ReWind: We Revisit Shanice’s Self-Titled LaFace Debut with Shanice!

ReWind Takes You Back to A Release & The People Involved with The Project Speak about it!

Shanice
Shanice
LaFace (1999)

In 1999, singing songbird Shanice released her forth album and first on LaFace Records. The self-titled albums lead single was the mid-tempo single “When I Close My Eyes,” in the video Shanice and her dancers used sign language as apart of the choreography. Making it one of the best and most creative videos that year. The single reached #4 on the R&B charts and cracked the top 15 on Billboards Hot 100. On April 3rd, 1999, the single made chart history when it made the sixth biggest jump in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, moving 75 positions from number 91 to number 16.

Unfortunately, “When I Close My Eyes” would be the only official single released from that album. The follow-up single “Yesterday” was released to retail and radio, but later canceled after the video wasn’t what the label wanted to put out. That was followed-up by the release of “You Need A Man” which was later canceled as well and the video never released. No official reason has ever been given. The album as a whole is a gem to anyone that has it. Babyface, Warryn Campbell, Dallas Austin, Jazz The Man and Rashad Coes did the production on the album.

UrbanBridgez.com talked to Shanice about that release to get her thoughts on it as a whole!

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UrbanBridgez.com: What do you remember being excited about the most when you started recording “Shanice?”
Shanice: The thing I was the most excited about was working with Babyface! Alot of people don’t know this but when I was 10 years old he wrote a song for me called “Personality” when I was on A&M. This was before the world knew about Babyface. I remember the demo and everything and he was singing on it, I really wanted it on the album. But when they brought in Brian Lorenz they wanted one producer for the album instead of having a bunch of different producers. I loved what Brian did with that album, he did the whole thing. But I had always wanted to work with Kenny since I was 10, so when I got signed to LaFace I was like wow, this is my time to do that. We had worked together before on “Turn Down The Lights” and the Boomerang soundtrack. But I was excited about going in with him for this album. One thing I remember is I’m a very shy person and the day I had to go in with him I was so scared to sing. Then I listened back to my vocals and was like that doesn’t sound right, I had to loosen up a little bit.

UrbanBridgez.com: How did you first find out When I Close My Eyes had broken the record for the biggest jump in Billboard History & what was your first reaction?
Shanice: I don’t remember where I was when I found out but I remember screaming and jumping up and down acting a fool (laughs). I was so excited, I mean I’ve been in the business since basically I was born. But everything is still exciting to me. Like if I hear I Love Your Smile on the radio I freak out still. I’m just thankful for everything and excited everytime something great happens for me. That was a great time!

UrbanBridgez.com: The video for When I Close My Eyes is still till this day one of the most creatively chorographed videos ever to me with the sign language and dancing mixed in. Who came up with that and was it difficult to learn?
Shanice: Thank you! Rosario McCoy and Jamal Sims (chorographers) came up with that. I thought it was amazing, I remember trying to learn it. It really wasn’t easy trying to dance and do sign language.
But they were patient with me and we just went over it and over it and I finally got it. Then when we started doing it live, they added blind-folds. So not only did we do sign language but we blind-folded ourselves. And we were actually blind-folded like we couldn’t see, like we could see our feet just a little bit but not much. So we was really taking a chance out there. It was fun, a really, really good time.

UrbanBridgez.com: If you had your choice which song would of been released that wasn’t?
Shanice: Fall For You would of been released! We never got a chance to release it or shoot a video. Also Yesterday definitely would of. I mean we shot a video but they never released it. I mean was Yesterday a single?

UrbanBridgez.com: Yeah they put it out, but later canceled it.
Shanice: Yeah, that’s right, they just kind of threw it out there (laughs). So yeah I really wish Yesterday would of gotten more of a push and we would of released the video. That was one of my favorite songs on the album. Oh and Fly Away, I really wish that would of been released!

UrbanBridgez.com: You and Babyface created some magic on that album and word is he’s one of the producers on the new album, can you tell fans a little about the new magic you two have created?
Shanice: We just started back working together, so right now it’s kind of hard to say what the sound is going to be. But I was just in with him and helping him with this Barbra Streisand project he’s working on. It was really cool, me and Kenny use to do alot of backgrounds together. If you listen to alot of those records he use to produce, he would bring me in on the backgrounds and together our blend is really cool. So on the Barbra Streisand project, he brought me in to sing with him and while we were doing that he said I want to work with you again, I want us to do this. I said yes, I’m ready (laughs)! So we actually just started, so it’s still early to tell what it’s going to be. But I’m excited!

6 Comments
  1. I always wondered what happened with yesterday. Such a beautiful song and I remember buying the cd single. This is a great cd I still play it till this day. A reason is my favorite song from it. I left an abusive relationship with my high school sweetheart thanks to that song. I look forward to Shanice and Babyface reuniting they make beautiful music together.

  2. I freakin luv this cd and thank you urbanbridgez for this. I always wanted to know what happened wit yesterday and why the freakin video was not released. That song would of been major. Shanice is such a gift her voice is so incredible I am so amped for her new music wit babyface. They make magic together. I love this damn website!!

  3. This CD is one of the best R&B/Soul CDs to come out in the 90s. In fact my sister has been blasting it for the past 2 weeks now because not only is Shanice the best female voice ever, she sings with a strong sense of purpose and it is not forced, it is natural. Also the lyrics are plain realistic not sugar coated fairytale of rainbow and butterflies like some other singer, Shanice sings with meaning.
    I greatly recommend this CD because it is like the bible, every time you hear it something new is revealed; that’s how amazing Shanice is. Which is why I am upset that All Music Guide gives it a mixed review, saying that Shanice is too talented a singer with a powerful voice for the songs on the CD. It’s clear AMG lacks vision because after 13 years this album is still fresh. In fact if Shanice do a video for any random song on this CD and releases it as a single it would be spotted on the Billboard chart; that’s how great it is!
    Babyface and Shanice makes great music and I think the time is right for a new project!

  4. Shanice self titled disc is a good disc to me… I’m glad I didn’t have to skip over any songs , Played her disc all the time … One disc I can say I like by her ; She have a nice voice … Back in 99 I didn’t see any promotion of the disc.. The disc was very underrated at the end of the day.Songs fitted her voice, She had that big smile on her face; She was very happy at that time making this disc …

  5. Aww I remember when this cane out I wish Yesterday was pushed its such a beautiful song. I hear it at work on our radio network all the time still.

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