SHHE is the alter-ego of Scottish-Portuguese artist and producer Su Shaw. Her self-titled debut album tracks a period of intense personal change, resulting in a sparse, haunting and atmospheric album that journeys through introspection and exploration of identity. After it being out for a month, Su spoke with The Fountain about her development in music as well as the release.
TF: You have a new album out, that must be exciting. And what has been the reception been like to your self-titled album, can you elaborate on what inspired the crux of it?
It’s a nice thing to walk into a record shop and see my album on a shelf, on a wall, in a rack. When people say that they’ve been listening to and enjoying the record – and that it’s been living in places that I’ve never been to before, that’s really exciting.
The record was written during a time of change in my life. I wrote it as a way to process some of the things that were happening at that time. Both internally and externally. The theme of identity and exploring what that means on a personal level, that was something that I was thinking about a lot when I was working on the album.
TF: And you used to be in a band pre SHHE, Panda Su, who had a very different sound, but how do you think your new music differs to that of PS?
Panda Su was an early music project, it was my first tentative step. I began to experiment with electronics but never really explored them in the way that I have been with this project. The main difference between both projects is time and confidence. As Panda Su, I was used to working in a studio with a producer. As SHHE, I produce all of the music myself. This has been the real catalyst for experimenting. I’m much clearer about the sounds that I want to create and that knowledge and ability gives me the confidence to be much more flexible and courageous in my approach.
TF: Can we look forward to seeing you live soon, touring with it anytime soon, particularly here in Scotland?
The album is one month old but I haven’t performed it live across Scotland yet so I’m planning some shows in early 2020. The first is at The Hug and Pint as part of Celtic Connections in January. I’m also looking forward to bringing it to Edinburgh – and a hometown show in Dundee. Later in the year, I’m planning to make it over to Europe for the first time for some live shows.
TF: What does it feel like to be signed to One Little Indian, the same record label as Bjork?
When I first met One Little Indian, I had just returned from Iceland where I’d been working on a project. It felt very serendipitous; I’d just fallen in love with the country and was pining to go back and One Little Indian were already working with incredible artists there; Björk, Ásgeir, Samaris.
I had always been a little sceptical of labels and had always self-released because of that. Now there are more people involved in supporting the project, but creatively, it still feels like I’m self-releasing in a way. Every decision is a conversation. The label is family run and everything they do feels like an extension of that. It’s a very supportive relationship. I know how rare that is, I’m very grateful for that.
SHHE is performing at the Hug and Pint as part of Celtic Connections on 25th January 2020