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Silhouettes and Sand

There are few things more surprising than a British summer, and I have been lucky enough to indulge in the sunshine.

A view from my hostel bed where I stayed for my first ever surfing holiday!

A view from my hostel bed where I stayed for my first ever surfing holiday!

Taken at Trafalgar Square screening of Tosca, sunset light creates a warmth to the statue creating a powerful contrast with the onlooking man.

Taken at Trafalgar Square screening of Tosca, sunset light creates a warmth to the statue creating a powerful contrast with the onlooking man.


A Capella

Recently I have been obsessing over acapella arrangements of songs, especially since one of my friends seems to have attained youtube stardom with his cover of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely’.

So I’ve picked out a couple of my favourite arrangements on acapella…

(This is just insane! Such a good song and love his voice).

Here are some more of my friends doing their acapella thing. Short but beautiful 🙂

In conclusion, it is safe to say, that for myself at the least, the voice is the most beautiful, versatile and pleasing instrument. ENJOY!


Right now I am meant to be revising. Instead I am procrastinating.
Yesterday I discovered the masterful and addictive app ‘snapseed’. So very very dangerous.
However I have enclosed a selection of my creations so far. All original photos.




My other primary form of distraction had been music making and I have finally invested in a soundcloud account onto which I have uploaded two songs. Give them a listen
Leila’s Soundcloud

Emeli Sandé

Ahead of her debut album release on 13th February, Emeli SandĂ© has already created a large portfolio of collaborations and songwriting with the likes of Chipmunk (‘Diamond Rings‘ off his debut), Professor Green (‘Read All About It’ off his new ‘At Your Convenience’) and Leona Lewis (Her 2012 album ‘Glassheart’). Though he might not be favourite music critic, she has also received acclaim from Simon Cowell who invited her to perform on the X factor to perform her duo with Professor Green.

The simple melodies off her album Our Version of Events set to intimate lyrics are emotionally involving and refer to older R&B styles. I can’t help but love piano and guitar dominated accompaniment and gospel-influenced backing vocals. More endearing is the fact Emeli’s use of REAL DRUMS.

Her live performances have been impressive. Unlike some successful recording-artists, Sandé maintains her strength and warmth, and melismas are not lost amidst breathlessness.

Signed to Virgin Records in April 2011, I am sure that she will continue to be a success throughout her releases, I just hope that she keeps the intimacy that her debut has given us.

Here is her powerful ‘Next To Me’ which will be released as a single on Monday along with her album.

Southern Sunsets

It would seem that I have become one of those annoying bloggers who take the title, and abandon posting after a series of mildly rewarding posts.

However I intend for that NOT to be the case.

Though my reasons were good. No internet connection at home for a month, sporadic internet café visits with judgmental waiters who glared at me every time i brought out my computer.

I went to Cape Town.

I finally climbed Table Mountain, which was unbelievable, especially when it came to climbing through clouds.

A family friend introduced me to Cape Town’s latest musical interest, Jeremy Loops.

My room had a view of the sea. Approximately 200 photos of 26 sunsets. I’m very predictable.

More South Africa photos to come!




Before watching ‘Un Heureux ÉvĂ©nement’ a music video played. Irma ‘I Know’.

I was reminded of my mini-obsession a couple of years ago where I would visit her page and see what new songs she had done.

So I went there again. And discovered a wonderful selection of covers which I will now share with you.

Hope you love her music and voice as much as I do!

Radio 1 Live Lounge

So yet another day of voicelessness has resulted in yet another day of youtube indulgence. Specifically all of the Radio 1 Live Lounge covers.

It’s always challenging listening to a well known song in a completely different way. The following are not necessarily my favourite (out of the vast selection I’ve listened to today) but definitely differ the most drastically from the originals.

Ok. The last 2 aren’t Live Lounge, but they are a combination of  being great covers, as well as being two of my all time favourite songs!

Yes. This is only a fraction of what I’ve watched.

Any favourites?

On Repeat

I’ve lost my voice. For me, a tragedy. Especially since I finally finished my song  about Amy Winehouse (see https://leilaloves.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/rest-in-peace/).

So to make up for the lack of my own music making I’ve been listening to playlist upon playlist. Mumford and Sons, Amy Winehouse, Paul Simon, Florence + the Machine. And then some new songs that I’m ashamed to say I’ve only discovered now. Here are a few

(Love the simplicity of this. The voices mix so well and yes, I just really love this!)

(Have been listening to this on repeat. Partly because Reeve Carney is so hot, but it’s also a good song! Is it weird that it reminds me of Superstar- Lupe Fiasco?!)

(This song is magical. That’s all I can say!)

(I’ve always loved Goldfish and am a bit of purist when it comes to them. I actually really enjoy this remix and hope that they maybe do a remix deluxe edition or something like that!)

Rest In Peace


I want to remember Amy Winehouse. Not for her death nor her private life, but for her music for that is the only way any of her fans can say they know her.

Her voice was different, and her music superior. It is hard to decide which album was better out of Frank and Back to Black. Both are unique in their approach, though perhaps the freshness (and less masochistic) songs of her debut album appeal to me more. All I can say is that she was a musical genius, and sadly genius walks along the edge of self-destruction.


My heroes sometimes die

And 27 years is their crime

Forever in that ultimate club

Forgetting the dingy Camden pub.

Remember them

Through their songs and words

Their talent, their thoughts

And keep their lesson learned

Which lyrics went unused

As they squandered life, self-abused?

It used to be Jimi, Joplin, Cobain

Why you Amy? Were you in that much pain?

Of course you were, who wouldn’t be?

Surrounding you was hypocrisy

Tabloids complained about the papz

Why don’t they just cut the crap

At least have the public decency

To say who pays them money; ‘oh wait, that’s me’

Forever you will be cloaked in black

And nevermore will we have you back,

But now you can have that silent content

The one you craved each time the sun set.

Did you know what was to come

In the aftermath of your death?

The flowers, the prayers, presents from some

The crowds that gathered, faces glum?

Dear Amy, though in life things were messed

Have peace in death, may you find eternal rest.


Some music I’ve been listening to:

(see Emma Smith’s page on my recommend corner and kwabena’s performance in buckingham palace here: https://leilaloves.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/happy-easter/)

(one of the chamber groups on the tour played an amazing arrangement of this. this is such an unbelievably good piece!)

Once again, I seem to have forgotten all about this blog. But my time has been filled completely. Any time for self-indulgent recreation was unthinkable. This past week I joined a music outreach group around east anglia, and did workshops with young school children pretty much everyday, except for the 2 days in which we did 3 concerts. However exhausting this sounds, it was only last night when i had my 15 hours of sleep that the adrenaline stopped, and the drain settled in.

I don’t know what I would have done without the adrenaline. For me, Tuesday was a dream. In the morning we worked on a school song for a fairly underprivileged, remote, primary school. It was unbelievable the amount of concentration, dedication and inspiration that a group of 20 year 4’s and 5’s could have, especially for 2 hours.

At the end, we had created a pretty impressive song: 2 verses, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, intro and outro. I’m still humming it.

When we got the rest of the school to join in with the chorus in their assembly, I had a little epiphany. To be a musician is not to make music solely for the purpose of self-accomplishment, but to be able share a moment of mutual passion. To have 100 or so children lining up against their school gates demanding high fives, chanting out the group leaders name, I can safely say was the most wonderful moment of the whole tour, and somewhere at the top in my life’s experiences.

Directly from this experience, I also have had very personal rewards. My confidence when it comes to performance has finally reached a satisfactory point. After teaching songs from scratch, repeating them over and over again, to a bunch of 10 year olds teaches you so much about making the most of time and the spotlight, and forgetting about inhibitions.

Anyways, the rant is over.