Soundtrack To My Life: Musical Inspirations

by Maddie

Hiya. Got a cheeky post tonight that’s gonna become a lil regular feature of this blog. Music is something that’s been integral to my life for as long as I can remember. Queue a slightly awkward, Tumblr-esque quote, but: music is what feelings sound like. Music has the power to affect like no other medium of art, and it’s crazy how a single song can lift your mood in a matter of minutes. Performing is also important to me too- I’ve done gigs and productions over the years, and also went through a really awkward phase of uploading videos to my Facebook profile. Lil old Mad.

Another medium that’s been hugely important to me is radio. I joined my local hospital radio a couple of years ago and since coming to university, I got involved in the student radio station. Each and every week, myself and me partner in crime, Nat, broadcast our very own Request Show. We get requests across campus from students and also from followers of our social media channels and then go live with their songs. However, this term we’ve decided to mix things up and add a bit more of our personalities into the mix. So, the Request Show is back, but it’s all new. Each week we have a different theme, we gather up your requests and also pick a few of our favourite songs to broadcast.

If you head over to Burn FM’s website, every single Thursday from 11am-1pm, you’ll catch myself and Nat making a fool of ourselves on air, having a general giggle and playing some damn good music. Our theme this week is: Inspirations. Therefore I thought I’d introduce you to me lil ‘Soundtrack To My Life’ series over here on the blog, where myself and Nat have a little chat about songs that mean a lot to us. Of course, to tie in with The Request Show, this week, we’re discussing our musical inspirations. Enjoy!


Inspiration Number Uno: Eliza Doolittle – Let It Rain

Eliza Doolittle was probably the first artist that ever made me stop, listen and truly appreciate different genres of music and to realise that just because something is in the charts, it doesn’t mean that it’s any good. Growing up, I think you’re definitely influenced by what your parents listen to and whatever is going on in the charts at the moment. It never occurred to me that some of the best music isn’t necessarily what’s ‘popular’. Obviously, Eliza exploded onto the music scene back in 2010, and whilst her chart success inevitably brought my attention to her, it was her lesser acclaimed music that really captured me. Everything about Eliza inspires me: her soulful voice, her attitude to stand out from the crowd, her motives to make music not for money but for love and even her fashion sense. She has been one of my favourite artists since 2010 and still to this day now, even though she’s not releasing anything at the moment. Let It Rain is euphoric, it’s different and it has such a powerful message to just keep going throughout any rubbish life can callously throw at you.

Inspiration Number Deux: Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

Okay, so this may sound like a rather generic one. But I haven’t picked it for generic reasons. 500 Days of Summer has been and most likely always will be my absolute favourite film. Zooey Deschanel is an icon, I love how the film subverts the usual rom-com, Hollywood plotline and the soundtrack to the film is pure class. I could have picked The Smiths, Doves or Regina Spektor, but Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition has so many memories associated with it. If I’m feeling stressed out, this song instantly chills me out and inspires me to get motivated. I sang this song at my last ever Music A Level performance and it takes me back to that moment every single time.

Inspiration Number Three: Nothing But Thieves – If I Get High

Nothing But Thieves are one of my absolute favourite bands. I was lucky enough to see them recently at the 02 Institute in Birmingham, front row, and they were literally insane. Lead singer Conor Mason has the kind of voice that somehow, defying all odds, sounds better live than it does on the track. Their performance was electric; they lit up the 02. This song in particular inspires me, because it discusses grief and the overwhelming loss you feel when someone dear to you passes away. It honestly moves me so much and whenever I listen to this song I can identify with the lyrics and it sort of makes you feel okay because you know that this all-encompassing grief happens to everyone and that people understand how you’re feeling. When seeing them live perform If I Get High, the usually moshing, rowdy crowd all stood still in utter silence; it was just magical.

This is how much you’ll laugh if you listen to our show- I promise we’re hilarious xoxo

Inspiration Number 4: John Lennon – Imagine

This sounds like another cliché, but this song inspires me every time I listen to it. Aside from obviously such an inspiring, truthful meaning of what we should wish for the world, this song affects me on a more personal level. It was the last song my late Dad ever saw me perform, and every time I sit back down at a piano to play it, the song calms me and reminds me to keep going for him, something that is incredibly powerful and inspiring. Imagine means a lot to myself and to many other people the world over.

Inspiration Number Fiveee: Wicked the musical – For Good

This is definitely an odd one here and something that isn’t usually my taste. I love musicals, but I wouldn’t usually rank them up there with my favourite songs, or most played on Spotify. However, this song was the first ever song I sang. Back when lil old me was in Year 7 (and probably the same tiny height that I am now) I joined a vocal group with one of my best friends, Ellen, after she suggested I join along with her. That group ended with us performing together in a showcase at the end of the year, duetting to For Good. She was Elphaba; I was Glinda. Flash forward to Year 11 and we were asked to perform it again, after years of not even singing it, for our Leaver’s Assembly. It was absolutely crazy how easily we fell back into those parts. The song speaks so truthfully about friendship and whenever I listen to it I feel inspired. N’aw, cute.


Inspiration Number Uno: Cyndi Lauper – True Colours

She inspired my obsession with the 80’s and this is one beautiful 80’s tune that I love. She was so out there and so unique. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is iconic and was always one of my favourite songs, ever since I was younger. I think it’s hard not to guiltily become inspired by someone so out there.

Inspiration Number Deux: Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ About A Revolution

It was really hard to choose a song from this album, because they all affected me a lot. She sings about the racism that was in America in the 1980’s, as well as domestic abuse and poverty. Her voice is one that can really tell a story, a story that I think we can all learn a lot from.

Inspiration Number Three: David Bowie – Life on Mars

Hunky Dory has probably been my go-to album to help me feel Hunky Dory for a few months. The narrative and story in the song is one that I also relate to. It’s a girl who looks at art and media to escape from real life, but is left disappointed with the real world rather than feeling better about it.

Inspiration Number 4: Nina Simone – Feeling Good

This is my motivation, feel-good tune. You’ve probably heard the Muse or Bublé version, but Nina is so much more powerful. In fact, I think it’s a song that makes you feel powerful, worth it and even a little bit sexy. It’s magnificent.

Inspiration Number Fiveee: Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now

To be honest, when I need to get some work done – or to motivate myself to get stuff done – Queen is my go-to. Don’t Stop Me Now is the tune that I put on when it’s 8:15am, I have a 9am lecture and I’m still in bed.

If you like our choices, or even just want something to occupy yourself on a Thursday morning, head on over to between 11am-1pm to hear myself and Nat having a lil chat and a boogie over the air waves. If you want to request something yourself for this week or any upcoming weeks, make sure to follow The Request Show on our lil Facebook page:

Tune in NOW on for 2016's biggest songs voted by YOU! Nat's havin' a ball

Posted by Happy Hour with Maddie & Nat on Wednesday, 30 November 2016

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Natalie Welch 25th January 2017 - 8:30 pm

this is top notch

Maddie 1st February 2017 - 6:38 pm

You are top notch x


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