Features Music


Our Features Editor Jake Wright sits down with musician Shey Baba to discuss his latest project 'Requiem' and what's coming next for the artist...

Supporting emerging talent is one of the cornerstones Boyfriend is built upon. The music industry is blossoming now more so than ever with bright, young talent rising through. Recently an artist called Shey Baba came to our attention. A musician who after his debut album ‘Requiem’ earlier this year was projected into the spotlight, aided by over a million streams between two singles on the album.

Shey’s alternative aesthetic is everything we look for in musical talent, edgy with a tinge of soul, his music is incredibly beautiful. However, music wasn’t always on his radar

“I was relatively late to the game. I started learning how to sing and play guitar at 20. Soon after that I began writing songs obsessively. I had taken piano lessons for a year when I was 7 years old, and again for a year when I was 15, but outside of that I had no real background in music.”

Describing his own music as “moody with an air of hopefulness, and I love mixing organic instrumentation with electronic elements.” These clashes of styles, sound’s and emotion’s really stand out on “I want it all” and “Vertigo”. It’s this style that has steered Shey on his unique path into the music industry, something that has only reinforced his thoughts on genre’s.

“I have absolutely zero interest in belonging to a certain genre, and I think most young people don’t really care about that stuff anymore.”

I notice that the musician has a very modern approach to the industry, determined not to be confined by outdated concepts. However, being an artist in this modern-day period adds further pressures. We consume music at an unbelievable rate, I mean, how often do we leave the house without headphones? This pressure to keep up with this incredible pace lies at the feet of the artists. However, for Shey, his belief in his work process is what keeps him ticking over

“I’m committed to making the best music I can, and I’m committed to doing it at my own pace. I’m aware that there is a huge pressure and expectation to pump out a lot of work, but I’m at peace with my own process.”

Tonight the artist plays Scala in Kings Cross, London, supporting Cub Sport. 2019 has also seen him grace numerous cities across the world, with the likes of Amsterdam, Berlin and New York all hosting his talent. It’s a hectic lifestyle and one that Shey is still adjusting to,

“Touring is a maniacal enterprise to me. It’s painful at times, but when it’s good, it’s euphoric and addictive. There’s nothing quite like putting yourself in that most vulnerable of spaces on stage and feeling like people actually connect with it.”

His first album, ‘Requiem’ was released earlier this year. Made over the course of two turbulent years, where several personal and family tribulations set the tone for an incredibly personal album.

“I put everything into “Requiem”, and it’s a very personal body of work to me for a lot of reasons, so it’s truly humbling to know that there are people connecting with it.”

What I love about the album is that it doesn’t shy away from the painful emotions the artist would have been suffering. It instead embraces it, you can hear Shey’s internal struggle on ‘I want it all’ but it transcends in a beautiful way.

Following the success of the album, Shey went on to release several music videos, the most recent of which for ‘I want it all’. A collaboration with David M. Helman, whom he had worked with on a number of other occasions. Through the medium of dance the video gives off a sense of being lost, almost as though he’s trying to find the path he should be on.

“We wanted to create a visual that was light and spontaneous, something that felt like the naivety of youthful love in the midst of heaviness and angst and past traumas, even if that love is fleeting.”

If this year is anything to go by, Shey Baba is in for quite a bright future. His fearless approach to showing vulnerability makes him easy to connect with. Perhaps all of us share some form of emotion that transcends through ‘Requiem’. Despite this early success Shey’s feet are firmly planted on the ground,

“It’s a privilege to make music for a living and share it with people who are actively tuning in to hear what you make next.”

It’s this level of humility that sets Shey on his way for future stardom, striving for more whilst never looking back, in time those numbers of people listening will only double. “Requiem” showed us a glimpse of what’s to come and I will be eagerly waiting to see what 2020 brings.

To find out more, and to follow Shey’s latest works and tour dates, head on over to www.sheybaba.com

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