LIVE | SHAQDI | Hospital Club
Rounding off a breakthrough 2018, which saw the release of her smooth debut EP 'Colorless', Shaqdi brought her sophisticated brand of sultry, electronic-tinted future-soul to London's Hospital Club this Wednesday. Check out some more Shaqdi here
Having grown up in Sweden with a Palestinian father, and now based in London with her creative partner Zag Erlat (whom she met in Barcelona), her cosmopolitan R&B sound has quickly captured ears and hearts, amassing over 1.5m streams on Spotify alone. And on tonight's evidence, it's easy to see why this might only be the start.
On disco-tinged EP standout 'Obvious', Shaqdi's silky toplines float effortlessly amongst the ethereal spaces of the sparse arrangement, a heady blend of airy synths and featherlight handclaps. Underpinning everything is Erlat's slinky bass groove, which sounds as though it may have been transported from a classic lost Patrice Rushen record. The bustling crowd sway and nod appreciatively.
'Colorless' shows off the sensual songwriting and crisp production that is swiftly becoming Shaqdi's signature. However, the sting in the tail comes with some surprisingly acute lyrics, pushing back against a 'colorless' world of 'payslips and possessions'. The mesmeric lilt of the music may have an understated quality to it, but Shaqdi's words perceptively explore sensuality and intimacy, in response to an often unfeeling world.
The surprise of the night is a slick reimagining of Gwen Stefani's stomper 'Hollaback Girl'. Shaving a few BPM off the original, and stacking juicy jazz-inflected chords against the ever-funky rhythm section, Shaqdi makes Stefani's acerbic call-to-arms sound surprisingly warm and alluring.
With a live preview of strutting next single 'Daydreaming' (due early next year), Shaqdi shows she has no intention of letting up: 2019 promises more low-key thrills, and we'll be eagerly awaiting the next stage of her development.
You can Listen to and License Shaqdi here