Canadian R&B pop dynamo SH3 dishes up Gelato in her newly minted video and single — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
But the fact that she’s serving it up at all is something of a surprise — when she wrote the track, she didn’t intend to keep it for herself.
“Just as many songwriters have, I had hundreds of song ideas recorded in my phone, just waiting to be developed,” says SH3 (pronounced She). “But then, my team NdroiDBeats encouraged me to make a folder of songs to be placed with other artists. Then, they challenged me to write 100 songs in two months; I ended up doing it in six weeks. It was intense, but worth it.”
One of those was Gelato. “I originally labelled it ‘Gelato Full Ref + Beat – Jeremih’ because that was the type of artist I envisioned on the song. I’m a huge fan of his writing and vocals, and the inspiration while writing Gelato was ‘What would Jeremih sing?’ But as I showed more and more people the demo, I kept getting similar feedback. They said the song really suited my voice and I should release it on my own. At first, I was opposed to it because I didn’t feel the record truly represented who I was … The songs I usually write for myself are more introspective and personal, whereas this was more of a carefree club track. It took many listens before I came to terms with the fact that this song is actually a part of me.”
As it would turn out, making the music video also took some inner convincing for many of the same reasons. “I didn’t intend to make one because, again, I didn’t feel it fully represented me. However, I had the opportunity to work with a really awesome director — Christian Bauer of 12 to 12 Productions — and I figured, why not. This is my first professional music video; all the ones I’ve put out prior were directed and edited by me. I figured at the very least, it would be a learning experience.”
No stranger to the struggles women face as they break into the music industry, it is no coincidence that, phonetically, her name is the female pronoun. (Notions like ‘music can heal the world,’ and ‘music is the universal language’ have resonated with SH3 so deeply, she decided to name herself after such beliefs; SH3 is an acronym for ‘sound healer’ followed by her favourite number, set with the intention of embedding the healing properties of sound in her music.) Not only a vocalist and songwriter, SH3 is a producer and engineer in a field that is heavily male dominated. “Representation is imperative in the pursuit of equality,” SH3 says. “I hope that making my presence known as a woman fulfilling these roles, other young girls can be inspired to do the same.”
Her walk matches the talk. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts Music degree from York University, she began writing professionally in the collective STARTAZ (Haley Smalls, Megaman), released the LP Heart of Gold, and created Purpling Music Group, the company that releases all her solo projects. She’s worked with a lengthy list of artists, including Preme (fka P. Reign), Yo Gotti, Kristina Maria, Mark Pellizzer, and more, done a series of writing sessions with Kim Davies, and now-longtime collaboration team, NdroiDBeats; in 2019 alone, SH3 wrote and performed features on over 70 tracks for artists from all over the world.
At the beginning of 2019, SH3 released a cinematic-pop project entitled Far Reaches. The tracks are ambient and freeform while maintaining a pop element through SH3’s writing and vocal performance. They’ve since been remixed by producers including Cru the Dynamic and NdroiDBeats among others and released as Far Reaches, Reimagined. That same year, SH3 released her second solo project, H2 Zoom Voicenotes, which was predominantly recorded by SH3 on USB microphone. The project is a collection of demos — including Gelato — written by SH3 and produced mainly by her and NdroiDBeats.