April 27, 2018
If you’ve not heard of the artists before, read on to find out what they’re all about.
Olly Flavell is an innovative singer-songwriter whose originality captivates with ease. With wisdom beyond his years and a youthful flair, carefully crafted material naturally flows from within, making him stand out from the crowd. In combining influences from the realms of Pop and Rock Olly creates an unseen contemporary sound with nuances of classic melodies and traditional lyricism.
Olly’s charisma and stage presence bring life to his emotionally charged lyrics and anthemic choruses making his music both memorable and infectious. With foot-stomping refrains, Olly has earned himself spots at festivals such as 2000 trees, Folk on the Dock and has supported the likes of Laura White, James Veck Gilodi and Hue & Cry. Olly has even aired live in session with Mike Sweeney of BBC Radio Manchester. No matter the size of the stage, Olly’s live performances create an arena-like buzz of monumental energy, which entice and engage those of all ages.
In being a natural performer, Olly’s skilfully crafted songs have earned him the opportunity to song write in pop music for the likes of Little Mix. Collaborations with Tim Lord and Ben Newbury, stylist and video director to artists such as James Bay, also feature on his list. Off the back of such experiences Olly has toured the UK 3 times whilst promoting his latest EP, ‘My Heart In My Hand’ with new music still yet to come.
‘Tryna’ Get My Voice (To Be Heard)’ is the latest single is to be released in April. With an extensive array of experience under his belt, Olly has a Manchester headline show, mainstage festival slot, all new EP and crowdfunding campaign to come.
Olly always listens to music on Spotify, creating his own playlists of albums and artists that he likes.
Olly will host a BlueJay session on Tuesday May 1st at 8pm – don’t miss it!
Shristi Jade, an Australian born RnB singer with origins in Nepal, creates soulful soundscapes that evoke early 90s influences Mariah Carey and Aaliyah and the budding London sounds of Mabel and Jorja Smith. Her latest single “Don’t” was released in February and is produced by up and coming talent Nosa Appollo, who recently produced for Craig David on his new album “The Time Is Now”.
Shristi Jade’s debut self titled EP “Shristi Jade” showcases Shristi’s angelic vocals and idiosyncratic lyrics. Listen to the EP here. Shristi listens to music using Spotify, she makes her own playlists but she also listens to the playlists Spotify curates for her, or the Urban Flavours one.
Bee Jasmine is a singer songwriter born and raised in Manchester. Heavily influenced by soul and blues music by the likes of Nina Simone, Otis Redding, Dusty Springfield and more recently Amy Winehouse and Lianne La Havas. She has mastered her own distinctive style; a blend between old and new.
Her lyrics are brutally honest, heartfelt and easily relatable as she describes her experiences about her turbulent love life and memories of coming of age and modern day pressures and expectations.
She created an EP in 2013 named ‘Beat The Shakes’ which reflects her experiences with anxiety and heart break. She has sung in and around Manchester’s top venues such as Band on the Wall and Academy and is currently working on new material which is soon to be released later this summer. Bee listens to music on Sportify and sometimes uses YouTube. She usually creates a small playlist of her favourite artists and Spotify suggests similar artists that she will later check out. She’s not really one to create different playlists as she searches around a lot and listens to a lot of unknown or up and coming.
Lizzie Jane is a Manchester based singer/songwriter, her music is a lovely blend of folk and pop with a stand-out voice that is both incredibly unique yet warmly familiar. With influences from Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Gabrielle Aplin she aims to take you on an emotional rollercoaster of life, loss and her unfortunately terrible love life.
She released her debut EP HIM in May 2018 and as well as working on her own material she has been joining many bands and local musicians as a backing singer, taking her all over the country and on various tours. Lizzie Jane uses Spotify religiously for new and old music as well as discovering new artists, she then goes out and buys CD’s once checking them out on Spotify first.
Don’t miss Olly Flavell’s exclusive BlueJay session on Tuesday May 1st at 8pm. Donwload the BlueJay app and tune in!
April 27, 2018
“If we unleash the power of young people to change our world, every generation will benefit. There are more young people in the world than ever before, their time to lead is now.”
We work with and up-skill young people around the world so they can solve some of the biggest challenges they face. Whether that means ending child marriage or preventing HIV, we work with young people to change their lives and the lives of people in their communities.
Crucially we listen to young people, and trust them as leaders in any situation.
We support young people in the UK to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence in order to take action on the issues that are most important to them. We also do a lot of fundraising, communications and policy work to support our other countries and projects around the world.
My work changes every day, which is what keeps it so interesting. As my role is global, I typically have at least one Skype call per day with one of my colleagues overseas. It’s my job to support our countries to communicate to their audiences well. So on a typical day I could be working on a communications strategy, training staff around the world in something like design, creating briefs for story gathering trips, and on a really good day getting to travel to our projects myself to gather photos, video content and stories about the amazing young people we work with.
Young people must have a voice in the decisions that affect them. Too often they are overlooked in decision making, when they are the ones who will inherit a world shaped by those decisions. In the UK we have definitely seen this happen in the last year, and it’s the same story everywhere.
At Restless Development we believe young people are already mature and ready to lead. They have the professionalism and the passion to really make a difference in their communities. We have seen this tackling child marriage in Nepal, or Ebola in Sierra, and many other cases. Our role is to connect young people with each other, provide skills-based training and support them to influence communities and decision makers around the world.
International Citizen Service ICS is a development programme that brings together young people from the UK and the global south to volunteer in some of the poorest communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. For three months UK volunteers work side-by-side with local volunteers in developing countries, staying with host families in the local community. It’s totally free for the young volunteers who take part. We have been running this programme for many years, but currently it is being reviewed by the UK government so we aren’t selecting any new volunteers at the moment.
There’s a lot for people in the UK to get involved with. We encourage people in the UK to join our Youth Stop AIDS campaign, which is a movement campaigning for a world without AIDS. We have strong partnerships with organisations like the National Citizen Service (the national version of ICS) who offer seasonal staff roles. People can also sign up to our UK newsletter or join our Facebook group for updates and opportunities. Finally, we are always looking for more people to contribute to our We Are Restless blog.
Come to the next Youth Decide event, for updates follow us on @restlessdevUK or follow ourUK Facebook page. Youth Decide is a series of workshops and networking spaces our young volunteers run every couple of months. The theme this time is all about UK AID – what is it and why does it matter? We also have a music gig coming up in September, so follow us on social media or sign up to our newsletter for more on that.
For me music has a lot of different purposes, sometimes I use it for background music when I’m working or at a party. Other times I like to listen to albums all the way through, paying attention the lyrics.
I also like to sing, and have been involved in singing groups in the past. I find it therapeutic to get together with a group of people and sing, it’s a real community feel and you understand music in a totally different way.
I definitely agree – London has everything, but cities like Bristol and Birmingham have their own scenes which are really fun. I try to see live music when I can, from my local pub which has live jazz every Sunday to seeing my favourite artists live. My most recent gig was Anderson Paak and The Free Nationals at Brixton Academy. It was a free gig, so you had to sign up online quickly to get a ticket, Dr. Dre even came out as a surprise act.
I have seen some amazing music coming from the youth cultures in countries where we work. For example India has such a distinct music scene and South Africa has a big hip hop and grime scene. In the UK we draw influence from a lot of these countries for new sounds.
Do you think music is becoming homogenised globally – in other words would you expect to hear the likes of Justin Bieber all over the world – or do you think music is still heavily influenced by the community you’re in?
I live in South London and in my city we have seen the grime scene go mainstream in recent years. It’s a genre led by young people that has been underground for a long time. But now have the likes of Dizzee Rascal, who changed his style to pop to make it big, now switching back to grime. It shows there are always new sounds breaking through from youth culture, even into the mainstream.
There’s a lot of new soulful music coming out too, especially from female vocalists with their own sounds. In London we are are seeing more women taking up leadership roles in the industry which is so important.
Records or CDs? Records – my dad has an impressive collection so they make me feel nostalgic
Downloads or streaming? Streaming
Albums or Singles? Albums
Human or algorithmic curation? Human
Host or Listener? Listener
Play in order or shuffle? Shuffle (unless listening to an album)
Headphones or speakers? Speakers
The Beatles or the Stones, Tupac or Biggie? Tupac
Lead singer, guitarist or drummer? Lead singer
Be the DJ! Download the BlueJay social radio app here:
April 26, 2018
We had the pleasure of chatting with Jordan from Electronic Honey, a student record label based in Glasgow. Read on to find out the ins and outs of what it’s like to work for a successful Record Label!
Electric Honey is a record label run by the HND Music Business students at Glasgow’s Kelvin College. It gives us an ideal platform to understand the music industry from the perspective of a record label. One of the first tasks students are given is to do a bit of A&R of their own and bring their choices back to the class for discussion and then a vote.
Once we’ve decided on the artists we then continue to plan towards a commercial release, visiting the different phases typically involved in this process (writing a press release, accurately recording metadata, distribution, promotion etc.). It’s a great way for us to use the skills and knowledge gained in the course curriculum into practice and I feel it most definitely aids the learning process.
Since the label’s inception in 1992 we’ve had a great deal of artists releasing under the Electric Honey banner. The most notable examples would be Belle & Sebastian, Polar Bear (who would become Snow Patrol), and Biffy Clyro. However, we’ve had a few guys recently who we think are going to go real far.
Be Charlotte is absolutely killing it at the moment and the guys from Pronto Mama are really kicking on since the release of their album ‘Any Joy?’ on the label.
Shambolics released their track Love Collides on the label last year and shortly after it was played as part of Sky Sports’ closing credits for the Carabao Cup Final between Arsenal and Manchester City. They also won the Best Rock/Alternative award at last year’s Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs).
Looking forward, we have Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 releasing on the label. They’ve recently been invited to perform at the Peace Train Festival next to the DMZ between North and South Korea and, as relations between both appear to be really improving, the band’s involvement could be coinciding with a very special moment in history.
We feel passionate about this as we love exciting new music and, if we can help even just one artist get the recognition they deserve, we’re doing our job right. A lot of the time it’s a learning process for both us (the students) and the artists themselves, so it’s great when we see the hard work of everyone involved pay off.
The motto can also be applied to not just the artists but the students themselves, with many of our talented past students now working in the music industry today, with our current ones (myself included) eagerly looking to follow in their footsteps.
Always!! That’s a tough one as there’s so much great music out there.
Would have to say, the new release on the label by Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Peace, Love and Mustard is a proper feel-good track and has been on repeat in class!
Personally, I love electronic music so would also have to say the new DJ Koze track Pick Up which has just dropped on Pampa. Pure summer material and definitely going be huge in the coming months.
I like the fact that technology has advanced to such a point where it’s possible for curation to be done automatically. However, if we allow it to become to dominant it could pose a significant threat to many jobs within the music industry. Automated radio shows and DJ sets anyone!? As music goes hand in hand with human emotions, I feel we’re going be okay for the time being 🙂
A huge influence! As well as being a key factor in the drop in illegal downloads they offer extensive libraries of music to choose from, opening up a world of music to users. Spotify obviously lead the way at the moment, and it took a while for Apple Music to allow the creation and uploading of personal playlists from users, but I think it will be interesting to see how the streaming services fare in the years ahead.
I’m especially interested in how they can adapt to ever-advancing technology, remain fresh, and continue to offer something valuable to users.
There are obviously important matters which need to be addressed though, particularly the paying of fair royalties to artists by the streaming platforms.
With my Electric Honey hat on:
Electric Honey Hootenanny!
• Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5 – Peace, Love and Mustard • The Nickajack Men– Changed Ways • Be Charlotte – Discover • Pronto Mama – Arabesque • The Bluebells – Young At Heart (Class anthem!!)
These are all successful releases from the label in recent years, and ones that we’re really proud of. Apart from the last one that is. One of our lecturers, Ken, is the owner of those dulcet tones you hear in Young at Heart.
With my own:
• Metronomy – The Look • Moderat – Last Time • Rival Consoles – Recovery • Nina Simone – Baltimore • Aphex Twin – Xtal
These are all tracks which remind me of certain special moments in my life and therefore deserve to be played as much as possible, in my view!
Records OR CDs? Records.
Downloads OR streaming? Streaming.
Albums OR singles? Albums for me!
Human curation OR algorithmic curation? Kind of a tough one! I’ve found so much good music through the latter however nothing compares with the human touch.
Host OR listener? Host.
Popular playlist OR your own playlist? Own playlist!!
Play in order OR shuffle? In order. My own order though! 😀
Headphones OR speakers? Headphones for me. Love getting lost in my own little world with the music.
Tupac or Biggie? Aaaah, the topic of many an enthusiastic argument. Tupac!!
Lead singer, guitarist, OR drummer? Drummer.
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to tell you what we’re all about! Get yourself enrolled in the course!
Or, if you want to send us your demo, fire an email with your music and a little info about yourself to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enjoy creating playlists and want to share them with others, download the social radio app here:
April 24, 2018
Californian Electronic Music Artist, Brittney Williams, will host a BlueJay session Tuesday 8th May at 2pm EST 9pm GMT and we couldn’t be more hyped! We caught up with her to find out who has influenced her music career and what we can expect from her session.
Hi, I am Brittney but I go by artistic alias of “The Reclusive Blogger”. Which is a pun. I am an Electronic Music Artist as well as Photographer and Creative Writer. I’m from Southern California and I’m currently based there. My music and art are all based upon my feelings at that moment, and I don’t think one should be limited to just one avenue. It’s all about freedom of expression and being able to be yourself. Love.
It’s another avenue to explore my art and other art. I talk about music, post photography and poetry. Also promote music, mine and others. It’s just a safe place for weirdness and art.
It’s open, fun, weird and quirky. It’s free of lyrics. It’s loud and electronically produced and I’m not “trained” so sometimes it’s a bit retro sounding or even a bit raw.
Vincent Van Gogh as an artist overall. I love Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix. Their determination for their art has always been fascinating and inspiring to me. I read both of their bios back to back twice. Nowadays my biggest influence is Bastille and Dan Smith in particular because he started out as a “bedroom musician” and is now touring the world making hit records. Frank Ocean is another example of that which I admire.
Spotify, Twitter (I have a lot of musicians that tend to follow me), Facebook Groups, SoundCloud, Emails from record companies and labels, Pandora, Indie Blogs and word of mouth!
I have a lot since I make and update a monthly playlist here.
I haven’t had a chance to yet. It’s hard for some someone who is really new and green; but I’m very open to that process as an artist. My dream collabs would be Bastille, SZA and Frank Ocean.
I’m not a singer. But I’ll write with anyone alive!
The Wombats – Turn
The Reclusive Blogger – Fairy Dust
Bastille – Laughter Lines
Rationale – Into the Blue
To Kill A King – Bar Fights
Multi Genre Madness
On every online retailer like Spotify, or Apple Music.
I’m in the process of creating new music. Starting to write lyrics as well but you need a collaborator so hopefully that will come. For me
I’m always creating in every avenue.
If you’d like to tune in to Brittney’s session on Tuesday 8th May at 2pm EST 9pm GMT. Download the free BlueJay app here:
April 17, 2018
This week we had the pleasure of chatting with Jake from UN:IK Clothing, to find out how music plays such an influential part in the fashion industry.
UNIK is a collective of independent brands, that are designed by young UK creative. We have multiple brands exclusive to the UN:IK outlet.
I was in a corporate 9-5 job prior down south that had no fulfilment, I wanted to do something new and enjoyable, then fell into this. I had no fashion background whatsoever; the learning curves were huge.
I have an amazing team of UK designers, all doing their own things but who have a passion for streetwear & designing garments. They all have their own styles, which creates so much diversity in the outlet it gives people a real option when buying.
We’ve just release the 2.0 Open to Close documentary with Skream, where we went on tour with him all through the Autumn. It was absolutely insane; the doc came out amazing and the response has been next level. It’s a movement of us bridging the gap between music and fashion, but also showing what we’re about personally as a business.
We’re all about organic growth, its key in the long run and it’s what we’ve always done. We don’t pay ‘celebs or influencers’, we want people to wear the brand, whom are actually into. So, carry on growing that way, keep the customers loyal.
Just online, we like to keep things limited and exclusive to our site.
In the studio, we listen to EVERYTHING. We have playlists from rock/indie, house, disco, techno and all time classics. It’s really mood dependent, Fridays obviously the disco is banging out all day. Music is a fundamental part of staying sane in the office all day.
Massively, we recently release an ACID LOVE capsule, which obviously was influenced around acid music & culture. A lot of capsules are definitely designed for dancefloors, festivals / holidays, which is weird. You often hear ‘that’d be belter for festival season’.
Hmmm, it’s hard to say. I guess it depends on the industry, but people are always influenced by what their favourite artists wear for sure. It’s great when you have big artists like Skream and Jackmaster for example who do support the smaller independents like us.
As prior mentioned, if there is a trend in what artists are wearing people will buy it. A lot of DJs just wear black and you can see that parallel on the dance floor. Then you go see Solardo and everyone is in a rascal shirt!
Jackmaster dressed extremely well, we were buzzing when we got him in some stuff he really digged. Peggy Gou as well, her outfits are always absolutely unreal.
Diverse. Due to the originality in brands we offer.
Bicep – Higher Level (biblical tune)
Heaven is in the back seat of my Cadillac – hot chocolate
Love Sensation – Loletta Hollway
KDA – Hate Me
N Joi – Anthem (To finish)
Tough question. Bread & Flutter.
Records OR CDs? CDS
Downloads OR streaming? DLS
Albums OR singles? ALBUMS
Human curation OR algorithmic curation? HUMAN
Host OR listener? HMMM, CO HOST!
Popular playlist OR your own playlist? MY OWN EVERYDAY
Play in order OR shuffle? ORDER
Headphones OR speakers? HEADPHONES
Beatles OR Rolling Stones? BEATLES
Biggie or Tupac? BIGGIE
Lead singer, guitarist, OR drummer? LEAD SINGER
Fancy hosting your own radio show live from your mobile phone? Download the BlueJay social radio app here:
April 16, 2018
This week we caught up with the guys over at Spotiplays to find out how they listen to music in their own time, and why they’re supporting artists to promote their music through Spotify.
Spotiplays is quite a new service where we help artists on Spotify to get on very popular playlists. We have two massive playlists at the moment, which we have built up over a number of years by using playlist sharing sites and similar. We currently have a playlist with over 85k followers and another one with 47k followers.
The idea came about when we realised the playlists had a lot of followers on them, but had the same old music as every other big playlist on Spotify. We thought it might be nice to give the playlists a bit of variety as well as supporting up and coming artists. And that’s how Spotiplays was born!
The Spotiplays team have always been big fans of finding new music and finding something a bit different to listen to. We have spent hours going through different playlists trying to find those hidden gems. So that’s how we got into making playlists for other people. This service is just an extension of that really. We’re helping bring new music to the masses.
We’re always listening to Spotify in our office. We have loads of favourite stuff at the moment, but right this second, we are listening to ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ by Sigrid.
It’s very important because I don’t think algorithms will ever be good enough to help you find that new tune that no-one knows about yet. At Spotiplays, we think it’s essential that every artist has a chance to get their music heard, and not just the most popular tracks.
Definitely. We think that’s the future. Music is so much better when you share it with other people, which is probably why the live music scene is still going strong. If we can share our favourite tracks with other people who are listening at the same time, it’s just going to enhance the listener’s experience.
Music streaming has changed the industry forever. Now it’s so easy to discover new music without spending very much at all. Whereas you used to have to risk your money on buying a few albums a month and seeing if they were good or not. The Spotiplays team still like to buy albums if they like them though, it’s just helpful to hear them before you spend your money.
Spotiplay’s first playlist was called XFM’s 1,000 greatest hits of all time and we had people vote on their favourite track. That took a while to put together!
We would choose:
‘Deadcrush’ by alt-j
‘Tic Tac Toe’ by Django Django
‘It’s a Shame’ by First Aid Kit
‘North Star’ by Future Islands
‘Clearest Blue’ by CHVRCHES
Basically because we think that everyone should be listening to these tracks.
We would call it the Spotiplays session, because we love a little plug!
1. Records OR CDs? Records
2. Downloads OR streaming? Streaming
3. Albums OR singles? Albums
4. Human curation OR algorithmic curation? Human
5. Host OR listener? Listener
6. Popular playlist OR your own playlist? Own playlist
7. Play in order OR shuffle? Shuffle
8. Headphones OR speakers? Speakers
9. Tupac or Biggie? Tupac!
10. Lead singer, guitarist, OR drummer? Drummer
People can go to the website to see which playlists are available to place their tracks on and to get all the other info they need to promote their music!
Stream your own Spotify playlists to your friends and a brand new audience with BlueJay! Download the social radio app here: