Five Questions With Lisa Shaw

Tortured Soul have broken free from the DJ booth once again to bring their 100% live modern, deep, soulful house music collective’s signature sound to a new track, “I Wish You Were Here” featuring top Toronto-talent and scene mainstay Lisa Shaw.

Likened to “The Roots of house music,” the electrifyingly dynamic co-op of international musicians unite in groove-centered rhythms helmed by frontman John-Christian Urich.

For its part, “I Wish You Were Here” serves up a deep house love duet that sees Shaw and Urich sweetly serenading each other with a promise of blissfully reuniting soon. Behind the scenes, the collaboration is especially notable in that, while the pair have orbited the same scene for years, this is their first time their paths have crossed on a track.

“I’ve been friends with Lisa for years,” Urich says. “We came up playing the same clubs around New York City, and then the U.S., and then around the world. We have lots of mutual friends and we’ve even co-billed on some events, hung out backstage for drinks and late night hangs after gigs. The works!

We’ve always had a great rapport, and I’ve always loved her voice and records. I guess we’ve always just been busy doing our own things and — for no good reason — we never collaborated on any music together.

One day about a year ago, I started writing this song,” he continues. “It had a classic ‘Tortured Soul’ vibe but I was like, ‘this song is a duet and Lisa Shaw is the right person to sing it with me.’

It was a moment of pure clarity.”

Check out the track below, and find out more about Lisa Shaw via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi! My name is Lisa Shaw and I’m from Toronto, Ontario

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

The music I do is soulful deep house but also stretches to a jazzy, R&B, Indy vibe at times.  I write lyrics and melody to instrumentals and also arrange the parts, backing vocals etc. It’s hard to pinpoint my writing style and it varies to each song but I think it’s the ear of the listener to define what they hear.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

Not at the moment because of the pandemic, clubs and bars are still closed.  It’s going to be a while before I’m on the road again.

I’m usually booked with a headlining DJ which in most cases is Miguel Migs.  I usually start off his set and perform 3 songs and then come on towards the end of his set and perform another 3 songs… This sets it up for the next DJ who plays after him.  Sometimes  I do full concert style shows of an hour and on occasion, I perform with a DJ and accompanying musicians as well. Those shows are usually my solo bookings with no headlining DJ.  Recently I had an opportunity to perform with Tortured Soul (full band drums keys guitar and bass) at the Delicious music festival at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Johannesburg South Africa, which was very cool.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Hmm, that’s a tough one but at the moment I would play “I Can See It” but then I would want them to hear something new I just released and at the moment I’d play them my latest song with Tortured Soul  “I Wish You Were Here”

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

I absolutely love Feist and fell in love with her when I first heard “Inside & Out” in 2004.  I also dig The Weekend and Kaytranada. Of course Neil Young and Joni will always have my heart but on a bluegrass tip, I’ve been following a band called Lonesome Ace Stringband that are based out of Toronto.

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