End of an Era…

Hey guys!

It’s been forever since I last posted because I’ve been so busy, and I’ve come home for a long weekend to have a relaxing break!

I thought I would post this as I have officially finished university! 3 years has flown by super fast and I’ve met some of the best people. So I thought this post would be a look back at some of the best moments at uni. (Cheesy, I know)

SO, I remember moving to Manchester 3 years ago, I can’t remember the exact date, but I know I was very excited and extremely nervous. I had a room booked at the very classy MSV (C126 to be exact).IMG_4444IMG_4449

It’s weird looking back now and remembering moving in so clearly. I wasn’t living on my own though, I lived with my good friend Dom Major. I obviously didn’t know him at the time, but he seemed an alright chap when I first met him. Dom was one of the first people I ever met at BIM554M, and we’ve been friends ever since, although there was a point where I debated our friendship because that boy played John Mayer on repeat. I then met and became good friends with Heather and Ciara, and these 2 pretty much made first year for me!

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I remember starting lectures and thinking how it easy it was, it was so much fun just to write songs and play them for the class. Since the year I was in, is the very FIRST year to graduate BIMM Manchester…the lessons and work were a little all over the place, and I can’t even remember what work we had to do. I kind of remember freaking out over a 300 word essay thinking ‘OH MY GOD, SO MANY WORDS.’ I obviously didn’t know what third year would bring…

Once lectures had settled in, I then became friends with one of my favourite people, Owen. My first thought of him was that he was a complete weirdo and I  still think that now. We got on so well, and we soon started writing songs together, watching disney movies and talking about how hot Idris Elba is. Here is one of my fave pictures of Owen (you can tell how weird he is from this picture) IMG_2120

So far, first year was going grand, and it wasn’t until christmas time of first year that I started talking to the other half of Muth, Megan. We have been inseparable ever since. Honestly, attached at the hip.

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One of the worst stand outs in first year was the End of Term gig just before we broke up for summer. Meg and I had wrote the smash hit ‘Home’ and we were performing it in Factory, which is where the gig was held (awful). This performance had to be, hands down, the WORST PERFORMANCE EVER. It was bad, not a little bit pitchy bad, but both in completely different keys bad. BAD. People were actually covering their ears it was that bad. Here is a picture from that night, it still hurts to look at it, it brings back such out of tune memories… IMG_4450

One of the funniest pictures from first year has to be this one of Matt and I. I will never get over his haircut in the picture, I love it. Underneath all that hair though is a wonderful human who I’ve shared some very fond memories with – and some very awkward ones. (We will never go see a theatre performance again…) 1743637_10152681561969478_1150875102_n

So that was first year over! I was dead excited to start second year as I had booked a flat with Meg and Charlotte, and I was just excited to see what second year would bring.

I remember moving into to our new flat to start second year, we were on the 12th floor, and the view was AMAZING. I could literally stare out of our kitchen window for hours and not get bored, it was beautiful. Before lessons started a bunch of us decided to go to 5th Avenue for a night out. It actually was one of the funniest nights ever, it was such a good way to start second year. Although this was the night that glandular fever decided to make an appearance. I haven’t been back in 5th Avenue since…

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Here is a photo of happier times, about an hour before the contraction of the disease.

Once I survived nearly dying, second year had started and I already loved it. Looking back, second year was my favourite year. Not necessarily because of the lessons or work (obviously), but just the people. We did so much stuff that year, and I met so many new people that I didn’t even think went to BIMM! One of the highlights is obviously meeting this wonderful human, Romario. Quite possibly the funniest person I have ever met. He always used to say hi to me in first year and I would runaway from him because I was creeped out by the fact he was so nice and confident. (We laugh about it now) We became such good friends in second year and he is still one of my best mates.

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Here is an exclusive photo from a Romario Bryan photoshoot – (he asked me to take some photos of him)

Second year consisted going to a lot of open mics, which I loved. It was a great place to hang out and see the talent at BIMM. It was a shame that some of these got cancelled, but I’m glad I went along when I did.

IMG_4456    Here’s a shot of Muth and Akcadamy enjoying Novus Open mic at the very start of second year!

Another highlight of second year was my 22nd birthday, it was such a good night and I had the best time with the best people. I ended up drinking a little too much… but it was absolutely brilliant. We ended up going to Deansgate locks and having a good old dance. I remember texting Meg about 10 times once we had all gone to bed saying ‘I’m definitely going into Toms 9am lecture, definitely.’ I never made it obviously… (I hadn’t died or anything, I was just super hungover and the thought of cultural perspectives actually made me throw up.)

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One of my favourite tutors from first year decided to leave us all… we had a goodbye celebration at black dog (obviously) and just had a really chilled night! I did drink more wine than I thought I did, I also thought I was incredible at pool…I wasn’t. Heres a few shots of us from that night!

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The lessons were a little heavier than first year, but I still enjoyed them! Although Research Methods was a killer, I never enjoyed that. I remember performing at the End of Term gig before the summer break, and this time it went well! I was over the moon with how well it went, and I was so looking forward to my last year! IMG_0158

We always knew how to finish each year in style and it wouldn’t be complete without a group photo! IMG_4457IMG_4458

So, third year had arrived. The first term of third year wasn’t a great term – so fast forward a few months till after christmas and this is where I started smiling again. I had just come back from a trip to Paris, where I had filled myself up on pastry and cheese so I was ready for the new term!

Meg and I were living in our own little cosy flat, which then later got infested with a family of Mice, which wasn’t pleasant. Once the mice had kindly left (died), we were able to go in the flat and not be scared to sleep with the light off. 😉

Third year pretty much consisted of WORK, WORK AND WORK. So many essays, I spent so much time in the library. I don’t think anyone was that social in third year, because no one had time. I did celebrate some birthdays though and I did give myself a break or two.

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I also started rehearsing again for my own band! I had been writing loads of new songs and was so excited to bring them to the band! I’m so proud of where it’s going, it’s taking it’s time but I’m loving the journey I’m on. These guys are just incredible! (Also my drummer looks like Jim Chapman) Here’s me and the band – IMG_2687

 

A HUGE highlight from third year had to be when I met Ludovico Einaudi, I got to interview him for my dissertation and it was the most amazing experience. One I will never forget. What a talented man! I also went to see him live the night before which was unbelievable, I had been wanting to see him for ages but he was never in the UK. I would 100% go and see him again, what a magical night.

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Once I had completed and handed in all my work, the girls and I decided to celebrate with having lunch in the sun! (I ended up getting sunburnt on my head) but it was so worth it. 13339433_10208055853651506_7793284555111319494_n

So, that has been my 3 years of Uni in one blog post. Obviously there have been so many amazing memories I could’ve talked about but I would’ve been here forever! My uni experience has been one I will never forget, I’ve had the most amazing time at BIMM, and some of the worst times but I made it out and finished with a HUGE smile of my face. I’ve met some of the best people, and some of the most talented. I can’t believe 3 years have gone by, but what an incredible journey, and I can’t wait to see what we all do next…

Anyway until next time…

Lots of Love

R x

Now I’m a Warrior.

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone has had a great week and a lovely weekend so far.

So…I’m really nervous about doing this blog post but I just felt like I needed to write everything down. I think this is probably the most personal blog post I’ve ever written. So here goes…

Today hasn’t been the best day, I’ve found myself crying at points throughout the day and couldn’t really seem to switch it off. Some days I get like this, and that’s because I’ve been through an awful lot in my 23 years of being on this earth, that sometimes it just gets a bit to much for me.

Today was one of those days.

Today I realised that humans break easily. I don’t know why I’ve just realised it today. I thought I was the only one that kept breaking and trying to fix myself. Turns out I’m not.

I’ve been broken before, I’m not talking about a broken bone or anything like that, I was broken as a person and my heart was completely shattered all over the floor, that even now I’m still trying to piece back together. I lost myself as a person, I didn’t know who I was anymore, I would wake up every morning and cry, wander around aimlessly not really knowing what I was doing, I didn’t eat. I think the most I had in a day was a packet of crisps and an apple, so obviously that didn’t go down well as I lost about 2 stone in the space of 2 months. But I had no appetite, I was that broken that even eating seemed pointless.

I’ve been hurt before, whether that being a fall out with a friend or an argument with somebody, and it gets you a little upset. You have a cry and then you move on. You get over it. This time though I got the feeling this wasn’t something I just had to ‘get over.’ I had to learn from it and understand it and eventually the process of moving on will come. I couldn’t just click my fingers and suddenly everything was ok again (believe me, if I could do that I would) but you can’t. I had to take time and that was the thing that sucked most about it all. Time.

It felt like forever. Each day seemed harder and harder, and the days just kept dragging. I just wanted to get out of Manchester and go home, but then when I went home I just wanted to be in Manchester. I wasn’t happy wherever I was going. Weeks passed and nothing had changed, I was still this broken mess that wasn’t getting any better. I had no idea what to do, I didn’t want to do anything but wanted to do something. If that makes any sense. Friends would try to cheer me up or take me places but I just wanted to be on my own and cry. I remember actually looking forward to the evening so I could just cry on my own in my room because I needed to let it out, it actually hurt keeping it in all day.

My mind was just constantly playing tricks on me, I was constantly trying to fight it but through those months it just kept winning. I kept thinking ‘how will I ever be okay again?’ I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn’t even see a tunnel, I was just in darkness. I was constantly on edge and scared of everything. There was no hope, I couldn’t find any, it got to a point where I just thought ‘Right, this is it. I’m done.’

I remember it was mid November, and it was freezing outside and raining. (Obviously, it is manchester) and I had just woken up from my 4 hours of sleep, which was what I was getting each night. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t, my brain wouldn’t let me. I wasn’t looking forward to the day as usual, each day I was just waiting around to see what kind of torture today would bring. I remember heading off into my lecture in the afternoon, but had to leave early because even sitting down in a room full of people with everything going on just flipped me over the edge. I think I was in that lecture for about 10 minutes before I left. Even 10 minutes was too hard for me. I remember heading down to Bristol after that lecture to stay with a friend, for the first time in about 3 months I was actually looking forward to going somewhere. It was only a small excitement, tiny in fact. But it was something. That weekend was the first weekend in 3 months I laughed. I don’t mean giggled or a really crap fake laugh. I mean crying from laughter. Which was amazing because every other time I cried I was crying because I was sad.

That weekend I’ll always remember, the weather was awful and I got soaked through on each day, but I laughed. I laughed properly. I even ate a full meal and actually managed to stomach it. We didn’t do a ridiculous amount on that weekend but that weekend was a turning point, and it was only when I was walking around Bristol on the evening with all the lights and my friend by my side that I actually thought ‘I’m gonna be okay.’

From then on, I’ve just kept getting better and better. Some days, like today are not so great, but I have to deal with it and grow with it. I know tomorrow will be better. I started eating again, I started going out and actually having a good time, I started getting a good nights sleep, I started to enjoy peoples company and not constantly wish to be alone. I started to be kind to myself and love myself. I started to live again.

Looking back on what happened to me is hard, but it’s a story that I am so proud of. I’m never going to be ashamed of what I went through and neither should you. Whatever that is.

I’ve learnt that we all broken. We are all trying to fill in the cracks. We are all trying to face life the best way we can. Instead of constantly being broken on the floor, I decided I’m going to take my broken pieces and make them beautiful.

And that’s what I will continue to do.

Anyway until next time…

Lots of Love,

R x

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April Favourites

Hey guys!

So since it’s coming to the end of April, it’s time for a monthly favourites post! Lots of wonderful things have happened this month and I’m excited to share them with you.

So first off one of my best friends from home came up to visit for the weekend at the beginning of April, which was lovely. I hadn’t seen her in a while as she now works down in London so it was great that I got to spend some time with her.

I started reading a new book called ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig. One of my friends recommended it to me and I’m really glad he did because it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend to go and get it. It’s about the authors journey through depression and how he came through it, it’s absolutely brilliant.

I’ve also just purchased a new healthy cook book! Since I’m still running I thought it would be a good idea to start eating a little bit more healthier. It’s called ‘Get the Glow’ by Madeline Shaw. It has lots of really cool and fun healthy recipes which are so easy to make, it also has exercise routines and mediation tips!

I went to go see the Jungle Book movie – which is absolutely brilliant! I love going to the cinema and I haven’t been much this year, so it was really enjoyable to go. It also had Idris Elba voicing one of the characters and everyone loves Idris so thats a big enough reason to go and watch it. I’m not going to explain what the Jungle Book is about because you should all know. If you don’t then what have you been doing with your lives!? Seriously…(I thought I would add a picture of Idris in just to spice up this blog, he’s also great to look at. You’re welcome)

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The band and I have also got our set down! We had a great rehearsal at Blueprint studios the other day and everything is sounding great. It’s taking longer than I thought to get everything sorted but be patient because it is all coming together! You’re all in for a treat.

I also went to go and see a play at HOME Theatre called ‘Caresses’, which was rather interesting… I went with my friend Matt and we came out of it quite disturbed. I’m not going to go into detail with what happened during it, as I don’t think its very appropriate for a blog post but it was definitely thought provoking…

I haven’t been to as many gigs as I would’ve liked this month, I think work and essays have just taken over my life at the moment, so I’m struggling to find time to go and see gigs! I did catch a couple though, one of which is a band I spoke about in my March favourites blog. RUNAH.

This night was a little different as I normally see Tara perform with a full band, but it turned out to be even more captivating. She played electric guitar, and was accompanied by Singer/Songwriter Emerie who provided beautiful harmonies. Their voices blended so well together, and it was amazing to see everything stripped back. Each song was performed so elegantly and with a vulnerability that I found so affecting. The whole night was brilliant but RUNAH delivered the emotion, and that’s one of my favourite things. I had shivers through the whole set and was completely lost in the music from the very start.

Go on and check out their sound cloud, you won’t be disappointed – soundcloud.com/runahband

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Anyway until next time,

Lots of love,

R x

Don’t rush, Life is a journey.

Hey guys!

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and are having a relaxing sunday! It’s also very sunny and warm in Manchester which has brightened up my day. So now it’s time for another blog post – I know you’re very excited.

I have lots of thing I want to say in this one and I usually do abit of planning beforehand, but I kind of just wanted to type this one out really and see where my thoughts take me.

So this morning I woke up and had a little cry. I think it’s only just hit me that I graduate University in about 6/7 weeks and then I have to go off into the real world. Thats a very scary thought and if I’m being honest I really don’t think I’m ready. I have a few things lined up after university which I’m hoping to go on and do, and I’m frantically running around trying to plan everything out. University has taken up 3 years of my life and in some funny way you think that it’s not going to end. You feel like you’ve got forever to figure your life out but then soon enough it’s April and you’ve got a load of deadlines and graduation is looming…

I use this app called Headspace. Its brilliant. It’s a meditation app, and it helps to just make me feel more calm. Especially in these past couple of months its proved very useful! I highly reccomend it.

Anyway, I came across this quote today and straight away I just felt more at ease and more calm with my life after University.

‘Don’t be in such a rush to figure everything out. Embrace the unknown and let your life surprise you.’ – Unknown 

I love this quote. I don’t need to have my whole life figured out. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to plan things and have goals and aspirations – but don’t be in a rush to try and figure it all out. I’m only 23, I’m still so young and I’ve still got so much to learn.

Don’t be in a rush to settle down – Just because you’re in your 20’s, does not mean you now have to get married. Don’t think because all your friends are getting married and having children that you have too. You don’t. Go and travel the world, go to cities you’ve never visited before, run a marathon, jump out of a plane, go swimming with sharks –  (I will do that one day…) Don’t be in a rush to have everything figured out, it’s okay to be unsure, that doesn’t make you a bad person or a failure. That just makes you human.

Being in your 20’s is such an amazing time. You can take chances you won’t be able to take when you’re older,  you can meet new people and see new places. Take time in learning to love yourself, you’ll enjoy life so much more. It’s okay to take things as they come, to make mistakes and change paths. Don’t let anyone put you down for not knowing what you want, some of us take longer to get there and thats okay. Trust that things will fall into place. It’s okay to be uncertain, embrace the unknown – you may just surprise yourself with who you turn out to be.

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It’s okay to not know what you want to do in 10 years. Enjoy the moment you’re in now and make it the best moment it can be. It’s okay to not know exactly where you’re life is heading. Challenge yourself everyday that pushes you in the direction of your goals, it doesn’t have to be huge but as time goes on, the future that seemed a little cloudy 3 months ago will start to seem abit more clearer.

Most of all – don’t think that everyone else has figured life out. While some people are further along the journey than others, we’re all in the same boat. Don’t forget to enjoy your life, don’t stop striving for your dreams but be open minded to change. Don’t keep looking back to the past, be excited of where you are right now and look forward to where life can take you. It can be all kinds of wonderful.

You’ll be okay. 

Life is a journey, so enjoy the ride.

Until next time…

Lots of love,

R x

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Believe in yourself.

Hey guys!

So a few of my recent blog posts have been about issues that I’m really passionate about, I really enjoyed writing them and the response I’ve had from them has been amazing. So I thought I would do another post on a topic that I think a lot of people struggle with.

‘Believing in yourself’

‘When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt’ – Honore De Balzac

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been the greatest lover of music. Whether that was listening, writing or playing. I fell in love with writing songs from an early age, and I knew that was all I wanted to do. I did have a little break where I thought about becoming a doctor, but I think that was because I had watched too much Grey’s Anatomy. (It’s so addictive)  I’m also not great with needles so that definitely wasn’t a path I should’ve taken!

During my love of writing songs, I started having piano lessons and I was finally able to write songs with music! My first song was actually about my older sister and it was called ‘Sister  Sister’ – Yes, very skilled. I know. But learning piano really made my songs into something great , and I loved writing about how I felt. Songwriting I think, is one of the best ways to express yourself.

I’ve been told many times and I’m sure lots of other musicians have, to just give up as its not a real job. When I’ve been out with friends and people ask me what you do for a living and I tell them I’m a musician, they look at you like –  ‘Are you being serious?’ This automatically placed a seed of doubt in my mind. I felt that there was no point in being a musician because to a lot of people a musician doesn’t really do much. There was a time when I actually felt quite ashamed, and had really wished that I was doing something where people would respect and admire what I was doing. I looked at a lot of my friends and they were at some of the top University’s studying subjects that would no doubt get them a great job at the end of it. Some friends bagged jobs straight away in a profession where they could live comfortably – and then there was me, the piano player that liked to write songs.

During school I think I lost a lot of confidence because no one was necessarily bothered about a new piano piece I could play, they were more bothered with the people who were having a sweet 16 birthday bash at the local village hall or how many friends you had on Bebo. Don’t get me wrong there was nothing bad about being excited for these things, that’s great, but doing music through school I definitley lost sight of where I wanted to go. I guess I was quite scared in a way, when fear grabs you, it suddenly feels like all your goals are out of reach. I was constantly questioning my ability and knowledge in everything I did.

Growing up and starting college and then University I started to believe in myself more. I realised that there is no point in fighting self-doubt. I needed to train it, and by that I mean I no longer tell myself ‘I will never be a good enough Songwriter or Pianist’ – instead I say ‘What can I do to become better?’

Learn to recognise when self doubt is kicking in. When your mind is telling you that ‘You can’t’ or ‘What if I fail?’ – remember that you can always try again. And do just that. Doing this will transform a negative situation into an opportunity for growth. Give yourself a chance to shine, let the world see just how amazing you are!

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Try and avoid toxic people and toxic situations. You need to surround yourself with people who are supportive and passionate, people who inspire and bring out the best in you. Through college and University I’ve met some of the greatest people who will constantly push me, and help me become the best musician I can be. I’m around some of the most talented people I’ve ever seen and every time I see someone play, whether thats a Songwriter, guitarist, bassist or drummer – I come away feeling inspired and a feeling of just wanting to play.

There will be times when self doubt will kick in a lot harder than you can imagine. Coming to the end of last year I had no interest in writing songs. I had a lot going on and I just lost all motivation and confidence. I had no interest in sitting down at the piano and writing. I physically couldn’t bring myself to do it. I felt like I wasn’t good enough – I had a lot of rejection through that time and that suddenly just took it’s toll on me. But being a musician and even in every day life you are always going to face rejection. Yes it sucks, and it’s not a nice feeling, but I’ve learnt to accept and grow with it. I’ve grown as a person and a musician and I’ve been working on a set of music that I’m so proud of and so excited to share with everyone.

Don’t let anyone tell you to give up, or that you’re not good enough. Allow your dream to motivate you. You are all amazing and can do anything you want with your life. Have belief in yourself that you can be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Have belief in yourself that you can do whatever you’ve been wanting to do. Don’t give up. Try again.  I believe in you.

 

Until next time…

Lots of love,

R x

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