Showing no signs of slowing down, alt-pop trio Shaded continue to storm 2021 with the latest instalment of their most ambitious work to date within A Year Of You.

Consisting of bandmates Dan Bradberry, Matt East and Callum Irons, the rising outfit made their first waves within the music scene with their debut EP, A Familiar Love and followed suit with a series of singles. With a quick succession of work and touring across the board of Europe prior to the pandemic, the pop band are now enjoying the rays of their latest work that delves into the troubles and joys of one.

Fulfilled with three different EPs, the 20-track project entail a journey of heartbreak, self-discovery and restoration told through the depiction of RnB, pop and funky soundscapes. As critics and others rave about the rise of Shaded, the three-piece band are ready to take 2022 to the next step.

With an array of shows coming up, we caught up with Shaded about their latest work, live music, banana bread and what to expect next.

Hey, Hey! To people who don't know who you guys are, who are Shaded, and how would you describe your time within the music scene?

HEY HI HELLO!!!! Okay, so we’re SHADED. We’re Matt, Cal and Dan - a 3-piece pop band from the south of the UK. We’ve been touring for the best part of 3 years prior to the pandemic and have toured all across the UK and Europe.

Hailing from the bustling city of London, who are your musical influences, and how would you describe your sound?

We’ve grown up listening to just about everything, haha. From Boyz II Men, to McFly, to Queen. The list goes on, haha. Our sound is very much a collaboration of everything, past and present, that influences us, and it changes all the time! There’s so much new music nowadays, so things that we hear that influence us changes daily!

Now the most talking point at the moment is the release of your latest EP _003 - what have the past few weeks been like for you guys since the release, and what does this project mean to you?

It’s been really cool! We got to play our first show since the start of the pandemic a few days after release, so it was cool to be able to play a few of those songs live and showcase some of the other tracks we’ve released over the last year.

Being part three of the project, A Year Of You, how does this release compare to _001 and _002?

It’s definitely a display of our ‘softer’ side I guess you could say. Everything up until this point has been quite upbeat and tempo-driven. We wanted to give AYOY a timeline, and this was definitely the respite from the energy and more of a chance to get some deeper messages across.

Delving into the motivations behind the project, you explore themes and emotions of heartbreak, self-discovery and recovery. Could you tell us a little more about the inspirations and influences behind the tracks?

Yeah, for sure. I was in a very toxic and emotionally manipulative relationship for quite a while, and _003 is pretty much insight into the darker times, and some of the emotions and feelings I had to deal with and get through. It sucked. It really sucked. But in a way, I’m glad it all happened because it’s inspired me to be a better person and a more honest songwriter.

You released this series of work throughout lockdown, but how long did it take for the project to come together, and how would you describe the creative process overall?

So, like most other artists in our position, everything we did had to be through Zoom. It was tough at first, but we got the hang of it and actually managed to put together a really good workflow. It was definitely a test, but Cal and I have definitely come out the other side much better producers and writers. And it’s kind of hard to put an actual number on how long each song took because most of them we had started in 2019! There’s only been a couple that we’ve started and finished in a really short period of time.

From 'Heartbroken People' to 'My Nightmare', what has been your favourite track so far, and has there ever been a stage where you wanted to release a single but never made it?

Oh, that’s suuuuuch a tough one to answer, haha. If I had to choose, I’d probably say 'My Nightmare'. It’s the only track on the record where we get to lose our minds, haha.

In other news, with live music back, what has been your favourite show so far, and what tour/show are you looking forward to the most?

The show we played was a hometown show, and it was the first show we’ve been able to play in about two years… which is CRAZY to think about. It was such a great moment for us because I guess it just reminded us of why we do this and what we’ve missed the most during the pandemic. Absence makes the heart grow fonder… or something like that?

Music aside, over the past 18 months, what have you learnt about yourself that you didn't know beforehand?

That I’m terrible at making banana bread. Seriously, terrible. I even tried it multiple times after the first one failed. I don’t think I’d do too well on bake-off, which breaks my heart to say.

Finally, what can we expect from you in terms of music for the rest of this year and into 2022?

ALOT of touring. We’ve been dying to get out on the road, and we’ve got so many new songs to show everyone. It’s going to be such an exciting year.

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