Let’s talk about 5SOS.

Oh look, a post where I’m fangirling about something, how groundbreaking. Lol.

5 Seconds of Summer are an Australian band. If you haven’t already heard of them, you’re about to. Because I’m awful at summaries, feel free to head over to their Wikipedia page for more details on the origins of the band and their career to date. Basically though, it goes like this: they formed in 2011 in Sydney and began by posting cover songs on Youtube, before signing a publishing deal with Sony and releasing their debut EP which reached #3 in the Aus Itunes charts. Following a few supportive tweets from a couple of One Direction members, 5SOS joined the Take Me Home Tour in 2013 as 1D’s support act, touring through the UK, USA, Australian and New Zealand. They also played an Australian headlining tour during a break from the TMH tour which sold out super fast.

Fast forward to the present day and 5SOS are currently headlining their “There’s No Place Like Home” tour across Australia, and are set to once again support One Direction on their upcoming stadium tour across the US, UK, Canada and Europe. They’ve released another EP and its first single, She Looks So Perfect, went to #1 in 39 countries. 5SOS are officially the fourth Australian band or artist to reach #1 in the UK, and the first to do so in 14 years, which is pretty insane.

(Over 21 million views and counting, whaaaaaat)

There’s another single, Don’t Stop, being released on a second EP (which will technically be their fourth extended play release) in June, and with luck, there should be a full length album released by the end of the year. The majority of their live set consists of songs that have never been released as studio versions, but that the crowd knows and loves regardless. I guess the idea behind releasing EPs in addition to an album really gives as much music as possible to the fans to enjoy.

To put this in a teensy bit of context, I saw 5 Seconds of Summer perform live at the Palais Theatre last night. It was fun. I felt quite old, but it was still fun. I think my hearing may be temporarily damaged by all the screaming, but oh well. Overall, it was a good show. Definitely enjoyed the playlist of songs that was happening beforehand and in between the support act and the main event. Stacy’s Mom, anyone? (“IT’S ON SINGSTAR!”, as one 14 year old sat behind me reminded us all). Props to the girls I saw recording the show on their iPads. Dedication.

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The Blogspiration Project: Chantelle Baxter

More Blogspiration Project, yay! Today’s features the wonderful Chantelle Baxter, co-founder of One Girl. Follow Chantelle on Twitter here, find out more about One Girl here, and read the other Blogspiration Project posts here. Enjoy! x

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a born and bred Melbourne girl, and I grew up with my parents and my two little sisters. I had what I would consider a pretty privileged upbringing – private schools, overseas holidays, and never really wanting much materially.

On the other side of the coin – my childhood was pretty rough. By the time I’d left high school, my life had been affected by domestic violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual abuse and suicide attempts. I was a pretty messed up kid – and I left school believing that the only way I’d ever be happy, was if I made a lot of money.

After a short stint at university studying web design, I decided it was time to leave. I wanted MONEY – NOW! After I started a small web company with a friend of mine, and we did pretty well in our first year. But after shopping, drinking and partying my life away – I realized my that money was not the key to my happiness. I was miserable. I needed a change.

A mentor of mine suggested I sign up some leadership programs. So I did. A few months later, I found myself on a plane to Sierra Leone, West Africa. And that’s where my life REALLY began. I lived in a remote community in Sierra Leone for a month – no electricity, no running water, no supermarkets. I honestly didn’t think I’d make it through the first week. I’d barely even been camping before, and now I was being asked to do manual labour in 35 degree heat. I hated it. And I cried, a lot.

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A couple of weeks in and I hit my breaking point. I needed to go home. I decided to ring my mentor and tell him that I was giving up. During the call, he said the one thing I needed to hear. He said..

This isn’t an accident. You are there for a reason. Rather than focusing on everything that you hate, I want you to give me the reason WHY you are in Sierra Leone.

I stopped crying and thought about it. It became obvious, I was there for the kids. I’d fallen completely in love with the children living in the village – and they became my reason. By the end of the month, I didn’t want to come home. (But obviously I had too).

When I came back to Melbourne, I attempted to pick up my old partying / shopping / drinking ways. But after 6 angry months, I realised I didn’t fit in anymore. I couldn’t go back. I was different, and it was time my life reflected that.

In early 2009, I gave up it all up – my boyfriend, my business, my apartment. I pressed the reset button on my life. Not long after, I met David Dixon and together we co-founded One Girl. We work in Sierra Leone, which is considered one of the worst places on earth to be born a girl. Since we began, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1350 women and girls and by the end of 2014, that will be more than 2600. I’m blown away by what our community has achieved.

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