Shehxna: The New Voice of R&B
UK R&B and Pop singer, Shehana aka Shehxna, brings passion and gospel to the R&B world. Her newest single, “Lover Girl,” released on November 13th, carries the bare emotions of a heartbroken heartbreaker. The lyrics to this song expresses mixed feelings of falling in love with someone before finding love in yourself. Thus, this single is a message to all those who love too hard. It is also a soulful melody which supports the power of Shehxna’s narrative within R&B. So tune in to Shehxna’s new music video for “Lover Girl” on YouTube!
The Garnette Report had the pleasure to talk to Shehxna about her new single, “Lover Girl” and her music process! Say with us to get the inside scoop with Charmaine Swasey.
CS: When did you first fall in love with music?
Shehxna: I would say my earliest memories of music was probably around the age of four. I’d be at my uncle’s house, standing on a chair singing literally anything and everything. I’d play the piano and the drums as well. I think I always love performing and music. My dad also was really into music. I’d listen to culture music, love songs like from Eric Clapton to like Luther Vandross. I think all of that played a part in like my love for music now.
CS: How was transitioning from the U.K. to the U.S.? Did it feel like such a culture shock?
Shehxna: I moved out here when I was 18 and by myself. And I felt like that was definitely a culture shock. I was born and raised in London so I guess it was just about getting accustomed to the environment. And people, and also like going to college out here is a different experience compared to studying in the U.K. But it’s also been something I’ve dreamt of since I was 9 years old. But so far, I am just making the most of this experience.
CS: How’s college and balancing that with being an artist?
Shehxna: I would say that it’s not something that I’ve really struggled with. I would say growing up, I went to a grammar school in the U.K. I think I’ve always been used to having a heavy curriculum. And like, learn to balance my music as well as my education. I think coming out here was just another way to just apply what I was already doing out in the U.K. So I just have a very precise schedule I feel like I could make sure I am doing everything I can for my music and getting my degree. But it’s very interesting and it motivates me a lot. And it keeps pushing me to do more. I personally enjoy doing both.
CS: How do you know that the R&B genre is the right fit for you?
Shehxna: I would say growing up, I have listened to a variety of genres. And I felt like I always kinda leaned more toward R&B. I grew up singing a lot of ballads and such. As I grew older and learned more about myself as an artist, I found myself falling in love with the genre. But I think in terms of the melodies, and the way I personally sing, R&B is where I’m at. But I’m always open to like trying other genres as well.
CS: Do you have a favorite artist who influences your song writing?
Shehxna: Yeah. I wouldn’t even know who to start with. I think there’s a bunch of artists honestly. But also genres as well I think. When I was in the U.K. I was very much into my U.K. scene so like, Jorja Smith, Dave, and I think Common made me appreciate the rap side of things too. My favorite artist right now would be Fridayy. And I think all of these genres play a part for me when I write my music too. I think that’s also why I love listening to a variety of genres right now. I think that is definitely influencing my writing space right now. It’s always changing depending on where my head space is at. But those are a few artists I am really in love with right now.
CS: If you were to ever collaborate with one of those artists, who would it be?
Shehxna: I’ve been saying this for a while now. But definitely Fridayy. I love the way he kind of combines R&B with this [a] gospel sound. And that’s two of my favorite genres. I think even his lyrics are about faith, along side his music, and goes with my music too right down the line. I think it’s really important to me right now. I’ve been speaking more about love, so I would love to get more into faith and my personal journey as well too.
CS: Does “Lover Girl” speak to something that happened in your personal life?
Shehxna: Yeah, “Lover Girl” is more of an honest truth to me. It’s a song that captured a journey for me which was why it was special for me when I was writing and recording it. I started writing a premiere around August I want to say. But I never completed it. I felt like there was something missing and I think it was because of what I was going through at the time. And I think, as I continued to experience this relationship and going through the things I did, it helped me put the pieces together for this record. So this song is one that is very close to my heart.
CS: Was it a struggle to come up with a title for this song?
Shehxna: I wouldn’t say so at all. I think everything was planned natural. I did not really feel I need to dit down and think about it too much. But once I have finished the song I was like, for me like I was the “lover girl” in the situation. So when I finished the song and fit in the words, it wasn’t like a pre-planned process to make a title. It was very much like a sit down with the instruments and I just flowed with every part of it.
CS: Would you say the same about the song’s lyrics? Like was it easy to create?
Shehxna: Yes definitely. When I started this song, the situation was ever-changing, so I think the song starts off with me trying to get this person out of my head. Then in the middle of the song it’s like, I’m a lover girl and you turned into a thug. And by the end of it, I’m a lover girl and don’t mess with me. Those are three different points I’m trying to say.
Maybe at the time, the hardest part might have been figuring out the next part of the song. But I realized the song is a process for me and once something about the song kind of changed, that was when I went back and finished it. When it came to me it wasn’t hard to write. But overall, I would say it was an honest song for me. I also didn’t have to think too much about it.
CS: And what is your creative process like?
Shehxna: Usually I would say I just really have to mess with the beat and the instrumental part before I start. I didn’t really think too much into what I’m about to wrote. I let flow whatever was in my mind at the time and let the instrumental come through. I think I’m very specific with my environment and just having the right space around me when I’m writing my music. But even like for “Lover Girl,” it was one of the easiest songs for me to write just cuz it was honest to me. I feel like that’s what I’m also learning through this. The more I lean in towards my heart, and be more truthful with my music, the easiest is for me to wrote these songs as I thought about it.
CS: What are some areas you would like to improve in as a solo artist?
Shehxna: I would say I’d love to get more into performing and dance. Growing up, I went to a performing arts school, so I used to do singing, dancing, and acting. I think coming out to the U.S., I’ve been a lot more focused just on my music and song writing, so I would like to get more into the performing side of things and really make the most of that, because I love doing all three of those things and would like to combine all of them.
CS: Does that mean you have no trouble with stage fright?
Shehxna: You know I have performed for a really long time, from a young age. I felt like when I was younger I didn’t have no sense of nerves when I go up. I just felt free when I went up there. But I feel like now as I’m doing the work and out here in America doing more shows and things like that. I feel like sometimes I need to make sure I do the best I can and overcome that so I can perform to the best of my ability.
CS: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Shehxna: If I could give any piece of advice to my younger self, I would say just to keep dreaming big. Growing up I always knew I wanted to do music, and pictured myself being here, like manifesting that. Trust in the process honestly. Especially in moments when I felt doubt and even being delusional with my dreams. There is never a line to draw when you want to dream about doing something.To try to be more easier on yourself and letting things flow as well.
CS: Lastly, what’s next for you?
Shehxna: There’s definitely new stuff lined up. I’m always writing new music, but there is definitely new music coming out next year, an EP potentially on the way, and more for the new year. for many listeners out there. And just really building my catalogue and stuff and show everyone who I am as an artist and what I’ve been working on so far.
Feel free to follow Shehxna on her Instagram: @shehxna to know more about herself and her music journey.
Featured Image of Shehxna via Instagram @shehxna.