SWEENØ / My Diary of Pain / An Album of Honesty & Power Where Oli Speaks from the Heart, the Mind & the Soul.

It is an absolute honour for me to share with you, my review of Oli Regan’s recently released début album, My Diary of Pain.

As a Mental Health Sufferer who suffers from Bipolar & ADHD, both of which among many other Mental Health conditions, is often overlooked, Oli Regan channels his true feelings, emotions, strength, rawness and energy into this album, My Diary of Pain.

My Diary of Pain certainly is an eye-opener, because it has a sense of power that you can’t quite describe, but the rawness of Oli’s voice on this album really stands out, as he speaks from the heart, the mind and the soul about how he really feels.

When you listen to Oli Regan’s album all the way through, you begin to not only understand and appreciate life more, but you begin to realise that life is filled with pain and that pain can strike you at certain points in your life, but with resilience, care, compassion, support, love and respect, the world can be a better place and that negativity can disappear altogether from all existence.

For Oli, an ambassador for Time to Change, to really put his heart, his mind and his soul into producing My Diary of Pain, you can’t help but appreciate Oli Regan entirely for producing such an interesting and powerful album.

SWEENØ – My Diary of Pain (Official Album Artwork)

Oli’s EP, My Diary of Pain, is really powerful and he has created that cut-throat approach where it’s no fuss, no messing about, just get on with it and for Oli, he’s made sure to highlight that this world is already messed up enough as it is and the only way we can all make it a better place is if we all put in the hard work and graft now and make sure that negativity is completely non-existent and that positivity blossoms in this world.

My words of praise go to Oli Regan (SWEENØ):Oli, keep expressing yourself and keep raising awareness to end this negative stigma that is attached to Mental Health, you’re awesome!

To listen to Oli Regan’s album, click or tap the Play button below to listen to My Diary of Pain.

Trust me, Oli Regan’s album, My Diary of Pain is worth a listen, because it reflects on how he feels about this world and everything else in general and it’s worth a listen.

If you enjoyed my review of Oli Regan (SWEENØ)’s album, My Diary of Pain, please feel free to comment below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Oli Regan, OnPoint Headshots, SWEENØ 2017

© The photograph used above of Oli Regan (SWEENØ), including the album, My Diary of Pain, the Official Album Artwork of My Diary of Pain and the logo, SWEENØ, are all copyright of Oli Regan, OnPoint Headshots & SWEENØ. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Album Rating: 10 / 10

Monthly Roundup: October 2016

As Halloween draws October to a close, in a place where no one can hear you scream, I will make sure to round October off by taking a look back at the articles published over the course of this month. Happy Halloween!

1.10.2016 – Kicking off October, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature and I would announce that this month would be just as busy as September, considering it would be quite a productive and busy month given my Film & Photography Course.

3.10.2016 – On Friday 23rd September 2016, me and my class headed up to Dungeness as part of our course, and considering that the trip was an hour and a half via coach, I can honestly say that Dungeness is actually really peaceful and quiet. Despite the fact that I have heard it is a depressing place, to me, that is a complete understatement, as Dungeness is not a depressing place, even if the huge landscape around it suggests otherwise. I published my photo collection of The Trek to Dungeness on this day following the trip just around one or two weeks before.

5.10.2016 – On this day five years ago, the iconic and revolutionary technology figure, Steve Jobs, best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today, sadly passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

14.10.2016 – As I collaborated with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, on the article surrounding Autism & Mental Health Awareness, I published an article based on whether Autism & Mental Health were overlooked, to which they actually were, and the article came about after a video surfaced of a man and an organisation who believed that Autism and Mental Health were curable, which they’re not, and I used the sole intention to publicly shame them for their disgusting beliefs of what they think works and what doesn’t where Autism & Mental Health is concerned. It is and always will be an absolute honour to work with Oli Regan, because without his help on this topic of discussion, this article wouldn’t have come to fruition and I thank him wholeheartedly for collaborating with me on this article.

21.10.2016 – To celebrate the release of her fifth studio album, JOANNE, following her remarkable comeback to the music scene, which saw her record: “Perfect Illusion” go straight to Number 1 around the world, with a few other singles that followed shortly after, Lady Gaga‘s highly anticipated fifth studio album, JOANNE, was officially released worldwide. As I had listened to and purchased the deluxe edition of the album on this day, I can honestly say I love Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE.

25.10.2016 – As Winter is fast-approaching, the coats, scarves, gloves and headgear comes out as the temperatures are set to drop, despite the weather being warm on some days. I also mentioned that Daylight Saving Time would come to an end on Sunday 30th October 2016 at 2:00 AM, in which the clocks would go back 1 hour, with the daylight hours being considerably shorter, with an extra hour of sleep included.

29.10.2016 – I published an article that was of serious discussion based on whether you thought drones should be used in the public domain to which I immediately said: “I Don’t Think So!”

Also on this day, I asked you all if you were prepared as the clock would go back 1 hour at 2:00 AM on Sunday 30th October 2016, to which I mentioned that I’m prepared to get back the extra hour as I needed it, also because of the fact I tend to get more work done with an extra hour in hand.

31.10.2016 – It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon! I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK. This photo collection would consist of 56 photographs, including 1 edited photograph based on an original version of one of the photographs I took of BOXPARK.

Thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will try my best to get as many articles published when the free time becomes available over certain times during next month. Again, thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will see you all in November.

Alex Smithson

Madonna: Artistic Interpretation #2: The True Blue Era (1986)

As I kicked my two-week holiday off with a bang, I took the opportunity to draw the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, again, but this time in her True Blue era, as I saw that a lot of fans had created pieces of artwork inspired by the True Blue photograph that Herb Ritts took of her back in 1986.

This drawing took from Friday 25th March to Tuesday 29th March to complete, and has to be one of the most difficult drawings I’ve produced yet. It’s worth the time drawing, because I can finally set my creativity free after a long while. It’s amazing what a 5B pencil can produce, and I just feel so fortunate that I can draw what I’m good at.

Over the course of the few days I’ve been producing this drawing, I’ve already been asked by one of my friends upon request if I can draw them, and I will, and I recently had some feedback given that I’ve been documenting my progress of this drawing on the photo-sharing service, Instagram, and I was told by one of my Instagram followers that it was so good, and it really brought a smile to my face.

I think with this drawing I wanted it to be based around not just that era, but also around how I artistically interpret Madonna as a musician.

Artistic Interpretation 2 - Madonna - The True Blue Era (Final Version)

The final statistics of the Rebel Heart Tour that Madonna brought to a remarkable close on the 20th March show that the tour has officially grossed $169,804,336, with full attendance (1,045,479 / 1,045,479).

This is a fantastic milestone of its own that marks the end of the Rebel Heart Era on such a positive note. I also feel glad to have done this drawing freehand with the photo reference of Madonna during her True Blue Era, which was all the way back in 1986. Exactly 30 years ago. Wow! Time sure has flown.

To celebrate this milestone, I have officially uploaded and published a video of this drawing whilst it was in progress, and it will show you the progress that I have made in drawing my second artistic interpretation of Madonna, right up to the very end ☺.

If you liked my second artistic interpretation drawing of Madonna, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated and I hope you liked the drawing and the video ☺.

Alex Smithson

Darkroom Experiments: My Photograms

Last October just gone, during the course of the Light Play Project, I did some darkroom experiments, as this was my first time using darkroom materials, considering I had never done this before.

As you can imagine, for me, this was a difficult process to start with, considering I had never done this before, but after spending some time developing my skills with the darkroom, that’s including getting used to being in near-dark conditions, especially as the lights would be switched to red, which is useful for producing black and white prints, with that being said, I was able to produce my first ever set of photograms on this course.

I must admit, it was difficult to start with, but after I got used to working in the darkroom, I really enjoyed developing my darkroom experiment skills.

Below are the set of photograms that I produced at college last October. Please keep in mind that I edited a few of them in Adobe Photoshop as it was a part of my coursework for the Light Play Project, which connects to the UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course that I’m on at Croydon College.

I wanted to showcase the work I’ve done at college on here for you all to see, as I felt that it was right to show you all my creativity of what I did for my course, which also brings good news. Just a few short weeks ago, I was given the result for the first four units of my course, and I’m pleased to say that I have officially passed the first four units of the first year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course.

Please feel free to feedback what you thought of my first photogram darkroom experiment pieces. This is my first time experimenting with darkroom work. Your feedback is much appreciated ☺.

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.

ADELE | 25 | Special Music Feature

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 has 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 has officially broken 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 also beats the 18-year long record that the former music group, Oasis, once held with their 1997 album: “Be Here Now”.

Before the album was announced, Adele sent the whole of Twitter into meltdown after premiering a 30-second advert of her comeback record: “Hello”, which aired while The X Factor was on an ad break. In theory, she kind of did a Beyoncé moment, because the advert was completely unexpected, but once I heard her voice, I thought: “Oh my god!!! It’s Adele!!! She’s finally back!!! At last!!!! Welcome back Adele, we missed you!!!”, which just goes to prove that none of us knew what type of new music was to come.

On the day of Adele’s 25 album release, I listened to Adele’s new album after it arrived through the post, and I must admit, I thought it was absolutely fantastic, because her voice has matured and she appears more and more relaxed now given that she spent a two-year long hiatus from the music industry altogether to focus on bringing up her son, Angelo, who she gave birth to on the 19th October 2012.

This new album brings with it a new kind of sound that is absolutely enjoyable and also happy, but also at the same time, absolutely heartwarming, because you can listen to Adele all day and never get tired of her music, because her music and her voice are timeless, and her music will never date, which just proves that if she has managed to get three albums out in her time, and have all three of them become chart-topping albums as well, including winning 2 Ivor Novello Awards, 10 Grammy Awards, 4 Brit Awards, 1 Academy Award, 1 Oscar Award and 1 Golden Globe Award, including many more other various awards, then that just indicates that a musician doesn’t have to prove themselves in order to have a big success, and Adele has sold 3 albums, 25 involved, with massive successes across the board without needing to prove herself to anyone, and that is why I love her music because she has the bubbly personality and a powerful voice that go well together with absolutely no problem at all.

Since the release of 25 on the 20th November, Adele’s album, at the end of the first week, became the Official Number 1 album on the Official Charts, as well as being Number 1 on iTunes.

Adele most recently said that she was inspired by Madonna’s 1998 album, Ray of Light, which was the main influential album that inspired her to write 25.

Below is the Official Album Artwork for Adele’s third album, 25:

© Official Album Cover - ADELE & XL Recordings 2015
© Official Album Cover – ADELE & XL Recordings 2015

Below are two of the latest music videos released by Adele from her 25 album: “Hello” and “When We Were Young“:

What do I think of the whole album overall? I absolutely love 25, because Adele has taken all of the much needed time to make this album, in order to produce the perfect sound possible. I love this album as well mainly because it is heartwarming, and 25 is completely open, as Adele has explored so many emotions from so many different perspectives and aspects, but the different kind of perspectives and aspects that we are all more familiar with.

The album is like a story, because it shows her mature from her 19 and 21 days into the 25 days, when she was at that age, even though she is now 27. Overall, I absolutely love the album, and I believe that Adele’s 25 album and her “Hello” video, including her live rendition of “When We Were Young” will certainly keep her album in the Top 10, the Top 20, the Top 50 and the Top 100.

Overall Rating for the Official “Hello” Music Video: 10/10

Overall Rating for the Official “When We Were Young” Music Video: 10/10

Overall Album Rating for 25: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© ADELE 2015

© XL Recordings 2015

© The Adele Logo, the 25 Album Logo, the Official 25 Album Artwork and the wide-scale Featured Image have all been used courtesy of the record labels and the artist. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Vander | Venus (EP) | Special Music Feature

After working hard behind the scenes on his EP, Vander is back!!! Last year, you might remember me telling you all about Vander, as he released a free download of his single: “Back to the Sun” last year. After I gave his Back to the Sun record its first listen, I knew straightaway that it would instantly grow on me, and it did, and I had a very good feeling that more of his music was to come. This Special Music Feature article has been commissioned by the man himself, Vander, and it gives me the absolute pleasure to talk about his EP in full detail.

Back to the Sun has seen a final re-hash of the same record, and still captures the sound of the demo version that Vander released via Bandcamp last year, with some new lyrics, and I won’t lie to you, the sound of it is really futuristic and bold, as it retains the same sound, but brings more magic with it as well, and I absolutely love it.

Shine has a vibrant summer sound to it, as it captures the shining light of Summer, but in a style where you can feel the natural vibes of summer, but also with a glimmer of hope and joy that brings its own chant with it too.

Take You Home has a kind of homesick, yet interesting feel to it, as Vander has aimed for a feeling that anyone can relate to. When I say homesick, I mean that Vander has created this feeling where it feels like that person is missing that special someone in their life, and that they want to meet up again and rekindle that special connection that they’ve been missing. This song is more of a make-up song, because it’s a song anyone can relate to, as it tugs at the heart-strings, and has a good emotion that you can understand, feel and relate to in many different ways.

Below is the official artwork for Vander’s Venus (EP):

Venus (EP) - Official Artwork
© Vander (William Vandermade) 2015 – Official EP Artwork

Below is the official music video for “Back to the Sun“, taken from Vander’s debut EP, Venus. Enjoy!!!

What do I think of Vander’s Venus EP and the official music video? I absolutely love the EP & video, as they connect together completely, and Vander has created his own sound with full originality, and not only that, but his music appeals really well to any fan who is a fan of the likes of U2, Simple Minds, Duran Duran, Bastille & Imagine Dragons.

My final thoughts? I absolutely love the EP, as it carries a different sound, but the kind of sound that I’m more familiar with now than I was before. I highly recommend you give Vander’s EP a listen, it’s actually that good that you won’t want to stop listening to it. Please click on the official Venus (EP) artwork above the official music video to be directed to Vander’s Bandcamp page, where the EP is available for purchase now worldwide.

My Overall Rating on the Venus (EP): 10/10

My Overall Rating on Vander’s “Back to the Sun” Official Music Video: 10/10

Alex Smithson

© Vander 2015

© The Vander Logo, the Venus EP Logo, the EP artwork, including the Featured Image have all been used courtesy of the artist. Full permission has been granted by Vander. No Copyright Infringement Intended.