In my opinion, Tori Kelly is one of the most underrated artists in the music industry today. With an unmistakable voice that hits you right through the heart, she is one of the most talented artists I have ever seen. In an exclusive London show at the end of July, 890 fans filled the beautiful Islington Assembly Hall on a rainy Tuesday night. A small stage made up of mainly guitars, and an old school sofa placed at the rear, made the perfect setting for "The Acoustic Sessions." Entering the stage first, Mateus Asato, Kelly’s long-time guitarist, who picked up his Suhr and got the crowd going instantly. And then, with no introduction needed, Tori Kelly steps out with her long, blonde curls, iconic as ever, and a pale pink jumpsuit that suits her personality perfectly. Picking up her guitar, she starts the show with “Language,” a song from her new album, Inspired by True Events before slipping straight into “Nobody Love” from her debut album Unbreakable Smile—which instantly makes you realise how packed the hall is, when a sea of voices sing their hearts out alongside her.
Many people ask me where my love of Country music comes from. Born and bred in England, with no Country influences in my life, how did I get into it? The answer is Lauren Alaina. Back in 2011, I watched the tenth season of American Idol, purely because Jennifer Lopez joined as a judge. The final of that series included Lauren duetting with Carrie Underwood, and the series winner Scotty McCreery performing with Tim McGraw. Those two duets were the first Country songs I ever downloaded, and the rest, as they say is history.
It's not everyday you get to see a worldwide superstar play an intimate show at one of London's oldest and most treasured theatres. Used to playing stadiums with audiences of 90,000 plus, tonight Ed Sheeran played to 850 people at Theatre Royal Haymarket. 20,000 people entered in to a lottery to win tickets for the exclusive event, all to raise money for the theatres charity 'Masterclass.' Luckily, I got one of these sought after tickets, and got to enjoy a short, but super sweet evening with Mr. Sheeran, and many excitable fans.
As an English person who loves America, there is no better way to spend Independence Day than attending a Country concert. The modern day Queen of Country Music, Carrie Underwood, finished off her UK tour this week with a show at Wembley arena, an honour for many artists. The tour took has taken her all across the country, including a set on the main stage, at one of the world's most famous festivals, Glastonbury. UK Country act The Shires opened for Carrie; many were disappointed that she didn't bring over her US opening acts, girl bands Maddie & Tae, and Runaway June, but The Shires have a large following in the UK and had a good turnout despite this.
There are many people on my concert bucket list, and P!NK has always been right at the top. Never have I heard better things about an artists live performances, and to witness it firsthand was better than I could have ever imagined.
As we near the end of the first half of 2019, I am counting down the top 10 hits of the year so far. This was a tough one as already this year has produced so much incredible new music from artists old and new. Many of these will no doubt make the cut for CMA nominations before the announcement at the end of Summer, and some I even believe may go down in history.