Written by: Lauren Demir
Photos: David Franco
Collages: Annie Mcgill
Cover Art: Tsvete Lina
If you have twitter you most probably have seen Shaé pop up on your timeline. She posts videos of her at home, covering her favourite songs. Despite not having her face in any of these videos, as soon as you hear her sing, her delicate and sweet voice is instantly recognisable.
She’s covered a host of songs. The most recent being Childish Gambino’s Redbone, Ultralight beam which Chance The Rapper himself, retweeted. “I lost it. I bumped my head and gave myself a coco. It’s just mad.” She’s also done a memorable mash up of Stormzy’s ‘Velvet’,‘Blinded by your Grace’ and ‘21 Gun Salute’ which Stormzy and Wretch retweeted. Nao posted Shaé’s version of Bad Blood from #ShaéSundays episode 1 on her instagram. Doing more than just covering a song, her ability to connect with a song enables her to make it her own. “It depends on how the song speaks to me. I write my version. My covers are around the same concept but they’re just my perspective of it.”
Shaé is now working on releasing more of her own material. This year she has dropped 3 songs. Featuring Ms.Banks, ‘Big Mistake’ is an uplifting song encouraging the empowerment of women, whilst ‘Creepin’ found its way onto London Rebels compilation album, ‘Shades’. The most recent of one, ‘Move’ is a RnB track promoting self-love. Produced by SunsetDRVER, Shaé shows off her vocal range as she effortlessly flourishes on the sensual instrumental. Although she has made a strong start, she admits to still being nervous when releasing songs. “It’s scary, I’ve just been doing covers and I think people have been waiting to hear original music.”
Growing up in a religious household with her mum a gospel singer and her dad a pastor, she explains that it wasn't until she found Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu that she started to shape her own sound. “Their music to me is timeless. You can listen then and you can listen to it now and it’s still relatable.”
Studying for a semester abroad at a University in Texas encouraged her to be more open with her creativity ‘When I first got to Texas everyone was super nice. People who didn't know me would say hi on the street. It was kinda scary at first but after a while I realised it was normal custom and drifted into my creative space comfortably.’ Comparing the Texas vibe to the music scene in London she feels it could be much more welcoming. “When someone is hard but on the come up in the UK, they recognise that you’re hard but you’ve got to have people jump on the bandwagon or get someone whose credited to shout you out or big you up before people really tune in.”
Talking about who inspires her music wise, she names a few from the UK scene “Knucks, he's wavey, that’s my guy. I like Ojeremee, James Blake he hard. SNE, A2.” These artists are known for releasing quality music at their own pace, which is something Shaé has in common with them. “I think everyone’s journey is different. Things are happening slowly. You have to work for it so when it comes you appreciate it more.” Taking each day as it comes, Shaé is starting to live her music dreams.
Working solo, she organises everything from emails and shows to video shoots. “It’s hard, it’s easy to become disheartened sometimes as it does get tough. But when I get shown all the love and recognition it’s like okay the hard work is paying off” Her goal for the rest of the year is to put out more music and visuals to really get her name and face out there. With her passion and persistence added to her ethereal voice, Shaé is on a path that will surely to lead to bigger and better successes. This is definitely one Feat Mag recommends watching out for!
Collab, cover, can't listen (5 years)
Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu or Amy Winehouse?
Mariah Carey, Adele or Beyonce?
You’re taking the micky. The logic I’m running with right now I would collab with Amy just because I think that collab would be so different and people would be like rah whats this. Cover Erykah Badu song and not listen to Lauryn simply because her music is the sweetest sound so I would starve myself for 5 years and then after that I would bang it out. I love you Lauryn if you read this.
Collab with Beyonce, cover Adele Hometown and never listen to Mariah Carey again. Not because she's not wavey, back in the day I would bang her out but now I wouldn’t mind cutting that out.