Archive | October, 2011

Good Music is Back!

23 Oct

With Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto coming out tomorrow, after three eyars of toil, tears and loving, I thought I’d write a review of one of the lead (and probably will prove to be most popular) songs from the whole album: ‘Princess of China’ ft. The one and Only Rihanna.

Enjoy!

‘Princess Rih Rih becomes a ‘Princess of China’ in Coldplay’s new album.’

The much anticipated collaboration between the princess of pop and the gods of rock has finally been leaked. The track features on Coldplay’s forthcoming fifth studio album, ‘Mylo Xyloto’ and has already been widely tipped to reach the meteoric heights of Rihanna and Eminem’s ‘Love the Way You Lie’. The track was uploaded onto YouTube and Soundcloud after it debuted on Dutch radio stations but has since been taken down by Coldplay’s record label EMI.

The band have claimed that this might possibly be their last studio album as they have been in the game for so long and newer players such as Rihanna, Adele and Justin Bieber are stepping up to the plate. With that in mind, Chris Martin tells us that the album took three years’ worth of toil and ‘is designed as a whole piece’. It tells the stories of boy and girl lead characters and Rihanna was at the top of their list to provide vocals for the female characters. It is hard to believe that legends like Coldplay have ever felt nervous about approaching an artist for a collaboration, but with Rihanna making her name as a global superstar, they can be forgiven for ‘being very Hugh Grant-like and spluttering about it’.

I heard the song last night and wasn’t too enamoured at first if I’m honest. I thought that Rih’s classically flat but hypnotic voice was too overpowered by the strong techno-buzz beats of the band’s legendary guitar riffs. I remember thinking that her voice sounded too auto-tuned. But I gave it another chance because I truly love and respect both Rihanna and Coldplay as artists and I really wanted to like their latest offering. Having listened to it on Soundcloud on RIHpeat (see what I did there?) for over two hours, I can now say that I really love the tune. It might definitely prove to be a grower but Coldplay have not been in the business for over fourteen years for nothing; and with Rihanna claiming ten number ones under her belt, with ‘We Found Love’ (her latest collaboration with DJ Calvin Harris) currently topping the British iTunes and singles charts, this song will surely prove to be a winner.

It is no wonder that Rihanna is famous for her many collaborations with successful male artists (Yes and um, Nicki Minaj). Over the six years of her mind blowing career, her voice has grown from strength to strength and she has transformed herself into a sexy, strong, powerful and influential figure in the industry – powerful and versatile enough to work with pop, rap, RnB and rock titans. Naturally, she can hold her own as ‘Loud’ has shown us, but it seems she is at her very best when part of a dynamic duo. As one fan puts it on Twitter: ‘[Rihanna] sings pop like pop, she sings reggae like reggae, she sings rock like rock!’ and is should also be noted that this lady keeps making histoRIH (I did it again!) as this is the first and possibly only feature in the long history of Coldplay albums. Chris of course collaborated with Kanye West in ‘Homecoming’ but that was a side project – a bloody good one at that!

But anyway, whilst we wait for ‘Mylo Xyloto’ to be released on October 24th and ‘Talk that Talk’ to be released on November 21st, we can sit back and enjoy the sultry vocals of Rihanna come together (and work really well) with the classic sound of Coldplay, as if there had never been anything more natural to have ever happened.

I reckon this deserves an unapologetic solid five stars from me.

 

Siana Bangura.

 

Ps: Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter !

One Love.

 

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What’s it like to join a leadership programme?

20 Oct

Read this blog from 22 year old Rowan for a first hand account

For six months prior to my current role, I volunteered with City Year full-time in a primary school. The level of responsibility was immense; the children would confide in us any problems that they would have. This was definitely an amazing experience for me.

To tell you a bit about myself, it was slightly over a year ago that I graduated from university with a degree in English. I left university extremely unfocussed and unsure of what my next step would be.

After a brief spell of experimentation with trying to gain entry into various job sectors, I quickly realised that it was a waste of time trying to pursue jobs that I had little or no interest or passion for. I decided to join City Year because I recognised that it would allow me to step into a world that was completely alien to me. I had never volunteered or worked with children before. The reason for my decision was that I thought the experience would allow me to uncover hidden depths in myself.

In those six months I learnt more than I could possibly have imagined as well as gaining some direction as to which way my life was heading.

In the schools, we had an active involvement in the playground as well as the running of activities throughout the day and after school.
What was really good about volunteering with City Year is that we had a huge amount of freedom as to the types of activities we could run as well as developing our own teaching methods to use.

The school allowed a colleague of mine and I to organise and run a listening exercise for a short period in the day. This was received well with the school and the children. We also developed and ran two concurrent after school art clubs, one for the younger children (5-7 years old) and one for the older children (5-11 years old).

When I was offered to return to City Year for an additional year, the decision was difficult for me because of the level of commitment that it would entail. However, I think that a part of me knew that I really did want to stay on after the amazing experience I had had the year before. I would hugely recommend volunteering with City Year to anyone who wants to develop themselves as a leader in our society, as well as acquiring some extremely valuable experience mentoring children.

Being a volunteer at City Year also has many other advantages, for example there are many opportunities to interact with our corporate sponsors at training sessions as well as various other functions. If you are interested in recruitment there are also many opportunities to get involved.

This year we will be having a mid-year volunteer intake to coincide with our move into a school in Tottenham. For more information phone 02070142680 or email: londonrecruitment@cityyear.org.uk

To find out more about other leadership schemes read more here