When 21-year old Alexandria Maniak went to the studio last summer to record what would be her first single as her moniker Shortly, what surfaced was completely unexpected — and it just so happened to land her a record deal.
"I wrote 'Matthew' so quickly. Emotions had spurred the song the day before I was going to record a different song," Maniak says. "It's just a simple E-chord, but it worked because the emotions are more raw and unfiltered. I want to embrace that feeling moving forward. I really want to embrace the idea of failure."
Maniak's breathy and fraught siren-esque vocals invite comparisons to artists like Anna Ash or Lana Del Rey. When asked about where she might place herself on the spectrum, Maniak says her brand is a bit of a mood board. "Right now it's vibrance through melancholy but my brand has been changing a lot because I've had an identity crisis and if I have an identity crisis so does my brand, because my brand is me," she explains.
Though Shortly is still a relatively new project, Maniak is no stranger to writing or performing. Having made music under her name for years, Maniak admits she felt pressured to create music that was both upbeat and marketable and that she may have been taken advantage of early on as a female artist. Both a manifestation of rebellion and self-awareness, Maniak's rebirth as Shortly was a product of time's design and her desire to be heard.
"It became an internal argument," she says. "Eventually I said, 'I'm going to cut my hair and dye it the color I want it to be and do the things with my body I want to do and ultimately, I want to do the things with my voice that I have wanted to do."
"The word 'shortly' embodied things I had been waiting to talk about," she explains.
In November, Shortly signed to independent New York City-based label Triple Crown Records. Despite having only one single to promote and several other labels nipping at her feet, she says it was a matter of intuition and trust that drove her to sign with Triple Crown. With one bucket list item already achieved, Maniak says her only wish is to keep going.
"I'm terrified that I could be at my peak right now just because people care," Maniak confesses. "There are a lot of things I would like to do with my project, but all of them stem from growth... moving forward, as both a person and an artist. I want to communicate with more people through my music."
— Jerilyn Jordan