How did all of this start for the 23 year old songstress? It was towards the end of the summer of 2007 when Shanelle decided to leave the confines of a 9 - 5 and follow what seemed a life long dream. While many would describe her decision as a huge career risk, in the eyes of dreamers it is what you callinspired action. Shanelle worked at a banking corporation making good money and when the offer arose to take a higher position, she declined. "I guess God had other plans."
"At the time after reading what is now my favorite book, The Alchemist by Paul Coelho I was convinced the arts would be my life. Sometimes God has to throw you out of the boat so that you can finally learn to swim. And I've been swimming ever since. I can honestly say that I've never been without a dollar in my pocket, and I know that no matter what happens, I'll be fine."
5ptMag asked the artist, with her growing success and release of her Buzz Worthy Debut Album 'Start Something', how does she stay creative? "Staying creative has been a recent battle of mine. Since I'm so business oriented, I don't always find the time to write." Shanelle is constantly working at balancing all details of her life and career, including her creative time. "I do like to write while I'm in transit, on the train, bus, plane, airport terminals, etc." Nonetheless Shanelle plans to dedicate much of the upcoming Summer into the Fall fully focused on her next project, which include her new album as well as some new material. "That album is scheduled to drop January 2009. I'm taking a little longer with this one because I want everything to be stellar and have enough time to be revised and perfected."
A natural on the stage working crowds, Shanelle seems to have that "It factor", able to have the audience hanging on the end of each sentence. In an age when reality television and the American idols have become outlets for artists to get noticed, Shanelle remains so down to earth and humble with a personality built to conquer an Idol Stage. With so many performances under her belt, We asked Shanelle about her strangest experience on stage. "I think the weirdest performance I had was at a club called Santos in South Beach, Florida. They usually had an open mic night, but something was wrong and it ended up being a regular club night. Still, they insisted on stopping the DJ who'd already had a good "drop it like it's hot" groove going on and put me on the mic to do a love poem. Imagine being in the middle of the dance floor with a drink in your hand, dancing with a hot guy, and the music stopping for a poet. It was weird...however, it was a blast regardless. Man, I love a stage. The feeling of connecting with an audience is a rush. I am and I've always been a people-person, so the bigger the crowd, the better. I love making my shows feel more like a conversation than a performance."
For those who haven't heard, Start something by Shanelle Gabriel, it is we at 5ptMag describe as powerful; as it takes the reader through an emotional whirlwind of laughter, sadness, feeling empowered and left in deep thought, many times you find yourself like 'wow I've been through that!'. Many Tracks stick out but one in particular seems to leave the listener ultra intrigued. We asked Shanelle about it:
"The Other Woman......there were many situations where I was the other woman growing up. NOT ON PURPOSE THOUGH! I'd find out later, but in the meanwhile, I was always a good friend, easy to talk to, loves to just hang out, watch sports, play video games, know the lyrics to hip hop songs, and just be a down-to-earth type of sista. Then, they'd say things like, "Shanelle, you're perfect...if only I'd met you earlier." (Laughing). Now, I don't mess with guys with significant others; I don't want that type of karma on me. But I do understand the other woman's feeling...where I was the outlet these guys would have. They'd get so much hell from their girlfriends who didn't know what a good man they had, and then the guy would call me to complain and in some situations to receive comfort. They never left the girlfriend for me, but they held onto me. Maybe if I'd pushed them, they would have cheated, but I wouldn't cross that line. So I wrote this poem as a warning to women who love their significant other. Stay on point! The other woman can come in at any time and mess your whole relationship up, but make sure you don't push him to her. "
On a more serious note, In the summer of 2004, Shanelle was diagnosed with SLE Lupus. Yet she decided that her health would not be something that would limit her success. Using that as her fuel, she decided that she would pursue her dream of being a performing artist as well as encourage others who have obstacles in their path to do the same. She states, "My battle with Lupus has been tedious, but God has a plan. That plan does not include giving up on life. I want to be a testimony to others that no matter what, faith and determination can accomplish any goal." Shanelle presently facilitates creative writing workshops throughout New York City and promotes Lupus awareness.
Her amazing debut album, "Start Something" fuses Shanelle's skill at spoken word poetry with her soulful, sultry singing. Using her upbeat pop, old school hip-hop, and inspirational soul sound, Shanelle's vibrant personality shines through each word and melody she shares. "Every time I perform, I aim to plant a seed in someone, a new perspective. This is more than just standing on a stage simply reading my work or singing a tune. This is me sharing me."