Having already shared the stage with Jessie J, Daniel Bedingfield and the icon that is Stevie Wonder, Sian Cross is no stranger to the music industry, and she’s well and truly on the way to leaving her own mark on it.

Her EP Conscious showcases her talents superbly and there’s a passion and honesty to her lyrics that have been missing from a lot of releases in recent years. With a vocal delivery that is so full of emotion it sent shivers up this reviewers’ arms at least once, the 5 track collection serves as a great introduction to those who have yet to discover how good this young woman is.

The EP opens with “Tell Anybody”, an anthem perfect for anyone struggling through life or fighting a battle that seems never-ending. It’s a testament to individuality and a call to all those who listen to it to be themselves, to stand up for what they believe in and to live their life their way.

“Stare At Me” was inspired by a Katie Piper documentary Cross watched shortly after undergoing surgery to remove a teratoma, which left her with several scars. While she recovered and while feeling insecure, the documentary encouraged Cross to reveal her true self to those around her; scars and all, and this song is a reminder to everyone, herself included, about the strength that comes with being yourself and accepting who you are 100%.

In a world where so many people are judged and judge others on their appearance, Cross should be commended for creating a song to inspire, encourage and motivate all those who listen to it to think twice about what they say and do, but more importantly, to remind them that we’re all human and that no-one, even if they believe that they are, is perfect – and that’s something we all have in common.

Next is “The World As I”, a melodic little number that would work well as a future single. It’s slower and softer than the previous two tracks, which some listeners might be put off by, but it’s certainly worthy of several listens.

“On and On” meanwhile is another empowering track, inspired by an encounter with a stripper Cross had one day. Strippers and other individuals often get a bad reputation for what they do, without others taking into consideration a persons’ back-story or reasons for doing the job in question. “On And On” serves as yet another reminder that those who do what they want to and what they believe in are some of the strongest people around, and no-one has the right to judge them for it.

Adding a touch of poignancy to the collection, “Four Weeks” is a sentimental track which pays tribute to Cross’ father who died several years ago. The emotion with which Cross delivers the lyrics is enough to bring those who hear it (certainly myself anyway) to tears as she puts into words and to music how difficult for her the loss was to deal with. She wanted to write and share the song as a way of helping others through similar situations and, as she explains, that’s exactly what the track has done:

“Since releasing the song, I have received a number of messages from people expressing the comfort and strength that Four Weeks had given them. One person even told me that they hadn’t been able to grieve for their mum but this song allowed them to release the pain they had been hiding.”

Very few artists in recent years have addressed such a personal issue so publicly as Cross does on this track, the exception perhaps being “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day, written about the passing of front-man Billie Joe Armstrong’s father, and I for one want to stand up and applaud her for doing so. As someone who lost a loved one a few years back, this song has given me a new perspective and serves as a musical reminder that I’m not alone in struggling with the loss I’ve endured. Sometimes we all need a little reminder that we’re all living life on this Earth together, and as much as we might feel it sometimes, we’re never truly alone in what we’re feeling.

As of this moment, this collection is easily my EP of the year and it will take something truly, truly special to top it. Conscious is available now on iTunes.

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Championed by Rolling Stone last year and named one of their ‘Ten New Country Artists You Need To Know’, Emily Faye’s passion for music stretches far beyond the short time she’s been in the spotlight as a star in her own right. Having gone from writing songs in her bedroom and studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute, she’s now released her debut EP called Here I Am.

Opening with “Open Road”, the collection gets off to a great and upbeat start, thanks to Faye’s soft, almost innocent vocal perfectly being perfectly paired with a toe-tapping country rhythm. “Giving In” is much slower, but maintains the EP’s focus on Faye’s vocal talents as she delivers the tracks’ strong, emotive lyrics that hold a a hint of defiance and rebellion in them.

“Game Over” is the kind of track that deserves to be played when listeners are taking a summer’s day drive with their friends. There’s an unmistakable ‘freedom and exploration’ vibe to the song – a perfect accompaniment to the upcoming summer break – that is sure to have the piece put on repeat.

Written about being comfortable with someone; a boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or friend, who loves you for you, no matter what, there’s a reflective, deeply emotive and connective feel to closing number “Me For Me”, and as someone who has always struggled with self-confidence, the song reminded me that I have people in my life who wouldn’t and don’t want me to change who or how I am.

The EP as a whole has a very almost old-school, traditional feel to it, making it stand out from the many other releases of recent weeks and months that have focused more on the modern music styles which dominate the charts and the industry in general. The collection is a fantastic introduction to one of the hottest names in country music right now and will certainly have fans eager to see where Emily Faye goes and what she creates with her talent next.


As summer approaches and the festival season slowly gets into full-swing, one of the hottest upcoming events is the second annual Ibiza Burlesque festival, which takes place Friday 25th – Sunday 27th May.

Founded by singer-songwriter Sapphira, who has found the music of the white isle a lifeline during her struggles with bipolar, this years’ event, organised by the globally established company Sapphira’s Showgirls which champions self-expression and fundraises in support of mental health, includes a tribute of her debut single Money$hot as well as a special guest appearance by Billboard Top 20 and Grammy Award winning artist, Kim Cameron with DJ Halo.

Other highlights of the festival include performances from several world class artists, hailing from seven different countries, with Innocence Bliss and Jamilia Wardknott, both from the UK, and Italy’s Scarlet Lovelace among those confirmed to entertain those in attendance. There’s also a swimwear parade, a couple of pool parties and, if you fancy learning a little bit of burlesque yourself, you can take a beginner class in Sex A Peel with Sheila Starr Siani or Fantastic Fans with Sapphira.

The festival works in partnership with premium venues on the island, with the premier event – the Bass & Tease gala – taking place at the distinguished Heart Ibiza, a state-of-the-art restaurant come nightclub. From the first day to the last, the festival is set to delight and excite all those who attend.

For a full programme of events and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website.