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Nandi Bushell Shares Origins of Debut Single “The Shadows”: Exclusive

The track was written for her father after he fell into depression

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Nandi Bushell
Nandi Bushell, photo by Brian Bowen Smith

    Origins is our recurring feature series that provides artists with a space to dive into everything that went into their latest release. Today, Nandi Bushell takes us through “The Shadows.”


    About two years ago, in the midst of the first lockdown, many first heard about Nandi Bushell thanks to her iconic drum battle with Dave Grohl. Now, at just 12 years old, she’s played massive stages with more rockstars — and Consequence named her our 2021 Rookie of the Year. On Friday (September 30th), she has returned with “The Shadows,” an original song written for her father after his bout with depression.

    The multi-phased track sees Bushell flexing her skills as a performer and a writer. Like her drum-foe turned BFF Grohl did before her, Bushell impressively performs each of the instruments on the recording. The accompanying music video showcases the feat, showing Bushell rocking out on everything from piano to bass guitar to her signature drum kit.

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    Bushell hopes the song will introduce her original music to those who only know her as a cover artist. “I am really excited for people to see my art,” the musical prodigy tells Consequence. “I love performing covers and have so much fun making the cover videos, but I also want people to know how much I love writing music too.”

    It’s an uplifting introduction, as Bushell delivers lyrics filled with hope, support, and love. Yes, it’s a message for her dad, but the song and video make it clear that “The Shadows” arrives ready to extend a hand to anyone facing mental health issues.

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    “I hope my song can also help other people who are feeling down,” Bushell adds. “I want them to know they are loved, too, and can find help if they need it.”

    Check out the video for Nandi Bushell’s “The Shadows” below, followed by her exclusive breakdown of the track’s influences.


    Depression:

    Early in 2022, my dad fell into a depression when his autoimmune disease worsened. I wanted to write a song to cheer him up. My dad would describe how he was feeling to me, and I would put what he said into lyrics to let him know that I would be there for him. The chorus is about me wanting the depression to let go of him.

    Favorite Artists:

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    Arctic Monkeys, photo by Zackery Michael

    The song had many influences, from Twenty One Pilots and Billie Eilish to Slipknot and Arctic Monkeys.

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    Love:

    The song is about love — the love I have for my family. I hope my song can also help other people who are feeling down. I want them to know they are loved, too, and can find help if they need it.

    Key Colors:

    When we made the music video, I asked the director, Edie Amos, to use four key colors: Purple (my favorite color), gold, black and white. I wanted the music video to be simple and focus on my playing. Edie had the idea of using old videos of me and my dad to help with the story of the song.

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