Northern Ireland singer Silhouette released her first single Volume destroyed on May 24th 2010 through the new and exciting Indie label VM Records. Silhouette is the enigmatic alias of the passionate 22 year old Northern Irish girl whose main focus creatively is to inspire, touch and mend the hearts of anyone who is drawn in to listen.
Silhouette was created by Shauna Tohill in late 2007 after the break-up of her previous band, Angelfall. After great experiences in various bands, Shauna felt it was time to do something which she had always wanted to do… create music that broke down the boundaries of traditional line-ups providing a raw, honest and truthful edge, hopefully offering some kind of accessible and therapeutic effect — whilst continuing to place emphasis on the music as opposed to the creator.
Shauna, as Silhouette has sessioned and shared the stage with a number of bands and artists to local acclaim including Joe Echo (co-writer for Madonna), Duke Special, Cat Malojian, Katie and the Carnival, Clown Parlour, MojoFURY, Kyle Suckling, Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Teddy Thompson and Stephen Fretwell. She has also worked with many well-known producers such as Shaun ‘Mudd’ Wallace (Therapy?) and Billy Farrell (The Corrs).
Silhouette spoke to It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll (But I Like It) in a recent interview about her musical influences, songwriting and women in the music industry.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I have a very eclectic taste in music so I draw a range of influences from artists who are unique in their own way – the main ones would be Amanda Palmer, Deftones, Tori Amos and Flyeleaf. I also draw my inspiration from a range of local artists such as MojoFuRy, La Faro and RAMS’ Pocket Radio!
When did you first know that music is what you wanted to pursue as a career?
I always had an interest in music from a young age – mainly because of my musical family!! But it was really when I turned 14-15 when I had the desire and motivation to learn how to play an instrument, compose, perform and take it to another level! I wanted to be everything before that! My first band was a metal band that I sang in – it was called Hastur – we had a lot of fun but I left it to make another band called Angelfall where a good friend, Grace Leacock and I co-wrote alot of songs – it was more pop/rock and we put so much passion into it!!! Was great!!! Then lots of sessioning came along (with Joe Echo etc…) and Silhouette was born!!!
A huge majority of the CDs and demos I get sent are all male bands or have male front men, what’s it like being a women in the music industry? Do you ever find it’s a male dominated industry?
Ha ha! Yeah, I do find that from time to time – more so when I was younger – there is a huge increase of female musicians popping up which is great! Grace and I (because of Angelfall) initially found it a little difficult being some of the only girls playing in bands locally – because people would either stare at you assuming that ‘shes gonna be rubbish’ or shout comments like ‘Aw, isn’t that so cute… the girlfriends are carrying in their boyfriends gear in!’ It made us kinda nervous and sometimes annoyed, but its not really the case anymore – most musicians have respect for one-another which is really great! Although there is the odd comment here and there!
“Grace and I initially found it a little difficult being some of the only girls playing in bands locally – because people would either stare at you assuming that ‘shes gonna be rubbish’ or shout comments like ‘Aw, isn’t that so cute… the girlfriends are carrying in their boyfriends gear in!”
Do you have a song writing “process”?
Not really – I usually just write when Im inspired – whether its sitting at a piano, have an instrument in my hand or just walking down the street. Sometimes its difficult to set aside time to specifically compose – it kinda just.. happens?? It’s when you’re blessed with the melody and words! Its class when it all comes together!
Do you ever worry about being compared to other artists?
Mmm… not really – I think at this stage – people sometimes need to know what you’re similar to in order to give you a chance! Although, my dream is to just be Silhouette and for people to compare it to Silhouette in its unique way! ha ha!! But I don’t really mind!
Do you have any advice for people starting out in the industry?
It is a tough and long journey if you want to make it happen so make sure it is exactly where you’re heart lies and remember the reason why you’re doing it! You need to be constantly motivated and passionaite! Just be yourself! =)
The Single, ‘Volume destroyed’ is available now as Digital Download from Itunes and all major online stores. More information can be found using the links below.