EXCLUSIVE: Catching Up With Shontelle
Known for her debut R&B hit, T-Shirt, the Obama Campaign song, Battle Cry and the soundtrack of Confessions of a Shopaholic, Stuck With Each Other, Shontelle just keeps rising and proving to the world that she’s got it!
This Barbadian beauty took some time out of her ridiculous schedule to answer a few of my questions on fashion, the up-coming album No Gravity and her newest single Impossible.
1. How would you describe your personal style?
It really varies depending on my mood but I’d say a combo or surfer chick/skater girl/rock&roll/high fashion. Sometimes I’ll even go hobo! LOL!
2. Who is your favourite fashion designer?
At the moment I love Marc Jacobs. He never fails me. Plus he designs for Louis Vuitton, a staple in my everyday wardrobe.
3. When it comes to fashion, would you say you’re a minimalist or do you like to go all out?
Once again it depends. Sometimes naked/bare chic is right for the occasion. Tends to be softer and more romantic and natural. I prefer that for dinners/red carpet etc. But for stage or videos, I go ALL OUT! Some days I just feel like being crazy and I do something obnoxious like wear sunglasses or shoes that clearly have no right anywhere except a W or Harper’s Bazaar fashion spread or on a catwalk!
I like comfort first and foremost usually, especially since I travel a lot. But I do have an obsession with high fashion and I can’t help myself at times. You’ll never know how much pain I’m in
5. Jimmy Choos or Christian Louboutins?
Ha ha! YSL or Giuseppe Zinnotti? :p
6. How do you put together your daily outfits? Do you have a stylist?
I have about 3 different favourite main stylists. 1 who just shops with me and helps me create my everyday looks (which I then put together myself day to day) and 2 others which I interchange for videos, performances etc. Often they collaborate with choreographers, set designers, management, PR, Marketing and each other. Styling is a very delicate process and can be very frustrating and complicated. It’s fun when you get it right. Not so fun when you don’t. But I have worked with so many stylists worldwide for different events and photo shoots etc.
7. Are you a fashion week regular? Or do you not like social events?
Ha ha! I NEVER miss fashion week! I usually get invited to a lot of designers shows and parties. Sometimes I even walk/model! This year I made my usual rounds at New York Fashion and I’ll also be doing LA Fashion Week events. I can’t wait to go to the international ones like London, Paris and Milan! Don’t even get me started on Asian fashion!
Shontelle posing with Vanessa Williams at the Ugly Betty Gala.
8. What was your most memorable fashion moment? (positive or negative)
OMG! Best fashion moment? Well apart from my features and spreads in Vogue, Elle and In Style, I’d say, shooting the Licky music video. I have never been surrounded by and adorned with more fierceness and "fabulosity" in my life!
A shot from the Licky music video.
9. Now, let’s talk about the up-coming album. What inspired you for this album?
All my experiences from Shontelligence. I travelled so many places and experienced so many things. So many new cultures, new art, new food, new music. No Gravity is a blend of all that!
10. The first single Licky, a provocative club banger, is not what you’re really known for. What made you come out of your comfort zone?
My “comfort zone” huh? Well I’m not quite sure what that is but I just put it this way. For me, music is much like film and TV are for actors. It’s fun to pretend to be someone else. I enjoy playing many different roles because I know somewhere, someone can relate. I like to make music for everyone. And some people are kinda licky! LOL!
11. Your more recent track, Impossible, is being VERY well received by your fans. Another ballad like T Shirt, which showcases your amazing vocals and really pulls at the heart strings. What was the inspiration for this one?
Impossible is truly perhaps one of my best vocal performances ever! It’s such a beautiful song and I love it so much. I gave my everything on that track. If you’re asking if it’s inspired by a real life experience….YES!
12. Did you write the song as well?
Actually I didn’t add much to Impossible except for my vocals and my emotion. They let me produce my own ad libs and stuff. Great producer, Arnthor Birgisson of the Aristotracks! The Swedish have taken over the pop game!
13. When will the album be dropping?
Probably closer to Summer 2010
14. Any collaborations?
Some freakin' amazing collabs! I’m so hyped! Wish I could spill the beans but if I do now, Sylvia Rhone will kill me!
15. Any more endorsements or any fashion lines we should be looking out for?
I’m actually working on some very cool stuff this year. Stay tuned…
16. Finally, what is your advice for the aspiring artistes out there that look up to you, especially those from Barbados?
Well every person’s entry into this industry is very unique and there is no particular strategy or formula except to have a team (note that word!) that you can trust and who are savvy and work hard! If you don’t you WILL fail! Believe in yourself, your talent and your ability to succeed. Go hard! Many people expected me to fail and even wanted that. The odds that I would were far greater than those of me making it. But talent only goes so far. You have to be smart! If music is what you love, then study your craft. Don’t just study the music, study the music business. It ain’t no sweet bread! You might not like the taste. But dessert is ALWAYS great!
Check out Shontelle's Impossible music video.