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2020 March 23 - SH3

From childhood, SH3 (pronounced ‘she’) always knew she wanted to pursue music in some capacity. At a young age she would use the garden hose as a microphone and looked up to her pop music icons, The Spice Girls. Their mantra of ‘girl power’ set a stage for her to feel as if anything she wanted to pursue was possible, especially music. With the encouragement of her family, SH3 began piano lessons at 7, followed by voice lessons at 12 and guitar lessons at 17.

Although she loved to sing, her main goal was to become an accomplished songwriter. She felt there was such beauty and power in writing a song people could connect with, and during her years of formal education she made sure to apply all she learned in her pursuit of songwriting. In addition to songwriting, SH3 began exploring audio production at 14, by purchasing her first license of FL studio, an interface which came with the audio program SONAR, and a cheap dynamic microphone. For the next year or so, SH3 began exploring making productions and recording herself.

It wasn’t until one of her first recording studio experiences where SH3 discovered she wanted to take the audio arts more serious. SH3 had written a couple songs she wanted recorded properly in a studio setting, and upon the recommendation of a teacher, was introduced to an audio engineer who had their own studio.

Long story short, the engineer ended up billing SH3 an amount much higher than expected and this left an extremely bitter taste for SH3. From that point on SH3 felt empowered to learn how to record herself so she would not be in this position again. After a year of working her first part-time job at 16, she saved up the money to purchase her first MacBook, and began learning how to record. 

Her journey in the recording arts came from humble beginnings, as she began to record in GarageBand and was able to get really great audio recordings from it. Using a decent USB mic, as well as knowing how to manipulate the compressors and EQ, you would hardly know the recordings where made in the program. She recorded, wrote and produced her first EP on it while she was studying jazz voice at York University. Her dreams of being a songwriter were still in the forefront, and upon graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Music, SH3 found her first opportunity as a songwriter.

Writing in Toronto’s thriving hip hop scene was a great place for SH3 to fine tune her craft and although she did learn a wealth of knowledge, it was in studio sessions where she began to hear comments that would undermine her simply because she was a woman. At this time, she was learning the industry standard audio program, Pro Tools, but since her role was primarily a songwriter in sessions, one would not know this unless asked. She recalls being in a session talking about Pro Tools, and one of the guys pointed at her saying, “She probably doesn’t even know what we’re talking about.” For the first time, SH3 felt a sense of the obstacles she might be faced with.

Prior to conducting studio sessions, SH3 made music mostly in her own bubble where she was free from outside noise, and although she was aware there were nowhere near as many women in the audio world as men, she rarely felt it first-hand. However once becoming active in the music scene, the comments here and there started arising and it gave SH3 even more fuel to become a sought after writer and audio engineer.

She’s received comments such as, ‘Are you waiting for your boyfriend?’ while being at a rehearsal space; ‘oh a girl!’ when a client came into a session; as well as commonly getting asked about her personal life and relationship status. SH3 doesn’t let this discourage her though. She knows she is great at what she does, and once a client experiences a session with her, SH3 is not surprised when they rebook.

SH3 currently works as a songwriter, vocalist and audio engineer, specializing in vocal production. Due to her years of studying and teaching voice, she is able to use that foundation to help artists perform their best takes when recording their project. It is extremely fulfilling for her to help artists bring their musical visions and goals to life, whether she is part of the writing process, recording process, or lending her own vocals. 

To keep up with SH3s story, make sure you follow her social channels:

Youtube - @Sh3Official

Facebook - @sh3Official

Instagram - @sh3official

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