Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard‘s series that showcases artists’ very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard‘s Spotify account. The curated set features the artists’ favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.
Swedish singer-songwriter Shy Martin is just a day away from the release of her sophomore EP Sad Songs, and it’s clear how she’d land on such a dense title and theme just from the looks of the music she grew up on.
On a compilation that includes Linkin Park, Paramore and Lana Del Rey, the 26-year old chronicles her upbringing on certified classics and unabashed emotional bangers now infused in her broadening range of acoustic bedroom ballads and ethereal electro-pop jams.
In particular, a certain mid-aughts rock phase represented on the playlist showcases a type of earnest confessional songwriting that allowed Shy to finally project her own instincts as a writer onto a musical backdrop.
“I’ve always found it easier to express myself through writing and it’s been a very important outlet for me since I was a kid,” she shares in her playlist introduction. “When I learned how to combine my writing with music I completely fell in love with songwriting.”
Check out Shy’s full #TBT Mixtape statement below along with some exclusive throwback pictures to mark the day.
“I grew up in a house where music was constantly flowing through the speakers. My mum and dad have always loved music, so even though they didn’t play any instruments, music was a big part of my childhood.
I remember sitting in the kitchen watching my dad sing out loud whilst cooking and my mum making songs up in the car on our way to kindergarten. I started singing when I was still learning to talk and it didn’t take long until I was singing about absolutely everything I did. Looking back at old family movies, there isn’t a single one where I’m not singing, dancing or performing in some way.
I grew up listening to whatever my parents were listening to: Jimi Hendrix, U2, Roxette, Linkin Park, Ebba Grön, The Beatles, ABBA. When I was 12, I started playing in a band with some friends and had a period of only listening to rock and emo. There were maybe three years where every inch of my walls was covered in pictures of My Chemical Romance and I carried around CD’s from Paramore, Bullet For My Valentine and System of a Down. When I started high school, my brother introduced me to Bon Iver and soon it was the only thing I listened to along with Coldplay and Ed Sheeran.
Growing up I wrote tons of diaries, poems and stories. I’ve always found it easier to express myself through writing and it’s been a very important outlet for me since I was a kid. When I learned how to combine my writing with music I completely fell in love with songwriting.
This playlist is a collection of songs that have inspired me along the way and still bring me back to certain moments of my life. From hearing my dad blasting ’Hey Joe’ in the kitchen to listening to a whole crowd of people singing ’Summertime Sadness’ in a muddy festival field. All the bus rides to my high school with ‘Holocene’ on repeat, and road trips in LA with ‘Slide’ playing at the loudest volume.”