Music is as integral to me as my own DNA. My life has become a continual soundtrack, with music underscoring the most powerful and even the most banal moments of my life’ – Danielle de Niese
If I had my way I would have my Beats earbuds in my ears for 90% of my waking life. I have 3562 songs programmed into my phone as I write this and the majority of the time I put all 3562 songs on shuffle. I love the element of surprise and that the next song could be almost anything (including but not limited to Star Trekkin by the Firm, Turtle Power by Partners in Kryme or the Ghostbusters Theme Tune).
It’s fair to say that music plays a big part of my life and it’s only with partial embarrassment that I admit I’m very much one of those people who pretends they’re in a film, wistfully looking out the metro window when it’s raining or that I’m so kind of badass blonde Lara Croft when I’m out running. Mainly though it drowns out the crazy anxious thoughts that plague my mind almost every minute of the day.
For years now NME have published a Soundtrack of my Life feature where they ask celebs to talk about the music that means so much to them so I thought seeing as I reckon I’ll be waiting a long time before NME comes knocking at my door, I’d just do it myself here!
The first song I fell in love with
Music was always on in our house growing up so it’s hard to think of what the first song I really feel in love with was but I do remember my brother having the vinyl single of Gimme Hope Jo’anna by Eddy Grant and that was played over and over again for weeks. It wasn’t until much, much later on that I realised Joanna wasn’t the name of his wife, understandable though, I was only 6 and apartheid wasn’t quite on my radar yet.
The first album I bought
My memory may be hazy but I seem to think that most of the albums I owned were usually bought for my for birthdays or christmas as my meager 90s pocket money usually only stretched to be able to afford singles. The first album I can remember physically buying with my own money was actually the Soundtrack to Space Jam. Scoff you may, but I stand by the fact that its actually has some brilliant songs on; The Spin Doctors cover version of That’s The Way (I Like It) is particularly good!
The first gig I went to
The first gig I went to was in June 1995 and was Bon Jovi at Gateshead Stadium with my Mum, Dad and Brother. We’d always been massive fans as a family from a really early age so I was so unbelievably excited to be able to see them live, and with Van Halen supporting as well! Rather uncharacteristically for the North East of England, it actually wasn’t raining that night, the sun was out, the crowd was in great voice (they were touring on the These Days album – arguably their last decent effort) and thanks to the fact I didn’t hit puberty until I was around 27, I was still teeny enough to be hoisted on my dads shoulders for the majority of the gig. Pretty cool for my first time!
The album that changed my life
It’s really cliche but it has to be Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette. She was the meat in a Take That/Backstreet Boys sandwich when it came to my 90s musical journey. Of course, being only 13 I didn’t really understand what it felt like to be jilted by a much older lover or being young and underpaid (although I certainly got loads of experience in the latter later in life). What I did understand though was the need for music to jump around to and scream hateful lyrics at the world. In a world of babydoll dresses and bellybutton rings, she was the doc marten wearing greasy haired role model I needed.
The song that makes me want to dance
An easier question would be a song that doesn’t make me want to dance. I dance all the time, although I really shouldn’t. My my head I look like Beyonce and that;s good enough for me. Pretty much any early 00’s r’n’b would be hard pushed to keep me off any dance floor but one track that sticks in my mind is Family Affair by Mary J Blige. It’s instantly recognisable from the first couple of bars and many a night was spent dancing the night away to it in Blu Bambu in Newcastle’s Bigg Market with Ang!
The song I do at karaoke
Karaoke is much like dancing and even thought I love it I probably ought not to do it. I’m pretty much up for anything when it comes to karaoke, I’ve been know to do anything from Tinie Tempah to the Grease megamix but time and time again I seem to come back to Poison by Alice Cooper. Dramatic 80s air grabs and all!
The song that gets me out of bed
This is a toughie because there’s actually very little that gets me out of bed in the morning. You could look at this question two ways; if it’s a song that motivates me and makes me want to bounce out of bed, throw my hair into a topknot and take on the world then it would be Sunrise my Childish Gambino, if it’s a song that makes me want to get out of bed so I can rip the alarm radio from the wall to flush it down the toilet then it would be Wake Up Boo by the Boo Radleys because Chris Evans plays it after the 7am news every single morning and it makes me want to self harm.
The song I wish I’d written
It would be easy to sit here and say Like a Rolling Stone or Wonderwall and yes they’re all great songs that I’m sure I’d be really rich if i’d written but I can’t really have a music based list without mentioning my unwavering love for Bowling for Soup. They do a good ballad and the song of theirs I really wish I’d written is Where to Begin. They’ve always had a great knack of writing painfully honest lyrics and this song sums up perfectly what it feels like to be so desperate to hold on to a relationship despite the fact that it’s your self destructive behaviour contributing to its demise. Deep eh?
The song I want played at my funeral
Easy. Some Fantastic Place by Squeeze. beautiful heartbreaking lyrics but set to a really happy gospel . Sensitive yet upbeat, kind of like me 😉
If you want the world to know the soundtrack to your life drop me a line via the contacts page with your answers to these questions and your twitter handle and I’ll publish it for you!