British-Nigerian singer Shaé Universe shares her musical firsts, from collaborating with Westside Boogie to a starstruck encounter with Nicki Minaj.

In certain contexts, the meaning of ‘Spiritual’ is ambiguous and at times raises eyebrows. Applied to Shaé Universe however, the adjective is characteristic – true to both the artist and her soulful sound. Since bursting onto the scene in 2017, the rising British-Nigerian singer has been offering clarity to matters of faith, spiritual connection and the heart using her raw vocal talent. Last month Shaé compiled this into Love’s Letter – a 10-track project which showcases her artistic dexterity, as she collaborates with Lalah Hathaway and spellbinds on standout singles like ‘What’s Luv’. 


Influenced by her mother and father, a gospel singer and pastor respectively, Shaé approaches R&B from a unique perspective. Steeped in nostalgia, interlaced with modern gritty bounces and sultry melodies, Love’s Letter is a grounding reminder to connect inward as well as out through every phase of life. Pondering her own question  ‘What’s Luv’, Shaé shares, “People who love hard and passionately can often forget that ultimately, no one can pour into them more than themselves. I wrote this song as a reminder of that. Love people, love life, love love but also ensure you love yourself enough.”  Wise words from an artist who’s earned co-signs from Jorja Smith, Little Simz and ENNY, while remaining independent and navigating the music industry on her own terms. 


Shaé’s soul-stirring Universe has ventured to festivals like Glastonbury and into studios with artists like PHABO, who enlisted the singer for a feature on the R&B star’s latest album, Don’t Get Too Cozy. With music more left in the pan, there’s no doubt that more enlightening experiences are to come for this rising star. So, we caught up to discuss her musical firsts, from collaborating with Westside Boogie to a starstruck encounter with Nicki Minaj.

First time you fell in love with music?

Probably around the age of seven when I was old enough to really understand the choir harmonies at church.

First song you were infatuated with?

‘You Got It Bad’ by Usher.

First gig you ever played?

Boxpark in Wembley.

First time you worked with someone who you admired?

2017/18 working with Westside Boogie on his album.

First person you’d recruit if you had a band?


First time you felt starstruck?

Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday (Roman Reloaded) CD signing in 2012.

First thing on your rider?


First track you play when handed the aux?

‘Good & Plenty’ by Alex Isley.

First artist you’d add to your dream festival line up?

Frank Ocean.

First purchase after a major music cheque?

The highest quality home studio set up.

Listen to Love's Letter now:

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