Song that reminds you of your childhood? – ‘Fit But You Know It’ by The Streets

Had the CD in the car growing up, would be bopping up and down in the passenger seat like mad. I remember the CD swore a lot more than the radio version, and my mum tried to turn it off. But by then it was too late. I was hooked.

 

Guilty pleasure? – ‘Take Care’ by Drake

Got a few, but the most respectable is probably ‘Take Care’ by Drake. A pleasure because it’s lyrically sharp, danceable when you wanna dance, and when you don’t it’s bittersweet and sad in that perfect self-indulgent way. A guilty pleasure though, because it’s by Drake.

 

Favourite ever album? – ‘Blonde’ by Frank Ocean

Can’t answer this question without wanting to change my answer a minute later! I considered Courtney Barnett’s ‘Sometimes I Sit And Think…’ because it’s got with razor-sharp lyrics, sweet deadpan delivery, and the full range of emotions. Also considered ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free’ by The Streets for the same reasons. Plus I grew up with it, know every word, and it always puts me in a good mood. Could go on like this for a while though and still not find a satisfying answer…

I think you form the strongest connections with music you listen to in order to get through tough times, and in that case my go-to would be Kanye’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’. It’s not mind-blowing, and there are a handful of tracks I occasionally skip, but there’s something about the whole ominous soulful stripped-back vibe that really resonates with me.

Similarly ‘Carrie & Lowell’ by Sufjan Stevens, which is less distorted and a lot more intimate. Or ‘Blonde’ by Frank Ocean, which can be both. In fact, yeah, ‘Blonde’ is beautiful and soulful and meandering and erratic and chaotic sometimes, and in my opinion it pushes all the right buttons. And there’s nothing worth skipping. Not even the interludes. ‘Blonde’ is my favourite album of all time.

 

First single you ever bought? – ‘It Wasn’t Me’ by Shaggy

It was me, actually. And I regret nothing.

 

Best gig you’ve ever been to? – Era

Went to this big techno event called Era on NYE, didn’t think it would be my thing really, but was expecting a good time because a) I was with friends and b) it was New Year’s. Holy crap did I underestimate this one. Was split between two stages in this old ship-building warehouse in Amsterdam, had mind-bending visuals and DJs making sounds I’d never heard before. Could feel the music in your face. The event went on until 7am. Holy crap. I danced my *ass* off.

 

Song that you listen to when you’re sad? – ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ by Bob Dylan

If it’s just one song then it’s got to be something to cheer me up. There’s a Bob Dylan track I was obsessed with for about a year, called ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’. It’s all about letting go of your worries, putting things into perspective and just taking it easy. Next time you feel overwhelmed, devastated, anxious, whatever, you should take a few minutes lie down, shut your eyes and just lose yourself in this song.

It’s got this really delicate guitar sound which manages to be melancholy and optimistic at the same time, and it fits the song perfectly. It’s not trying to convince you that everything’s fine, it’s about knowing that all bad things will eventually pass. I’ve listened to this song a lot, and I think it’s changed me for the better.

(also, it’s great when you’re not sad! If you’re ever just chilling, feeling relaxed and breezy, or even as you’re falling asleep, take this for a spin. You won’t regret it.)