The Mic Awards 2019: Best Nottingham Solo Artist

Winner: Tori Sheard

Ben Standring explains why the spiritualistic, folk-inspired and radiant Tori Sheard has been crowned Nottingham’s Solo Artist of 2019.

2019 was a defining year for the young songstress, beginning in January when Caffe Nero announced her as their Artist of the Month, before selling out her Nottingham headline show at The Bodega in the summer. Her relaxed and thoughtful songwriting and scheduling approach has seen her resting and recuperating before ending the year in style, embarking on a tour supporting California-based Dustbowl Revival before her School’s tour with rising star Jerub provided Sheard the time to interact with the community and share her inherent love and passion for music.

An endearing quality of the singer-songwriter is that her live shows somehow retain the same essential characteristics as a relaxed mid-afternoon conversation, she exudes graciousness and resounding optimism, speaking in a manner so naturally heartfelt that it’s impossible not to filled lifted in her presence. Her glowing charisma and enchanting catalogue are two reasons as to why Sheard has been voted as The Mic’s Nottingham Solo Artist of the Year for 2019, and with new music being released imminently in the new year, expect Sheard’s status to soar in the coming months.

The Mic spoke to Sheard earlier this summer for the FOCUS Nottingham series. Whilst the full piece is to be published early 2020, we featured a snippet of our interview in our September print magazine. Read it below now!

‘I’m very happy-go-lucky… I like uplifting songs…they’re hard to write but I’m a happy person,’ emits young singer-songwriter Tori Sheard, a timeless smile lighting up her face. Despite selling out the Bodega and releasing a beautifully delicate EP intertwining modern pop structures with the folk-inspired songwriting of Stevie Nicks and Emmylou Harris, Sheard has only recently left school and embarked on what she now calls ‘a gap life!’

Possessing the free-flowing aura so omnipresent within Florence Welch and Maggie Rodgers, Sheard explains ‘I write very slowly and very painfully, once every six months, almost like clockwork…I’m quite a perfectionist, I have too much of an end goal in mind,’ she states.

‘Songs capture a moment and then if you can make other people feel the same way, or a different kind of way…I like making people cry! I like putting something out into the world which could mean something different to so many different people…and I do believe that it comes from somewhere else in the universe and you get a song and you have to kind of catch it and you bring it. Sometimes I get to catch one and I make it mine. It’s quite a spiritual process and I channel it but it always represents what I’m going through. It’ll always be cryptic and metaphorical.’

Finding comfort and solace on a greater, spiritual level is not just vital for Sheard as a musician, but for her listeners as well, who bask in the love-torn, adolescent tales and feel a resonance and belonging on a dimension that cascades the physical realm.

The FOCUS Nottingham series will return in January 2020.