For Black Music Month, singer Shanice speaks to Aries from UrbanBridgez about her upcoming release, who she wants to work with, the Fergie situation, Black Music and much more!
Featured Audio from the Interview Added!
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me about the new album, any title as of yet?
Shanice: I don’t have a title yet. But we’re still in the early stages though. I recorded a bunch of songs and I said nah I’m not happy with these songs. So I kinda pushed those to the side. It’s almost like I’m starting over again (laughs). I just wanna make sure I put out, you know.. the right material and don’t just put anything out there. As of right now, I just did a few songs with Warren Campbell. I got a few more producers, I’m going to work with, but we’re in negotiations right now so I can’t mention them yet. But they have worked with everybody! This time around I’m going to have some really great producers, I’m real excited about it. This time around, because the last album was real Urban AC and I love Urban AC. But this time I wanna do some more up-tempo, like dance. I wanna do some stuff where people can dance in the club to it.
UrbanBridgez.com: At this time do you have any idea what the first single will be?
Shanice: It’s still early, so I don’t know. But I am putting a rush on it, because I still want it out this year. So we’re gonna hurry up and get it done.
UrbanBridgez.com: Will you tour for the new album?
Shanice: Yes! That’s what I’m working on now. I definitely wanna tour for this album for sure. I love being on stage. I love looking out and see the audience. I mean I love recording, but doing it live, there is nothing like it. It’s the best feeling in the world. So I definitely wanna get out there. The last time I saw you, I was on tour with *NSYNC (laughs). I remember, I had a ball!
UrbanBridgez.com: It was a lot of fun (laughs)! You’re actually one of the few current singers who can actually act as well, when will fans get to see you on the big screen or your next TV project?
Shanice: Yes! I’m gonna actually sit down with two agents next week. Right now I’m putting a whole new team together. I just got new management, I have a meeting with the two agents next week, who want to represent me. So yeah, my dream is to do movies and right now I’m actually getting ready to start rehearsal. For a musical called “Colored Girls,” it’s gonna be playing at… I can actually call you back and give you the name of the theater. It’s gonna be playing in Westwood California. It’s gonna be a six week run.
UrbanBridgez.com: You’ve been in the game for such a long time, what has been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to face as a recording artist?
Shanice: Umm, getting pregnant and getting treated like (laughs), I had a disease. They treated me the same way they treated Toni Braxton. I guess they feel like if you’re pregnant, the fans are not gonna find you sexy, you’re not beautiful anymore. You know, it’s really sad and now it’s like every magazine I open up. There are pregnant women on the covers and all and now it’s fine to glamorize it and it should of always been that way. I guess I got pregnant when it wasn’t fashionable (laughs). You know what I’m sayng? So that was really challenging for me dealing with that. But you know it was a blessing, because I’ve always wanted to be more than a singer. I wanted to be a business woman as well. So I said, this gives me a chance to start my own company. I’ve always looked up to the people like Puffy, Jay Z and people like that. Even like Queen Latifah, I was saying I wanna be like them. So it was a blessing in disguise. I got to put out my first release independently and for it to be my first independent project. It did well, I’m not mad at it. I learned from it. I know next time what not to do, what to do, I know now, I found the right team and I’m just really excited about the new one. And doing this thing all over again, because I’m learning. It’s funny I was looking at some old footage. I have so much old footage I’ve done like old interviews and I said as a child, one day I wanna have my own label. I’m like wow, I spoke that and now it’s here. So it’s always been a dream. Even when I was a little girl I use to make up my own business cards (laughs). I was 8 years old and my cousin and I would pretend like we were business women (laughs). We had our own cards, we would sit in my little closet and pretend it was a recording studio. I would have my little tape recorder, recording songs and singing. I still have that tape, till this day.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some artists you would love to work with, I personally would like you and Brandy to record something?
Shanice: I love Brandy, I think Brandy’s hot! Umm, Beyonce’ of course. Who else.. Christina Aguilera is amazing. Years ago I was told Whitney Houston wanted to do a song with me. We have a mutual friend a guy named Don he does sound for me and he also does Whitney’s sound. And he told me more than once Whitney wants to do something with me. So I would love to work with Whitney Houston! I love Miss Whitney. I love Usher, it’ so many. I could go on and on. I did just get the chance to sing with Sting. I did an event for Narada Michael Walden. A charity event, for this little boy who was taking a piano lesson and someone was shooting outside and they shot him. And now he’s paralyzed, so Narada had a big concert for him. It had to be about 300 people on that stage, the orchestra was huge. I got the chance to sing with Sting. Tevin Campbell was on the show, Lisa Fischer, and some more people. A lot of singers, it was really nice. I didn’t know Stings range was that high! He hit some notes and I was like.. ahh (laughs). Because when I did my sound check Sting wasn’t there, so when we got on stage I’m thinking he’s going to sing his part really low. He sang his part almost higher than I sang my part (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: You’re getting into Twitter more, you started out just really twittering a few people like a mutual friend we have and me, now you’re always twittering (laughs). What is it about Twitter that draws you?
Shanice: I know (laughs). What draws me? Hum, I don’t know what it is, I’m just really addicted (laughs). You know I think it’s like because I’m a big reality show fan. Talking to the public is kinda like the addiction I have for watching reality shows. It’s just cool to chat with the fans and see what they’re doing, it’s a fun thing to do (laughs). Plus this time around I want my fans to really get to know me, the person. By me twittering on a day to day basis, I feel like they’ll get to know me. Like I was goofing around and I put these videos of me on YouTube. Like of me cooking and whatever. And I had people saying wow I didn’t know you were really like that. It’s like people really don’t know how silly I really am (laughs). Sometimes I have to tell myself, to chill out sometimes (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: (laughs) I know and considering some of your friends and husband I’m sure..
Shanice: I’m telling you, at our house between myself and Flex. Everybody that steps in my house, says this is a reality show. The thing about us is we don’t want a reality show based on us. It seems like every couple, almost every couple who has done that has broken up. But you know, I don’t have that fear because me and Flex put God first in our marriage. We do a lot of praying & that’ why I believe we have been married 9 years. In this business it’s hard for people to stay together a year. It’s really hard.
UrbanBridgez.com: How is the family, as well as your Mother, she’s so sweet?
Shanice: My Mom is good, she has been singing all over the world. In France, Vegas, really getting herself out there. I’m really, really happy. My mother is the one, I mean everything I have learned about singing, I learned from her. My moms an amazing singer. My kids are great! My daughter is going to the third grade, it feels like I just gave birth (laughs). My son is graduating this week from preschool, he’s going to kindergarten. Time is going by so fast. I got kind of sad yesterday and you shouldn’t do this, I should just be going day by day, but.. I was thinking in ten years my daughter is gonna be 18. She turned 8 so fast, it’s like in ten years she will be an adult. They bring me so much joy. I was just telling my aunt this morning, I feel bad because a lot of artists only think of their careers. And you might be hot today, but tomorrow your record may not sell. So some end up on drugs and have a nervous breakdown when things don’t work out. And their careers don’t go well. It’s because they’ve made that their entire life. I have found happiness in other places and not just my career. My family, just hanging with my friends, people who really love me. Like me and my aunt were saying, people have to realize it’s more than life then the industry. That and prayer, I am a praying woman. I pray and God brings me peace. I’m not gonna let this business drive me crazy (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: There was an article on MediaTakeOut.com recently regarding you and Fergie. Is there anything about that situation that you wanna set straight? I was shocked to find out there was more truth in the report than I thought would be.
Shanice: Fergie and I are cool, I’ve known her since I was 11. We both did Kids Incorporated. Yeah I think other people made it a bigger issue than what it was. I don’t know if Fergie was joking because I haven’t talked to Fergie since the event. She asked me what my name was, she was like who are you? I was like Fergie, it’s me, Shanice (laughs)! So I don’t know till this day if she was playing. I wanna ask her, so I don’t know if she was trying to diss me. But there were a lot of the people in the crowd, saying wow she was trying to diss you. Some were walking away angry, some came up to me and was saying stuff like don’t worry about that, etc. So I don’t know, she could of been joking because I have known Fergie since I was a little girl. I wanna talk to her myself, when I see her we’ll sit down and I’ll have a heart to heart with her. I don’t know, I am still cool with her though and I’m still a fan. I think she’s dope. Even after she asked me my name, I was still on my feet during her show cheering her on!
UrbanBridgez.com: Off the top of your head, what are the three essential R&B songs that are a must have?
Shanice: Let me see, Rock With You, Michael Jackson. Everytime I hear that song, I wanna dance and I just start smiling. It takes me back to my childhood. I love that song. Whitney, “I Will Always Love You.” Who else, it’s like when I’m on the spot so it’s hard to answer (laughs). I grew up listening to so many artists. That’s really hard. I know there is one more…
UrbanBridgez.com: Feel free to say one of yours (laughs).
Shanice: (laughs). I was gonna say “No 1/2 Steppin” by me (laughs).
UrbanBridgez.com: We were just talking about that video on the website forum.
Shanice: Oh really! (laughs). It’s so funny because people talked about my outfit in that video so bad (laughs). I pretty much did what the label told me to do, so. Wow that was a really good period for me.
UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some artists that don’t get enough credit you feel deserve a lifetime achievement award?
Shanice: I would like to see myself get an award (laughs). Shoot I was thinking the other day, I been singing for a long time. I signed my first contract when I was 11, that’s all I’ve ever done my whole life. I’ve never worked a 9 to 5 job my whole life, thanks to God! I’ve worked so hard over the years, so I would love to get an award. But if not myself… Tamia, I think Tamia is amazing. Deborah Cox, of course Faith! I just sang with Lisa Fischer, and oh my God. She is not to be played with! She is amazing. She was unbelievable. And my girl Rachael Ferell (laughs). Two years in a row, she sang Happy Birthday to me and every time she has, tears have ran down my face. She is beyond amazing. I always tell her she’s someone from another planet. She is so dope (laughs). And I love Tevin (Campbell), I told him he needs to come back out. He’s been doing theater for the last 3 years. He needs to come back out, he is absolutely amazing.
I just think it’s sad, when you have real talent out there. People support the more gimmicky stuff rather than the people that can really sing. And I never till this day could understand it. I ain’t gonna lie, I went through this period, where I was like maybe I shouldn’t really sing. Maybe sing really straight and don’t do any runs and then maybe people will except it (laughs). I’m telling you if you name all the biggest stars out there, people like the more gimmicky stuff and that makes me so mad. I mean listen to Deborah, Tamia, listen to Rachael Ferrell they are amazing. They’re doing very well, but I think it could be better. It’s not the fans, because I get on the internet and see what people have to say about everybody. People are saying they wanna hear real singers again. The audience wants to hear it, but the industry is stopping it. They’re not putting the money behind it, to promote it.
UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for your fans?
Shanice: I wanna say to my fans, from the bottom of my heart. That they are part of the reason I am recording my new music. I’ve always been a strong person because I have God in my life! Like I told you, I have my family and friends around who love me. But there was a period where I was gonna stop, completely stop singing. Because of being frustrated with the business part of it. I kid you not, I was gonna make an announcement, because I wasn’t gonna do it anymore. I got on the internet and was reading what the fans were saying. I read the bad stuff too, doesn’t bother me. But the good stuff I read made me wanna move forward. I said I’m trippin (laughs), people want my next record to come out. I gotta make another record. So I just wanna thank my fans for encouraging me to sing. By keeping me encouraged!
Listen To NEW Shanice!
Written & Produced by Steven Russell
(also working on the new Shanice album)
Visit Shanice’s Official MySpace Page!