#YemziGirl Feature 16 (June) - Shae, Singer-Songwriter from Watford
1. Please can you introduce yourself including your name:
Well, my name is Shaé. I'm a singer, songwriter, actress and creative director amongst various other creative endeavours. I'm from Watford, which is just out of London but closest to north west. At this stage in my career, singing is my most prominent attribute so that's what I'm pursing most intensely as I believe it will give me the freedom or the leeway to explore those other avenues.
2. Tell us about the dream you are pursuing...
I've always been a very creative/artsy person. From as young as 11 I discovered that music and english were my favourite subjects. I've always loved vocabulary, poetry, stories, writing etc, and these go hand in hand with music so it was pretty much a perfect match when I realised I was born to merge the two. My relationship with singing traces back as far as I can remember. I started singing in church at a very young age and from there I began to listen to my own personal influences such as Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Erykah Badu etc and that helped to further develop my own unique sound. From about 14/15 years old I tried auditioning for talent competitions such as Britain's Got Talent and X Factor, (both to no avail lol) & even started putting up singing videos on Youtube, which were all later deleted due to my pubescent insecure stage. Never the less, the passion in me for what I do now never died.
Following that, I continued to sing blindly for a few more years. When I say sing blindly I mean I didn't know who I was musically; what genre I thrived in, the type of artist I wanted to be or how I wanted to be perceived by the world etc, in so doing I almost conformed to being an afrobeat artist when that wave first surfaced, lol, I'm glad I didn't because that would have definitely stifled the creative expression that people recognise today as ShaesUniverse.
It wasn't until my second year of university, studying American Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama that I really began to find myself musically. This was heavily influenced by me finding myself physically, spiritually, and personally. Once all these things began to take shape, so did the conscious writing soul sista in me. I suppose my ultimate goal is to be a globally respected creative. Recognised for my music, songwriting, project involvement, acting etc, but most importantly, my positive public influence.
3. Apart from following your dreams how do you stay fulfilled?
Well the first major key in life for me, is maintaining a steady and consistent relationship with God. I'm very spiritual and I believe that prayer has greatly helped me to remain grounded & humble as it always puts things into perspective for me; assuring me that regardless of my circumstance, I will always make it out on top.. and that is ever fulfilling to me. Outside of that, I also try my best to surround myself with positive, like-minded people who strive to be the best versions of themselves. This feeling of knowing all my close friendships are equal and balanced also keeps me fulfilled. And lastly, having your parents and siblings being in complete support of your vision is one of the most fulfilling feelings of all time I believe, for anyone. And I'm very thankful that I have that.
4. Which places do you call home and what do you love about those environments?
Nigeria is my first home. That's where I was born before I came to London aged 4 and that's where my family is from. I love Nigeria because that is my homeland. The people there are so full of life and character, the land itself is so wealthy and the beautiful areas/landscapes in Nigeria are honestly breathtaking. My second home would have to be London. Although I've lived in Watford for most of my life since moving to the UK, I schooled in London, grew up in London and therefore made most of my friends there. I love that about London; the familiarity I have with various different people from different parts of London (even more-so now because my music has helped me to branch out further). I also love how accessible everything is in London. I feel greatly privileged to have experienced life in two very different aesthetics because they both taught me to adapt differently.
5. 3 things you love most about where you live?
- How peaceful it is
- It's close enough, but far enough
- It's not bait so I can run errands looking mash up without having to worry about seeing anyone I know lol
6. What makes you a #YemziGirl?
My zeal for fashion and originality, my confident yet humble demeanour and my enthusiastic attitude towards life in general. These are the things that make me a YemziGirl!
7. Do you have a favourite Yemzi piece of clothing or collection?
Your SS17 pieces are definitely my favourite collection to date!
8. Are you more of a plain or printed type of girl?
I tend to alternate between the two depending on my mood
9. How long have you been creating your short music clips that everyone loves?
My first ever twitter video was for Krept & Konan's falling challenge at the end of 2015 so it's been about a year and a half now
10. How important do you think it is for emerging singers to post content online?
I think it is extremely important for emerging artists to post their content online and use the power of social media to their advantage. Social media does have it's cons however, I feel that one of the biggest pro's about social media is how crazily accessible it is to thousands of people. You'd be surprised at the amount of strangers that casually browse the things you post. And these days all it takes is for the right person to see it.
11. Do you have a routine to maintain your voice?
I don't you know. I really should as I spent 3 years in uni being flooded with loads of vocal resources/ exercises, however after graduating I got lazy and disregarded them. I'm currently training myself to get back to that level of discipline and to start incorporating a consistent vocal warm up practice before all my appearances.
12. And finally, what's your favourite quote?
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou
Keep up to date via social media @ShaesUniverse