“Shameem Taheri-Lee” – Time Off (Brisbane) article, 25/07/12

With the release of her debut, self-titled album, Perth songstress Shameem Taheri-Lee is proving to be Australia’s answer to Alicia Keys. Tony McMahon investigates.

“I actually had recorded an EP back in 2009,” Taheri-Lee says, putting into context the approach she took to her debut album. “The EP was recorded more like a jazz project – we did three takes for each song, and then chose the best take. With this album we took more time and put a bit more consideration into production. Also, when we went to record the album, the band had been together for much longer and we’d performed and fleshed out the songs much more than we did before the EP recording… so the arrangements are more mature.”

Talking of the band, this is the first time they’ve hit the road together for such a big tour, and to say they’re excited is a bit of an understatement.

“It’s the first time we’re playing shows on the east coast, so I’m very excited, and a bit nervous too. The band has toured WA together before (which, as you can imagine, involves a lot of driving), and that was a great experience of personal bonding and becoming musically tighter. I’m really looking forward to that aspect of it again too. It’s going to be intense though… I’m not going to get any sleep.”

For those who’ve heard Shameem’s recorded work, but never seen her live, its seems you’re in for a real treat, but not a chemical one.

“There’s a big difference. I think we’re more engaging live; I enjoy it more too. The band really stretches the songs out and is more spontaneous; there’s more improvisation. I also really loving telling stories and connecting with audiences and carrying them on an emotional journey with me – and I really feed off their energy! It’s a great natural high, who needs drugs?”

What: Shameem (Independent)

When & Where: Saturday 28 July, Brisbane Jazz Club

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