Photography: Liya Rose Magen / @liyarosemagen

If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would you say?

The demands of dedicated training provided the confidence for experimentation: contained within major and minor notes is an atmosphere of hope and of focus.

Have you always wanted to create music?

When I was five I started playing piano – and I haven’t stopped since then. I started playing guitar when I was 10. I have always been playing, studying and listening to music, and I think I always knew that this was my path. However, it was only after my military service in 2013 that decided I wanted to develop it as my profession. That’s when I ended up moving to Liverpool from Israel to study at LIPA, where I focused on production and composition.

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Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?

Opening by Philip Glass. I came across this piece last year and it introduced me to the style of minimalistic music. I found the hypnotising feeling of this piece meditating and really unique.

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform?

If I have to pick one piece it might have to be Clair De Lune by Debussy. A simple melody line accompanied by rich, beautiful and effective harmony is what I’m trying to create as well when I compose. I find the simplicity in it powerful and moving.

What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting: other art, emotions, current affairs – or a mixture of all of these?

For me it is the mixture of all these together. I never write with a clear intention, but when I need to explain to myself whether a piece of mine is one to keep, I analyse it considering how it matches the state of mind I was in.

“I love that I can express myself without needing to talk” Shai-Li

If you could support any artist in the future, who would it be?

Absolutely Ólafur Arnalds!

Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in?

I performed in an OUTPUT gallery in May. What made it special – aside from the fact it was my EP release – was that it combined two types of art together: music and visual arts. The space was small and the audience was set on the floor. Taking music outside the studio or the regular stage created an intimate connection with the audience that I’ve never felt before when playing at typical music venues.

Why is music important to you?

Music is my way to express myself. I usually write instrumental music, and I love that I can express myself without needing to talk.

 

soundcloud.com/shai-li

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