Shygirl on her debut album ‘Nymph’ – WWD

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Shygirl approached her first full album, “Nymph,” with intention. When her label asked her what she hoped to achieve with the music, Shygirl, born Blane Muise, said he answered honestly: I really want to do something critically acclaimed.

“When I first started making music, I was reaching out in the dark,” she adds. “I wanted to prove to myself that I hadn’t just done something creative and emotional, but was technically a bit better than what I had released before.”

The 29-year-old musician from south London will release ‘Nymph’ on September 30. She spent the summer on tour, playing international festivals and venues including Glastonbury Festival, Ladyland Festival in New York and Berghain in Berlin, with more tour dates. scheduled for the fall. His music has been described as experimental, the intersection of several genres – grime, jungle – born out of London’s underground club scene; she describes it as genderless. His voice is often distorted over a booming electronic beat, produced by collaborators such as Arca, Sega Bodega and Mura Masa. The album also features new collaborators like BloodPop and Noah Goldstein.

The preparation for “Nymph” was preceded by several accompanying singles and videos, including “Coochie (a bedtime story)” and “Come For Me”. Thematically, the album’s lyrical content is sensual and evocative, though less explicitly sexual than some of its earlier songs.

“I know I was releasing music that people maybe kinda didn’t expect from me,” she says of the singles that have been dropping over the past few months. “I’m quite a precocious person, so as soon as I think someone is expecting something from me, I always say to myself ‘no’. I know I can make music. But I also wanted space to to be able to see what else I could do.

Shygirl stars in Burberry Olympia bag campaign

Courtesy of Burberry

Critical response aside, she has already received fashion industry approval. Last year, the singer was tapped by designer Riccardo Tisci to appear in a campaign for Burberry’s Olympia bag and opened the brand’s Fall 2021 presentation with an ode to nature. “He was so genuine and gave me so much space and a platform,” she says of Tisci. “It made such a difference to have that space at that time.”

Muise brings the nature theme to “Nymph,” an album she describes as being more vulnerable than her previous two EPs. As a musician, her identity is closely tied to South London, but ‘Nymph’ was an opportunity to explore the dichotomy of her experience outside of the urban scene. She was drawn to the concept of the nymph – a figure from Greek mythology associated with nature and beauty – as an amalgamation of stories, and wanted to add her voice to the canon of the work that fueled the perception. audience of what a nymph looks like. .

“I don’t think it was obvious to see someone who looked like me, the themes that I had embodied before, or the way people perceived me, and people might not have immediately said, oh, it’s ‘nymph.’ I wanted to position myself in that story and see myself in it more visually,” she says.

Muise grew up spending summers with her family in Wales and often spends time in the Caribbean, where her grandmother now lives. The video for her single “Follow Me” is an aerial flight through a forest in Wales; Muise isn’t revealed in the landscape until near the end of the video. One of the two videos accompanying “Firefly” places it at the cliffs of Beachy Head.

“They [the media, etc.] talk about me as a South East Londoner, grounding myself in what that means,” she says. “And I feel like that denies part of my experience and my identity in the countryside. And that often happens with people who look like me. It’s hard to find that assimilation in the story of what it means growing up in the British countryside; it’s kind of read as whiter. It was important on some level to add to the image of that.

At the same time, she connects the theme to her earlier, more overt pieces. On Instagram recently, teasing her upcoming album, she wrote, “FYI In the Shygirl dictionary, Nymph also means sexxx.

Growing up, Muise enjoyed music but was not drawn to creating songs like some of her peers. Sega Bodega, a friend and co-founder of the music label Nuxxe, who releases “Nymph”, invited her into the studio with no explicit expectation of what form her voice would take on the track.

“He asked me to speak; he didn’t ask me to sing or rap,” she says, adding that the experience allowed her to experiment. “When I found my voice and figured out how I could uniquely contribute to something, I started to appreciate it,” she adds. “I’ve always loved connecting with people and talking – I’m a big talker and I share too much. It all just started to make sense.

Shy girl

Shy girl

Angela’s Steps

As a young adult, Muise worked as a photographer’s assistant and in casting, and this interest in producing visual stories is evident in her videos. Fashion plays a role in bringing the characters of his music to life and amplifying emotion. In the video for “Coochie”, she wears a pillow cap as she rides in a horse-drawn carriage.

“Sometimes I become a caricature, but that’s okay. Sometimes I slip to be more myself, or I want to get lost. I think clothes and fashion are a tool that I use to achieve that,” she says.

In addition to Tisci, Muise notes that many designers have reached out to share that his music has resonated with them.

“There is this synergy there; what i do was played in theaters when they design clothes but also i used clothes to help complete the world of [my songs],” she says. “I feel incredibly lucky that my music has been heard in the spaces that have also inspired me.”

As new audiences discover his music, Muise embraces new opportunities. Earlier this year, she was front row at Nigo’s debut show for Kenzo at Paris Fashion Week. She finds herself in the same pieces as iconic designers like Naomi Campbell and Bjork.

“I’m acclimating to some of the changes that music has brought to my life, and I appreciate them but also sometimes I struggle,” she says of the growing attention. “At the end of the day, I appreciate the choice to make music, to share and to be public. It’s nice to know that life can change and you can still grow. It’s always nice to know that it will not be the same and that there will be surprises.

Shygirl at the Burberry's Party in Paris in honor of Anne Imhof

Shygirl at the Burberry’s Party in Paris in honor of Anne Imhof.

Stéphane Feugère/WWD

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