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.
Speaking on the new the new track, Universe explained, “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.”
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.