Shirazee is a pop singer from Benin but the artist moved a lot throughout his life : Ghana, UK, South Africa, France and the US. His talent for music allowed him to overcome homelessness, he wrote for numerous names like Afrojack and Ty Dolla $ign. In 2016, his first own single, different, is released and 2 years later his first EP, Home and Away, with 6 songs.
How did you get into music ?
Being from Benin and In junior high school in Ghana, I lost it when a friend played me OutKast. There was no going back, I knew it was music for Life or die tryin’ lol I started off as a rapper and eventually found my voice when a friend who heard me sing my choruses pushed me over the edge. I was told for a long time my voice wasn’t the “good” voice for the business whatever that means so a lot of my development was done in secret and while I wrote for other acts. As time went on found my voice and here we are.
What has been your journey before Shirazee music debut ?
The Men in Black zapped me, I have zero recollection of life before music. It was all a blur! I would have to be hypnotized for that information. My sole focus was make it in music, also I’m not responsible for whatever happened before music lol we should seriously schedule that hypnosis session, been wanting to try it lol
Who are your inspirations ?
Anything my mother played around the house when I was a kid, from Benin music like gg vickey, Ggnonas Pedro to American music like Otis Redding, Barry White, the eagles, Marvin Gaye etc.
In which way do you try to innovate from what has been done before ?
I stay attentive to the pulse and It’s pretty clear when you hear the music I make that though afro-influenced my voice, the production is so distinct it already sounds link nothing else so that’s an advantage and the rest is really about being the best version of myself and letting it shine through. My belief is if you try too hard to innovate you can easily become a caricature, best to be your authentic self and master your craft as much as possible.
What has been your best memories as an artist so far ?
Hmmm I would have to say the two that stand out so far in my career, first the call while I was in Nashville to be on stand by in case Sting needed anything as he was about to record a song I wrote. Blew my mind and second is opening for Orelsan at the top of the year in Paris, France in front of 17,000 people. It was amazing.
You have a song called Fifa, are you into soccer ? Which teams do you support ?
Lol. I’m a big football fan, can’t bring myself to calling it soccer just yet. I used to play as a kid coming up and wasn’t too shabby if I may say so myself. Huge Arsenal fan although we are going through some tough changes right now. The song Fifa was an hommage to this girl playing games and my favorite sport.
Are you into other sports ?
I watch basketball too and American football occasionally.