Our Best of the Listening Room series highlights standout performances that have blown away audiences around the world. Find the videos on our YouTube channel and learn more about the artists, their work, and their music journey, here on the Sofar blog. This week meet Dublin-based artist, Shiv, a smooth and refreshing R&B up-and-comer whose gentle and melodic songs will soothe you.
I don’t think that I can reduce it to one isolated moment, it’s been something that has consistently been a defining part of my personality, whether it was singing, or sharing music, or DJing, songwriting. Music has seen me grow. In that same vein, being an avid consumer of music helped me in a myriad of ways when it came to transitioning into being a creator of it. My ear was finely tuned to exactly what I liked, making it far less intimidating to write or produce than I thought it would be. I felt very much in my comfort zone, and confident in my decisions. It also allowed me to take what I feel is the most valuable aspect of art from the people I admired. Honesty and authenticity was at the core of the output of the artists whose music I was moved by, and that translated into my songwriting and production process.
I think probably “Songs in A Minor” by Alicia Keys and Beyonce “Crazy in Love,” I truly think those albums taught me how to sing. My sister and I used to stand in front of the mirror singing along to those albums over and over, practicing along to the riffs and runs. I feel like this really shaped the way I used my voice. Listening to them repeatedly helped me get really comfortable with my voice, as I would try and copy exactly what they sang, and once I knew every note off by heart. I eventually added my own style and vocal elements when singing along. In terms of production, I think Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is a masterpiece, and it’s an album I consistently come back to. It taught me about storytelling not just through lyrics, but through instrumentation and production choices.
I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment! I’m writing my album slowly but steadily, and I have something else that’s almost ready to be released coming up very soon. There are a couple of other bits and pieces in the pipeline that I’m very excited about, but nothing with a firm release date as of yet.
Erykah Badu or Frank Ocean or Kanye West! Erykah Badu because I think I would learn so much from her. Frank Ocean because I feel like he’s plugged into an entirely different source than what us mere humans. He always creates pure art and has access to such variety in his artistic output. And Kanye West because — it’s Kanye West — need I say anymore?
For me, the changes have been primarily positive. I’ve had time to write and produce, and have now switched from part-time to full-time musician, due to losing my waitressing job during the first lockdown. I obviously haven’t been able to perform, but being fairly new on the scene before lockdown meant that I hadn’t had many performance opportunities anyway, and lockdown has helped me build my catalog and repertoire and have a more concrete sound, allowing me to feel ready for when I can eventually perform again.
Ooohh, I think Tokyo! I’ve recently started reading Murakami’s books after having them recommended to me by my drummer and Tokyo, and Japan, in general, seems like such a beautiful place both physically and culturally.
Discover more independent artists like Shiv on our YouTube channel and performing live in the listening room every week.