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๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - this week: Viva La Vita - Gayle Skidmore

Welcome all to ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of ๐™‰๐™š๐™ฌ ๐˜ผ๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ playlists.

๐™‘๐™ž๐™ซ๐™– ๐™‡๐™– ๐™‘๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™– - ๐™‚๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ก๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ ๐™ž๐™™๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™š

Charles lives life to the maxโ€ฆ

โ€œLife is for livingโ€! We have heard it all too many times. But letโ€™s be realistic here. Most people donโ€™t actually really think like this. The more standard approach is probably: life is fine for some, but weโ€™ve got to pay the bills and sort out tax returns. Or as Lennon put it, โ€œLife is what happens to you while youโ€™re busy making other plansโ€. This is all so wrong. I mean Lennon is right, but you hopefully know what I mean. Despite what the believers say, we only have one shot at this. And although life is famously โ€œtoo shortโ€, we are quite generously given around 80 or so years these days in which to โ€œdoโ€ it - not really THAT shortโ€ฆ I have always found it rather ironic that when weโ€™re young and agile most of us sit at a desk and work for most of our lives, but as soon as we hit around 65, we are allowed to stop working and enjoy the rest of our lives. By which point you are unable to do anything you might still wish to do because your limbs are aching and you canโ€™t see or hear properlyโ€ฆ It would almost make more sense to do it the other way around. To do everything you might want to do in life while young, and then sit at a desk and work when youโ€™re older. The mind is usually more experienced and wise in the latter years - if it hasnโ€™t gone completely, of course. Sitting is no problem at age 75. So easy, I could do it standing on my head! Or maybe not. The vital flaw in this theory is that it would be somewhat of an anticlimaxโ€ฆ One has to have something to look forward to. Wheelchair races, perhapsโ€ฆ? Perhaps not. This theory will forever remain a theory and is not going to happen. So the point is, we must USE life. It is there for the taking! It could be anything from travel to challenge to mastering an art or craft. Just anything, really. The important thing is enjoyment and fulfilment. A sense of accomplishment is ideal, but if one even has a smile on oneโ€™s face, a goal has been achieved. Life is not something to have been resentfully โ€œgot throughโ€. As Lennon said, we often plan to do things, but rarely actually get around to doing them. Thatโ€™s not enough. Unless you particularly enjoy planning, in which case you should consider a career in management or as a P.A. I personally do not want anything to do with management. Planning is good, but there is a tendency to have a forever growing bucket list (thereโ€™s that word again - always with the bucket).

Donโ€™t be lazy. Do what you can, when you can. And if you donโ€™t have the time, make time. Donโ€™t put it off, it wonโ€™t ever happen. Enjoy life. Enjoy Coca Cola. As we move into a new season, Summer is for the doers. Donโ€™t think, just do it! Nike. Or what Nike really means: Just BUY It! I don't know why I am putting in so many brands here. I think it comes from growing up with subconscious advertising. It's not so much advertising, as reminding you that it's always there, and never went away. We seem to forget this about life itself. Always putting things aside and planning for the future. The future is now! Take my own music, for example. I keep saying I must release more of my already recorded music, but I never do! Nike. Practise what you preachโ€ฆ? Preaching is easierโ€ฆ You only have to look at politicians to realise this. Speaking of monkeys, we are not like other animals or plants where to simply exist, survive and reproduce is enough. We as humans are better. We are more evolved. We are more intelligent. Supposedly. Yet the majority of us seems to lie somewhere in between animal and robot for most of our lives. What a waste of a perfectly good life that started with so much potential. Machines are fast taking over, so it is up to us to either prove that man/woman/other is still very much necessary in the world, or to take advantage of robots doing our work so we can go out and play! We usually mourn the dead, but isnโ€™t it perhaps worse to see a living human limping along like a pigeon with a broken footโ€ฆ? Or worse, a broken wing? Birds have little to enjoy, but they are blessed with wings. Do they hobble along the ground, wings pinned neatly to their sides? They do NOT! So why should WE waste our gifts as humans? Now is the time to spread our proverbials and fly. Man ALIVE!!

My pick of the week is someone I have admired for a while. Someone who is supremely talented and very experienced in her field. Someone whose music I thoroughly enjoy, and yet - for some reason - someone on which I had never shone the spotlight (as it were). I suppose itโ€™s yet again a case of me planning it for some point in the future yet predictably never getting around to it. Well, having turned over a new leaf (that wasnโ€™t hard), I will quote a much underrated band, Moloko: โ€œThe Time Is Nowโ€. Please welcome Gayle Skidmore!

Every week the New Artist Spotlight has a brand new Top 20 chart, voted by its members. With its weekly premiere airing on Blue Torch Radio (it is syndicated to a whole host of radio stations), comes a live chat with as many artists and moderators as are available at the time on our very own Discord server. It seems there is often something of a theme. A common occurrence is for my Connollyโ€™s Corner pick of the week to attain a spot in the following weekโ€™s chart. It seems to have been nicknamed the โ€œCC bumpโ€โ€ฆ! I think someone has to make this a dance for TikTok. Anyway, rather more rare is the opposite way around, where a song in the chart triggers me to write a review - the TT bumpโ€ฆ? Yesterday saw Gayle Skidmoreโ€™s first appearance in the NAS charts, even entering the Top 10 with Viva La Vita (translating as 'live life' - which you should know). She released this latest single back in January - what a way to start the year! I heard it on its first week of release and instantly loved it. But, as is so often the case, I could only pick one song a week to review. Always tricky. But now, my back burner is kaput! Time to serve. Well overdue, Gayle Skidmore is finally here. I often speak of talent in my corner. I sometimes mention prolificacy - hereโ€™s looking at you, Oghamyst. But Gayle really is something astonishing. She started playing the piano at age 4. Now - older - she dabbles in more than 20 instrumentsโ€ฆ! When it comes to output, she REALLY puts me to shame. And surely anyone elseโ€ฆ? Any guesses for how many songs she has writtenโ€ฆ? Iโ€™ll give you a clue: youโ€™re not even close. The answer is 2,200!!! And apparently that figure isnโ€™t even up to date. But, butโ€ฆ HOW??! Well this is what I meant about grabbing the bull by its proverbials and getting the most out of life. But then how come her latest single was months agoโ€ฆ? Well she is also pretty business savvy and understands that we artists need money to live. We canโ€™t produce without sustenance. For more than 3 years she has established her fan base on Patreon (founded by Jack Conte of Scary Pockets and Pomplamoose) and predominantly releases her material to, frankly, the people who deserve it. Her supporters. Itโ€™s very simple. She keeps up the quality, and people are all too happy to fund her, for the chance to enjoy her offerings. You get what you pay for! If you happen to have a spare few pennies lying around (and I mean pennies), I implore you to at least take a look at Gayleโ€™s page and see what sheโ€™s up to (looking what cost a penny). I have only scratched the surface here. There I go again with my constant hypocriticality - once I am financially stable, I fully intend to support her.

For just a taster of the sheer quality and high standard of Gayleโ€™s art, listen to Viva La Vita - available on all streaming platforms. Although originally from San Diego, she is now living in The Netherlands. One can easily tell how she was drawn to Europe from the sassy Latin cheek of Viva La Vita. It retains the familiarity of Europeโ€™s traditions while bringing it right up to NOW! Her voice is flawless. This is a lady who knows what sheโ€™s doing. An artist in the truest sense of the word. As one would expect from having written SO many songs (the girl can't help it), she covers ALL sorts of genres, so in listening to what she has to offer, there really is something for everyone. It makes me so happy and gives me such hope when I see that an artist can genuinely live life to the full, and earn from said living, without being an Ed Sheeran or an Adele.

Let art live. Nike.

Forgive me, my proverbials are showing. Well, you shouldnโ€™t be anywhere near my Netherlands anyway.

Listen to ๐™‘๐™ž๐™ซ๐™– ๐™‡๐™– ๐™‘๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™– on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Spotify playlist HERE!

Listen to ๐™‘๐™ž๐™ซ๐™– ๐™‡๐™– ๐™‘๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™– on the ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐˜†โ€™๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Apple Music playlist HERE!

Follow ๐™‚๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ก๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ ๐™ž๐™™๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™š on Instagram HERE!

Check out ๐™‚๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ก๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ ๐™ž๐™™๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™š on Patreon HERE!

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