Healing through music
“One day, I was just like ‘I’m gonna start making music again’. That really helped me get over a lot of things that I’d gone through, for me to let it out and move on.
“I recorded a song dedicated to my father. Luckily, when he was alive I secretly recorded him singing, because he was a singer before. And I thought ‘let me just sample my dad’s singing voice into the song’.
“I can listen to it now without crying. Before it was like ‘I can’t listen to this’. It was just such a sad thing, but it was definitely therapeutic for me. Music is a good way to say ‘right, I’m just gonna use that and turn it into a song – make a good thing out of it’.”
Shallise X George – ‘One More Day’
Listen to the amazing track Shallise recorded, featuring a sample of her dad singing.
Shallise originally got involved with Raw Material through her work with another arts charity that was based in the same building. Since her breakthrough which led her back into music-making, she’s gone from strength to strength with Raw Material’s support.
Last year Shallise planned, managed and presented her own music showcase and EP launch event, which was held at Raw Material and attended by figures from the music industry.
“Shallise is a typical example of the way we support young people through a series of projects,” says Tim, CEO of Raw Material. The charity’s music-making programmes work with young people in a wide range of challenging circumstances, including groups who are experiencing mental health problems.
Music industry goals
Tim has known Shallise for five years and is full of praise for the progress she’s made as part of Raw Material’s artist development programme. He says: “She’s a determined, talented and passionate young artist.”
Shallise is currently studying for a degree in Creative Musicianship at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London. Her course includes music composition, performance and production.
“I did my first EP last year and that was kind of R&B infused with hip-hop,” she says, “but right now I’m branching out to different genres. My goal is to be a successful singer, songwriter, performer, even a ghost writer – just to stay within the industry.”
Proud moments and exciting opportunities
As part of BBC Music Day 2017, Shallise was invited to share her story – and a clip of her music – in an interview which was broadcast to millions of listeners on Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
“I would definitely say the BBC interview is one of my proudest moments,” she says. “I’ve also just been to Ibiza to do a video shoot for one of my songs.”
As well as her trip to the BBC studios, Shallise has also had the chance to go on air with Reprezent (a London radio station presented exclusively by under-25s and also supported by Youth Music) and to perform live at venues including the iconic Brixton Jamm.
“Raw Material have really helped towards my confidence and given me a lot of opportunities,” she says.
“It’s not always good to have bad things happen, but good things do come out of that.”
Youth Music would like to thank Shallise for sharing her story. A special thank you also goes to the National Lottery for the public funding we receive each year through Arts Council England, without which amazing projects like this wouldn’t be possible.