Tag Archives: the voice

MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 41: GUY SEBASTIAN

I don’t know where you were in the world and what was happening in your life when the year was 2003. I mean, that was 17 years ago, and if I can’t remember sometimes what I did or where I was even last year, then I guess 17 years ago will be a bit of a stretch. But let me refresh your memory about what was happening around that time in the history of…well, everything. Australia won the Cricket World Cup against India by more than 100 runs, while Steve Waugh stopped the news at 6pm on day 1 of the Sydney Test in early 2003 against England, the 5th Test in the Ashes Series that was won 4-1, as he reached a personal milestone of scoring a century within a session. England defeated Australia in extra time in the Rugby World Cup final, while Andre Agassi, Rodger Federer and Andy Roddick won the Australian Open, Wimbeldon and the U.S. Open of 2003, respectively. Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the Governor of California in November, movies like Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Matrix Reloaded (and Matrix Revolutions), Finding Nemo, Love Actually, Mystic River, Daredevil, Bend It Like Beckham, Anger Management, Freaky Friday, Mona Lisa Smile, School of Rock and Secondhand Lions, all were unveiled during the year of 2003, while the top honours of Best Movie of 2003 at the Oscars was handed to, rightly so, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Long-running teen drama TV show Dawson’s Creek ended in May 2003, while another teen drama was unveiled on TV in September, One Tree Hill. Switchfoot (The Beautiful Letdown), Newsboys (Adoration), Skillet (Collide), Steven Curtis Chapman (All About Love), Delirious? (World Service), Mandy Moore (Coverage), Train (My Private Nation), Kelly Clarkson (Thankful), Evanescence (Fallen), Delta Goodrem (Innocent Eyes) and Martina McBride (Martina), to name a few; were all actively releasing music in 2003, while we saw major events happen in that particular year as well, from the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. on March 19th, to the release of the predecessor of Facebook, Facesmash, in October 2003. All in all, 2003 was a busy year indeed for a lot of people that have lived it, or can remember it at all. But one thing that I reckon that may have been overlooked by a lot of people who can remember 2003 and all the joys and sorrows that particular year brought to them, is this: Australian Idol debut. Yes the inaugural competition found its way to Australia, and based on the UK format of Pop Idol, this competition, in its many country forms, has swept the globe and has become the catalyst of many careers being kickstarted in music by this singing competition. And so what was the direct result of the first season of Australian Idol, to ever be considered as being a pivotal moment in not only Australian history but history for the entire world? Well, the crowning of singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian as the winner of Australian Idol, Season 1, of course!

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Momentous Mondays: Influential artists of the next 5-10 years – Week 13: Jordan Smith

Do you think a song is just great because it is? Because of the original artist’s recording, maybe the song stands tall on its own. Or maybe a song is just good simply because of the number of covers that have been recorded of aforementioned track. And once we’ve figured out that the song it good, maybe even awesome, then should the song promote the message inside or the original artist, or shudder to think the cover artist? Perhaps the cover version is just as good or maybe even better than the original, and in that case- well the ‘newer’ artist is just simply lucky and blessed to have their stardom fast-tracked by covering such a well known and timeless sung. What about artists who cover several songs and then showcase their voice that way? Does any of you know what I’m subtly alluding to? Of course I’m speaking about singing competitions and how covers of famous songs gone by essentially can propel a literal nobody to global stardom. How do any of these guys thrust into the spotlight deal with the instant pressure? Well judging from the calibre of the small sample size that is only two studio albums and one Christmas album- up and coming powerful vocalist Jordan Smith has handled the pressure quite well. And no doubt he will be, if not already, influential in his own right, as he inspires and encourages us all to live life to the fullest, and to in turn provide light and hope to others who need it.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 20: KELLY CLARKSON

Singing competitions are all the rage nowadays. You have The Voice, originating from Holland and spawning a lot of franchises around the world, a format where contestants are voted in initially solely on their voice, rather than any other appearance or mannerisms. The Got Talent franchise was founded in Britain by legendary judge and world-renowned name Simon Cowell, and though not necessarily a ‘singing competition’ per se, but rather, having individuals and groups compete against each other with their own unique ‘talent’- be it singing or anything else; musicians are nevertheless discovered every now and again on this lesser known competition platform. The X Factor, again originating from Britain, also features Simon Cowell as the founder of the show, and instead of focusing a lot on the voice of the artist as with the criteria of the singing show The Voice, The X Factor allows people to listen to singers on the criteria of something they could hope to bring to listeners that is way different from anything else in the market. Sure, I reckon all these singing competitions are great. Yet for me, I’ve felt that I don’t necessarily see much long term value there is, for anyone who places their sole purpose and identity in these shows as a means to be famous or earn a lot of money. Because frankly, only a tiny proportion of artists that succeed in shows like this, tend to go on to bigger and greater things in the industry.

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MOMENTOUS MONDAYS: INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS OF ALL TIME – WEEK 14: RONAN KEATING

Can I be very candid and honest? I was never a big fan, if a fan at all, of boy bands. Sure I’d know about them from time to time, and more recently there was this wee little band called One Direction (and yes, I will discuss this influential band in length in another post dedicated to them!); but as a whole, boy bands weren’t at all that impacting to me when I was younger. Even now, they aren’t necessarily the most sought-out ‘genre’ of music that I’d listen to from the word ‘go’. Nevertheless, boy bands have shaped and moulded music and society as we know it- from Boyz II Men, Take That, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and Westlife, to Jonas Brothers, Jackson 5, Boyzone and One Direction; boy bands have been sprouting up throughout music history aplenty, and thus, it is no wonder that one such artist from my list of 100 would be of the boy-band variety. And so for me to prepare for this blog post, I was a little unprepared throughout the week, and even now, I’m trying to find the words to say about this artist- words that will do them justice and respect the amount of success they’ve had since being a part of their former boy-band group. For me, this ‘genre’ of music is as much needed in society as it was back then- but when music for lack of a better term, is consumed at a faster rate as years go by; boy bands can sometimes fly under the radar to become the ‘forgotten’ ‘genre’ of music. This week’s discussion leads from the front with singer-songwriter Ronan Keating; an Irish singer who was one of the founding members of boy-band BoyZone, a popular Irish group in the 1990s. With around 10 albums under his belt, Ronan has solidified himself as one such artist, whom has successfully broken off from their former boy-band group, to have a relatively successful career as a solo artist- other artists to achieve such a feat include Robbie Williams (of Take That), Michael Jackson (of The Jackson 5), Ricky Martin (of Menudo) and Justin Timberlake (of NSYNC), to name a few.

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Sunday News Roundup (6th – 19th April 2015)

newspaper-stack

It’s time for another Sunday News Roundup, here’s the next instalment from the 6th til the 19th April 2015 (it’s a few days late in posting, but better late than never, right?). Anyway, enjoy reading the scoop on the latest news, spanning over the past 2 weeks!

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