You could be forgiven for thinking that this city seems to be pumping out new talent almost by the day because, well, it is. The latest to emerge from the bubbling underground of the city's next-up is 21-year-old singer/songwriter Shuba, who arrives with the her debut single, premiering today on TheseDays. To be sure, the road to her first official single is a long one that saw her first pop up on radars as a contestant on American Idol at 17 where she was a finalist in the top 20 and last year she parlayed that recognition into a set at the Taste of Chicago. Despite having some big stages before her already, Shuba wanted to make sure she found her sound before releasing music of her own. Having linked up with local producer Chason, she seems to be comfortably hitting her stride here on "Eye to Eye". Check out the full track above and a Q+A with one of the city's freshest young rising stars.
What about this single made you choose it as a debut?
I picked this song as a debut single because it's about a topic that is really important to me. Seeing "Eye to Eye" means to reach agreement or understand where someone is coming from, and that's a personal lesson that I wanted to incorporate in the song. At the time I wrote it, the Orlando NightClub Massacre had just occurred. I realized that I could use my music to highlight this issue and how I felt about it. I was sad, confused, and frustrated, and thought that maybe if people just looked each other in the eyes, and realized that we are all just real, genuine people, these kind of things wouldn’t happen and can be stopped. With “Eye to Eye”, I wish to use my voice to speak out on this and express myself.
What should the people know about Shuba?
I want people to know that I’ve come a long way since my American Idol days in High school. Now that I’m at UChicago, I have been apart of an A Cappella group, “Voices in Your Head” and a Brass Band. I’ve been lucky enough to indulge in some extraordinary experiences. But I still am that girl who hangs out with friends, faces day-to-day life problems, and knows what it feels like to be a slightly confused and impulsive 21 year old just trying to figure herself and her life out. I think my music is a way for me to draw attention to this phase of my life. At the end of the day, I’m just a quirky, weird person who waddles around.
How have you gone about crafting a unique sound?
My Indian background is super important to me. Indians are extremely underrepresented in entertainment, especially in the music industry, so I want to be the one who will inspire others to pursue their dreams and break stereotypes. I channeled my heritage when crafting my unique sound in "Eye to Eye". I told my producer Chason that I wanted ethnic sounding bells to drive home a catchy sounding motif. We were able to take it and fuse it with an alternative pop sounding rhythm while keeping the lyrics at the forefront.
What should listeners keep an eye out for?
Listeners should keep an eye out for a series of singles followed by my debut EP. You can also catch me performing at the Lake FX A&R Auditions on April 21st. I’ll also be performing at Taste of Chicago July 9th.
I appreciate These Days for the support, and look forward to showing Chicago my art.