“Bursting with intelligence, beauty and amazing emotional depth…a knee-buckling, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-raising, shiver-down-your-back inducing album that will have you hooked after just one listen. It’s that fucking good!” Adrienne Murphy, Hotpress, NINE/TEN
“Her voice is truly remarkable; a versatile and velvety croon that is full of rich textures and heart-melting soul...Songs steeped in intelligence and insight.” Eamon Sweeney, Day and Night, Irish Independent, 4 Stars
“The voice is large and Amazonian… Imagine the operatics of Diamanda Galas, the soulful depth of Nina Simone and the elegiac androgyny of Antony and the Johnsons blended into one intense timbre.”
Sinead Gleeson, The Ticket, Irish Times, 3 Stars
“Tough urban hymns with a history…probably the most intense collection of songs you'll hear this year." Eamon Carr, Evening Herald
“The most extraordinary voice ever to come out of Ireland. If you can imagine Sade with real balls, you’re getting close to what OYE can do, it will be a serious omission if she doesn’t work her way into the affections of all and sundry, at home and abroad,” Jackie Hayden, Hotpress
"One of the best voices to emerge recently onto the Irish Scene." Myles Dungan, Rattlebag, RTÉ Radio
"Listen to this haunting, ballsy, original performer, OYE’s voice sends
tremors down the backbone. A stand-alone debut." GCN
“She’s a singer-songwriter in a league all of her own.”
The Sunday Independent
“A unique talent” Pat Kenny, RTE Radio 1
"Incredible voice" Tom Dunne, Today FM
Shaz OYE (pronounced “Oh Yay”, as in the town crier) released her debut album “Truth according to shaz OYE” on Friday 10th March 2006. The album was launched by the poet and author Theo Dorgan with celebratory gig that evening in Radio City, Dublin, Ireland.
The ten-track CD is released on her own label Radical Faeries. Rather then seek major label backing, along with her partner and now manager Patricia Kennedy, she set up her own label Radical Faeries Records and set about self-financing the first album. The album launch is the culmination of more than two years commitment to her music career. A career which already boasts a critically acclaimed EP and debut single and has seen her featured on Rattlebag (the Irish national radio arts show); she has performed live on The View and been interviewed on Capital D, and play alongside many of Irelands top performers, including: Juliet Turner, John Spillane, Declan O'Rourke and Hazel O’Connor. Her exclusive web download “Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep (Requiem)” spent 5 weeks on the playlist of RTÉ Radio 1.
Born and raised in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands; Shaz grew up surrounded by strong women, her single-parent mother, her granny and her “Aunty” May. She regularly delved into their record collections, which featured Lena Horne, Nina Simone, and Elvis. When she discovered Paul Weller's “A Town Called Malice” shaz realised that working class youth could find their voice through music. Writing songs became an outlet for her growing disaffection with a hostile world.
It wasn't until 2000 that she bought her first guitar in Las Vegas and taught herself how to play it. Her unique voice and expressive guitar playing are all the more astounding when you realise she’s never received any formal training. Leaving her position as Director of Dublin AIDS Alliance five years ago, Shaz embarked on her music career and began gigging in 2002.
This album is a collection of ten tracks each rooted in issues that resonate with shaz, from redemption to injustice, obsession to grief and loss. "My own material has been unearthed from the dark ground of my soul. Truth simply is: A principle born of honesty, strength and valour; chivalrous qualities I admire in others and aspire to myself. It can be weighed and measured yet we cannot see it with the naked eye, but when Truth presents itself, we recognise its unique signature. All I am offering is my Truth, nothing more"
Audiences and critics alike consider her voice outstanding and many have tried to find comparisons; it's complexity is best summed up by Hotpress, “OYE's voice, … has all the weight of a Leonard Cohen or a Nick Cave allied to the swooping flexibility of Kate Bush.” Say it loud and say it clear Oh Yay, Oh Yay, Oh Yay. Shaz OYE’s name will soon be tripping off the tongues of one and all.