Exclusive Interview: Shakka – “when I’m making music, I’m aiming to be my best self”

Shakka chats about his music, as well as his song of the year

Denzil Bell

6 months ago

By Denzil Bell

Shakka is simply one of the best voices we have within our UK scene of black music, and this has been exhibited many times over the past few years.

‘Man Down’ served as his breakout hit single last year and he followed this up with the African themed ‘Too Bad Bad’ with Mr Eazi.

So with all this heat, I had to chat to the man himself! Read all about our conversation below, where Shakka talks about his music, as well as his song of the year.

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How did the link up with Mr Eazi come about for ‘Too Bad Bad’?

I worked with Eazi on his London Town mixtape. We also did ‘Take Over’ with the DaBeatFreakz and after that we just stayed in contact. When I sent him the song, he was on tour and was like, “this is mad!”, so he jumped on it from there.

A dark horse song you have is ‘Mandem’ with Jay Prince – What’s the background behind that single?

I would see Jay Prince all over the place: I would see him in LA; SXSW; I would see him in a bunch of different places. And over time, we just became fans of each other’s sound. So he sent me the beat and I started writing to it straight away.

The UK urban scene is hot at the moment – if their’s one track you could pick for song of the year so far, what would it be?

I’ve been listening to ‘All Day’ by Headie One and ‘Both’, obviously. AJ Tracey had a song a while back called ‘Pasta’, which I really liked; It’s just crud, like it’s very fun crud. I’ve also been listening to Santi, and to a Nigerian artist called Teni. I also really like Mahalia.

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Quick Fire Five

Anime or Marvel?

Anime. Hands down. Anime spans generations and for me, pushes the boundaries of storytelling, as well as artistic direction.

Wizkid or Mr Eazi?

I’m not choosing. They both have too many bangers between them.

Africana or suit & tie?

If I’m going to an awards ceremony, I’m definitely picking suit and tie.

Pepper stew & Yam or Ackee & Saltfish?

Ackee and Saltfish; I’m a Caribbean man! That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner you know.

(For the feature) Aluna George or Tiwa Savage?

Because I’ve collaborated with Aluna, I would go for Tiwa. 

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Follow the artist’s journey: Shakka

Interview by Denzil Bell