Shaz OYE
Gig Seeker Pro

Shaz OYE

Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"OYE really rattled and hummed!"

Riverbank House Hotel, Wexford.
It was a tribute to both the dynamism of her live presence, and the openness of an audience really here to see bill-topper Juliet Turner, that by the end of a set that made few concessions to three-chord trickery, Shaz Oye had the audience clapping and singing along to an acappella version of Wilson Pickett's sixties hit '634-5789'.
That was her only non-original. In the moving 'Child Of Original Sin' Oye reflected on growing up on Dublin's North Strand as a black kid, while 'Killing Time' offered her sympathetic reflections on the mother of a death row victim. 'Break Of Day' had a stirring field-song feel to it, and 'All A Woman Has', despite missing the production and accompaniment of the version on her Child Of Original Sin EP, had a raunch and a rasp you don't meet every day.
But in 'Lady Sings The Blues' Oye really rattled and hummed, reducing a rapt, packed audience to reverential admiring silence. Oye's voice, accompanied only by her expressive guitar playing, is extraordinarily sturdy from so frail a frame and has all the weight of a Leonard Cohen or a Nick Cave allied to the swooping flexibility of Kate Bush. She may have to work a little at introducing a lighter timbre into the show to make for more light and shade, but, that reservation aside, this was an impressive performance by any standard.
- HOTpress

"9/10, It's that fucking good!"

Bursting with intelligence, beauty and amazing emotional depth, Shaz OYE’s (pronounced OH Yay!) debut, Truth According to Shaz OYE is 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!
The most extraordinary thing about Truth is her stunning voice. Giants like Shirley Bassey and Nina Simone must’ve been on the turntable in OYE’s youth, because she has their same rare ability to plunge the cavernous depth, then resurface into heart-rending vibrato.
The songs that OYE has chosen for Truth – all self-penned, apart from an absolutely beautiful rrendition “Prisoner”, the love theme from Eyes of Laura Mars – reveal a compassionate soul who loves telling stories through her music.
“Blood on The Bone” for example relates the conviction of Ku Klux Klan member Edgar Ray Killen for the “Freedom Summer” murders, along side Oye’s own experiences of bigotry and prejudice, while “The River Wild” tells the tale of a woman who was raped and killed by “The Rakes”, young aristocrats who had drinking sessions in Dublin’s Temple Bar in the 1700’s.
Instrumentally, Truth is superb, OYE’s wonderful voice jazzily and soulfully accompanied by various guitars, cello, double bass, sax and piano. The album’s photography, artwork, graphic design and sleeve notes are delicious icing on the cake. If this deeply impressive first album is anything to go by, we can expect seriously great things from shaz OYE. Adrienne Murphy, Hotpress, NINE/TEN
- HOTpress

"Imagine...Nina Simone...and Antony and the Johnsons"

Describing Shaz OYE’s voice to someone who has never heard it is tricky. 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. The voice is large and Amazonian, and the themes belted out in the songs are no different. In music, tackling issues like racism, gun crime, religion and violence against women can veer into preachiness, but OYE sidesteps the urge to rant and lets her glossy voice take over. On Sylvia Falling, a comment on fashion’s phoniness, it blends stunningly with piano, pointing to a late night, bluesy feel throughout, as on a cover of the Love Theme from Eyes of Laura Mars and OYE’s version of the poem Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep. Sinead Gleeson, The Ticket, The Irish Times - The Ticket, The Irish Times

"Some debut from one of the most amazing vocalists ever to come out of Ireland."

SHAZ OYE Truth According To Shaz Oye (Radical Faerries)

If you haven’t already heard Shaz Oye, either on disc or live, then you’ve got a serious treat up around the bend. Oye is a Dubliner of Irish and Nigerian parents who has an extraordinary voice which can reach parts other voices don’t even know exist.

The album opens with ‘Blood On The Bone’, her graphic look at the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan member for the murder of three American freedom fighters in the sixties. ‘Easy On The Trigger’ brings it closer to home, with Oye’s reaction to the shooting of John Carthy at Abbeylara, while ‘The Jericho Mile’ deals with the wall the Israelis ware building to keep the Palestinians in/out.

‘Sylvia Falling’ reflects on the problems of the modeling business, and ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ is based on a moving poem written in 1932 to which Oye put a sublime melody. The only other non-original is ‘Prisoner’, the theme from the film Eyes of Laura Mars but which Shaz makes her own. But it’s not all serious either. ‘Dance With Me’ is a smooth track likely to activate the laziest toes.

Oye is not only blessed with a truly amazing voice but the arrangements and the musicianship on the album are equally superb, as are the packaging and the sleeve-notes. Some debut from one of the most amazing vocalists ever to come out of Ireland. Go on, treat yourself!

- Enterprise Magazine

"Her songs are steeped in intelligence and insight"

Named after the legendary Radio City Music Hall in New York’s Rockerfeller Centre, the latest addition to the capital’s live music scene is a spacious and airy basement space that is perfect for a chilled and relaxing evening of musical entertainment, in stark contrast to the deafening norm.
Dublin-based chanteuse Shaz OYE (pronounced “OH Yay) is a perfect accompaniment to the venue’s laidback fee, marking the occasion with a launch gig for her first album, Truth According to Shaz OYE, which is an arresting 10-track affair on her own wonderfully named label Radical Faeries.
Resplendent in a smart and striking pin-stripe suit, she is backed by a drummer, guitarist, keyboard player and double bassist. Her voice is truly remarkable; a versatile and velvety croon that is full of rich textures and heart-melting soul. It brings to mind such singular talents as Nina Simone and Kate Bush, but is far too individual to be lazily categorised by the limited lexicon of comparisons generally employed by us hacks.
Her songs are steeped in intelligence and insight, engaging in topical issues and the history of human rights in an original and thought-provoking manner. Easy off the Trigger could be the soundtrack song to the shocking spate of gun crime that has blighted our nation in recent weeks.
Shaz brings us back in time to the Dublin of the 1700’s on The River Wild, informing us that we’ve been a binge-drinking capital for a lot longer than the lifespan of the current boozing boom. The most moving song of the night is the closing track of her debut, Truth. The lyric “truth hurts, she said, truth hurts” is delivered with stunning pathos and intensity. In a local scene packed with lots of players but lacking originality. Shaz is a refreshing and very welcome new voice. Eamon Sweeney, Day and Night, The Irish Independent, Four Stars
- Day and Night, The Irish Independent


Debut Album -
"Truth according to shaz OYE"
EP -
"Child of Original Sin"
Download -
"Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Shaz OYE (pronounced “Oh Yay”, as in the town crier) released her debut album “Truth according to shaz OYE” on Friday 10th March 2006 when it was launched by the poet and author Theo Dorgan at a celebratory gig that evening in Radio City, Dublin 1.

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 RTÉ’s The View, Capital D, and Radio 1’s Rattlebag and John Creedon Show. Shaz has played alongside many of Irelands top performers, including: Juliet Turner, John Spillane, and Declan O’Rourke. 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.