A big voice can give an artist that push needed to launch them into stardom. Our recent discovery Shuba has a voice that is matched by her hard work and dedication to the craft. The Chicago native took the time to sit down with us and give us a peek into her budding career and her new music video. Enjoy the interview:
First off, what made you decide to go with the moniker Shuba?
It’s a bit of a silly story. I realized that the name Shubha Vedula sounded super cool, but it was hard for people to pronounce and spell. I wanted to keep the meaning of “Shubha”, which means auspicious in Sanskrit, but also cater to others in terms of what comes naturally to them. I feel like my name is a joint effort between myself and my fans.
How would you describe your musical style?
After I wrote around 40 songs two summers ago, I got a way better sense of what my style is. I’m a sucker for strong, bold, powerhouse voices since it’s what I grew up listening to, but I also love catchy pop melodies. Since I’ve lived in Chicago the past four years, I also get a lot of inspiration from Hip Hop when I’m trying to write super rhythmic phrases and pointed lyrics. Chicago has an amazing poetry scene and just hearing people recite their experiences in that kind of art form changed the way I write my own lyrics sometimes. My music is mostly a combination of various styles that reflect who we are. Every part of human emotion and the human experience is a spectrum, not just black and white.
Similarly, my sound is a mix of pop melodies, R&B riffs, hip-hop rhythmic twists, and some Indian/Middle Eastern vocal nuances and instruments that ultimately come together in a unified and inspired way. In terms of my lyrics, I like to keep everything honest. Sometimes I read stories that bring me to tears and make me want to write. Other times, I talk to people and get inspired by their feelings. And of course, a lot of it just comes from how I feel at any given point of my life and how I use music to express myself and my insecurities/emotions.
You have garnered much acclaim for your voice. Is it true you won outstanding vocalist for Collegiate Acappella in 2016?
It is! Performing at a sold-out show at Beacon Theatre in NYC and competing with other amazing A Cappella groups was such a rush. I was in “Voices in Your Head” at the time and we were such a strong team with an incredible set that year. It was also such a proud day for all of us, especially because we won awards we never expected to win. Outstanding Soloist was one of them!
We caught your music video for “Stupid.” Amazing! Tell us about the experience of creating that?
The video for Stupid was SO FUN to film. I had an amazing team help me in picking out three super trendy outfits, got my hair and makeup done, and just sort of jammed out the song! For this video, I was really trying showcase myself and convey what I felt when I wrote the song. The idea is that I’m initially thinking about this failed relationship and trying to get myself to go out and move on. Even though I know it’s not a healthy one, I still am attached and it takes me a while, but I eventually get dressed up and leave. I am a super visual songwriter and learner, so it was important to me that we kept the video true to the song lyrics, but still kept it light-hearted and colorful. I’m thrilled with the way it came out and loved just singing the song on a couch with my hair blowing in the wind.
We hear your debut album is on the way. Tell us about your songwriting process?
I have a crazy relationship with songwriting. Most of the time, I’ll be walking to class or in sitting in public transport and I’ll either hear some chord progression blasting from a radio or come up out of nowhere in my head. Usually, it’s melodies first, but since I started getting interested in poetry, the lyrics come first sometimes. Either way, I’ll brainstorm a bunch of ideas for melodies with a certain theme, record them into my iPhone voice memos, and then add to them if I think of any other parts. If I feel really confident in it, I sometimes write the song all by myself in an hour or less (melodies and lyrics).
Other times, I’ll get stuck/frustrated and turn to my amazing songwriter friends Kevin Qian, Adam Martinez, Chris Rishel and Chason for help. We don’t all work together at the same time, but they all have really special qualities that suit different songs, so I turn to them when I need help. I love writing with people because then, the process seems like a fun and creative journey rather than ‘Oh I need to write the perfect words and melodies right now’. It’s easy to get way too into my own head, so having another person there helps me chill out. My EP is a collection of four songs that tell a really honest story about some of the people in my life, and it combines a lot of the chords and vibes that I love.
How do you hope your music is experienced by your fans?
I hope that people experience my songs in the way that’s best for them. All I can control is how they sound and what I’m saying and singing, but it’s totally up to my fans to decide how they feel about it. My main goal is just for people to learn a bit about me and hopefully connect or relate to anything I’m saying.
What advice would you have for other rising stars?
I would say that you have to really work on your mindset, since that’s the only real thing that can stop you. Of course, really be honest with yourself and decide if this is something you have the talent or skill set to do. After that, it’s just persistence, hustling like never before, and believing strongly in yourself. Ultimately, our goal is to create an art form that others can connect to and that stays true to ourselves- that’s a tough thing to do.
What is on the horizon after this record for Shuba?
I’m already working on another project! I’ve been talking with some potential producers, writing whatever feels right to me, trying to improve my songwriting by working with other songwriters, and developing my sound. This is the fun stage where I get to just create, think about visuals, and keep playing shows to promote it all.
Do yourself a favor and presave her new Around Me EP on Spotify HERE. It is set for release on April 27th
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