Swedish singer-songwriter SHY Martin has never been afraid of self-expression.
She’s the soundtrack to your summer; SHY Martin is back with more infectiously catchy singles, and they’re all super relatable. She recently released the music video for “Out of My Hands,” a gorgeous ode to an intense relationship, but SHY Martin is anything but shy when it comes to sharing the intimate details of her experiences. “I’ve always had an easier time writing about my feelings than talking about them,” she admits. “When I was younger, I used to write letters to my mum when I felt sad about something or had problems.” And, while exposing her feelings to the whole world is terrifying at times, hearing that listeners are connecting with her music is the “best feeling ever,” she says.
The visuals for the song really capture the restlessness of being newly single and the disorienting nature of heartbreak. It was also directed by SHY’s older brother, who actually moved to Stockholm two years ago to be closer to her. “I absolutely love working with my big brother,” she gushes. “He never had any plans of getting into photography but has always had an eye for it. Now two years later he’s doing all the visuals for me and a couple of the other artists on my label, Elina and SHY Nodi.” When it came to shooting the visuals for “Out of My Hands,” they simply rented a hotel room and came up with everything on the spot. “Both me and my brother are perfectionists, but we also complement each other really well and know each other in and out,” she adds. Spontaneity comes naturally to the siblings, and according to SHY, it’s been working for them so far.
While SHY is a relative newcomer to the scene, she certainly knows her stuff. Before releasing her own music, she worked as a songwriter for tons of industry bigwigs (ever heard of Kygo or the Chainsmokers?) and it’s taught her some valuable lessons along the way. Like how to listen to her gut and keep trying. And how to avoid disappointment when things change suddenly. But SHY is in a league of her own when it comes to songwriting, as she’s able to channel her relationship woes in ways that feel novel.
Take her newest single, “Same Old,” written by SHY, Linnea Södahl and MadFun, about a past relationship. The song practically wrote itself. “I guess we all related to it,” SHY says. “I love writing about love since everyone has experienced it in some way, both the good and bad sides. There are so many angles and perspectives from which to write, yet it still stays very relatable.”
While listeners are responding voraciously to the raw honesty in her lyrics and the bouncing, bubbly beats, SHY is still trying to wrap her head around the fact that so many people worldwide are enjoying her work. “It’s such a cool and strange feeling that people from all over the world can relate to something I wrote on my couch or in the studio,” she laughs. But for SHY, music has always come easily. She’s been singing since the age of three and writing songs and poems from the day she learned how to write. “It’s always been the most natural way for me to express myself,” she adds. She fronted her first band at age twelve and began performing her own songs, but she didn’t start releasing music under the moniker ‘SHY Martin’ until 2017. “I had so many songs lying around that meant a lot to me, and it felt that it would be a waste to never release them,” she recalls.
Besides her musical inclination, SHY is dedicated to various philanthropic causes, an advocate for gender equality in the music industry. “I’ve been lucky enough to have had the chance to be a part of some really great initiatives, like Bebe Rexha’s ‘Women In Harmony’ events, and Spotify x MXM’s ‘Equalizer Project’ which I’m super grateful for,” she exclaims. “I think it’s important that everyone fights for gender equality in each industry.”
She’s also the queen of athleisure and fit pics. “I love the wide pants, sneakers and oversized hoodies,” SHY explains. “I’m a sucker for comfortable clothes.” Her current favourite article of clothing? A men’s XL beige hoodie from the Swedish brand WEEKDAY. “It’s the coziest hoodie I’ve ever owned!”
As of right now, SHY has finished up headlining her European tour, where Amsterdam was the one standout stop. “It was the only city on the tour where we really had much time to explore,” she gleams. “It’s such a pretty city and I loved all the cozy cafés and canals.” She also adored the crowd, maintaining that the experience left her feeling overwhelmed with all the support. But it should come as no surprise that her global listeners have responded so enthusiastically to SHY’s songwriting. “We all feel the same feelings and have similar experiences, which is why music is such an easy way to connect with others,” the singer adds. “I guess that in the end, people aren’t that complicated.”