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23-year-old Maryland native, Shalom, grew up in South Africa where she started expressing her creativity through writing at a young age. Her most prized possession during her childhood was a small boombox gifted to her, that catalyzed her love for the art of music. To Shalom, music is a safe space; a source of stability that she depended on to get her through all the hardships of adolescence. After moving to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University, music became an even more tangible force as Shalom moved from listening to songs on her bedroom stereo, to being in the middle of the alternative house show scene in New Brunswick. This is where life truly began as Shalom became a music manager for local bands, booked and hosted shows for three years, learned bass, played in a band, and met people who challenged and changed her for the better.

In the beginning of 2020, during the onset of Covid and quarantine, Shalom’s band broke up and she suffered from a bad case of writer’s block - the worst and longest case she’d experienced since she started writing short stories in grade school. The bleak condition of the world left her feeling trapped with no means of escape. At the end of the year, Shalom had overcome these circumstances and found enough inspiration to release a three song EP, “the first snowstorm of the year” on Bandcamp. Saddle Creek discovered this short extended play and connected Shalom with Canadian record producer Ryan Hemsworth in February 2021. Together, Hemsworth and Shalom worked on fifteen songs in a full year, thirteen of which ended up on Shalom’s upcoming debut album, with lyrics centered around her whole life and the internal dialogue that accompanies it. Shalom takes a lot of inspiration from contemporary indie artists like Lorde, Lucy Dacus, Maggie Rogers, and Indigo De Souza, but her broad taste in music lets her find it anywhere from Florence and the Machine to LCD Soundsystem, and other artists who are able to encapsulate the human experience through songwriting. She reinterprets these inspirations through her unique perspective as a first generation, black & queer creative.

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