"The EP is about friendship and sex and wanting to be closer to people" We chat with Eliza Shaddad
Having released her debut album just over a year ago, Scottish-Sudanese singer-songwriter Eliza Shaddad is back with a companion EP, Sept~Dec. We caught up with her to find out a bit more about the EP and ask her a bunch of random questions.
Hey Eliza, how the devil are you?
I’m great thanks!!!
What have you been up to today, and where are you right now?
I’m on a bus from Brussels to Paris - on tour with Keane! - we play The Olympia tonight and I’m pretty excited.
Tell us something about you that we don't know.
I hate vinegar.
What can you tell us about your recent track, ‘One Last Embrace', in two sentences?
It’s about desperately, physically being unwilling to let someone go. It’s real fun to play live.
What can you tell us about your EP?
It’s about friendship and sex and wanting to be closer to people. We recorded it in Cornwall in fair isolation and it was intense!
Looking back to your debut album in 2018, which song are you proudest of?
Hmm. I guess the opener 'White Lines' just because it took so much work to get that song over the line.
What’s the key to writing a damn good song?
Authentic emotion, I reckon. It’s the key to lyrics and vibe.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
I think a lot of the difference in treatment boils down to a split second lack of thought on the part of the person you’re interacting with... talking over your head at someone else assuming they’re in charge - assuming you would prefer an acoustic guitar to an electric - it’s ingrained and unconscious a lot of the time and it’s those tiny things that kind of add up to the difference between how we see men and women in music as a whole. When me and my friend set up Girls Girls Girls it was kind of in response to that - we wanted an environment where women were the majority and so the treatment was almost automatically different. It’s just about not being biased towards men basically - giving equal opportunities to men and women.. .simple.
Have you noticed a difference at all in the last 12 or so months?
Yeah I have - more in the fact that people are reflecting on things more - I think that’s the first step to making sure you’re not biased...
What can you tell us about your tour this year?
I’m on tour with Keane at the moment - we’re playing 16 dates around Europe which is amazing! And then I have a headline UK tour starting on March 9th - and ending up at the legendary Scala on March 19th!
What’s the best thing about playing live?
Getting all the feelings out there. (laughs)
Who inspires you?
My friends mostly - hard workers who achieve a lot against the odds.
What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
I’ve been listening to Kacey Musgraves so much recently that I think the next album might be a country album! (laughs) Generally, it’s a mixture of 90s pop, rock, and grunge, Hole, Tori Amos, Jewel - kind of seminal stuff for me, and then jazz - Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, and then random modern stuff…. Junip, Bob Moses, Caroline Polachek!
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
Liz Lawrence! We met in Spain last year for some lovely shows and I think she’s rad - she’s touring with Bombay Bicycle Club at the moment; go see her!
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Who are the songs about...
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
White with sugar.
For more information on Eliza including all her tour dates (she's heading out in March 2020) visit her website.
You can also follow her on various social media.
Photo credit: Mel Tjoeng