Pachagazine features Official Shadu, artist of resilience and hope, discussing her music's blend of Ukrainian tradition and contemporary sound. With inspiration rooted in an intense personal journey, Shadu emphasizes authenticity in her work amidst technological influences and the war in Ukraine. Aiming to evoke warmth and comfort, she maintains artistic integrity, even planning future projects while facing industry challenges. Shadu's desire is to create lasting music that uplifts and inspires.

An Exclusive Encounter with Shadu on Pachagazine, The Voice Echoing Unity and Courage

In the heart of musical innovation stands an artist who transcends boundaries with the power of melody. Pachagazine presents an exclusive interview with the enigmatic Official Shadu, a name synonymous with resilience and hope through music.

From “Stand With Ukraine” to the “Gravity” EP, Shadu has captured global attention with stirring tunes. Join us as we delve into the life of an artist who crafts hits and weaves stories of strength. Discover the inspiration behind anthems that rally support across nations and the vision propelling Shadu to new heights.

Stay tuned for a conversation as captivating as the melodies that make Shadu a beacon of artistic integrity and a herald of change.

Pachagazine: Can you tell us about your musical journey and what initially sparked your interest in pursuing a career in music?

Shadu: I began studying music at a young age – I sang, played the violin, piano, and guitar! It seemed to me that my future was already written and would be connected with music! I was sure that I was born for this! However, life had other plans for me, and after I graduated, I had to forget about music for a long time! I spent seven years as a television director. Yet in all these years not a single day has passed that I did not remember the music. On the night of February 14, 2020, my husband became ill. He got dizzy, lost coordination, he hardly heard or saw me. After 15 minutes, the left arm and leg stopped working. It was a stroke. From that moment on, everything changed. My life became divided between before and after. From that day onwards, a hard struggle began for the life of the person closest to me. When you see death (and it was there, I could smell it) your consciousness changes. You will never be the same. That night, it seems like I grew suddenly, I’ve aged ten years. To take care of my husband, I had to give up my television job. Getting him back on his feet was the goal of life! My husband found the strength to survive and stay with me. That was a true miracle! That’s when I realized that our lives could end at any moment! These things helped me realize how fragile life is: it could end at any moment! While doing other things, I truly understood the value of each moment. Throughout these years, I was really unhappy. When my husband started getting back on his feet, I asked myself again: What do you really want? My body and mind were screaming to me: return to music! I really needed it like an oxygen. My life began from scratch on that day. That’s how SHADU was born.

Pachagazine: How has your upbringing in Ukraine influenced your artistic style and approach to music?

Shadu: It gave me love for music, art and creativity. Ukrainians are a musical nation with a great cultural history. For centuries, they have defended their independence. I think their striving for freedom, that’s what allows me to have no limitations of music!

Pachagazine: Your music often blends traditional Ukrainian elements with modern genres. How do you strike a balance between honoring tradition and pushing musical boundaries?

Shadu: It’s a part of me, and it’s something bigger than me. I would say it’s a legacy. Traditions mean a lot for my country, they preserve cultural heritage. And I wanna show the world how internationally recognized Ukrainian music can be.

Pachagazine: What does a typical day in the studio look like for you when you’re working on new music?

Shadu: There’s no fixed formula for writing music. Everything always happens just naturally in the here and now! Sometimes a melody comes to me in my dream. What I have to do is to make myself wake up and record it on my voice recorder. Which is hard, because the brain starts to trick me, convincing me that I don’t really need to wake up, soothing me I’ll remember this melody in the morning! The funny thing, though, is, only a memory of that melody remains in the morning, nothing more! I can’t remember a single note. That’s why I’ve taught myself to wake up and to record me a voice messages any time during the night. All my music is produced by Vadym Porotkov. I consider him the most talented sound producer not only in Ukraine, but in the world and I am proud to work with him.

Pachagazine: Your lyrics often explore themes of identity, love, and the passage of time. How do you draw from personal experiences when writing songs?

Shadu: Every track has a story. It’s very important for me to put Message into the music! In all my tracks there’s the plot’s thread, the idea that even after the darkest night, comes the brightest dawn! If you’re hurting right now and it feels like you’re never gonna feel better, you should know that the best is yet to come.

Pachagazine: Can you share any memorable moments or challenges you’ve faced in your career this far?

Shadu: Unfortunately, all Ukrainians, not only musicians, we are all suffering the Russian attacks! With the war going on, priorities change. The main focus is protecting your family from death! You know, it is so hard to think about music when you are running for cover during explosions, moving from place to place in search of a safer place so that Russian missiles do not get you. The first month of the war, I went numb! I couldn’t write a single line! It was the biggest break in writing, and it was caused by the war. The funny thing is that the human brain adapts to so many things, even being bombed by missiles! So after a while I picked myself up and started writing again.

Pachagazine: Your live performances are known for their energy and intimacy. How do you connect with your audience during a show?

Shadu: Performing and communicating with people is the happiest moments. I feel like there’s a lot of energy between me and the crowd! I give my all to the performance, I give myself to my listeners. Between songs, I talk to the audience to see what kind of mood they’re in, how the feel and whether they like the performance. I want to energize them, resulting in a pleasant memory and lasting aftertaste for many days.

Pachagazine: Many fans appreciate the storytelling aspect of your music videos. How do you go about conceptualizing and creating visuals that complement your songs?

Shadu: There is always an idea at the start. An image in the mind. Something where I can start from. The effect itself can become a fascinating story too, you know. A visual thing that then becomes a story. I love to experiment, it’s fascinating.

Pachagazine: Collaboration is a big part of the music industry. Is there an artist or producer you dream of collaborating with in the future?

Shadu: My dream is to collaborate with Rivo and David Guetta.

Pachagazine: How do you stay creatively inspired and motivated, especially during times of writer’s block or creative drought?

Shadu: What keeps me motivated is the understanding that music is eternal, something that lasts longer! Something to remain even after my death. When you realize what you are creating will never go away, but would inspire people for many years to come, you really want to keep on making music.

Pachagazine: In your opinion, what sets Ukrainian music apart from other musical traditions around the world?

Shadu: If we talk about Ukrainian folk singing and music in general – I would say it is the melody of the language. Extraction of sound: chest or falsetto. There are also melisma and it always sounds incredible. It is the clarity and expressiveness of the lyrics. Also, as I said, it’s a thousand years of history, ancient customs and ancient rites, and songs that were born as a continuation of those.

 Pachagazine: Since your songs have been on the world charts, do you get letters from your international fans?

Shadu: I get letters from people from different countries who like my production! I think that the charts are an indication of the listeners’ interest in my work. I’ll keep doing my best to release good, quality and modern music! I don’t want to stand still and I will continue to expand my audience even more.

Pachagazine: In addition to the vocal path, you decided to add dj-ing. Why did you and what was your motivation?

Shadu: About DJing – as a musician I’ve always been interested in playing new instruments – first violin, then guitar, then piano! I’ve always been into DJing, so I decided to add it to my list.  As soon as I started to pay more attention to it, I felt that this direction is so exciting and inspiring for me – I don’t know how I lived without DJing before. I will definitely do a combination of djing and singing. I think people will love this mix.

Pachagazine: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are just starting their journey in the industry?

Shadu: Never give up, try not get depressed, even if you don’t get the results you hope for right away! The musical journey is so demanding and challenging. Do what you know, do it properly, do it every day. Believe in yourself. That’s when the world believes in you.

Pachagazine: Your music often evokes a sense of nostalgia and longing. What emotions do you hope to evoke in your listeners?

Shadu: To me, it’s the pleasant longing for something good, warm, and unforgettable. Have you noticed that with every event in your life, you have a special song? There is a soundtrack to every moment of our life! When my music is included in this soundtrack, I feel very happy! This is one of the missions of a music creator.

Pachagazine: How do you see the role of technology shaping the future of music, both in terms of production and distribution?

Shadu: Technology in the modern world is an essential part of everything. It is a good and a bad thing. There is artificial intelligence that can write a song for you. This is unacceptable to me because music has to come from the heart. Now does artificial intelligence have a heart? As for music distribution, I am very much in support of new technologies and algorithms, because that will help more people hear my music.

Pachagazine: What’s one misconception about being a musician that you’d like to debunk?

Shadu: It is common for people who are not involved in the music industry to think that being a singer and composer is an easy task. Content creation, filming, studio work, touring, performing are not just work, but entertainment! I want to debunk this myth. Being a content creator – no matter what content you create – music, art, video – is a 24/7 full-time job with no day offs.

Pachagazine: Can you share any details about your upcoming projects or plans for the future?

Shadu: My EP ‘Need you’ was released on April 19, and is available on all digital platforms. Lots of new releases, news and content coming ahead! Check out my social media!

Pachagazine: How do you maintain a sense of authenticity and integrity in your music, especially in an era of mass production and commercialization?

Shadu: When I’m creating music, I think of music and not of commerce

Pachagazine: What legacy do you hope to leave through your music and artistry?

Shadu: I have an amazing team, including my sound engineer, Vadym Porotkov, who helps me keep the style and integrity of my sound! We keep it simple; the music has to move you, it has to sound classy and have some nice drops!

Pachagazine: A message to your fans

Shadu: I think I want to be the artist whose music people play when they feel bad just to make them feel good.

Pachagazine: Social Media links

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