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artist spotlight: Shamiya Battles and the premiere of One Way | music

Shamiya Battles describes her work better than anybody else could, as “a beautiful place in the middle of innovation and nostalgia”.

The nostalgia comes from her heavy influence of old school R&B, immediately evident when you click play on her new track One Way, and the accompanying video is an intimate welcome into where she is at right now and what’s to come.

As someone who values both her lyrics and her sound, she self produces her own music and isn’t hiding it. The video is almost a behind-the-scenes look into how she creates, and as more women begin to get paid their dues for producing their work, Shamiya is one of many emerging artists owning her craft.

“If you like One Way, you'll love what’s to come.”

One Way is the first single of an upcoming EP from Battles, a body of work where she intends to be more open with people and push her production skills to the next level. Until we get the next instalment, get to know Shamiya herself, and keep scrolling to see her brand new video for One Way.

Is Shamiya Battles your birth name or stage name? It's so fitting for an artist.

Shamiya Battles is my whole government name! I get that a lot! I love it because my music is so authentic to me, so the fact I use my real name coincides with my sound to me.

How do you usually start new tracks, what’s your process? Is it production that comes first or lyrics?

I start all of my songs on piano, I just let whatever is on my heart flow. I don’t actually start the production process until I’m 100% happy with how I’ve written it with just piano and voice. That way producing is just like building further on hopefully what is already a strong and steady foundation.

What made you release One Way as a single?

Well One Way is my first single off my upcoming EP, and it’s the perfect song to set the tone of what to expect from me sonically and thematically in terms of song writing. I’ve recently been pushing myself as a producer but also as a person being more open with people, sharing my personality more, etc., and with One Way I explore those two very prominent themes through the sound, lyrics and the music video.

How would you say this track prepares listeners for what’s to follow?

Well I hope people like One Way but I also hope it sounds like nothing you’ve quite heard before or are hearing currently. There’s a beautiful place in the middle of innovation and nostalgia that I feel like you can find in my music. So if you like One Way you'll love what’s to come.

How important is your lyrical content to you?

Lyrics are very important to me. I know how powerful words are and as a songwriter I don’t take that lightly. However I say how I feel, always. I’m not really one to go over lyrics and try and find better words etc. I believe in the moment I’m writing, what my heart wants to say is what is meant to be said! And maybe it’s not just meant for me but for others.

Tell me about the video and its meaning to you. Who did you work with? Where did the concept stem from?

This video is very special to me! We had like 0 budget, just me, Suhail Patel, who’s a brilliant videographer and my manager! A three man team, haha. I had all my music equipment in this little apartment and my aim was to invite the listener into my little world of music making. I make all my music at home in my bedroom and sometimes when it’s going well I’ll take a break and just listen to it and dance around my room and allow myself to feel what I’ve created. And I do just that in the video! It’s also important to me to showcase myself as a women producer, so many women produce and we just don’t know. That’s something I’m actively wanting to share because it’s powerful to see women making their own music in a male dominated industry. And it’s also just me being me.

What are some of your inspirations for the music you create?

I take most of my inspirations from my own life experiences and just watching and learning from other people. Most of music is just me on the journey of self-discovery. I hope my music can be helpful to people who are on a similar journey.

The production sounds really inspired by old school R&B, is this conscious?

I’m very inspired by old school R&B from 70’s to the 00’s! It’s my favourite genre and I take that as a very big compliment when people mention that my music reminds them of old school R&B. I grew up listening to the greats so I guess it’s just subconscious, I couldn’t run from it even if I tried!

Who are some of your own influences? Do they fit within the same genre and production styles?

Well I’d want nothing more than to make music as good as some of my influences. Artists such as; Stevie Wonder (the best songwriter of all time to me, ha), Erykah Badu, Janet Jackson, D’Angelo, Miguel, Destiny’s Child, Amerie as well as Jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis.

Is there anything in particular you’d like to explore that you have yet to try in your music?

This is a great question. Yes! Some of my favourite music is when R&B is married with other genres like rock, alternative, Latin, Pop, reggae, jazz etc. I would love to experiment with different artists and sounds in that way.

What music inspires you the most when making your own music?

Definitely old school R&B, at the moment particularly seventies R&B. However I’m also inspired by artists of today - there is some very exciting and innovative music coming out at the moment. Especially from the UK, if I do say so myself ,ha.

Have you had the chance to perform One Way live yet? When are you next performing?

I had the honour of performing One Way recently at Amazing Grace in London Bridge with my band. It was the biggest stage I’ve been on so far! It was so fun and I can’t wait to do it again!

What do you hope people understand about you as an artist when they hear this new music and see this video?

I hope people will hear and see my authenticity. I really am just being me and doing me. No gimmicks, just me.

One Way and its new video are available now.

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