Getting to Know Shelley Segal

Melbourne singer/songwriter Shelley Segal relocated to LA this year but is heading back to play some shows in Australia soon. We asked her to tell us a little about herself:

I am Shelley Segal. I am obsessed with creating and performing music. I am a singer and guitarist. I write songs for myself and also for other artists. I’m a storyteller learning from my experiences and the experiences of others and distilling them into moments, feelings, lessons and letters to myself and to others.

I love listening to other artists, reading and learning as much about the world as I can. I am a big fan of artists like Ani Difranco, Ben Harper, John Butler and Alanis Morissette – people who use their music to say something about the world. I also love pop music that is universal and can make almost anyone smile, dance or just feel something like Sia, Rhianna, Beyonce.

I’m a road warrior – I’m always on tour! My last shows were in Tacoma, Portland and Los Angeles.

“Somebody Like You ” is a very personal song that I wrote about someone trying to interfere in a relationship. When I was 18 I was told to break up with my then partner because he wasn’t Jewish, like my family. It was a really hard time for me. I chose to fight for my relationship and moved in with my then partner and his family. I wanted to release the song during this time because of the public debate over marriage equality. To be told that your relationship is wrong is heartbreaking. I think a big part of why we are holding back equal rights for all citizens in this country is because of a dogmatic religious worldview that wants to dictate to us who we should love and how we should love.

Home is wherever I am with my guitar. I grew up in Melbourne and have lived there most of my life. I started touring extensively about five years ago and since then have probably spent half my life on the road. I’m now based in Los Angeles and loving it. So much opportunity for collaboration. My heart is split up among my friends and family around the world. I miss them but the internet makes it a lot easier to stay close.

My upcoming live shows will be all over the place!! I have some shows in LA over the next two months. I’m also starting a residency at Martinis above 4th in San Diego and then I will be heading home for a string of dates!! Dec 29 at the Yard Bird in Bendigo, Jan 4 at the Cally Hotel in Warrnambool, Jan 12 at Paynesville Wine Bar and more to come.

I spend too much time listening to music, writing music and crying. Music moves me so deeply, I have a playlist that will just get me going every time. Mascara be damned. From Kate Bush to Justin Timberlake to The Pogues to Mark Kozelek.

I also spend too much time on emails. I co-run indie label and publisher True Music and so spend a lot of time working on the business side of things and managing amazing artists that I love.

I’ve never bungee jumped. I’ve never done a cartwheel. I’ve never performed Total Eclipse of the Heart outside of my bedroom. I’ve never seen Alanis Morissette live (Cmon Jan 22 in Melb!!). I’ve never sold sea shells by the sea shore. I’ve never forgotten a song I couldn’t finish – they’ll stay in my head for years and years until I finish them!!! I’ve never enjoyed singing karaoke. I’ve never kissed a frog.

It might surprise people to learn that I actually got my start in my dad’s jewish wedding band. So I can sing in Hebrew and play a lot of traditional music. I’ve actually incorporated some liturgy into my folk pop sets. It’s fun singing acapella tunes in a foreign language at the pub. It really grabs the room 😉 There’s one song I have (Afterlife) that is like a Gwen Stefani-esque ska driven track with super fast paced vocals that ends with a big belted chorus in Hebrew!

RI 29 DEC | YARD BIRD, BENDIGO, VIC | 18+ | Free Entry 8-11pm
THU 4 JAN | CALLY HOTEL, WARRNAMBOOL, VIC | 18+ | Free Entry 8-11pm
FRI 12 JAN | PAYNESVILLE WINE BAR, PAYNESVILLE, VIC | 18+ | Tix at the door 7-10pm

Keep up to date with Shelley on Facebook.

bobby townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend.