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Shygirl: A Fresh, Icy-Cool Take on a Modern Pop Artist

Shygirl: A Fresh, Icy-Cool Take on a Modern Pop Artist
Shygirl

WHO IS SHYGIRL?

Despite what her name might tell you, Shygirl oozes confidence and attitude. This genre-bending artist combines hypersexual lyrics with experimental, forward-thinking production to make for a truly unique, provocative and club-friendly sound. A singer/rapper/DJ/label head with a smooth flow and a feisty onstage persona backed by watery, skittering production pulling from some of the best electronic subgenres out there, Shygirl is a multi-hyphenate artist who should be on any music fan’s radar. But how did she get here in the first place — especially as her music career began more or less out of happenstance? And what’s next for this fierce South London songstress?

Photo: Trinity Ellis

HOW SHYGIRL GOT ON THE MAP

Growing up around Blackheath in Southeast London, England, Shygirl eventually moved to Bristol for university, though she’d return to her hometown to party during weekends — travelling nearly three hours each way. She started releasing music in 2016, beginning with the single “Want More”. Produced with her close friend Sega Bodega, the two continued making more tracks together before she decided to fully commit to music by quitting her full-time modelling agency job in 2018. Her 2019 track “UCKERS” was her breakthrough single in underground circles.

Her first EP came out that same year, titled Cruel Practice, with a second, Alias, two years later. Both EPs helped Shygirl gain buzz before her debut LP Nymph finally dropped on September 30, 2022, peaking at #34 on the UK Albums Chart while topping the country’s Dance Albums Chart. The album was also met with widespread critical acclaim before eventually being shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, an award given to the best album of the year by a British or Irish artist. A remix album, titled Nymph_o, came out almost seven months later.

Photo: Jacqueline Landvik

SHYGIRL’S KEYS FOR SUCCESS

Taking influence from various electronic subgenres like house, jungle, deconstructed club and grime (while also having ties to the hyperpop genre), Shygirl’s sonic palette is diverse while still being very much indebted to the club scene her native United Kingdom is known for. Collaborations with producers like Arca and the late SOPHIE have also helped shine a light on Shygirl’s music and artistry. Even Lady Gaga has taken notice, featuring Shygirl on her Dawn of Chromatica remix album, where Shygirl appears on a Mura Masa-produced take on “Sour Candy”. Shygirl also features on two other Mura Masa tracks: “Hollaback Bitch” with Channel Tres and “Bbycakes” alongside Lil Uzi Vert and PinkPantheress. She can also be heard on "papi bones” with fka twigs and “Heaven” featuring Tinashe, as well as the Sega Bodega remix of Björk’s “Ovule”.

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Social media is another key vessel for Shygirl getting to where she is today. Her TikTok account boasts nearly 950,000 likes and more than 255,000 followers, while she also currently has more than 261,000 followers on Instagram. She’s also the founder and co-head of the Nuxxe record label/collective, which has also released projects from artists like Sega Bodega, Oklou, Coucou Chloé, and Brooke Candy. Songs from artists on Shygirl's label have even been used in ads for Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty cosmetics, and she currently has more than 930,000 monthly Spotify listeners.

Photo: Aidan Zamiri

WHAT’S NEXT FOR SHYGIRL

Though she had to cancel North American tour dates co-headlining with Tinashe due to illness, Shygirl still has shows planned the rest of 2023 in the U.K. and mainland Europe until mid-December. This comes after a year spent on the road across various European festivals and headlining tours in North America and Australia. Shygirl also got to open for Beyoncé in London at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in June, as well as perform a set at London’s O2 Arena opening for iconic British girl group the Sugababes.

Aside from those aforementioned European dates, Shygirl’s short-term plans involve at least a little bit of new music. She released her newest single, the pulsating, house-driven “thicc”, in mid-November. The song isn’t a teaser for an upcoming album, though, as it was recorded for Nymph but didn’t make the final tracklisting. Though she hasn’t announced any new music other than that, be sure to keep up with Shygirl’s new releases by following her on Instagram and TikTok, as well as visiting her official website and Bandcamp account, subscribing to her YouTube channel and Soundcloud, and following her on any streaming platform.

FAQS ABOUT SHYGIRL

Where is Shygirl from?

Shygirl is from Southeast London, England, growing up near Blackheath.

How old is Shygirl?

Shygirl was born on May 4, 1993, and is 30 years of age.

What is Shygirl’s real name?

Shygirl’s real name is Blane Muise.

Who is Shygirl signed to?

Shygirl is signed to her own imprint, Nuxxe, as well as Because Music.

What was Shygirl’s breakout song?

Shygirl’s first single was 2016’s “Want More”, but her first song to get underground attention was 2019’s “UCKERS”.

Who influenced Shygirl’s music?

Shygirl has named a broad range of artists as musical influences, including pop stars like Madonna, Mariah Carey and Rihanna as well as rappers like Missy Elliott and more left-field artists such as Björk and Aphex Twin.

What’s next for Shygirl?

Shygirl has recently released her new single “thicc”, but has otherwise not announced any new music. She’ll also be playing shows up until mid-December in the U.K. and mainland Europe.

How can I stay updated with Shygirl’s music?

You can stay in the loop with new releases from Shygirl via Instagram, TikTok, her official website, her Bandcamp account, her YouTube channel, her Soundcloud, and any streaming platform.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave MacIntyre
As a student in the journalism program at Concordia University in Montreal, I specialized in both print and broadcast journalism. At the moment, my key strokes are busy writing content for Cult MTL, Exclaim!, RANGE and many others.

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