Reporting on Gigs Big Busk for Winkball

I love music. I especially love unsigned music artists who are incredibly talented, thus, I jumped at the opportunity to cover Gigs Big Busk in London recently.  A busking competition sponsored by Busk In London and the Mayor of London to support busking in the UK, as well as the wonderful array of musicians it brings with it.

Here, finalists are competing to win a number of prizes including recording time at a professional studio and other goodies from their sponsors, as well as of course, gaining the fantastic opportunity to perform at a number of unique and stunning venues throughout the competition like Liverpool Street, St Paul’s Cathedral, Battersea Power Station and finally, Westfields, where the final takes place.

 

Reporting for Winkball, we captured the event below:

10 Songs To Help You Through Heartache

We’ve all been there, broken hearted after a painful break up and needing some consolation. Luckily, every music artist creates music about making up and breaking up, so here’s some music to help you through what you think is the worst thing to happen in your life- but believe me, it isn’t.

  1. Elton John- I’m still standing

2. Aretha Franklin- Respect

3.  Adele- Someone like you

4.  Gloria Gaynor- I will survive

5. Gabrielle- Rise

6. Tina Turner- When the heartache is over

7.  Sigrid- Don’t kill my vibe

8. Alma- Karma

9. Coax- Over it

10.  Kanye West- Stronger

These songs are my own personal favourites, although there are so many out there for you to choose from!

All sources of audio and video are not my property and belong to YouTube and Soundcloud.

 

Reporting on Eid Festival for Winkball

Early in July, I covered Eid Festival for Winkball, an online reporter network that focuses on culture in London.

The festival was an incredible event; one filled with talented musicians from all over the world highlighting the diversity of Muslim culture. Breakdancers and beatboxers performed and thriving food stalls hosted rich traditional flavours which wafted through Trafalgar Square with delight. Not only was the event highlighting the platform of music and food in the Muslim world, but it encouraged art and theatre too, paying homage to incredible artists and supporting wonderful work of creators and visionaries.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the genius behind “Hats of Faith“, a children’s story tale of the various religious hats that people wear. I find it such an enlightening and wonderful concept which can highlight to other’s the vast amount of culture in the world, supporting and uniting each other’s differences.

I also spoke to Rachel Gasden, a disabled artist who grew up in the Middle East (and like me struggles with this unusual heritage bubble) who uses performative elements in her pieces to help drive her work.

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to the Sudanese artist Rasha, who experiments with all aspects of Sudanese styles of music and creates anecdotes from all over Sudan. I spoke to Maya Youssef on her inspirational courage and bravery to learn and play the Kanun, a challenging 78 string instrument. As well as the band Oxford Maqam, who mostly research and improvise 19th century works to create their own version with a unique modern twist, and the band Hawidro, who blend a fusion of Egyptian and Arabic sounds.

The 2 minute edit of the event can be seen here:

 

Adele at Wembley Stadium

There’s something immensely euphoric and powerful about singing on the top of your lungs with 98 thousand people, reliving a past experience which really shook you, but made you stronger. Joining the other screeching voices in harmony, we collaborated in our various pitches and immersed our mutual pain and suffering to become one force to be reckoned with. It felt strangely cathartic.

I guess that is what you expect from watching Adele perform at Wembley Stadium. Adele being placed right in the centre, amidst the ordered rows upon rows of faces, blending together, sitting open mouthed in awe at her frank honesty and enchanting melodies.

The last time I had come to Wembley Stadium was to perform as a dancer at the opening ceremony for the UEFA Championship Final in 2011, and I can remember vividly the vast amount of eyes watching my every move as I stepped hesitantly onto the wet pitch. I can’t imagine what it’s like to belt out pitch perfect award winning songs to an eager audience.

Wembley stadium is a location performed by legends, and in fact the last solo female to perform at Wembley was in 1997, so whilst I sat there with my over priced glass of wine next to my equally as excited mum, I felt not only was I there to be whisked away by her stunning vocals, but seeing history be made.

Adele began her performance intertwining hilarious anecdotes of her life on tour and what she plans to do in the future, giving a real snap shot into what she is like as a person. Although retiring at 29 is quite an achievement- as well as a shock to the system no doubt, her future plans to connect with her son and spend time being a mum is touching, (whilst making bizarrely pom-poms on the side!) Her honest approach to her emotions behind each song as well as natural chatter about reality TV series and cheeky swearing made the whole audience at ease and laugh with her.

After a certain time, she began to play hit after hit continuously as if she had got into a rhythm and each song was accompanied by stunning videos and apt production that fitted the show well. Fireworks exploded out of the stage and out of the Wembley arch when she sang her song “Set fire to the rain” and confetti spurted out whilst playing “Sweet devotion”, which all took the audience by surprise. I really loved her attention to detail to her fans, with each confetti piece having hand written notes on by Adele, as well as her shooting out t-shirts to the audience with money in, and even one chair in the auditorium having a special gift hidden underneath it. I felt that she honestly wanted to create this connection with the audience and really felt grateful for us to be there supporting her. Half way through her set, she asked the audience to come together and donate to the Greenfall tower fire and highlighted the drive behind her doing so and what she encountered when she personally went down to help those affected by it, which was a despairing moment in relation to their lives, but outlined with hope by all of us coming together and raising money for the victims of Greenfall tower.

Overall, her performance was one of high calibre and talent, her vocals lifted the audience in hope, soaring above and beyond Wembley stadium and her personal anecdotes in between songs left the audience in stitches. An incredible performer and refreshingly honest woman.