this song clearly means a lot to her. She looks genuinely happy to be sharing this song with the world and it does not go unnoticed. This song has been on repeat for me the past week and I do not intend on stopping it anytime soon.

My next favourite song at the moment is P!nk’s “Beautiful Trauma.” Now, I cannot talk about this song and this legend without mentioning her performance at the AMA’s [American music awards]. Yes, it’s music award season if you have not guessed… P!nk sang the song ON THE SIDE OF A MASSIC BUILDING IN THE MIDDLE OF LA! She performed acrobatics, ON THE SIDE OF A BUILDING, while singing! It was incredible! If you have not watched the performance yet…. Please Youtube it. You will not be sorry.

Here is a link: P!nk at the AMA’s

Her music video for the song was released today and I have one thing to say. Channing Tatum.

Channing Tatum waking up next to P!nk.

Channing Tatum dancing with P!nk.

Channing Tatum serving P!nk cocktails.

Just Channing Tatum in P!nk’s music video. What more do I need to say?

The video is beautiful and cinematically exciting. “Beautiful Trauma” is a great song (PG advised, however) The art direction of the video is on point. P!nk looks spectacular in her 1950’s inspired costumes and well Channing Tatum.

Go have a look at these two awesome videos and let me know what you think!

Rita Ora “Anywhere”

P!nk “Beautiful Trauma”

xxx

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A new Taylor Swift era…

So as I am sure most of you know Taylor Swift recently released a new track titled “Look what you made me do” and she premiered the music video last night at the VMA awards. The release came after much speculation and a social media wipe from the artist’s side. She wiped her social media pages clean and started posting very strange snake content. Ahead of the official release, there was already a vibe surrounding this new era of what is T. Swift up to…

I first heard a snippet of the song when Shonda Rhymes released a teaser video of her new TGIT season. She used the song as a background to her teaser content. At first, I thought ok, it seems different. Let me hear the rest of the song before I decide. I watched the music video last night and I must say, my feelings are very mixed. The song and record are created around the concept of her reputation, which in itself is not odd for an artist in the limelight. Their reputations are always under scrutiny and we do live in a very judgmental society. So I understand her wanting to speak out about her reputation.

The video takes on a rather synical approch. There are so many signifiers of the end of the ‘old’ Taylor Swift. She repeats many of the characters she has previously played in old music videos and makes so many refrences to stories that she has been involved with in the past year. There is a reference to her feud with Katy Perry, the incident with Kim and Kanye West and even a reference to her recent law suit which she won. There is no doubt that the video is beautifully crafted- which all Taylor Swift videos have in common. (Remember her trip to Africa for wildest dreams?)

It is clear that Taylor worked very hard on the minor details within the video. Many of them are not even visible on first glance but after the third or fourth time watching the video, it becomes clear how many Diggs the star is stabbing at her past. It is a really brilliant music video. There is so much to look at and it is clear that this video was not made on a small budget. I get it. I understand that she felt like it was time to speak out about all the shade she has been receiving from all ends. However, part of me is sad that she is trying so hard to kill off old Taylor- I loved old Taylor. 1989 was and still is one of my favorite records to date. That music inspired me so much and I still listen to it on a regular basis.

I understand that there comes a time where stars feel like they need to evolve and grow. However, Taylor Swift has always represented such positivity within the industry- a trait which should always be encouraged. So I am not completely sure of why she felt she needed to make this music so dark? Having said that, the video is really brilliant and clever. T.Swfit always manages to bring some wit into her work and this is no different.

All I can say is that the next Taylor Swift era looks like it is going to be one hell of a ride…

Have a look at her video on her VEVO channel 🙂

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

One Love Manchester

On the 22nd of May 2017 a horrific suicide bombing took place at Manchester Arena right after Ariana Grande’s concert. Lives were lost, lives were changed and a city was suddenly brought together by tragedy. There are no words to describe how terrible this incident was. Not only for the city of Manchester but for the world.  As a human race we need to stand together and fight back with the goodness that does still exist in this world. Love, respect and happiness can trump evil and this is what Ariana Grande realized when she organised a benefit concert to both honour the victims of the attack and fundraise money for victims and families who were affected by the attack.

On the 4th of June 2017, Ariana returned to Manchester for the concert of a lifetime. At first the concert was just going to be Ariana and her unbelievable voice, but then it become an event to showcase compassion and kindness and artists like Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Robbie Williams decided to take part in the event. The 3-hour spectacular was full of high profile artists, emotional moments and a set list full of positivity, love and inspiration.

I think this was such a perfect way to honour the victims of such a horrendous attack. Of course it will not take away the pain or fear caused by the attack but it was such a wonderful way to bring about some happiness during such a difficult and dark time. I am in such awe of Ariana for putting together such an event. I think she showed such maturity and strength with this event that I cannot do anything else but respect her. She showed people that in dark times they need to be strong and stay positive. Light overcomes darkness.

As strong as Ariana seemed to the public, I think this benefit also staged as a very important part in her own healing. I am sure it must be terrifying to leave the stage and hear the commotion of the bombing. To know that your fans, who have travelled and invested time and money to see you perform, have been victims of such an incident must be a terrible thought. I can only imagine how scared she must have been to return to the stage in Manchester and I send her so much love and respect for doing so.

The event was live streamed on numerous networks and social media sights including Facebook. The event was live streamed world wide because the artists did not want any fan to be left out of the event and she felt it was important for people all over the world to stand together and celebrate Love through music. The power of music and limitless and this benefit was testimony to that.

The full set list from the benefit:

Marcus Mumford – Timshel

Take That – Shine, Giants, Rule The World

Robbie Williams – Strong, Angels

Pharrell Williams feat. Marcus Mumford – Get Lucky

Pharrell Williams feat Miley Cyrus – Happy

Miley Cyrus – Inspired

Niall Horan – Slow Hands, This Town

Ariana Grande – Be Alright, Break Free

Little Mix – Wings

Ariana Grande and Victoria Monet – Better Days

Black Eyed Peas feat Ariana Grande – Where Is The Love

Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek

Ariana Grande and Mac Miller – The Way, Dang!

Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus – Don’t Dream It’s Over

Ariana Grande – Side To Side

Katy Perry – Part Of Me, Roar

Justin Bieber – Love Yourself, Cold Water

Ariana Grande – Love Me Harder

Coldplay feat Ariana Grande – Don’t Look Back In Anger

Coldplay – Fix You, Viva La Vida, Something Just Like This

Liam Gallagher – Rock And Roll Star, Wall Of Glass

Liam Gallagher feat Chris Martin – Live Forever

Ariana Grande – One Last Time, Somewhere Over The Rainbow

What an increadible event…

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

West Side Story- 1 Feb 2017

Hi everyone,

Last night I had the absolute privilege of attending the official opening night of the South African version of West Side Story. This musical has already completed a successful run in Cape Town and now it is finally Jozi’s chance to witness this master piece. However, I feel, that in order to truly appreciate this show one needs to understand the background from which it stems. For those of you who don’t know, West Side Story is based on the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is a story about forbidden love and everything that comes along with it. The play in itself is not a complicated storyline however as I watched the musical unfold last night I was left shocked at how relevant and pertinent this story still is today.

The narrative is about two gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, who despise one another and want sole ownership of the territory. As ‘Romeo and Juliet’ then goes, one of the Jets falls in love with a young Shark. But here is the Twist, the reason why the Jets dislike the Sharks to such an extent is because the Sharks are immigrants who have left Puerto Rico and are now living in America. The young girl, Maria, moved to America with her family and is now trying to make a life for herself. In doing so, she falls in love with Tony and this is where the trouble starts. I do not want to give away the entire story line but everything makes an appearance in this story- Death, love, commitment, immigration, hope. It is kind of all twisted together to create the most wonderful production.

Technically, this production is spot on. I am consistently impressed with the quality of South African talent. After every show I see, I always comment on the talent that is shown on stage. I admire actors and actresses for their unconditional bravery. Whether that be singing on stage, talking on stage, dancing on stage or whatever else they do on stage, their bravery to do so constantly impresses me. Lynelle Kenned who played the lead role, Maria, stole the show for me. Her voice is beautiful and her portrayal of Maria was so believable and yet it didn’t feel forced. I really enjoyed watching her on stage.

Another performance that stood out for me was Bianca Le Grange’s portrayal of Anita. The character of Anita is feisty, confident and loud however I felt Bianca brought a sense of calmness to the character. Anita goes through a lot during the narrative of the production and the way Bianca played the ups and downs was really wonderful. She showed the audience both strength and vulnerability when needed. Her voice, by the way, out of this world!

I am an art department baby. In the final year of my degree I specialized in Special Effects makeup. This is why I loved the parts of the production that included SFX. The show made use of false blood which can sometimes loose effect on stage. Having said this, the SFX that was used in this production was just right! It was bright enough to make an impact but not in your face that it looked false. I haven’t seen these kind of effects used on stage before and I must say, it really added a whole new side to the show.

West Side Story is not your typical ‘glitzy’ musical. There is a roughness and a strength to the musical that feels almost male driven. However, since the show is about forbidden love, the female energy as well as the male energy provide a wonderful contradiction that seems to balance out. The boys are violence driven, they want to fight. Each side wants to be the winner but, I felt, that the woman allowed me to relate even more to the story. The men might be fighting for dominance but the woman are fighting to create a liberating life for themselves, with their men by their sides of course. I really enjoyed watching this dynamic be played out on stage.

West Side Story is the type of musical that feeds my theater obsession. Reason being that this show explores more than an over the top dance sequence. It shows off life. It shows the audience what they are experiencing and the audience responds. And it is this transaction between audience and cast that fascinates me. On stage last night I watched actors pretend to be characters that were going through situations but what I took from it was so much more. Good old Shakespeare knew what he was talking about!

Congratulations to the entire team that put together this musical, it was well worth the wait.

West Side Story is on at the Joburg Theater until the 5th of March, DO NOT MISS THIS ONE!

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

Michael Buble- Nobody but me (2016)

Hi guys,

Michael Buble’s new album was released recently and well I have to write about it!! (#1 Fan right here) ‘Nobody but me’ is Michael’s 9th studio album. On the Album he covers some of the best-loved Jazz songs and  has 3 original songs co-written by Mr. Buble himself. Needless to say, I was VERY excited to hear this Album and even pre-ordered my own copy. Overall, I think it is a solid CD and I am enjoying it a lot.

My favorite songs on the album, ironically, are his original ones; Nobody but me, I believe in you and Someday. Someday is my favorite since it features Megan Trainor- I mean is there a more perfect collaboration? I think not! There is something about Michael’s voice that just hits me in the all the right places. His passion for old school Jazz and his beautiful voice are a match made in heaven and I regard him as the 20th century, Frank Sinatra. It’s fantastic.

My only criticism is that I wish he could write more original songs. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good cover but I feel like he is doing it too much. We know he is talented, we know he can sing and we know he is great at jazz so why not bring some modern jazz into the world? I have been a fan of Michael Buble for as long as I can remember. I have seen him live twice and I cried both times. With all that in mind, my favorite songs are his own ones. There is nothing like ‘home’, ‘lost’ or ‘Everything’ those songs are timeless and will live on forever- he just needs to carry that on.

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

Saturday Night Fever in South Africa

Hi all,

Last night I was fortunate enough to go and watch the South African production of Saturday Night Fever. Ironically enough, it is one of the only musicals I had not see before and I was excited to go to a musical with no expectations or ideas about what the production ‘should’ be like. I knew about John Travolta and his fantastic white suit and I knew that the movie was about dancing and popularised Disco music, but that was where my knowledge more or less ended.

Let’s start with the music, I LOVED IT. Disco music is such a fast paced and exciting genre to dance to and it was really fun to watch this come alive on stage. I was surprised to see how much music I recognised throughout the production. Songs like Boogie shoes, staying alive and more than a woman were performed and it made me very happy. The music used in the play is just so happy that you can’t help but tap along.

What goes hand in hand with a story about dancing? The choreography of course and WOW was it amazing! The cast was so extremely talented in the dancing department that I was blown away by how wonderfully all the dances were executed. From complicated lifts too fast disco moves, it was all put together so beautifully. Being a past ballroom dancer myself, many of the dance moves brought back such great memories. Watching the actors dance on stage made me miss dancing and the high that it can give you. There is something different about Disco choreography. It is not as gender specific as other styles of dance and it was fascinating because instead of watching couples dance as a leader and a follower, it was more a sense of just keep up! Everything moved so fast that if you had to blink you would miss it all and I loved that feeling of not knowing what comes next.

Whichever way you look at it, I am an art department baby. My passion lies within the art department and it is the first thing I notice at any production. What stood out for me in this production was the Production design. It was so inventive and honestly nothing like I have seen on South African stages before. The way the stage moved and how the different ‘blocks’ were used to manipulate the surroundings was brilliant. The underground Disco club and the top of the Brooklyn bridge were so well presented and it gave the production a whole new perspective. The club felt deep and heavy and the bridge felt high and daunting.

One of the scenes that stood out for me with regards to the production design was towards the end when the main characters were singing about their misfortunes and every block was lit differently, revealing different people and their different situations. It was really a wonderful moment in the story and it was executed so well. The costumes, scenery and background action all gave the audience a very good sense of where the story was and the type of feel that was in the city at the time.

From the beginning, it was obvious that the cast of the production is very talented. However, the leads Daniel Buys and Natasha Vander Merwe were exceptional. There are many cases where a supporting role can outshine the lead role however this was not the case in this production. Both leads were so extremely strong with their performances that I could not take my eyes off of them. Daniel Buys sang and danced all at once while staying slick. His accent was also so well done and within an hour and a half or so, I grew to love his portrayal of the character. Natasha Vander Merwe, on the other hand, was equally as strong of a dancer and her voice was just beautiful. When she sand the song ‘What kind of fool’ I felt like I was in a trance and I did not want it to end. The two of them together made such a fantastic team on stage and I wouldn’t be surprised if they found themselves acting opposite each other in many other productions in the future. They really were the whole package.

Overall the production was a celebration of good music, good dancing and a great story. A story full of friendship, passion, honest mistakes and honest apologies. From not knowing much about Saturday Night Fever, I can now declare that I am a big fan! The production is running until the 9th of October at the state theatre in Pretoria. Tickets are available from Computicket and I highly suggest you make the trip to be transported into the 1970’s and the world of Disco.

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

Michael Buble is back!

Hi guys,

OK, so VERY exciting news! The one and only Mr (wonderful) Michael Buble just released a brand new song off of his new album which is due to be released on October 19th! How exciting is that? Nobody but me was released today and having already listened to it at least 6 times, all I can say is.. I love this man!

I have grown up listening and adoring Michale Buble and have been fortunate enough to see him live twice. I have watched every Christmas special he has done and I have been glued to my screen for all of his facebook live chats. He closed his last tour right here in South Africa and I was lucky enough to attend his final concert of his ‘To be loved’ tour. He brought his entire team, including his wife, onto the stage and announced he was taking some time off to concentrate on his family and his music.

Now he is making his return and I am so excited. His new single which was released today on the radio is called Nobody but me. It is an upbeat, happy song that gets your feet tapping from the moment you hear the first bar.

There is not much news about his new album out yet but we know that it will be landing on the 19th of October so keep an eye out and I can’t wait to share my thoughts about this new album when it is released!

😀

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx