Category Archives: Music

Hey Sand Stars!

I hope everyone has been well. It’s with much excitement that I let you all know that my newest single ‘SpaceOut’ is now available! The track is under the name of my alter-ego ‘M’Queen’ 😉 She’s a lot cooler and sassier than I am 🙂

The trance/electronic piece was composed by myself and produced by Chris Rayner, one of Dubai’s leading DJs.

While I will still be playing chillout, classical-influenced piano, M’Queen will be releasing more dance-y music. Check in for more updates!

Currently, the track is available worldwide via iTunes, CD Baby, etc. See a few links below:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mqueen

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/spaceout-feat.-chris-rayner/id1080116824

 

Cover artwork by Rae and cover photo by Pho-TahSpaceOut Cover.jpg

 

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I Do Care: Review of ‘Only Human’ by Cheryl

Hey Sand Stars

In case you were unaware, I’m a HUGE Cheryl (previously Cole, currently Fernandez-Versini) fan. Firstly, she is super gorgeous and I want to be her when I grow up 😉 Mostly, though, I love the fact that she comes across as the girl next door. And her music is very light, easy listening. As a musician, I like listening to frothy pop to relax because any other music requires the musician in me to go into work mode (i.e.: ‘ooo, I could work a beat like that’ or ‘ooo, I love how the melody line flows from here to there’).

I must be honest though. Cheryl’s new album ‘Only Human’ found me rather underwhelmed 😦 I wonder if it’s due to her professional split from Will.I.Am but I found the production to be lacking in clarity. It has an urban, R&B feel; has pop influences and goes into electro at some points too, but I feel there was no real balance between genres. The album in its entirety could have been so much better; even though commercially it’s doing really well (very happy for her for that 🙂 )

There are a few good tracks though. I love the Lana-Del-Rey-esque title track ‘Only Human’ (the melody somehow reminds me of ‘Summertime Sadness’) and the anthemic ‘Fight On.’ I also find myself bopping along to ‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ and even ‘I Don’t Care’, however (regarding the latter) I am baffled at the reason for cussing during such a saccharine pop song…

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an album that is musical poetry, with seamless musical production and incredible vocals: this is not for you. Cheryl has admitted that she is not the strongest singer, but she loves entertaining people.

I just wish there were more tracks on the album that were entertaining, as on her previous records!

Nevertheless I wish Chezza all the best!

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/only-human-deluxe-version/id923987556

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style

M

xo

The cover of the album 'Only Human' (Polypro Records).

The cover of the album ‘Only Human’ (Polydor Records).

Me performing a clip of Cheryl’s ‘Parachute’ off her album ‘3 Words’.

Music Therapy: Music For Healing

Hey Sand Stars

As you may or may not know; I’ve done some research into music therapy i.e. utilising music or sound to alleviate the conditions in patients with physiological or mental ailments. I’ve been in touch with one of the authors of one of the first books on music therapy and have done my own little investigations into music to help better the condition of a patient.

Please note that I am not at all certified medically or claim to have all knowledge in this area. I am a performer, but my goal is to make people feel good with my music and, coming from a family of medical professionals, it was only a matter of time before I was interested in using music to heal 🙂

If we all think about it, it doesn’t take much to make us feel better: usually bopping along to Coldplay, falling asleep to Chopin or dancing the night away to Armin Van Buuren makes us feel awesome if we’re needing a pick-me-up! There is a science behind certain music making us feel good. It stems from both a psychological/conscious level to a more complex physiological level and differs from case to case.

I’ll go into more detail as I compose a few pieces with the idea of music for healing in mind 🙂 My plan is for a full-length album for children and adults, utilising whatever I’ve learnt and my own inspiration. The goal is to create music that will be soothing for children (infants to toddlers) and music that will be calming for their parents and those adults looking for an outlet to relax. I’m looking forward to sharing more as the music happens!

For those seeking information on therapy, check out www.musictherapy.org

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style!

M

xo

The cover of the new single inspired by all the wonderful women in my life: family, friends and fans! Photo by Tahmeed Omar and blouse by Reemami.

Cover for charity single 'New Hope' (cdbaby.com/malikao). Here, I've used lyrics to instil hope and support in the listener.

In The Pink!

Hey Sand Stars

It’s HERE!!! The ‘Pink’ video featuring messages from just a few of the women that have been a personal inspiration is now available to view on Youtube 🙂

I’d like this video and the message of ‘Pink’ to pay it forward; send out a bit of positivity to all the ladies in your life. We can all encourage each other with stories of strength; sharing our fears and thus be there for each other.

Here’s to all them leddehhhsss!! (Boys, I love you too, don’t worry 😉 )

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style,

M

xo

You've heard the single on Abu Dhabi Classic FM; you've downloaded it on cdbaby.com/malikaomar13 and down you can watch the video!

You’ve heard the single on Abu Dhabi Classic FM; you’ve downloaded it on cdbaby.com/malikaomar13 and down you can watch the video!

The Fame Game

Hey Sand Stars

Wow. What an…interesting week it’s been with certain reality ‘stars’ (I use the term loosely; pardon the pun 😛 ) baring all for…errr…fashion(!!!)

The whole issue got me to thinking about the fame game and how things have changed since I was a kid. Back in them days (long, long ago), people had something called ‘talent’ and also a sense of dignity, respect for their bodies and a warm, engaging personality. They even (SHOCK! HORROR!) did ACTUAL work!! :O

These days, the more eccentric (and I mean OUT THERE) and disrespectful you are, the more ‘cool’ you are considered to be and those who have been brought up with what some deem to be a ‘conservative’ set of morals are not worth a mention.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all about expressing yourself artistically and showing the audience your personality, but not on too much of a superficial level (especially skin-show).

I’m not a prude, but (especially relating to the recent nude photos popping up all over social media) I believe that a woman’s body is not to be commercialised or objectified in the name of ‘art’. I believe our bodies are like the rarest treasures and we shouldn’t reveal all our jewels to the world (get my drift??) Mystery, IS power and freedom, ladies!! Sensuality doesn’t need to be conveyed with a jiggly bum! It’s all about being confident with your body, of course, but being smart enough to leave a bit to the imagination.

It saddens me that talented musicians are more known for their nipple caps than their voices or that a woman’s amazing acting is overlooked because ‘darn, she looked good in that nude scene.’

I don’t live in fairyland and neither am I a hypocrite; I know how important PR and marketing is in an artist’s career and how important image is in the art world (I’m well aware of it in my own career). I also don’t blame any of them; they have to do somersaults to retain status in this weird celebrity circus. Plus, these ‘controversial’ stars are laughing all the way to the bank (yea, I’m jealous about that part…)

But, I honestly believe it is far better to be respected for your abilities and work and work ethic.

Anyway, I can only speak for myself and I’ll be doing my piano chillout and not twerking against Robin Thicke anytime soon… (if it ever happens, you have permission to give me a sound smack.)

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style!

M

xo

At Taste Of Fame Dubai; at controversial, yet talented Elizabeth Taylor's star on the Hollywood 'Walk Of Fame'. Photo by Light House Studio. Gown by Meher & Riddhima.

At Taste Of Fame Dubai; at controversial, yet talented Elizabeth Taylor’s star on the Hollywood ‘Walk Of Fame’. Photo by Light House Studio. Gown by Meher & Riddhima.

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Lights! Camera! Music!

Hey Sand Stars

I am a HUGE fan of music obviously, considering I took the art on as a profession. I love listening to music, composing music and clearly performing music but another aspect of the art that I love is seeing music as a character onscreen.

I’m a huge lover of cinema and, growing up, I would often see movies as an escape to a fantasy world. But what MADE those movies so amazing? The MUSIC, of course.

Imagine ‘Jaws’ without the creepy music reminding you that someone was going to be eaten alive or the jolting, staccato strings from that famous shower scene in ‘Psycho’. In Bollywood, how about that haunting love song from the thriller starring Shah Rukh Khan: ‘Darr’?

Never mind music during pivotal scenes; I love the sense of familiarity that comes with a theme brought up repeatedly during a movie (like the love theme by James Horner from ‘Titanic’). These themes remind us of the characters and their stories. One of my all-time favourite themes is ‘Sayuri’s Theme’ by John Williams which is indicative of the character of Sayuri, the reluctant geisha from ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. The piece is light, yet strong and hopeful. The other stand-out piece in the movie is the ‘Chairman’s Waltz’ which is sad and lamenting; quite like the Chairman withholding his feelings for Sayuri.

I prefer instrumental soundtracks with an ethnic influence, like the music from ‘The Mummy Returns’, ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time’, ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ or ‘The Forbidden Kingdom.’ However, sometimes a contemporary soundtrack comes along that bowls me over completely! One of those was ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ I’m driven to walk a little faster or feel more energetic when hearing a dramatic piece like the theme from the latter.

There is other movie music that may not be melodic-based, but still evokes emotion in the audience. One such snippet is in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ when the ‘green light’ is shown onscreen. The sound used is so haunting; a reminder that Gatsby will never reach it.

In my recent favourite flick ‘Interstellar,’ dramatic, loud, dissonant music was used to emphasise tension and fear (the organ was used repeatedly), but composer Hans Zimmer and the film’s sound editor also made ample use of silence for dramatic effect.

Next time you watch a movie, consider the music more closely. For if there was none, would the films be as enjoyable…?

On that note, I’m off to watch another film! See you at the movies!

Live, Love & Laugh ‘LittlePianoDiva’ Style.

M

xo

Promotional material for 'Memoirs Of A Geisha,' 'The Mummy Returns' & 'Interstellar.'

Promotional material for ‘Memoirs Of A Geisha,’ ‘The Mummy Returns’ & ‘Interstellar.’

Pink

Dear Sand Stars

It’s been a wonderful week, receiving the inspiring stories of women across the world. Their strengths encourage me and make me want to share them all with you.

That was the reason for ‘Pink,’ the single. To somehow weave the souls of these awesome ladies in my music.

I composed, performed and (for the first time!! Eep!) produced the track which is available for FREE download via http://www.cdbaby.com/malikaomar13.

I’m compiling a video with inspiring stories from my pink soldiers across the world and will release the video soon!

As always, I hope my music brings a smile to your face.

Live, Love & Laugh ‘Littlepianodiva’ Style 😉

M

xo

The cover of the new single inspired by all the wonderful women in my life: family, friends and fans! Photo by Tahmeed Omar and blouse by Reemami.

The cover of the new single inspired by all the wonderful women in my life: family, friends and fans! Photo by Tahmeed Omar and blouse by Reemami.