Indie Pop Q&A: Sharl

Indie Pop Q&A: Sharl

Australian-born, and now based in London, pop artist Sharl is a classically trained musician turned pop songsmith. Her music combines upbeat electro pop with lyrics that come from the heart.

Sharl - Photo Credit: Josh Fahmi
Sharl - Photo Credit: Josh Fahmi

Her debut music video has won film festival awards, and she's an avid advocate for Asian representation in the music industry.

I asked her a few questions after the release of her debut album Clichés. 

How did you get your start in music? When did you know it was something you wanted to pursue?

Music was a huge part of my life since a young age, I learned the piano and violin starting at the age of 3 and quickly fell in love with many genres of music which came to shape my influences today. Pop music was my ultimate passion throughout my teenage years and I was fascinated by the recording process. I happened to sign to a small local indie label and that gave me the opportunity to start making my own original music professionally. This was years ago and I now work independently which is great to have total creative freedom.

I can hear a number of influences in your new single - the classical music you studied, also the classic orchestral pop of the 1970s, K-pop - how did you come up with your musical style? What are/were your musical inspirations?

Those are all inspirations and I think they have subconsciously shaped what comes out when I write, especially melodically. I’ve always admired Taylor Swift’s songwriting and ability to capture a picture and emotions through her lyrics. I also love production which captures the essence of a mood itself so I am also inspired by different sounds and beats.

Do you have a favourite (or maybe more than one) current music artist? What kind of music do you listen to?

Right now I’ve been listening to Larissa Lambert and loving the laid-back, chill sweet RnB sound. I’m usually into all kinds of pop, electropop and RnB influenced music though.

There is a huge pop industry in Korea and through Asia, with only a few of the top artists making internationally. At the same time, there is little representation for any Asian artists outside of Asia. What reason do you think there is for that imbalance?

I think it’s a mixture of fewer Asian people pursuing that path, and lack of support for it.

How important is representation in pop culture?

It’s incredibly important as representation across media pervades every aspect of our culture, what people believe and how they behave.

Lack of diversity means that opportunities are restricted for groups of people. There can be bias against them, and they may be unable to reach their full potential or live in the way which would be most authentic to them.

So I hope to see strong representation across all groups in pop culture in the future and the world certainly looks like it’s made great movement in this direction already.

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