Way before the superstar features, collaborations and co-signs, soulful R&B songstress, Shaè, was captivating online audiences across the world with her snazzy YouTube covers. Now, as we journey through 2018, Shaè has burst back onto the supposedly forsaken R&B UK scene with her latest single, ‘No Stallin’.
2016 saw the spirted singer beginning to post her shorter cover snippets on Twitter, generating a bigger buzz than was anticipated at the time, and before long, her extremely pertinent track ‘Melanin’, caught attention. The rooted jazzy soulful track itself addresses the social and cultural challenges we’re currently submerged in, as well as being fuelled by the infamous death of Sandra Bland. “’Melanin’ was written at a time where I was already on the edge of frustration with all the unjust treatment and deaths I was seeing everywhere. The Sandra Bland case was like the tip of the iceberg. Her story hit even closer to home because she was a black woman, like myself. ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!’ is what I felt like saying but realistically my people have been saying that for decades, so instead of expressing my anger, I decided to channel that energy into writing something to uplift, unite and promote love amongst people of colour.”
To delve deeper into the propellants of Shaè, we start with early beginnings in music, “Music has definitely always played a major role in my life. I went through different stages in school from being a rapper to a spoken word artist to even training as a dancer, but from the very jump, the one unchanging factor was my love, and deep connection with, music.”
And her sound? Well, if you haven’t figured already, it carries a smooth, Jill-Scott-esque flow, particularly with the track just mentioned and another entitled ‘Move’. However, her vocal versatility is ever present, carrying herself with a much more assured, buoyant type of demeanour on ‘Big Mistake’ and the new single ‘No Stallin’.
“I just flow with how the music makes me feel I suppose…” explaining said musical flexibility. “Anyone who knows me personally will tell you I’m the most gentle natured person, but I naturally have quite a dominant Alpha-Female presence. I think this juxtaposition is naturally reflected in my music sometimes because that’s true to who I am. In saying that, there has definitely been growth from my first releases to my most recent ones as all artists organically grow/develop over time.”
Shaè has also been at the centre of some important collaborations in her auspicious journey, from securing a Ms Banks feature on ‘Big Mistake’, of which she comments “Ms Banks came to mind as a feature immediately because she is, in my opinion, a real life example of a resilient, determined and focused woman in this music thing.” … to the last minute Kojo Fund’s ‘My Wish’ (ft Kranium), and not to mention Kojey Radical’s ‘700 Pennies’. “One day GA, my good friend and Kojo’s main producer, called me saying he had “good news and bad news”. He said the song me and Kojo had worked on prior was scrapped because it had been sitting there for ages, but, he also said they were going to use my adlibs from that song for a new song… and the new song would also be featuring Kranium! As you can imagine, I was gassed!“
Shaè has thus far managed to seemingly balance channelled energies, rooted in challenging societal constructions, with her empowering array of musical influences from Nina Simone, Sade, Erykah Badu and many many more. And it’s working. Her music has been co-signed and noticed by a handful of future music icons, including a prominent recognition from Chance The Rapper, as she vividly recalls. “I remember it like it was yesterday. I was lying down on my bed, scrolling through my TL as you do. Then I see ‘Lil Chano from 79th retweeted you’. Now, at this point, I genuinely thought it was one of those parody accounts because that happens sometimes, so i just clicked on it nonchalantly to see. When I saw the verified tick………. bro….. I said ‘NAAAAAAHHH’, jumped out of my bed, conked my head on the ceiling (my room is in the roof so the ceilings are slanted), but it didn’t even hurt because I was too full of adrenaline and I just started running around my house. My mum thought I was crazy, and she didn’t get it but I didn’t even care. I was just too gassed…”
2018 is most definitely shaping up to be an exciting year for the future R&B star. Following the release of ‘No Stallin’, we can expect Shaè to be ‘fully exploring and flaunting her versatility on upcoming projects’. It’s coming in the summer time, and we can’t wait.