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Q&A with Shelby Sanborn

Songwriter, performer, and pop artist Shelby Sanborn writes songs that are relatable. Shelby’s pop indie sound, melodic timing, and fresh coming-of-age lyrics exude a youthful warmth.


Shelby has performed at various venues in California including The Hilton Bayfront Hotel, The Balboa Bay Club, The Welk Resorts, La Costa Resorts, The Brooks Theatre, Harrah’s and The Star Theatre in Oceanside. At the age of sixteen, she won first place in the San Diego Fair’s youth singing competition singing her original song “Gravity.” Shelby is a sought after session vocalist and songwriter for herself as well as other artists. She has developed a signature sound featuring a chocolaty rich lower register and towering high notes.


Shelby recently graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music with honors and a degree in Songwriting. Humble, but filled with confidence in front of an audience, she loves to entertain with her original songs, piano, guitar, and larger than life voice. Shelby’s goal in sharing her music is to create more empathy in the world.


I know you've recently set up a recording studio in your house. Do you have a new release in the works?


Yes I do. I’m release my new pop-rock single "Friendly Abuse" in May.


You've been doing a series on TikTok where you turn your followers' stories into songs. What inspired that and do you have a favorite one you've done?


I was in a TikTok bootcamp and discussed some ideas with my advisor at the time. She really helped me come to the conclusion that I would love to give a voice to those who don’t have the ability to tell their story. My favorite one was probably when someone’s boyfriend hacked into her Venmo and stole her money after the breakup. The song is so catchy and funny at the same time! Check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cm9J1xorA0W/


How do you feel your songs have changed since you started making music?


When I started making music my work was very intuitive and limited. I would say now I’m still intuitive but I also am more analytical. I typically rewrite and edit my songs a lot before I bring them to the studio.


Do you have a favorite song you’ve written? If you do, why is it your favorite?


I would say "Still Addicted" is my favorite because it was one of moments where the song came super naturally and every part of it just fell into place.


Who, or what, has most influenced your music and artistic style?


The music I was surrounded with had the most influence on my music. My mom was a huge Jack Johnson fan and my dad was a huge Queen fan so whenever I write an upbeat song it’s very similar to one of those styles. Every Christmas we always played The Ally McBeal Christmas Album with Vonda Shepard which was very R&B and Jazz which had a lot of influence on me and some of my most recent songs like "Still Addicted." I also listened to a lot of Disney Channel artists like Hannah Montana and Demi Lovato as a kid so I believe a lot of my melody inspiration comes from that as well.


What are you listening to currently?


I’ve been listening to a lot of TikTok pop artists. Some of my favorites are Stella Cole and Emeline. Their music makes me feel confident after listening to them and I’ve been hoping to write songs that evoke the same feeling.


Listen to Shelby Sanborn's single "Still Addicted" now.



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