By Adam Humphreys
Only 19 and already making a big name for herself on the local music scene in Nottingham, Tori Sheard is a talented acoustic musician and singer who is constantly impressing audiences wherever she goes.
Tori has a rock goddess-like quality about her whenever she walks on to the stage that simply cannot be ignored. Her voice carries passion and melody, and she commands the attention of the crowd anywhere she performs.
She has toured with Jon Allen, done her own tour which saw her play at sold-out venues and has appeared at festivals such as Dot to Dot, Hockley Hustle and Deerstock. In July she headlined for the first time, and in her hometown to a packed venue. She has even caught the attention of BBC Introducing.
For an artist as young as her she sounds quite mature for her age. She credits The Lumineers, Ben Howard and Seahaven as her musical influences whose sounds have helped to shape hers. So far Tori has released her first EP, Edge of the Earth, which has already been positively received by numerous critics and peers. Keep your eyes and ears out for Tori Sheard – she’s a musical genius in the making.
I spoke exclusively to Tori to find out more:
So, Tori, how’s everything going?
Great thanks! I’m off work for 7 weeks at the moment and I have some fun travels planned, so everything’s groovy!
And how long have you been performing?
For 4 or 5 years now. I’ve been playing guitar for about 10 years.
As an artist, what is it that you enjoy about live shows as you always seen to be in your element when on-stage?
I love connecting with an audience. At my recent gig at The Bodega (Nottingham), the crowd had such an amazing energy and I bounced straight off that. They were singing along to my songs as well which is an incredible feeling!
Now there’s several female artists such as Alison Goldfrapp from Goldfrapp, Kate Bush, Florence Welch from Florence and The Machine who, as part of their performances wear costumes or fancy clothes. Are you similar?
I love clothes, you’ll always find me in charity shops and vintage shops looking for quirky things to wear. I’m a big fan of Florence Welch and Stevie Nicks so I definitely try and channel them in my clothes. I love wearing exciting things on stage as they make me feel good and they’re fun to dance in! I’ve recently started working with costume designer Sophie Brown to make me some pretty floaty things!
Now you’ve performed both solo and with a band on stage, which do you prefer doing?
At the moment, I’m loving the band stuff. It’s great to have people to share the stage with and feed off one another. I’ve played solo gigs for years and they can get lonely sometimes!
You’ve been performing for a while now, how do you feel about what you’ve accomplished so far?
I’m quite proud of myself to be honest! After releasing my debut EP last November, I’ve been on tour with Caffe Nero, sold out Rough Trade, then The Bodega and played some fun shows in London as well as Cornbury Festival. I turn 20 next month and I’m working on some new music – excited to see where I’ll end up next!
As a female singer are you hoping that it, along with other female singers, will lead to an influx of female artists emerging?
For sure. What I’d really like to see more of is female producers, drummers and lead guitarists etc on big stages. There’s not enough representation at the moment, as everything is still very male dominated.
This year you supported Jon Allen on his Borderline tour, how was that?
It was brilliant, I’m so grateful for the opportunity! The crowds were very lovely and attentive and I met lots of people after the shows. Jon is a great guy and we’ve done a bit of writing together. I love playing in London, it’s something I’m hoping to do more of.
You’ve played at festivals such as Dot to Dot and Hockley Hustle, now bearing in mind the audiences can be bigger live music venues, how does it compare?
It’s great to see a bigger turn out at festivals like those. There’s always a nice community spirit at things like Hockley Hustle, and I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing and attentive audiences. Much nicer than playing to an empty pub for sure.
And let’s not forget your music has been played on BBC Introducing, what was that like?
The first time I heard myself on the radio, I was so happy! Especially being played by Dean Jackson. A very proud moment.
So, what can we expect from you for the rest of this year?
A new single, hopefully, before a new EP maybe! I’m taking my time with my new music because I really want it to be perfect. Expect bigger sounds! I’d like to do some more gigs in as many cities as possible and keep writing.
And finally, where can people go to hear your music, apart from your gigs?
Link to all platforms: https://ampl.ink/dNOXB
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