We Caught Up With Up-And-Coming Adelaide Singer-Songwriter Shahrae To Chat About Music, Busking & Being Awkward
Interview by Amber Eccles.
Strife Magazine: How did you first get into singing and song writing?
Shahrae: my mum got my younger sister and I into musical theatre when I was around 10 and my love of music grew from there, I found my own taste and figured out what I liked. As for the song writing, I didn’t start that until I was in high school and it was more in secret at first until I showed some of my family members and they made a big deal about it.
SM: Did your family encourage you to pursue music as a career?
Shahrae: They definitely encouraged me to keep writing because my first song wasn’t great, but I kept writing and learning and eventually learnt new ways to create a kind of feeling with music.
SM: How would you describe your sound?
Shahrae: My sound is definitely very pop alternative, because its got that poppy tone, but it’s just not the same kind of pop that you hear on the radio. Some of my songs that haven’t been released yet have a bit of a darker tone.
SM: Who do you look up to musically?
Shahrae: I look up to Twenty one pilots a lot, I like how different they are and the messages that they put into their music, even if the song has a happy tone, it can actually be a really sad song…no one else is doing what they do. I also like Billie Eilish- lyrically her songs are incredible, musically its very much changing what pop music is (especially her new stuff) and she’s so young to have that much talent. I also really love Lorde, she has a dark tone to her music, which I love. Even if it seems quite poppy it still has that dark undertone.
SM: You’ve just released your debut single ‘Awkward’. How did that come about? What was the inspiration behind it?
Shahrae: I met up with Rogue in Melbourne and we went into the studio to write. I knew I wanted to write a song about who I am and how being awkward feels because that’s pretty much just me. I wanted to write a song about it and I wanted to portray that feeling in a song. I worked with an incredible producer, Rudy, who really got the whole vibe and feeling I was going for so the song and the music very much matches that. We pretty much wrote and recorded that song in a day. A fun fact about the song is that the sounds in the background of the chorus are all my vocals that have had effects added to them to create the quirky sounds that you hear.
SM: The songs that you write have a very vulnerable feel to them. Do you find it difficult to share personal experiences in your songs, or is it something you thrive on?
Shahrae: I think song writing has become a way to express how I’m feeling so it’s easier to be vulnerable in a song than it is to be in person. Song writing has almost become like a coping mechanism for me and I sometimes find it easier to put it in a song than talk about it face to face. Singing has just become my way of talking pretty much – I can sing something fine but if I have to talk I get nervous.
SM: do you have any musical aspirations that you would like to share with us?
Shahrae: I want to be able to help people not feel alone. Most music is popular because people form a connection to it so I want people to be able to connect and listen to my music and hopefully that helps them - because we’re all awkward (laughs). Personally I aspire to do live shows, and really just keep releasing music, I love releasing music. The thought of performing at a festival, particularly Groovin’ the Moo (Australian regional music festival) would be awesome because a lot of the artists that I love are performing there this year or have been on the line-up in the past, so being able to perform on the same stage as them would be insane.
SM: We’ve seen you busking in Rundle Mall and at other places around Adelaide. What do you enjoy about it?
Busking is my full time job, it’s basically what I do to make money. I enjoy it because it really gets you out there and forces you to perform in front of every single person that walks past. There is a good and a bad side to it, when you’re busking in the city you can come across quite a few weirdos but then there’s people that will come and talk to you or leave little notes in your case and they make it worth it.
Do you ever get nervous?
At first yes, but not really any more. I’ve been busking for about 2-3 years now so I guess I’m kind of used to it.
SM: So, what’s next for you?!
Shahrae: I have an EP coming out later this year (hopefully) and I’d love to be able to do some live shows. As you mentioned, I do a lot of busking and have had a few small gigs before but it’s always been more as background music rather than people actually coming to see me perform, and I’d love to change that.
Curious how Shahrae's single "Awkward" sounds? Stream the new track via Spotify below!