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My advice would be to stay persistent and be prepared to work hard!You can’t get anywhere in life without working hard!As a principal dancer for Ne-Yo, who later signed her to his publishing company, Shanell headed out on tour where she continued to record and hone her writing skills, penning songs for Danity Kane, Ne-Yo, Melanie Fiona, Kelis and Jennifer Hudson.She was introduced to Lil Wayne, who offered her a slot on his Young Money Entertainment roster, creative control of her projects, and the opportunity to join him on stage during his I Am Music Tour.A classically trained dancer in the disciplines of Jazz, ballet and modern dance, she began her career as a music video dancer for artists like Ciara.Dancing by day, Shanell penned songs by night to production from Iowa producer and friend Bangladesh, garnering a name for herself as a songwriter. Were you rapping prior to your initial involvement with MTV’s Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness? I’ve been pursuing music for a long time and that’s really my main focus in life.
I felt it was real because I’d been working so hard, and I was like this is finally happening! What inspired the title of your mixtape “Now You Know”?The title is dedicated not only the haters, but to the people that doubted me because a lot of people assume because I’m a happy and funny girl on TV, that there is no way that I could be a rapper or there’s no way I’m “about that life”.I call it “Now You Know” because once you hear it- it’s like you You can tell through my music that I can rap, and just lyrically what I’m saying, you could tell the type of life I lived and who I really am… Who are some of the major features on your mixtape?Because I’ve worked with a lot of producers and everybody would tell me “You have a dope voice and your talented” , but it was Rich who kept it real with me, and told me to step my game up a little more lyrically.So I took his advice, and I got in the zone and began writing every single day until I got better lyrically.
As a child, I was always involved in the performing arts such as hip-hop dances, choirs, and drama.