Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: SHAÉ UNIVERSE

The silky vocalist pleads for a break on her new single, a track that might just be the ticket to her biggest one yet.

We’ve all had those days, where you’re already awaiting your return to your duvet or that after-work drink before you’ve even had your morning coffee. When Shaé Universe arrived at the studio on the day she wrote new track “Give Me A Break”, featuring Nigerian-American rapper Ayotemi, she was already having a day and a half.

Alternating with Ayotemi, the pair vent their frustrations on the new single, the creative process for which not only remedied the pain she felt at that moment but has provided the R&Drill pioneer with yet another characteristically slick step in her journey to domination, following debut EP Unorthodox, released earlier this year.

Featuring collaborations with two of rap’s current frontrunners in the form of ENNY and Kojey Radical, the project cemented Universe’s mission to show the world her unique R&Drill sound, that blended 808 slides and spartan drums, with her satin vocals and puncturing lyrics. With co-signs from everyone from Little Simz, to Jorja Smith, and Lalah Hathaway, Shae’s rise is inevitable, and “Give Me A Break” is just the latest weapon in her arsenal.

Head below to read our chat with Shaé all about “Give Me A Break”, her guilty pleasure, and flawless fashion choices…

Hi Shae! How are you doing?
I’m great! Feeling beyond blessed.

How long have you been making music for? What first sparked your interest in music?
I’ve been making music since 2015 and my love for music started in church from a very young age. I remember singing back up for my mum in the church choir from as young as I can remember and that’s pretty much where my love for music started.

How has your heritage influenced your music taste and the music you like to make?
The spirituality of my culture and household has definitely influenced the type of music I make. I like making music that feeds my soul.

What would you say is the strangest type of music you secretly love? Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I love grime. the gritty beats and flows get me every time. Also one of my guilty pleasures is that I like the smell of petrol lol.

We absolutely love your dress sense. Who are your biggest style inspirations? Do any fashion icons come to mind?
Thanks so much! Honestly, I have to give my stylists most of the credit because they present the options and I just pick out what resonates. I only recently really started paying close attention to fashion and my taste origins in detail. I love Missy Elliott’s uniqueness, Rihanna’s suave and Normani’s elegance.

Which soul singers are you most inspired by?
Brandy, Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Alex Isley, D’Angelo, Usher.

We understand that your mum is a gospel singer and your father is a pastor. How have you weaved your faith and spirituality into your work?
I believe that without God I wouldn’t be able to do anything in this life. So I try my hardest to make music that I believe will make the world better, in whatever way. As cliche as it sounds, I see it as my way of sharing God’s gifts and expressing my gratitude.

Your new track, “Give Me A Break” deals with how exhausting being overwhelmed can feel. Tell us a bit about the process behind the making of this track.
I was having a really bad start to my day when I walked into the studio that day. I was going through some personal things and then found out someone had tried to scam my card. I was not in the mood. I remember it was a nice day in LA but I was wearing all black, hooded up and had some huge black shades on. Incognito mode. The producers started to play around with some sounds and I began to feel inspired, healed even. I ended up channelling my frustrated energy into the music and it was very therapeutic.

What was it like collaborating with Ayotemi on this?
The experience was literally unbelievable. No exaggeration, he walked into the studio, listened to like five seconds of the song, then went into the booth and effortlessly flowed his verse from start to finish. First, he’d hum the melody and then he’d immediately match words to his chosen melody. His verse was done in like 15 mins. It was crazy witnessing that flow state in real time

Can we expect a music video for this track?
Hmmm.

Finally, what are you most looking forward to next?
Becoming a global star!

Shae Universe- 3
Shae Universe-4
Shae Universe- 3
Shae Universe-4
MUA
Zakiyah Shani
Stylist
Ramario Chevoy
Photography
Karis Beaumont
Hair
Patrone Braidest
Nails
Jade Ford
Lighting
Genesis Studios
NEW NOISE: SHAÉ UNIVERSE

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