Interview: Eliza Shaddad

Equally at home perusing murder ballads and decoding Arabic scales, Eliza Shaddad’s singular artistry is the product of an incredibly diverse and borderless upbringing.

Eliza Shaddad will play on Tuesday 10th March 2020 at The Cuban Embassy Birmingham. Tickets are on sale here.

You’ve had a pretty mega year so far and it’s only February! What are your personal highlights? 

It’s been so mental! The stuff of dreams really. Highlight-wise I’ve been hungering for this EP to come out for a long time and working super independently to get it there, so it’s been especially great to see those plans come good and have lots of exciting things happen around it.

You’ve just supported Keane, how was that for you? Any stand out moments? Have you always been fans of the band? If you could tour/support with anyone who would it be?

It was incredible! I’d heard them a lot growing up and had heard some of their new album too which is wonderful.  They are such a lovely band and their whole crew were so welcoming.  I had my first proper tour bus experience which was well fun, and one of my favourite ever shows; in an old bullring in Lisbon in front of 6000 people. Haha wow, there would be a lot of answers to that! I’d love to support Ani DiFranco or Tori Amos, or John Frusciante.

You’re latest release ‘Same As You’ tell us a bit about the track? 

It’s a song I wrote during difficult family time, on an old airbase in Suffolk.  It’s about relationships really and trying to connect with people.  I love how simple it is and we made a really simple video for it which is just a series of photos with some weird effects on.

Your headline UK tour is quickly approaching, what can fans expect from it? 

I’m bringing my ridiculously mint band. We’re playing a megamix of old tunes and new songs, we’ll be shimmying from intimate acoustic solo moments to full wall-of-sound grunge, and we’ve got some incredible supports joining us too.

Do you prefer performing live to recording? Would you rather be an act that people love to see live or one that people listen to on repeat in the car?

I do, but I don’t think it’s impossible to be both, and that’s what I want

What do you think about the UK’s music scene as a whole?

It’s really exciting – the music is so diverse, and there are so many talented people out there.  It’s hard work to be a part of, and it can be very London-centric, but there are bananas great music all over the place.

Tell us a bit about how you create your tracks. 

I write on guitar, often riffs and lyrics separately, brought together later, and then when a song is written I work on logic to make a demo with drums and bass etc so I know what I want it to sound like.  Then I’ll normally work with a producer and musicians to record it and get it sounding as epic as possible

What is the main thing that you hope people take away from your music?

I guess I’d like them to get what I get from it – an expunging of emotion, and ensuing catharsis

Following the UK tour, what else should fans keep their eyes peeled for?

LP2! That’s my next release to come. And festivals first – we’ll be popping up here and abroad!

What’s on your bucket list for 2020?

AY ha, I think if I say them they won’t come true. I’ve always wanted to see Giant Sequoias and I’m heading to California next week to check that off the bucket list

What would you most like to achieve during your music career?

A lifetime of honest releases, and haha maybe single name status? I could just be ’Shaddad’?