Bruno Mars / 24K Magic / Bruno is Back!

With it being just 4 years since Unorthodox Jukebox, which spanned the smash hit songs, Locked Out of Heaven & Treasure, Bruno Mars is Back! As 24K Magic marked Bruno Mars’ comeback to the music scene, two years after the smash hit record, Uptown Funk, which he released alongside Mark Ronson just weeks after Fleur East (The X Factor 2014 Runner-Up, 2nd Place to our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, the winner of the X Factor 2014) performed the record on the X Factor, it was safe to say that it was like Bruno Mars had never been away from the music scene.

Having listened to Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic, I knew I was in for a treat, as the record packs a punch in its own right, and with Bruno Mars’ own sound and raw vocals, I just knew the record was going to sound so good. If Doo-Wops & Hooligans and Unorthodox Jukebox were anything to go by, 24K Magic proves that Bruno Mars unique sound will last for many, many years.

One of the songs on the album is dedicated to Gianni Versace, as it’s titled: “Versace on the Floor”, and I won’t lie to you, it’s so good!

The album itself delivers the unique sound that Bruno Mars created for his first two albums, and because of the fact he carried that same unique sound with Mark Ronson’s smash-hit record, Uptown Funk, the album, 24K Magic, carries that unique sound and really shows off the raw vocals of Bruno Mars’ voice.

24K Magic not only marks Bruno Mars’ comeback to the music scene, but it also delivers a promising sound that will really kick off Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour next year.

What do I think of Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic? I think it’s such a good album, because he has managed to reinvent his music in a unique way where his style changes every time, but at the same time, because his past albums contain the unique sound, this new album, although it contains that unique sound as well, also carries another new sound with it that really can give you goosebumps.

Overall, I absolutely love Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic, and I wholeheartedly recommend his album to all of you.

If you enjoyed my review of Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic, please feel free to submit feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Bruno Mars, Elektra Records & Atlantic Records 2016

© Any names / titles / promotional images used, such as the photograph of Bruno Mars (the official photograph used on the final album release of 24K Magic), the 24K Magic album title, including Bruno Mars’ name are all copyright of Bruno Mars, Elektra Records & Atlantic Records. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Monthly Roundup: April 2016

As I’ve been extremely productive and have been a very busy bee as usual, I will make sure to take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.4.2016 – As March ended on a productive note, I had made sure to welcome you all to April on Mother Nature, as this month would be set to get a little warmer considering the wintry spells had finally passed.

Also on this day, I published a tribute article which paid tribute to the nation’s most loved Agony Aunt, Denise Robertson, who sadly passed away at the age of 83 from pancreatic cancer on the 31st March 2016, with the news of her passing being announced just 24 hours after the news broke of Ronnie Corbett passing away.

2.4.2016 – After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March),Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo came exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after its release worldwide, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on finally setting your creativity free, as it was based around how we all have ideas of being creative, but would leave us wondering how we would all set that creativity free.

3.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the truth that I had about abstract art, which was me answering that it was interesting and innovative. This article was based around an abstract art piece I created using a pen and a piece of paper, which took less than 24 hours to produce. I also made sure to create different colours of the same abstract art piece that I had finished, and I had made sure to do some significant editing, using the editing skills I currently have to make it look exactly as to how I saw it on paper, so that I could reproduce the same appearance I saw in drawing form, but in the form of a digital version as well.

Also on this day, I published my first Quote of the Day, which would be useful as I wanted to make sure to inspire you all and to put some light in your day.

4.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that I wanted to make sure would be short, but would be inspiring as well, as the article I published was based on doing something for the first time in this world, which was for you to do you and to be happy. It was my way of saying that you should be you, be happy, but most of all to be yourself.

Also on this day, I published another article which was based around three key factors of life, which were Strength, Courage & Willpower, and it was based around just how powerful they can be in all walks of life.

Ending Day 4 of the month on a high note, I had made sure to publish Quote of the Day #2, which was based on redefining ourselves for the better in this world.

5.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on how, over the years, we had all seen some disaster films, but the question was whether they were feasible in terms of real-life situations.

Also on this day, I published an article which was based on whether protective headgear should be worn at all times in boxing, following the news of the boxer, Nick Blackwell, who collapsed shortly after a boxing match between him and Chris Eubank Jr., the son of Chris Eubank Snr.

To end this day, I published Quote of the Day #3, which was based on helping you all to believe in yourselves, including being yourselves.

6.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based around expanding your horizons with all-new ideas. This article was also a 5-Step Guide that I created which was my way of being able to show you how you could broaden your horizons with all-new ideas.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based around the April showers, considering that the name of the article, which was called: “April Showers Bring Blossoming Flowers” was based around the small showers we were getting, which brought along with it some gusty winds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #4, which was based on aspiration and inspiration, as well as inspiring anyone to do better.

7.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that expressed my excitement for the Summer Break, given that the time has been flying like clockwork and that the long holiday break was not far behind. I mentioned that although I may not be partial to the spells of hot weather, I did mention that I do love the thought of lovely Summer days where it’s nice and sunny and where it is also absolutely peaceful.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on music, as well as wondering how we’re able to relate our lives to songs. I talked about how it was the first thing we would make sure to listen to everyday, as well as how there would be something about music that would make us feel connected.

Hailstones Bring Showering Flows was based around the unexpected flow of hailstones that we had where I live and it came down so fast that it had felt like a torrential downpour during a thunderstorm.

To end the day on a good note, I published Quote of the Day #5, which was based around not the kind of people we become, but the kind of people who we choose to become in life that would really matter.

8.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the two-week holiday, in which I asked you how yours went, given that I had two very productive weeks, which I had absolutely loved.

I also talked about success, as well as asking you all how good it felt to achieve something, given the joys and excitement of being able to succeed at something that we may have worked so hard for.

As the two-week holiday was quickly drawing to a close, I asked you all if you were ready to head back to school or college, considering that I felt more than ready to go back to college after a productive and relaxing break, given that I was able to recuperate fully considering I had a huge amount of energy that I still had on hand despite the productive and relaxing holiday break that I had.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #6, which was based on determination, success, as well as working hard for something, not to forget to mention the chances of being able to follow your dreams.

9.4.2016 – On this day, I published three Weekly Logs, the first two of which were based around the Light Play Project that I completed and passed, which was based around darkroom experimentation work, while the third one was based around the first week of the Ghost Stories Project, which would be based around the Uncanny, as well as a mixture of different backgrounds, such as supernaturalism, ghouls, as well as mysterious things, not to mention tension, including strange and horrid backgrounds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #7, which was based on excelling in life, as well as working hard and producing something new, including being stronger than you think, not to mention believing in yourself, including being yourself.

10.4.2016 – On this day, I published three more Weekly Logs, two of which were based around the Ghost Stories Project, including the third, which was based around the first week of the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on an upcoming newspaper called: “The Word: Telling it As it Is.”, which would be launching on Friday 27th May 2016. As The Word is currently being funded on the crowdfunding site, crowdfunder.co.uk, I thought it would be nice to contribute and spread the word of this new community-based newspaper, as I wanted to make sure I could do my bit to help out. After a friend of mine sent me a logo of the name of the newspaper, I offered to help out by giving the logo a complete design overhaul, so that it would be bold and professional, but also create an in-your-face approach, so that it would be the community-based newspaper that people will read and enjoy.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #8, which was based on being yourself, including always being confident and to always to do you, which is what matters.

17.4.2016 – As I was requested by one of my friends about drawing them, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and draw them. I published the final version of this drawing on Mother Nature as this was the first drawing I had done that didn’t require a single photo reference, but was all from memory. I loved the final result of the drawing as it was how I wanted it to be.

As we also had lovely weather on this day, I ceased the perfect opportunity to get a photo of the lovely silhouette sunset shift just before nightfall was due to commence.

20.4.2016 – The week before, I ceased the opportunity to take a collection of photographs around Croydon whilst I was on my way home from college via my 367 Bromley North bus. I used the Camera+ app (Recommended) to snap up to almost 40 photographs and I was absolutely pleased with the collection of photographs that I created and published on Mother Nature.

21.4.2016 – As I had photographed one of my friends at college the day before, I ceased the opportunity to take a few photos with the Canon EOS 1200D (provided by Croydon College), including my iPhone 5 and because of the lovely Spring weather, this meant I was able to set the aperture correctly to produce them. I also listed below in the article: “A Bright & Peaceful Spring!” the details of the photograph, which showed what the focal length was, including the exposure time and the F number, which was 5.6.

In light of the sudden death of the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, who died at the age of the 57 on this day, I had made sure to pay my full respects to him by publishing a tribute article that would give me and all of us the chance to remember him forever in our hearts as the iconic music legend he truly is.

22.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based on my own views of my generation, as well as how my generation has changed how we live. I won’t deny that I didn’t hold back, but I wasn’t afraid to make my feelings known to those who treated others like dirt. I must admit, having a go at some of the secondary school students from a high school that’s near to where I live was a forced to be reckoned with, but after I lost my temper at the secondary school students, they never did anything to me, nor did they even say anything to my face as a result of how angry I was, but I did, however, receive an apology from some of the high school students for the way they were treating each other, but even though that apology was aimed at me, it was more or less aimed at everyone else on my bus, which just goes to show that if you cannot be considerate of the passengers who are on board the same bus as you, then the simplest thing is to not board the bus.

26.4.2016 – As the Croydon-born talented musician, also the winner of The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow, kicked off his One Night Tour on the 15th April 2016, which ran until the 23rd April 2016, everyone was full of excitement, including myself, as he came back to his hometown, Croydon, on the 19th April 2016, to perform his One Night Tour at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, which promoted his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow, which was released on Friday 13th November 2015. This Special Tour Review was my way of saying a massive, massive thank you to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer, as this was my first ever time going to see a musician perform on tour and for Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer to put on such a perfect night, I absolutely loved it. Thanks guys!!! Also again, thanks so much to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and to James Plimmer for getting photos with me on the night, it means so much :-).

29.4.2016 – A few weeks before, it was reported and confirmed that David Gest, who had recently made an appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house, had passed away at the age of 62 at a London Hotel on the 12th April 2016, just before 10:20 AM. The news of his death seriously shocked me and I was absolutely gutted, as this news came nearly two weeks after we lost Ronnie Corbett and Denise Robertson, but when I heard the news of David Gest’s death on the 12th April, I was absolutely shocked and upset. I paid tribute to him by publishing this article as I wanted to make sure he was remembered in our hearts forever and also for the footprints he left on our hearts.

30.4.2016 – On Thursday 28th April 2016, whilst I was around Croydon during my lesson taking photographs as part of a concept I will be producing for my final piece towards the end of the first year of the two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, I took just a few photos around some parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed properly before, and as I took these photos, these would help me to develop my ideas further for the concept I will be aiming to produce. I published this photography article as I wanted to give you all an in-depth look at the kind of concept I have in mind, as well as using the photos I took as ideas for how I could produce that concept for my final piece, but in a completely realistic setting.

This Monthly Roundup has officially drawn April to a remarkable close. Although we lost quite a few notable icons over the course of this month, they will never be forgotten in our hearts and will always be remembered forever in our hearts.

Thanks to all of you for making this month an extremely productive month for me and I’ll see you all in May.

Alex Smithson

Croydon College Photography Work | Final Major Project | Thursday 28th April 2016

On Thursday 28th April 2016, whilst I was around Croydon during my lesson taking photographs as part of a concept I will be producing for my final piece towards the end of the first year of the two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, I took just a few photos around some parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed properly before, and as I took these photos, these would help me to develop my ideas further for the concept I will be aiming to produce.

Below are 8 of the best photographs I took from college yesterday, 6 of them perspective-based, while the other two are of the Centrale Croydon Shopping Centre.

If you liked these photographs I took yesterday around Croydon, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated. If you missed the chance to see the collection of photographs I took around Croydon whilst I was on my way home, don’t worry, as I’ve made sure to pin that as a related article below, and if you also missed the chance to see my Special Tour Review of Ben Haenow’s One Night Tour that took place at Fairfield Halls on Tuesday 19th April 2016, don’t worry, as I have made sure to pin that article below as well, so that you don’t need to worry if you missed the chance to see it during the week :-).

Check back soon for the Monthly Roundup. It’s going to be massive compared to the Monthly Roundups I’ve done in the past, so I can guarantee you won’t want to miss this one :-).

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Ben Haenow / One Night Tour / Special Tour Review! – Tuesday 19th April 2016

As the Croydon-born talented musician, also the winner of The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow, kicked off his One Night Tour on the 15th April 2016, which ran until the 23rd April 2016, everyone was full of excitement, including myself, as he came back to his hometown, Croydon, on the 19th April 2016, to perform his One Night Tour at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, which promoted his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow, which was released on Friday 13th November 2015.

As I waited for this night to arrive since I purchased my pre-sale ticket in November, I knew from the moment I purchased my ticket to see him perform that this night would be the best night I would ever have. The last time I saw him perform was at his homecoming just outside the HMV store in Croydon, connected to the Whitgift Centre, when it was chucking down with rain, and he performed Jealous Guy (originally by John Lennon) and Come Together (originally by The Beatles).

The One Night Tour was out of this world. Ben instantly took the roof off of Fairfield Halls off and everyone in the auditorium stood up, and hearing him perform on tour gave me goosebumps, as I knew that this night was the night I waited for, and not just that, but on the closing song that he performed, which was his X Factor winner’s single: “Something I Need (originally by OneRepublic)”, everyone at the front of the stage got up on the stage to sing with him, and I did too. None of us got into trouble at all because he wanted us to join him on stage, and I won’t lie to you, it’s my first ever time going to see a musician perform on tour.

After the tour ended, I was able to get a photo with Ben’s brother, Alex Haenow, the Opening Act, James Plimmer, including the main man himself, Ben Haenow!!!!! Tuesday night was absolutely worth the wait, and I would do anything to go back to that night. Ben Haenow is such a down-to-earth guy, and it is an absolute honour to have met him.

Below are the best photos I took at Fairfield Halls before, during and after the One Night Tour, including some photos with Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer. I have also got video footage from the One Night Tour which will also be included as a YouTube video, documenting parts of the tour as it happened.

Opening Act: James Plimmer

Ben Haenow & Alex Haenow!!!!!!!!!!

Below is the video of the 18 video clips I recorded at Fairfield Halls during Ben Haenow’s One Night Tour, featuring James Plimmer and Alex Haenow. These small clips, which are combined into a 12-minute video give you a taster of what Ben performed on his One Night Tour on the 19th April 2016 at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, in Croydon, opposite Croydon College.

To Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer, thanks so much for a perfect night, and I hope to see you guys perform again in the future 😉👍👌

Alex Smithson

© Ben Haenow 2016

Monthly Roundup: November 2015

After an eventful month, I will be rounding off November by taking a look back at the articles I’ve published over the course of this month.

1.11.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a bitter cold and chilly November, as this month would see the cold and bad weather getting even worse, given that patches of mist and fog had opened November to a near-wintry landscape. In this article, I also mentioned that the next few weeks were going to be very busy for me, considering that I had my studies to worry about, among other things.

3.11.2015 – As censorship is often the most-talked about controversial issue that is still going on today, I decided to express my own views, and also explained why I thought that censorship was a very good idea, and how it would help all of us to put an end to abuse, forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying.

7.11.2015 – It was exactly one year ago to this day that I had my braces off, and I explained what it’s been like for me since I had them off on the 7th November 2014, and I mentioned that not much had changed, though I did admit that it felt completely different to the way my teeth felt before I had the braces fitted. I also mentioned that there would come a time in life where we would all face the possibility of having a few teeth out in order for the process to become a lot easier for us. Well, my time came to experience the pain of having two of my teeth out, and yes, it was horrible, but at the same time, it was going through that horrific pain that got me the perfect smile that I wanted.

Also on this day, I asked you all how life in general would matter to you, as I saw from my own perspective that life in general matters to us, as we should value the lives that we are given, and to make sure that we make the most of the time that we all have in this world. I also said that I appreciate life entirely and that I am entirely grateful for the fact that I was brought into this world, as I have learned so much in the space of the time I’ve been around.

8.11.2015 – On this day, I gave a 5 bullet-pointed list based on the five main fears that scared me, given that I asked all of you: “What 5 Main Fears Scare You?”. My 5 main fears were having a fear of heights, the second fear was to do with the level of protection that the United Kingdom has at the moment. The third fear was to do with travel, given that I often fear for my own safety. The fourth fear was to do with falling over when I would least expect it and the fifth fear was the tendency of fearing the element of time going so quickly.

13.11.2015 – Exactly 5 weeks after he released his collaboration of Second Hand Heart with the Piece by Piece American singer, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Haenow finally released his long-awaited debut album to the world. After spending 10 months out of the spotlight, considering he won the 2014 version of The X Factor, Ben Haenow decided to take as much time as he needed to make sure that this album would achieve the sound that he wanted. I gave my full overview on his debut album, considering that it was absolutely perfect, and I also mentioned that his debut album would be available to listen to on Mother Nature through the Spotify widget located in his own widget, which would also remain as a permanent fixture on this website. I gave the overall album rating of Ben Haenow’s self-titled debut album a 10/10.

15.11.2015 – In light of the horrific events that occurred in Paris, following a devastating massacre that resulted in the loss of 132 or more lives on Friday 13th November 2015 (Vendredi 13 Novembre 2015), I announced on Mother Nature that I would not publish any articles for one whole week, as I wanted to pay my full respects to the victims who lost their lives in Paris on the night of the 13th November. I also requested for all of you to put the Pray for Paris sign up on your blog, as I wanted to make sure that we could all pay respect to all of those who lost their lives as a result of the devastating massacre.

Also on this day, Mother Nature changed it’s orange and white colours to the blue, white and red flag colours, as I wanted to make sure that my full respects were paid to the 132 victims who lost their lives on the 13th November 2015.

[1 Week Hiatus Out of Respect to Paris – 16th – 22nd November 2015]

27.11.2015 – With their EP, Life Goes On, being made available for release the following day, my close friend Charlie Philbrick from the Drowned Out band treated me to an early listen of him and his band’s EP (Extended Play), and it was an absolutely awesome EP, and also mind-blowing as well. I also mentioned that one of the band members in Charlie’s band has certain vocal elements in her voice that remind me of Christina Aguilera.

28.11.2015 – On Thursday 26th November 2015, I headed down to some parts of Croydon with some of my classmates from my UAL (University of the Arts London) Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, as we were doing some filming for our project which is currently based around Ghost Stories. I thought, considering that I was with my group, it would be the perfect opportunity for me to snap some photographs down Surrey Street Market, Crown Hill and also around Croydon. As of Thursday 26th November 2015, filming for my group was actually finished, and I was absolutely pleased with the way the production of the film had gone, despite a small faux pas moment from a member of the public, but aside that, me and my group absolutely enjoyed filming for this project, despite the weather conditions. I snapped the photographs in that article with my iPod touch (5th Generation).

30.11.2015 – With her third album becoming the number one most pre-ordered album, with her album still remaining number one just after it was released, Adele finally delighted us all with her much awaited album, 25, which is the first album in a while since she last released music. In just the space of the first week alone, Adele officially broke the sales records in the US with 3.38 million in sales, with her ‘Hello’ video spanning over 500,000,000+ views, also with the sales record in the UK showing that a whopping 800,307 copies of Adele’s 25 album were sold in the first week alone, which had beaten the 18-year long record that the former music group, Oasis, once held with their 1997 album: “Be Here Now”.

Thank you all for a good month, and I’ll see you all in December. This month was eventful in so many aspects given what happened in Paris, including other events that happened in the world, but to any of those victims in Paris, including the victims outside of Paris that lost their lives this month, my full respects go to you and all your families at such a sad time, but, at the end of the day, we will all unite together now to make sure that everyone is protected, and that what happened in Paris and everywhere else never happens again, ever. Still, my full respects go out to you, your families and everyone you know at such a sad time xxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

Ben Haenow (The Deluxe Edition) | Croydon | Special Music Feature

Coming exactly 5 weeks today after he released his collaboration of Second Hand Heart with the Piece by Piece American singer, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Haenow has finally released his long-awaited debut album to the world.

After spending 10 months out of the spotlight, considering he won the X Factor last year, Ben Haenow decided to take as much time as he needed to make sure this album achieved the sound that he wanted, as he didn’t want to release an album less than 6 months after winning, which has, in the past, been the usual method after a contestant has won on the show. Well, not this time, as Ben Haenow has taken all of the time he’s wanted to take to make sure this album is perfect.

The three songs he released from his album, which were Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson), Make it Back to Me & All Yours, were all made available for purchase in the weeks leading up to today’s release, and for this album to be a powerhouse pop-rock album, Ben Haenow has most certainly hit all of the right notes and has also done this album justice. It really is that good, you just can’t miss out on the opportunity of listening to his debut album.

Ben Haenow - Official Standard Album Artwork
© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Standard Album Artwork)
Ben Haenow (The Deluxe Edition) - Official Deluxe Album Artwork
© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Deluxe Album Artwork)

To show my love and full support to our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, I have taken to GIMP to use both of these debut album covers, and I have merged both of them together to make this for Ben:

Ben Haenow (The Deluxe Edition) - Customised Final Album Artwork
© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Fan-Made Customised Deluxe Album Artwork)

What do I think of Ben Haenow’s finally-released debut album overall? I absolutely love it, he really has hit the right notes, and to be honest, I’m absolutely glad that I pre-ordered his album and received it, as it feels like he’s given us all something back we can always feel proud of, knowing that we’re absolutely proud of him, and even I am absolutely proud of Ben Haenow.

My full recommendation to all of you is to give his debut album a listen, and I am absolutely pleased to announce that starting from now, Ben Haenow’s self-titled debut album is now available to stream via the Spotify Playlist that’s located in the “Ben Haenow” widget on the right of this website. This album will also remain as a permanent fixture on Mother Nature.

We love you Ben!!!!! I absolutely love this album of yours, and I believe, hand on heart, that you’re going to be in the music business for a very, very long time. I will always believe in you, not just because you’ve done the whole of Croydon proud, but because you have also done me proud as well. I will always support you no matter what, and I’m absolutely glad that I’ll be behind you 100% all the way to support you in your musical career. This is your time to shine. We love you Ben Haenow :-)!!!!!!!!!

Overall Album Rating: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© Ben Haenow 2015

© SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015

© The Ben Haenow Logo, the Official Standard Album Cover, the Deluxe Album Cover, the Customised Fan-Made Deluxe Album Cover and the wide-scale Featured Image, including ‘The Deluxe Edition’ logo have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Ben Haenow | Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson) | Special Music Feature

He’s back!!! After being hard at work and being all-hands-on-deck on recording his own music for his upcoming debut album, including shooting his music video for Second Hand Heart, Ben Haenow is back with a bang!!! Second Hand Heart, which features the Piece by Piece American musician, Kelly Clarkson, has a vibrant, energetic beat and bass that will really give you goosebumps on its first listen.

In the last few weeks leading up to the release, Ben posted some 10-15 second previews of his Second Hand Heart song with Kelly Clarkson to Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, and with a high-octane, ultra powerful pop-rock sound, Ben has made sure to send your speakers’ shockwaves booming through the roof.

I recently gave Ben’s new record, Second Hand Heart, its first ever listen, and I absolutely love it, this song’s giving me goosebumps everytime I listen to it, and straightaway, just as the song came to an end, I instantly added it to my Spotify Playlist, as it will be the record I will absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, listen to all the time.

Second Hand Heart follows up from Ben Haenow’s X Factor Winner’s Single, Something I Need (original version done by OneRepublic), which went straight in as the Christmas Number 1 for 2014, and was most recently certified Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), with the record also being certified Gold by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA).

This song will follow on with a music video, which will be premiered on Tuesday 20th October at 8:00 AM (British Summer Time) on VEVO and then YouTube. This is absolutely perfect timing as this will give me and all of you the chance to view Ben’s Second Hand Heart video with the booming pop-rock vocals and sound that he’s produced. Also, Ben’s self-titled debut album will be released officially to the world on the 13th November, just in time before the Christmas holidays and before 2016 opens its doors.

[UPDATE: The Official Music Video for Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson) by Ben Haenow is available to watch now. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!]

Below is the Official Single Cover for Ben Haenow’s Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson):

© Ben Haenow, SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015 (Official Single Cover)

My final thoughts on Ben Haenow’s Second Hand Heart record? I absolutely love it and I won’t stop listening to it, because it’s the type of record where I can listen to it, and straightaway become hooked on it, and with his new album arriving in just under a month, it’s safe to say that I will most certainly be adding Ben Haenow’s self-titled album to my music collection. He’s got such a brilliant voice, and is naturally a homegrown, and talented young man, and I absolutely believe in him, because he has all of the determination in him to have a music career that will last a very, very long time. I can’t wait to hear the all-new music that Ben has got in store for all of us.

We love you Ben!!!!! You’re the light in the stars that shines down on the whole of Croydon, and we will always love you forever more. Croydon will absolutely be booming at the bass and speakers with your debut album, keep being you and always know that we all love you including myself for everything you’ve done. We love you Ben Haenow, and we’ll always be 100% behind you every step of the way :-).

Alex Smithson

© Ben Haenow 2015

© SYCO Entertainment & RCA Records 2015

© The Ben Haenow Logo, the Second Hand Heart (feat. Kelly Clarkson) title track name, the Official Single Cover and the wide-scale full single image have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Music: How does it show our emotions?

As the title suggests, how does music show our emotions? Well, in many of the songs that you hear by a very huge number of musicians, they create their music in a way where certain songs can capture elements of happiness, sadness, anger, but also capture a kind of feeling where you can relate to that musician in terms of certain life experiences.

As you know already, I am an avid music listener, and I can never go a day without listening to music, because music has become a part of my life including everyone else’s lives in the world.

We all listen to music, as music is what helps to connect all of us together, as well as the different types of music interests and tastes that all of us have.

In terms of how music is made, the evolution of making music has rapidly changed so fast, because before, you would have to use all of the old musical instruments and some specialist recording equipment in order to make the music you make become a reality, now, with the highly advanced technology and equipment you get nowadays, it’s almost like a straightforward process, where you just sing your heart out into the microphone, and the record labels do the rest for you.

What kind of music interests do I have? The music interests I have are Pop, Rock, R&B, Jazz, Soul, Dance, Alternative & Indie Rock.

Now, it may sound like those music genres may be of interest to me, but I’m a very fussy person when it comes to picking the music that I listen to. Why? Because I’m one of those people where I want to be able to listen to a song or album that fits perfectly with my musical tastes. When it comes to songs or albums, it has to be a song or album that not only I will like, but a song or album that everyone else in the world will like.

The reason I absolutely love certain musicians, such as Madonna, Jessie J, Ben Haenow, Olly Murs, Michael Jackson, Nelly Furtado, Cilla Black, U2, Owl City, Paloma Faith, Anastacia, Maroon 5 and many more is because they have all influenced and inspired me to go further in this world, as many of the musicians whose songs and albums I listen to are inspirational, as they want you to be yourself, and not be made into something that you don’t want to be, and that is why I feel proud to be myself, and know that my life has no limits to the dreams I want to achieve.

Music is inspiration to my ears, and it’s also a way of helping me to get through even the most stressful of days, and music is what mainly helps me to channel my own emotions, my own ideas and also my own skills into the things that I want to design and publish. Another reason as to why Mother Nature is a website is not just because of the fact that it’s a photography website, but it’s also because music is what attaches and keeps it together.

My aim for Mother Nature is to make sure that you enjoy every article that I’ve published, whilst having the Spotify playlists on the right hand side of the website, so that it helps me to connect to all of you and to also find out new music and also the connective tastes of music that you all have. I love to become interested in new things, as this helps me to connect to the world, and it also helps me, as I can reach out and connect to all of you in the world.

My three questions to you:

  1. Who are your musical interests?
  2. What genres of music do you like?
  3. Which musicians influence you the most in life?

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: July 2015

To round off what has been an exciting, eventful, energetic and incredible month, I will now take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.7.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a scorching hot July. This month was set to be an energetic and relaxing month, despite the hot weather. I also mentioned that my third book was finally reaching the completion stage, which was a fantastic sign, as I was itching to get the book finished and ready for release.

2.7.2015 – After a year of hard work, studying and revision, I was absolutely pleased to tell all of you that I had officially, as of this day, passed my UAL Level 2 Art & Design Course with a high Merit grade. This news came in light of the 8 units that I had completed and passed, with a Distinction on my research, which had resulted in me getting that high Merit grade for the whole course overall. I was also delighted to tell all of you that I had also received two certificate from Croydon College that day, one of which celebrates the outstanding achievement in terms of my exemplary attendance, while the other had celebrated my outstanding achievement I’ve made in terms of excellent achievement.

3.7.2015 – After 9 months of working on Book #3, I was absolutely pleased to tell you all that: “My Journey Through a Lens” would officially be out on Independence Day at 6:00 PM. The news of this book release finally came, as I had just finished up work on the book that day (and night), which had left me then to just prepare it so that it was officially ready for release the following day.

The book would contain over 400+ pages, and this book was indeed my largest book to date. It was originally going to be released towards the end of May, but because of the fact I had my college studies and revision to worry about, I had to hold off the released of the book to allow myself a lot more time to finish up the book and to also finalise it, so that it would give me a lot more time to work on it.

In terms of this book, some of the book would focus mainly around the photographical work that I have published on Mother Nature, and not only that, but most of the book itself would also focus around my own interests, as well as Croydon College.

4.7.2015 – After 9 months of hard work, effort and designing, My Journey Through a Lens finally became available as of this day. As the book was over 400+ pages long, this book was indeed the largest book I had ever made, which followed up from my previous book: “A Year in Photography”, which was released on the 1st September 2014. In this book, I talked about 6 historical icons, as well as musicians, from Ben Haenow to Madonna, and not only that, but I had also dedicated this book to a small number of people that I mentioned, including those that had passed away most recently. As of this day, you can now officially download my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, which is available now under “Free Books“.

9.7.2015 – Spinning back the clock to 1998, Crash Bandicoot: Warped was the 3rd, most popular installment in the series of Crash Bandicoot. Crash Bandicoot: Warped continues from where Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, left off. I wrote this review because I thought it would be good to relive the nostalgic days of gaming, when games were much better compared to some of the games that are around today. Some of the games that are around nowadays tend to leave little to the imagination, especially for those that are younger than the age that is given on the game’s PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) rating. Overall, I think the game is perfect, and it is one of the top-of-the-class games that you just can’t miss. To end this review, I gave the game an overall rating of 10/10.

13.7.2015 – On this day, the world lost a true gaming icon. Satoru Iwata of the worldwide gaming company, Nintendo, sadly passed away on Saturday 11th July 2015 at the age of 55 from cancer, following complications from a bile duct growth. On the same day, Nintendo had issued an official statement, which had documented the news of Satoru Iwata’s passing. To me, this was a massive shock, as I had only just found out the news of his death on the same day, and not only had his death shocked me, but his death had also been a massive shock to the gaming world. To pay tribute to Satoru Iwata, I would take a look back on his life as it unfolded, and the highlights of his career up until his death.

On that final note, thanks so much for an energetic, eventful, relaxing and perfect month, and I’ll see you all in August :-).

Alex Smithson

P.S. Here is the book in its physical glory :-).

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My Journey Through a Lens: Out Now!!!

After just 9 months of hard work, effort and designing, My Journey Through a Lens is finally available, starting from today. With this book being over 400+ pages long, this book is indeed the largest book I have ever made, which follows up from my previous book: “A Year in Photography”, which was released last September.

As this book has pieced together bit-by-bit like a puzzle for the past 9 months, I have talked about certain famous icons, such as Henry VIII, Queen Victoria, Guy Fawkes, Mary | Queen of Scots, Winston Churchill and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and as well as that, I have also talked about the former president, Nelson Mandela.

In this book, I have also talked about our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, who was crowned the winner of the X Factor 2014, and not only that, but I have also talked about the Queen of Pop, Madonna, who has been given 3 special mentions in terms of her recently released album, Rebel Heart (released on Monday 9th March 2015), along with her two recently released videos that followed on from her “Living for Love” video, Ghosttown and Bitch I’m Madonna.

There is so much in this book that I have offered, and I feel absolutely glad to have worked hard on this book, as it has given me the strength to continue writing not just for Mother Nature, but also the strength to write a 4th. Now that this book is finally out in the open, I will begin working on Book #4 soon, as I will be making sure to get this third book printed for my own use via the regular printing service, DoxDirect.

It was a lot of effort to work on this book, despite my college studies over the past year, which I have since finished and passed as well, but the most important thing is that I have taken all of the time that I need to design this book, and also format the layout of the pages, so that everything I’ve talked about has pieced together nicely.

I have also dedicated this book to a small number of people, which you’ll see on the back cover of the book, as I have dedicated this book to Ajay Mody, who sadly passed away on the 10th August 2014 after a short illness. I have also dedicated this book to the former Loose Women panellist, Lynda Bellingham, who had also sadly passed away on the 19th October 2014 from Colon Cancer. I have officially dedicated this book to the cricket player, Phillip Hughes, who had sadly passed away on the 27th November 2014, after a sudden accident.

Also, in light of this book, I have dedicated this book to a full-time working regular blogger, and that is Vijay Shah of the Half-Eaten Mind. This book is dedicated to Vijay, as he has guided me “along the way since I began my blogging journey, and is currently updating the Half-Eaten Mind with all new information”. He is a regular blogger who likes to study and keep people up-to-date on the things that he feels may interest everyone else, for example, Vijay recently studied Virtual Vexillology, which was split over 6 articles. If you’re wondering what vexillology is, vexillology is the studying of flags. If you want to at any time, please feel free to head to Vijay’s blog/website: “Half-Eaten Mind: News & Views from a Partially Digested Brain.

To round the book off on a high note, I have decided to celebrate and dedicate this book to our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, who was crowned the winner of the X Factor 2014, with his debut single: “Something I Need (Originally released by OneRepublic) [Released by Ben in December]” going straight to Number 1. We are absolutely proud of you Ben Haenow!!! Proud to be a Croydonian!!! We will and shall always love you Ben!!!!!!!!!

If you want to download this book now, it can be found in the “Free Books” section on this website.

Enjoy :-)!!!!!!!!!

Alex Smithson