SHEARS is the musical moniker of Becca Shearing, a Scottish producer, artist, and multi-instrumentalist, proficient in flute, piano and guitar. Originally hailing from the west coast town of Ayr, she gained a following for her music on YouTube from a young age back in 2007. She then moved to Edinburgh to study vocals at university, where she refined her songwriting skills. Her third EP, Superhues, was released 26th October and is entirely self-written and produced.
For starters, tell us about Superhues? What inspired its name and what does it signify?
The name is sort of a journey through my mental state over the last year. It starts off with ‘Blurry’, where I’m feeling a bit lost and all over the place, and then ‘Carbon Copy’ where I’m a bit frustrated, but it’s getting a bit dancier, and then with ‘Neighbourhood’ I’m starting to feel a lot better.
It’s like I’ve had an epiphany and figured out what I want to be doing. Then the last one, ‘We Can Still Be Friends’, has a sense of closure and happiness, and feeling of being on the right track. The last track is a bit more drum and bass, so the beats are a bit more complex than on the other ones. I tend to write the lyrics and melody along with doing the production at the same time now – so it all just builds together.
The name Superhues came from ‘Neighbourhood’ where I had that epiphany. In the second verse, it goes ‘I glow bright in the superhues’, and I thought that was quite a nice word to use, because everyone can imagine what it means – it gives off the sort of warmth that I wanted to give off with the EP in general, and that’s the general vibe of it.
What feelings are you hoping to inspire in listeners?
I’m just hoping that they can take away whatever it is that makes them feel better. You don’t need to have the same meanings I’ve had from them. But just something to let people get together, see friends again, have a nice time, and get back to having fun again.
Which of its tracks is your favourite, and why?
How can you choose? I don’t know, they’re like all my children. I think I had a soft spot for ‘Neighbourhood’ because that was, on a personal level, where I figured out what I wanted to do, and I was feeling much happier. I like the other songs, but I was definitely in a good place during ‘Neighbourhood’, so I think it has the nicest sort of feel to it and memory for me.
Can you tell us more about your drive to learn the technical side of production recording?
Being a woman in the music industry, it’s quite difficult to come across women who produce and mix and are on the technical side.
Obviously they exist, but it’s predominantly men. That’s sort of where that epiphany came from, where I was like, wait, I want to be able to do all of this as well. And that’s what I did – I started learning how to do it, I produced everything at home by myself. It was just the most satisfying process, just having creative control of everything. I want to encourage other women to get involved because it’s not as intimidating and as scary as it looks once you get once you get your teeth into it.
I’m also a part of Hen Hoose, the collective of women and non-binary artists making music together. They were just up for the SAY Award last week. I started working with them and that’s been really like a game changer for me as well, just working with all these women doing technical things, and it just solidifies how I feel about the process. I’m really, really, enjoying it.
How would you describe your sound in terms of key influences?
I am very influenced by women who make music like Grimes, Kelly Lee Owens, Elkka and TSHA. I’m sort of moving into the space of being a bit dancier, and a bit more electronic and lively. I’d say like, five years ago, it seemed like it was something I wouldn’t be able to do; now that’s completely turned around and I see all the possibilities that weren’t there before, so that’s really special. I’m just following all these women.
Catch SHEARS playing at Room 2, Glasgow, 18th November
Picture credit: Tiu Makkonen