Playlist of the Week – Grammy Record of the Year 2020

January 31st, 2020

The Grammys came and went, and while they brought about some great performances and expected wins, they also left some of us quite surprised. Most notable among the night’s surprises was Billie Eilish winning the “Big 4″ – Record of the Year, Best Album, Best Song, and Best New Artist. She is only the second artist ever to achieve this, and the first woman to do so. And all at the ripe age of 18!

Let’s do a quick overview of this year’s nominees for Record of the Year, the night’s most prestigious award.

 

1. “bad guy” by Billie Eilish (WINNER)

Following a massive rise to fame in 2018, first-time nominee Billie Eilish released her highly-anticipated debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? on March 29, along with its fifth single, “bad guy.” As with all of her music released so far, the dark-electropop artist’s older brother, a fellow first-time nominee FINNEAS produced the hit single, which later spawned a Justin Bieber remix.

Interestingly enough, we did a playlist of her songs earlier this month, click here for that. 

bad guy

 

2. “Hey, Ma” by Bon Iver

GRAMMY-winning Wisconsin-bred alt-rock group Bon Iver—consisting of Justin Vernon, Sean Carey, Matthew McCaughan, Michael Lewis, Andrew Fitzpatrick and Jenn Wasner—released their fourth studio album, i,i, on Aug. 9, three years since their last, the GRAMMY-nominated 22, A Million. Ahead of the LP, the group dropped two singles on June 3, “Hey, Ma” and “U (Man Like).” 

Hey, Ma

 

3. “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande

Earlier this year, at the 61st GRAMMY Awards, pop princess Ariana Grande won her first-ever GRAMMY, for Best Pop Vocal Album for her 2018 No. 1 album Sweetener. 2019 also saw the release of its follow up, her fifth studio album, thank u, next, on Feb. 8, which was preceded with is second viral lead single, “7 rings,” on Jan. 18. 

7 Rings

 

4. “Hard Place” by H.E.R.

Following her first-ever nominations and two wins at the 61st GRAMMYs in February, R&B songstress/guitarist H.E.R. dropped another emotive track, “Hard Place,” on April 26. The I Used To Know Her mixtape/compilation LP followed on Aug. 30, which combined the two EPs sharing the same name into a cohesive album, along with a handful of new songs, including “Hard Place.”

Hard Place

 

5. “Talk” by Khalid

Past Best New Artist nominee Khalid released the sophomore follow up to his critically acclaimed, GRAMMY-nominated 2017 debut, American Teen, on April 7. The album, Free Spirit, was led by the hit single “Talk,” on Feb. 7, which is currently nominated for Record Of The Year. 

Talk

 

6. “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

Rising genre-nonconformist rapper/cowboy Lil Nas X wraps up a monumental debut year with his first-ever GRAMMY nominations, earning six total. His breakout hit, “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, is up for Record Of The Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video

Old Town Road

 

Happy Listening!

 

 

Which Coffee Would You Like?

January 27th, 2020

Ever catch yourself in a coffee shop, staring at the menu, wondering why ordering a simple coffee has to feel like such a task? I mean, it’s coffee. Why are there 47 variants on the board? Why are you being asked if you want a single or double shot? What does it all mean??

Don’t worry. We feel you. So, as the ever supportive buddies (and coffee lovers) that we are, we’ll help you sort out between cappuccino, espresso, latte, and every other variant leaving you cross-eyed.

 

1. Espresso

Since it’s often the beginning of most coffee options, we’ll start with this. An espresso (often wrongly pronounced as expresso), is a highly concentrated coffee made by forcing near boiling water and steam through finely ground coffee. A single or double shot is basically a single shot or double shot of espresso. 

Image Source - Caffe Society

Image Source – Caffe Society

 

2. Americano

This is basically an espresso shot (or two), with the same amount of hot water added to it.

americano

 

3. Macchiato

A Macchiato is an espresso with a bit of milk added to it.

Image Source - Pinterest

Image Source – Pinterest

 

4. Cappuccino

A Cappuccino is made with a 1:1:1 ratio of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. This is also the one that you’ll find on social media posts the most, since the foam floating at the top makes a perfect base for creative designs.

Image Source - YouTube

Image Source – YouTube

 

5. Latte

Very similar to a cappuccino, expect there’s more milk, and less foam. Basically, it would be espresso and steamed milk in a 1:2 ratio, topped with a bit of foam.

Image Source - Nespresso

Image Source – Nespresso

 

6. Cafe Mocha

A latte mixed with either chocolate syrup or hot chocolate.

Image Source - UB foody

Image Source – UB foody

 

Now that you know the basics of which type of coffee means what, we hope you can not only find it easier to order your cup, but maybe even help out that one other person in line stuck saying “Yeah, I just want coffee. Like regular coffee”.

 

Playlist of the Week – All About India

January 24th, 2020

Republic Day is here, and even we can’t help but feel a little extra patriotic. As we reflect on what being an Indian means to us, why not take a trip down memory and relive some of the most beautiful musical tributes that have been made for our homeland over the years.

 

1. Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Every single one of us has a memory of this song in our childhood, and what a memory it is.

Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

 

2. Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo

The one song that is guaranteed to send shivers down everyone’s spine, and not leave a dry eye in the crowd. Sung to perfection by inimitable Lata Mangeshkar.

Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo

 

3. Vande Mataram

A list of songs about India would definitely be incomplete without the National Song of India – Vande Mataram.

Vande Mataram

 

4. Jana Gana Mana

Possibly one of the most loved renditions of our national anthem, this particular version features some of the most loved and respected singers and musicians from across India, and will definitely leave you marveling at the beauty that Indian arts provides.

Jana Gana Mana

 

Jai Hind!

 

DIY of the Week – Indian Flag Paper Chain

January 23rd, 2020

Republic Day is here, and we’ve got the perfect little projects for the young ones in the house to keep busy and create some decorations for the occasion. And the best part is that they’re super easy to do, and require very little supervision.

 

What You Need:

1. Construction paper sheets (in orange, white, and green, to match the colors of the flag)

2. Scissors

3. Blue marker

4. Glue stick or stapler

 

What To Do:

Step 1

Cut the papers in horizontal lengths (giving you strips of about two inches thickness) for each color.

Image Source - Putti's World

Image Source – Putti’s World

 

Step 2

At the center of each white strip, draw a circle with the blue marker, and then create lines going across diagonally within the circle, in the design of the Ashok Chakra.

Image Source - Putti's World

Image Source – Putti’s World

 

Step 3

Taking an orange strip, bring both ends together to create a loop with the strip and glue  or staple the ends together. Then, taking a white strip, pull it through the orange loop, and create and seal the white loop so that they are intertwined. Now take a green strip, and pulling it through the white loop, create and close the loop. Keep doing this (in the correct color sequence to mimic the flag) until you have the desired length of chain to hang up.

 

Happy Crafting and Happy Republic Day!

 

Playlist of the Week – Best of Billie Eilish

January 17th, 2020

To say that this girl has been dominating the charts would definitely be a bit of an understatement. Billie seems like she came out of nowhere and suddenly, one blink later, she was everywhere. 2019 was definitely the year she made her mark, with her album Where Do We Go When We Fall Asleep blowing everyone’s minds. And with 2020 having just started, she’s certainly started it off with a bang! Just a few days ago it was announced that she, alongwith her producer and co-songwriter brother Finneas, will be doing the title track for the next James Bond movie. She’s officially the youngest person ever to sing a Bond theme, at just 18.

So obviously, we couldn’t think of a better time to come out with our list of her favortite songs.

 

1. bad guy

To think that she and Finneas were totally unsure of this song, since it didn’t have a “hook” to it. And look at it now, everyone is totally hooked to it. So much so, that her re-release with Justin Bieber might just have broken the internet that day.

bad guy

 

2. Lovely (ft. Khalid)

This song is lyrical, whimsical, and totally pulls you in. And Khalid’s understated vocals mix so effortlessly with Billie’s. Fun fact, this song is part of the official OST for 13 Reasons Why’s second season.

Lovely

 

3. Bury A Friend

How do you describe a song that’s depressing, triggering, sad, horrific, and yet kind of soothes away all those aches. The lyrics are dark, the video darker still, and still, it lingers like a monster under your bed.

Bury A Friend

 

4. Bellyache

“Where’s my mind? Maybe it’s in the gutter. Where I left my lover. What an expensive fate.”

Bellyache

 

5. You Should See Me In A Crown

She’s certainly wearing a crown, and running this nothing town.

You Should See Me In A Crown

 

Happy Listening!

 

 

New Year’s Resolution Cheat Sheet!

December 30th, 2019

To say that the pressure of having resolutions to start the new year with is high would be a bit of an understatement, wouldn’t it? All these years, and yet, the great trend of “New Year’s Resolution” hasn’t gone away and left us alone already! Which basically means, like every other year, we are doomed to making our resolutions (yes, yes, even we’re going to start going to the gym this year), and then doomed to fail.

But what if we found you a cheat sheet of kinds? A way to make keeping your resolutions a little bit easier. It’s not foolproof of course (because if you are determined not to keep it up, what can we possibly do). But if you’re genuinely trying to be sincere and make an actual effort, how about you try these methods to make the way slightly easier.

 

1. Use the ‘Buddy System’

Everything in life is easier with a friend (well, except how to stop laughing when you’re both guffawing). There will be days when you want to give up, there will be days when you’re friend wants to give up. It’s ok, you’ve got each other’s backs, like always. When one of you runs low on motivation, the other will immediately boost it up. Because, let’s face it, just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we don’t need to still be dragged out of bed on some days. Whether it’s suffering through morning jogs, or trying a new class, or hobby, having a friend along for the ride always makes it more fun.

Image Source - Elite Daily

Image Source – Elite Daily

 

2. Keep track

Keep a separate diary or journal to keep track of your progress every day. And make sure to make an entry every single day (even if you don’t follow through with your resolution on any particular day – that’s ok). As the days progress, you’ll realize how much work you’ve actually been putting in (as well as seeing how many times you’ve been slacking off). Seeing it right there in black and white really helps in refocusing yourself. Works wonders every time.

Image Source - James Clear

Image Source – James Clear

 

3. Don’t date it! 

No, this isn’t a romantic comedy reference. We’re just talking about regular calendar related dates. The biggest issue with starting any new thing up, whether a resolution or a good old-fashioned habit, is that we always put off starting it, and then it turns into this big production in our heads, and the pressure just unnecessarily builds up. And for what? We’re the ones who are turning that looming Monday into such a scary monster. It’s high time to stop putting so much importance on the day or date we are to start something, and instead just focus on that which we’re supposed to start. No more being worried about Mondays, and 1sts, and 15ths, and just get on with it. Put the focus back where it should be and just do it.

Image Source - Military.com

Image Source – Military.com

 

4. Hit the Start button (Again!)

You’re human. We know. And people will stumble, fail, and fall. It’s but natural. There is nothing to be ashamed about. What you shouldn’t lose focus of is that you need to get back up and get back on track. There is no shame in restarting, and it doesn’t matter how many times you have to do it. Remember, resolutions are for you own betterment. You make them because you want to see some improvement or change in some aspect of your life. As long as you remember your intentions as to why you got onto this path to begin with, you should be able to get back onto it. Everyone is struggling to keep up with the promises they make to themselves. You’re not the only one, so don’t be afraid to keep at it.

Image Source - Free Management Library

Image Source – Free Management Library

 

We wish you a very happy, prosperous, and satisfying new year. May you be happier, younger at heart, and power through everything that life throws your way.

Happy New Year!

 

Playlist of the Week – Best of 2019

December 25th, 2019

As we round up the year (and the decade), it’s a good time to look back at all the songs that become our background score, following us wherever we went. The year truly showed a wide variety of music, introduced us to some interesting new artists, and sadly took away some from us too. The year was truly a roller coaster, and so many artists shone brighter than the sun, including several KPop artists, with their music reaching more and more listeners, and several going on major international tours.

Here’s a quick round up of the songs that defined the year, and broke the internet.

 

1. Old Town Road by Lil Nas X

Lil Nas seemed to have come out of nowhere and suddenly there he was, literally everywhere you went. The catchy tune, Billy Ray Cyrus, the weird video featuring some surprises, everything just came together to take over the world. And then of course, there was the added hype by the refusal of basically the entire country music fraternity in acknowledging it as a country song. Talk about a song changing the landscape.

Old Town Road

 

2. Boy With Luv by BTS ft. Halsey

How can we talk about songs breaking the internet and not talk about this gem. The release of this track with Halsey shook everyone to the core, and with almost 650 million views on just YouTube, we’re obviously not exaggerating. This was definitely a big year for BTS, and they’re looking to start off next year with a bang.

Boy With Luv

 

3. Kill This Love by Blackpink

2019 being a killer year for KPop is definitely not an exaggeration from any angle. Another group to turn things around was 4-member girl group Blackpink. With only 7 songs to their credit, the level of popularity they have achieved is nothing short of extraordinary. Again, this song has over 650 million views on YouTube, in about 8 months. Let that sink in.

Kill This Love

 

4. Senorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

To say this song captured everyone’s imagination would be a bit of an understatement. The sparks flew between the artists, and the world fell in love. And once they went on to announce their relationship, there wasn’t a chart left that the song wasn’t topping. It’s safe to say that this song could definitely be the song of 2019.

Senorita

 

5. Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

Smart songwriting, videos that stayed with you long after they ended, and brilliant music doesn’t even begin to define this young woman’s charm. 2019 was definitely Billie Eilish’s year, and she’s just getting started. And when you realize that she turned 18 just last week (yup, let that sink in), there’s no one who wouldn’t be plain blown away.

Bad Guy

 

Happy Listening!

 

Spreading Holiday Cheer

December 24th, 2019

Tis the season to be jolly and that shouldn’t just be for you. How about we spread the cheer a bit? Holidays can be a tough time for a lot of people – those you are living alone, those who recently lost a loved one, those who are suffering from depression, those who are stuck in hospitals for their own or their loved ones’ ailments, those going through a cash crunch, and so many others. You never really know anyone else’s story, or what kind of issues and difficulties they might be facing. So take the chance this holiday season to spread some joy and just be a tad bit nicer (we know you’re already a nice person, but how about we pump it up a bit). Here are some ideas to spread some warmth around this chilly season.

 

1. Buy from local stores and artisans

Everyone knows that holidays also mean shopping. Gifts for your family and friends, for your office Secret Santa, decorations, plum cake, chocolates, it’s actually quite never-ending. Support your local communities and buy local instead of hitting the mall or large retail stores. It might seem like a slight thing for you, but it means the world to store/artisan you purchase from.

Image Source - SmallBizDaily

Image Source – SmallBizDaily

 

2. Donate

For those alone or abandoned, it’s an especially trying time of the year. It’s lonely, it’s cold, and it ends up being quite sad. Luckily, you can help by donating. Whether it’s gifts, money, or honestly, the best one, time. Whether it’s orphanages, old age homes, or animal shelters, everyone could do with a little extra love this holiday season.

Image Source - Advanced Urology

Image Source – Advanced Urology

 

3. Call up

It might sound like a weirdly small thing, but take the time to make some calls to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just to check in, say hi, and wish them happy holidays. You never know how a small hello from you might brighten someone’s day.

Image Source - Techlicious

Image Source – Techlicious

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Playlist of the Week – Christmas Songs

December 20th, 2019

Everyone loves a good Christmas song. We’re not talking about the carols (though we love those too!) Most are classics that are bound to take you back to your childhood, when fairy lights were magical, and Santa was really coming. So as we raise our eggnogs in toast, here’s some of our favorites to take that trip down memory lane.

 

1. All I Want For Christmas (Is You) by Mariah Carey

Believe it or not, this song has made it to the #1 spot on the Billboards this week, a whopping 25 years after its release! Talk about a blast from the past!!

All I Want For Christmas (Is You)

 

2. Last Christmas by Wham!

This song is so closely associated with this time of the year that people around the world have been making drinking games and whatnot over it for years. Take a shot every time you hear this song!

Last Christmas

 

3. The Christmas Song by Andrea Bocelli and Natalie Cole

The song was one of the most memorable by Mr. Cole, and this rendition by his daughter and Andrea is absolutely beautiful.

The Christmas Song

 

 

4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Michael Buble

Our generation needed a Sinatra type vocalist too, and Michael graciously stepped in, and thank the universe for that! This oldie but goldie needs to be heard in a voice that drips in old-world charm, and this one sure hits the right spot.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

 

5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by Bruce Springsteen

The quintessential Christmas tune, but in the most unexpected voice. Bruce gives a brand new twist to Santa’s song. Extra points for the hats.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

 

And one extra, for all the mean girls out there, because we just couldn’t resist.

Jingle Bell Rock

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Playlist of the Week – Metal Ballads

December 13th, 2019

If you or anyone you know listens to metal, you’ll know that the musical style is characterized by strong guitaring and drumming, and more so strong vocals comprising of growls and really belting it out. So much so, that when these bands release a softer ballad it often throws fans into a loop, and then, surprisingly enough, brings in non-metal fans into the fandom. And it genuinely is such a wonderful contrast to see a voice belonging to the unpredictable Ozzy Osbourne or the tough-voiced Corey Taylor bring out a song that can make you weep. Here’s a list of our favorites

 

1. Snuff by Slipknot

They’re loud, they’re angry, they’re aggressive. And then, suddenly, they’re just heartbroken. Fans and non-fans alike love this song in equal measure. Have a listen to figure out why.

Snuff

 

2. Mama I’m Coming Home by Ozzy Osbourne

If you’ve ever heard of Black Sabbath, you know this is definitely not their style. For that matter, Ozzy, who’s on stage antics got him labeled as unstable (remember when he bit off an actual bat’s head of mid-concert?), probably wouldn’t have expected this of himself either.

Mama I’m Coming Home

 

3. Hope Leaves by Opeth

A personal favorite, it will not only touch your heart, but break it too. There are so many things that are right with this one. Whether the vocal texture, the lyrics, the guitar, the absolute feeling of melancholy that it creates, you can decide for yourself.

Hope Leaves

 

4. My Immortal by Evanescence

While Amy Lee is known for belting out vocals over heavy guitar riffs, this song came as a surprise from Evanescence because each member really shone (especially Amy).

My Immortal

 

5. One More Light by Linkin Park

Though Linkin Park was all about tough, angsty lyrics, strong rap lines, and even stronger screaming vocals, every once in a while Chester would decide to serenade instead of belting out in frustration. Retaining their lyrical content style, musically they’d shift the mood so effortlessly it would often leave listeners breathless.

One More Light

 

Happy Listening!