SHAQDI

The Swedish-born, London-based artist speaks on her latest EP 'Daydreaming', her creative production process and the importance of visuals to her music.

What was the process of creating your latest project ‘Daydreaming’?

It was a long process. Some of the songs I wrote this year, some last year and one song, I wrote maybe like five years ago. So, it felt like it took forever to release this EP but in a sense it was nice to have songs from different periods in my life because it gives a bigger perspective in a way.


What were the main overarching influences and what narratives did you want to explore on the project?

I wanted to be more personal and tried not to hold back on my feelings. I wrote about my mom, about relationships and about depression. I think the older I get, the more I feel like I need to have a deeper connection to my songs. So, I wanted to explore deeper feelings.

 

How do you feel that this latest release shows growth from your debut ‘Colorless’?

'Colorless' was me trying to figure out what vibe and mood I was going for and I think I kinda landed a bit in my sound with the 'Daydreaming' EP. I still love the songs from the first EP, but I think I was maybe trying to be a bit more cool than I actually am.

"I have periods when I don’t feel inspired to make any music and periods when I feel super creative and write a lot."

How was working on that debut project and what did you want to explore for your first release?

It was fun but I didn’t have much of a direction. There wasn’t a theme, I was just writing random songs and released the ones that I liked the most.


How has your creative process changed or evolved since then?

My creative process has always been the same since I stared making music. I have periods when I don’t feel inspired to make any music and periods when I feel super creative and write a lot. My down periods are usually a result of self doubt and anxiety. They can last for almost a year sometimes and it can be super frustrating but eventually I snap out of it and start creating again.

 

Lyrically, where do you take your influences from and what’s a lyric that you’ve written that has stayed with you?

I get inspiration from things that happen in my own life or from my friends life and their relationships or sometimes it’s just a made up story. I can’t think of a specific line from one of my own songs but I really like ‘Daydreaming’ and ‘Better’ lyrics wise.

"... I think about the visuals to help the songwriting when I get stuck."

How important is combining a mixture of live instrumentation and experimental production in your music?

It’s very important to me. My music is quite electronic but there are still a lot of organic elements there even if you don’t realise it sometimes. A lot of percussion sounds are real which just adds another grooviness and flavour to the rhythm. Also, a lot of live guitars and sometimes real bass layered with an electronic bass makes it sound so much more alive.


How important are visuals to your music and what has been your favourite to create, so far?

Music videos are also a very important step in my process. Most of the time when I write verses, I think about the visuals to help the songwriting when I get stuck. It’s a great way to visualise different scenes and kinda paint the whole story in your mind. Also, adding like those small details that you picture in your mind into the lyrics makes the song a lot more vivid. I like all my videos but the latest one we shot was ‘5 days’, so maybe that one then since we shot everything at home and it was a bit DIY vibe over the whole project which was fun.

How does being an instrumentalist impact your writing process?

 

I don’t think it’s necessary to play an instrument in order to write songs. Obviously, it helps a lot if you can play what you hear in your head, instead of explaining to someone else what you’re hearing and then have them translate that into chords or beats or whatever, if that makes any sense. Though sometimes having someone else translating what you’re thinking can make it maybe even more interesting.

"... I just listen to a lot of different artists and get inspired by whatever makes me feel

the most."


How does the UK music scene differ from the Stockholm scene?


Sweden has amazing artists, producers and songwriters but maybe not as big variety of different genres and events as here, which makes sense since we’re a smaller country. But yeah, I would definitely say that the biggest difference is the variety.


Who are some local artists from both Stockholm and London that you would recommend?

 

At the moment, I really I’m really vibing with Elisa Imperilee and a Swedish artist I’ve been digging for some time is Cherrie

Which artists first inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?

 

When I was a kid I loved Stevie Wonder and Prince. When I stared producing in my early twenty's I fell in love with the Soulection crew and their sound that was new at that time. Now I just listen to a lot of different artists and get inspired by whatever makes me feel the most.

If you had to recommend five artists to your listeners, who would they be?

 

Syd B, Chloe Bodur, Alex Isley, UMI and Villette

What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?

 

Not much tbh, i’m done with 2020. This whole year fucked me up emotionally and existentially so I’m chilling in the backseat for a while. Right now, I’m just trying to write new songs every day so hopefully I can have something to look forward to next year instead.

 

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