Been there, saw that: Sam Smith live @ People’s Place Amsterdam

 

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Yesterday I finally got the chance to see the young and talented Mr. Sam Smith perform live at the People’s Place in Amsterdam. This of course was a great way to spend my Wednesday evening! The second Sam Smith started singing I thought: “Pshht that’s exactly what I sound like when I sing in the shower every morning”. Ok… that wasn’t really my thought and I so desperately wish I had even 1% of Sam Smith’s singing ability! I mean seriously, what did he drink when growing up and where can I get it?!
The first song he started with was the beautiful ‘Nirvana’, which I had on repeat for a long time. When I closed my eyes it felt just like I was listening to the record at home. He was able to nail all the difficult notes perfectly during each song. Without even blinking, as if it was the easiest thing in the world. This 22-year-old singer has definitely been blessed with a wonderful voice and I am glad he has the chance to share it with the world. He performed some songs we already were familiar with but also some new ones like ‘Leave your lover’, which will be featured on his debut album ‘In The Lonely Hour’. This European Spring tour of his has been very successful thus far and every performance has been sold out. Take a look at samsmithworld.com to see if he will be performing near you in the future and make sure you get your tickets quickly. He’s worth it, trust me. Here are some videos to give you an impression of last night’s performance (footage is a bit shaky because it was too crowded and there was always somebody pushing me by accident):
1. Nirvana

2. Leave Your Lover

3. Money On My Mind

4. Lay Me Down

5. Stay With Me

*The picture used at the beginning of this post was taken from Sam Smith’s Facebook page.

Video: Would You Help A Freezing Child?

This video will restore your faith in humanity and warm your heart in this cold winter day. It will also make you aware of what children in less wealthy counties and countries in a conflict like Syria go through daily without our help. “Would you help a freezing child?” is an interesting Norwegian social experiment and a campaign to donate jackets for Syrian children. Watch it here:

Audio: Ed Sheeran – I See Fire (Kygo remix)


A highly addictive remix of Ed Sheeran’s single ‘I See Fire’ has just been released. The one responsible for this lovely remix is Kygo. I can’t listen to anything else except this song at the moment. The only thing that would make this a better experience is if I was listening to this while relaxing on a tropical island. But we can’t have it all… now can we? Take a listen and enjoy:

Been there, saw that: Mayer Hawthorne @ Melkweg, Amsterdam

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Mayer Hawthorne’s music has been bringing a smile on my face for several years now but somehow I never got the chance to see him perform. This finally changed on the 16th of October when I went to his show at the Melkweg in Amsterdam.
I asked a friend of mine to join me to his performance and she actually didn’t know who he was. She accepted to go even if she had never heard any of his songs and at the end of the night she was completely in love with his music. This is a perfect example of how good his performance was, someone who had no knowledge of the songs actually enjoyed the whole performance.
The venue was packed and I was surprised by how divers the audience was. Mayer’s music is for all ages and as I looked around I only saw people smiling. There was such a positive atmosphere throughout the evening. Together with his band he was able to give an amazing performance, I loved the way they interacted with each other and with the crowd. It seemed as if they were having a good time on stage which also reflected on the audience. They were of course musically talented but also funny and entertaining.  I doubt if anybody went home not feeling happy. It seems impossible to me after a performance like that.
Unfortunately I couldn’t film but I did take some pictures, you can view them at the end of the post.
Mayer Hawthorne will be in Europe until the 26th of November, go to http://www.mayerhawthorne.com/tour/ to see if he will be performing in your area this month.

Video: Naughty Boy – Lifted ft. Emeli Sandé

Apparently I wasn’t paying attention that well because I didn’t expect a video for this song to be released this quick. I’ve been addicted to ‘Lifted‘ ever since Naughty Boy put it on his soundcloud. Just like his song ‘La La La’ this single is one that will have a permanent spot in your music playlist. On August the 26th Naughty Boy will release the album ‘Hotel Cabana‘ which I am sure will be filled with a lot more incredible songs therefore I can’t wait to hear it. Take a look at the video for ‘Lifted‘ and enjoy the song:

FYI: The way the girl moves at 1:27/1:28 that’s basically how I reacted the first time I heard this track ;)

For those who haven’t seen the awesome second part of the trailer for ‘Hotel Cabana‘, you can watch it here:

 

Animated Poetry: Mahmoud Darwish – The Dice Player || محمود درويش – لاعب النرد

There are a lot of negative things we can say about Facebook and probably all of them are true but this is a good example of the benefits it has.
I just saw a friend comment on this video and that’s how I was able to know of its existence.
It’s an animation made for the poem “The Dice Player” by the poet Mahmoud Darwish. This is known as the last poem by Mahmoud Darwish, who passed away in 2008. In this poem he describes the Palestinian struggle like no one else can. It’s an extremely powerful poem and this animation only adds to its greatness.
This animation is part of the project “Visual Poetry” made in the Media Design Department at the GUC. I’m really eager to see what else they will make.
If you don’t know Arabic, don’t worry. They’ve added English subtitles to the animation, this way non-Arabic speakers (like myself) can also understand it.

Spotlight on Strangers: Questions with Katia from Sicily (living in Rome)

I started interviewing strangers when I was in Barcelona in the summer of 2012 because I thought people should give more attention to the person sitting next to them instead of reading gossip magazines about celebrities.
When I came back to Holland I didn’t continue the interviews for some strange reason. I did have the most interesting conversations with strangers on a daily basis but kept those to myself.
During the end of 2012 I went to Rome to visit a friend. While I was there my friend had exams, so during the day she had to be at her University. Therefore I was basically wandering the streets of Rome by myself. Which I didn’t mind at all. Rome is such a wonderful place. It’s unbelievable!
One day when I was walking from the Vatican back to Rome, I saw a little café with a beautiful sign on the door which caught my attention immediately:
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I really liked the quote and decided to interview the young lady working there.  Her name is Katia. It was such a good conversation. She was very kind and I love her spirit and way of life. Even though this interview took place a while ago, I still want to share it with you.
Here are her answers to my questions:
1. What was the first thing you thought about when you woke up?
Every time I wake up, I think positive things and try to create positive energy and relax.
2. What is your current occupation?
I am the co-owner of this café and also working in cinema. I am a freelance production coordinator.
3. What did you want to do when you were younger?
I wanted to travel the world. The only thing I needed was my passport and a suitcase.
4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Not sure, probably back in Sicily where I am originally from.
5. Which song have you been listening to a lot in the past few days?
Ilaria Graziano & Francsco Forni – Lastrada

6.  If you had all the time and money in the world what would you do?
I’d go to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I really want to visit that place.
7. Who/What inspires you in life?
I get inspiration from myself.
8. What is your favorite quote?
Non rinunciare”My father said this a lot. It means “Don’t give up“. 
9. What is your favorite book?
Travesuras de la niña mala” by Mario Vargas Llosa
10. What is your message to the world?
The sign you saw at the door. That’s my philosophy in life. Also do what you like with a lot of love, that is the important ingredient while doing things.

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