3 May 2024 ///

adidas Originals presents Sonic Sessions with South Africa’s Soulful Force, Shekhinah

Bringing together the dynamism of sound and style, Sonic Sessions is a series brought to you by adidas Originals and Connect Everything Collective. Together, we delve into the cultural currents shaping South Africa’s sonic landscape – whether it’s the narrative richness of hip hop, the soulful fusion of love-struck lyrics, or the birthing of innovative genres, South Africa’s musical prowess is unparalleled. Sonic Sessions invites you to immerse yourself in exploring artists and their playlists, as we uncover that being original isn’t just a performance—it’s an ethos, fundamental to our creative expression. 

Shekhinah is one of South Africa’s most soulful forces. With a voice that manifests transiently across R&B, pop, and electronic beats, Shekhinah’s versatility has earned her critical acclaim both locally and internationally. Shekhinah’s songwriting is renowned for encouraging individuality, self-love and resilience; with these sentiments crystallising her place in South Africa’s sonic pantheon. 

Whether its collaborations with Kyle Deutch, to Mr Eazi or Black Coffee; Shekhinah’s voice has lent to some of the most successful tracks originating out of South Africa, in the last decade. We ask Shekhinah how collaboration has contributed to her artistic development, to which she notes that “The beautiful thing about collaboration is that it really makes you who you are. So many people have to come together in order for a song to be born. Collaboration teaches you to live in community, to work in community and it grows and stretches you. I wouldn’t be anywhere without collaboration. Sometimes, it’s not always a creative participation – sometimes the collaboration comes from your family, or somebody drives you to a gig or helps you pay for studio time – that’s collaborating in your dream and in your future. Nothing can be born with it out and working with the people that I’ve worked with, has made me who I am today.”

Image courtesy of Shekhinah

Photography by Kent Andreasen courtesy of adidas

Shekhinah credits inspiration as rooted in love – in all its glorious and mutable forms, “I am super inspired by love. I need love in order to write music – and I’m a big communicator. I love to talk to people, I love to share stories and give advice or be there for people. Love inspires song and melody in me – the act of it moves me.” When thinking of her listeners, Shekhinah’s hope is to bring them closer to an intimate understanding of themselves; “I’m hoping that listeners can identify a situation that they’re in through my songs, and that something resonates with them. Love is so broad and there are so many different themes and stories within love. So my hope is that listeners can feel seen and heard through my music, and that it helps them navigate whatever they’re going through.”

Beyond music, Shekhinah is also known for her fashion sense and style. On how she sees fashion and music intersecting in her expression, Shekhinah notes that, “I’ve had such beautiful experiences being around other creative people – whether its directors, writers, photographers and so on – where they have concepts that marry to my music, and it brings the songs to life. So my artistic identity is again born out of collaboration, where different minds are enhancing the way a song can be expressed visually. My previous album, Trouble in Paradise, began with me having a shaved head and as the project continued – the hair grew. This showed a rebirth of self, and a stripping away of self. So, aesthetics are really important in telling a story.” and that “there are so many ways that fashion and style play a role in music. It just creates a bigger and better experience for the audience, and that’s what we do it for.”

As Shekhinah’s impact continues to be manifested and recognised, this is an artist for whom collaboration, community and connection is the heart of it all. May Shekhinah’s admission on these facts inspire a generation of artists to do everything; together. 

Listen to Shekhinah’s exclusive Sonic Sessions playlist, ‘HEART GROOVES’  here

Written by: Holly Beaton
For more news, visit the Connect Everything Collective homepage www.ceconline.co.za

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