Thursday, November 30, 2017

To LA and back || Shelley Segal

Following the official launch of Somebody Like You last night, Shelley Segal is back in Australia after a stint in America perfecting her craft. In light of all the same-sex marriage debate continuing, her latest track is a punchy take on a love disallowed. A wealth of support, the song details Segal's own struggle with a past relationship that ceased due to religious conflicts. While heavy in topic, this is ultimately a message of hope that things will get better. Segal, though, explains it all best, that love, acceptance and forgiveness are choices and Somebody Like You is a song you should add to your playlists for summer.

It’s been a few years since you last stopped by the site, fill us in! How’s 2017 treated you so far?
Thanks for having me back. I'm really excited to be sharing this new tune. It's been a big year so far. Last year I moved to the US and this year has been spent getting really stuck into things here. I've opened my label and publishing company in the US and been working hard on the business side of things! Not to leave the creative world behind though: I've spent almost all of February, April, July, August, September and October playing shows out on the road! I've played around the UK and the US - through California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Wyoming, Florida, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, New York and Tennessee!

I've recorded music for an Emmy award winning webseries - Venice: The Series. I've been writing and collaborating with so many different artists and writers here in the states and had my music recorded by international artists. I've built my own home studio especially for a subscription service I've been working on through Patreon, 
where I upload new music and videos to my fans each month! I've been flat out and loving it!

You’ve been in the States for over a year now, how has the move changed your music?
I feel that the US really suits my style so I haven't had to change much about what I do. The biggest change for me has come through a lot of collaboration really. In LA everyone wants to collaborate - to grow their body of work and to expand their networks so you are writing with new people all the time. That's been a new experience for me that I've really cherished. Working with different people allows me to open up in a way that I might not have allowed when I'm writing on my own. I've been able to go in different directions when writing for others than I would have gone for myself. I've learnt different approaches to writing from seeing so many different approaches from other writers. A lot of growth for my writing this year for sure. Also I have had a bit of country influence as well! So much time spent on the road in the south listening to country radio stations has started to seep through.

Besides the music, what do you love most about Los Angeles that Australia doesn’t offer?
Los Angeles is so huge. The opportunity and drive for collaboration is something really different than what I experienced at home. The population size makes a massive difference. You can find whatever it is that you love, that you're into and there will be a huge scene, a whole group of people here that are into it too. The population of the US means you are able to tour and keep touring in ways that wouldn't be possible at home.

Your latest track Somebody Like You is rockier and more rugged than some of your other tracks, is this a direction you’re looking to explore more?
Yes. I think it really suits this song and my upcoming EP really explores this sound. I've always loved rockier elements with folk - my biggest influences/musical heros growing up were Ani Difranco and Alanis Morisette and they both really explore the rock genre in their music. I think a big part of the sound is this being my first ever band record. My past projects have focused on having my guitar/vocals as the centre, often playing solo or with session musicians but this was the first record where I actually recorded it with my band that I had been playing and touring with for several years. It's been really hard to leave them, I miss playing with them a lot but it's great to have this record of the time that we shared together. 

Considering everything happening in Australia regarding same-sex marriage, it’s a poignant take on love that causes family rifts. How do you feel about sharing something so heartbreaking with the world?
I'm so grateful for the result. It's something people have been waiting their whole lives for. I'm proud that we got there with the numbers although disappointed that we were ever able to hold a vote on equal rights in the first place.
I am glad to be able to share my story and my music. Self expression through my songs is really consolidating and cathartic for me. It's empowering to be able to share these things and very rewarding to get a response - to feel it resonate with others and express something for them is the most I can ever hope for with my music.

How has your family reacted to the song?
My immediate family are fine with the song. It's been quite a few years for us now and we have been able to get past that difficult time, for which I consider myself very lucky. I know that for a lot of people who go against their family's wishes or traditions it can often end in permanent separation so I'm incredibly grateful for the support and love of my family. I'm proud of their growth and acceptance. 

Lastly, for anyone who is going through something similar to your own experience, what would you want to let them know?
I would want to let them know that it gets better. You are not alone! Look for support online- there are support groups for people who are leaving their religions, online and also locally based. There is a peer support Recovering From Religion hotline; it's US based but they have an online chat option as well. Talking to people who have been through similar experiences can be a huge help. Therapists/social workers can provide support and strategies to deal with the hurt and stress and help locate further support services. I've spoken to some people for whom coming out about relationships or about questioning their faith to families has put them in danger so please put your safety first. No one should be able to tell who you can love and how you can love, or what you should believe but as a dependent young person you might need to keep things from your family until you have other options for shelter and support. If you are struggling to find somewhere to live or are experiencing financial, mental health or other difficulties visit*

THU 4 JAN | CALLY HOTEL, WARRNAMBOOL, VIC | 18+ | Free Entry 8-11pm
FRI 12 JAN | PAYNESVILLE WINE BAR, PAYNESVILLE, VIC | 18+ | Tix at the door 7-10pm

*You can find further, state-based LGBT+ support at Reach Out, by calling the Gay and Leasbian Switchboard on 1800 184 527 or by visiting