Some of today's biggest artists began and made their initial loot by ghostwriting. The talented then weny on to using their writing abilities to make a name for themselves. Shonie is engaging in that transition as we speak. The New York native, now living in Miami has associated herself with the likes of Slip N Slide Records and will be releasing her debut album next year. MVRemix caught up with her to get a first impression of this emerging talent.
MVRemix: For those that are now hearing about you for the first time, tell us about yourself.
Shonie: Iíve always been singing since I was young. My mom was heavily involved in the church so it was only right that I join the choir. I started singing in the choir like around 4 or 5, but she brought me to Miami because she was always back and forth, up and down. She brought me to Miami probably when I was 9 years old. Thatís when I really started writing and singing more. I did a lot of small shows here and there, but started doing bigger shows as my name grew in the area. Thatís really how I got started recording in studios. I moved to West Palm Beach Florida for about two years where my name began to buzz.
I recorded a song called ďOne Womanís ManĒ that just kept circulating throughout the city and everybody started to know my name. Thatís when an independent label named South Beat Records discovered me. I signed with them but everything didnít go as planned. The best thing that came out of that was me meeting my manager, James Jackson from Slick Salt Entertainment. He took me under his wing, and from there we just kept grindiní and grindiní. We decided to put out a mixtape called ďStreet Heat Vol.1Ē which was hosted by DJ Khaled. It caught the attention of Ted Lucas from Slip N Slide Records, and the rest is history.
MVRemix: How important do you feel networking is?
Shonie: Networking is very important because you have to build relationships to get anywhere in this industry. Iíve learned that itís not only about having talent that makes you successful. Itís about who you know.
MVRemix: You seem to be influenced a lot by 90's artists and beyond. Are their many artists back from the Motown and Chitlin Circuit era that have inspired you?
Shonie: I was brought up in that era of music but didnít really know of it. The only music that I picked up from that era was music that I heard my mom play while we did the house cleaning. The artist that stuck out to me the most was Betty Wright. Iíve always admired her swagger the way she sang on her records. So I guess she would have to be the artist that gave me my confidence to be able to deliver my style of music.
MVRemix: Do you remember the first song you wrote?
Shonie: The first song I wrote was when I was nine years old. I titled the song, ďThat Girl.Ē The song was basically about a young girl struggling with work, school and trying to maintain her relationship with her man while he didnít appreciate her, and she continued to stay by his side.
MVRemix: Whatís the most romantic song youíve ever heard?
Shonie: I canít say most romantic song I've ever heard, but one of my most favorite romantic songs would have to be ďYou Send Me Swinging,Ē by Mint Condition. Itís a sexy song! Itís one of those songs that I would keep on repeat.
MVRemix: How does living in Miami shape your attitude towards music and art in general?
Shonie: Moving from New York to Miami exposed me to a different sound of music, so living here in Miami inspires me to bring new music. Iím not trying to make down south music, how Miami is portrayed. My goal is to put out good quality music.
MVRemix: You seem to be doing a lot of writing for other artists, how did that come about initially?
Shonie: It started when I signed with this independent label in Miami. While working in the studios, I caught lots of attention from different producers, such as Gorilla Tek, Jim Jonsin, Jack Pot, Jack Splash, Big Bert, Lamb and many more. From there the word about my writing had spread and I began to write for other artists.
MVRemix: When your words are performed by someone else, how does that feel?
Shonie: Feels good, feels real good! Iíve wanted to do this all my life. Itís an indescribable feeling, but I definitely hope to gain the respect of the top writers in the industry, and I hope to continue working with many other astonishing artists.
MVRemix: Have you ever been bitter by someone else being praised for your written words?
Shonie: That hasnít happened yet, and Iím hoping that it never will. Iím hoping that I will be given credit for any song that Iíve written for any artist. I know that sometimes some artists say that theyíve written a lot of the songs that they sing, which isnít a problem for me. As long as Iím given my credits for writing, I will be fine.
MVRemix: Tell me about your forthcoming Slip N Slide Records album.
Shonie: It's going to be bananas! Iím working with some of the hottest producers such as Lamb, Big Bert, Gorilla Tek, Drumma Boy, Jim Jonsin, as well as Midus and Kane who is a part of the Slick Salt Entertainment family. Fabolous will be featured on the first single titled, ďCanít Let Go,Ē which was produced by Bent, and it should be out by the end of the year.
MVRemix: Is the album complete?
Shonie: The album is not completed yet. We are still recording because we can never stop working at coming up with hit records!.
MVRemix: What do you wish to achieve with the album?
Shonie: Great album sales, as well as building my fan base. I want listeners to recognize my writing abilities since I will be writing the majority of my album.
MVRemix: Any videos planned?
Shonie: If the single goes the way we plan, then there will definitely be a video!
MVRemix: What separates you from other singers? Why should I opt to listen to your music above others?
Shonie: Basically Iím trying to stay original. If everyone is going in the same direction, Iím the artist that will get into a different lane. Iím not trying to follow anyoneís style of music. I want to be a brand.
MVRemix: In a sentence or less, what do you do to relax?
Shonie: I like going out with my friends to the beach and the movies.
MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la "Fight Club" - "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight"?
Shonie: I wouldnít fight anyone. I just do what I love and keep it moving, I have no time for haters. Just live your life.
MVRemix: Do you have any non-musical aspirations?
Shonie: I do! I would to pursue an acting career.
MVRemix: Any last words?
Shonie: Make sure you look out for my first single "Canít Let Go" featuring Fabolous. Also make sure you log onto my MySpace, which is myspace.com/Shoniemusic . I would also like to give a shout out to Slip N Slide Records, 305 Magazine, and Luxury Tax Clothing for showing me much support. I also must give thanks and much love to my team, Slick Salt Entertainment.