Who is Shygirl, an “accidental” artist who performs tonight in Portugal? “I always knew I didn’t want to be a journalist or write novels”
Blane Muiseuse from his design career, touted in an agency on his musical path. The Irish-winning producer Sega Bodega, with whom he created the collective and record label Nuxxe, precipitated the birth of Shygirl, at the end of 2015, and since then the “accidental” artist, as assumed in an interview with BLITZ, has not stopped admiring. Rapper, DJ, singer and songwriter, Shygirla has become London’s new ‘it girl’ thanks to the enthusiastic EPs “Cruel Practice” (2018) and “Alias” (2020) and remarkable collaborations with Arca, Georgia, Mura Masa, Slowthai or FKA Twigs. What moves her, she confesses, as she is putting the finishing touches on her debut album, is the freedom she finds in the songs. “I always knew I didn’t want to be a journalist or write novels. She liked to write, but wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Until I found songwriting.” Tonight, she takes the stage at the ID No Limits festival in Estoril.
“I accidentally started making music with Sega. I had a full-time job at the time and it was only in 2018 that I had to turn away from it because, with my work as a DJ, I no longer needed it to make money, he recalls, “and I even liked my job, but I knew I could go back to he if my opinion, therefore, it would be better to try to solve it”. The enchantment she began to feel when writing songs like ‘BB’, ‘Uckers’ or ‘Unconditional’ (halfway with Arca) made her realize that she “had finally found a space to fit the [suas] words”. “My emotional writing has always been therapeutic, but I’ve never done it with an intention. Now I feel like being creative, writing either in a more personal way or inventing from things I’ve never experienced”, they assume “I can explore so many of my songs and I will always write them, no matter where my career takes me”.
Not revealing great details about the album, which will feature the co-executive production of Sega Bodega and collaborations also with friends Bloodpop and Mura Masa, Shygirl explains that she is currently in the mixing phase. “It’s always the most tedious part of creating an album, but for someone like me, who doesn’t have a ‘classical’ background, it’s an important learning phase”, he confesses, “I’m lucky to be working with amazing people and I try to make it as personal an experience as possible. I never want to feel that there are things in the process of creation that are forbidden to me. I want to be able to be present at all times.”
Asked if the aesthetics of the new album will be radically different from what we have heard in the past, she argues that it is “an evolution and not a total rupture”. “It might not entirely match what people expect me to do, but that’s simply because some people don’t have an ambitious of my work that I do,” he adds, “I think it’s a lot more melodious and has a much more sensitive outlook on it. lyrical terms, but as people who have followed me much longer, you will still find family members and appreciate it. I just don’t like being repetitive and I always try to do something that tells me something and that I’m proud of”.
“I don’t know, it’s my limits and I don’t want to create them because they would prevent me from evolving”, he declares, after assuming that Shygirl is not exactly an alter-ego, it is rather a space of freedom, “a canvas in white that [lhe] allows you to be creative.” “I don’t necessarily see a big difference between Shygirl and the person I am every day, because I’m always there”, he guarantees, “the music gives me the opportunity to discover myself, to get to know myself better, but it also gave me a arena where I can export myself, with all vulnerability, to others and be appreciated for it”.
The artist also sees her music as an enhancer of dialogue. One that she says has become very important for her was the one she created with the Venezuelan producer Arca, with whom, in the summer of 2020, she edited the song ‘Unconditional’. “Our first contact was at a distance. I was at my grandmother’s house in the Caribbean when she came to me,” she recalls, “I was in touch with those moments of peacemaking and writing from the heart. One day, I recorded my voice with the melody that turned into ‘Unconditional’ and sent it to him. Never this raw to anyone other than what I’ve done and I’m left with a feeling that she hates seeing me as a goof, but the truth is true that is felt around my voice. It was a fantastic conversation through music. Since we don’t know each other well, I could be even more honest with her. I felt like she did exactly the same with the music she created.”
Recalling that February took place for the first time in Lisbon “at the very beginning” of their career – at Zé dos Bois, on the 2019 stage –, Shygirl leaves some Portuguese performances for what will see them at ID No Limits. “My concerts are always very energetic. It’s been kind of confusing because I’ve released some stuff during lockdown and it’s weird to go back to the older stuff,” she confesses, adding that however, she’s been trying to “find synergies between the old stuff and the new music.” “The world knows the person and the music thought of me never going to places I knew I never imagined going”, “I never had to make organic music, it was something that happened organically, but I still feel that what is being prepared ” am today doesn’t shock me, if that makes sense. I think that’s when – when you keep trying new things, but still recognize the person you are – that you realize you’re on the right path.”