Music has been a part of Shevonne Philidor’s life for as long as she can remember. She’s been playing guitar for the last 13 years but is quick to distinguish herself as an entertainer first and guitarist second. She draws inspiration from the entertainment flair of Prince, the vocal mastery of Whitney Houston, and the style of several movies that she loves.
In her interview, Philidor tells us about her favorite gear, how she goes about making new music, and how she defines her sound.
Tell us your name, where you are from, and what you always wanted to be when you were growing up.
My name is Shevonne Philidor. I’m from Tampa, Florida, and when I was younger, I always wanted to be a singer or an astronaut.
How long have you been playing guitar, and what got you into playing?
I’ve been singing my whole life, and I’ve been playing guitar for 13 years. My mom got me my first guitar when I was 15 years old. I started writing songs when I was 16, but I really started playing seriously at the age of 17.
What does music mean to you? And, how (if at all) do you think music helps to bridge the gap between people around the world?
Music has created a platform for me to inspire and to love, and has given me the freedom to let go and be myself. Music is the universal language that everyone understands, even the birds.
Let’s shift gears to music. What are you currently working on in the studio?
I’m working on my second album right now and much more. My sound has grown so much, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
How would you describe your sound and how you start your creative process?
I would describe my style as alternative soul. My sound is a mix of rock, R&B/soul, and indie. When creating, I usually start with making a chord progression, and then I start writing lyrics to it.
I love your photoshoots and content you post on Instagram. Do you come up with photoshoot themes by yourself?
I’ve picked the location and dressed myself for all of my photoshoots! Honestly, I don’t really think about the theme. Instead, I go for a mood or a vibe.
Talk us through gear. What companies are you endorsed by, and what are your go-to pieces of gear?
I am endorsed by Luna Guitars. My favorite Luna right now is my Gypsy Exotic Black/White Ebony acoustic-electric guitar. It’s a great acoustic guitar for a rock star! It has a wild energy to it that I love.
Artists and the industry have been suffering during COVID-19. How have you been getting through the pandemic?
At first, I was really worried about whether or not I would ever play again! I’m a full-time artist, so it was scary. However, I decided to not worry about it and just let the universe take care of it. So I decided to focus on self-love and introspection. I meditated, read books, spent time out in nature, and hung out with my cats! I also wrote some songs, and then all of a sudden, shows started happening again. I live in Florida, so I’m very grateful for things being pretty open here with live shows!
Who inspires your sound and look?
I’ve been inspired by so many. I’m an entertainer first, singer second, then a guitarist. My inspiration mainly comes from Michael Jackson, as well as Prince since he played guitar too! As for vocalists, my inspiration comes from Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Prince has been a huge inspiration to me all across the board. He didn’t care what people said. I love his confidence, and his guitar skills are literally amazing! I always said if I could just be as good as Prince on guitar, I’d be satisfied with my playing!
My look is inspired by a few things. So if you take a pirate, scarecrow, clown, and cowboy and mix it up, it’d be something like that. I’m very inspired by movies when it comes to looks!
Tell us three of your favorite artists you are currently listening to and two artists that no one would guess you like.
I am currently listening to M83, Vulfpeck, and Thievery Corporation. Something people wouldn’t expect is that I love musicals and movie scores, so Hans Zimmer’s compositions for The Lion King, Interstellar, and Gladiator have been some faves. I’ve also been listening to the music from one of my favorite musicals, Les Misérables. The soundtrack from that show is amazing!