17 year-old Northampton singer Sharmaine has quickly developed into one of NNs most promising stars of tomorrow. As new single ‘Excuses’ drops New Boots delved for some background.
New Boots: How did you get into singing and songwriting?
Sharmaine: I’ve always loved music. Before taking singing more seriously I began to play other instruments: the violin, the guitar, the piano and the ukulele. I started to learn how to play the violin when I was eight years old. After continuing to take violin lessons I started to want to learn more. The fundamentals of learning the violin enabled me to apply the skills I picked up onto other instruments. I took part in an after school club called ‘Rock School’ every Friday and attend a music school every Saturday. I started songwriting around that time as well. Writing cheesy songs about best friends and family with the guitar – got to start somewhere, haha! On the Saturdays I’d play in an orchestra and groups. Singing was for fun, but definitely started my passion for it; little things like taking part in talent shows and school showcases in primary. As I’ve gotten older my singing and songwriting became stronger and more fun. I love the feeling of creating something that could potentially create a positive impact on someone else, whether it’s big or small. My parents are super supportive of me. When life was normal, before covid, my parents got me taking weekly instrumental and singing lessons. Every week, since I was 11, my dad would sit outside lessons and wait for me. Truly my #1 fan.
How would you describe your sound? Who are your influences?
I would describe my sound to be pop with a mix of RnB and dance. My main influences are Tate Mcrae, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Bruno Mars.
What has been the reaction like to those first three singles over the past six months?
The reaction was great! Messages from people saying they like the songs! Also I’ve had support from BBC Introducing and BBC 1Xtra, which I’m so happy and thankful for!
Tell us everything about this new one, the stunning ‘Excuses’.
I LOVE this song – it has a small space in my heart, haha! This song is about love interests and how you know someone can be so bad for you, but you always try to make ‘excuses’ for them to be worth your time. The whole idea of being a little obsessed with someone who is not interested. Writing this song consisted of laying out my thoughts at the time and moulding the idea to make it relatable. This song is different to the others put out so far, as it’s a bit more sentimental, and it being the first ever song I played my violin on. I am, also, exceptionally grateful for a friend of mine Morgan Key for taking time out to play his cello on the track – he is insanely talented! I wrote this song last June and have been so excited to release it as it does mean a lot to me. Not only just the story behind it, but the memories this song holds. This song was produced when I first met two special friends of mine – Kasia and Krissi B. They helped produce this song back in August. Watching and hearing this song evolve over the past seven months has been an emotional rollercoaster – I’m so excited for it to be out!!!
Have you started with live shows yet? Are you raring to get out there?
The last event I took part in was the ‘78 Fest’ in 2019. This was a charity event held to raise awareness and money for ‘The James Brindley Foundation.’ This foundation was set up to support young people into making the right choices to have the best life possible. It was so fun to be apart of and to see so many talent Northampton artists. I can’t wait to start performing live again, especially with the notice of lockdown restrictions being lifted over the next few months!
Are you part of a wider scene locally? Any favourite acts?
There are so many talented people in the NN area. Great Adamz, FFSYTHO, Azuki, Zefar, ChillsNTA and Versay have been my faves recently – they’re undeniable talent. Also, to mention Alfie Cridland – absolute fire DJ!
Has lockdown actually helped your creativity? Conversely, what you missing the most about normal life?
Yes – definitely! Last year was suppose to be the year I knuckled down and sit my GCSE’s. But the first lockdown hit and I ended up not doing them! The first four months of lockdown I spent quality time working on my songwriting and recording, since I had no school work at all to do. I took time to step out of my comfort zone by discovering new sounds and learning new skills. This pandemic has helped me focus on myself, learn new things and also appreciate things we take for granted. Two things I do miss about normal life: socialising and events being held, but Summer 2021 is looking good so far!
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Positions Deluxe by Ariana Grande. Ariana’s combination of trap and pop is insane.
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m planning on having a new release every month, and new exciting projects coming up! Also my first album is to be released on 11.11.21! I hope to perform very soon – when safe to do so – and to meet many more talented people!
‘Excuses’ by Sharmaine is out now via the usual digital platforms