Prior to SHY’s show at London’s Curtain Hotel which took place at the beginning of this month we caught up with SHY to get to know her as an artist and find out more about herself, her musical influences, her career as a songwriter, her Swedish influence on her music and more.
“My mum and dad have always been big music fans, so I grew up in a house where music was always playing from the speakers. Everything from Jimi Hendrix to ABBA. I guess that’s the main reason why music’s always been such a big part of my life.”
Early musical Influences
“From when I was 13 until about 16 there was a period where I was obsessed with My Chemical Romance and Paramore. I think listening to them influenced me a lot when it comes to being emotional and expressive in my songwriting. There was also a time when I only listened to Bon Iver, Ed Sheeran and other guitar-led indie pop, which influenced me a lot when it came to melodies and lyrics. Today I listen to a lot of different genres but ‘guitar-led indie pop’ is still my go-to music.”
Swedish Influence on her music
“Because music is taught as a subject in Swedish schools from an early age, I started playing guitar when I was 8. Music is such a big part of Swedish culture especially with Denniz Pop, ABBA and Max Martin. Swedish music has always had strong melodies. Also I really think there’s a benefit to not having English as our first language, we still learn it in school from a very early age, but I think that makes Swedish songwriters very playful when it comes to lyrics.”
Introduction to songwriting
“I’ve been writing and singing since I was very little. Growing up I wrote a lot of stories, poems, and diaries and used to make up songs about everything that I was doing the whole time. I guess it’s just been a very natural way for me to express myself.”
How being a songwriter has influenced her as an artist.
“For me the music will always be the most important thing. Everything else that comes with being an artist will never be as important, at least for me. I think I feel that way because I started out as a songwriter. Being a songwriter has helped me to understand the industry and the work that goes on behind the songs. That’s why I’m very keen to highlight all the creators behind my artistry, for example adding the songwriters’ names on the cover for my latest single ‘Out of My Hands’.”
“I would describe it as ‘melancholic pop’. I always end up writing about love, but I guess it’s because it's such a relatable feeling and there's so many different perspectives and angles you can have on it.“
Her approach to making music
“For me there’s no high that can compare with leaving a session with a great song that everyone in the studio connects with. Often you walk into the studio as strangers and leave as really good friends. I absolutely love it! It’s such an amazing thing getting to know someone on such a deep and emotional level so quickly. “
Collaborating and working with other people
“I would never want to write songs or work in music without the people I’m working with right now. I spend every day with some of my best friends. It’s truly a dream for me. I have to pinch myself from time to time to remind myself that this is actually my ‘job’. Doing what I love with the people I love. I also think it’s amazing how music can connect people.”
Making music and putting it out there
“It was terrifying yet amazing at the same time! I’ve always been scared of what people think about me, so it’s been a little nerve-racking receiving all the exposure. Still it’s been amazing in so many different ways. “
The process of making her EP
“The only thing that has been very different for me is that I’ve also been involved in making the music videos and cover art, whilst also doing interviews and live shows etc. The things that don’t really have to do with the music. It’s been a bit overwhelming from time to time, but a lot of fun. Also, as I’m releasing my music on an independent label together with my friends it’s been a lot of hard work but I’ve learnt a lot. “
Her new single ‘Out of My Hands’
“It was written last summer together with three of my favourite songwriters; Freddy Alexander, SHY Nodi and Madison Love. It’s about ending a destructive relationship without falling right back into it.”
What she wants people to get across from her music
“One of the coolest things is when people share stories of how my music has helped them through tough periods in their lives, like break ups etc. Or when I get videos of people dancing to or singing my songs. It’s so amazing how so many people from different countries across different ages can relate to something I wrote on my couch or in the studio!”
The landscape of music
“To be honest the music industry is very intense. There’s a lot of people that don’t hesitate to take advantage of you as soon as you get even a little bit of success. I got to experience that side of things pretty quickly. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who you know care about you no matter what you achieve, and that you also prioritise your own health above everything. “
The show itself was one that we really enjoyed, as it took place at The Curtain Hotel a quite small venue leaving no barriers between SHY and her fans everybody in that room very much captured the essence and vibe of SHY on the stage. Even though the lighting itself was quite dark the setting very much intimidate between SHY and her fans.
SHY’s vocal performance took us by surprise as she showed her abilities as something that stood out across the performance, additionally her stage presence was one that we took notice of engaging with her fans throughout the show.
Her setlist which consisted of majority of her own original material and included her Mike Perry hit song The Ocean was one that the fans also absorbed singing word to most if not all the songs which included Just a little longer, Bad in common, Spaceship, First time, Good together and Forget to forget to name a few.
The overall aesthetic and vibe of the show was one that we really enjoyed and considering that it was one of her first shows in London we are very much looking forward to seeing what she brings next.
What she has learnt about herself since starting
“I’ve challenged myself a lot since I started working with music both as a songwriter and an artist. I’ve learnt how to treat myself better. I’m not as hard on myself as I was before. Also I’ve put myself in situations that have been scary just to prove to myself that I’m stronger and braver than I thought I was. Honestly it’s been kind of a crazy journey. For example, I used to have anxiety for days before a live show and now I’ve started to love it. I’ve also learnt that I’m maybe not as shy as I’ve always thought I am.”
What we can expect next
“I hope to share as much new music as possible. I already have some songs finished that I’m super excited about. Other than that I have some festivals coming up this summer and I’m also going to spend a lot of time in the studio writing for myself and other artists.”
Words: Seneo Mwamba
Images: Hampus Hjellström