There’s something operatic about Nadine Shah. Whether it’s the soaring melodies that she dares to stretch out as long and as lushly as she can or the natural richness in her tone that seems so rare in these days of squeaky pop, Shah isn’t afraid to let loose. From freeing her vocals or the confidence in which she plays a troubled lover in her video for Dreary Town, we like Shah’s full-throttle style.
Shah’s music has already won critical acclaim with her showcase at London’s Royal Albert Hall selling out and her debut EP – having been produced by Blur and Depeche Mode collaborator Ben Hiller – being praised by blogs and news sites alike. It’s music to sweep you off your feet and take you on a rollercoaster of emotions and behind it all is Shah’s incredible voice.
We spoke to the gorgeous Londoner about inspiration, funfairs and her favourite gigs.
How did Nadine Shah begin ?
I don’t know… I’d always sang but never wrote my own music. It was only when I lost a close friend, I wrote a song for him, people liked it so I wrote more.
What’s the inspiration behind your music?
Everything from conversations overheard on buses, personal experiences, films, poetry. It can be found everywhere.
How would you describe your sound?
Someone once said it was “somewhere between funfairs and funerals.” I like that.
What music do you listen to on the road?
All sorts! It all depends on my mood. The last train journey I took I listened to a whole load of Blur, they’re my favourite band!
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
Probably my first ever gig. It was in Manchester and was quite heavily industry lead. It was the first time I’d ever played in front of anyone. Including my parents and close friends. The room was packed, and it was just overwhelming! It made me want to play more.
Who would you most love to collaborate with?
Scott Walker, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey or Damon Albarn… The list is endless!
How would you describe your style?
Musically: experimental classical pop. Aesthetically: practical/scruffy/photography teacher (I wear a lot of black).
What are your must-haves when touring?
My laptop! And a big selection of good films and books! The films and books help to inspire and make me write more.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I’d most likely be working in my family business selling curtains. I genuinely enjoyed working there when I was younger, I wouldn’t mind if music doesn’t work out and I have to go back. Only thing that irritates me is people saying curtain puns to me, ie.. “Pull yourself together!” Ha!
Watch the video for Dreary Town below and follow Nadine on Twitter, here.