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In Conversation with Rasha Shaheen











May 2008


A little background:


Bristol based Rasha Shahee quoting from her is ‘a

captivating and enigmatic performer with a gloriously historic disdain

for convention’


Born in Kuwait, Rasha grew in North Wales before then travelling

on to Saudi Arabia and Iraq before eventually settling in Bristol.


Early on, also according to her she formed the

all – girl progressive rock band Mooz and since then has lent

her talent and inspiration to projects including ‘Morning Star,

Invisible Pair of Hands, The Jukes, Patrick Duff (ex Strangelove)

and Gerard Langley from The Blue Aeroplanes.


Currently she advises besides her solo work, she is involved in

Three other bands in the Bristol area: Male and the Liftmen and

The Hard Returns.


Certainly from a Setting Sun perspective, it is hard to describe

What Rasha sounds like but she lists a few people she likes

As (which I think are some of the elements found in her music)

Bjork, PJ Harvey, The Gossip, Scout Niblett, John Parish,

Sonic Youth, Radiohead, The Fall, Juana Molina, Tortoise,

Bela Emerson, Gillian Welch, Peaches, Amon Tobin, Blondie’

To name but a few come close I feel.


With such a wide range of musical influences which I

think shows in her music, it was only natural Setting Sun

approached her for a interview, which Rasha of course

followed in response to.

Apologises to Rasha for the delay in posting this interview.


For more information on Rasha – please visit her

Page which is








Setting Sun:

Hi there ­ how are things and what is happening at
the moment?


My friend just sent me a text asking the same thing! Well

thinks are good I would say. Got me an amazing band to

play my music and so gonna start gigging with them soon

(if any promoters outside Bristol reading this, go on, offer

us a gig!). Am also in the middle of recording my second album
with Stew Jackson of Robot Club in Bristol, and that is going

all dandy. Its all going a bit on the slow side though what

with having to do a day job to pay the rent but hey... No

real complaints

Setting Sun:


Next, can you tell us a little bit about the
history of your music ­ what started you off etc?


Ashton Court Festival. I can't remember how many years

ago now, but when it was free, came and fell in love with

Bristol because of it. Moved down from Bangor n. Wales

and met the moonflowers (legendary Bristol band) started

working for their record label and went on tour with them

selling their merchandise and they then taught me guitar

and percussion in the back of the bus. Then I started

supporting them and that is how it all started.

Setting Sun:

Music wise what are your influences and what

Music are you listening to at the moment?


Music I am listening to at the moment

Down the tiny steps
Ivor Cutler
Lena Rez
Emily Breeze
Gillian Welch
Hanne Hukkleberg
Woody Guthrie
Tom York


I like things that are a little left or even pretty far

left of centre. Don't really have any solid influences,

bjork and pj Harvey are an inspiration and the

Bristol live music scene is another great inspiration

Setting Sun:


Next, do you play concerts? If so, how do

they compare to your studio recordings or if not

do you have any idea how you would approach




I do play concerts and they do differ from studio

recordings. In a studio recording you can add sounds

that you don't necessarily have to be replicated in a

gig. Its an aural experience while I think a live gig is

more of an energy experience, along side the music

of course. I like to reinterpret my songs according to

where I play and whom I am playing with. Different

instruments play different melodies and parts.

Setting Sun:

Probably my favourite song of yours is

Œbreathe¹ ­can you tell us a little bit more

about this song?


I was just reading an interview that you did with

another artist who also did a song called breathe

and my answer is quite similar to hers... I guess the

word breathe is associated with a slight panic, that's the

only time you have to remind yourself to do it. And

when you do, everything is ok again.

Setting Sun:

What¹s next for you? Do you have any

Recordings planned etc?


I do. I mentioned above that I am

recording a second album. am working on
the design for the album with super talented

photographer/digital artist Andrew Chapman.

Making a video with talented video artist

Yoshino Shigihara I am also writing new songs.

And I am organizing a tour. Do you know of any
venues or promoters that may like our music?

Setting Sun:

I normally ask people next where they are

from but I know you are from Bristol and I know

a little bit about the music scene over there, so I won¹t

ask what is the local scene is like over there so instead

I¹ll ask you have you seen any good concerts recently

over there?



Saw an amazing gig last Thursday in a tucked

away pub 2 minutes away from me, wild jazz

it was. Mike Willox and Keys, Guy Calhoun

on Bass, Des Rogers on Drums, Craig Crofton on

Sax and Y2K on Alto Sax. Seriously good! They gave us

some homemade chicken curry as well, and all for £3.

I felt extremely lucky.

Other great concerts.... The Blessing, The Jukes,

The Dearlings, Lena Rez,Angel Tech,

Mr Hopkinsons Computer, Emily Breeze, Phantom Limb,

Portishead, Loney Dear .. All real good. Oh, and

the Hickley Veltones, really great.

Setting Sun:

What would be your dream job if you were

not a musician?



Always wanted to know what it was like to be

an actress. Pretending to live different peoples

lives and going to so many different locations and
experiencing so many different feelings

I always wanted to be an artist, using paints and

making sculptures. Never did it when I was a kid.

I guess it would still have to be in the creative



Setting Sun:

What would you like to be doing when you

are 60?



Run a music studio in the mountains

Overlooking the red sea.

Setting Sun:

Lastly, what will you be doing when you are 60?


I might just do it :-)

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