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An Interview With Shelby O.

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

A new EP release from Shelby O brings together a series of genres and styles together to all melt into this pop and dream toned opus of a record and it comes through cinematic, heartfelt, and takes an R&B vocal approach that shines as it sits atop the music.

The Homelike EP is brimming with soul, a descriptive storytelling style that paints vivid pictures and takes you for little journeys through emotionally driven singles and chapters.

The songs are lush with synths, keys, strings, guitars, and so much more which gives it all such a gorgeous production approach and it works like a charm.

This EP is indeed charming from the get-go and Shely herself dishes out her brand of pop truth for herself and for anyone that relates. And people will relate to this record.

This was gracefully performed, written, and arranged and everything seems to fit together like puzzle pieces.

You can feel that youthful and emotional platform these songs were built from. The frustrations and situations, thoughts and struggles at times.

The release is full of pleasant surprises and it's hard not to fall for Shelby through this whole thing.

With the release of such a beautifully woven EP we wanted to talk shop with the artist to find out where this all came from and what's next.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with Homelike EP. This record has a lush and cinematic R&B feel to it. Where did this EP come from?

I love the lush and cinematic description! I always try to come back to my main intention as an artist, which is to connect, share and heal with others. So, I really want my listeners to relate to my music and experience it as if it were their own story. I tried to create that sort of experience with this EP, where the listener could kind of surrender and just let themselves be taken through this emotional sound journey, and feel all these parts of themselves reflected in the music along the way. That’s why I tried to be really intentional when producing the EP and thinking about what scene I wanted to set with each song and transition. I want the listeners to profoundly feel where the emotions come from. In terms of the R&B vibes, some of my main influences are R&B artists like SZA, Amy Winehouse, Ravyn Lenae, Noname, Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan … so I think having those ladies in my ears all the time has definitely shaped my composition and writing style. Buzz Slayers: So when did music start affecting you? When did you know making music was something you wanted to be doing?

I’ve always been captivated by music in every way. I’ve been singing and dancing ever since I can remember. I’ve always been deeply drawn to song lyrics too, and even before I knew how to play any instruments, I would write poems and lyrics with melodies in my head. I think music connects me to the parts of myself that feel the most true and natural, unpolished, like the deepest soul parts. I would say probably sometime in the womb is when I first realized I wanted to be a singer. Buzz Slayers: What inspires you guys to write a song? I tend to be inspired to write songs when I’m processing emotionally overwhelming things. It’s like, when something is too much to be able to describe with just words, there’s music. So I think songwriting is really validating and healing for me, like a way to acknowledge what I’m going through and give myself the space I deserve to process whatever it is.

Buzz Slayers: This track has some great styles! Can you all give us some of your top musical influences?

Thank you! This EP has kind of a far out fusion of styles. Like I mentioned before, there’s definitely a lot of R&B influence, but there’s a lot of rock influence as well. As a teenager, I listened to mostly rock and punk rock. Some of my foundational vocal influences as a kid were Alanis Morissette and Jewel, so if you hear some 90’s girl angst on the EP, that may be why. Loudfeli and I are pretty heavily influenced by Radiohead, and he specifically is very influenced by Pink Floyd (especially David Gilmour) as well. Basically, both me and LoudFeli came from mostly rock influenced backgrounds, but had been listening to a lot more hip hop and R&B in recent years, so that’s kind of how this fusion happened. Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

I love travel and nature and moving my body. So I try to nurture those passions when I’m not working on music. I co-own a wellness and travel company that takes groups of people on retreats to Machu Picchu, Peru. We just went this past July with a group of 22 people, and it was absolutely amazing. I also love yoga and dancing. I recently started Irish dancing again, which is something I did for many years as a kid and teen. Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?

I’ve been really digging the album Motomami by Rosalía. This one is especially fun for bilingual Spanish/English speakers like myself. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Lido Pimienta, and Beyonce’s new album Renaissance. Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?

We do have some live performances coming up! Those dates and venues will be shared on my social media pages so be sure to stay tuned . Buzz Slayers: This EP feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there?

This EP was definitely a big undertaking. I think my biggest advice to other up and coming artists working on similar projects would just be to trust and believe in yourself. It’s really easy to get caught in these spaces where you’re working on something, and it never feels finished or good enough. Or, you have an idea in your mind of how you want something to sound, and someone else gives you opposite advice, and you second guess everything. We don’t need our art to be perfect, and it’s never going to please everyone. The point is that it’s authentic, and only you know what your authenticity really looks like. So, I would say, just keep putting in the work, trust yourself and believe that your unique experience is worth sharing. Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you guys in the near future? I’m actually getting back in the studio next month already to work on a single with a producer in Kalamazoo that I’ve never worked with before. So I’m really excited to see what we create together. LoudFeli is currently finishing an EP that I have been helping him with a bit here and there. And I honestly have a lot of songs that I wrote over the past year that haven’t been recorded yet, so maybe even another EP on the way?

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

For anyone that listens to my music, I’m just really grateful that we’re able to connect in this way. I sincerely hope that something in the sounds makes you feel seen and heard and closer to yourself in some way.

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