INTERVIEW: Sharna Bass
From a young age, RnB songstress Sharna Bass knew she wanted to be a singer one day. Mainly growing up to the sounds of old school RnB, she found a passion for the genre straight away which is now clearly evident in her own music.
Sharna's career kickstarted when Clean Bandit discovered her at the age of 14 at a youth centre in Kilburn, which led to them inviting her to the studio two years later.
Fast forward to today and Sharna Bass has recently unveiled her brand new single ‘Buss A 9’ which has already garnered major support from high profile platforms such as BBC 1xtra and Capital Xtra.
We sat down with the singer and found out about her creative process, her favourite artists and how 'Buss A 9' came about.
When did you first discover that you could sing?
When I was younger I always used to freestyle. I got more confident at the age of 16 after I did my first song and everyone liked it so I thought I must be a bit poppin’!
Was there ever a Plan B or has music been your number one dream?
Music has always been my dream, I never thought about doing something else. When I was younger I was too shy to sing but still always knew I wanted to do music.
Who did you grow up listening to?
So many people. My family are very musical. My mum listened to old school RnB like R Kelly and got songs by artists like The Temptations so I was always into that. I have a twin brother who likes Coldplay and all that stuff, and my older brother likes Garage and Grime. And I like everything, I like Jazz, Swing, RnB.
Has your family always supported you?
Yeah they always have. My mum would never want me to do anything else if I am being honest. She was always pushing me from when I was little. Because my twin brother can sing as well, we were really competitive when we were younger. He was way better than me hence I was shy but I gained confidence.
Clean Bandit scouted you when you were in a session at the Tabot Mix Centre – what was it like collaborating with them a few years later?
That was such a crazy experience. I was 14 and was at a youth centre because I was a bit naughty. They heard me singing at the youth centre and asked if they can record me because they were filming a documentary about South Kilburn, and I live in Kilburn. When I was 16 they hit me up and the same day it was my first day ever in the studio. It was lit, a bit nervewrecking because it was so new to me. It shaped me.
How has your musical career developed since then?
When I was that age I didn’t really like share my pain and emotions and now I use music as a therapy. I’ll write about everything I feel. I’m more true to myself and express myself through music. I’ve matured.
Tell us about your new song 'Buss A 9'? What was the inspiration behind?
It’s about giving your all to someone who is then letting you down. I was in a really bad relationship and would have done anything for this guy and then he broke my heart and 'Buss A 9' came about. I’m expressing my pain.
The music video for it is quite dark, how did that idea come about and what was it like shooting it?
It wasn’t planned out to be like that. I used to be a tomboy so I have loads of guy friends so originally I wanted to do a girly thing like me in the night with all my boys. But my manager had a weird dream and then said we need to do it in a prison. I was like ‘Yeah! Let’s do it’. And the end is that way because my mum suffers from mental illness, so I wanted to incorporate that somehow. It took about three days to film it, the longest video I’ve done to date.
How do you usually approach writing and recording a new song?
Usually I smoke and literally hear the beat and vibe. That’s my favourite way. I never write anything down and freestyle first. Biggie is one of my favourite artists in the world and he started rapping from the doom so that’s how I love him. Naturally I can’t sit down and write, it just comes from the top of my head.
What’s your favourite Biggie song?
I love 'Warning' because it’s so raw and gangsta. It’s a bit violent but I love it.
You have an EP on your way, can you tell us a little bit more about what we can expect?
Yeah, it’s called 'Beautiful Chaos'. I’m so excited for it to come out. It’s due in summer. There are gonna be about 6/7 songs. Other than that I’m gonna create more, especially when the EP drops I wanna have a video for every song.
What’s your favourite part in music – recording, performing, videos?
Well, my first headline show is May 21st. That’s my 21st birthday as well so I cannot wait. But I really enjoy recording, That’s how I express myself.
If we could have a look at your private Spotify playlist right now, what songs and artists would we find on there?
Let me go through my playlist. I love love love Lauryn Hill, she is always gonna be on my playlists. I’m really into H.E.R right now, Daniel Caesar. But that’s chill playlist. I have a hype playlist full of trap and Grime. I love Hus, I love Stormzy. And I love Meek Mill, and old rap like Biggie, N.W.A and all those.
What does RnB mean to you?
You can express love and pain. That’s what it means to me. I can’t imagine life without RnB.
Check out 'Buss A 9' below: