Shura (English singer)

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Shura
Birth name Alexandra Lilah Denton
Born 17 June 1991 (age 27)
Hammersmith, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • synthesiser
Years active 2011–present
Labels
Website weareshura.com

Alexandra Lilah Denton (also known as Aleksandra Lilah Yakunina-Denton, born 17 June 1991),[6][7][8] known professionally as Shura, is an English singer, songwriter and record producer. She is best known for her work in the genres of electropop and synth-pop.

Life and career[edit]

Personal Life[edit]

Shura grew up in Manchester. Her mother is a Russian actress and her father is an English documentary filmmaker.[1] Her parents divorced when she was three.[9] Shura has two brothers, including a twin, Nicholas, who has starred in four of her music videos: "Touch", "White Light", "2Shy" and "What's It Gonna Be?".[10] [11]She began playing the guitar when she was 13 years old and started recording music at 16.[12][13] Shura had been a promising footballer in her youth and played for Manchester City from under 11 to under 16 level.[14] While reading English Literature at University College London,[15] she formed a band with guitarist Patrick Duncombe and collaborated with producer Hiatus (Cyrus Shahrad). Shura took a gap year after her university studies and developed her songwriting skills while working in the Amazon rainforest.[16]

Shura is an out lesbian.[17][18] In summer 2014 she experienced a severe panic attack, which she described as "feel[ing] like I [was] dying."[9] Her stage name comes from a Russian short form of her first name.[9] Shura is also fluent in Russian.[9]

Career[edit]

Following her work with Hiatus, Shura decided to assume creative control over the production of her music. During night shifts at her workplace (a video editing facility), she watched YouTube tutorial videos on how to use music production software.[16][19] Her single "Touch", co-produced with Joel Pott of Athlete, drew positive notice from internet blogs during early 2014; its music video was co-directed and edited by Shura herself.[1][16][20] Two other singles, "Just Once" and "Indecision", followed the same year, and Shura produced a remix of Jessie Ware's single "Say You Love Me".[21][22][23][24] Shura was longlisted in the BBC Sound of 2015 poll.[25] Shura is also signed to Universal Music Publishing Group in the United Kingdom.[26] She released the single "2Shy" in March 2015, followed by "White Light" and a performance film titled Three Years in June 2015.[27][28][29] An EP titled White Light was released in the United States in July.[30] The same year, Shura performed at music festivals including Bestival, Festival N°6, and Latitude.[29]

In December 2014 she was named as one of the nominated acts on the longlist for the BBC music poll Sound of 2015.[31] Mumford & Sons have covered her song "2Shy".[32]

Shura's "Touch" was released on 18 February 2016 alongside a version featuring Talib Kweli.[33] The Original Mix was released on Record Store Day 2016 as a limited 12" single featuring remixes from Canvas and Delorean.[34]

Her debut album Nothing's Real was released on 8 July 2016 via Polydor Records.[35]

Artistry[edit]

Shura's musical influences include Blood Orange, Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, J Dilla, Drake, Peter Gabriel, Haim, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Madonna, Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Portishead, Prince, Diana Ross, Patrice Rushen and Tina Turner.[1][10][16][19][36]

Shura's music has been described as "infectious but melancholy electropop"[18] as well as "slow-burning synth-pop" but has said that pop music "didn't represent" her.[11] The singer has said that "missed opportunity, regret, nostalgia" are some of her main themes in her work.[11]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[37]
BEL
(FL)

[38]
BEL
(WA)

[39]
IRE
[40]
SCO
[41]
SWI
[42]
US Heat
[43]
Nothing's Real
  • Released: 8 July 2016
  • Label: Polydor
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download
13 73 130 73 15 35 12

Singles[edit]

  • "Touch" (2014)
  • "Indecision" (2014)
  • "2Shy" (2015)
  • "White Light" (2015)
  • "What's It Gonna Be?" (2016)
  • "Nothing's Real" (2016)

Featured appearances[edit]

  • Hiatus - "Fortune's Fool" (2011) (featuring Shura)
  • Mura Masa - "Love for That" (2015) (featuring Shura)
  • Tracey Thorn - "Air" (2018) (featuring Shura)

Remixes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Cragg, Michael (11 November 2014). "Meet Shura, Electro-Pop's Downy New Poster Girl". The Fader. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Hillyard, Kim (9 September 2014). "Next Wave #597: Shura". Clash. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  3. ^ Levy, Joe (29 July 2016). "Review: Shura's 'Nothing's Real' Is a Downer Glam Gem". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "Four Tet unveils dancefloor remix of Shura's 'Touch'". Fact. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  5. ^ DeVille, Chris (25 November 2014). "Artist To Watch: Shura". Stereogum. Retrieved 23 July 2017. 
  6. ^ The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, record for 'Touch', Work ID 886607565
  7. ^ "Aleksandra Lilah Yakunina-Denton – Creature Blog". Creaturemag.com. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Young Writers Anthology Launch Party/Open Mic Night". Heyevent.com. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d "How Shura Turned Growing Pains Into A Glittering Pop Record". The FADER. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  10. ^ a b Hambro, Maya (25 November 2014). "Shura: "I'm more of a monogamous songwriter"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c Savage, Mark (13 July 2016). "Shura: 'Pop music doesn't represent me'". BBC News. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  12. ^ Madden, Josh (19 February 2014). "shura "touch"". Nylon Guys. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Wood, Betty (17 June 2011). "Introducing: Shura". Creaturemag. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Shura: 'Football has affected my character and my work ethics which definitely affects my music'". WomensSoccerUnited. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Get To Know: Shura". Hunger TV. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  17. ^ ""I Was Never Interested in Hiding My Sexuality": Exploring Shura's Teen Crush Triumph". Noisey. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  18. ^ a b "'I'm a lesbian': Electropop star Shura comes out as gay ahead of Manchester gig | Mancunian Matters". www.mancunianmatters.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  19. ^ a b Vincent, Alice (5 November 2014). "Shura - New Music". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  20. ^ Hillyard, Kim (9 September 2014). "Next Wave #597: Shura". Clash. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  21. ^ Lester, Paul (18 August 2014). "The playlist – new bands: Jagaara, Movement and Shura". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  22. ^ Dombal, Ryan (22 July 2014). "Shura: "Just Once"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  23. ^ Geslani, Michelle (14 October 2014). "Shura shares gorgeous synthpop song "Indecision" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  24. ^ Breihan, Tom (22 August 2014). "Jessie Ware – "Say You Love Me (Shura Remix)"". Stereogum. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  25. ^ "BBC Music - BBC Music Sound Of, 2015 - Shura". Bbc.co.uk. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  26. ^ "Universal Music Publishing Group | UK". Umusicpub.co.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  27. ^ Hunt, El (9 March 2015). "Shura - 2Shy". DIY. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  28. ^ White, Caitlin (3 June 2015). "Shura – "White Light"". Stereogum. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  29. ^ a b Milton, Jamie (10 June 2015). "Shura shares 'Three Years' short film". DIY. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  30. ^ Thomas, Russell (7 July 2015). "Shura announces White Light EP". The 405. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  31. ^ "BBC Music Sound Of 2015 longlist revealed". BBC News. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  32. ^ Hannah J Davies. "SOAK: the indie-folk prodigy fighting for gay rights in Northern Ireland | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  33. ^ "Shura new album | Talib Kweli Touch remixes | Nothing's Real". Never Enough Notes. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  34. ^ "Shura". recordstoreday.co.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  35. ^ Hunt, El (9 December 2014). "It's a Shura thing: "My boobs, licensed to Polydor"". DIY. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  36. ^ Thompson, James F. (September 2014). "Interview: Shura". Loud and Quiet. Archived from the original on 21 February 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  37. ^ "UK Charts > Shura". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  38. ^ "Shura albums (Flanders)". Ultratop. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  39. ^ "Shura albums (Walloon))". Ultratop. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  40. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography Shura". irishcharts.com. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  41. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  42. ^ "SHURA IN DER SCHWEIZER HITPARADE". Hit Parade. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  43. ^ "Shura - Billboard Heatseekers". Billboard.com. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 

External links[edit]