Got this amazing write up in The West Australian! Woohoo! Scroll down for full article.
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Music can change the world because it changes people. Local songstress Shameem Taheri-Lee hope hers does exactly that. Born in Australia to a Chinese-Malaysian father and an Iranian mother, the bubbly Perth vocalist and songwriter, who performs under her first name, enchants audiences with heartfelt personal stories and imbues her songs with a spiritual influence.
A WAAPA graduate, Shameem’s music is a fusion of 90s R&B grooves, the melodic sensibilities of 70s soul and a subtle twist of jazz which has seen her frequently compared to Alicia Keys, Sade and even Michael Jackson.
She has opened for George Benson, Ronan Keating and Belinda Carlisle, as well as holding down a busy schedule of local and national gigs. Her infectious pop song Turn It Up was used as part of the recent Kleenheat gas campaign.
Following the release of her self-titled debut in 2011, Shameem’s The Second City album will be launched this month.
The latest single off the album, Under One Sun, was co-written with Grammy-winning UK-based producer James Bryan (Nelly Furtado, Olly Murs, James Morrison). This catchy soul-pop number touches on humanity’s common root with a chorus that has the singer proclaiming “everyone’s dreaming under one sun”.
Shameem says while she’s determined to share the joys and wonders of life, she’s also mindful of not sharing only one side of her life.
“I can’t just show my happy side all the time,” she says. “I’m human and songs like Give Me a Reason and Imposter, which is an angry song, show people how I overcome difficulties.”
Co-produced with Rob Agostini (Rai Thistlethwayte, Tim & Jean) at Perth’s Soundbaker Studios, the album sees an evolution in Shameem’s approach to writing as she chooses to think more deeply about her lyrics and their impact when she commits them to a song.
“Everyone feels like they can’t do anything to make the world a better place because they don’t have enough money or they don’t have the skills but the truth is if everyone did their small that would help,” she says.
“You don’t need to be special or event rich to rich; you can just be yourself.”
Shameem launches The Second City at Subiaco Arts Centre on January 17. Tickets from shameemmusic.com.
By Ara Jansen