New artist SHELLS is already making waves, having garnered significant attention from her first 3 single releases (Gold, Jagwar and Jailbird, which releases today – have a listen to the track further down the post). We catch up with the rising RnB songwriter to chat about her journey and what’s coming next.
Your debut EP sounds polished and established; a delectable mix of RnB and modern pop. Has this always been the style of music you set out to make?
Thanks guys. Yes, the EP is a representation of the music I’ve been making and reacting to over the last year. I’m always listening to and am influenced by old and new music, so I’m looking forward to building on todays sound in the next project too.
The story behind ‘Gold’ speaks of using the power of love to overcome obstacles. Was this inspired by your personal experiences?
Yes, for me, like with Gold, songwriting usually begins as a reaction to a personal experience, but often I find a song grows into something larger than the initial inspiration, and can mean something different to everyone as a result.
With past experiences living in Japan, Ghana and South Africa, do you feel like each place has influenced your music in some way?
Yes, definitely, I love the stringed instruments and language in Japan, my parents kept an old Japanese Zither when we moved to England, it inspired me to save for an autoharp which features in some of the songs. I find the Drums, Xylophones, Harps and rhythms from Africa just incredible. Africa has definitely inspired instruments, melodies and concepts in different songs. I would love to go to India to experience some music there, I love the sound of Sitars, of Classical Indian singing and the idea of getting comfy on the floor for a four-hour raga!
Which other artists do you currently have your eye on? Are there any in particular that you would cite as your biggest inspirations?
Some of my favourite recent introductions: ‘Get Away’ by The Internet, the SHELLS band were playing it on the way back from a festival the other day, I love the production. I heard Marta Sebestyén for the first time this week, an incredible Hungarian folk singer, she has a beautiful lacey, bird-like voice. Chance The Rapper’s album ‘Coloring Book’ so many good songs. I make new playlists most days, but I’m also a creature of habit, Fleetwood Mac, Chet Baker, John Martyn, Radiohead, Donny Hathaway and D’Angelo are some of my favourites, biggest inspirations and make up a lot of my daily listening.
What’s next for SHELLS?
More singing, more writing and a new project very soon to follow the first EP. Thanks guys!