Hi! This time I have done the interview a little differently, where I gave Sharl some topics to talk about. Those topics being where she is from and her future plans so that you can get to know a little bit more about her.
Where is Sharl From?
It’s complicated! I was born in Scotland, but my family moved to New Zealand shortly afterwards for a few years. That’s actually where I started taking music lessons when I was three years old. I still remember going to them and also have memories of my first time on stage: performing the violin at a concert for students, and playing a piece that only comprised of open strings!
We moved back to Scotland again and I grew up in small town where my family were practically the only ethnically Asian people. I think it’s great that people there still embrace me as Scottish for life since I was born there. My favourite unique thing about Scotland is cèilidhs – you wouldn’t think it based on the description but they are seriously some of the most fun and hilarious times!
Moving to England and spending my teenage years there was great. I spent lots of weekends in London, and you can never run out of inspiration or things to do there with such a world class arts scene. It’s amazing to be surrounded with so much music, theatre, history and culture. Fashion is also ingrained in the British psyche and that’s without a doubt something that has influenced me heavily, I don’t think that trait will ever leave me.
Australia is my home at the moment and I really feel settled here now. I thought it would be the same as living in the UK since they’re both English-speaking countries but there are actually plenty of cultural differences. Moving to Melbourne was quite a change as previously it had only been somewhere I would visit on vacation and couldn’t imagine being a local in the city! So that’s what I reflected on in the title song of my album, “City Lights”. It’s a wonderful place to live with lots to do, nice weather, friendly people and I love it here.
Going back to where my family is from: we are Malaysian Chinese, but I have never lived there! We have strong family ties though so we go back regularly to visit relatives in Malaysia and Singapore, and it’s a great excuse to travel and explore nearby countries in South East Asia too. My ethnic background definitely had an impact on my upbringing and life at home, and it enriches my life to have additional culture and community to be a part of.
Living in different places as a child of immigrants can make it hard to know and understand your identity sometimes. But it’s something I came to terms with and I think it’s fairly common nowadays to be a “third culture kid”. It’s nice to feel like you have roots internationally and that you can call more than one place home. And after all there’s one identity I’ve always known to be solidly true, I have always identified as a musician and that’s the most universal culture of all.
What are Sharl’s future plans?
I’m so excited for people to listen to “City Lights”. This album really means a lot to me and I think people will be able to relate well to the songs. I wrote and recorded it last year in Melbourne, which was officially the most locked down city in the world during the pandemic with 246 days of restricted movement over six lockdowns! So looking back it was quite a crazy, weird time but I’m glad that something so beautiful came out of it for me. So much work went into the album and making it was such a journey: many hours of hard work and happiness at the same time. I’m delighted with how everything sounds so I am thrilled to start sharing it with listeners!
The lead single, “I Fell in Love”, reached the semi-finals of the International Songwriting Competition. The song is about some difficult times and seems to resonate with many people. I honestly think the production by Daniel Bohen sounds amazing and I just love listening to it. I love the trap beat, and I think it has the classiest use of a “hey” sample that I’ve heard on a track!
The second single, “Games”, was just released last week and it’s been great to hear people’s reactions so far. This one is a hyperpop-inspired track with some chiptune sounds – we took games as a theme and ran with it! The music video is in production at the moment too, it’s another collaboration with George Tsotsos who directed the music video for “I Fell in Love”. Both of these videos will be released later this year and I can’t wait! I don’t want to spoil any details but like the songs, they’re both very different, I think they should be entertaining and portray the music well.
As well as my solo music, I’m going to work on some collaborations this year. The coolest thing about the music industry now is that it’s so easy to connect with people globally, and I think I’ve worked with people on five continents by now!
Above all, I just intend to keep doing what I love, which is creating music that I feel deeply connected to as an artist. I plan to keep evolving as an artist, enjoying every step of the way and making the best music that I can.
You can listen to Sharl’s latest song ‘Games’ here: