Foto-© Flore Diamant
Aufgewachsen in sieben Ländern, ist Eliza Shaddad die hochbegabte Tochter einer sudanesischen Astrophysikerin und eines schottischen Diplomaten. Als Mehrsprachlerin mit einem Abschluss in Philosophie studierte Eliza Jazz an der Londoner Guildhall, bevor sie ihre erste EP selbst produzierte und mit Jack Patterson von Clean Bandit aufnahm. Es folgten noch zwei weitere EPs und ihr von der Kritik gefeiertes 2018er-Debütalbum Future – und heute erscheint ihr neues Album The Woman You Want! Zwölf Monate lang verengte sich für die Produktion des Albums die Welt von Eliza und ihrem Ehemann und Produzenten BJ Jackson auf das eigene Bedroom-Studio im britischen Cornwall, wo nun zunächst aus der Not eine Tugend erwuchs – und dann aus dieser Tugend ein künstlerischer Möglichkeitsraum, in dem jegliche Trennung zwischen sonstigem Leben und Kunst von vorneherein zum Scheitern verurteilt war. “Es war wirklich sehr intensiv”, sagt Shaddad, “ein ziemliches Auf und Ab der Gefühle. Ein ganzes Jahr lang rund um die Uhr immer zusammen zu sein, war zwar großartig, weil wir einander bedingungslos vertrauen und alle Zeit der Welt hatten, Dinge auszuprobieren. Aber gefühlsmäßig war es nicht immer leicht.” Für uns hat die Songwriterin ein Track by Track zum Album geschrieben!
1. The Man I Admire
This opening song was really chosen to set the album up thematically. It’s a kind of a bridge between the previous things I’ve released and what’s to come. A dark little blend of chorusy guitars and harmonies. And lyrics that deal with dashed expectations and apathy.
I started writing Heaven while I was visiting family in hospital and then finished it later in lockdown. I was feeling super separated from folks and trying to find a way to connect with those I loved. I thought it would be a small slow number originally, but as soon as we started trying things like harmonica on it I was excited for it to be a really loud and powerful tune:) It’s really fun to play live.
3. Fine & Peachy
A rebellious, sick-of-this-sh*t kind of song which is really fun to sing acerbically:) I was really frustrated when I wrote it – and trying to get those feelings out. As an independent musician – a woman, and a woman of colour, who was self-managing and self-releasing at the time of recording – I just felt like I was relying too much on the outside world. I felt empowered to call things out as I saw them.
4. The Woman You Want
This song was one of the weirdest and most meta to record. I think the first few weeks of being stuck indoors without shows etc was a very ‘look yourself in the mirror’ kind of time for a lot of folks- and this song is about that time for me. It was strange recording it just in the next room from where I wrote it, trying to figure out what I wanted to be in this world, during a pandemic. And it’s the title track for many reasons.
5. Waiting Game
I love how sweet and earnest this song is lyrically but such an urgent rollercoaster musically. Lush strings, pulsing electronic drums and a kind of wild explorative energy that shows a different side to the music and gives a hint of what else is to come as you get deeper into the album. I love the taste of other worldiness as it grows. It’s nice too that it shows a sweeter side to relationships, with oneself and the outside world.
6. Tired of Trying
This song is about resignation. About that exact point where you are ready to give up but I guess realistically know you won’t. I love the production which sweeps you up in this sort of never-ending despair. It’s a beast to sing so high and so steady when you’re used to being an alto so will be a bit of a trial live I’m guessing, but it feels so honest to sing I think it’ll be a highlight for me.
7. In the Morning (Grandmother Song)
This song is about my grandmothers – one Sudanese one Scottish. It’s a song about dementia and illness, and what it was like to lose them, and it’s super emotional for me. This one’s been written for a while now and I’ve played it live a lot. It’s often the one that folks connect with the most so it was tricky to commit to a version of it on the record but I’m so glad we did.
8. Now You’re Alone
This is the song on the album you should scream-sing to if you need to get some anger/frustration out. It’s got enormous drums and strings and effervescent guitars, and the vocal packs an absolute punch. Weirdly I wrote it about a really specific situation unrelated to 2020 but I see with hindsight it basically came out as a lockdown anthem ha. I can’t wait to play this one live 🙂
A lush, natural – soft, sweet, and hopeful ending to the album. Something a bit different to end on which I think hints at where I’d like to go next with music. This song is full of influences from my Sudanese heritage and is all about feeling open to the world, and love again, after a long dark winter. Relevant to the world at this time? Hope so 🙂 x