Spotlight on Strawberry Station

Special Feature 4/17/2021
Strawberry Station

Meet Strawberry Station: a Future Funk Artist from England and currently living in Toronto, Canada. Muddling his way through life and trying to make tunes that people vibe to in the process! He’s always had a love for happy music and that’s his over-arching vibe, but you will occasionally hear more melancholy stuff in here as well. Like everything else in life, it depends on his mood. Source: About Strawberry Station, Spotify.

My Kind of Music, with Strawberry Station.

MOMMA LIKES FUTURE FUNK & STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE.

(Ain’t that the truth!)

We’re going to Canada! It’s a bit of a cheat, since my guest is only temporarily staying there, but hey, I’ll take it! I am happy to introduce this artist to you all – unless you already know him of course. Reading through his bio ( the above is just a part of it, please feel free to look it up and read the rest!) I can only say: he’s not exaggerating. Strawberry Station’s music is destined to take the grey clouds away, make your head bob and your body sway. Okay, laaame, but with a name like that and several mouthwatering song titles, who can resist??? I’m. Not. Joking. People who know me can testify, strawberry is my favorite flavor and there’s only One Milkshake for me:

I first heard of Strawberry Station, little under a year ago. Yes, that would’ve been when I started to get more active on Twitter. Now you all know I’m pretty bad with names, so It helps a lot when artists names are standing out – thank you very nice – as is the obvious case here. Add in my love for the fruit and we have a winner. Hah, that’s not where it ends honey, we’re just getting started. My first encounter with Strawberry Stations’ music, was with the album 128 State, released 9/27/2019. To be honest, the cover art really spoke to me – so sue me – and I had my first listen. I was pleasantly surprised for sure, but you gotta understand one thing: I only just got started with my blog and my head was spinning from all the music coming my way. So Strawberry Station got on my ‘waiting list’, but here we are and you know what? Now I can say for real: Momma Likes Future Funk.

Yes I know, that song is Not from the album 128 State – it’s from ‘Strawberry Streams‘, released 5/3/2019 – but humor me will ya, gotta make this story a bit fun. It took me about a half year to get up to speed – I might be a bit optimistic here 🤐 – and get my head wrapped around the genres I was getting really interested in. Most of you know I come from a Jazz-Rock/Fusion and Funk background, which flowed into other funky stuff, mainly Disco. Anything with a groove and very important, is dance appropriate, will catch my attention. Basically music that will make me feel good and yes, Strawberry Station’s got the recipe. From the moment my eyes caught that album cover and I had my first listen, I started to follow him and slowly but surely, his music got a place in my heart and thus, my playlist.

I am from another era lol, so when I first heard about Future Funk, I had a good laugh. No offense, but I grew up with a lot of the originals, which are now coming back to me, chopped, seasoned and refreshed. Before you start throwing those tomatoes, I am not trying to belittle anyone or any genre, it’s quite the opposite: I am Thrilled to recognize bits and pieces of a funky past! It’s like ‘giving life back to music’, pun intended. The way – not only – Future Funk shows appreciation for the Groove, makes my heart sing. I do love my vintage. And wine, I love wine.

Then one day I made the Some Groovy Medicine playlist on Spotify, initially meant as a ‘Feel Better’ card for a previous Spotlight, but when people asked if I would keep updating it, I thought: Why Not? It was December by then and I can only say, it’s as much joy, as it is a challenge, to find new music every week. Rediscovering golden oldies is a definite bonus and though there are enough ‘big’ names in music I like, I aim for the ‘smaller’ ones to add.  Linking the playlist to my blog was an obvious next step and there are always some interesting artists, who might end up as the next Spotlight. It’s a win/win for me 😅

Some artists – including Strawberry Station – I follow on social media have become real inspirations for me: the way they keep an open line to the community, showing honesty when things get tough, as well as the positivity they share, it makes everything very Real and I Love that. Fun certainly has a place in all of this, which makes it all the easier to connect to them and their music. Call me crazy, but that’s how I feel about it. While in the past, my musical heroes were basically unreachable, I can now almost talk to them on a daily basis – still trying very hard not to stalk, sorry-not-sorry, old habits die hard.

I got a bit more organized with all the stuff concerning my blog and how to manage the time I spent on it – it’s almost a full time job 🙄, but a very happy one. Listening to music takes up most of my attention, since I love to deep-dive into all of the artists’ music, to get the whole picture. I couldn’t in all honesty write about it, if I did not make the effort to actually listen to it all and by the beginning of this year, I started to add Strawberry Stations songs to my weekly playlist. When I listened to this next song, the opening had me laughing so hard, it just HAD to be the first. Of course the beat only confirmed my choice, funky stuff for sure.

Of course I had to work my way backwards after that, but hey, having listened to everything Strawberry Station has to offer, that wasn’t a real hardship. If you want to throw a dance party, his music could easily fill the program and spread the right groove. And talking about the fun part: when I had the opportunity to join the Disco Forever livestream the 13th of February, I got more than I hoped for. This was my first chance of seeing Strawberry Station in action and I was not going to let it pass, so lemme just share it with you:

Strawberry Station – Live at Disco Forever | Future Funk & Vaporwave Online Festival

Safe to say I was not disappointed! People were going wild in the chat, it was hilarious. I had previously read some of the stuff Strawberry Station posted regarding the personal things he was going through, as well as about his stay in Canada, and it was great to see how much fun he was having himself. BTW, on his YouTube channel, you can also find video’s about his experiences abroad. Very entertaining and at times just as hilarious, especially when he says things like, I quote: ‘..the gravy is thinner than the amount of content I’ve got for my next album..‘ 😂 Well Alright Then. (Of course this was before Future Funk 2021 was released and we all know that came out quite allright).

The next song I added to the weekly playlist was from the album ‘Smoothie Sounds’, released 11/6/2020. You see, it wasn’t very hard to choose songs, or, depending on how you look at it, it could have been, since I like almost every Strawberry Station track. If you’re anything like me, and upbeat, danceable music is all you need in your life, seek no more. We can all safely agree 2020 did totally suck and we’re all trying to make this a better year, I am just suggesting it will be infinitely easier with Strawberry Station’s music. There’s enough to share and have a good time, I think y’all deserve it.

Another fun thing is listening to the little mixed-in ‘extra’s’ – excuse-you-me, I don’t know a better word, I’m trying here – in some of Strawberry Stations songs. I found the best one in this next single, released 5/2/2019. An absolutely driving track, called ‘Anita’, and if I have to believe her, she just got her bubble busted, when she came to a cold realization: ‘What? What do you mean you don’t like Disco??‘ I mean, there’s no surviving after that, Ok. Bye 👋

If I remember correctly, Strawberry Station mentioned not so long ago, something like: How many times can you use strawberry/ smoothie/ jelly etc. in song / album, titles? This is not a literal quote, but you get the idea. I get this can be a challenge, but I wouldn’t mind making a few suggestions, if he needs a couple. Nearing summertime, visions of cool shakes and smoothies are always on people’s minds. Though our biggest dream is probably to be actually able to enjoy the coming season. I know new stuff is coming and I am very curious as to what his imagination has come up with. Keeping it fresh and fruity certainly lured me in!

Well, apart from repeating myself and telling you to please listen to Strawberry Station, while the season is getting hotter and you might need some refreshment, I basically told you all about how his music came to be a part of my life.  I do want to add, it was such a pleasure for me to see how genuinely enthusiastic Strawberry Station responded to my request of doing a little interview. Though I like to give the artists all the time they need, sometimes this results in never hearing from them again. Not Strawberry Station though! I received everything- the answers + a lot of material to work with! – back within a couple of days, Amazing!  Always makes me very happy 💖

So it’s time to hear what The Man himself has to say, but before we go there, I would like to end with: A BIG Thank You, Strawberry Station! Again, such a pleasure working with you, and such a pleasure working on this article. I wish you all the blessings for the rest of your stay in Canada, as well as with all your musical endeavors and I am looking forward to new stuff from you. I will add you to my Spotlight page asap, where you will be mentioned indefinitely together with all the previous Spotlights and where I will do my best to update every new release. Let me finish with a literal banger, Here We Go, Finally!

The Interview

Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us, Who is Strawberry Station? When and how did you start producing music? Who have been / are, your biggest influences?

‘Hey everyone! I’m Strawberry Station, an electronic musician specializing in Future Funk! I’m from England, but currently living in Canada as part of a working holiday I decided to take in a moment of madness the year before last. 

I’ve dabbled in making music for at least a decade now, but it was after discovering Vaporwave and latterly Future Funk in 2017 that things really started to get serious. I was a latecomer to both scenes, but I fell for them hard and before I knew it the community was my lifeblood.

It was hearing Cherry Pepsi from Saint Pepsi for the first time that really turned my head, but since then a few other artists have really driven my enthusiasm. I have taken a lot of influence on my own sound from folks like Mélonade, Mr. Wax, クリスタルKITSUNE and more recently SUPERFLAT. For me, it’s all about that old-school, fun-loving vibe and being able to whack a tape in a boombox and take the party anywhere’.

Your Spotify bio mentions, next to Future Funk, you also dabble in Vaporwave and Lo-Fi sounds, but before you discovered this scene, you were a ‘classic rock kind of person’. Quite the evolution, can you tell us a bit about how that came to be? Where do you get your inspiration from and what makes Future Funk so special to you?

‘Well, growing up the music around me was always there in the back of my mind. My stepdad was very into rave music in the 90s and used to play stuff like trance, garage and Chicago House from the garage, which he’d tape straight off the radio. My earliest music memory is grooving in the garage to “No Limit” by 2 Unlimited, which I used to pester him to play for me as a snotty-nosed 4 year old!

Mum was a child of the 70s and her tastes varied from Disco to Punk – she lived it all at the time, and some of the earliest records in my collection were copies from her collection I dug out of the attic: stuff like Never Mind The Bollocks and her old Clash singles. It was also about 2002 that I discovered music on a serious level, so pop punk and other bands around at the time went onto my rotation and stayed there – I got a lot of my stage persona inspiration from Justin Hawkins of The Darkness and Dick Valentine from Electric Six. The latter of whom I’m now friends with on Facebook, somehow.

Those records of Mum’s set me off collecting vinyl and getting into rock music, but I always had an eclectic mix of tastes – you’d be just as likely to find me spinning Michael Jackson, Gary Numan or Kraftwerk as you were Black Sabbath or ACDC. French House in pop culture happened when I was just getting into music too, so I have fond memories of summer holidays in the early 2000s with stuff like Modjo and Stardust on the radio.

A lot of those background influences – the French house, the disco, the electronica – were always there in the background for me, and so when I make Future Funk or anything else like it, it brings up a lot of personal nostalgia for my youth’.

Can you name a couple of highlights and tell us what this meant for you / your music? Did moving to Canada change the way you look at your music in any way?

‘Well, after a year of miss-steps and deserved ridicule for my early attempts, putting out Strawberry Dreams and catching the attention of Alan at Coraspect Records was a huge turning point for me and really set me on my way to becoming who I am now. That was incredibly validating, because it was the first time I realized that I was making something with appeal to others, rather than just the personal escape I treated music as before that.

I have a lot to thank Alan for. He didn’t have to take a chance on me, not least because I didn’t exactly have a reputation as a serious artist at the time. But his support helped me grow, build a fanbase and realize that this was something I wanted to get deeper and deeper into! I eventually made up for it when I met him in real life by buying him and his daughter a pint. It’s the British way of saying thanks.

Organizing Groove Horizons back in 2019 was huge too. It was a lot of work, but between me, Mélonade, Alex and the lineup of amazing artists, we put on the first true Future Funk night in the UK and proved the viability of it as a live scene! That night gave me a few firsts too – it was my first ever live DJ set and it also introduced me to the My Pet Flamingo guys too, who asked me to put out an album with them while running the merch stall. That ended up being 128 State, which became my first vinyl release – another life ambition fulfilled through the Future Funk scene!

The Canada trip has given me a lot of time to reflect on how far I’ve come and what I want from this. I would admit that my output has been limited – it’s hard to stay inspired when stuck in lockdown for so long – but more importantly it’s let me realize that this feeling – of being self-made and part of something I enjoy and which brings joy to others – is something I don’t ever want to stop doing.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Future Funk is probably the reason I moved to Canada in the first place. It gave me a core of online friends around the world, including folks here in Toronto like IndyAdvant and Pan!c Pop. More importantly, it gave me the self-confidence and sense of purpose I needed to take the plunge. And I’m excited to see where it leads me next’.

You mention in one post (IG 2/14/2020) you worried too much about what other artists think of you / your music, but end with saying you appreciate all the support your getting. At the start of this year you talk about personal growth. How did this affect your music and has the idea of feeling you need validation from others changed?

‘Well, 2020 was a tough year for us all, but with almost nothing to occupy me except the scene, I think I started to place too much importance on my social standing with other artists. I was isolated and going stir-crazy, and it led me to think and act irrationally. I’ve always had issues with imposter syndrome and questioned my own worth as an artist, but there were times throughout last year that were definite low points.

It all culminated in me finally accepting I needed a breather, and I dipped for the last two months of the year. It was very cathartic to turn inward for a little while and realize that a lot of it was all in my head. I’m really lucky to have some amazing friends and fans in this scene, and I needed reminding – and to remind myself – of that fact. Nobody should ever feel obliged to stay active if it’s affecting their mental health. It’s good to take breaks, and that was my first in three intense years. I’m in a way better place now’.

Can you tell us a bit how your creative process works? Do you have a general plan you follow or do you ‘go with the flow?’ which parts do you think are the hardest and which part is the most fun for you?

‘It’s always just been a case of making tracks whenever the mood takes me! Sometimes I’ll hear a groovy sample, or go dipping through my tape or vinyl collection looking for them, and then yeet them into FL Studio and go from there.

I start with a small bit and then add kicks, snares and so on. There’s a lot of trial and error involved, but I can usually tell pretty quickly if what I’m making is gonna turn into a feasible song or not. It’s like a freight train – once I get going there’s no stopping me!

So yeah, finding that perfect sample is the hard bit, but also one of the most fun – I have discovered so much cool stuff and so many new artists on my crate digging adventures!’

You also state ‘at its heart, my music is all about good vibes and happy memories‘. Having joined the ‘Disco Forever’ live stream, I can say it was very much fun to watch – next to the great music of course. What do you feel would be the ultimate goal for your music to reach, when people are listening to it? Do you ever receive such positive feedback that made you feel you reached that goal?

‘Aw, thank you! The set for Disco Forever was great fun to put together – IndyAdvant and Prenoko threw down some amazing backing visuals and I went absolutely ham on the costume changes – eight or nine in one half-hour take I think? It was a pleasure to be part of. Tires me out just watching it back though – I was sweating buckets by the end of the set!

I just wanna make people smile and remind them not to always take life too seriously. If you do, you just end up sad and stressed – kinda like I was at the back end of last year. It makes me feel wonderful to know my songs and performances make people feel good, and I plan to keep doing it for as long as people want to listen and watch!’

What’s in store for Strawberry Station fans, anything new on the horizon you can share with us / we should be on the lookout for? What’s the next dream for you to chase? What would be the ultimate dream to come true in the near future?

‘This is actually a super-exciting time for me. At the time of writing, I’m just two days away from my final shift in my current job, after which I’m going to be focusing full-time on Strawberry Station. That means more regular output, hopefully a few full album releases this year and some more livesets!

I’m currently super-busy planning out the relaunch of my Twitch Channel, with a liveshow called “Sunday Funky Sunday” on April 25th. We’ve got a great line-up: I’m being joined by Snowdream, Mr. Wax, Aeronexus, Moka Yume, クリスタルKITSUNE and Groovy Kaiju for a big party! If it goes well, I’m hoping to make that a regular thing, perhaps monthly, with new guests every time!

On the Patreon front, as of next month I’m introducing a new Cassette Club tier – the plan is to offer quarterly releases to anyone signed up, following on from the success we had with A Song To Show You at Christmas time. That will keep me busy! There’s already a lot of content backed up – we’re doing a B-Sides and Rarities collection for the first release this summer, and after that I’m planning to drop my original Vaporwave album from 2017, イチゴ駅, in the Fall for its first ever physical release. I can’t wait to get everything up and running!

Otherwise, there are a few projects I have on the go at the moment – no specific plans for an all-new album just yet, but I’m planning to drop a MiniDisc of Yesterday’s Jam with Wave Racers Collective on June 5th if all goes to plan. We’re in early discussions for a Smoothie Sounds vinyl on Pacific Plaza Records, which I’m going to be opening a remix contest for shortly (including a digital album release of all the entries!) There will be a few singles over the summer too.

Oh, and I have a super-secret project I’m working on right now which will drop on a well-known label in the Fall. I can’t reveal anything else, but let’s just say it’s gonna be the best thing I’ve ever released. The stuff of dreams.

It’s a massive moment for me – taking my passion full-time for the first ever time. I’d never have gotten to this point without the support of my fans, friends and especially my wonderful Patrons. Thank you to every single one of you!’

Anything else you would like to add / share, with your fans / the readers? Anything I did not ask about maybe?

‘I just wanna give another huge thank you to everybody who has taken me this far on my journey so far. All the artists that helped me get started and helped me improve – a process that is still ongoing of course! All the wonderful fans, without whom I wouldn’t be sat here now, about to take Strawberry Station full time. And all the amazing people around the Vaporwave and Future Funk scene who have helped keep it vibrant, alive and most importantly growing through these unprecedented times.

Stay safe, stay funky. I’ll see you all in the club soon! 

Or, failing that, in the Patreon Discord, lol’.

Again, Big Thanks to Strawberry Station! And to you, my readers, better go and find his music and give him a follow, which you can do here:

Follow Strawberry Station on: Spotify BandcampPatreonYouTubeTwitter Instagram Facebook

Wishing y’all a Very Future Funky Week(-end), don’t forget to leave a comment waaaay below & move those feet!

Ready? Mind-Set-Go!

4/15/2021

Ready? Mind-Set-Go!

(or how I turn from mindgames to mindset)

The bow is to keep my brain together

Life is all about taking risks every day. You might not believe me, but even now, sitting at home, doing virtually ‘nothing’, is risky business. Keeping my mind busy is quite the challenge and I am not talking about focusing on all the negative stuff that’s going around, because that’s taking the easy way out.

Almost every day, I am trying to estimate how many braincells I have left and it’s a chore! I keep losing count, though that might be a good sign. Trying to stay focused on ‘the day this will be over’, is worthy of some effort and making plans is certainly something to get excited about. Doesn’t matter how much I would like to get used – read: comfortable – to the situation at hand, it seems impossible. We people aren’t made to live apart, we’re made to flock. It’s not a coincidence we are compared to sheep so many times.

well, this one’s cute at least

A good friend mentioned not too long ago, I quote: ‘doing nothing is just no fun anymore’. Ain’t that the truth 😳 It is starting to feel like the city is on another planet, since I haven’t been there, or anywhere else for that matter, for over a year now. Talk about taking feeling like a hermit to a whole new level. Never thought there would come a day, when I would say my laptop saved me from going mad, but alas, it’s the truth.

Where I once felt spring and summer passed by in a blur, because I worked so much, now spring and summer might pass – again – because there might not be a real chance of enjoying it anyways. But let’s not get ahead of things, because we are in fact planning stuff. Gotta keep those cells working.

One of those things is to take time to go back and visit family – whenever it is possible again – we haven’t seen for years. I’ve been talking about stuff here previously and this might not be a fun visit to begin with, but I feel it’s something I need to do. Writing about it, only makes it more real, like a written promise or something.

signed, sealed, delivered

Somehow it feels like a spring cleanup, though it might happen way later, depending on circumstances of course. Cleanup might be needed to get ready for other, more exciting things, like switching countries. It’s all very low-key now, but things might just change in a heartbeat. Keeping dreams alive during a ‘silent’ period like this takes some work too, but there’s not much else to do anyways 🤐

Preparing to face what’s ahead of me is always a fun trip in a way, because, how does one prepare for anything, while the path towards it, as well as the outcome, are uncertain? Well the least I can do is face it with my head held high, which shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Always realize there’s nothing to lose, only to gain and let go of the rest. If nothing else, most of us have been forced to let go of a lot of things lately, resistance is futile.

I do miss having a coffee / beer, and a chat with friends or having a dance now and then. Nothing wrong with the coffee at home – especially since we got this really awesome coffee machine as a X-mas gift – and I can always do a little dance at home, but it’s just not the same. Upside of all this, there’s still enough time for that preparation. Positioning myself with the right mindset is the most important thing to focus on. You do know that it is always about our mindset don’t you?

Referring back to My Kind of Music, where I talk a bit about the 3 parts we exist of: Body, Soul and Spirit. It is not a coincidence all three parts exists of three parts too, but okay: Our Mind is part of our Soul, together with our Feelings and our Will. This should immediately clarify, we can be in control of our mind: of what we’re thinking. I know it’s most common for us people to just let our mind wander, especially when we don’t have to focus on things like work or school. But even when in rest, we can actually decide which thoughts we accept and which ones we refuse. It’s hard work, not gonna lie.

yeah, that’s about right

I mean, you all know how it is, when you’re preparing for, let’s say, your holidays: your Mind is Set on this upcoming joyful event and everything you do will lead to a successful outcome. Now this is something comprehensible and palpable. But how do I go about setting my mind to an upcoming event that’s basically a blank page in an open book 😅? Aah, talking about taking a chance, a leap of faith, or whatever you wish to call it.

Well isn’t it nice I found something quite interesting about the subject: apparently there are 7 different mindsets described in general. Let me list them for you here and I will try to go through them, using my own thoughts and opinion about all of them, since they seem to fit so well in how I look at things.

1) Everything is Possible

what dreams are made of

Well, preparing for the unknown is hardly possible, when I don’t expect anything to be possible. Still following? Since I have no real clue of what to expect, I can simply expect anything and everything. Yes, good and bad unfortunately. Of course it’s ridiculous to expect everything, because how do you even, but you know, just leave all options open. Go ahead with an ‘Open Mind’. Oh dear, there you have it, that seems to go against being in control of what you’re thinking. But just think about it – pun unintended 😏 – I could come up with any script of what might await me, but I already know none of them will come true a 100 percent. So that’s a waste of time, especially, when it’s trying to take me to the negative side of things that might happen. They might not!

I have to accept with my mind, that anything can happen, making the decision to keep an open mind. No matter how much you think you’re in control of your life, you’re not and Everything is Possible. Since I am all for a positive outlook, I will refuse to let negative thoughts take over and will have to replace them with the positive ones. Oh boy, I really think I’ve done it this time… Confused yet? As mentioned before, my choices can collide with what people around me would want for my life. They probably don’t look at things the same way and they might call me crazy for putting myself in a vulnerable position. However, there might always be someone who knows me, trusts my opinion and cheers me on.

What am I learning by setting my mind to the conviction that Everything is Possible? In short: Flexibility. I can honestly say, living by our faith has learned us flexibility. It’s so easy to become stuck, or even worse, rigid, in our ways, especially the older we get. And it’s definitely Not easy to expect new things every day. Many days will go by feeling like nothing special took place, but it is in the quiet, the most of my mental and spiritual preparation is done. The calm before the storm. Staying open  minded means there won’t be much that can shock me, or at the least, I won’t get paralyzed by it. Shit happens to everyone – oh not to you, you say, wow – and it’s our flexibility that makes it possible for us to turn things around quickly and make the most of every situation. Don’t focus on the problem, but on the solution.

Fortunately great things also happen every day – the ones we’re aiming for! – and sometimes seemingly random. Am I prepared for great things? Oh Heck yeah. Feels a lot like I am repeating myself but yeah…really great things can mess up your life’s schedule as well and I’m just guessing we’re all longing for something spectacular at this point, right? Well, I am.

2) Passion First

you get the point

Would I even be tempted if I was lacking in the passion department, I Think Not. Everyone who ever chased their passion in life, knows what I’m saying here. There will always be a point, you’ve reached the end of your capabilities and you have to let go and trust – in my case, or maybe just hope in your case 🤞 – everything will work out for the best. Passion is what drives people to chase their dreams. To leave all that’s considered normal behind and go for the ‘impossible’. Are we going in circles hahah. If there’s no fire behind my actions, they will be nothing more than a mediocre attempt to achieve something, without the conviction I will actually reach that goal. Useless, waste of time, destined to fail in some way or other.

Why even start something when you lack the passion. I know, I know, we all have to get a job and act responsible, believe me I Freakin Know. But after we’ve ran out of excuses and our passion is still alive, what do we do? I can’t imagine anything more sad, than reaching the end of my life, looking back with a lot of regret about my passion and the ways I did not attempt to have a go at it. Real passion won’t be pushed aside for long, it will always come back to you and it might be with a vengeance too. When you take your passion seriously, others might grow to do the same at one point and Rome wasn’t built in one day you know. Also, sometimes you wake up one day and realize, that thing you had to take care of, became your new passion. Well hello there!

What am I learning by setting my mind to the conviction Passion First? In short: my dreams count! Call it a passion, call it a vision, call it a calling… I believe everybody got their specific talents and the drive to act on them defines your passion, they are meant to be used. The ultimate way to use them is if they not only bring you personal satisfaction, but even more so, when people around you – or, sometimes at the other side of this planet – are benefitting from them. Talents used well, will always be multiplied, it’s just how it works. Sowing and Reaping baby.

3) We Are Connected

ah well… you get the point

Well, what to add to this one. We Are Connected, nowadays in more ways, than previous generations could imagine. Our minds should be thoroughly aware of this. My actions will always affect people around me in one way or another, even in my hermit state 😂 Just as much as other people’s actions might affect me. It can be really awesome to find people who share the same passion, actually, it might be one of the best things in life. Finding someone whom you don’t have to explain everything to, to the letter, but just gets everything you’re saying and will finish your sentence or thoughts for you. And all the differences in opinion on other parts of your life will make everything more interesting. I hope you’ve at least found one person in your life like that.

Our connection to others is simply one open door to new possibilities. Now this can be a tough one, if you’re a bit like me and keep trying to do stuff on your own. Basically nothing wrong with that, but again, there might be a point where Me-Myself-and-I just won’t do anymore and then it’s okay to reach out to others. It would definitely help if those others are like-minded, though sometimes it can help getting some tough feedback and review what I am doing. About that: Feedback People? A couple of articles back I started to add a little something for you, to leave a comment at the end of each page, you’re more than welcome to use it!

Anyways, nothing more I could add you don’t already know, but what am I learning by setting my mind to the fact We Are Connected? In short: I am Not Alone! This awareness should help me through everything that comes my way and since everything is possible, that could be a winning point for sure. If you’ve read the last article, you know I am trying to encourage the people around me, who at the moment are struggling with everything that’s happening. I can’t reach them physically, but I can let them know, they’re not totally alone and the same goes for you and me. Try to avoid getting to the point you’ve closed off all ways to connect to somebody / anybody. Sometimes we need some time with the herd, there’s safety in numbers!

4) 100% Accountable

you should definitely get the point now

Just Ouch. It’s one of the things where the right balance is often missing. In my mind at least, and that’s what I am talking about today. Setting my mind to the fact I am 100% Accountable, means I Can Not hide behind any excuse I could come up with, when the consequences of my actions become visible. Luckily, it’s not always bad, I mean, let’s hope not 🙄 But where it is very easy and even very much wanted, to receive praise for any action that has lead to success, it’s quite the opposite, when my actions have lead to some disaster or such. Things can get painfully awkward pretty fast and my inner-me might scream DENIAL in blinking neon letters.

They said I could be anything I wanted to be, but adult was not on that list. Well, heck, being 100% accountable means being an Adult for real. We’ve all had to deal with someone who did not take responsibility for their actions at some point. Though it might be fairly easy to see this flaw in others – and, let’s be honest, get really annoyed by it – what about my own accountability? 100% does Not leave room for any playing around either. In a perfect world, where rainbows shine and unicorns fly, everyone would take care of their own responsibilities and there would be no issue at all. Whahaha, Right. But I have to realize, when the door is open to Everything and I am willing to chase my passion, I will be dealing with people, all the time. Each and anyone of them can hold me accountable and if I’m smart, I’ll make sure to do my best to take responsibility all the way.

Man we’re getting serious here, but what am I learning by setting my mind to being a 100% Accountable? In short: I’ll think twice – multiply it with about a 100 – before acting. Going for a new challenge in my life, means thinking, re-thinking and thinking again. Oh, yeah, don’t forget the talking, talking some more and talking again. Trying to look at things from as much sides as I can think of. Trying to expect any scenario to be played out in 4D. Pffff. It can be exhausting, but also, very, very exciting! Keep focusing on the good stuff, it’s there!

5) Attitude of Gratitude

see, it has a happy face

Something I am pretty sure I’ve talked about before and of which you can find enough studies on the internet. Yes, people actually studied about what can happen if you set your mind to the Attitude of Gratitude. Look it up and you will see, it will not only mentally, but also physically makes you a better person 🥳 For me it comes down to having this positive outlook on life and that focus on the good things. On the other hand, I might think bad things aren’t worth my gratitude, though most often good things come forth from it, if I only allow myself to actually see it. Of course this can only be noticed afterwards, but I guess a lot of people have this experience in life. While going through a tough time might not be all that, it can result in something good and even beautiful if we’re open to it.

Preparing for a new phase in life – even if things are uncertain – will go so much easier, when I practice gratitude along the way. There’s so much to be grateful for, though it can be hard when I am having a ‘bad’ day. The easiest to me is to compare the circumstances in which I am living, to that of the major part of the world. I know, it’s a cliché, but it works for me, every time. Be happy and thankful for everything that is considered normal, you know what: Don’t consider it normal, because for a lot of people, it’s not. The Attitude of Gratitude makes my heart feel lighter and will make short work of anything that might be bothering in some way.

What am I learning from setting my mind to the Attitude of Gratitude? In short: counting my blessings. My mind simply has to focus and choose for the good in life. And if there happens to be bad stuff, well, this might only further emphasize the good things. Going in circles is basically a good thing here lol. You might read this and think: ‘But Wien, you have No Idea, what I have to deal with’. Well, that is true, but it’s not like I haven’t had any shit in my life you know, I’ve only started to scratch the surface on that one lately here. Everyone has their problems and heartaches, sadly, this IS a part of life. If it makes any sense to you: it simply means I will be even more grateful for all the good things, great or small.

6) Live to Give

and behind door 6 we find…

Aaaaah… If you’re lucky enough to have come to this realization in life, your mind is already set to Live to Give 💖 Giving is often easier than receiving for most people and while giving our love, time and devotion to our loved ones is something that comes naturally – well, it should – when it comes down to others, outside our circle, it becomes something different altogether. Giving is not just about money. I just want it said. I know money is the tool we all need to get things done in life, but giving money is not always a solution, not by a long shot. While preparing, one of the first things that will come to my mind is: I am at the verge of giving, as in, giving myself, to a cause.

It’s commonly known, people with the least possessions, are often the most generous givers. It’s because They Know. During our marriage, we have been giving a lot. Am I saying this to get some praise out of you, ah, no thnx. Giving our time, our effort, our love, our attention, our food, our clothes, our home and if we had any, yes, our money. Sowing and Reaping!!! So did we do it to simply get something in return? No and Yes. NO: we don’t expect any person to ‘return the favor’. I know this is how it’s done in the world and it’s not always a bad thing either, but that’s not how we roll. Whenever we do something for somebody else, we see it as a Gift and gifts should be given freely, without expecting anything in return.

YES: because we believe we are sowing – read: lovingly investing – in the world / people, around us, not only in a physical way, but also in a spiritual way. Which means, we believe we can see our blessing in return, from the One we believe in. You might call It karma, I call Him God.

So what am I learning from setting my mind to Live to Give? In short: I won’t turn into a selfish b****. Giving makes me feel good, it is so much fun to be able to help someone out, doesn’t matter if it is in a small way, or  by doing something big, it always feels satisfying. Am I waiting for a Thank You? Ahahahahahahah. Nope.

7) The Time Is Now

or at 10:11

Oh Dear. Well, we’re about back where I started: The Time Is Now. This is the only right mindset for us two, while preparing to make a new jump. Expecting that Everything is Possible, means also: The Time Is Now. Oh I really love how this all comes together 😎 We have been at this stage for months, sometimes years, before. But we always keep in mind, things can happen Anytime. Any day. Now. Expecting the unexpected, I shouldn’t be surprised, if in a blink of an eye, our world is turned upside-down. DUH, I’m only human, of course I’m surprised.

Procrastinating is something I really want to do when times like these arrive in our lives, but it never lasts long. The ‘mind-over-matter’ thing always kicks in and when the heart starts to get involved, I’m done for. It’s not uncommon for us to have a bag packed and ready to go, especially when we’ve been staying at one place for a couple of years already. As exciting as this might seem, it definitely takes the right mindset to follow through on it. Fortunately we always get these years in between to get some sense of being settled and being comfortable. We also know, the moment we do feel like that, is the moment we need to pay attention for what’s coming next.

What am I learning from setting my mind to accept The Time Is Now? In short: I seize the day. Saying  there’s never a dull moment, would be exaggerating, but we do live in anticipation most of the time. A sense of awareness always nudging us to be prepared and to look ahead. I have no idea when things will be set in motion for real, but depending on how you look at things, I could say, they already are. The best preparation takes place in my mind, followed by the choices I will make. The one thing that will always pass, is time, no matter what we do. Doing nothing won’t stop time from getting away from us, it only stops my personal growth and might end with my last braincells leaking from my ears. Just. No.

So yeah, exciting times ahead, let’s keep it at that. I truly hope you’ve got some exciting stuff to look forward too! Because although it might feel like it now, this will Not last forever and when it does end, I hope I am ready – or as ready as I can be – to take the next leap. A leap into a brighter tomorrow. I’ve got my Mind-Set-Go!

Source: Common English Bible

Wishing y’all a very Mind-Set-Go! weekend. Make Some New Plans

Love is Here

4/8/2021

Love is Here

I don’t know about you, but I encounter a lot of (feelings of) depression going around in the communities I am part of. These things get to me. Although I try not to make everything personal, my heart goes out to the (young) people, who are suffering. Suffering up to a point of losing all hope for the future and the will to live.

This is written in hopes of acknowledging, comforting and encouraging, those who are going through a mentally or spiritually, tough time.

Wishing y’all Peace & Lots of Love

Source: Common English Bible

Flashlight on ‘Levitating’, by TJG

blogpost 3/14/2021

Flashlight #2: A short personal impression of a newly released track. Just Feels.

‘Levitating’, a Dua Lipa cover, by The Jupiter Gallery.

If you love the Dua Lipa song – and honestly, who doesn’t? – you will have to give this cover a go for sure. The combination of the original track, from an album that just oozes disco, and the creativity and groove of TJG, will definitely ‘Take You for a Ride’.

Released today, 3/14/2021, on…. Is ‘Levitating’, a Dua Lipa cover, by The Jupiter Gallery. I quote: ‘Sunday may be the day of rest, but here at the TJG headquarters, we want to keep you dancing 24/7…..we will be releasing our cover of the fantastic Dua Lipa’s single ‘Levitating’ to keep your bodies grooving. A little something to tide you over until our debut EP drops on the 26th‘. Source: TJG Facebook

You know I have been following TJG since I discovered them last November and decided they needed their own Spotlight, which followed shortly after. Since then I have become, I daresay, friends with A-Siege, their producer and spokesman. He truly is one of the kindest people you would ever hope to meet in your life and of which you could never have enough of. It’s such a bonus to make new friends along the way!

BUT, I am here today to extend my praise to the whole team, since I know how hard they have been working the last couple of months to get new songs completed. I am starting – just a little – to understand the amount of work that has to be done before ever coming to the point of actually releasing a song. I absolutely think if anyone deserves a ‘mini-spotlight’, it just has to be TJG. Sorry-not-sorry 😉

I sure hope you have been listening to their previous released songs, they are still favs of mine and are listed in the archive of my Feel Better playlist, linked to my blog. These songs are timeless and groovy, which is only confirmed by the fact, TJG has been featured  (twice) on The Jukebox Music Club as well as on Funky Panda.

Listening to TJG and in particular, Georgette’s amazing voice, because hey, that’s what first caught my ear… I’m amazed. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, not that I was afraid they would disappoint in any way, but covering such a song… That takes a lot of guts! But I’m telling you, TJG Owns This. And by that I mean: they took the song, twisted and turned it upside-down, inside-out, Et Voila!

Again, A-Ma-Zing vocals, smooth, juicy basslines, tickling synths, disco claps, strong melody lines… Am I forgetting something? Talkbox! I for sure thought that must be Sebastian, ‘feeling so electric, dance my ass off‘, well Hot D***. But Boy was I wrong! The man with the talkbox is actually A-Siege! I’m leaving this with you, because, I think my opinion is clear: ‘Ima Fly Away With Them Tonight!’.

On top of this, I’m positively hyped for the release of their new EP, ‘How To Lose Love In America’, the 26th of this month. You can’t miss it, it’s all over their social media. It’s going to be the first of several Epic Album Releases this year, by multiple favs of mine. 2021 might not have shaken off last year’s troubles yet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t Awesome Things, coming our way, music wise. Be on the lookout, TJG will levitate you for sure.

Follow The Jupiter Gallery on Spotify – YouTube – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter 

Haven’t listened to The Jupiter Gallery before? Here you go

Just Enjoy 💜💜💜

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Flashlight on ‘Desire’, by Lexaccino.

blogpost 2/7/2021

Launching my first Flashlight: A short personal impression of newly released music. Just Feels.

‘Desire’, by Lexaccino.

Lexaccino

‘Desire’ by Lexaccino is a track I’d play endlessly: My at-home-holiday, imagining Sun, Sea & Cool Drinks. I’m In! Well Done girl!

Released on Bandcamp today, 2/7/2021, is ‘Desire’, by the multi-talented Lexaccino, a ‘sucker for nostalgia’ in her own words. I introduced Lexaccino in the Spotlight on You, where I shared her first three released songs: ‘Love at first Dance’, ‘You’re the one I saw First’ and ‘Catch the Wave’. This is her 4th track and it’s such an enjoyable, easy-listening one!

She mentioned before, I quote: ‘It’s a little rough around the edges but I’m working to perfect my craft ;)’ which I personally think was more about her aim for perfection – admirable and relatable –  than about her music actually sounding that way, when she just started.

However, listening to ‘Desire’, she seems to have shaken off that feeling: It shows confidence and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s one of the reasons she’s chosen the title. If the idea of an ‘at-home-holiday is a little OTT for you: ‘Desire’, has all the ingredients to lounge your (Sun-)day away. I think Lexaccino created a recipe which combines love with smooth sounds, where Vaporwave embraces my Disco soul. It’s a win/win for me.

Curious about Lexaccino? Follow her here: Bandcamp – YouTube – Instagram – Twitter

Eager to support Lexaccino? Listen to ‘Desire’ and her previous tracks:

Just Enjoy ❤ ❤ ❤

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