Scenestr – Shameem’s Soulful, Solo Tour

I had a really nice chat with Brendan MacLean from Scenestr magazine about my solo tour, among other things.

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Often dubbed ‘Australia’s answer to Alicia Keys’, Shameem’s music blends soul and jazz stylings with personal stories and socially conscious lyrics.

The WA neo-soul songstress will be touring nationally throughout October. But this time, she’ll only be accompanied by her keyboard. “When you’re a self-managed muso you’re always trying to find ways to save money and touring solo’s much cheaper,” Shameem laughs.

“The other reason is that it’s just something a bit different to do, doing stripped-back shows that are a bit more intimate you can connect on a different level with the audience, so from an artist point of view it’s fun and different as well.

“When I’m playing solo shows I think people respond very differently, they engage very differently and it sometimes brings out emotions or feelings in a song that you might not get when you have it with a full band.”

Shameem says being self-managed is a reflection of the state of the music industry today. “It’s a tough environment for artists at the moment; record labels and managers are less likely to take artists on because they’re losing money because no one’s buying music anymore!”

She does feel, however, that being ingrained in all aspects of the industry has given her valuable experience as a musician. “I like having that kind of ownership over my music and I like challenging myself and extending myself, to refine my own skills as a producer and a songwriter all the time.”

She’s had plenty of practice writing her own music. “I remember when I was a little kid I begged my uncle to give me piano lessons, I must have been five or six. That’s my earliest musical memories. I remember making up silly, little ditties when I was eight-years old, little songs about really random stuff. I began to take it more seriously when I was in high school, began to try and write proper songs.”

Those silly, little ditties eventually turned into the socially-conscious songwriting that permeates Shameem’s music. “I think the themes that are recurring are that we all need to co-operate and get along. I think unity and harmony and anything that will draw people’s attention to the fact that we are all more similar than we are different.”

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