Today’s Song: Erika Tham Ignites on Empowering & Seductive Second Single, “Shhh”

Erika Tham "Shhh" © Yoshi Uemura
Erika Tham "Shhh" © Yoshi Uemura
Intimate and intense, Erika Tham’s “Shhh” is a dramatic, empowering seduction: A reclamation of the self full of passion and grace, tongue-in-cheek word slaps and ear-catching Asian instrumentation that sets the artist apart from her peers.
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Stream: “Shhh” – Erika Tham




Intimate and intense, Erika Tham’s first single of the year is a dramatic, empowering seduction: A softly cinematic reclamation of the self full of passion and grace, tongue-in-cheek word slaps and ear-catching Asian instrumentation that, when put together as one, immediately sets the artist apart from her peers. Alluring and assertive, “Shhh” dazzles the ears and entrances the mind as Tham invites us into her unapologetic world of wit, sass, inner strength and charm.

Erika Tham "Shhh" © Yoshi Uemura
“Shhh” – Erika Tham
Shhh… Shhh… Shut it up
Baby don’t, talk cut it off
If you just watch you’ll get what you want
Don’t **** it up
Shhh Shut it up
Baby don’t talk, cut it off
If you just watch you’ll get what you want
Don’t **** it up
You look better than you talk
No your daddy’s black card don’t impress me much
And your two-door coupe still can’t pick me up
Moneys up? So is mine. Got toys? So do I
Both C’s both sides, and we’re both fine
Boy when you’ve got your mouth shut you’re flawless
Mortal men shouldn’t **** with a Goddess
But if I’m honest
I still want this

Released January 14, 2022, “Shhh” is an emphatic best step forward from Los Angeles-based newcomer Erika Tham. Following the artist’s debut single “Admit It” (released in October), “Shhh” finds the R&B-pop singer/songwriter and former actress coming to life with style and poise, embracing her heritage through music (her father is Chinese-Malaysian and a mother is Dutch/Ukrainian-Canadian) and sharing her bold personality through song. The track arrives as Tham’s second release of her music career, and the latest teaser off her forthcoming debut EP.

A musical and lyrical homage to the “sassy, unapologetic R&B and pop stars of the ’90s,” who shamelessly owned their sexualities through their art and on the stage, “Shhh” is a captivating second offering that sees Tham charting her own path forward, balancing a mainstream, finessed pop sound on one side and her own charismatic and distinct identity on the other.



Erika Tham © Yoshi Uemura
Erika Tham © Yoshi Uemura



Utilizing what sounds like a guzheng – a traditional Chinese stringed instrument comparable to the autoharp – as the song’s backbone, “Shhh” immerses the senses in warm sound and cool percussion. Tham contrasts her gentle melody with a trap beat that gives the song an edge – the hard sounds of the electronic drum kit tend to do that – but that edge softens the second she starts singing. In hushed tones that recall the song’s title, Tham sings for her subject to make a hard stop: “Shhh – shut it up, baby don’t talk – cut it off. If you just watch you’ll get what you want…” Her voice has its own tantalizing staccato rhythm to it – one that blends perfectly into the surrounding instrumentation, while still standing out on its own merits. As Tham continues, she embraces a tongue-in-cheek attitude toward her subject, whom we might imagine to be a twenty-something f***boy who hasn’t encountered many obstacles in his life. “No your daddy’s black card don’t impress me much,” she tells him, “And your two-door coupe still can’t pick me up. Moneys up? So is mine Got toys? So do I. Both C’s both sides, and we’re both fine.”

Mortal men shouldn’t f*** with a Goddess,” Tham goes on to sing in her most sultry tones; it’s a memorable line (and takeaway) if ever there was one. “But if I’m honest,” she admits, “I still want this.

As she descends into the chorus, Tham hones back in on the notion of her subject shutting up: That it’s better for her and for them when he doesn’t speak. She subverts gender roles and expectations in this way, imploring her audience to forget what we think we know about romance and listen up to a new gospel.

2:45 pull up outside
Might spend a night If you play your cards right
You a pretty sight, just not my type
(yeah) Might let it slide If you would just (If you would just)
Shhh Shut it up, baby don’t, talk
Cut it off if you just watch
You’ll get what you want, don’t **** it up
Shhh Shut it up,
ba
by don’t talk, cut it off
If you just watch
You’ll get what you want
Don’t **** it up
You look better than you talk
Erika Tham © Kombucci
Erika Tham © Kombucci



“‘Shhh’ is a fun, tongue in cheek type of song and it was equally as fun to make,” Tham tells Atwood Magazine. “I wrote it with my friends Deion Gill and Major Myjah (same producers as ‘Admit It’), in the same week in Atlanta as the rest of the EP. I remember joking to them and saying something along the lines of “you know when someone’s cute, until they open their mouth and ruin it?”. That’s where the concept for ‘Shhh’ came from. When it came to writing the verses I wanted to pay homage to the sassy, unapologetic pop stars of the 90’s. The line “your daddy’s black card don’t impress me much” was inspired by Shania Twain’s iconic “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” but with a modern twist and subject matter that felt authentic and relatable to my real life. The rest of the song is honestly just the result of three friends talking shit and gassing each other up!”

“My favorite line in the song is, “When you’ve got your mouth shut you’re flawless. Mortal men shouldn’t f*** with a goddess.” I love that it’s just a straight up insult, but framed in the most feminine, coquettish way. It encapsulates the energy and dynamic of the entire song to me. I vocal produced this song and had a lot of fun with the ad libs and harmonies in the last chorus. I wanted it to feel very ethereal and kind of tie in the whole “mortal men shouldn’t f*** with a goddess” energy. As with the rest of the EP, I was insistent on featuring Asian instrumentation in the tracks. We worked hard to take traditional Asian sounds and frame them in a modern pop/R&B structure. I love the result; it feels just different enough while still being familiar and easy to listen to in any modern pop and R&B playlist.”

Erika Tham "Shhh" © Yoshi Uemura
Erika Tham “Shhh” © Yoshi Uemura



It’s great to stand out in a crowd, when that crowd is packed with interchangeable lookalikes, as is the modern mainstream pop scene. Erika Tham has, from the onset, distinguished herself from the masses through her instrumental choices, her provocative and enthralling lyrics, and her irresistibly seductive vocals. Once an actress known for roles on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and FOX television shows, Tham is now blossoming as a singer/songwriter and coming into her own with songs that cut through the noise.

“Shhh” feels like a passionate whisper in the ear; it’s compelling and unapologetic, emotionally charged and radiantly empowered. We can’t wait for more great things from Erika Tham as her first EP unfolds this year.

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Stream: “Shhh” – Erika Tham



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Erika Tham "Shhh" © Yoshi Uemura

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📸 © Yoshi Uemura


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