The Manchester-born, London-based artist Shura, née Aleksandra Denton, is a singer, songwriter, producer, and remixer, who has not only reworked Jessie Ware’s “Say You Love Me,” but also been remixed herself by the likes of Delorean, Jungle and Warpaint, among others. Raised by a British documentary filmmaker father and a Russian actress mother, with a brother who DJ’d drum ‘n’ bass, Shura began playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager, ultimately evolving and molding her sound into a hybrid of ’80s pop and ’90s R&B. She’s released a handful of tracks over the last year, but her latest, “White Light,” is one of the best. It’s a 7-minute, slow-burning dance-pop number that begins with an atmospheric intro before the dancefloor percussion, funky bassline and shimmery subtleties take over as her soft voice lofts above the mix. It closes with a 2 1/2-minute outro that dips into an ethereal bridge before the beat and guitar come back in to take it home. On the flip side, “2Shy” is a Janet Jackson-esque ballad whose lyrics and production exemplify the shyness in biting your tongue, with her chorus, “It’s taken me so long / Maybe I’m just too shy to say it / We could be more than friends / But maybe I’m just too shy,” delivered in a hushed tone over some ’80s synth textures and nuances. Shura’s debut album is due out later this year via Polydor Records.
||| Stream: “White Light” and “2Shy”
||| Live: Shura plays Summer on Seventh at Inner-City Arts on July 25 with Cut Chemist and The Internet. All proceeds benefit free arts education programs for the youth, and tickets can be purchased here.