1. Thanks for your time. Could you tell us in a couple of sentences who Shades are?
Thank you for having us! So, we’re a duo – Kate Oates and Ben Clark. We write and perform pop music together, along with our live band that we take out with us.
2. How did you start on your musical journey that brought us to this point?
We used to work together in a band called Mercutio, building a relationship there and discovering that we worked really well with each other. When Mercutio came to an end, we decided to carry on working together and start Shades. We’ve taken the music down a very different road that we’re both much happier with.
3. Which musicians and artists have had the biggest impact on you?
Kate is a huge fan of The 1975. Their music, combined with their stage show, is incredibly inspiring. The size of their production is what we aspire to create ourselves one day! Alongside The 1975, we’re really into Billie Eilish, Charlie XCX, Pale Waves and Lizzo. Locally. we’ve really been digging Alleyways and Project Hilts – check them out. There’s some amazing music coming out of Leeds.
4. For an act at your stage, how important are gigs like #360RAW10 and how did you get involved with this one?
Priceless. Gigs like this really are and they don’t come around that often! The opportunity to play in front of musical royalty like Alan Raw is blowing our minds. We can’t wait to get there and play, although we are a little nervous! We’ve done a show for 360 Club with Mercutio before, so we were able to sort it with Richard Watson – he’s been so helpful to us. He talks us through how things work and where we should be setting our goals.
5. How supportive has the local scene been to Shades?
Leeds is thriving, and we’re very lucky to be a part of it. Last season we were very busy in and around the local scene and we’ve got a lovely line of gigs ahead of us.
6.When can we expect to hear new music from Shades?
Mwahaha. We’re perfectionists so definitely not until the new year. But we promise it will be worth the wait.
7. If we were to sit down in 12 months’ time, at what stage would you hope your career would be at?
We want to be playing as many festivals as we can, hearing people sing back our lyrics. Our dream is to create a stage show similar to the likes of The 1975 – we want to inspire people like they’ve inspired us.
8. Tell us an interesting fact about each other?
When he’s not dancing around to pop music on stage, Ben is a jazz guitarist; Kate is fluent in French, German, Welsh and is currently learning Swahili.
9. Curveball question: if you were given one super power for one day, what would you choose and how would you use it?
We’d want a power that gave us a failsafe way of cheering people up – it’s what we aim to do with our music but, if we could guarantee it, well that would be a dream come true. Stay happy gang x
10. Thanks for your time. One last chance to persuade people to come and see you at #360RAW10 …
WOAH! You don’t want to miss our amazing session band, they’re well sick.