Armed with a Taylor acoustic guitar and a melody, R. Shelley has been writing and performing original songs for 13 years. Known to family and friends as Michelle ‘Shelley’ Ronchin, she has been performing under the name of R. Shelley since 2013 after recording her first EP.
After several years of playing around Toronto at notable venues such as El Mocambo, The Opera House and the Hard Rock Café, R. Shelley decided it was time to further her career – in 2012 she entered the Artist Entrepreneur program at Coalition Music. It was through this program that she learned not only how to be an independent musician, but also the ins and outs of the music industry.
From there, taking the knowledge she learned and contacts she made, R. Shelley pursued her dream. While working as an intern at several studios, she was granted some recording time and thus her first album was born. Over the course of 48 hours, ‘Sink or Swim’ – her debut five-song EP – came into fruition. In it, R. Shelley channels the acoustic sound of City and Colour paired with the sweet vocal style of Colbie Caillat.
It wasn’t long before R. Shelley began to build a local fan base. ‘Sink or Swim’ was picked up on College radio, charting on Earshot. The EP was also picked up by Alan Cross featured on his blog ‘A Journal of Musical Things’, and landed her many local interviews including CHRY The New Wax Show and CIUT Unsigned U of T Radio.
Currently, R. Shelley is back at the drawing board working on new music. After numerous ups and downs and a lot of self-discovery, she is back with an abundance of songs that represent the singer, her struggles and breakthroughs.