You may know Shiadanni from her Shiadiva persona, iconic big hats and funny videos on TikTok. However, she is also a talented singer and songwriter. In this interview, the glamorous Shiadanni shared everything you should know about her new EP, Facing the Mirror, and her creative musical process.
Facing the Mirror came out on June 9. How has it felt to finally have this project out in the world?
I truly felt like I had a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I had been holding onto it for too long, just waiting for the right time to share it. I started working on these songs before my socials grew or before I even had a team who supported me. There are no other hands on this project, and it was born from an isolated reflective period in my life. There’s nothing more personal than this. I’m very proud and excited to share it with the world!
@shiadanni GLAM KITCHEN #GUACAMOLE #shiadiva original sound - SHIADANNI
In November 2019, you moved away from the city to surround yourself in nature to find peace and decided to make music for yourself. What about being in nature was so powerful and influential to your artistry?
I moved away from the city because I wanted to disconnect from everything. I wanted a break from life. I didn’t know that I would connect with myself so much. The solitude helped my music find its own language. There was no contamination of other perspectives or distractions; I allowed myself to artistically communicate by following my own pleasure and intuition. With no expectations of approval from the outside world, I couldn’t stop making songs once I found this new method of creating music.
Facing the Mirror is about facing your true self— the good and the bad. How did creating an album with that message help you find your true authenticity and grow as an artist?
I had no choice but to embrace the things that had kept me down for a long time. I put aside any shame or worries about the listener and just tried to satisfy myself throughout the process. The music reflected how I felt. Music has been there for me since I can remember, and it was there for me through this process as well. From the lyrics to the music to the melodies, I think everything embodies the dark parts of myself that I know will never leave me. I have been learning to live with it instead of trying to get rid of it.
You’ve already made four videos out of the six songs on your EP. Why was it important to you to translate your music into something visual?
All my songs are born with videos in mind. Movies and cinematic composers influence me the most. I always dreamt I could create my own films, and because of that, it felt natural to work on everything simultaneously. The videos often change from their original concept due to many factors, but I try my best to follow the original essence. I will listen to the song and instantly know what I want to do with the video. The music I make easily helps me imagine the movie world it takes place in. This creative aspect is one of my favorite things I get to do.
You most recently released the video for Melted Gun, which you described as “so personal” on Instagram. Can you tell us more about that?
It’s a female anthem. I come from a culture where men often mistreat women. In my country, Mexico, ten women get murdered daily, and this violence against women doesn’t seem to stop, even in today’s modern world. The younger generations have seen and suffered through what has happened before us, and I feel that is why the women of today are trying to take back control and defend themselves. "Melted Gun" carries a universal message about the rage within women. It took me a lot of time to find my power and confidence— to use my voice and finally defend myself. I am still struggling with this, but the importance of creating songs gives me the strength I need.
The vulnerability and darkness of your music are so different from your laugh-out-loud funny TikToks. Does playing Shiadiva feel like an escape?
Yes! I make comedy TikToks to escape. In my family, we have always used humor as a survival mechanism; dark humor is also a part of Mexican culture. We celebrate death. We make fun of death. It’s normal for us but can sometimes be weird to other cultures. Shiadiva was also born from a need to find inner confidence during my solitude in the lockdown. I used to show some of my TikToks to my therapist to explain how I was feeling, and she often saw them as a release of anger. So yes, comedy is similar to music for me. It helped me communicate what I was feeling without saying it in words.
What do you enjoy about making TikToks that you can’t do through music?
It’s two different worlds. I love TikTok’s immediate creativity; everything is at the moment and instantly connects you with a broader community. For music, I enjoy building songs and the worlds that inspire them. The process requires the whole day from me, just the song and I, and that’s the real beauty of it— the unfiltered relationship between the piece and your soul.
What are your next steps with music?
My answer will always be working on new music. My music is constantly changing and moving at its own pace, so I’m forever excited to create my next track. I can’t wait to play live shows and share my live music with the world. Most importantly, I’m eager to broaden my fan base and find more people who connect and relate to my music. Thanks to TikTok, my audience has grown so much and has opened countless doors for me, and I’ll forever be grateful for it. I can’t wait to finally start meeting the people who appreciate and love what I do.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Photography by: Cuiltáhuac Correa