Shygirl: ‘I grew up having words as my escape’

Shygirl joins Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1 today to discuss her recent single ‘Cleo. During the interview, she tells Matt about the process behind writing the song, shares plans for new music on the way, including a collaboration with Sega and Karma Kid, reveals she’d love to work with Eartheater, and more.

Shygirl Tells Apple Music About Her New Single ‘Cleo’…

‘Cleo just kind of came to me in the moment. Oftentimes I describe it as being like a conduit. I think in those moments where I can be so relaxed and just let the lyrics flow through me, and it’s coming from a place of experience, and it’s about the emotion. Also, I don’t know. I never really approach music, I guess, like an average songwriter because I didn’t grow up writing for songs or studying music or anything. I grew up having words as my escape, and I used to just write in my notes, and I didn’t really have any place for them. So I always thought myself more of a private poet, or something. Calling yourself a poet is such a cringe thing sometimes, so you’re like, this is something I never, never was going to show anyone… Spoken word is not really my vibe. So I was so happy when I found a way to make music with my own voice. My voice extends beyond just the tone of it. It is the words I choose to express myself.

Shygirl Tells Apple Music About A New Song She Is Working On With Sega & Karma Kid…

Matt Wilkinson: So what’s the favourite thing that you’ve written so far?

Shygirl: It’s actually something that’s unreleased that I wrote the other day with Sega and Karma Kid where you have a moment when you’re like, okay, I’ve actually improved. And there’s something… I’m still such a nerd. I still believe in those moments where I’m like, “Ah, I’ve bested myself.” And that’s what you want with each thing. I don’t want to feel like I’m stagnating or getting comfortable. I want to feel like I’m pushing myself and the stuff that’s out, I really love ‘Cleo’ for its simplicity almost. It’s straight to the point in the emotion of the song.

Shygirl Tells Apple Music About New Music On The Way…

There’s a lot of new music. I’m just kind of going back and forth at the moment and refining things. And the performances are really helpful to kind of keep the reality of how I want to present things. Like when I’m making music, I’m like, can I see myself on stage presenting this to everyone? And having things like Pitchfork is just really helpful in it not being conceptual, actually being a reality. I can actually see how I feel. There’s no better feeling when I’m singing ‘TASTY’ and stuff, I love feeling like that club queen, belting out things, as well as getting really moody with things like ‘SLIME’ and stuff. I want to keep the balance of all of that. And I think you’re going to get that in the new music next year.

Shygirl Tells Apple Music About Wanting To Collaborate With Eartheater…

I was hanging out with Eartheater last night, actually. We’ve been talking for ages and we finally got to meet. And she’s someone I’m so intrigued by, and I think we could do something really interesting and unexpected together. So I really hope that we can actually pin some time down.

Shygirl Tells Apple Music About Playing Pitchfork Paris…

It was really surreal. It actually went by so quickly. It’s one of those things I’ve been looking forward to for ages, and then it feels like it’s done in two seconds. I brought a string quartet with me, and I had Cosha singing backing vocals and stuff, so I’ve never really shared the stage before like that. Set up, I’m usually like a DJ…. So it was really not nice to have this kind of new element to it. I don’t know. I think also having strings is not something that people obviously expect all the time with the music, but with the new single, I just really wanted to have that new element.

Shygirl Tells Apple Music That Performing Wasn’t What Drew Her To Music…

For me, I search for intensity always, so everything I’m doing feels intense because I feel like I’m always pushing myself, or pushing the music and stuff. But the performance just feels like the natural conclusion to everything else that I’ve been doing. It’s not necessarily the thing that drew me to music, actually performing. I wouldn’t say I always dreamt of being on the stage, but it just feels right when you spend this much time developing these kind of elements of my own character within the songs. Who else is better equipped to present them than myself? So it’s really nice to kind of be in front of an audience and be vulnerable again, because that’s what it is. Once you’re on stage you’re judged in real time.

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