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Shelby Darrall interview

The rising Country star reveals the inspiration behind her new EP Don’t.

Shelby Darrall
Credit: Lost Harbor Music

Shelby Darrall is a Country singer-songwriter whose star is very much on the rise following the release of her debut single Swim.

The California native today releases her four-track EP Don’t, giving fans a taste of what’s to come. Inspired by Country artists old and new, Darrall has crafted her own sound with her soulful vocal marking her out from her contemporaries.

I caught up with Shelby recently to find out more about her music, discuss the inspiration behind the Don’t EP, and talk about her plans to take her music international.

Hi Shelby. How are you and where does this Q&A find you?

Hi there! I’m doing awesome! Super stoked about the new single, and back in California for the summer to kind of unwind before I get back to work so I’m a happy girl.

Congratulations on the release of your new single Swim. What can you tell us about the track and the story behind it?

Thank you so much! The story behind this track is kind of a different way of looking at a relationship. Basically, sometimes no matter how much you don’t want to hurt a person you can’t help but compare the relationship to that one big heartbreak that really hit hard. I just think it’s interesting the long-term effect a person can have on you. This song basically poured out of me in one sitting, so I knew I really meant what I was writing.

Swim is the first track to be lifted from your forthcoming EP Don’t. Tell us a little bit about the tracks on the EP and the inspiration for them.

This EP is made up of four songs I wrote during a major growth period in my life. Whether it be in my relationships or just my life in general I went through a lot of changing in these past couple years. I think moving to Nashville helped me grow up a lot. For the first time in a while I’ve been completely focused on myself and my career without dramatic googly eyed distractions. For me this EP is sort of a summary of where I was and what I felt while I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be and how to get there.

Shelby Darrall - Don't

Credit: Lost Harbor Music

How difficult was it to pick just four songs to be included on the EP?

I write A LOT so honestly it was pretty difficult narrowing it down to just four songs. These four on the EP were definitely the strongest while they also all were written around the same time and because of that, at least to me, they had a congruency with each other that I really admired.

What’s the plan once the EP is launched? Will you be working on a full-length album?

I plan on playing more shows, getting my name out there a little bit more as a performing artist. Other than that I’m constantly writing new music so I would love to be recording as soon as possible. Maybe not an album just yet but I could definitely see myself recording another EP in the near future.

Give us an insight into your career so far. What was the defining moment for you, where you knew that being an artist is what you wanted to do?

My career is still very much in the beginning stages. I’ve only been in Nashville for about two years now so I’m really just getting started. I’m incredibly proud of this single and the EP so I think for me this is the biggest defining moment of my career so far, just finally seeing my music come to life in a way. As for knowing if this is what I want to do, I’ve always known that.

What’s your process when it comes to making music? Do you have a set formula once you hit the studio or are you more organic?

For this EP it was definitely more organic because this is the first time I’ve ever really recorded my own music with full production and all that fun stuff. When it comes to writing music there’s really never a set process. This sounds so cheesy but I write best when I really feel it, so sometimes a song comes out in one sitting and sometimes I piece together parts of a song over a couple weeks. I honestly wish I had more of a process and maybe that will come with time and practice but as for right now it sort of just hits me when it hits me.

Which artists have influenced the music you make and why?

I’m influenced by all kinds of music and it changes weekly so it’s really hard to narrow it down but I honestly more than anything am drawn to raw music with lyrics that really hit hard, that you know without a doubt are that writers exact thoughts. I think it’s so incredibly admirable when a writer shows their vulnerability. I think in the country world, Chris Stapleton and Maren Morris are really impressive right now. Those are two songwriters and artists that I admire a lot at the moment.

Country music is finally becoming a big deal here in the UK. Do you have any plans to come over here to play some live shows?

I would LOVE to get over there and play some shows. My guess is it would be a little later on in my career, but it is definitely a dream of mine to spread my music worldwide.

What other plans do you have before 2018 rolls around?

I just want to better myself as a writer and an artist. Hopefully I’ll play more shows and I would love to be involved in more co-writes. This whole EP I wrote solo and that was a huge accomplishment for me, but by next year I would really like to see what I can do working with other writers.

Shelby Darrall’s EP Don’t is available for streaming and download now.

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