KEXP Q&A: Shaprece

photo by Dave Lichterman

Seattle’s Shaprece samples many musical styles and fuses them into a rich sound that you can dance to, mellow out to or go wild to. Her big, bright voice fills large spaces as soon as her songs start playing and the unique music behind her vocals tantalizes. Before Shaprece performs the Capitol Hill Block Party tonight, Friday, July 25, KEXP had a chance to catch up with the local songstress.

You create very soulful, stirring music. How do you find living in Seattle affects your compositions? 

Seattle itself plays a huge part in the composition of my sound, particularly with this album. I find myself constantly surrounded by things that have inspired me, whether it be creative people, alluring elements of nature, or the calm atmosphere that fosters sincere emotions.

How do these things specifically influence your work? Particularly “sincere emotions”?

The “sincere emotions” are where the elements of soul are created in my music. I’ve never been shy when it comes to saying exactly what I’m feeling, even if it deals with painful situations and although I wouldn’t consider my sound “soulful” in the traditional sense, I am certainly baring my heart and soul on this record in the most honest and genuine way possible.

What are a few examples of this? A few favorites lines you’ve written? Where did they come from?

“Ten thousand crashes, over and over. Same mistake, I’m a glutton for the pain” from the song “Molting”. I was going through a particularly difficult situation and found myself standing in front of Lake Washington on a pretty hectic day. I noticed that the waves came crashing at my feet at a constant rhythm, each wave bigger than the last. This was exactly how I felt in that moment.

I draw a great deal of inspiration from nature. I’m lucky enough to live in a place where I’m surrounded by it.

Is there a favorite memory from your childhood when you realized the power of nature as force and inspiration? Or did that happen later in your life?

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure when I started using the power of nature as a source of inspiration. I just remember always feeling some sort of emotional connection to it. It’s powerful, chaotic, beautiful, at times frightening, calm, unpredictable… All of those things are the perfect description of human emotions. I believe that I started using it as a tool to paint a picture of my feelings, especially with this album.

What’s the picture you have in your head when you’re singing or writing music? Is there something specific?

I tend to write and sing about personal experiences. Most often the picture in my mind is something that I, or someone close to me is going through at the time. Specifically, the idea and concept of love and relationships. It’s something that we’ve all experience, but no matter how long we’ve been in a relationship, or how many relationships we’ve attempted, no one ever seems to really know what the fuck is going on. That’s why there will always be a reason to write a song of love.

Can you describe your ideal show – openers, accompanists, venue, city?

The first time that I ever saw footage of Bjork’s Royal Opera House performance, I imagined myself getting to play a show with the same aesthetic. I really enjoy the idea of playing along side an orchestra in a theatre type setting, so maybe The Moore backed by the Seattle Symphony? That would be pretty phenomenal!

What’s up next for you?

Block Party, tour, releasing the album, continuing to write and record new music. Excited to see where we go from there!

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