Today we’d like to introduce you to Shani B.
Shani B., we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Sure! I grew up in the inner city of Boston, Massachusetts. My mother is a writer, and my dad is a musician, so I feel like I grew up in the perfect environment to develop into a songwriter and lyricist. I also felt like I lived a double life my entire childhood. I lived in the hood but went to school in the suburbs. Little did I know, the vast differences I began to notice between those two worlds would later become a major influence in the creation of my music. Nevertheless, I was lead to believe that life was about going to college, getting a good job, and starting a family. So like many of my peers, I prepared to do just that. I graduated from college ready to take on the world. I worked a few jobs in my field that I thought I would love, yet I continued to feel unfulfilled. And then music happened… Through a friend of mine, who was pursuing a degree in music at the time, I was introduced to the idea that music, something I had loved my whole life, could actually be a career rather than just a hobby. From there I began to take my craft more seriously and released my freshman project “Mixed Signals.” After a few years of performing and collaborating around Boston, I was ready to go big or go home. And for me, that meant making the decision to move to Los Angeles to further pursue music.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I would describe myself as a wordsmith. Essentially I use words in clever ways to express emotion, experiences, and my unique perspective on life. It just so happens that many of these expressions take up space within certain rhythms and melodic sounds, so it’s also cool if people call me a rapper lol. The reason I first started writing songs is the same reason I do it today. It’s a way of ridding myself of emotional and mental overload in a productive way. I also make music in the hope that someone listening would be able to feel like they’re not alone in whatever they are going through. Most of all though, I make music to inspire, uplift, comfort, and center black women and our shared and different experiences. But of course, others are more than welcome to respectfully observe, and identify with aspects of my work, if it resonates with them.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing artists today is living in a capitalist society that pays people to forget their dreams. In other words, institutions would rather pay people to follow the directions, rather than to create the map. Consequently, artists and potential artists tuck away their creativity in exchange for a “stable” income, robbing the world of the art that could have been. I wish someone told me years ago that it is possible to make a great living doing what you love if you’re willing to put in the work.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can find my work on most major music platforms, or by coming out to one of my live shows. One of the best ways people can support my work is through sharing it and engaging in productive dialogue surrounding the themes discussed in my music.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamshanib/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaniBmusic/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfficialShaniB
- Other: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1PQGLZLoVHO7zufSbZj4NJ?si=eUyS2QGbT-WXquk4zrGxZg