[SFPL Exclusive Interview] Shanell of YMCMB

Posted by:     Tags:  ,     Posted date:  August 14, 2012  |  5 Comments




The songbird of YMCMB, Shanell, is back with a rather bold, sexy, and dominating agenda. Her new
mixtape “Nobody’s Bitch” is a collection of what she calls “urban pop” songs that encourage women
to take control. She plays with the reversal roles of men being sexual objects and women being the
dominating figure which offers an interesting twist with a blunt delivery. Saying exactly what she
thinks, “Nobody’s Bitch” is sure to get a couple of jaw dropping reactions which Shanell describes as
being inspired by Amy Winehouse.

“Amy Winehouse I feel like reminds me a lot of me. I just sing and I do write deep music, but I’m also
very outspoken and very blunt and cool. I love her for being another female that’s able to do that.”

Accompanying by the “boss like” attitude are the hard hitting beats that definitely make you want to
turn up on the dance floor with features from hip-hop pioneers Too Short & Busta Rhymes. Embracing
her femininity, Shanell also slows us down with a couple intimate songs that engage listeners in her
emotional side. Either way, the beats and vibe of the entire mixtape is very captivating and demands
you to stop and listen, which is definitely what Shanell had in mind.

“Drums, music, and the right sounds feel a certain way. …I feel like it’s just always been inside me and
I’m excited to be the person to be able to give that feeling to other people.”

Shanell isn’t the only one excited about getting her music out. Co-Founder to the entire Young Money
Cash Money movement, Birdman describes the cohesiveness of “Nobody’s Bitch”.

“…everything is well put together and to me it’s damn near an album. It could be an album for her. I’m
just proud of her…We support her to the fullest and we’re expecting big things out of her”

“Nobody’s Bitch” covers many aspects of the “dominant” woman from being sexually in control,
emotionally vulnerable, and knowing how to have a good time, but she also has the image game on lock.
Known for her nose ring that loops into an earring, she admits that accessories like chains, rings, and
bracelets are definitely her must-haves. From her lyrics to her personal style, Shanell is no stranger to
being FLY and by her own definition, we agree.

“FLY is just you in your own world and you do your own thing. You don’t care and you carry this energy
that’s just says, I’m me and you probably want to be me too”. I use the word FLY all the time.”

“Nobody’s Bitch” drops August 13th on Livemixtapes.com

Peep our interview in it’s entirety below …

Birdman on Shanell

Q: What do you feel that the industry is lacking right now that Shanell is providing right now?

Birdman: Definitely the art of it. I think creativity. “Nell” is just a different type of artist. She can go
either way. She’s edgy, pop, urban and to me the music is great; that’s where its starts and stops at. I
just love her grind, her hustle. How clean her music is and how everything is well put together and to me
it’s damn near an album. It could be an album for her. I’m just proud of her. She motivates me the way
she works and how hard she works. We support her to the fullest and we’re expecting big things out of
her.

Interview with Shanell …

Q: You’ve been in the industry a while. How does it feel to see your dreams come into fruition and
people vibin’ to your music?

Shanell: I feel like it’s about time. Like you said I have been doing this for a while and I don’t get excited
about some of the things that I thought I would get excited about when I was a little girl and it’s so much
more work than I thought. I know I do amazing big stuff and I’m just happy and excited that I’m giving it
out to people and it’s not just on my computer or on my IPOD.

Q: You were behind the scenes as a writer and dancer before you started putting out your own music.
When was the first time that you fell in love with music?

Shanell: I’m a performer at heart and performing without singing was all expression through movement
for me. So now to be able to put words to express that emotion or whatever is amazing and it started
when I was a dancer. The sound of music; I don’t know. I think it’s in black people. Drums, music, and
the right sounds feel a certain way. It might be in all people but I’m black so. I feel like it’s just always
been inside me and I’m excited to be a person to be able to give that feeling to other people.

Q: Who are some of your music inspirations?

Shanell: Of course Ms. Amy Winehouse. And each person has a different reason. Amy Winehouse I feel
like reminds me a lot of me. I just sing and I do write deep music but I am also very outspoken and very
just blunt and cool. I love her for being another female that’s able to do that. Cyndi Lauper, Madonna,
and Lauren Hill.

Q: Who are the top three artists that you would love to work with?

Shanell: Andre 3000. I think I’d be too scared to work with Prince but Prince of course.

Q: Why would you be scared?

Shanell: I don’t know. Who’s the comedian who said that you couldn’t even look at him. (laughs). I don’t
think I want to put myself through that nerve wrecking experience. Not nerve racking, I just think that I
would be nervous, but he’s great. He’s a musician that can play just about everything and he would be
amazing. I can’t think of anyone else.

Q: So what does the term fly mean to you?

Shanell: I was going to use another word like “dope”. Fly is just you in your own world and you do your
own thing. You don’t care and you carry this energy that just says“I’m me and you probably want to be
me too”. I use the word fly all the time.

Q: I like that. So what are you top fashion must haves? When you leave the house what are the things
you must have or if someone is styling you that know that Shanell must have this.

Shanell: Well my nose ring which I still do have; I just forgot to put it on. Earrings and jewelry; I like little
things like chains, rings, and bracelets. I have to have those if nothing else.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Shanell: I don’t know. I don’t look that far ahead. I just look forward to tomorrow and the week.

Q: A lot of people seem to do this for fame and money. Why do you sing and write? What does music
really do for you?

Shanell: Honestly because that’s what I’ve always done. That’s who I am from when I was a little girl.
Now, it seems like a whole other thing, but if I didn’t sell a million records, if I didn’t tour the world; if I
only had a venue in a small neighborhood to perform in I would do that.

-Stay Fly!

[Words and Interview By Fly Girl LaParis]