Sara Hjellströ, aka, SHY Martin, has undergone something of an artistic rebirth during the pandemic. She has severed ties with her previous record company and management to start her own label, SHY Recordings, from which she has just released her latest single Break With Me. Here, the acclaimed artist and composer discusses her new direction and how she came to write hits for the likes of Chainsmokers, Ellie Goulding and Bebe Rexha.
CR: How have you been coping with the pandemic?
SM: I was in New Zealand on a writing camp when the first case happened in Sweden. When I got home there was no food in the grocery stores, it was crazy. I was supposed to be touring the whole of last year and doing a lot of writing trips, so I’m very used to travelling. Within a week everything was cancelled. When I got home my schedule was empty and I’m not used to that. So in the beginning it was hard for me to adjust and feel motivated. I felt super uninspired.
CR: It sounds like lately you have been more productive. Was Break With Me written during lockdown?
SM: I had the song from before lockdown, actually. I wrote it a couple of years ago with my boyfriend, my big brother and my best friend. That song has been a voice memo for the past two years. During the past year I stopped working with my previous label and quit working with my management and publisher. For a while I felt completely lost and burned out.
CR: Is that what made you go fully independent?
SM: Yes. I know the process and have been very involved in all of my releases and the business side of things. I was listening to some old songs and I found Break With Me and thought maybe I could release it myself.