Fri 8th Feb | 23:30 | Spailpín Fánach
Ireland-based five-piece Shookrah will be sharing their brand new single “Flex” on 30th November via Broken Records. This single release follows on from their track “Don’t Wanna Doubt You”, shared in May this year, and continues the trajectory of highly successful year of writing and recording for Shookrah. The five-piece has already sparked international interest from a host of tastemaker publications, including Afropunk, CLASH Mag, Wonderland Magazine, JOE.ie, Irish Examiner, GoldenPlec and The Irish Times and have also enjoyed radio play on shows such as BBC Ulster’s Across The Line. The Irish Times crowned Shookrah, “Best Irish Act of 2017” and “50 People to Watch in 2018” while GoldenPlec named them one of their Plec Picks for 2016. The band have also been dominating the live music scene, playing headlining shows at Quarter Block Party, Wigwam and K-Fest as well as supporting music legends Billy Ocean and Theo Katzman (Vulfpeck) on their Irish tours.
Although the members of Shookrah are currently all based in Cork, Ireland, the members come from a variety of different cities and countries, including Cork, Kerry, Dublin and South Africa. The group is made up of Senita Appiakorang (lead vocals), Emmet O’Riabhaigh (drums), Daniel Coughlan (guitar), Diarmait MacCarthaigh (keyboard) and Brian Dunlea (bass guitar), all of whom have grown up with their own personal connection to music and creativity.
Inspired by cutting edge modern R&B-infused musicians such as Anderson.Paak, Janelle Monae, Solange, Princess Nokia, Hiatus Kaiyote, D’Angelo, Shookrah’s sound is reminiscent of Erykah Badu and Thundercat. “Flex” is an uplifting whirl of self-confidence, sass, and camaraderie. The new single was recorded with Brendan Fennessy (O Emperor), mixed by Michael Heffernan, produced by Emmet O’Riabhaigh and Diarmait Mac Cárthaigh of Shookrah and mastered by April Golden, and is a triumphant track that oozes 90s-style R&B elements and confidence. Senita’s vocals effortlessly flow between low and sultry to anthemic and melismatic, all the while backed by the sexy, modern electronic big-band sound created by the rest of Shookrah. “Flex” calls on its listeners to summon their most extroverted and flamboyant selves, abandon the night’s emotional and social responsibilities and show off on the dancefloor.
On Shookrah’s brand new single, Senita comments, “The song’s braggadocious theme is inspired by the emerging vogue-balls and drag culture in Ireland, specifically in Cork, where I recently stole the Drag-Queen title of ‘Miss Opulence’ at Miss Candy Warhol’s annual event. The song for me reimagines these safely created spaces amongst friends, ripe for invoking your most confident self, and falling prey to the music. ‘Flex’ very much embodies that, you’ve got Nile Rodgers-esque guitar picking contrasted with the devilish call of the synths and bass in the chorus alongside spooky vocals.”