Music

A Night With Nina Nesbitt

Nina Nesbitt is an artist I haven’t been a fan of for that long. I first heard her songs about two months ago when I was listening to a Spotify made a playlist and came across “Is it Really Me You’re Missing?” Needless to say, it was added straight to my playlist and I listened to her album “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change” on repeat. The following week I got an email from Spotify saying she was performing at Manchester Academy and I can’t resist a concert, especially when the tickets are only £15.

lauren and nina

First onto the stage was the support act, Lauren Aquilina. I had never heard of her before but listening to her made me realise that there are a ridiculous number of talented musicians out there, not just the ones with millions of followers on Instagram. Lauren sang about five or six songs including “King”, which was my personal favourite and her heart-breaking song “How Would You Like It?” Based around the first time she was cheated on; she sang this so softly yet powerfully.

Nina appeared about half an hour later in a silver sequined jacket, singing “Somebody Special” a single from her album. A few songs later, she sat down at the piano and sang an emotional version of “The Moments I’m Missing.” This song is her life story, starting from when she was a child to the day, she got her heart broken for the first time. Then she gave a speech about believing in yourself and how British people have a tendency for self-deprecating (which she is a hundred percent right about.) I love an inspirational quote, but I can’t say the same about the rest of England. The few words she gave led perfectly onto “Empire”. By far the best lyrics in this song are “I’m not ashamed to say, that I wanna be rich someday”, I think we can all relate to that.

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Then came what Nina called the sad part of the night, in which she sang her ballads. She started with “Things I Say When You Sleep” and followed it with “Last December.” Apparently, this song was made back in 2014 and wasn’t intended for her new album but fans did what fans do. They harassed her on Twitter until she agreed and added to “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change.” The moment I listened to “Last December”, the lyric “moments stay when people leave” immediately stood out to me. At the end of this song, Nina shouted “now are we ready to have some fun,” her bandmates had a puzzled look on their faces and told her there was this one more ballad to play. She laughed and continued with “we have one more sad song and then we can have fun!” The song they were talking about was the reason I was here, and that was of course “Is it Really Me You’re Missing?”

The first upbeat song she sang was “Love Letter”, which sonically is different to the rest of the album. It has an R&B feel to it; she then played the full version of “Somebody Special.” My favourite song from the whole album came next, before this Nina said, “this is the part where we pretend this is the last song of the night.” She gave us an explanation of what this song was about, firstly saying that it was about breaking up with somebody and finding their new girlfriend on Instagram only to find that she is from Alderley Edge (a posh part of Manchester) and is studying at Oxford! The touch of adding Alderley Edge made the concert feel more personal to us. This song was obviously “The Best You Had,” after singing then waved and ran off the stage.

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About five minutes later, she was back and said, “thanks for having me back Manchester!” Next came the title of the album “The Sun Will Come Up, The Seasons Will Change.” For this song, she sat at the front of the stage. I can only imagine how crazy the front of the audience was going. As soon as I heard “The Sun Will Come Up” it was added to my motivational song playlist, which if I ever need uplifting is the first thing I listen to. Finally, the last song was “Loyal To Me”, this has always reminded me of “New Rules” by Dua Lipa so clearly I am going to love it.

I know Nina will be topping the charts soon and touring stadiums, I can’t wait for her fame to grow!

The R Word xo

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Music

Shawn Mendes: The Tour

A couple of months ago, I was sat inside watching TV at night and decided I wanted to go to a concert. So, I went on the Ticketmaster and searched up my favourite artists, somehow there were tickets for a Shawn Mendes concert left. I didn’t realise until a couple of weeks ago that these tickets went on sale in May 2018, God knows how I managed to get tickets a good 10 months after. Luckily, one of my best friends Caitlin also loves concerts and we bought tickets the next day to see Shawn Mendes in April.

Even though we only had to wait a couple of months, it felt like forever! Just before the concert Caitlin wanted some merchandise, I did think about getting one of the t-shirts from inside, but I would’ve had to pay with my taxi fare and walk 12 miles home. So, I went with a diet coke and a fake t-shirt from outside after the concert. On our way in, everybody was given an LED bracelet. I knew this idea had been taken from Taylor Swift’s reputation tour after watching it about ten times on Netflix. They all light up different colours during different songs.

 

Alessia Cara was the opening act for Shawn, I don’t know many songs by her, but she is an amazing singer. My favourite song of hers is How Far I’ll Go from Moana, I know I’m a little old for Disney, but I love that song! I recently discovered Seventeen by Alessia Cara, but she didn’t sing it, I was very disappointed.

About half an hour after Alessia finished her set, a band appeared and started playing the beat of Lost in Japan. Images of flowers were projected above the stage and everybody’s bracelets turned pink. The audience, including me, lost it as he ran onto the stage and began singing. He shouted, “sing with me Manchester”, he didn’t have to ask me twice and I was belting the words along with him. After Lost in Japan, he sang There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back and Nervous. Then came Stitches, the first song I ever heard from him. Every time I listen to this song, I get flashbacks to a year 9 Textiles lesson when a girl played it on repeat for the entire lesson. Following a couple more songs, he ran to the stage in the centre of the arena which happened to be directly in front of my seat. His piano rose up to the surface of the stage, the giant rose started to slowly go down and he started to play my favourite song of his, A Little Too Much. I wasn’t expecting it as it wasn’t on his setlist and got so excited, but he only played two lines of it before transitioning to Because I Had You. Two lines are better than nothing I suppose. He then went on to sing Life of the Party, which is one of the first songs I ever heard from him and to this day I still love it. I wish Shawn could’ve stayed on the centre stage for the whole night, my view was so much better there!

shawn and flower

 

The best performance he gave was definitely Youth. Before singing it, he had the whole arena clapping and smiling. Knowing he wrote this song after hearing about the Manchester attack gives it such a special meaning to the city. This was also the song that the crowd sang the most powerfully, quite a few people standing were waving posters that read “you can’t take our youth away, 22.” Shawn gave a speech in the middle of the song where he told us that youth is a feeling of freedom and that we all have the power to change the hate in the world. Moments like this just show that nothing gives people hope like music.

Finally, he finished with In My Blood. Confetti appeared from the ceiling, smoke blasted out from the stage and Shawn disappeared after shouting “Goodnight Manchester” into his screaming audience.

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Shawn Mendes The Tour is up there with my favourite concerts of all time. He was so entertaining and captivating, somehow without the help of any backup dancers. Simply himself and a small band.

I am so happy I decided I wanted to go to a concert on that random night.

Thanks for reading!

The R Word xo

About me

Deciding what to do next…

So, I’m at the point in my life when it’s time to decide what to do with myself and how I want it to turn out. University has always been the automatic route I expected to take, and that’s the route I probably will go down. But where to go and what to study is the issue. I had my heart settled on a Spanish and Journalism course but obviously, that is a very niche topic. This was until I had a chat with my teacher, and she explained that most journalists don’t take journalism as an undergraduate course, so then everything changed. A couple of days after I went to a university fair at my college and a talk was given by a representative from Harvard. Before the talk began, I knew I wanted to go to an American college.

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I must’ve been about fourteen when I decided that going to NYU was my dream. Mainly because I saw the magic of New York in my favourite shows (Gossip Girl and Friends.) I always knew it was a pipe dream and from the prices of American universities, it was obvious this fantasy would never happen. If I’m being honest, I didn’t know much about the education system in America, but the Harvard representative explained the majority of it. The idea of being able to change your courses and take more than one sounded perfect. Since this was put in my mind, the only thing I can think about is how I need to get to study in the USA. Just imagine how incredible studying at Harvard would be! But 500 students apply from the UK each year and only about 30/40 get in. It is so tantalisingly out of reach because I’m not exceptionally clever and have no hidden talents. Plus, I will have to take the American SATS, which include maths. Last year I cried tears of joy when I took my last ever maths test, the thought of having to do it again brings a tear to my eye and this time it is definitely not a tear of joy. I wouldn’t know how to begin preparing for SATS or even revising algebra again. I will for sure be researching how to study in America further and finding out how on earth I pass SATS. If I apply to Harvard, I will also apply to other American colleges and pray for at least one acceptance, with financial aid! I think I’d die of happiness if I got one.

If this dream doesn’t come true, I’ve come to terms with how it isn’t the end of the world and how there are so many great universities in the UK I could get the chance to study at. But I’m still going to try!

The R Word xo

Opinion

My Favourite Quotes

This is around the time of year that my new year motivation wears off and I return into a slump of laziness. There is nothing that motivates me like scrolling through Pinterest and reading some inspirational quotes. Here are my favourites:

  1. “Like wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people never thought you would.”wildflowers.jpg
  2. “Remember that once you dreamed of being where you are now.”remember you once dreamed....jpg
  3. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
  4. “We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.”we are all in the gutter
  5. “Leave footprints of love and kindness wherever you go”
  6. “There are far far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”there are far far better things.jpg
  7. “What is the point in being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”
  8. “Be so completely yourself that everybody else feels safe to be themselves too.”
  9. “May the flowers remind us why the rain was necessary.”
  10. “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”the biggest adventure.jpg

 

Thanks for reading!

The R Word xo

Opinion

The women who have inspired me!

Happy International Women’s Day! There have been and are so many incredible, influential women in our world; these are the main four that have inspired me.

  1. Malala Yousafzai

When she was only a teenager, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban on her school bus all because she believed girls have the right to an education. It baffles me that there are places still in the world that are so behind and deprive women of their human rights. Since Malala has won a Nobel Peace Prize and she was only 17, the same age I am now! Her bravery is something I couldn’t even imagine having.

“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”

malala

  1. JK Rowling

Not only did she create Harry Potter, the bestselling book series of all time, she somehow wrote her first book during a seven-year period in which her mother passed away and she divorced her first husband. She was diagnosed with clinical depression in this time but instead of letting it stop her, it inspired the Dementors in her third Harry Potter book. This teaches all of us how to use something terrible to fuel something amazing.

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.”

jk rowling

  1. Amelia Earhart

I won’t lie, I wouldn’t have really known anything about Amelia Earhart if I hadn’t re-watched Night at the Museum 2 and decided to research her. She was a pioneer of aviation and became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. But before she could reach her 40th birthday, she went missing whilst trying to become the first woman to fly around the world. Her determination was unbelievable, and she had the potential to go so much further.

“I believe that a girl should not do what she thinks she should do but should find out through experience what she wants to do.”

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  1. Taylor Swift

Now I couldn’t write a post like this without mentioning Taylor. She released her debut album at the age of 16 and 13 years later she is still going strong with nine Grammy’s. During this time, she has been unnecessarily hated on so many times but has managed to stay positive the whole time. When the media started labelling her as a psycho serial dater, she didn’t stop dating but wrote “Blank Space”, in which she mocked the way the media painted her. It is one of her most popular songs. When Kim Kardashian called her a snake, which lead to her Instagram being flooded with snake emojis she didn’t wallow in self-pity but turned that into her whole brand. That’s resilience I would like to have.

“We have to stop being so interested in seeing girls try to tear each other down.”

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Thanks for reading!

The R Word xo

Travel

The Travel Tag

I found this tag on “girlswanderlust” blog and it looked super interesting! So, I thought I’d have a go:

Which countries have you already visited?

I have been lucky enough to go to Spain, Majorca, Menorca, Lanzarote, Turkey, Cyprus, France, America (Florida), Cuba and Greece.

Which destination is number one on your bucket list?

New York! I’m determined to get there one day. Australia is also up there on my list of places to go, since a kid, I have wanted to move there, although it is on the other side of the world.

What is your ideal holiday?

Travelling in an RV around Italy for a month or so would be an absolute dream. Or backpacking through South America is something I have taken an interest to lately. Personally, I prefer to explore new places and enjoy the culture. Although I do love relaxing on a beach as well.

Which place did you think was so special you’d love to go back there?

Cuba by far. I’ve been twice and I would go back in a heartbeat. The beaches and scenery are the most beautiful I have ever seen. Our first trip was a while ago in 2010, I loved every second, so we decided to go again in 2017 to a different part of Cuba.

Show us your nicest holiday photo!

This was taken when we were flying into Cuba in 2017, it has been my favourite photo since. I use it so much, it’s ridiculous. It even featured in my GCSE media coursework last year.

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With who do you mostly go on holiday with?

I’ve only ever been abroad with my family, apart from a school trip to France.

With who would you like to go on holiday with some time?

My friends, when we can all afford it!

Who or what would you take with you to an uninhabited island?

When it comes to who, my dog would be the top of the list and maybe my best friends or sister. Things to take is such a hard decision, probably my laptop and dressing gown. I could never live without them.

Would you rather go to an amusement park or a zoo?

Amusement park! I love the adrenalin rush and atmosphere at theme parks.

Would you rather go on a ski or sun holiday?

A sun holiday, I’ve been skiing once or twice but didn’t enjoy it that much.

What is your favourite holiday memory?

Last summer when I went to Kefalonia, we visited Melissani Cave and it was breath-taking. The tour guide was so funny and the water was so beautiful.

What is your worst holiday memory?

I had food poisoning in Cuba for two days a couple of years ago and I felt too ill to leave the hotel room for that time. It is horrible looking at the sunshine outside and not being able to soak it up.

Where are you going on holiday this year?

I’m going to Santorini in July for a couple of weeks and Rome for 18th birthday in October. I’m so excited for both! I can’t wait to eat pizza every day in Italy.

Thanks for reading!

The R Word xo

About me

National Love Your Pet Day

Since today is National Love Your Pet Day, here is a little about my pup.

 

We got Billy when I was 8, it was the February school holidays and we travelled down to Burnley to look at puppies at Nutshaw Kennels. I still remember the exact outfit I was wearing when we went, which is strange because I have the worst memory! This outfit consisted of my favourite blue jeans with embroidered butterflies, a pink leopard print t-shirt and my purple sparkly converse. Thank god my fashion sense has changed. When we got there, the woman led us down a corridor with a couple of dogs in each enclosure. They had a breed of dog called Boozers, which before I had never heard of. I can’t remember any other puppies apart from the ones in Billy’s enclosure. A small, white dog was jumping up and barking at the door whilst our Billy was curled up behind him. The woman picked Billy up and brought him out for us to play with for a while. My parents couldn’t decide whether to get a puppy, so we left and got in the car. I was heartbroken, to say the least, so I sat in the car and cried. The engine didn’t even start, and my parent changed their minds. We went back into the kennels and got Billy. Best day ever.

On the way back, he was sat on my mum’s knee and we were trying to decide on names. I love unusual names, so my suggestions were Midnight Star and Shadow. Obviously, they were laughed at by everyone else. Other ideas were Roger, Reginald until somebody came up with Billy. Honestly, I have no idea who suggested it first, but I know it wasn’t me. Next thing we knew, Billy was throwing up on my mum’s lap. Maybe he was trying to tell us he hated the name.

Thanks for reading!

The R Word xo