I'll be honest, the idea of making a 'Fake It Till You Make It' YouTube playlist left me a bit stumped. We've been making monthly wrap up mixtapes and it's a bunch of fun. We hope you like 'em too and listen along on your lazy Sunday afternoon.
This month I asked one of the loveliest, most 'can-do' people I've ever met. As things happened, I met Kaitlyn Plyley last year for the first time minutes before she joined me on stage for the Younger Young Writers' program. She nailed it right off the bat, without really knowing how I was going to pull together a panel on something so esoteric as 'Why Do I Write?'. Who more appropriate for this mixtape, right?
Ok, let's get into it!
Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp
This song has been my default motivation song for a few of years now. I’m not sure exactly when it happened but it seemed like whenever I was walking to an interview or to meet someone I’m a bit nervous about meeting, I had Dizzie. I think more than anything though it’s that beat and the Michael Hutchence sounding sample telling me to Fix Up, Look Sharp.
Interesting sidebar, I wonder if Dizzie is the inversion of the this months theme in that he made it, then faked it?
Who am I kidding, I still love the Calvin Harris stuff. - Geoff
Alicia Keys - Girl On Fire
Ha, Dizzie Rascal - amazing first choice. If Dance Wiv Me ever comes on and I don’t get up to dance then I must be three days dead.
This year my motivational, walking-to-the-gig sound has been Alicia Keys telling me I am a Girl On Fire. She sounds like she is pouring her whole body into that chorus. Match your stride to those huge, slow drums and you feel like you could conquer anything. Then Alicia slips in there, near the end, that “nobody knows that she’s a lonely girl”; it makes me feel like my secret is that I am terrified inside and march on anyway.
This song also reminds of me of Katniss Everdeen playing whatever role was necessary to survive The Hunger Games, and it puts my anxieties into perspective when I remember that I won’t have to kill any 12 year-olds today. - Kaitlyn
Roxette - Dressed for Success
Wonderful song choice! Alicia Keys is great for a bit of a fist pump singalong.
I’m not sure why that song brought me to Roxette. Maybe it was the drum beat or the fantastic hair.
But it also reminded me of when I was a kid and mishearing the lyrics to this song. I would have been about 11 and remember thinking that Roxette were getting dressed, for some sex. I couldn’t figure out why you’d need to get dressed for sex. I was pretty sure that was the wrong way round.
Still, what a great song. Especially the lyrics.
Tried to make it little by little,
tried to make it bit by bit on my own.
Quit the job, the grey believers,
another town where I get close to the bone
Inspirational. - Geoff
Kanye West - Touch The Sky
Oh man, that video motivated me to bring back geometric hairstyles.
I don’t think I could rightfully do this playlist without including Kanye West. ‘Touch The Sky’ never fails to pick me up. One time I tried to rap the entire song in front of a crowded bar of hip hop fans and I won’t lie, I was terrible. But I channelled my inner Yeezy and faked it until I made it (off the stage) (in one piece).
There’s this amazing story that Dave Chappelle tells about meeting Kanye for the first time - before anyone knew who Kanye was, before he had a record out - and he was name-checking Talib Kweli and Common right in front of them. They were like, Who is this guy? Then Kanye answered his phone and told whoever it was that he was too busy to talk “because my life is dope and I do dope shit”.
What Would Yeezus Do. - Kaitlyn
Right Said Fred - I’m Too Sexy
I’ve seen that bit about Kanye and he’s the best. Did you see the one with Aziz Ansari on Letterman talking about being invited a party at Yeezy’s house? Priceless.
It’s such a great film clip and I forgot that Pamela Anderson was in it. Funny, in a kind of art imitating life way considering Bound 2. Still, can’t beat Kanye. He really is that perfect mix of bluster, genius and vulnerability. He is positive affirmation exemplified.
Taking that idea further, the only thing that can come close to Kanye’s chutzpah is Right Said Fred. Seriously, those guys were talking BIG game. - Geoff
Marksman Lloyd - You Won’t Be The One
Hahaha ‘I’m Too Sexy’ is one of those songs that I can’t imagine anyone listening to alone in their room with their headphones on. Except me, right now, because you’re making me do this Geoff.
That one reminds me of LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I Know It’, of which my brother said: “Why would they make a song about being sexy when they aren’t sexy at all?” (Cc Redfoo.)
I’m going to bring it back from joke territory with this song that I’m really enjoying at the moment, by Perth dude Marksman Lloyd. The title sounds like a response to a Chinese dating show, but it’s an upbeat hip hop track about living as if your dreams are going to come true. There is a bit that I always hear as “No one there / We rock it like an N*SYNC party though” which is almost certainly not the correct lyric but doesn’t that sound amazing?? - Kaitlyn
Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies
If it is a choice between partying with the Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC it would have to be N*SYNC. Even if it’s just because JT would be able to croon his way into any club and there’s a slight possibility that Lance Bass might take us to space. But if I was to spend a night on the town with a boy band, I think it would have to be East 17. Those guys look like they know how to party.
Speaking of party, Fleetwood Mac sure knew how to party. Especially if you believe the stories about Stevie Nicks, cocaine and drinking straws. But still, what a great song and for a band that was always at a breaking point, there would have had to have been an extremely high level of faking to hold it all together. - Geoff
Sam Smith - I’m Not The Only One
Ha I did not know anything about Lance Bass before this, other than that he made me think of some kind of chivalrous fish. My favourite part of the space article: “Bass said he was confident everything eventually would work out.” Ah, 2002. So filled with hope.
I’ve chosen Sam Smith next because when I thought of heartbreak I immediately thought of him, poor guy. I feel like Dianna Agron in this video clip is living the Little Lies song. It’s a lovely song and also deeply sad.
For some playlist inception, you can watch Dianna Agron singing Fleetwood Mac on Glee. (Corey in our hearts forever.) - Kaitlyn
Smudge - Not the Outdoor Type.
It’s Dr. Castellano? Won’t Mindy be pissed?
Speaking of Mindy Kaling cameos. Have you seen this?
The first time I heard this Smudge song would have been on triple j in the 90's as a cover by the Lemonheads. It wasn't until much later that I realised their version wasn't the original. That's not the reason I chose it though. Firstly, it's a great pop song about pretending to be something you're not to impress someone. But perhaps more than that, it's a realisation that perhaps the person that wants to go camping with you (step it up in the relationship) might not actually get you or that you've not really shown enough of yourself to them. - Geoff
Death Cab For Cutie - Cath…
Mindy will be fine. She is a stone-cold fox. Also after watching that book trailer I just fell 110% more in love with her.
So, full disclosure, Death Cab is my long-term boyf. This band is my favourite. They have so many songs about pretending to be different in a relationship that it was hard to choose. (Other notables include Summer Skin and Tiny Vessels. Basically all of Transatlanticism.) ‘Cath...’ is an amazing gem; it stands on its own within their discography. Ben Gibbard sings about a woman whose “heart is dying fast” so she disappears into a relationship. “She holds a smile like someone would hold a crying child.” Oh my.
God we’ve gone down a dark road from Right Said Fred. - Kaitlyn
Grizzly Bear - While You Wait For the Others
Death Cab for Cutie. Ahh, I would have spent at least 50 hours on various public transport with The Postal Service playing in my ears. Ben Gibbard is a really great songwriter.
Around the same time I was really heavily into Grizzly Bear. They are still one of my favourite bands and everytime I see them it reminds me how wonderful it is to see a live band.
And this song has a real, rollicking sound to it when it's played live. It's a song all about calling someone on being a fake. - Geoff
Lorde - Tennis Court
Sometimes I think leaving a fake friend is harder than leaving a romantic relationship. There should be more songs dedicated to the vagaries of ‘frenemies’. I’m so tempted to make my last song Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood because it is great to hear a ‘screw you’ anthem that is about an ex-friend rather than an ex-lover, but instead I’m going with Tay-Tay’s BFF, Lorde.
Basically, Lorde is my favourite musical artist right now who writes about the follies and banalities of friendship and love in your youth. She is critical of fake friends and dumb posturing. Pure Heroine is an insanely good record and I had trouble choosing one track, but ‘A World Alone’ doesn’t have a music video and Tennis Court does so here we are.
“It’s a new art form showing people how little we care.” I love this. - Kaitlyn
Songs that almost made the cut:
R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly (from the inspirational Space Jam soundtrack)
Rebecca Black - Saturday (because she kind of fake-made it and is a really good sport about it)
Kaitlyn is a writer and performer living in Brisbane. She is a co-host of the Megaherzzz show on 4ZZZfm and host of the podcast Just A Spoonful (available on iTunes). Geoff started this Writers Bloc malarkey.
Geoff Orton is the founder of Writers Bloc. He's also a teacher and a Boston Celtics tragic.