On The Record: Ina Shai


For those who have never heard of Ina Shai, who is she and what is her music about?

Ina is London based r’n’b’/soul singer and songwriter who thrives when performing live. Sometimes shy off stage but always fierce and confident when on stage. Her music is classy, sultry and evoking the deepest of emotions all at the same time.

What has been the most rewarding/ most enjoyable highlight of your career so far?

There’s quite a few of them (Performing at Pride London, being BBC Introducing’s artist of the week, having a cover of Starboy go viral two years after the release and reach over 8 million views,…) but I think what keeps me going is the feedback that I get from people when they enjoy my music. I always appreciate all the heartfelt messages from them saying how my music has helped them go through a difficult time in their life or just simply made their day. It’s the reason why I make music and it’s the reason why I will probably never stop.

What have been some major challenges in your music career so far?

To continue creating music and believing in myself even after things have not progressed as much as I’d want them to.

What are you grateful for right now in this moment?

There are so many things I’m grateful for and it starts with having a roof over my head, warm clothes, plenty of food to eat, good friends, a loving family,… and lastly I’m able to live in London and create music. Something I’ve always dreamt about and now it’s my reality. I never take it for granted.

Physical copies or streaming sites? 

I will never forget the excitement when I was searching for Usher’s album ‘Confessions’ in every music store and when I finally found it played it on my CD player every night from the beginning till the end. It was cute and it made me appreciate the artist and their artistry (I still know all the lyrics to the songs!). Streaming sites on the other hand allow me to discover so many new artists each day so I do love that too. Nothing beats a good vinyl from an artist that you love though!

What was your most played song of 2021 so far?

Well, perhaps not the most played song of 2021 but definitely the most recently played song would be Sinead Harnett’s »Stay« from her new album »Ready is Always Too late«. Absolutely love it.

A playlist you can’t get enough of?

Think I need to create one with all the R’n’B bop’s I’ve been listening to!

 A dream collaboration?

Beyonce. Nuff said.

& Lastly, what can fans expect from Ina Shai in the coming year?

More music and visuals to go with it. I really can’t wait to share with people what I’ve been working on and show them this new side to me that I don’t think they are expecting to see.


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