22-year old singer Shannon Saunders is making her mark on the music scene, not least for her newest single Rip In Your Jeans. We caught up with her to chat musical inspo, secret addictions and what she’s got on the agenda for the rest of the year…
Tell us about yourself…
I am 22 years old and a self taught Singer/ Songwriter/Musician from Wiltshire. I started building a fan base on YouTube when I was 14 years old mainly because I had nothing better to do growing up in the middle of nowhere. I now write songs for myself and other artists and either keep them or let them fly the nest. I use songwriting as a kind of therapy. It helps me to articulate and understand why I’m feeling a certain way and joins the dots between things happening in my life, either for the first time or if they’re happening over and over again. It keeps me grounded and if I don’t do it for a while I start to go slightly mad.
My sound has changed a lot over the years as I started self-releasing music in my early teens. My release history is like a little timeline of my life so far and has changed quite significantly over the years. As you can imagine life at 14 is very different to life at 22 but it’s meant my following have grown up with me which is pretty cool.
What 5 travel essentials can’t you live without on tour?
Headphones, travel candles (super handy for smelly backstage areas literally makes any room 100 x nicer), dry shampoo, a good series – usually either GIRLS or The Crown at the moment and DEFINITELY earplugs!
Your videos are amazing, what’s the inspiration?
Thanks! It really depends on the song I’m shooting for. I try to bring the story out of the song and fit the visuals around the sounds and mood of it. I write visually too so I always have a rough idea about the key things I want included in the video.
How would you describe your aesthetic and how does it inspire your music?
I definitely dress how I’m feeling. So if I turn up to the studio in all black oversized everything my producer knows it’s gonna be a moody song kinda day.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve met so far?
James Blake on side of the stage at Pukkelpop Festival after his set. Dreams do come true.
Where can we see you perform next?
I’m actually discussing plans for my own headline show at the moment and it’s looking like it could be a date in May! I’m so excited to play all my new material as it feels like I’ve been locked away writing it for forever.
What’s the best gig you have ever played?
I remember supporting Kyla La Grange at The Village Underground in East London and it being a really special show with my band. It’s a great venue and the crowd were so appreciative and just stood bopping their heads facing me which really surprised me as being the support act can be tough. Also playing a sold out show at the Roundhouse with Wilkinson in February was pretty special.
What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
My debut album is finally finished so that will be out in the big wide world. Also I want to do another headline tour so I’ll be on the road again with my band touring the new material.
Who would you like to collaborate with and why?
SIA & Kate Bush. Those ladies got skills and they both inspire me so much.
Why do you think the relationship between fashion and music is so strong?
They’re both a form of expression. Sound and visual just go hand in hand really. It’s why music videos work so well and can be so powerful.
What’s your favourite music video?
I’m actually really loving what Tove Lo has just done with the music videos for her album ‘Lady Wood’ by making them all fit together into a short film.
What gets you hyped for a gig?
I think when I’m backstage at a gig and I can hear the room filling up with people that gives me the biggest buzz. There’s so much anticipation and nervous energy at live shows.
Who did you listen to growing up?
My parents played quite a wide variety of different music. So I remember listening to UB40, 808 State, Massive Attack, Fleetwood Mac, Sade and Joni Mitchell growing up.
Who’s your biggest musical inspiration?
I’ve got a few but anything by Bonobo at the moment usually inspires me to create.
What’s your guilty pleasure, most played track?
Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader (TUNE!)
Last album you listened to all the way through?
Solange – A Seat At The Table
What track gives you goosebumps?
Bon Iver – I Can’t Make You Love Me and Moderat – Let In The Light
What’s your spirit animal?
Probably an owl. I feel like I’m quite intuitive and they say owls are too. I’m also pretty nocturnal if I’m being creative.
What emoji best describes you?
The smirk. I’ve even had a friend give me a keyring with it on as a gift just because it reminded her of me.
Who are you currently stalking on Instagram?
@mimielashiry is gorgeous!!
What makes you laugh?
Butters snapchat filters and my mates’ infectious laughs usually at said ugly snapchat filters.
What’s your secret addiction?
Any kind of health fad / alternative thing. I have a cupboard in my kitchen full of like chickpea crisps and coconut jerky.
Who’s your celebrity wannabe wife?
What would be your superhero power?
Being able to teleport because I hate going on planes and London traffic is mad.
What was the first thing you did this morning?
Tell us something weird about yourself…
I can make one eye go out to the side and the other stay straight. It usually happens of its own accord the more drunk I get too.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
The new Banks, Glass Animals, Solange and Bon Iver records are my favourite albums on Spotify at the moment.
What’s your song to get you ready for a party?
Kaytranada – Leave Me Alone.
What has been your favourite place you’ve travelled to?
I love Bali & Lombok.
If you were a Spice Girl which one would you be?
Ginger Spice is a bit of a boss lady and Geri once wrote that she loved me next to a doodle I did on someone’s studio wall once. I think it was more to do with the explicit word I used though.
What do you love about Missguided?
It’s affordable for us unsigned musicians but still makes us feel like we’re wearing items which could break the bank.
What item of clothing can’t you live without?
The leather jacket my dad bought my mum for her 18th birthday from Dune. Me and my sisters always fight over it. It’s lush.
What items do you make sure you pack on your travels?
My headphones, lip balm and hand cream, something to read and my film camera.
Who is your style icon and why?
I love Camille Rowe. The way she throws outfits together so effortlessly but every item compliments the other. She also mixes vintage with contemporary pieces which I love to do too.
Where do you look for fashion inspiration?
I always keep an eye out for things people are wearing in different cities I visit on the road. Vintage shops, vintage flea markets and charity shop finds also hold a big place in my heart.
What best describes your style?
It’s basically a big mixture of my favourite finds and I also love a lot of different textures. I like to incorporate texture in my visuals too.
What’s your favourite fashion trend this season and why?
The flares, bell sleeves and the berets. They spice up any outfit.
If you could steal anyone’s wardrobe who’s would it be?
Some old eccentric female artist that’s kept all her clothes from the 60s and 70s from the south of France or Maria Bernard.
You can only wear one outfit for the rest of the year, what is it?
Vintage high waisted blue jeans, black leotard, chunky vintage belt, platform black mules and my signature silver rings and earrings.
Wanna know more? Follow Shannon on Insta @saundersshannon
…and listen to her tracks, including new single Rip in Your Jeans, on Soundcloud: