LISTEN UP: Shaqy talks to us about his re-branded return to music and more!
Author: Chloe Mykel | Friday 6th August 2021
Listen Up - Bi-Weekly Release Radar by 1994 Collective
Shining the spotlight on releases from artists you should most definitely have on your radar, 'Listen Up' is a bi-weekly feature brought to you by '1994 Collective'.
Who are 1994 Collective?
We are an Artist Relations Agency committed to championing and showcasing the best in emerging talent both across the UK and worldwide.
We strive to collectively challenge many of the facets within the music industry that hold artists and creatives back from excelling in their respective field and fulfilling their purpose.
Founded in January 2021, in a short space of time, we have already begun to make our mark amongst many different areas of the industry - specialising in Artist Relations, PR and Creative Consultancy.
For this edition, we caught up with an artist formerly known as Shaqy Dread, who has transitioned from Drill to Dancehall as he re-brands himself as 'Shaqy'. Hailing from Tottenham, North London, Shaqy returns to music intriguingly equipped with a new persona and sound. With plans to shake up the UK music scene by delivering his new Dancehall/R&B inspired offerings, Shaqy is ready to solidify his status as "one to watch" for the foreseeable future...
You just dropped 'Inside Out', your first single as 'Shaqy'...how did it feel to release a track as a re-branded artist?
It felt very good and very refreshing coming back with a whole new name. It’s like starting all over again and having a second slice of the cake – I’ve got unfinished business with music.
What was the catalyst for you to want to transition from 'Shaqy Dread' to ‘Shaqy'?
I matured and found myself. I felt like it would be a good change – kinda like a rebirth. A special woman in my life at the time also gave me a better insight, and encouragement in terms of what she thought could work for me going forward with my music.
Did you come across any challenges/hurdles in the process?
Yeah, I did. Getting focused on the task ahead, planning, preparing and getting my mind right. Also the change of sound and having to understand myself more. I had to put my musical ego aside and think outside the box.
Should we expect more tracks like 'Inside Out' or are you exploring any other genres?
You can expect a lot more tracks like ‘Inside Out’ of course! But I’m also open to other genres, definitely. The main focus for me right now is singing and getting the vibes right for the supporters of my music.
What would be your advice to other artists thinking about switching up their sound or re-branding themselves?
Go for it! I encourage it. Find your strengths and your weaknesses, explore and experience. Don’t follow fashion and set your own trend. See what sound takes with your audience and don’t forget to always be yourself. Because, once you feel like you’re losing yourself, your music will follow in that same direction.
Who is your biggest musical influence/inspiration?
Definitely all the old school R&B and Dancehall artists that paved the way for us. One of my favourite artists right now is Kranium – I think he’s one of the best vocalist right now and our music is similar in some aspects. When it comes to the vibes and the feeling of music, I’ve studied his sound. I would love to collaborate with him.
What's your favourite part of the creation process when it comes to making music?
The whole process from scratch. I especially love when the instruments are getting selected – they just do something spectacular to my body. I never used to have that feeling when it came to instruments, but that’s a key component for my music and I build my beats around my vocals. I also love to have a dance during the session – just free-styling, finding melodies and having a good laugh.
Is there anything you hope to achieve in your career by the end of this year?
To solidify my new artist name ‘Shaqy’ and increase my exposure. I want my name to be buzzing around in all countries and states. I also want my fans to really understand and respect what it is that I do as a musician, and that’s sing.