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The 5 Tracks That Renewed My Spirit in 2016

Perhaps not your most conventional blog title; particularly at this time of year; since it’s Christmas and all. But, my main objective as I move into 2017 is to write about and share the things that are important to me and music is a vital part of my life. I have neglected the #MyMusicMyMood segment of my blog because I believed my readers would be more concerned and interested with my outfit posts (since they have been pumped out in quick succession over the year.


However, I have depended on music more than ever before to lift my mood and boost my spirits and I really wanted to document why these songs have been so important to me. I also recently compiled my definitive list of tracks that made 2016 special over on In-spireLS, so if music is your thing, have a look! 

Taio Cruz- I Can Be



I’m a sucker for songs with uplifting and inspirational lyrics. I particularly like listening to these type of tracks when I’m commuting; whether it be driving in my car or riding on the Tube. Taio Cruz has been absent for a while, but out of all his tracks to date this song has always been so empowering for me. It’s at those moments when I feel a defeatist attitude to mindset rearing its ugly head that I tend to reach for this song.


“I can be, bigger, bigger, stronger, stronger, harder, harder; yes I can be” 


We all have days when we feel super powerful, when we feel like nothing will stop us and that we are indestructible. Then something negative happens which temporarily shifts our mindset and hinders us from moving forward and progressing further. ‘I Can Be’ acts as a reminder to me that if I replace those negative words and replace them with a more positive dialogue, the bad day will remain just that; a bad day and I can come back stronger in that very moment if I first believe that I can.


Alicia Keys- In Common 




I honestly didn’t believe that Alicia would ever be able to exceed my musical expectations after the EPIC track that was ‘Fallin’. I loved her music after this track, but for me nothing she released after ‘Songs in a Minor’ did it for me. However, fast forward to 2016 and Alicia came back with a new style, a new sound and a renewed purpose as she also decided that she would stand up against social expectations of perceived beauty and would no longer wear make-up.


In Common speaks to me on such a deep level. Some of the content resonates with me because I hear some lyrics from the track and refers to my life, lost love and memories never to be had again. However, putting aside the sad parts, there is a tone to the song that gives you a sense of empowerment. It’s fast tempo and amazing visuals all come together to create a track that is seamless and timeless.



The Weeknd – High For This




Where do I begin with this song? I’m in love the smoothness of The Weeknd’s voice on this song. It’s effortless and glides over a perfect melody. I play this track when I’m feeling agitated or stressed and it has this immediate calming effect over me. No, it’s not a track about empowerment or elevation but that’s exactly how it makes me feel when I play it. The Weeknd’s sound reminds me a great deal of the Neo-Soul musical heaven produced by Raheem Devaughn. It has recently become a strong belief of mine that the man who can connect with me on a musical level is the man for me. That man will also need to mime this track to me at my wedding. (whenever that may be!.)


One Direction – Drag Me Down




Yes I know, it’s a corny choice and before this track, I really hadn’t paid One Direction any notice. After all, thinking back to the 90’s when we had glorious boy-bands in all their forms (let’s take a moment to think about N-SYNC, O-Town, Backstreet Boys, you get the picture) recent boy-bands just haven’t haven’t glistened like the used to. However, while watching The Box this track came on and I decided to listen to the lyrics. What came from it is a track that is uplifting and powerful. It never fails to put a smile on my face and is a beautiful declaration of love and support. A fantastic and empowering song that I reach for when I need that much needed push in the right direction.



I’ve got fire for a heart
I’m not scared of the dark
You’ve never seen it look so easy
I got a river for a soul
And baby you’re a boat
Baby you’re my only reason


If I didn’t have you there would be nothing left
The shell of a man who could never be his best
If I didn’t have you, I’d never see the sun
You taught me how to be someone, yeah

All my life
You stood by me
When no one else was ever behind me
All these lights
They can’t blind me
With your love, nobody can drag me down


Busta Rhymes and Linkin Park- We Made It


Busta Rhymes "We Made It" Video Shoot


Where do I begin with this song. My mum and I have always turned to this song like a battle cry. It’s the kind of track I would play if I was a boxer approaching the ring for a fight. It’s a perfect anthem for when you want to overcome something. We all have people in our sights that may not want the best for us and will cast their bitter seeds over your progress. This song is about fighting back against adversity and coming back victorious; even in the face of defeat. It has never failed to pick me up when I have fallen and is a permanent fixture on my playlist.




Together we made it
We made it even though we had our backs up against the wall (c’mon)
Forever we waited (ha ha!)
And they told us we were never gonna get it
But we took it on the road (to the riches) on the road (to the ghetto)
On the rooooad (from the projects to this bangin instrumental)
On the road (ride with me) on the road (we come to get it)
On the rooooad (yeah, yeah, yeah!)


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yo
When it all got started we were steadily just gettin rejected
And it seemed like nothin we could do would ever get us respected
At best we were stressed, at the worst they probably said we’re pathetic
Had all the pieces to that puzzle, just the way to connect it
I was fightin through every rhyme, tightenin up every line
Never restin the question if I was out of my mind
It finally came time to do it or let it die
So we put the chips on the table and told ’em to let it ride
Sing it, yeah!



What tracks do you turn to lift your mood?


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