”My week as a Muslim” on Channel 4

  “My week as a Muslim” is an eye-opening documentary that reveals the challenging journey of the Muslim community after a sudden Manchester terrorist attack turned everybody against them and their culture. ”The Guardian reports a 500% increase in hate crimes against Muslims since the Manchester bombing.” (The Guardian,2017) The purpose of this factual programme is to educate,as well as to break all the misconceptions and racist views that people,including Katie Freeman,the main contributor,had,despite the fact that they didn’t know the truth beyond the countless TV and newspapers’ reports. ”According to Khan, it enabled Freeman “to experience what it is like to be part of the British Pakistani Muslim community rather than observe it as an outsider.”(BBC News,2017)

  According to the Channel 4 remit,which is to “be innovative and distinctive, stimulate public debate on contemporary issues, reflect cultural diversity of the UK, champion alternative points of view, inspire change in people’s lives and nurture new and existing talent” (“What is Channel 4”, 2017),the programme is suitable for this channel due to its controversial topic and further debate that it stirs among a wide range of viewers,as well as because it strives to provide a better understanding and tolerance and to remove ignorance towards cultural diversities across the world. It was originally broadcast on 23th October 2017 and the  intriguing concept behind the programme came from a similar experience that Fozia Khan, the TV producer worked for in the past ”The idea for making the documentary My Week As a Muslim came to me after I spent almost a year in Birmingham, filming a series for Channel 4 called Extremely British Muslims in and around Birmingham Central Mosque.” (The Guardian,2017)

  The approach of this documentary is different and it was a bold move that had been heavily criticized,but nonetheless, it managed to provide a valuable insight into how the lives of Muslims are perceived by having Katie, who willingly disguised as a Muslim woman and agreed to live with the family of Saima Alvi and her five children for a week in order to face her fears and challenge her prejudices. ”Katie was superficially transformed into a British-Pakistani woman, and went out undercover with Saima to experience what life was like in Manchester’s Muslim community.” (The Telegraph,2017)

Katie Freeman
Katie Freeman/ Photo taken from Channel 4

  However,considering the documentary was based on an experiment, it did create controversy among social media users, who had expressed their dissatisfaction regarding using the term of ”brownface” seen as offensive for the community of Muslims and why the disguise element was truly necessary in the show. Although this term has ”historically been used as a form of entertainment to mock non-white people”, the documentary-maker,Fozia Khan strengthens the idea that,in reality, ”its purpose is to inform and promote understanding between communities, not to caricature them.” (The Guardian,2017)

  Apart from the criticism,the documentary had a positive outcome and it especially became a life-changing experience for Katie Freeman,which made her realize that Muslims are no different than her. ”In the end, Katie’s discovery was what everyone in this country should know to be true anyway. But played out against the tragedy at the Manchester Arena it had added urgency and impact, and heavily underscored this film’s central point: that ignorance really is the breeding ground of prejudice and hate.” (The Guardian,2017) Moreover,The Muslim Council of Britain ”did appreciate the show’s broader aims “to better understand the reality of Islamophobia which has become socially accepted across broader society.” (BBC News,2017)

REFERENCES:

  1. Khan, F. (2017). I produced My Week As a Muslim. Its intention was to educate, not offend | Fozia Khan. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/23/producer-my-week-as-a-muslim-brownface-documentary [Accessed 5 Nov. 2017].
  2. BBC News. (2017). Channel 4 show accused of ‘brownface’. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41692252 [Accessed 5 Nov. 2017].
  3. Channel4.com. (2017). What is Channel 4? | C4 Corporate. [online] Available at: https://www.channel4.com/corporate/about-4/who-we-are/what-is-channel-4 [Accessed 5 Nov. 2017].
  4. O’Donovan, G. (2017). My Week as a Muslim was a privileged insight into what it’s like being Muslim in Britain today, review. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/0/week-muslim-privileged-insight-like-muslim-britain-today-review/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2017].

 

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“Heavy Toll” on BBC Radio 4 Extra

     “Heavy Toll” is an audio documentary which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, a radio station whose main aim ”is to provide speech-based entertainment.”(BBC Radio 4 Extra,2016) Overall,the station is designed ”to be a mixed speech service, offering in-depth news and current affairs and a wide range of other speech output including drama,readings,comedy, factual and magazine programmes.”(BBC Radio 4,2017) that mostly ”appeal to children.” (BBC Radio 4 Extra,2016)

     As the title subtly suggests,the short documentary unveils the dramatic story of Collette and George,both railway employees,whose regular day of work turned into an unexpected nightmare by becoming witnesses to a tragic suicide of a traveler ”Tabitha took as her subject a very grim narrative, that of deaths on the railway.” (The Charles Parker Archive Trust,2017) According to the Collins English Dictionary,”If you say that something takes its toll or takes a heavy toll, you mean that it has a bad effect or causes a lot of suffering.”(Collins English Dictionary,2017) Thus the content of the documentary reflects an unfortunate situation,while it manages to raise awareness and controversial reactions towards the subject of suicide,which became more of an issue that people are willing to acknowledge.According to the Office for National Statistics,”Deaths from suicide in the UK rose slightly from 6,122 deaths in 2014 to 6,188 deaths in 2015 with a subsequent increase in the rate from 10.8 to 10.9 deaths per 100,000 population.”(ONS,2015) Moreover,considering that the victim was a male,”Suicide remains the leading cause of death for men between 20 and 34 in England and Wales, representing 24% of all deaths in 2013, and for men aged 35-49, at 13% of deaths.” (The Guardian,2015)

     The documentary puts emphasis on the use of actuality,which represents the ”audio material recorded on location”(BBC News,2008) in order to amplify the severity of the situation,as well as to paint a clearer picture for listeners regarding the visual experience that the interviewees have faced ”It had excellent mixing and very revealing interviews which paint a horribly vivid, very human picture of train suicides and their effect on train staff.”(The Charles Parker Archive Trust,2017) Actuality within the documentary includes the sounds of the train coming to a halt or the travelers who bought tickets for the train ride.

    The thought-provoking piece produced by Tabitha Konstantine,an actual student at the University of Salford,brought her impressive achievements and recognition,more precisely Tabitha ”struck gold at the recent annual Charles Parker Radio Awards in Sheffield. Her radio piece – ‘Heavy Toll’ – beat numerous submissions from all over the UK to win Best Student Radio Feature. ”(Salford University News,2017) The judges of the radio competition were particularly impressed by Tabitha’s choice to spread this story through the eyes of two witnesses,both “well contrasted speakers ” that ”had a terrific articulacy in very different ways that were entirely complementary.”(The Charles Parker Archive Trust,2017),which made the whole piece more personal and intense for the listeners.

 

Image result for heavy toll radio 4 extra
Tabitha Konstantine,along with her Radio Production lecturers (and mine too) Jimmy Ewing-left and Garry Morrisroe-right /Photo taken from staff.salford.co.uk

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – BBC Radio 4 Extra – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/services/radio/service_licences/bbc_radio_4_extra.html [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  2. BBC. (2017). Information for suppliers to Radio – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Radio. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2FC4S5Nr3dbMH6XJzyM8tHX/bbc-radio-4 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  3. Cpatrust.org.uk. (2017). Charles Parker Prize – Winners 2017 | The Charles Parker Archive Trust. [online] Available at: http://www.cpatrust.org.uk/prize/prizewinners-2017/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  4. Collinsdictionary.com. (2017). Take its toll definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/take-its-toll [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  5. Ons.gov.uk. (2017). Suicides in the UK – Office for National Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2015registrations [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  6. Davies, C. (2017). Number of suicides in UK increases, with male rate highest since 2001. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/19/number-of-suicides-uk-increases-2013-male-rate-highest-2001 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  7. News.bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC NEWS | School Report | Glossary of common media terms. [online] Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/school_report/4791411.stm [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].
  8. Staff.salford.ac.uk. (2017). Salford Staff Channel-Home | University of Salford, Manchester. [online] Available at: http://staff.salford.ac.uk/newsitem/5684 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2017].

 

”Kicked Out:From Care To Chaos” on BBC Three-Documentary

Image result for kicked out from care to chaos
Rebecca Southworth,the filmmaker of ”Kicked out:From Care To Chaos”/Photo taken from BBC

    ”Kicked out:From Care To Chaos” is a documentary which reveals a deeply personal insight into the life of Rebecca Southworth,who grew up being physically and emotionally abused by her father and then taken into the care system at the age of 13.Her story hits close to home to many more 16-18 years olds care leavers who experienced similar acts of domestic violence and whose psychological traumas caused by a dysfunctional system are exposed throughout Rebecca’s vulnerable documentary. ”When Rebecca went to university four years ago, she was part of a tiny minority of the 10,000 16-18 year olds who leave social-services care every year, as far more end up in prison, homeless or as sex workers, and she wants to find out why the care system fails so many young people.” (The Sun,2017)

      The television programme aired on Thursday 6th April 2017 and was broadcast on BBC Three,whose main aim is ”to speak to this audience with intelligence and on a level and in a way that will stimulate strong emotion and provoke reactions.”(BBC Three Commissioning,2017) Thus this documentary is suitable for the BBC Three channel because it evokes mixed feelings of revolt,sadness,helplessness and empathy but nonetheless,it strives to produce a change among the mentalities of people and it raises questions regarding the poor support that care leavers are provided with by the Government.In terms of factual programmes,BBC Three is the channel where documentaries like ”Life and Death Row”,”Our War” or ”Don’t Call Me Crazy” became successful and as a result, it ”will continue to be the home of modern factual content that speaks to a young audience.”(BBC Three Commissioning,2017)

   However,Rebecca Southworth,who is both the filmmaker and the storyteller of the programme,managed to turn her troubled past into a strong motivation to succeed,because it didn’t stop her going to university and pursuing a career in media ”Rebecca Southworth is working as a filmmaker for a television production company after graduating with first class honours.” (Manchester Evening News,2017),in spite of the fact that the ”latest statistics show teenagers leaving local authority care in Manchester are seven times less likely to study for a degree.”(Manchester Evening News,2017) Moreover,she hopes to become an inspiration for teenagers who are struggling being in the social services care system and advises them to not let their past  experiences dictate their path “I would say to anyone in care now that they should not let the stigma define them before they even start. It’s hard and it probably will get harder but it’s all worthwhile.” (Manchester Evening News,2017)

     Inspiring,raw and brutally honest,”Kicked Out:From Care To Chaos” has at its core the heavy question ”What has taken so many from care to chaos?” that this documentary strives to find the answer for ”Is it the experiences that led them to care in the first place, the process of going from home to home whilst ‘looked after’, or learning to live independently at such a young age without much of a safety net?” (Blakeway North,2017)

REFERENCES:

  1. Thesun.co.uk. (2017). Kicked Out: From Care to Chaos, The Get Down and Mafiosa…all at your fingertips. [online] Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/3225010/kicked-out-from-care-chaos-the-get-down-and-mafiosa-all-at-your-fingertips/ [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].
  2. Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – BBC Three – Commissioning. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/tv/articles/bbc-three [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].
  3. Abbit, B. (2017). Inspiring young women who went from care to university. [online] men. Available at: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/going-from-care-to-university-12831015 [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].
  4. Lapping, B. (2017). Kicked Out:From Care To Chaos, BBC3 | News | Blakeway North. [online] Blakewaynorth.co.uk. Available at: http://www.blakewaynorth.co.uk/news/kicked-outfrom-care-to-choas [Accessed 21 Oct. 2017].

Change-The chance to pursue your dreams?

   If is one essential thing I have learned and have counted on it faithfully by now,is that change is so damn good and such a bold move for those who dare to live.Be it about a change in your daily behaviour,thoughts,feelings,a change of background,a change of places ,of work,of plans or even a major change in your self development process,there is always something benefic,inspirational and merely refreshing in making a difference.

    With or without our will,we are faced with changes all the time.Life puts us on edge countlessly,in order to bring out what is the best within us,as well as to be a quick challenge for ourselves,whether or not we will lose our authenticity along the road. Regardless its nature,the way we cope with the effects that a change produces in our lives on a daily basis is the main difficulty here.While some may have a clear and healthy perspective of life,thinking with excitement and purely opening their hearts in front of a new opportunity to learn,grow and evolve,others may not have the same attitude of dealing with the insecurities and risks that a change might include.

     Nevertheless,what is right on this matter?

   First of all,change means SACRIFICE.Either we’re speaking about a relationship between two people,a family,a friendship situation or even getting a job or a place in a whole new city/country/state,you have to consider that along the countless hours of hardwork that had finally paid off,there has to be some sort of compromise that you need to overcome and that may or may not stand in the way of your utter happiness.Now,in order to do this,you have to prioritize your feelings,as well as your desires for your own self.You need to stand your ground and truly reflect on what does this new change will mean to you and your loved ones as well.You could answer yourself the following questions:

 Is this change going to be a step closer in fulfilling my dreams?

 Will it make me truly happy and content with myself,regardless how many people I may left behind?

 In 5 years from now,is my decision still going to make me proud?

 What will I gain is better from what will I have to lose in the process?

   Reaching this point,I tend to believe that no amount of questions could compete with your determined heart to achieve what you’ve got on your mind.There’s nothing stronger than what your soul tells you to do.So,just follow it.Follow your heart.Believe in your intuition.They can do no wrong.They would certainly lead you into the best place you could be at that certain stage in your life.

   Secondly,change expects TRUST.To have such a belief and confidence in yourself as to know that the differences and challenges that appear on your journey serve the main purpose of shaping you into a better,wiser,more experienced,as well as a happier human being is something not many people entirely own.Why not? This should all of us be asking.Why should we let fear or doubt dominate our hearts instead of joyful emotions that could actually do us some good,like faith,hope or elation for what is to come next? The world itself is made of changes.

    I guess that what a lot of us fail to realize at times is that believing in your own self is the best thing you could always do,regardless anything that may interfere unexpectedly in our lives.Thruth is,most of the changes that happen in life come  in the most unexpected shapes,perhaps at the most uncertain times.You cannot control what your life is going to bring to you,but you do have a say in what can or can not control you.It is all up to you,from how you look at your own person to how you interpret whatever it is  purposely given to you.Easy as that.

   Lastly,change involves BOLDNESS.As beneficial as change indeed is,it doesn’t always pay an easy price thus it takes a lot of courage to actually go for it and take a step forward towards living your dreams.It may seem unsure,unpredictable,scary at some times,but everything that matters is how you are going to take charge of your life and the decisions,along with the sacrifices you are willing or not to make.

  Personally,I love to embrace every change that comes my way and associate it with an ideal chance to develop myself,to expand my horizons of feeling and thinking,to discover,to learn,to become richer in knowledge and memories,as well as to evolve into the best person I could be.

  How do you perceive the changes you come across in life?

Lionheart

   Today marks a bittersweet day for me.

  Today,I chose letting the memories to  resurface and to mend my soul for no other reason than finding the inner peace I’ve been looking for.At some times,I may have found it but other days,like this one,makes me feel the pain I have wished so badly to erase.

      Quite frankly,how could you define pain?

      What is the first thing your mind drifts to while thinking about pain?

       How could you make it go away?

       How could you accept and eventually live with it?

       Pain could really have a good thing within it?

  It is wisely said that God gives us no more than we cannot handle.Challenges,troubles,obstacles,sorrows,they usually come in the most unexpected shapes,at the most uncertain times of our lives.We cannot deny them,we cannot hide from them like they would dissapear in a blink of an eye,we cannot run far away,we just can’t back down until we are strong enough to face them properly and knock them down.Without any weapon,any help or perhaps any clear judgement,we have nothing and no one but ourselves in this battle.Raw,insecure,vulnerable,scarred,fearful,yet faithful.We are all what we have got.

      As every emotion that we are blessed to experience throughout our lives,I tend to believe that our spiritual development comes closer while going through lifechanging situations in front whom we cannot be nothing else but powerful.We have no other choice left but get up,stand our ground and rise.This crucial feeling of having the strength in front of the unknown is scarcely acknowledged by ourselves,but I guess that a little part within us knows we can do it.This unsignificant portion that is screaming at us that we can overcome any inner struggle that we may deal with and eventually,heal our minds and souls.You know what? Today I chose to believe in that small part of my brain,which told me that whatever I may have faced in the past,whoever I may have lost psyhically along the way could not break me to the point of not seeing my life anymore.

   Thruthfully,pain is,amongst other emotions,the most daring one,which steals so much from us,leaving us wounded,heartbroken,lost,without any further direction or even an escape plan.It hurts a lot,I know.However,I like to believe that despite what we have to lose in the process,we could still gain something back.We could learn something from our heartbreaking moments that had happened to us and manage to expand our horizons of thinking,loving and appreciating every single thing and person we have by our side.

As for me,I think that the pain of loss had taught me a lot about life and its authenticity.I’ve come to learn that regardless the ache that will undoubtedly be printed in our hearts,it could never come close to the pure happiness,priceless memories,laughs,lessons and undying love we had gathered with our dear ones.These are what I will remember the most.

  You need to discover your lionheart and bring out the fierceness you didn’t even know it existed inside you.

Dare to live

   I always used to faithfully believe that life would throw me,besides loving and close to my heart experiences,a couple of dares as well,in order to give me something to work towards to while bringing out what is the best in me.Personally,I love a good challenge,so I thought why not face it with everything I got?

  Perhaps a little insanity from time to time would do me good,would make me become more experienced and confident in the person I am constantly evolving.

    Although I have reinforced my belief in this conception,I admit that I have failed sometimes to realize that my time is nowhere but now.I didn’t dare to believe back then that the power within myself is meant to shine every single day by living my life to the fullest and doing nothing else in addition.Being able to live,smile,laugh with my heart and purely acknowledge the small,the worst,the best,the “okay”,the “try harder” moments of my life without compromising my own happiness and self assurance of my worth in this world are what matters the most to me.

    As years flied by and as wisdom was gradually accumulated,I’ve came to see,feel and wholeheartedly believe that life itself is a dare.An every day bet with your own self.A unique chance to find your inner voice,to develop mentally,emotionally and spiritually,to love deeply,to discover,to constantly learn,to just be whatever the hell you want or feel the need to, without any constraint or for any reason whatsoever.

    I feel like nowadays,people are so impended by these harmful thoughts of doing something worth being alive instead of actually living and accepting every day the way it is.It might not be everything you’d wish for,but that shouldn’t stop you from working hard and reaching your targets.With or without our will,we may take life for granted most of the times,forgetting all about its essence,the one which I could sum up in one word:happiness.

       So,why dare to dream of something mighty and not dare to actually live it?

       What is it up there that is stopping us from living the life we are wishing for?

      Why are we not willing enough to put a fight for what we stand for and desire? If we could dream it,we can absolutely make it reality,regardless anything that may come in our way.

     Just live every single day as it is the last.A little bit cliché,but the magnitude and thruthfulness in these words never fail to make me more and more aware and grateful each day for my strong,beating heart,which is willing as hell to do big.

     Just absorb every moment and treasure it as it is the last you will ever have.We can never take them back nor replace them.

     Just do whatever you feel with the most intense pleasure and love,like it is the last memory you will ever remember.

          Just be.Nothing more,nothing less.

Holding on and letting go

   There comes a breaking point in life when the best thing you can possibly do is to let go.The pieces of your heart may be torn or grouped into pain,sadness,betrayal,perhaps regret,into millions of twisted,unexplainable emotions,yet your mind lives.It is always there,wondering how could you hold on so long onto that certain person.In your most vulnerable state,despite that it might seem like you are absolutely powerless,you have the strength within yourself to allow your mind to take charge and clean up the absolute mess your heart, once again,managed to create,without your knowledge or consent.It could look like the easiest thing to do,to switch from irrationality to rationality,like it’s just an ordinary command on your remote,but the amount of emotional damage is so much stronger,screaming internally at you to just let go.Let go of everything that had taken away your substance as a human being,that had made you feel unworthy,unloved or less important than you utterly are.Your heart may seem defeated at first,alone,with no further destination,but what honestly matters always conquers.And that is the inner you,hidden in the train of your thoughts and underneath your shadows all along.You may have thought the inner you didn’t even exist anymore because most of us have in our human nature this unbelievably big amount of love that easily reaches the love we have for ourselves.We can’t help it sometimes,but I pretty much think we could balance the two of them.

     You see,we have a tendency of loving either too little or too hard.I guess we are ‘all or nothing’ sort of humans.We want to receive love so deeply,we yearn for it all our lives,look for it in every spot,yet we don’t want or know how to give it back,when it is up to us to put our heart out in the open.At least not to the same person that loves us.That happens a lot,either because we are scared or just plain idiots.But,hey,love cannot be explained,it is only felt.It is totally fair to love whoever you feel on the inside.

     On the other hand,it happens that our love towards someone to be deeper than all the oceans on this Earth and damn crazier than any other fairy tale we’ve ever read.I call it the ‘destructive love’ because its core is so unreachable that we get to damage ourselves on the way.In this case,we are absorbed,compelled even,to that love that is fulfilling us emotionally,physically and mentally.This kind of love is greater than anything.It holds no limits whatsoever.However,on this unpredictable road,our inner selves are easily forgotten at times,bit by bit,until they managed to dissapear from our daily thoughts at all.That is,I must say,the scariest love of all.That is what makes the whole “letting go” of themselves and “holding on” onto ourselves the hardest to accomplish and put into practice.Here is the turning point,where your authentic self needs to step up and to hold on onto it,while your heart tries desperately to give yet another useless chance.It is a constant battle,whose result always needs to end up with you.

        I firmly consider that no love should be greater or scarier than the love we need to have for ourselves.Not to be narcissistic or delirious,but we are all we have got here.For real.Everyone flies throughout our lives,just like passing birds on the sky going to an always better and warmer place.Or like different pieces of gold,but which turn up to be made from the same metal in the end.That is how it is and you can do nothing about it but learn to love you the most.Not in the way of believing that everything is yours to deserve,but in the raw manner of knowing that you deserve the world if you put up a fight for it.

      I am aware it may not seem this way,but most of the time, we are purely options to those who we strongly consider a priority in our lives.It may also take time to notice,but doors are swinging open and close all the time.Nevertheless,the one door which stays still through thin and thick,through sunshine and thunder,through black and white,through happiness and unbearable pain,is you.

      No one should have the right to own you by the love you are wholeheartedly feeling for them.

         No one should ever lose themselves in the process of having somebody else.

        No living soul should ever forget to love themselves in the process of loving someone else.

           Not even you.

Top 5 memorable songs of Sia 

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler/ Credits go to Getty Images


Sia Kate Isobelle Furler
,globally known as Sia,is an Aussie songwriter,record producer,music video director and one of the greatest voices of all times.Born on 18th of December 1975 in Adelaide,South Australia,Sia’s tumultous,roller coaster like,yet earnestly admirable road to success and mental,psyhical and spiritual recovery is one worth the recognition and story-telling.

    At only 22 years old,she had released her debut studio album,named “Only See” on Flavoured Records in Australia,while at 33 marked her first album to chart in The United States at number 26 on US Billboard 200 only for now,to become of the most rated and loved singers in the pop industry,with her seventh and latest album making headlines all over the world,titled “This is acting”.

      Regardless if you had listened to her music once or twice in your lifetime,had heard her randomnly on radio or had not seen her at all before,I’ve got you covered with some of the less known facts about one of the best artists of our generation.You can thank me later.

  • Although she had been working in the music industry for over twenty years,Sia’s smash-hit “Chandelier” from her sixth studio album “1000 Forms of Fear” made her popular amongst Hollywood and got her the notoriety and fame she would have well deserved way before.It’s kind of odd for her long-standing fans(myself included) ,but I guess that everything happens for a reason.Also,it was certainly worth the wait,considering her professional ascent in the following years.
  • Her career in singing actually began in a local band named “Crisp” in the mid-1990s,which lasted until 1997,when Sia took the status of a solo musician.
  • She began touring across The United States for the first time in 2005,when she moved in New York due to having problems connecting with her audience and poor promotion by her record label during her first three albums.The following years included releases of her fourth and fifth studio albums,titled “Some People Have Real Problems”in 2008 and “We are born” in 2010.
  • Sia’s outstanding voice made her flexible in reaching several music styles over the years,including hip-hop,funk and soul.However,at her main core remained pop music,which devoted her.

sia-academy-awards.jpg
Sia attends the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter / Photo credits go to Getty Images
  •    Amongst her international recognition,she received several awards,including 8 ARIA Music Awards,1 MTV Video Music Awards,1 Rolling Stone Australia Award,as well as scoring 6 wins for APRA Awards.

Since you still have yet to discover the incredible Sia,let me ease your job by presenting my top 5 fav songs of Sia of all time.Believe me,you will be mesmerized.

 1.Sia-Fire meet gasoline

 

    This is undoubtedly,my absolutely favorite song.Ever.Since I heard it for the first time,it sparkled something real deep within me,which made me fall in love with it a lil bit whenever I listened to it.It still gives me unexplainable chills.

       This record is from her sixth studio album,”1000 Forms of Fear” and was written by Sia,Greg Kurstin and Samuel Dixon.

FUN FACT: The official music video was not so official and neither was the single,whereas the purpose of it was to promote Heidi Klum’s Lingerie Collection,where Sia only licensed the song.Either way,this song is gold.

    I don’t know what got to me and what exactly blew my mind,either her amazing vocals,the love story itself that it is so beautifully portrayed or the soulful lyrics,what’s certain is that her rawness and uniqueness as an artist and as a vocalist are shining brighter than ever through this masterpiece.

     FAV LYRICS“Fire meet gasoline/I’m burning alive/And I can barely breathe/When you’re here loving me.”

     I am portraying an addictive and perhaps a toxic type of relationship,which describes such an overhelming and intense love,that ended up with damaging both of them.

2. Sia-Chandelier

     “Chandelier” is the lead single from Australian recording artist Sia’s sixth album,which drove her to some of the highest musical achievements thus far.The single attained widespread success,charting within the top five on record charts in 20 countries,including Italy,Poland,Australia,France and Norway.It has also reached number 8 in The United Stated on the Billboard Hot 100,becoming Sia’s first single as a lead artist to appear on the Hot 100.

   The song even received nominations at the 57th Grammy Awards for Song of the Year,Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance,with its video receiving also a nomination for Best Music Video.

     It was viewed on Youtube over 1.2 billion times,becoming one of the most viewed and praised videos of all time.Quite impressive stats,right?

    In essence,”Chandelier” is about the consequences of alcoholism and the way it is viewed,without rationality,through the perspective of a “party girl”,which despite the thrill and excitement that it surely involves,it still ends up being a big mistake on the next day.Well,I guess that’s a pretty common subject.

    Okay,and can we focus on those vocals? I love how distinctive,intense and hoarse her voice sounds on her records,she is truly something else.

   FAV LYRICS:“1,2,3,1,2,3 drink” ,just because it reminded me of a good ol’ party.And that I’m thirsty.

3. Sia-Bird set free

   “Bird set free” is the first promotional single from her latest album,”This is acting”,released on the 3th of November 2015.It was written in collaboration with one of her good friends,Greg Kurstin,who had also produced the song.

       I choose sharing with you a live performance of this masterpiece on one of my favorite TV show’s ever ,Ellen’s Show,with the purpose of showing to you how crazily good her vocals truly are,without any alterations in the studio.I mean,those high notes are everything.Her authenticity and the way she is pouring her heart out on stage never cease to amaze me.

      Oh,and I love how she weaves in such a special,yet pretty unconventional way her songs with the art of dancing.Each one of her talented dancers portrays a story,with endless meanings,that holds no limits in imagination or fantasy,making her stand out easily from the crowd of artists nowadays.

FUN FACT: In an interview with Rolling Stone, Sia revealed that the song was written for the soundtrack of “Pitch Perfect 2”,but they rejected it in favour of “Flashlight” by Jessie J.Then,she pitched it to Rihanna, who rejected it,then to Adele, who initially recorded it,but let it to Sia in the end.I simply couldn’t envision anyone else singing this piece of art as spectacular and raw as Sia effortessly does.

FAV LYRICS: And I don’t care if I sing off key/ I find myself in my melodies/ I sing for love, I sing for me/ I shout it out like a bird set free.”

4. Sia-You’re never fully dressed without a smile

 

FUN FACT: This is actually one of the few songs that are not written by Sia,which it may be surprinsing,given that most of her songs were created almost entirely by her.Anyway,it was covered by her especially for being included in the soundtrack of The Broadway Musical,”Annie”.

   The music video for this song was filmed in New York City and it shows cast members from the 2014 film as they spread cheer to the citizens of New York City by dancing, performing random acts of kindness and holding signs with the word “smile” written on them.

 This cheerful song really makes me wanna smile all the time.How about you?

FAV LYRICS:“Your clothes may be Chanel, Gucci/ Your shoes crocodile/ But baby you’re never fully dressed without a smile/ And if you stand for nothing you’ll fall for it all/ We got all we need, got no more.”

5. Sia-Cheap Thrills

 

     Taken from her seventh studio album,”Cheap Thrills” is the latest single of Sia at the moment,which have already scored pretty awesome records in the music industry.The remix of the song,a featuring with Sean Paul,was released on 11 February 2016 as the second single from this album.

  Commercially,this song became a smash-hit in no time whatsoever,marking accomplishments like certified Platinum for shipments of over 70,000 copies and reached number 6 in her hometown.In Ireland, the song reached number  1 instantly.In New Zealand, the song reached number 3, and eventually certified Platinum for sales of over 15,000 copies. In the UK, it was Sia’s highest chart position as a solo artist, peaking at number 2. In the United States, the song has peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    With a lot of dancing and partying vibes,along with its unconventional video,Cheap Thrills” has got under my skin and made me sing my lungs out whenever I hear it on the radio.Sorry not sorry,fellow drivers.

      You can also check out the special performance video of the song,where the 13 years old Maddie Ziegler couldn’t be left out.Once again,a mesmerizing coreography,which keeps you in a constant trance.The trio of Maddie and another two male dancers put on a spectacular dance,proving their massive and outstanding talent.

 

I guess that now you’re ready to join the greatest fans’ community,am I right?

 

The Liebster Award

Recently (okay,not so recently,sorry for the delay,life’s been hectic),I had the absolute surprise to receive a nomination for this award,which made me,besides overly excited,very happy and grateful that someone really considered my thoughts and work worth the recognition.

Shamilah,thank you so much!I really appreciate you! You are amazing!

However,I couldn’t entirely accept this award without doing a little bit of research,in order to put myself in theme and figure out what it is truly about.So,for those who aren’t so familiar with what this award consists of(myself included),I got some relevant info regarding it.

1.It is just an “on-line” award,which means it exists on the internet only.What about my chocolate prize? But I thought..Never mind.

2.Its main purpose is to encourage bloggers and give them a boost of confidence,while getting to interact and know each other a little better.I like that.

3.The word “Liebster” has German origins and it means “sweetest”,”dearest”,”valued”,”beloved” and a lot of other similar words.Pretty great,right?

4.It consists of a set of rules,which I’ve learned are actually several versions.I believe they may vary,depending on the person who nominated you.Given the circumstances,I’m going to follow the ones imposed by my fellow nominator,which are:

  • Thank your nominator.
  • Share the award on your blog.
  • Answer the 10 question asked to you.
  • Notify them.

That being said,I’m going to respond the questions with all honesty and that way,you’ll get to know me a little better.Shall we begin,then?

But first,let me take my candies.

1.Who is your favourite author?

Despite the fact that I’m very indecisive regarding my tastes and since I’m still exploring what kind of books I’m more into,I guess I can’t name a favorite.But,I find Emily Bronte quite fascinating,her iconic book”Wuthering Heights” really got to me and made me appreciate her art and authenticity in writing.It’s one of the classics,so I’m going to say it has an endless fascination to me.

2.Who is your biggest blog fan?

I’m going to stick with Shamilah’s answer and say that definitely,my mother is my biggest supporter.And I honestly love that.She’s the first to know when I publish a new post or when a new crazy idea popped into my mind and I wouldn’t have it any other way.She’s the best friend anyone could ever asked for.

3.Why did you decide to blog?

To be honest,this idea of blogging had been bugging me for a while,especially because I fall in love with this art of expressing myself through words each day.It’s such a magical thing to be able to experiment my life by sharing and giving others a glimpse of happiness,hope or some well needed kindness into our world.I think that the inner me have always enjoyed the idea of sharing the experiences,lessons,thoughts,values that captures my mind and soul,that make me who I am,in order to help,inspire and motivate further the ones around me,including myself.I used to write in my diary since I was a little girl all kind of stuff and so I thought I could make a step further into my self development process and self happiness  and start this thrilling journey with you.It’s very exciting and I must admit I am finding unknown pieces of myself through every post I am creating.

Also,I love that being flawed has never felt so good.I am aware that exposing my thoughts and inner feelings to the world may seem like a vulnerable,risky thing,which indeed it is,but I also have came to realize that expressing my inviduality and own differences are a massive part of my human self.Therefore,we all are unique in our looks,characters,opinions and ways of expression.
4.What is your best piece of advice to anyone,as well for those considering blogging?

Listen to your inner voice.Do whatever make your heart bursting out of joy,whether it’s writing,painting,photography,travelling,dancing,screaming from the top of your lungs to your favs songs.Regardless everything that may come in your way,remember that you are the most important and therefore,your passions come first.Express them through blogging or any other form you want,but always feel them wholeheartedly.Find yourself through your own art.That is what truly matters.
5.What is your goal for you blog in 2016?

I think that one of my main goals for my blog,which actually became an important part of me,is to keep connecting to beautiful people from all over the world,in order to be inspired and motivated,and in return,to bring them joy,positiveness and hopefully,some kind of inspiration,too.

This would make me the happiest girl.

6.If you could travel anywhere,where would you travel?

I guess one thing about myself that I haven’t mentioned previously is that I’m a wanderlust type of person.I just love the idea of travelling,getting to know cultures,traditions and unique things about a certain place.I’m mesmerized by what this world has to offer and I want to experience as much as I can,because that’s what makes me spiritually richer.Being a travelling freak (hah,I guess that’s the simpler form for my addiction),I would love to discover the world one step at a time and to fulfill one of my biggest dreams.

But if I could pick one place,Narnia would certaintly be at the top of the list.Who’s coming?

7.What is your favorite movie?

Well,here’s another problem.I have so many movies that I fell in love with that this blog couldn’t fit nearly half of them.What can I say is that every movie holds something special and unique in its own twisted way and into my heart so I find very hard to decide on one favorite.Though,if it’s one damn movie that always gets to me,regardless how many times I had seen him,is Titanic.Shamilah,I have to meet you one day and see it together! It’s a must!

Oh,and “A walk to remember” is very dear to my heart,as well as “Room”,which is the most recent one to me.
8.What is your favorite blog to read(besides your own)?

I’m still discovering people and incredible stories through this world of blogging and I must say I’m touched by most of them.Anyway,the ones that I am following at the moment are so beautiful,powerful and with a lot of inspiration for my complicated and everchanging self.

9.If you listen to music while blogging,what genre is your muse?

I usually don’t listen to music while blogging cause then,I would lose track of my ideas,so I need to be able to concentrate on my thoughts.However,when I’m in a lighter mood or depending on what the topic of my post is about,I will put some music in the background,mostly remixes of my favorite hits.

10.How did you decide on your blog name?

I’m still in the process of finding the right name to fit my personality and concept of my blog.I’m weighting between some options at the moment,but I want to surprise you when I will finally make up my mind.However,any suggestions and thoughts on this subject are more than welcomed and they would be a real help in choosing the best one.

 

My nominations are:

1.Michelle

2.Samantha

3.AlaynaFayth

4.Ramona Crisstea

5.Hana

6.Ameena

7.Burresor

8.Riechel

9.Jo

Thank you for following and being with me on my own crazy road of discovery and growth!I choose you because I would love to know some things about you and get to know each other better!

Can’t wait to see your answers! All the love!

Second chances

 

I met him

On a random day of September

When the heavy clouds were crying and screaming forcefully,

Matching the pieces of my conflicted heart.

They were like trying to express

Something,

Anything

To make their presence known so desperately,

To be heard in the stone cold silence

Enveloping the world at the moment

But it was like nobody paid attention.

Nobody even cared.

I was walking on the sidewalk alone

Passing through crowds and crowds of too busy people

Hurrying to their comforting yet lonely homes

Slightly wondering

How could I feel so broken inside,

How could I forget my own identity

Being in front of such a reckless masterpiece

Developing through my own blazing eyes.

I was mesmerized by the unspoken power of the world’s creation

Yet the life in me was slowly slipping away.

I was drown in my own selfish thoughts,

Resigned of my troubled past

And yet scared of the future,

Of life,

Of myself.

I didn’t want to admit then,

To acknowledge,

To let myself wholly feel

the heaviness my heart carried

for so long.

I was defeated by my own self

And thought I could never do anything to change it.

I didn’t believe in second chances at all

Because I wasn’t in some overly cheesy movie

It was such a foreign concept to me.

Perhaps that is why I felt

A pair of curious and piercing eyes staring

Intensely,

Curiously,

Utterly,

Not at me

But through my very own soul.

It was like he had the ability to fix back the pieces

Into the place they belonged

Like a lost game of puzzle

Only that the puzzle was the way to my heart.

He sparkled something in me,

He ignited a long forgotten fire into my soul

Which I didn’t know it even existed anymore

In just a couple of mere seconds.

His intimidating yet captivating aura

Instead of pulling me away from the unknown,

It only pulled me closer and deeper to each other.

It was something I never experienced before

Raw,

Pure,

Fascinating,

Different,

Simply unique.

My head was spinning

My heart was bursting out of my chest

My mind was screaming at me to just run as far as I can,

That I couldn’t stand another one

In my too long series of dissapointments.

The connection and desire were so much stronger though

Putting my heart in charge of my actions and feelings

For once,I felt peaceful with myself.

We were smiling softly at each other and

The world seemed like a happy place again

Still the same burning sensation remained

And deep inside of me,

I wasn’t able to comprehend that

In a sea full of people,

He was the only one brave enough to see me

The real me.
 And suddenly,I didn’t feel alone anymore.