CLICK HERE FOR DRUGS! Check out Formation’s latest interactive music video

CLICK HERE FOR DRUGS! Check out Formation’s latest interactive music video

In this tech-savvy society that we live in we are constantly bombarded by advertisements and information, to the extent where it becomes second nature to find some kind of sponsored ad whilst you’re surfing the net at some point. Something stood out in my social media feed today, and that was a curious link telling me to click there for drugs. Now I know what you’re thinking, but it didn’t look sketchy, I mean it was being sponsored by Facebook. Curiosity crept onto me before I could even rationalise my choice to click (I mean, there obviously weren’t going to be any drugs- the description of the video made it sound so broad, I knew that it was bound to be some artsy project). That little rational choice allowed me to discover this band ‘Formation’, who make music that is definitely worth tuning yourself into.

The video was a compilation of VCR taped videos that you had to click through to apparently get these so-called “drugs”. It showed various images that captured the mood and emotions, which crept in with drugs, it also obviously showed drugs. This concept of drugs extended itself in such a philosophical manner throughout this experience of clicking through all that VCR footage whilst the band’s song ‘Drugs’ played. You can call it whatever, but that’s smart advertising. This interactive music video could possibly broaden the horizons of marketing and evidently the making of music videos, especially for the millennial and upcoming generations that are raised on electronics.

The song shines a light on London’s cocaine scene, but it also shines a light on today’s consumer society, with drugs or no drugs. It’s a relevant choice of subject and of visual art, because we live in a society fuelled by drugs (including legal drugs), we’ve got a remedy for loads of things. The millennial generation does not only have the empowering desire to know it all and solve everything, but they also like to dig back to the old stuff and give it a revamp (thus the VCR footage). This can be observed in the rapidly emerging trends of the 2010s, all of which millennial parents may sit there wondering why their children are wearing their old high waist jeans, sweaters, sneakers, and dresses from when they were younger in the 80s-90s. Not only do we see this happening in fashion, we also see this happening in music, for example, vinyls have become largely popular again. Isn’t it strange how you’d expect such a tech-savvy generation like that of the millennial generation to advance in such things, but they don’t really seem to care for that stuff? Some may wonder it’s strange, but it is quite understandable. This music video somehow corresponds to that, and makes you wonder such things, that’s what makes it so relevant.

The song ‘Drugs’ by Formation is a pretty good song with a catchy chorus that features lyrics relevant to the individual, and a rhythm section that is bound to hook you onto the rest of the song. CLICK HERE FOR DRUGS… who knows, you might find just what you’ve been looking for all this time…

 

The Day The Music Died: The Death of Ritchie Valens

February 3, 1959 is marked as the day that music died due to the death of musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson in an airplane crash that occurred near Clear Lake, Iowa. The event was referred to as ‘The Day The Music Died’ after Don McLean’s widely known song ‘American Pie’ mentioned it. It was a dark day, because these men who were legends and still with a great portion of their lives and careers remaining, had their lives snatched away in such an instant moment. Ritchie Valens was the youngest in the accident to die, being only 17 years old, he had an entire career literally just setting off.

Ritchie_Valens

This came about the other day when I was figuring out some chords from Ritchie’s rock’n’roll version of the Mexican folk song ‘La Bamba’. I’ve always somehow come across Ritchie Valens’ music one way or another, whether it was this song, or his extremely catchy and charismatic song ‘Come On, Let’s Go’ or the romantic hit ‘Donna’ that was dedicated to his girlfriend. They were all songs that certainly did give birth to a new side of music that we hadn’t seen much of before, Chicano rock and Latino rock, all due to Ritchie’s unique blend between his ancestral Mexican roots and his love for rock’n’roll that is clearly reflected in his music. However, as I was figuring out the magic behind ‘La Bamba’ I grew in curiosity about the artist behind this masterpiece. There really isn’t much out there about Ritchie Valens, he had a very short career and life. All that is left are these extremely successful songs that catapulted him into instant fame, making him a total pop genius in his own right at a very young age. It’s sad how there’s only just that, he wasn’t given the chance to make anything more…

There’s a film out there starring Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie Valens called ‘La Bamba’, which was released in 1987 depicting the life of Ritchie Valens from ages 16-17 leading up to his death. After watching this film I learnt more about what Ritchie would’ve been like, his personality, talents, and views on life. Ritchie loved music since he was 5 years old growing up listening to a lot of traditional Mexican Mariachi music, R&B, and flamenco guitar, he certainly had a good range of music to take inspiration from. He was actually left-handed but taught himself how to play the guitar the traditional right-handed way, he practically went everywhere with his guitar, he even took it to school with him. Unfortunately Ritchie had a fear of flying, which later on in his life would result to be a bittersweet irony. This was due to the fact that on January 31, 1957, an airplane crashed right into the Pacoima Junior High School yard resulting in some of Ritchie’s friends getting killed. Although Ritchie Valens was not in school on that day, he suffered with the painful consequences of losing his friends at the age of 15 in such a tragic accident, which led him to develop a fear of flying. He got over this fear when he was becoming a successful musician as he had to fly to places like Hawaii quite often, but the damages still remained deep inside.

He was a special guy, one of a kind, a clear indicator that you can do anything if you try hard enough. We remember him through many songs, ‘La Bamba’ being a very popular one that seems to never get old due to Ritchie’s uniquely redeeming approach towards this  song. It’s hard to notice this in this song, but Ritchie didn’t know any Spanish, so he’s practically singing this song in the biggest effort to make his Spanish sound good, probably unsure of the meaning behind the lyrics. He’s giving us hope that you too can sound like a native Spanish speaker if you try hard enough. There’s not denying that music has its own language and ways of communicating itself to people, and Ritchie has shown us this through his means of blending the American culture he was raised in with his Mexican lifestyle and antics that his family brought him up with. As a person who was brought up within different cultures, that at times I find myself in total confusion where I’m from and where I belong, I relate to this a lot, and I think a lot of people can relate to this too. Ritchie Valens was the beginning of a new generation of Americans, of teenagers, those who came from Mexican parents but knew no Spanish whatsoever, even thought they identified with the Mexican culture. He inspired many artists and pioneered Latino rock and Chicano rock, his legacy will eternally live on along with his incredible music.

 

 

 

Album Review: The Getaway – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Pepper’s career has been extremely long and successful, so when this album was released there was the clear assumption that it’d be another great album. However, this time things are different. The band is no longer working with their long-time producer Rick Rubin who produced the band’s largely successful 1991 album ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’, on this album they’re working with Danger Mouse instead. So this is certainly an album that take Red Hot Chili Peppers outside of their comfort zone, both in a positive and negative manner.

It’s a really different album from what you’d expect from them, it’s more mature and lacks a lot of the punk side that the band tends to show in balance to their funkier side. As a major fan of their albums ‘Mother’s Milk’, ‘The Uplift Mofo Party Plan’, ‘What Hits?!’, and the legendary ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ release, I was expecting the craziness that the band tends to depict in their music, it’s what makes them so cool. Instead, in this album I feel them ageing. Although in some respects that may be a positive thing, one side of me just wants that late 80s-early-90s RHCPs era back again! Putting all of that aside, I still believe this is a good album that grows on you with its charisma and eagerness to be heard on the radio.