Melbourne’s own, Shelley Segal has been one busy singer songwriter, the spirited artist made the move over 12 months ago to go and live in LA, and in that time she has been writing with different artists, performing constantly, has opened her own publishing company (already locking down a sync deal) and is now currently touring the US to promote her latest offering, Somebody Like You. Shelly answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the single.

Congratulations on the new single Somebody Like You. Did you find this song quite therapeutic in letting go of some of the personal issues going on in your world?
Hi Rob! Thanks for the chat. I definitely found writing, recording and releasing ‘Somebody Like You’ therapeutic. That is the way with most of my songs, especially the more personal ones. Being able to get your thoughts and feelings consolidated and externalised is incredibly helpful. You’re able to really examine the way you are feeling about something and also move forward from it. When I was 18, my family told me that I needed to break up with my then partner because he wasn’t Jewish, as my family was. This was a very difficult time in my life. With my song ‘Somebody Like You’ I was able to take those feelings of hurt and rejection and to transform them into an expressive empowering message where I stand up for myself and my relationship.

What was your family’s reaction to this song?
It’s been quite a long time since then and we have all really grown. They have come to accept and support my secular life. They are proud of me and of the song and they have empathy for people in their community who are going through similar experiences.

Moving to LA is a bold move, as an artist how has the environment helped your song writing?
LA is an amazing place – there are so many varied artists and writers and every body is open to collaboration. That has been a big difference for me. I have been writing with many different artists and writers and that has definitely expanded my craft. I learn from everyone that I work with, picking up new approaches and styles. It’s been really fun. I’m still consolidating everything I’ve learnt over the last year and I can’t wait to see how it impacts my song writing even further.

Who have you been collaborating/ writing with over there?
I’ve been working with lots of different writing teams, partners and for different projects. Some recent highlights include a song with Pop starlet ELYSA which is currently getting airplay in Estonia. Also a song with super talented LA based dance/vocal group NUNA GANG – I got to see it performed live last month. Seeing the song come to life with a full choreography was amazing. I’ve also written a track for the Emmy award winning web series Venice.

What are some of the lessons you have learnt?
I’ve learnt a lot from being here. I’ve had to adjust to the culture which has been interesting. There’s not as much self depreciating humour and in LA you really have to be networking constantly. I’ve had to learn more about negotiating for myself in different areas, understanding my worth and being able to push for it. I’ve started a publishing company this last year and had to research so much to do with that – it’s been an incredible learning curve. I’ve been building my home studio and learning about gear and which gear works best for me and my voice.

How has it been being involved with the web series Venice?
Being part of Venice has been an incredible experience! It was my first time writing from a script and also writing for visuals so there were lots of new elements to consider. It was very exciting watching the song come to life through the process. The song was used in the season finale over a very romantic love scene. I loved the challenge and was very proud to be part of it and loved getting feedback from Venice fans. I even got to meet the cast and perform at a fan event.

Will this open the door to other opportunities?
Yes, it will. It’s a great step for me to be creating work for this area and to always be developing more relationships with content creators. For myself and for my publishing company. The song has been submitted by the show for some exciting opportunities! I’ll keep everyone posted.

What can music lovers expect from your upcoming shows?
Music lovers can expect folky pop tunes and storytelling lyrics with some rocky and jazzy elements for good measure. Even some fun beloved covers. I’ll be performing as a duo (vocals and two guitars) with Rob Robertson and the occasional special guest as well. I often share stories about how the songs were written or fun stories from the road. I’m excited to share new tunes and some of the work I’ve been creating in the US with my home crowd.

What’s the plan for 2018?
I’ve got a lot going on that I’m really excited about! I’ll be showcasing this February with Sounds Australia at the Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City, MO. I’ll be continuing my song writing work and releasing the EP that ‘Somebody Like You’ is off. I’ll also be starting work on a new recording and a concept conservation EP about the Puget Sound Watershed in the US. So at least two recording projects released – hopefully even three!! I’ll be touring and performing as usual, starting with a residency in San Diego. I’ll also be continuing my work with my Patreon – where I create new music and recordings for my subscribers each month. www.patreon.com/shelleysegal So busy busy busy!

Interview by Rob Lyon