If your a fanatic of vocal concussions and melodic harmonies with a blend of old skool Soul and R&B then let me introduce you to SHANESA. A singer/songwriter of Philippine heritage, born and raised in Leicester, before making her big move to London. Shanesa began singing and performing at the age of 14, stating that she was inspired by the likes of Jill Scott, Jhene Aiko, India Arie, Sabrina Claudio, H.E.R, 6LACK, Jorja Smith and Mabel.
Shanesa’s sound can be described as a musical blend or cocktail of genres effortlessly captivating listeners with her vocal acrobatics, colourful riffs and runs as well as serving us a portion of attitude on the side. Original, authentic and unapologetic in her presence and approach, she is extremely down to earth and talented in ways you couldn’t imagine. She has a distinctive signature sound where Soul meets R&B with a little sprinkle of her oriental spice.
Her sound is also often described as mixed with groovy guitar hooks and upbeat summer type feels that reflects those unique underground sounds she confirms to appreciate. All Shanesa’s material is solely written and produced by herself. She explains that her creative process is determined by a mixture of her instincts, feelings and emotions.
She is also an Alumni of the prestigious Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. Founded in 1986, and formerly known as Guitartech & Basstech, then later The Guitar Institute, The ICMP has been delivering and developing courses in contemporary music education for over 30 years.
With a reputation of quality, success and excellence, the ICMP has also nurtured a number of notable alumni including Bloc Party (Louise Bartle), Clean Bandits (Luke Patterson), Daughter, Etta Bond, Foxes, Joelle Moses, Loick Essien, One Direction (Sandy Beales), Radiohead (Ed O’Brian) and The Script (Ben Sageant) to name a few.
Shanesa is now hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous alumni who attended The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and to share her own story and journey so far. She is certainly one of the many gifted and talented musicians that have graced the famous corridors and hallways of this establishment.
One of her more popular singles, “Never Needed You” is somewhat of a female anthem when it comes to relationships and experiences of intimacy from a female perspective and point of view. Closure and clarification seems to be the foundations on which this song was built, and it is definitely one of the treasures on her forthcoming debut EP My Mind.
Another highlight, “When He” highlights the emotional ups and downs of a long distance relationship and some of the main challenges of committing to one. This track shows off a more vulnerable side of Shanesa. The singer takes us on a journey through her feelings where she expresses exactly how she feels about her man in the midst. This slow jam number is perfect for channeling the mood and tone in a variety of setting.
“I Wanna Be” can be described as soothing, relaxing and edgy with a hypnotic vibe and feel to it. It symbolises freedom of expression, being fearless and outspoken, and it spotlights the importance of not being trapped by the decision that we make. With songs like this and ones mentioned above, Shanesa continues to elevate to new musical heights, consistently pushing the creative boundaries.
With support from the likes of BBC Introducing and Reprezent Radio, the songstress is currently working on her highly anticipated My Mind EP, which will include her previous releases “Never Needed You”, “When He” and “I Wanna Be”. When asked about her future prospects and if music was going to be a part of that, she replied: “I absolutely cannot see myself doing anything else apart from from music”.
Words by Oshane Beach