What’s It Gonna Be? – Shura

When your mother is a Russian actress and your father is a documentary filmmaker, you’d expect creativity to flow through your bones. That’s certainly the case for Alexandra Lilah Denton, better known as rising music star Shura.

Born in the early 90s, the Manchester starlet has been riding her synth pop waves across the globe since releasing her debut EP this summer. Titled Nothing’s Real, the 13 track album offers its listeners a journey of wanting, needing, pleading and waiting for that sugar pop love rush that 21st century savvy daters know all too well. Her influences, the likes of Blood Orange, J Dilla and Haim, are evident in her electronic arrangements and radio station ready lyrics.

In a recent interview with Mancunian Matters she stated, “I’m a lesbian – that’s how I identify myself.” The musician’s carefree and open attitude, in what is usually a closely guarded and closeted industry, has been welcomed and celebrated in the LGBT community. The video for her latest single, What’s It Gonna Be? puts Shura and her gay best friend back in high-school where they get up to all sorts of mayhem and mischief to win the hearts of their crushes. The video’s narrative structure, conceived by her and her friends, explores the pining we all feel at that naive and challenging age; the joy of being young, free-spirited and on the quest for love and silliness. The video, which profiles various couples (many from the LGBT spectrum) approaching each other and slowly kissing, went viral over the summer with nearly 27 million hits.

I think there’s a massive spectrum for everyone and that’s something that I wanted to convey in the video. There are many different kinds of love. It didn’t really feel like a political statement at the time.Shura

It just shows that even a bunch of friends coming up with a creative concept for a project can expand itself into our socio-political consciousness and get people talking. Since the release of the video, she’s been surprised how different people find the video compared with those of her female electropop contemporaries. But as she sees it, when you have a lot of gay friends you don’t think of it as being all that different or weird; it’s just your reality. Here at PLUG HQ we know the feeling!

Shura’s Nothing’s Real is available on Apple Music now. Or listen to her latest album on Spotify.

Shura will be playing at this year’s Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival and we’re super excited to see her live on the last weekend of November.

Clockenflap is Hong Kong’s largest and longest-running outdoor music and arts festival; a major highlight of the city’s annual cultural calendar. This year it will move to the Central Harbourfront, should be good!

Get your tickets and see who else is playing with Shura at: www.clockenflap.com

About the Author


Liam is a creative director working in video, sound, theatre and installation. His practice is interdisciplinary, with a focus on intervention based work, the moving image and performance. The work he makes fuses together an understanding of and experiments in identity based politics, hybrid forms and the gendered body.

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