Caught In Conversation With South-East London’s Rising Songstress Shay La Rose

Elle Evans

By Elle Evans

Elle Evans

26 Jul 2021

Hailing from South-East London is rising singer and songwriter Shay La Rose, who’s fierce prowess, confidence and unapologetic approach has been turning the heads of many with her newly-released powerful and empowering track named, “She Bad”. Encapsulating “boss babe energy” at it’s finest, the Nigerian native is a force to be reckoned with and it’s only a matter of time until she gains the recognition she deserves.

Infatuated by music from a youthful age, Shay La Rose’s journey began when she started attending Church and in doing so, became a member of the choir. Having always taken a liking to the entertainment industry, being a vocalist isn’t where her talent ends. Dancing from when she was little, Shay La Rose’s determination and hunger to succeed was installed in her from day one. Stepping onto the scene back in 2017 with the release of her debut single, her vibrant fusion of both Afrobeats and R&B has transpired into a seamless and feel-good sound that has swiftly labelled her as one to watch over the coming year.

Mixtape Madness got the chance to catch up with Shay La Rose for a quick chat about her journey thus far, her latest single “She Bad” and more. Tap in below to see what she had to say!

We are just stepping out of a weird year or so with Covid. How was your experience as an artist in lockdown?

I would say it’s been very turbulent. Sometimes it has been amazing and other times it’s been low! This time last year I was in a great space because I had just dropped my song called “No Regular” and that was doing really well, we had a really great campaign, and everyone was at home, so all eyes were on me! *laughs* I did a 30-day Instagram live tour around the world and that was really good! It got a bit harder when I didn’t have access to the studio so I couldn’t work on my songs until the end of the year when I dropped a song with Chop Daily, it’s been really up and down but we’re getting through it now! tippmix foci eredmények  

For many people, it has been a time to pause and reflect. Has the pandemic helped shape your music in anyway going forward?

Definitely! You had to be still, think about where you are and where you want to go. So many things happened last year with Black Lives Matter, we had time to reflect on that and being a Black woman in the industry. Not to say that I wanted a new persona, but Shay La “She Bad” *laughs* It’s a new lane for me, I went through a breakup and pivoted towards being an independent, strong go-getter, which I normally stand for, but no more nice girl basically! It’s all about self-love and really believing in yourself, we are in a time where Instagram is telling you who and how to be but we need to remember who we are.

I’d love to take it back to the start with you. Talk to me more about how you were introduced to music growing up. Did you get into it via your family or?

I was always self-motivated when it came to music. There was something about it that I always loved, from performing, dancing, and singing. I started off as a dancer and then I thought I need to be a triple threat like Beyoncé, and it went off from there. I started by singing in Church, I was in the choir and one of the churches that I joined had an academy for dance, I joined the academy first then started going to church. I met so many young and talented people, that’s how I got into it really. I still wanted to be an artist, but I went to college and University and music was my outlet at the time, I got to express myself and have fun. In terms of genres, my sound is derived from R&B, Pop, Afro and Hip-Hop etc, it’s been interesting to fuse them all together and make them who I am.

What is your earliest memory with music?

I was in a girl group when I was younger, there was around 4 of us! At the time, the person who was meant to manage us was Lil Kim’s dancer and it was so random! *laughs* We were really going for it when we were younger! In school, if you were my friend, in assembly I would always get us up and dancing – it didn’t matter if you had two left feet, we were dancing! *laughs*

Are there any artists now that you would list as an influence or have helped shape your music in anyway?

There are so many! Brandy, Beyoncé, Jasmine Sullivan, Normani – a lot of these girls are vocalists and performers! They are my top people.

You mentioned that you are an advocate for self-love and self-confidence, and this resonates within your music. Being in such a male dominated space, how has your experience been navigating your confidence musically?

It’s been good and bad. A lot of men have put me on, and a lot of women have put me on, so it’s been a great balance. There have been a few times where people have asked me to change or alter myself, be a bit sexier and take more things off, then maybe I’ll get into a better position; also, being a dark skin woman, it’s naturally going to be harder to get on with it which is disheartening but I’ve always used that to fuel me. I want to be the Black girl that takes her genre to another level, but it is hard to know that there are other people doing what you are doing, but because of the colour of her skin, she just gets on with it, it’s been hard, but things are evolving now! You just have to work smart and if you believe in yourself then hopefully other people will.  

Talk to me about your latest single “She Bad” – this to me is a really empowering song for women! What was your approach with this single? gaminator 777: ingyen nyerőgépek, kaszinó, játékok

This one was about being a go-getter, we have been trapped in our homes for so long so it’s about getting our funk back! It’s one for the ladies, it’s about being a boss babe, getting the bag, eliminating time wasters, and feeling good! Love might not be in our plans, but us girls, we think with our hearts, and we put them on our sleeve, and it can set us back! There is a lot of connotations with the song, there is a lot more to it than getting your money and having it in bands, it’s about feeling good!

The visuals are amazing! How hands on were you with this process?

I am independent, so everything is funded by me, I work hard for my stuff! I put in so many hours to make it happen, I want it to be quality and reflect where I want it to be going. I was lucky enough to work with an amazing director named Ash Riley who I have worked with for years, we have grown together. He gets me, he knows my angles and knows what I do and don’t like. tippmix eredmények He put together the treatment and we both saw the vision. I got an amazing dance company involved as well, not a lot of people know I danced before, and they saw the vision too. I did have a lot of input; I like to bring to my vision to life and get hands on with it!

Is there a reason why you are independent? Do you think there will ever be a point where you would consider signing to a label or?

No, I definitely want to sign to a label and management, but I want them to understand my vision and support it, not alter it and change it from left to right. That’s why I am happy that I have got to this stage on my own and I’m in the position to be supported by a bigger engine to help push my projects to another level. There is only so much you can do as an independent artist. However, I do like the creative control and that is one thing that a lot of people who are signed, that I know of, don’t have. There would have to be a balance!

When you think of female empowerment, what are the first things that come to mind?

Strong, bold, confident, resilient, a boss woman. A woman who is multi-talented who can do lots of different things, we can be mothers, wives, girlfriends, we work hard – we are everything!

As far as collaborations go, is there anyone in particular that you have always wanted to work with maybe in the UK or overseas?

Yeah, Wizkid! I would love to work with Brandy because I know that I would learn a lot from her. And Wizkid because he is designed to make bangers! Burna Boy as well, he is so talented!

Putting the music aside, what do you like to do for fun?

I like to spend time with my family, go to the movies, I like to go out and enjoy my life. I love quality time with the people I love. However, I do want to start doing some activities though!

What else can we expect to see from you this year?

More music and more visuals! I am working on a project and it’s sounding really good! Hopefully some more shows as well!

Keep up to date with all things Shay La Rose via her Instagram here.