13 June 13 words: David Vincent
The elder sister of hitmaker Labrinth, she has toured with Example and Wretch 32, collaborated with Aiden Grimshaw and currently leads the Urban Development Vocal Collective

Alongside Mercury Prize nominated headliner Terri Walker, whose CV includes such names as CeeLoo, Nas and Fergie, are Wiley and Chimpmunk collaborator Ms D, Wretch 32 and Basement Jaxx vocalist Shakka, Derby’s Jamie Joseph, and ShezAr.

The elder sister of hitmaker Labrinth, ShezAr has toured with Example and Wretch 32, collaborated with Aiden Grimshaw (Curtain Call and Nothing At All), and currently leads the Urban Development Vocal Collective. Her debut single was Forever.

You're one of nine, and all musical - are all your brothers and sisters still involved in music?
The majority of us are still heavily involved with music - we're TOTALLY addicted! We all have our different things we specialise in; that also coincides with each other. So we all winning ...hehe.

The Soul Acoustic tour is unplugged - how do you feel about performing just voice and guitar?
It can be a challenge as you've got to try give a full effect performance vocally and visually, without it feeling like its dragging or sounding monotonous. It's never easy - full band, acoustic or PA, it's gotta have feeling, emotion, excitement and bottom line have ears and eyes tuned in. There's deffo a difference though; with full band sometimes you can get lost in the musical sounds of the instruments and the vocals are not heard clearly. Acoustic is when the lyrics and the ‘vocality’ is heard 100 with the accompaniment of the sweet playing guitar!

What do you think to some of the other acts on the tour?
I'm maaaadd excited to be on the same line up as these phenomenal, talented artists. I've been lucky enough to work with the majority of them [before], so it's like a bunch of mates hanging out and sharing their goodies. If you miss this line up you're screwed [laughs].

You recently appeared at Radio 1 Big Weekend with Wretch 32 - how was the festival for you? Any highlights?
Watching Shakka and Wretch perform Blackout was my highlight, and catching up with my younger/older Brother Lab’ bussing jokes backstage. Performing to such a big crowd with a massively talented artist is unexplainable; it's just a great feeling and a fantastic opportunity-Wretchro is such a cool dude and he gives 100% no matter the circumstance which drives you to only do the same. I’m deffo looking forward to the day I’m headlining on Main Stage for any of the big festivals; so may the hard grind continue...

Shezar Interview

ShezAr chats to LeftLion

Forever was your debut single (produced by your brother Mac1) - is a follow-up planned yet?
I love Forever -  if you haven't got it; get it on iTunes NOW!!!  Oh and yes indeedy my next single [is] called What I See, and is nearly ready for the world to listen to. Y'all best be ready yo! it's positive, uplifting and really good feeling tune-great work out tune!

You've done a lot of backing and sessions - what have been some of the highlights or sessions/ collaborations you've been most proud of, or excited about.?
To be honest most of the artists and bands I've been fortunate to work with have been oh so grrrrand - a different experience and unforgettable moments with all really. I guess the one I'll mention now - seeing as she's the main act for this whole [Soul Acoustic] tour and me love her like Mummies well cooked Sunday Dinner with a whole lotta gravy - is our Ms Terri Walker. She was such a pleasure to work with; so fun, down to earth, confident and a beast on stage. Doing back up was an honour and a privilege. Again I say if you ain't at none of these dates of this tour you're sooo missing out!

Why now to step out of the shadows to go full-on solo?
It's all about timing and knowing within yourself you're ready to take that next step. Being a session singer for so long gave me time to analyse and ask myself the question numerous amounts of time if I wanted to be a solo music artist, or keep it as a thing on the side. I'm totally ready to be the artist ShezAr and it was in 2009 that I made this conscious decision; so here I am and I’m here to stay. He-hee ...

What else are you working on at present?
My second single, What I See, is from my forthcoming EP titled #ShezArsTheName -' yes with the hash tag. It's a five-track EP of original material, so expect to be taken on a roller coaster ride of uplifting, heartfelt, emotional, real subjects, good feeling, pulse racing, colourful, sweet Music.

Soul Acoustic with Terri Walker, Shakka, ShezAr, Shea, Ms D, Jamie Joseph, Maxime Philips is at Glee Club on Friday 14 June 2013.

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