How old are you and where are you from?
I am 19 years old. I am nonbinary and use it/its/itself pronouns or they/them if calling someone “it” is really uncomfortable for you. I’m from Asheville, North Carolina but I traveled a lot as a kid.
Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?
Absolutely. Asheville is a really diverse town with a lot of psychedelic drugs and people from a lot of interesting backgrounds. I grew up traveling and seeing a LOT of nature and I was introduced to lots of different creative mediums as well as spiritual practices and beliefs at a young age. My upcoming album 2007 and all my music really is very influenced by the environment I’ve lived in and the kinds of people I’ve interacted with and the ways I’ve watched all of us grow.
Who are your top 5 favorite artists?
This changes but currently: Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes (this one never changes), brakence, GLXSGXW (one of my best friends as well), Pat the Bunny, and XXXTENTACION
What made you start making music?
When I was six, I saw a Slash poster and that made me start playing guitar. For a while I wanted to be Eddie Van Halen so I grew my hair out and practiced guitar 8 hours a day (from ages like 9-11.) And the evolution kind of just happened naturally as I started writing poetry and songs (as well as fiction and other stuff) and got introduced to different genres of music. But what made me start releasing music was a combination of two things. The end of a relationship where I was abused and emotionally fucked with to the point of not knowing who I was anymore. Then a really bad acid comedown when I watched the sunrise and realized if I had to stay the person I was, I didn’t want to live anymore. I got back in touch with my passion for music around the same time I came out as nonbinary and changed my name to Shiki. I released my first song, Doll (mixed and mastered by GLXSGXW who found me when I had 40 followers) a week later.
What’s your favorite song at the moment?
It’s really mood/moment dependent but currently I’ve got Maybe by Ingrid Michaelson stuck in my head.
What keeps you going? How you doing mentally?
My internal world has been getting much better this year. I’ve gotten a lot more clarity about why I do what I do. In short, what keeps me going is knowing that I have experiences and perspectives that can really help people. Receiving messages about my songs helping someone overcome suicidal thoughts or being asked to send handwritten samples of my lyrics to be tattooed over self harm scars means a million times more to me than some number on the screen.
How would you describe your style?
If I was being cheeky I’d say early Bright Eyes plus 808s, but I experiment a lot. I guess my style is whatever makes me feel intense emotions (especially nostalgia) because if I feel it, there’s a good chance everyone else will too.
What do your parents think about you doing music?
They’re supportive. I’ve been through a lot of bad shit with my parents, more than we can get into here, but they’re happy I found a reason to live and their concerns and reservations are theirs, not mine.
Outside of music, what keeps you busy?
I love spending time in nature, communing with forces and things bigger than my concept of self and feeling the way I fit into that is a beautiful thing, inspiring too. For the most part though, music is my life. I do love a few comfort books and shows though. Lately I’ve been rewatching Euphoria and re-reading Wintergirls about once a week.
Where do you see yourself this time next year?
I don’t like to place expectations on the future. I prefer to focus on doing the next thing that’s in alignment with what I want. Although, if I were going to guess. I’d say I’ll be with my music friends and we’ll all be prospering and elevating rapidly.