Shélan O’Keefe

  • Chicago (USA)

“Music is an interdisciplinary practice for me and has been informed by many different facets of my life. I write, sing, and play electric ukulele in the band Swellshark, which was created in 2013 with Henry Kellam, who plays bass and drums. I consider close observation and a kind of self-imposed emotional synesthesia to be integral to my lifestyle, and in turn, the songs I create."

Ransom, 2017

"Memories of sensations and conclusions become lyrical and melodic geodes that must be excavated, examined, and cataloged. Composing on the ukulele, which I find to be a very honest and bittersweet instrument, I often sit alone and experiment with patterns, trying innumerable combinations until a memory or scene is unlocked. Lyrics often start as notes I write to myself, forgotten for weeks and then viewed as artifacts of experience."

Same face, 2020

"Since I was little, I’ve explored the concept of perception through filmmaking, photography, illustration, acting, and even scientific research. When I went to college, I chose a Cultural Studies major instead of a musical one, because it helped fuel an unending question: why do we think what we think? Or in the words David Byrne, “And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” For me, this is what writing music is all about.”

Visit Shélan O’Keefe's work here: https://swellsharkmusic.bandcamp.com
Follow the artist on Instagram @shaybrahamlincoln