FFXIV Community Spotlight: Sharm

Welcome to the FFXIV Community Spotlight column! This column runs parallel with the Echoes of Eorzea series of articles and aims to highlight and show appreciation to members of our community who go that extra mile to create content for us to enjoy, usually in their own time and for free.

This week we will be talking to the beautiful and talented singer and songwriter, Sharm, who has been creating content on YouTube since 2007 and to date has over 71K subscribers. 

Community spotlight

Background

Sharm found her passion for music at the age of 13 and began her singing career in her bedroom, creating her own radio stations and singing along to the songs. Throughout her entire adolescence, she developed her talent by being part of the school choir and participated in musicals and plays. Her passion for music was so great that she even petitioned the head of her school to allow pupils to take their music qualifications in their free time, as the school did not offer the subject. She later obtained a Grade 1 in her Piano studies and started learning both the drums and guitar. All of her music is created start to finish, by her own hand, using a mix of instruments, vocals, and technology.

On average, Sharm spends about 3 hours a day to keep up with emails, messages and social media. Alongside this, she records ideas and writes down new lyrics. In her spare time, she not only plays a multitude of games but enjoys being in the countryside and spending time with her beloved and beautiful dog, Maggie.

community spotlight

Sharm Lavellan – Astrologian – Odin EU

Question Time

How long have you played FFXIV and why did you begin?

I played FFXIV way back for a few months and I was utterly addicted. However, for financial reasons, I decided to stop playing but I always had the itch to play! I picked it back up again last year and absolutely adored every second of being able to play it. I’m a huge MMORPG fan and I really love trying out all the different games out there. I’ve played nearly every MMORPG going, but only FFXIV, WoW & GW2 have held a really big spot in my heart.

What made you choose this race/job?

The Highlander Hyur’s are BADASS! I think they look so cool, plus being in my 30’s, I feel more comfortable rolling with a class that kinda looks like my age. Now, I know I’m not alone here when I say I LOVE HEALING!!! It’s my go-to specialty in every game. I’m just not happy when I’m playing DPS…and my tanking is a raid/party breaker. All of the healing classes are varied and super pretty to play, using animations that I fondly remember from the old Final Fantasies.

What aspect of the game do you enjoy the most?

Probably leveling. I mean, I just love it. I love the grind and the feeling of growing more powerful and oh, let’s not forget when you finally get a sweet change of clothing to rock around in. The outfits in FFXIV are pretty stunning – skimpy – but stunning.

What aspect of the game do you enjoy the least?

Being such a massive completionist that I forced myself to level a lot of jobs that I detested. Like tanks. I’m apologizing now to anyone who may have partied with me whilst I was tanking. I’m so, so sorry. I hope there’s no permanent damage.

What was your inspiration for creating your first FFXIV related content?

Oh, video games are my wellspring for inspiration, my lifestream, my flame! I think my first FFXIV piece was a guide on how to get your own little Chocobo mount in the form of song, haha! I tell you, when you’re running around in these huge cities and vast lands, there are so many little gems of inspiration just waiting to be found!

Is FFXIV your main source of creativity, or do you do content creation for other games (or other things entirely) as well?

World Of Warcraft has always been my “main” and so, pretty much my entire YouTube channel is smothered in WoW related things – mostly parodies and gameplay. But it’s always fun to change it up and when I enjoy what I’m playing, more often than not, a song will soon emerge from it.

How long have you been producing content (including more specifically FFXIV)?

I guess when it comes specifically to FFXIV, I’ve only been doing it for perhaps 2 years or so? But as a generic blanket to cover all of my content, it has been almost 10 years!

Which creation of yours are you most proud of?

Well, this is tough! I will pluck something from my Final Fantasy playlist here. Let’s see, I feel that my covers of “Dragonsong” and “Answers” I am most proud of. However, recently I collaborated with a wonderful lady called Alison and we produced a lovely cover of “Eyes On Me” in which Alison absolutely nailed the violin solo!

When you have difficult days, what drives you to keep producing content?

I always remind myself that time fixes most things. Sadness, difficult decision making, lack of inspiration or motivation. I never let the feeling of pressure get to me when I’m really not feeling something because I know that tomorrow, I might just feel it! My love for singing and creating content never lessens, just some days my voice wants to work with me and other days it’s a little *mumbles into hand*.

When it comes to preparing your work, what processes do you go through?

So, from the start of creating a parody, I’ll work on the lyrics – nice and relaxing, ah! Next, I’ll do the recording. So important to be in the right frame of mind at this point and have high energy so if I’m not feeling it, I’ll wait until the next day. Next, I’ll listen to it several times and make sure the mix is juuuuust right.

Then, I go on to make the video, usually using plenty of video game footage. I really enjoy this part, making sure that the video blooms in time with the vocals. And then? Then I agonize over the spelling of every single word in the lyrics as I add them to the video. I check, double check, triple check until sometimes even the word “it” looks wrong. But I am a bit of an elitist when it comes to correct spelling and grammar so I do like to make sure everything is just so.

What programs or tools are used to create your work?

Programs wise, I use Mixcraft and Vegas Movie Studio. Tools is a little more in-depth. My microphone is a SHURE SM27, I use a UX2 Line 6 audio interface which my microphone plugs in to along with my UMX610 midi keyboard for when I want to dabble in composing (which isn’t often! I’m terrible at it).

What advice and tips would you give to someone hoping to produce content in your field?

Oh please, please do it because it brings you happiness first. If it’s making you happy, your happiness will spill into it and filter into all of us who get to enjoy it with you. If you do it to become popular and number watch then you won’t grow an audience who will be passionate about your work – just like you.

Sharm’s entry for the Heavensward EU Music Contest, for which she received an honorable mention.

What aspirations do you have for your FFXIV work?

My aspirations are pretty much the same for all of my work. I just want to do as best a job I can and hope that it brings moments of enjoyment for my listeners.

How well do you feel your work has been received by the community?

Oh by the FFXIV community? Wonderfully! Everyone has been very encouraging in their comments and I think once, someone even linked one of my covers to Susan Calloway!

I know I’m not a hugely active member of the FFXIV community right now, but I do absolutely adore the game, and when I’m in a position to maintain more game subscriptions I cannot wait to come back!

sharm community spotlight

Final Thoughts

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Sharm for taking part in the Community Spotlight column! She’s not only hugely musically gifted but she is the most down to earth, friendly and kind-hearted person who cares deeply about her work, and always makes time for her fans and friends. Not only does she produce a wide variety of gaming related music but she also composes original songs, publishes a weekly vlog and Q&A sessions. If you’ve enjoyed her music here, then be sure to pay her YouTube channel a visit! Her genuine passion and enthusiasm shine through in all her work. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Sharm is a true inspiration and role model for anyone wishing to explore this particular area of the content creation industry.

As always, thank you very much for reading this article! If you have any questions, advice or comments please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here, my gallery site or Twitter. 

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9 Amazing Guild Wars 2 Remixes

There is no denying that Guild Wars 2 has some fantastic music. The original soundtrack was created by the incredibly talented Jeremy Soule. Heart of Thorns’ music was done by Lena Chappelle and Maclaine Diemer, but the music doesn’t stop there. Fans and music lovers have transformed the music made for Guild Wars 2 players and transformed them into something entirely new. In this week’s Listed we’re taking a look at just a few of the amazing Guild Wars 2 remixes made through the years.

Guild Wars 2

 

Fear Not This Night

You might expect the theme song to be the most covered song from a game, and for most games this is the case. But Guild Wars 2 is the exception. In fact, it is the end credits song Fear Not This Night that is the most popular, and with good reason. It’s a beautiful, very approachable song, making it more attractive to those who haven’t played the game. Those who have playing Guild Wars 2 understand the emotion behind the song and why it is. It didn’t seem right just picking one cover of this song when there are so many out there. For that reason, I picked two of my favorites.

 

The Original

 

Epic Rock Cover by LittleVMills

At the start, it sounds like just a simple guitar cover of Fear Not This Night, but just when you start getting a little bit bored the epic rock comes out and blows your socks off. LittleV is well known on Youtube for his badass covers of music from games with a little bit of Christmas music tossed in there too.

 

Techno Remix

Who doesn’t love a little bit of techno from time to time? This version really couldn’t be more different from LittleV’s but it is still just so awesome. It was originally released before Guild Wars 2 came out and based on the Gamescom 2011 trailer, which explains why it’s a little on the short side. The full song hadn’t been released yet.

 

Guild Wars 2 Theme

Some Guild Wars 2 players may not realize this but the Guild Wars 2 theme is actually itself a remake of the theme from Guild Wars. For Guild Wars 2 though it got an injection of epic and became quite a beloved tune, one you can hear throughout Tyria to this day.

 

Guild Wars Original

 

Guild Wars 2 Original

 

Chiptune by OfficialWillMorris

This entire 7-minute long piece includes the main theme plus the themes of all the races. But personal favorite is the main theme. Not only did they do an awesome job of converting it to an 8-bit sound they also made it a little bit more badass which makes it differ from the next entry quite a bit.

 

Super Adventure Box: Main Theme

If you’re a Guild Wars 2 fan you had to know the SAB would make it on this list. Yes, it is a remix from ArenaNet themselves, but it is so well done it had to be included. For a music nerd like me, this is the best part of the Super Adventure Box, and I LOVE the SAB.

 

Heart of Thorns Theme

There was really only one Guild Wars 2 theme that has been on the list yet so of course, we had to include the theme from Heart of Thorns! Players have heard this every time they’ve logged in for the last 2 years and the original is an epic piece of music.

 

Heart of Thorns Main Theme Original

 

Mordrem Stomp, Metal Remix by DusK

How do you make an already epic song even more epic? Make it metal. DusK has done quite a few Guild Wars 2 remixes but this one might just be the best. I’m already hoping that they plan on doing a remix for Path of Fire as well.

 

The Tengu Wall

At this point, we start really diving into the less well-known pieces of music from Guild Wars 2. Fans will be familiar with them, but it’s unlikely that anyone else will. To start us off we’ve got The Tengu Wall.

 

The Tengu Wall Original

 

Wontolla Remix

Wontolla’s Remix is a little bit slow to build but by 1:30 you’ve got yourself a beautiful, upbeat bit of smooth dubstep, Guild Wars 2 style. It doesn’t really work with the Tengu very well, not that we know much about them really, but if there were some sort of battle with the Tengu this would be the perfect theme for it.

 

The Charr Triumphant

Each of the races has a theme, the Charr theme is, as you might expect, filled with deep sounds and has a sound that screams war. Perfect for the badasses that Charr are.

 

The Charr Triumphant Original

 

Metal Remix by Matthew Weber

One look at the Black Citadel and a metal remix of the Charr’s theme becomes a pretty obvious choice. They are by far the most metal of the races. The art that goes along with the music is also amazing. While Charr may be the least played race in Guild Wars 2, there is no denying they’re the most hardcore.

 

The Great Toymaker – Wintersday Theme

Ever since first hearing the Wintersday Theme The Great Toymaker it has taken over as one of my favorite Christmas songs. It really isn’t Christmas without hearing The Great Toymaker at least once. And it certainly wouldn’t be a Guild Wars 2 Christmas without it.

 

The Great Toymaker Original

 

Metal/Orchestral Remix by DusK

I don’t know what it is about metal but this is a fun twist on The Great Toymaker. And it’s another great remix by DusK, one of many you can find on Youtube.

 

Faren’s Flier

Oh, Faren. I don’t know if I love you or hate you. It’s a little bit of both. In Verdant Brink and Noble’s Folly, you can hear Faren’s Flier, a playful little tune that absolutely doesn’t belong in the jungle. Which is why it fits so perfectly.

 

Faren’s Flier Original

 

Faren’s Traphouse by Isaac Eaton

We finally get to what inspired this entire article! Faren’s Traphouse is a fantastic twist on a piece that I have heard over and over and over, usually standing in Noble’s Folly. I had honestly got to the point where I stopped hearing Faren’s Flier, but this has made me fall in love with it all over again. To make it even better, Reddit User MithranArkanere made lyrics! I can already hear Faren singing them.

♪Board our Airship, let us have some fun!
Come with Faren to war!♪
♪Faren’s Flyer to Maguuma,
What could go wrong? Jump in!♪

(interlude)

♪The Pact Forces are ready to go!
Come with Faren to war!♪
♪Faren’s Flyer to Maguuma,
Mordremoth is done for!♪

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