"I could sit down all day watching all the Disney movies"
Hailing from her hometown in East London, the emerging singer-songwriter Shelana Azora is ready to take the UK’s R&B/Hip-Hop scene by storm. Shelana Azora was just 8 years old when she tried writing her own song, inspired by her first discovery of Alicia Keys on the radio. It then gradually developed to writing more rap verses after listening to Eminem, which led to her interest in meshing both R&B and Hip-hop styles in her music. We sat down with Shelana Azora to find out a bit more about hr and if she were a snack what she would be
NEO:How long have you been making music?
SHELANA AZORA:So long! I started writing at 8 years old. I used to listen to eminem on the radio and i was super inspired by his flow and i started writing little raps. I also listened to Alicia Keys a lot, she was a big inspiration at the time. I used to spend a lot of time in the playground singing and dancing
NEO:Who inspires you musically?
SHELANA AZORA: I have quite a few, it tends to change the older I get. I started listening to a lot of Soul and R&B so Alicia Keys was a really big inspiration back then and as I started to grow and find artists for myself I started to listen to artists like Lauryn Hill. As of recently definitely Rhianna, musically she is bomb and her versatility has been incredible to watch.
NEO: Who are your top 3 present artists?
SHELANA AZORA: J. Cole, Rhianna, Lauryn Hill
NEO: If you were a snack what would you be and why?
SHELANA AZORA: I feel like I would be a mango. I am very tropical. I was born in the Caribbean and a mango just represents me in my heritage and my vibe and also I am very sweet.
NEO: What is your favourite series of all time?
SHELANA AZORA: It has to be ‘Power’ it has been the most interesting thing i have watched and its so interesting
NEO:If you had a super power what would it be and why?
SHELANA AZORA: To be invisible. You can use it in more than one way. You can protect yourself from a bad situation or you can find someone. You can blend or disappear whenever you want. Flying would also be super cool
NEO:Do you have any special talents aside from singing?
SHELANA AZORA: I am a filmmaker. I have been making films for 6 years now. It is something I really love doing. I recently put out a film called ‘4C’ and it is about hair textures in the black community. It's a micro short film but it got nominated for the ‘Cambridge and Brighton Film Festival’. I feel like there are so many voices in the Uk have are not heard and the narrative that we see constantly is gang related, I just feel there is more to us than that. Yes it is some people's narratives but as the black community there is more to us than that
NEO:Explain your last single using three words
SHELANA AZORA: Daring, Fun or bouncy and the last word would be experimental.
It was me trying something new for the first time.
NEO: What is your favourite part about being a musician?
SHELANA AZORA: I really love the process, from it being in my head to seeing it come to life in the studio. Then shooting the video and it is like your little baby that you had that needed nurturing growing into something bigger. I really love songwriting as well experimenting with the words and melodies and just seeing what my voice can do.
NEO:What is your guilty pleasure?
SHELANA AZORA: Something like Disney. I could sit down all day watching all the Disney movies
NEO: Let us know where to find you on social media
SHELANA AZORA: @shelazora