Caturday with Shaqdi

Cordelia Speed

Swedish-born Shaqdi is the artist transforming London’s future-soul and RNB scene. Captivated by the likes of Sango and Xavier Omar on Soulection, Shaqdi embarked on her own journey to explore soul music through her unique lens and it’s safe to say her latest EP, Daydreaming, does not disappoint. With music having always played an integral role in her life, Shaqdi quickly recognised just how powerful imbedding messages through sound can be. Daydreaming’s blend of dreamily warm RNB beats with an emotional authenticity makes for an intriguing and almost hypnotic listen. We catch up with Shaqdi on everything from the healing power of music and getting over people to where her mind takes her when daydreaming.

CS: Firstly, how are you? Where have you been spending lockdown and who have you been spending it with?
S: I’m doing fine. I’ve spent the past few months in my flat in London with my boyfriend. It was hard in the beginning but kinda got used to it after a while.
CS: How has lockdown affected your ability to get inspired? Has making music been tricky during this uniquely challenging period we are finding ourselves in?
I didn’t make any music for a while. I tried but I just couldn’t be creative during a time when we’ve got so much more to worry about. It’s funny like you have all the time in the world but you can’t find a single moment to do anything.
CS: As a Swedish-born artist now based in London, what would you say are the main differences between the music scene in Sweden and in the UK?
S: I’m not up to date with the music scene in Sweden since I’ve been out of it for a while, but when I lived there the soul and RNB scene wasn’t very big and that’s one of the reasons why I moved. There are probably more Swedish RNB artists now but it’s still not a huge genre there.
CS: Growing up with a family of music fanatics, it’s almost as if you have music flowing through your veins. When did a career in music transform from a dream to a reality?
Music has always been the center of my life, but I was mostly doing it for fun when I was younger. I started producing and writing songs in high school, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started taking it more seriously.
CS: The track “mom” from your Daydreaming EP is a touching ode to family and a thank you to your mom for always supporting you. How has your mom’s taste in music and engagement with the world of music influenced your own?
My mom is a big part of my musical journey. She introduced music into my life at a young age by teaching me piano and taking me to all the other music lessons. She’s always been very encouraging and cheering me on and I’m so grateful for that.
CS: Channelling an extraordinarily broad range of influences from the world of R&B, your music is best described as gorgeous future-soul on an electronic tip. Which artists would you say have influenced your unique music style the most?
I got hooked on Soulection in the early days and remember hearing Sango and Xavier Omar and I just fell in love with that sound. It’s been a minute since I listened Sango tho but I must say that his beats definitely got me into that future soul vibe.
CS: It’s refreshing to see how open you are and how honestly you share your experiences of love and loss through your music. Do you find that music can be a tool to help us work through the past?
Music adds motion and direction. So as a listener I think it’s a lot stronger to hear someone say something when it’s imbedded in sounds, it just adds another layer and can have a bigger impact on you. It’s also comforting to hear someone else experiencing the same things as you are. It makes you feel like you’re not alone, so I definitely believe that music can have a healing power.
CS: “Predictable” is a track that pretty much everyone can relate to! What advice do you have for those trapped in that timeless situation of trying to get over someone who is making it difficult for you to move on?
S: Move to another country if you wanna get over someone haha. No, I dunno I’m no relationship expert but I guess getting someone out of your life by getting someone new on your mind always worked for me. Start dating and allow yourself to feel something for someone again and maybe you can move on eventually.
CS: You describe “Daydreaming” as being all about “creating your own reality and to zone out from the world people want you to believe and live in”. Listening to this track I truly feel like I’m being transported somewhere brighter and better. Where does your mind travel to when daydreaming?
Moving to a warm island somewhere far away would be pretty sick. A stress free, sunny place by the sea where I can just chill and enjoy life with people that makes me happy, that’s what I daydream about.
CS: In light of the pandemic and the recent devastating events around the world the idea of daydreaming to escape reality has a whole new dimension of meaning. A forward-thinker by nature, I’d love to hear a little bit about your vision for the ‘new normal’ and what changes you’d like to see in society?
Caring for and about each other is the most important thing. We all need to take responsibility and help those who are in desperate need for help. It’s easy to get caught up in yourself and your own problems but right now a lot of people are struggling and suffering so we need to show solidarity and help in any way we can.
CS: Through your dreamily warm R&B beats and commitment to lyrical honesty, your music has a lasting emotional impact on its listeners. Truly an artist to watch, the future is looking very bright for Shaqdi and we’re excited for what’s next! Can you tell us anything about your next project?
Everything has been on pause for a while so I’m not too sure what the next thing will be. I do wanna spend more time working on a project as a whole concept rather than just song by song so we’ll see, but hopefully I’ll release something new soon.

Click to check out Shaqdi’s playlist