With her third consecutive #2 hit on MusicWeek’s Commercial Pop chart in the UK and millions of YouTube views and fans, SHAB’s hypnotizing pop-dance song “Criss Cross” is steered by Grammy-winning producer Damon Sharpe, who produced Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lopez. In addition to lighting the world on fire with her music, SHAB is a proud mother of two children living in Dallas. She first came to America at age 14 as a refugee and learned English while working three jobs.
CRISS CROSS delivers a dance-inducing, electric feeling with lyrics rooted in sensual love. SHAB strikes the perfect balance of vibrant beats and heart-fluttering lyrics, allowing her worldwide fanbase to see a new side to her.
SHAB is known for her addictive, ear-worm combination of urban tilting songs, pop ballads, and dance-inducing knockouts. She combines an eclectic mix of sonic effects and catchy dance-pop hooks to make energizing music effortless and memorable. SHAB delivers a kaleidoscope of sound that goes hand-in-hand with her introspective and powerful lyrics with huge choruses and distinct yet unpredictable vocals in the purest of pop sense.
A star across three continents, SHAB first gained attention in the Western Hemisphere during late 2020 as a “breakout star of the global pandemic,” SHAB has registered three consecutive Number Two hits on the British commercial pop charts with her first three English language singles released during the 2020-21 COVID lockdown. Her February 2021 debut album, INFINITE LOVE, has been met by immediate critical acclaim, with her unique electronic dance sound typified as “an energizing Global Pop that is both effortless and memorable.”
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with SHAB to discuss her latest project, and here’s what went down:
How did you get started in the music industry? How were you actually ‘discovered’?
I am clearly something of an accidental pop singer! I have an older brother named Shahab, who is fairly well known in North America in the Persian American expatriate community. I started singing along with Shahab in 2014-2015, but during 2016 made the decision that I wanted to start singing in English. While I had no idea then how I could enter the market, I was extremely fortunate to have synced up with Damon Sharpe. For whatever reason, Damon saw something in me from an artistic standpoint that he liked: and we have been marching forward together ever since.
What do you like most about singing?
What is there not to like? I get to express myself artistically while working with some terrifically talented and supportive people who believe in me and my career. I am incredibly privileged to be able to pursue a career as a performer.
Can you tell us about your latest song & video Criss Cross?
CRISS CROSS is a song about wanting to cross that boundary line in a new & exciting romance – where lovers who have stoked the fires of a fledgling and smoldering relationship decide to pursue a future together exclusively but are still nervous about outcomes and potential disappointment. So it’s a situation that we have all pretty much faced previously in our romantic lives: but that reality does not keep one from being nervous when re-encountering the same!
What sort of person is going to love this song?
That is something that I am not sure I can predict for certain- people have various reasons for liking songs: whether it’s a love for the beats or the song structure, or production values. But on the other hand, I am fairly sure that people who dislike optimistic sentiments and bouncy drop bass lines are going to detest this tune!
What inspires you to be creative?
So many things give birth to bursts of creativity in our lives. The work of other artists will often inspire me – and not just in musical formats, as the visual arts are sometimes incredibly compelling. Otherwise, events in my everyday life can inspire me, such as interactions with my kids or my love, Rob. And the extraordinary actions of people I do not know, and will likely never meet, can inspire me.
Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?
When I feel that creative urge sparked by some good ideas, I feel that I need to make things happen. I want to take those inspirational and artistic concepts and transform them into sound or performance. Let’s get to work!
What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?
Life is short. Love on people. And love them hard.
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
The charity concert in late 2021 that I did for the Hope Supply Co. organization will always be a touchstone moment for my career. We managed to capture the concert on video that you can find on my YouTube channel – and these videos have racked up more than three million views. But what most viewers do not realize is that the Hope Supply show was both my first concert performance ever in the English language — but also my debut at incorporating choreography into my act. It was a wonderful experience; you can see in those videos my joy from that evening’s events.
Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest? What kinds of things inhibit you?
I think every creative person, no matter their discipline, frequently experiences drought in their sense of creativity. It’s a natural phenomenon to experience the musical equivalent of Writer’s Block. And I find that my creative juices tend to ebb when I am under personal stress or not feeling a vibe with a particular project.
Who is your greatest influence?
You’ve posed a very open-ended question. On a personal level, the individual who made the greatest mark on my life is my mother. She came to America and her 13 kids with only suitcases but managed to raise a family that has become rooted and successful in our adopted American homeland. But on a musical basis, I tend to find myself most influenced by the iconic female entertainers in our industry, such as Diana Ross, Madonna, Annie Lennox, and Lady Gaga. But of all these legendary divas, it is probably both J-Lo and Shakira whom I have most admired – and as to whom I am most compared.
Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?
I am not sure whether I am simply ADHD or tend to have multiple areas of interest, but there are a number of passions that I might have primarily pursued other than my present musical course. I am very conscious of my decision to channel my vocational energies into music (even though my partner Rob says it’s a fundamental part of his work to keep me On Point).
What would your alternate field have been if you hadn’t chosen your field?
I have a deep and abiding interest in holistic wellness, and it would not surprise me if I were to open a wellness center during the next few years. I am also quite interested in both interior and fashion design and could have almost as willfully pursued those interests. But Forrest Gump was right: life is indeed a box of chocolates — I’ll never know exactly what we’re going to get.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I am sometimes told that if one wants to make God laugh, tell him your future plans! But notwithstanding that cautionary advice, I want to continue broadening my audience over the next couple of years while making relatable and danceable music. And outside of music, I would love to be able to extend my brand during the next few years to other types of endeavors for which I have passion.