First – a confession. I am a music nerd. I'm 'that' person – the one who drones on at parties about the superiority of vinyl. The one who has no room for her children to sleep as the bedrooms are all piled up with records. The one who has a ridiculous sound system that involves an impractical record deck made from glass and elastic bands.
My nerdy career high was being let loose on an actual club nights, always in the warm-up slot, before anyone had arrived, where I lined up a variety of dubious 12" records that were covered in fluff from the cat so rarely played in full. My inability to mix records led to the ironic moniker of “Tracy Triple Decks”.
So – how to choose JUST FIVE inspiring tracks for this piece? This is a tough ask. It’s like choosing a favourite child, or the best member of Boyzone.
Well, as with all things, music needs to be tuned to your mood. If you’ve just been dumped – or you’ve had the mother of all days – then I find Curtis Mayfield’s Move on Up to be an inspirational classic. Turn up the volume, throw some talcum powder on your wooden floor and you’ll soon be dancing like some kind of Northern Soul legend and nothing else will matter.
If you are trying to crack a big idea, then something with energy that builds until your body almost explodes is needed. My favourite for this is Alive by Chase & Status
Sometimes, though, less is more – and stripping things back, old skool style (note the blatant use of the letter “K”’ – I can feel my children cringing), is where it’s at. For such moments, is an oldie, but a goodie. For such moments, I'm Always Dancin' to The Music by Benny Golson is an oldie, but a goodie.
For other occasions, you need to turn to your inner world and go all deep and meaningful. For this, an acoustic guitar is almost always essential. Ed Sheeran or James Bay may think they know how it’s done, but for the master, you need Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left.
Often, though, the best way to find inspiration from music is to play something that makes you want to dance. You need to feel your arms uncontrollably flying into the air like you just don’t care. Lose those inhibitions. For me, it needs to be something really uncool but joyfully liberating. Baby by Justin Bieber would be perfect. Wrong. But so good. Choose your guilty pleasure, ramp up the volume and get ready to feel inspired.
Playlist by Pippa Strutt, client service director at H+K Strategies
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