Written by: Lesandra Scott
In January of this year, a young Vincentian artiste named Shavsha Speedwell-Callum who just so happens to be a singer, songwriter, and deejay officially stepped onto the music scene using the sobriquet ‘Shiiloh’, when she released her debut track Touch. Her style is reflective of her musical inspiration and reminiscent of legendary female artistes such as Anita Baker, Tanya Stephens, Erykah Badu, and Patra. Her signature sound is one that screams “comfortable familiarity” – modern Pop, heavily laced with Dancehall, Reggae, and Soca influences.
Known as a musical chameleon, once you listen to her you’ll understand why this is said, and rightly so. There’s this thing she does with genres where she bends it to her liking and when it comes to delivery, with her throaty, sultry vocals she kills it every single time. With Touch, she described a dance between budding lovers, lost in the music, the movement of bodies and the energy of a fete as they ‘touch just a little bit.’ The song, said to be “flirtatiously intoxicating”, is further described as “Playful guitars meet sultry sax over buttery vocals and vibrant drums to create an infectious sound that’s fun and sexy.” As for the visuals, it was directed by Dane Padmore and everything video related was handled by his content production team, 3:AM Productions and in important addition, her Glam Squad.
A few months later we see Shiiloh living up to her chameleon-friendly nature. Where Touch showcased her buttery vocals on a Caribbean-Afrobeats influenced single, on her August release Ride she shows a sexy, go getter side. According to the Instagram verified artiste “ Despite being shy in some settings I’m a big “tell you what I want” type of girl and this song is exactly about that. If you want something you have to be willing to be vulnerable, speak up and go get it!” Done in collaboration with Dancehall veteran and rude boy Konshens, who is responsible for songs like Turn Me On, Pull Up To Mi Bumper and Gal A Bubble, jumped on the track with the Vincentian who is currently based in Trinidad. Now, apart from Stadic, she worked along with a team of creatives who helped her to introduce herself to the world with the 3:AM Productions who worked with her on Touch’s visuals recruited once more with Dane Padmore and his production unit 3:AM Productions with him once again in the Director’s seat.
Her name, “Shiiloh,” pays homage to her dad as it served as his sobriquet during his musical tenure. Apart from producer Stadic, in helping her become Shiiloh and being Shiiloh she nods to her team. “My Glam Team has been exceptional: VIVRE by Chelsea, VIVRE Hair Studio, Afeisha Morgan, Shania Korina my Makeup Artists and 3:AM Productions, Dane Padmore and the gang. They have all played a part in shaping the look and quality of everything we’ve put together. We’ve done so many amazing things that I can’t wait to show off.”
You can catch Shiiloh doing her thing on Instagram where she freestyles popular songs in her Flipstyle series including Koffee’s ‘Pull Up’, Adekunle Gold’s ‘5 Star’, Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa’s ‘Sweetest Pie’ and CKay’s ‘Love Nwantiti’. Nonetheless, here’s a peek into the life of Shiiloh with a bit of focus on her journey from “I can sing!” to where she is in 2022.
Here is the back and forth of an interview I had with Shiloh
Alright miss singer, songwriter, AND deejay, let’s chop it up!
At what age was that “hey I can sing” moment?
I was pretty young, around 4 or 5 and my mommy’s reaction to a little song I’d written confirmed what I wanted to be when I grew up! A singer!
How would you describe your sound? You’ve got range, I can comfortably say this because I saw your Flipstyle Friday pieces and your cover of Meg & Dua’s “Sweetest Pie”!
I’d say my sound is the perfect mix of the music I grew up listening to. It’s a seamless fusion of pop and RnB with Caribbean sounds, from elements of soca to old-school dancehall.
On the first day of shooting the video, what was that like? I’m talking wake time, call time, how long did makeup take to do? Also, how long did it take to shoot?
All the videos we’ve shot so far have lasted alllll day and begin from 5 or 6am wake-up time, right into hair and makeup around 8 or 9am. Makeup usually takes about an hour, hair the same and then getting dressed and styled is about half an hour. We usually end up shooting multiple days and I genuinely love it. There is always good energy, laughter and good food on set🤗
When it comes to the lyrics, I imagine you were just going about life, then BOOM, something made you think of something which lead you to what we know today as “Touch” (just a little bit🎶) and Ride (Ride the jockey ride it🎶). What thought made you think of both these songs?, Were they motivated by your feelings toward someone?👀 A real-life occurrence?👀 Lewwe talk!
My first single Touch was written after falling in love with a Chronixx and WizKid record (I had the speakers on loud and was lost in the vibe) and I wanted to create a song that evoked that same feeling. The record was more or less a freestyle that I fine-tuned. I was thinking back to the last time I was in a fete and a whine made me consider doing naughty things😈🤣
My latest release RIDE was a collaborative effort between me and a dope writer J Coppa from JA, we met at UWI and we’ve been writing songs since. Despite being shy in some settings I’m a big “tell you what I want” type of girl and this song is exactly about that. If you want something you have to be willing to be vulnerable, speak up and go get it!
In addition to that, what was your writing process like in terms of the length of time it took to complete, writing location/s, did you have writer’s block and if yes, how did you overcome it?
Touch took about 2 hours to write and fine-tune. It was truly a freestyle. The vocals on the bridge of the song are the first vocals I laid down when I was composing the record.
Ride was similar, between my co-writer and me, the song took roughly 3 hours to write. I do suffer from writer’s block but it’s usually triggered by stress coupled with a lack of proper self-care. A trip outside fully immersed in nature on a hike for example usually helps to recharge me though!
Producer and Manager, Stadic, you guys met in 2014, how’d this linkup come about and what year did he become your Manager? Was it in 2018?
We met at a fellow colleague’s studio in St.Vincent, I sang a song for him and we were supposed to record together, but that didn’t pan out. Fast forward we met again 4 years later in Jamaica, at my job, I was an on-air presenter and producer at ZiPFm and he came to do an interview with Shenseea and Samantha J for a song they were releasing (very random and surprising). We chatted after the interview, sent beats and songs back and forth and the rest is history.
Apart from Stadic, who’s on your team? Who’s helping you be Shiiloh?
My Glam team has been exceptional: VIVRE by Chelsea, VIVRE Hair Studio, Afeisha Morgan, Shania Korina my Makeup Artists & 3:AM Productions, Dane Padmore and the gang. They have all played a part in shaping the look and quality of everything we’ve put together. We’ve done so many amazing things that I can’t wait to show off.
When you’re not working what do you get up to?
I love to read, I love the outdoors, quiet evenings doing as little as possible, chilling with my family and alone time. Just “being” are my favorites!
New music/visuals, album? EP? What does the rest of 2022 look like for thee?
Definitely! We’ve got three videos shot already that I can’t wait to share and more amazing collaborations and singles. The last quarter, into all of 2023 and beyond, are about to be exciting!
Hashtags #Shiiloh #ShavshaSpeedwellOallum #stadic #StVincent #MusicalChamelon #3amProductions
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