Recently we got to talk to the amazing Persian American pop music star SHAB! SHAB draws in influences from dance, pop and Latin music. She tells us all about her latest single ‘Music to My Heart’ and what she has in store for the rest of this year!
Hi SHAB, first of all, I just wanted to thank you so much for speaking with us today, let’s start off by asking how has 2022 been for you so far and how are you enjoying your time here in the UK?
It’s been amazing. Honestly, I just love it here so much. I don’t want to go back. I mean you guys have welcomed me with open arms here in the UK and you all already have a big chunk of my heart, it’s been an amazing trip so far. I’m already planning my next trip back. I have a video graph for tomorrow, which we’re going to just kind of run around the city a little bit. I’ll be telling all my fans some fun facts about the UK and how much I love it here.
We loved your latest single ‘Music To My Heart‘, the vocals are so beautifully recorded and that saxophone hook is just something else! Could you tell us a little bit about the track, what was the inspiration behind the song and what was the reasoning to add such a Latin feel to it?
That’s a very good question! So I have two babies. My son’s name is Raphael and my daughter’s name is Shiloh. When I gave birth to Shiloh, I hadn’t been out in a while, but my girlfriend’s, they’re my Latin sisters and they said Shab, “We’re going to take you out!” It had been a while so I said “Let’s go!” So, they took me out and I just fell in love with the culture, with the food, with the people and I heard some of the songs in the club and I just looked at my friends and I said: “Guys I’m going to write a Latin song!”. They were all so encouraging to go for it. So I just started taking my notes out and writing inspiration for beats, for music and just that feel-good energy that has that Latin, sexy vibe to it. That’s when “Music to My Heart” was born.
When I was writing the lyrics, I was thinking about how we have these people in our lives who are just like sunshine in human form, they’re always checking in on you. They’re always lifting you up. It’s like the people we love, their voices are always like music to our hearts, music to our ears, and my babies, their voices are the music to my heart.
And how did the opportunity to work with The Martinez Twins come about?
So we were looking for a feature and the one that we wanted to work with fell through just because we didn’t act on time. We had already recorded my part, so we did have ‘Music to My Heart’ just with my own voice on it by itself, we also had the video already put together, so it was all fine. However, my producer and manager, Damon Sharpe actually knew The Martinez Twins as he had worked with them previously. He said, let me just send the track to them and see what they think. The boys came back and they said they absolutely loved it, that they would love to work with me on the track. So, The Martinez Twins went out to LA and recorded their part. We all met again out there to do their shoot for the music video. We put it all together and it was just so magical. It was just so amazing to get to work with them. They’re just lovely boys and so well mannered, down to earth and amazing people to work with.
How much does music from your home country influence the music that you make yourself?
As far as my country, I don’t really feel like the beats or the melody resonates much with my current work but I think the lyrics really do. If I would translate a song from Farsi to English, you would be like, “Oh, my God, that’s really amazing.” The lyrics are just so beautiful and deep. Actually, my brother, Shahab, is a famous singer, so I think he’s the one that kind of inspired me to do all of this.
When I released my first song in Farsi, I found out I was pregnant with my son. And just after I had him, that’s when I was inspired to actually try singing in English. I can speak English fluently so I thought “Yeah, why can’t I do this? Let me just go ahead and try.” That’s when I went onto the computer, started typing and Damon Sharpe came up. The universe will send you these little things when you are ready. I always think that the universe doesn’t want us to fail, so you will get your gift when you’re ready to receive it. It’s normally something even better than you ever thought about.
I just wanted to congratulate you on reaching the No.2 spot in the UK Commercial Pop Charts, what was that feeling like when you heard the news?
Thank you! I have actually had three songs go to number two now! And I was in some really amazing company, with Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith. I think they’re both so amazing and I would love to do some sort of collaboration with them one day in the future. You guys have shown me so much love, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to come here in person and just kind of feel the energy of the city and the people. It’s been fabulous so far. I’m just really grateful.
You’re currently in the process of releasing videos from your performance for the Hope Supply Co, can you tell us a little about what the performance was like?
To be honest, I just love their mission so much. They provide essential needs for homeless children. I always aspire to help people because my of mother, my mum gave that in our mind as kids, to always help people in need. At the end of the day, we have each other to motivate and uplift each other. I can’t do something massive to save the world, but if I can just make my world a little more beautiful, hopefully, it will ripple back into the rest of the world. I just want to see the world a little happier.
When Hope Supply Co approached me to do this concert, obviously I was gonna say yes! I only had eight weeks, I was doing choreography, I was doing voice lessons and I was thinking to build a real show. I looked at my team and was like, “Guys, I don’t even have a band!”, but Mike Manning, actually toured with Demi Lovato. He was her main guitarist for five years. So he became my music director. He put all the stems and everything together. So it was just amazing how the show came together for Hope Supply Co. There are four tracks that were released, so you can go onto YouTube and put Hope Supply Co and watch those.
Can you remember what the very first record you bought was?
I think it was either Ricky Martin or Mariah Carey!
Is there anything you can reveal to your fans about what is in store for the rest of this year, or perhaps any ideas for future projects?
Believe it or not, we have almost finished the second album! So we have nine songs done already, and we have two more that we’re just about to work on in LA, hopefully in the next couple of months. We also have another sexy Latin flavour on this album too. This second album is also going to have that dance feel in there as well, a little bit of love in there and also some of the parts of Pandemic because I was really inspired by the environment that I was surrounded in throughout. Hopefully, we’re going to be releasing some of the singles, come the end of May. I have actually started on album three, which is going to have a much more intimate feel to it.
After this trip, when I’m back, I’m going to see my mom for a week because my mom is 83. You got to make sure you spend time with the people you love because you don’t want to regret it. Then I’m off to LA for ten days to do two music videos for singles off of the second album. My choreographer is going to be the same choreographer I was with for ‘Spell On Me’, which is Richy Jackson, and he’s been doing choreography for Lady Gaga for 20 years. I have acoustic versions of three songs that I did, which is ‘What I Do’, ‘Music to My Heart’ and ‘Skin & Bones’. So basically my performance is just going to be my voice and more raw guitar, bass. So that’s going to be May 25.
SHAB’s latest single and music video for ‘Music to My Heart’ is out now!