Shannon Saunders has been making splashes on the interwebs for a while, and with good reason.
Fearlessly original, imaginative and instantly gravitational – Shannon Saunders is carving out her very own lane of crystalline pop with the release of her debut single ‘Silly Little Things’ on 24th November.
Backed by dance-infused, house-filtered beats, Shannon’s feisty cool vocals bounce around the crisp melodic hooks, coating the electro-savvy arrangements to create a sound that is very much her own yet confidently reminiscent. New song ‘Silly Little Things’ is a bouncy, almost static, ditty, with modern production stylings reminiscent of Disclosure and Gorgon City. There’s something enchanting about the light splutters of synths that cascade in the background. Saunders is one to keen your eyes on in 2015 for sure.
Tell us a bit about your journey? Where did it all begin with you?
I used to post videos of me singing covers at first and then built a little following and started sharing my own material on there, which eventually got more views than the covers. I think that’s when I caught the bug of being an artist and not just a songwriter. I wanted to share my music and tell the stories I’d been writing in my songs by performing them myself. I love learning about the music business, I learn something new from different situations I’m put in every day. I make sure I’m involved in every decision made about my music and career. It’s very important to have creative control.
When did you first really decide that you didn’t want to do anything else – music was the path / direction for you?
I left school at 16 and went to a music university called BIMM in Bristol where I studied a diploma in song writing. I wanted to get some qualifications under my belt to be sensible and have something to fall back on just in case the music thing didn’t work out. I felt at the time it was the best decision because I was still writing and learning about my craft. I was working with writers in London anyway so I took a chance and left after the first year. I trusted my gut instinct.
What were your main inspirations or influences as you were growing up? What other musicians made you want to be an artist?
It’s funny because I’ve never really been the kind of girl to have posters of artists on my wall or be a fan girl of anyone. The reason I started playing around with songs on a guitar was because my Mum’s friend Claire used to sing in pubs with her acoustic guitar and I’d sit and watch her completely in awe. She inspired me to start teaching myself guitar and then gradually performing what I’d learnt to anyone who would listen.
Tell us more about Silly Little Things?
I wrote Silly Little Things when I was going through a break up and was just a bit fed up of the situation I was in with that guy. It’s a bit of a ‘fuck you’ song which I quite like and it was definitely a bit of a wake-up call to me to realise how unhappy I was at the time. I could tell everything was changing as I wasn’t writing the usual love songs I would write about us. It’s funny how your emotions really do affect the songs you write during certain periods in your life.
What else can we expect from you in 2015?
I’m going to be touring the UK with my own material with Hristo, my drummer and Harry, my keyboard player and we’re looking to do a few little festivals which should be great fun. I’ll also be on tour again around Europe with Wilkinson as we wrote a song together for his album, ‘Breathe’, which is looking to be released next year. I’ll still be writing for the second album and also writing for other artists, which I love doing.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would be your first choice?
I’d love to work with James Blake. I find his songs and his sound very original and would love to see how he works in the studio and how he creates those gems of his. He’s such an incredible writer and singer. His voice is literally liquid gold live. I saw him live in Bristol on his last tour and was blown away by his performance. I’m also a massive Bonobo fan so featuring on one of his tracks would be a bit of a dream for me.
What social media channel do you use the most?
I LOVE Instagram. It’s probably the first app I open in the morning and the last one I close at night. I find I’m a very visual person. I’m always print screening things on there. Whether it’s some tasty looking junk food that I discovered when I was hangry ( hungry/angry). I love Twitter too. I find it so easy to update my followers quickly on there and love being able to reply directly to them too.
Top 3 songs / tracks of 2014?
1. ‘From Eden’ by Hozier is mine and my cousin Romani’s song. It always reminds me of when we were on a photo shoot which she was styling me for, which was the first time we heard it. We sang it the whole way home and now it takes me back to that super special, lovely day whenever I hear it.
2. ‘Let in The Light’ by Moderat is another favourite of mine that I’ve discovered this year. I’m always reminded of a special moment when I hear it.
3. ‘You’ by TCTS featuring Sam Sure is another favourite of mine from this year. It’s one of my driving songs when I’m on my way home from London. I’ve been in the studio working with TCTS recently too. He’s literally the loveliest, most talented guy.
Do you have any real guilty pleasure tracks? Songs you love but shouldn’t?
‘Get Free’ by Major Lazer featuring Amber from The Dirty Projectors is one of my all-time favourite songs. I wouldn’t really say it’s a guilty pleasure because I bloody love it, but maybe I need to chill out with how often I listen to it in case I start hating it. It reminds me of the first time I went to Glastonbury with my all my best mates and we watched them randomly and now it puts me in a good place every time I hear it.