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The Mancunian singer-songwriter on her fascination with religion and how we can combat sexism within the industry.

Fashion Umar Sarwar

Hair + Makeup Joel Phillips using MAC Cosmetics

Fashion Assistant Miranda Mikkola

While Shura’s debut album was a collection of infectious synthpop anthems that reflected the singer’s crippling anxiety and lack of success in love, her sophomore effort - while still retaining her signature dream-pop sound - is the star at her most confident. Nothing’s Real was her interpretation of a John Waters-esque comedy-drama and Forevher is her version of iconic lesbian romance Blue is the Warmest Colour, basically.

“When you do struggle with anxiety and write a record, you almost write a script for yourself,” she tells us. “You’re in this play, this film, this awkward kid no one speaks to in the corner. That doesn’t have to be true. The fact that I don’t like flying or that I overthink things doesn’t have to define my entire existence.” The maturity on Forevher can felt; themes range from sex, identity and religion, the latter of which is an important aspect of Shura’s art, which is quite peculiar because she identifies as an atheist. “It really struck me as a non-believer, that there must be something about religion that humans need,” she explains. “I was kind of contemplating going to study it at university and then I realised everyone there was training to be a priest. I thought, ‘I’m a lesbian and an atheist, what the fuck am I going to do there?’”

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