Mississauga’s  Shyann has been getting a lot of buzz over the past few years about her sultry voice and moody / haunting sound. From placing well in national contests, to charming hometown audiences, Shyann is making a good impression wherever she goes. Check out her album: Into The Ground.

Shyann and her quartet play Homegrown Hamilton tonight; find the details on our events page. I caught up with Shyann this week to talk about her music

Q –  Tell us about your musical background. How did you get started? 
When I was about ten/eleven years old, and my parents realized I had a knack for singing, they put me in opera lessons with the established Madam Eleanor Calbes. She taught me how to control my voice and helped me build confidence in my craft. Ever since, I started singing in church every Sunday and eventually started finding my own sound.

Q – What was it like to train as an Opera singer?
Eleanor is a very accomplished singer and mentor. I loved learning with her because she pushed her students past their comfort zone, and  taught us discipline within our craft. It laid an excellent foundation when I ended up attending an arts school in high school, where I learned more about jazz music. From there, I met producer Nick Name, and we both knew that we had the ability create something unique, and interesting if we combined our musical backgrounds.  That’s how ‘Into The Ground’ was created.

Q –  What is your stage set up like? Do you perform with a band, or do you use beats / a DJ, etc?
We do a mix of both. The Shyann Quartet features a fresh take on the art of looping and the interaction of hip-hop production with live musicians. While we have producer Nick Name looping live instruments, and laying down scratches, we also have live drums alongside myself on the mic.

Q –  Can you tell us a bit about your musical influences?
I appreciate many different musical acts, from Radiohead to Portishead, from Amy Winehouse to Oh Land. I appreciate their individuality, and dedication towards creating their own sound, as opposed to trying to fit into a particular genre.

Q – I’ve seen the term ‘Trip Pop’ used to describe your sound, would you say that is accurate? How would you describe your sound? 
I would say it’s as accurate as it’s going to get. It’s a genre we created since our sound is a mix of many genres, including Trip Hop, Jazz, Pop, Soul & Blues. We didn’t set out to create our own genre but it was something that naturally came out of the collaboration between myself, and  producer Nick Name.

Q –  What is the music scene like in Mississauga? 
I think the scene is growing in Mississauga. I definitely know a lot of talented musicians in town, and I do see the need for more outlets where not only cover bands can play regularly but bands with original material as well.

Q  – What are you listening to these days? Do you have any tracks / artists to recommend to us?
I’ve actually gone back to one of my favourite albums from my university days at McMaster, ‘Do You Want More’ by the Roots. It’s got some heavy jazz influences, plus dope beatboxing which makes me bob my head every time.

Q –  What do you have planned for the rest of the year, musically?
We have a few shows coming up in the next few months within the GTA. Most notably the official release party at Drake Underground on Thursday July 4th.  We’re also playing the 2013 Oakville Jazz Festival. Other than that, we’ll be at Homegrown Hamilton tonight, come check it out!

Thanks, Shyann!

Biljana
@CutFromSteel