30 seconds interview: Eliza Shaddad

eliza shaddad music

Globe-trotting artist Eliza Shaddad specialises in outsized balladry informed by her unique worldview and a canny knack for belting out devastatingly honest lyrics.

Schooled across seven countries in Europe and Africa by her Sudanese and Scottish parents, the multilingual multi-instrumentalist crunches indie anthems with nineties’ power-pop and outernational folk into novel shapes.

Her debut LP, Future, announced her arrival late last month, bringing us a sonic journal that fishes into the vast pools of her past and present to reveal a songwriting voice that’s unflinchingly honest.

Set on the bedrock of Eliza’s early folk and grunge influences, it flits across time zones, decades and genres while still managing to sound like a cohesive body of work.

Ahead of her live dates later this month, the PRS Foundation-supported artist lets us in on her soundworld…

What was the first song you developed an obsession for?

I went in very hard on All-4-One I Swear, my babysitter had it on a mixtape and it gave me tingles.

What’s the first gig you went to?

East 17 in a Slovak stadium, different babysitter.

What’s the first instrument you ever got hold of?

Apart from my lungs, and some abandoned ocarinas, it would have to be a Russian classical guitar at 16.

What is your worst musical habit?

Still not fretting F chords properly.

What’s the best piece of musical advice you’ve ever been given?

Forget everything you’ve learnt and just feel it.

Where do you discover new music? 

Friends, Facebook and Spotify.

What’s your favourite venue?

Union Chapel, London.

Who is your current favourite band/artist?

I’m cycling between Tierra Whack, Kacey Musgraves and Khruangbin at the moment.

What inspirations outside of music impact your songwriting?

All emotions, any kind of travel, and increasingly the news.

What track of yours best represents your sound?

This is My Cue –  it’s one that bridges deftly between what has been and what is to come.

What’s next for you?

Touring the UK and Europe this autumn as my debut LP Future has just come out!


UK dates
26 November – London, Oslo
29 November – Glasgow, The Attic

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