INTERVIEW: Shakk | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“My intentions for creating music have always been about connecting with people and bridging gaps.” Exclaims Teesside rapper Shakk. “I’m striving to be one of the greats. It’s been my dream since I can remember. Literally all of my life. My biggest influences, from Muhammad Ali to Tupac Shakur were all amazing at these things. I know when my time is done that I’d like to be remembered for my values and my propensity to positively impact people too. Making a positive change to the world in any shape or form is a driving force behind me making music. It’ll always be relevant to me so when an opportunity arises to bring people together or to shed light on important subjects I’ll take it with both hands every time.”

With his next single release coming early February, Sun Rays is closer to the chilled vibe of lead single Friends than to Breathe, the fast paced grimey second release. Similar to both of its predecessors, Sun Rays has a message to impart: Shakk believes that music has changed his life and this is reflected in the lyrical content as he raps about his journey into adulthood which he says “has been filled with difficult choices, regrets and moments where I wanted to revert back to a self destructive version of myself.”

“I was destined for bad things and music gave me an opportunity to really change. I accepted that opportunity with open arms. Now every day is another chance for me to be better than the day before and I don’t intend to stop chasing my dreams until there’s no other choice.”

Making a positive change to the world in any shape or form is a driving force behind me making music

After some time out, Shakk made a return to releasing music in 2018 with the critically acclaimed I Am You EP. The project earned positive reviews and provided the launchpad for the rapper to be booked consistently for gigs and festivals, becoming a sought after name from local labels and culminated in being voted RIDE Music’s Artist of the Year.

“I have a genuine love for studying and writing songs so I was really proud that I’d finally created my digital footprint as a musician. I feel like my first project displayed my dedication to the craft yet it was only a small insight into my true potential. For my new EP I’ve aimed to showcase a different side to me.”

That new EP, Butterfly Trees, is being kept tightly under wraps as we speak but is expected to be released on 25th March, alongside a to-be-confirmed launch gig.

“Without giving too much away I can tell you that I’ve got a few surprises en route! I’m constantly evolving as a person and artist. It should be evident on this EP. There’s no enjoyment in creating two songs that sound the same for me, it just doesn’t excite me to have one formula. I think an artist needs to be multidimensional, especially for longevity, which is what I’m striving for. This EP still has a theme throughout though. I wanted this one to be more than the typical ‘in your face’ bravado and braggadocio style of rap…I’ve got the rest of the year for that.”

Shakk releases his new single, Sun Rays, on 1st February. The Butterfly Trees EP is released on 25th March

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