Back in May, I visited Toronto to attend the Sashbear Walk. I met a lot of really great people at this event and although I didn’t get a chance to meet her, I did get introduced to a talented singer-songwriter named R. Shelley.
She played an original song called “I’ll Be There” that really resonated with me and I was excited to find it on Spotify, along with her 5 song EP “Sink or Swim”. I knew I had to reach out to her for this project and I am so excited to introduce you to R. Shelley!
The 10th grade was when I bought my first guitar and taught myself to play – all the boys played so I figured I could too. Prior to that, my parents had put me in piano lessons, and even earlier I was often writing poems and lyrics. Performing at school talent shows led to playing open mics, and eventually booking actual gigs. After interning at several studios, I had the chance to record my first EP, Sink or Swim. And thus, here we are!
I don’t make music because I want to be a ‘pop star’; I make music because I want to
make people feel something. I want to connect; I want to relate and share my story and art, and send a positive message in song form. If I can speak to one person in some unique way through my music, I know I am doing something right. It’s so fulfilling, and that’s what I love most about it. But why stop at just one?
In 2015, I was invited to write and perform a song for the Sashbear Foundation’s annual fundraiser. The charity raises funds for the awareness and treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder and mental health issues. It’s a foundation very near and dear to my heart after being involved for four years. Not only has Sashbear expanded my world and given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people, it has also challenged me as a songwriter. Each year when I write a new song, I make sure I am speaking directly to my audience – I draw from my own experiences, as well as try to put myself in their shoes and think about how they might relate or what they might want to hear. It’s the most rewarding and humbling thing when people come and tell me how they feel after hearing my song. As an advocate for mental health awareness, I am proud to be part of a wonderful cause, and happy I get to share a song that gives hope and speaks to hundreds of people. I’m in awe of how much the foundation has grown. 2019 will mark my 5th year involved, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!
Live performances are a big part of expanding my audience, so you will definitely hear of more shows coming up. I’m also back at the musical drawing board writing new songs. I already have a few of them recorded and am slowly working towards the completion of a full length album. Another goal of mine is to collaborate with more artists – whether they are the same genre or not. As a solo singer-songwriter, I find it a bit of a challenge to create songs with other musicians. But I’m very open to new things and always up for a challenge, so this is something I’d like to focus more on.
Where You Can Listen:
Visit www.rshelleymusic.com for news and upcoming shows.