New Album from Shaprece out this Month

Seattle songstress Shaprece on her new album, musical idols and her ideal dinner-party guests

By Nancy Guppy


September 30, 2015

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Shaprece, the mononymous singer born and raised in Seattle, has gained acclaim for original songs that blend soul, electronica, strings and trip-hop with gorgeous vocals. Her new album, Coals, comes out this month, and she’s celebrating with a humdinger of a release party—playing the record in its entirety with backup by the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall, as part of the Sonic Evolution program (10/29;

LOCATION: Mioposto in Mount Baker
DRINKS: Monday-morning mimosas (both felt this was a better choice than coffee)

Nancy Guppy: Finish this sentence: Music is…     
Shaprece: Therapy.  

NG: Was music a part of your childhood?              
S: Absolutely. My father was a musician, so I was surrounded by musicians, bands and church choirs.   

NG: Who were your musical idols growing up?              
S: Sade was probably my first picture of what I wanted to be as a vocalist. I was also hugely influenced by Stevie Wonder—he was the go-to artist for our family.  

NG: What genre of music has influenced you the most?             
S: Soul music. And I don’t mean that in the traditional sense. I mean someone who is baring their soul without fear. Björk, to me, is soul music because you can feel her emotion.

NG: Was there a moment when you recognized that music was your future?              
S: In high school, I was in a classical choir learning beautiful songs in Italian and I couldn’t believe the sounds we were creating. I knew then that, if possible, I wanted to create something equally as beautiful for the rest of my life.      

NG: Coals is a departure from previous work. How did you get there?               
S: It was difficult, because I have an eclectic taste in music and I’ve always felt I could go in any direction. I took time off, went to festivals, practiced singing with different albums, hiked, wrote, had lots of conversations—all to gain a clearer understanding of who I was as an artist before embarking on this new project.

NG: What was it like coproducing the record with electro-ambient producer IG88?
S: He’s innovative. He’ll break glass and drop it delicately or slam it on a table to create different rhythms. Or he’ll sample Olive, his daughter, hiccupping and make that part of the production.

NG: What four guests would make for the perfect dinner party?  
S: Prince would be at the head of the table, not saying much, kind of judging everyone; Stevie Wonder, because I heard he is hilarious; Betsey Johnson, because she’s just so out there; and my mom, because she’s the life of the party.
Nancy Guppy showcases Seattle artists on her TV series, Art Zone (


Life in the Sea Suite

Rob Smith

Temperatures Rising

Heidi Mills

Intentional Inclusion

Rob Smith