Shandelle Dazzles On Her First Ep, “Introspection”

Shandelle Dazzles On Her First Ep "Introspection"

Fortunately, Shandelle Gomez, a 19-year-old R&B singer from Somerville, has had a head start since she first began singing at the age of four. She began working with producer and friend Arkh Zeus in high school (whose Tensai IV we previously covered). Shandelle opted to record and release her own songwriting efforts after being a featured artist on other people’s tunes. This choice resulted in introspection, her debut EP as a solo artist. Shandelle has created for herself an exciting premiere, a bold and self-assured proclamation of her own presence, drawing inspiration from fellow modern R&B artists like Kehlani, Kali Uchis, Snoh Aalegra, and Jhene Aiko.

According to Shandelle, introspection was the result of a variety of factors. She considers many female musicians, particularly R&B artists, as influences, noting that they “remind me to unabashedly be my most real self.” Beginning in 2021, when Arkh Zeus texted her to get in the studio, she felt “safe to start writing [her] own music and recording originals.” The EP’s opening track, “empty,” is the result of that initial effort. Shandelle opens the song appropriately with the phrase “there’s no turning back” while a gloomy, shuffle-like beat develops beneath her vocals.

Even though she sings of her own difficulties to break away from harmful patterns, the single sure does sound self-assured for someone who confesses to her own self-concerns over her abilities to create her own creative impulses. She makes a pledge, maybe most importantly to herself, that she is “ready to go on” and “I won’t hold on to what this became.”

Due in part to Arkh Zeus’ skilled producing abilities, the entire EP boasts rich melodic textures, sumptuous orchestration, and rhythmically appealing beat structures. The final song, “circles,” which further develops the subject of getting caught in our own cycles, also has Zeus as a featured artist. The song also openly acknowledges that sometimes we are too close to ourselves to really appreciate how much we have changed.

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