We Pause To Speak To Shiadanni About Her Latest Single, ‘Penny Pills’, Her Cultural Influences, And What’s Her Favourite Song She’s Written

Montreal-based artist Shiadanni has been on our radar over the last few years, initially with her singles, ‘Kitty Mama’ And ‘Turn On My Brain’, but more recently with her latest release, ‘Penny Pills’. Now Shiadanni takes some time out to answer our questions, and allows us to take a deeper look at her music.

Thank you for speaking to us today!

We’ve really enjoyed your recent release, ‘Penny Pills’. What is the backstory for the song, and how was the songwriting process for you? How did you come up with the concept for the video?

 Thank you! for Penny Pills the music production started first, I was excited for new piano libraries I got and started playing around with them, I was not planning to make a song that day I was simply using every beautiful piano sound and playing with melodies, by starting with the piano and it’s simplicity I thought it would be a nice contrast to add a heavy but short bass, and with these 2 elements everything else started falling into piece, My composition process has changed over the years, in my very beginnings everything would start in the guitar so the worlds you explore are very different than what you can create with music sound libraries, where even the simplicity of a piano can be transformed and have so much depth when adding different effects and layers to it, It has been a learning and growing process for me as I have been producing for a little over a  year now, and having the freedom I need in this process has made it a very spiritual and natural process which I think people connect the most with in my songs

For the concept of the video I had this intuition to just follow the colors I feel the song with and have this be shown in the video, I didn’t know exactly what I was gonna do, I never do as every movement is improvised but I knew I wanted certain tones and lighting and just a chaotic feeling throughout the videoclip, kind of like a turbulent dream, so It didn’t really matter what you perform during the videoclip, in the editing process it all made sense!  

Who or what has given you the most inspiration in your life, and why? And what about your music?

I’d say myself!  If it wasn’t for the power of creativity whether is music/comedy or any type of art I don’t know where I would be, I feel so lucky I get to use art as my vehicle to express and release the darkness and what I go through in life, I am lucky to know my passion and use this to help me survive, and I am very vocal about finding your own worth and your own authenticity so you can grow and get to know your true power.

Although I have big music influences throughout my life since I was 8 I think the biggest that marked my love for music have been Björk, Radiohead, Joanna Newsom

‘Penny Pills’ is a deep song, and can be somewhat open to interpretation. I feel everyone can relate to it on some sort of level – being caught up in our problems and not knowing which way to turn. To what extent is the song based on your own experience?

100% on my own feelings and experience, this song was very personal and I didn’t pay attention to mold in in a way where I was safe from the listeners judgment, I was just trying to speak from my heart, and never thought I would release it!  In a way this made an honest message connect with a lot of people and this made me regret nothing

We’re coming out of the global pandemic and it’s hit the arts particularly badly. How have you been affected?

In a way I was lucky and now I feel grateful for the pandemic as it forced me to discover myself in many ways, I know I wouldn’t be producing my own music if it wasn’t for me being locked in my house for a year, I would be depending on other people, and just in the same slow and difficult process, not only the slow process of being heard as an independent artist, but to be a woman in the industry, and an insecure one at the time, as I have been struggling with a lot of self confidence in many areas in my life, learning to grow and fight for my voice in a mexican culture, It has taken a lot of work not only spiritual but also transforming my music career and try to prove to myself that I could actually have the power to do music myself, because despite writing songs since I was 11, I always thought what I had was not enough, and I needed people to shift my music into what’s successful, a lot of things, feelings and directions have changed now.

You were born and raised in Mexico, but you now live in Canada. How much of each culture do you bring to your music?

In everything I will not only do or say but just being, I will bring my culture, my personality is created because of everything I have lived, and it started with my household, my country, my story, my music has a certain language and sound, by language I mean, despite it being in english now, I don’t think I will escape expressing things in a certain way, I think my culture will follow me naturally forever

What’s coming up on the horizon for you? What can fans expect next?

More music, more healing, more strength to the musical muscles! I want to start doing shows, I am so excited to start to see what a show looks like with this music, I wanna continue my worlds in other areas, I am so excited to see what music I create in the future as I tend to create different things all the time, I love not following a plan or a line, there’s no rules here so I am excited to keep following my intuition, I don’t pressure myself for ultimate fame or success, I just want to express with beautiful music, and if I find the right ears for this in the way, that’s a bonus

What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does?

What’s your favourite song that you’ve done?  and I always say it’s the last one I made, so there’s always a favourite one.

Watch the stunning video for ‘Penny Pills’ below, and follow Shiadanni and her music online on her official websiteFacebookTwitterInstagram, and TikTok.


About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com

Leave a Reply