Chatterbox: Rapidly emerging artist Shaqdi talks to us about ‘Better’, being a Londoner and how she got into music.

You may remember Shaqdi from the Introducing piece that I ran after her debut single ‘Colorless’ dropped. The London based songwriter has positioned herself to emerge from the pack this year; her soul-infused alt-pop is turning heads, and rightfully so. Shaqdi has just released her second single ‘Better’ and took the time to chat to us about it, amongst other things. Press play and enjoy the read 🙂

Hey Shaqdi, thanks for talking to us. Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m 25 years old, grew up in the countryside in a small town in Sweden and moved to Stockholm after high school. I studied music production for 3 years and after that I just spent a few years in a basement studio that I shared with my mates. I came to London about 1.5 years ago to focus more on my music and since then I’ve just been writing songs and preparing for my release.

How did you end up getting into music?

It’s always been a big part of my life. I started playing different instruments as a kid and I just fell in love with it. My mom is a pianist so she introduced music early on, and my older sister used to buy a lot of records when we were kids so I’d always sneak in to her room and steal them which would drive her mad. So my family has been a big inspiration for me growing up.

Was it clear that you wanted to write your own songs early on?

I started writing music when I was 16 years old. I used to spend hours by the grand piano in our house trying to come up with melodies and lyrics but it was mostly for fun. It wasn’t until I was like 20 that I started taking it more seriously and realized that it’s actually something I’m good at.

Where are you based at the moment?

I’m living in East London. Probably gonna stay here for a while. Even though I miss Stockholm sometimes, there’s just so much more fun to have here so I think I’m gonna stick around… at least until they kick me out!

Do you feel like the city affects the sound you produce?

Well yeah, I guess it does. I mean my sound has changed a bit since I moved here, dunno if it’s just me evolving or if it’s the music scene around me that’s shaping me. But I definitely get inspired by the city and going to lots of gigs all the time.

I loved your debut, ‘Colorless’, how did that track evolve in the studio?

Sometimes a song takes forever to make and sometimes it just comes right away. This song came to life in like 20 min. Zagor who I’m working with started this beat and I was just sitting behind him on the sofa chillin and was like ohhhh this is nice and then I just got that word ‘colorless’ on my mind, so as he was making the track I was playing around with the chorus and there it was.

What does the new single ‘Better’ draw upon, in terms of subject?

It’s about beauty standards and how society forces it upon us and how as a woman you feel like you constantly have to live up to those unrealistic expectations. I used to care about  how I look and what people thought about me but I realized that it’s just not worth my time. I realized that I don’t care anymore. In this song I’m sarcastically asking – am I better like this or like that, maybe if I dress like this or act like that will it make me more attractive and will it make you happy?

Is it part of a bigger project, an EP or album?

Yeah, my debut EP will be out in the beginning of the summer. Have another single dropping and then the EP!

What would you like to achieve by the end of the year?

Quitting my part time job haha, no, you know I just wanna be able to put all my focus on creating and making music. As long as I can continue doing what makes me happy I’m cool. I really just hope that more people will listen to my music.

What can Shaqdi fans look forward to in the next few months?

Well the EP is dropping soon also I wanna start playing live more so definitely more gigs coming. Except that. I’m just writing new stuff all the time so plenty of more music coming.


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