Shelter Boy lets us in on his debut LP

A few weeks ago we were blessed with seeing Shelter Boy perform his first ever show in the UK. An intimate, acoustic affair, the night was a wonderful showcase of the artist’s knack for songwriting. His performance was honest and raw; at one point he told off some silly people in the crowd for spending the entire time on their phone.

Safe to say, it was our cup of tea… so, we decided we’d ask him a few questions ahead of the release of his debut album, Failure Familiar.

Hey Shelter Boy! How are you and what have you been up to recently?
Cheers mate. I‘m good just heading back from Manchester, played our first UK show and it was mint! And last Friday, my fucking debut dropped. Can’t be more excited!

From your sound alone, many might make the mistake of thinking you’re from London rather than Leipzig. Tell me, what’s Leipzig like this time of the year and what does the city mean to you and your art?
I think, especially the part where I live (the western corner of Leipzig), is very pretty. We’ve got a canal and you can ride your bike aside it. So I just moved to Leipzig in December, not too much to say about that but I love it, nice people and my first own studio space – it’s alright!

You’ve been releasing music in one form or another for a few years now, what’s your relationship with your progression so far as an artist? Do you notice how and where you’ve changed over the years?
The thing is I’ve been writing songs since I was 14-years-old and, of course, I see a progression from that. I think I‘m getting a lot closer to finding something like my ‘own’ sound that people can recognise.

Your new single ‘I Stand With You’ explores slowing down and being more supportive of yourself, how do you recognise when you’re overworked and need a break? And, how do you step back from your art?
Best thing for me is to keep it chill and go skateboarding. That’s like a very peaceful thing for me to do because my head feels pretty free when I’m just shredding around. Apart from that, I love to have nights out in bars!

Your latest single follows on from a significant collaboration with Boy Pablo, how did that come about and what was the experience of sharing the creative burden like?
We played some support shows for Pablo in Germany! I wrote the song ‘Terrace’ on my own but I was pretty sure that his voice would sound amazing on it. When I asked him he just said that it’s a bop and that he wanted to jump on it. And that’s just how it is: I’m really proud of that!

With the imminent release of your debut LP, Failure Familiar, what have you learned about your approach to songwriting that you’ll carry forwards with you?
That I can go in every direction that I want to, I‘m the one who decides and I’ve fallen in love with that freedom.

Finally, after an unstable couple of years, what do your next 6 months currently look like? Is there anything you’re looking forward to in particular coming up on the horizon?
There will be a lot more shows, recording a new record, all that stuff. I just want to keep the wheel spinning!

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