Swedish songwriter, producer and singer Shadi G is set to become the face of contemporary R&B with her varied influences, soulful voice and unique blend of sounds. With roots in Persian music and having been schooled in classical music from a young age, Shadi grew up exposed to all kinds of music from jazz and RnB to soul and hip hop. With her natural talent and her versatile tastes, this rising star is crossing borders with an authentic sound that’s purely Shadi G, both in style and language. Speaking to RIOT, the singer delves into her musical journey, the message she wants listeners to take away from her music, her inspirations and much more. Your sound is a mixture of several genres.
What are the challenges of blending different soundscapes to form your unique sound?
I think for me it hasn’t really been a conscious choice. It has just been the result of what I’ve been inspired by and drawn to musically. I really like the thought of that merging point, where even genres that might seem far away from each other, both in sound and geographically, still have that field where the circles magically meet to blend a whole new colour. I just love it.
From your 2016 debut single until now, how would you describe your musical journey?
It has been really interesting. For my second single Where We Go, I also started my own record label Goldamin Records, to further evolve and be able to have control over my whole creative process. I have released my own music ever since, and it has been a great experience. I have gotten full space to find my own process and direction.
How has your songwriting and production evolved over time? What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt over the past few years?
I heard somewhere a couple years ago, a producer talking about how you should not be “saving” or holding in on your ideas, to wait for a better time to use them. And this really stuck with me.
Something I have learnt over the time is to be better at actually letting go and letting out music. Not to wait for another time to use that idea you have, because it might not even be relevant later. I see music writing a bit as journaling. I don’t wright the same lyrics today as I would have a couple years ago, or maybe even a couple months ago. Just like I don’t wright the same words in my journal today as I did last week. Everything is relevant for that specific time, so don’t hold in on those ideas!
If listeners could take away one message from your music what would you want it to be?
People will try and tell you what you need and should be doing, so much so that it might be the only thing you hear. But listen inside, because no one can know what you need better than yourself. And then go get it!
Who inspires you professionally and personally?
I have a lot of people around me that I get the joy of being inspired by every day. Support and encouragement from friends and family, both ways, inspires me a lot both personally and professionally. And some artists that I have followed, and been so impressed and inspired by are, 6lack, Little Simz, SiR, Snooh Aalegra, H.E.R.
Your roots are in Persian music and you like experimenting with not only musical styles but languages as well. What language would you most like to crossover to if you had the chance?
Oh, that’s a good question! I absolutely love learning about different languages and cultures. And honestly if I felt that I could master a performance in another language, I would be interested in all of them. I can’t even choose!
What’s been the most memorable moment of your career so far? What’s next for you?
It has generally been those moments when worked with other artists that are so passionate about what they’re doing. When we can get together and just let the joy and love for what we do guide us and create the vision for a new project together.
What is it about music and process of making new music that excites you most?
For me making music is a way to ventilate thoughts and feelings. To put the emotions down in words as well as giving it another dimension with melody, is one of the most healing processes for me.
And then seeing people process their feeling, finding perspective on their emotional landscape when listening to my music, is maybe one of the most beautiful things I can think of. To hear how one song can be reflected so differently in every individual, depending on what’s going on inside them at the specific time.