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Determination is one thing. Determination paired with natural talent and passion is something else altogether. Emerging songstress Shonie possesses that â€œsomething elseâ€.
Shonie, (pronounced Shaw-nee), is the newest member of Slip-N-Slide Records, whose roster includes rap stalwarts Rick Ross, Plies, Trick Daddy and Trina. But Shonie chronicles a new chapter in Slip-N-Slideâ€™s storied history: the Miami-based songstress signals the labelâ€™s foray into R&B.
Driven by a determination and passion dating back to childhood, Shonie possesses a unique vocal and lyrical skill set that stunningly reflects the left-of-center edginess that is Slip-N-Slideâ€™s hallmark. This singer/songwriter delivers her own striking definition of edgy R&B.
The singer is currently generating nationwide buzz with first single â€œCanâ€™t Let Go.â€ Featuring rapper Fabolous, the bouncy club jam showcases exactly who Shonie is: a fresh face with a fresh sound sharing unvarnished truths about life, love and female empowerment. Pumping up the trackâ€™s head-nodding groove are Shonieâ€™s strong, sassy vocals and frank lyrics about trying to end a wayward love affair:
â€œGirls keep telling me off / They say now girl, youâ€™re too soft / They say heâ€™s tearing you up / Youâ€™re giving him all your stuff / But I donâ€™t care no more.â€
The infectious beat of â€œCanâ€™t Let Goâ€ is just one of the many illuminating surprises on Shonieâ€™s Slip-N-Slide debut album, the aptly titled â€œPassionate Pieces of Me.â€ It runs the gamut from pulsating club jams and mid-tempo charmers to heat-seeking ballads. Among the slate of hit-making producers helping Shonie craft her â€œPassionateâ€ experiences are J.R. Rotem (Britney Spears), Jim Jonsin (T.I.) and the GhostWriters (Keyshia Cole).
Whether singing about relationships or wanting a better lifeâ€"as she does to arresting effect on another track, â€œLights, Camera, Actionâ€â€"Shonie says the concept behind â€œPassionate Pieces of Meâ€ is simple and straightforward. â€œIâ€™m a very blunt person who says what I feel, and music is my way of expressing that. I write and sing about things people are afraid to say. Thatâ€™s my truth.â€
Shonieâ€™s musical talent began commanding attention after her Bahamian family relocated from South Bronx, NY to Miami. The nine-year-old initially entertained notions of being a rapper. Upon hearing Shonie sing, however, her mother steered the youngster into the church choir while exposing her to the artistry of such signature chanteuses as Billie Holiday and Lena Horne.
But it wasnâ€™t until Shonie performed her first show a couple of years later that everything began to click. â€œI was 11 or 12,â€ recalls the singer, baby sister to three older brothers. â€œPerforming before an audience alone for the first time was nerve-wracking, but the reaction was amazing. And thatâ€™s when it hit me: this is something I could do for the rest of my life.â€
A self-taught drummer whose influences include Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, BeyoncÃ© and veteran soulster Betty Wright, a home-schooled Shonie began spending every day in the studio. Resulting demos spotlighting the then-17-year-oldâ€™s vocal and lyrical chops led to a deal with Miami-based indie South Beat Records.
The deal later soured. But that didnâ€™t stop manager James Jackson from spearheading a mixtape to build momentum behind the unsigned artist. Jackson teamed Shonie with chart topping Miami producer Jim Jonsin (â€œWhatever You Likeâ€, â€œLollipopâ€) for the project. Hosted by DJ Khaled, â€œStreet Heat, Vol. 1â€ caught the attention of Slip-N-Slide CEO Ted Lucas.
Shonie has since racked up an enviable list of credits. She has been featured on tracks by Trina (â€œWish I Never Met Youâ€), Flo Rida (â€œSlow It Downâ€), and Trick Daddy (â€œChangeâ€) Current writing gigs include the chorus (sung by Ashanti) for the smash hit by Plies, â€œWant It Need It" and upcoming projects by Trina ("Keep It On The Hush")
Down the road, Shonie wants to try her hand at acting. Also on her to-do list: the eventual launch of a perfume line. Acting and entrepreneurial urges aside, however, the recording studio remains Shonieâ€™s comfort zone.
â€œWhen Iâ€™m no longer an artist singing onstage, I want to be respected as a writer,â€ she says. â€œIf God allows me to continue on, Iâ€™ll still be in music when Iâ€™m 65 or 95. My life revolves around music.â€