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Persephone Pioneers

Persephone Pioneers: Shanica Knowles

When I first heard Shanica Knowles sing, I knew that this girl had pipes. What I didn’t know was that she was a pro and has been doing this all her life, from her beginnings at Showtime at the Apollo to her now-rising star as a musician. A woman whose talents range from acting in more well-known shows as Hannah Montana and Jump, Shanica has covered the field in acting and singing, all at the tender age of twenty-one. Not to be outdone, she has written more than forty songs, and while she doesn’t have her own CD out yet (seriously, what’s the hold up?), she has amazing talent and a real love for what she’s doing. We can only hope that the future is going to bring her all the success we know she has coming her way. Please join me in welcoming the fantastic Shanica Knowles.

Persephone Magazine: How would you classify yourself as an artist and the style of music you are making?
Shanica Knowles: My style is alternative pop. I’ve been compared to Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift.

PM: You gravitate between acting and music ““ how did you get started in either and do you have a preference for one or the other?
SK: I’ve been performing on stage since the age of three through school functions and started acting at age 14 in L.A. We moved out to California to further my singing career, however my acting took over first, and now I’m doing both. It can get crazy at times, but you just learn how to adjust and make it happen, go go go. Singing is my preference, I love writing and singing/performing to a crowd.

PM: You have been on stage your entire life ““ from It’s Showtime at the Apollo to Hannah Montana. What was that like growing up? Is it different now that you are older and more experienced in the industry?
SK: Well, my mom is a teacher and every year I look forward to the summer because it’s touring time for me, traveling and showcasing for the entire summer, and sometimes my friends come with us. When I was younger it was fun fun and exciting, and now it’s still fun and exciting just at a different level. I’m more creative now.

Shanica Knowles.Image courtesy of Shanicaknowles.com

 

PM: Where has your music been taking you?  What are some of the cool events you have been able to be involved in?

SK: My music has been taking me all over the States, meeting all kinds of exciting people and friends. I’ve been performing in a lot of charity events and singing the National Anthem at different sporting events.


PM: You write all your own music ““ what’s that process like and what are your concerns when you are writing?
SK: I write most of my music and enjoy co-writing with others. The process of writing happens all kinds of ways. Sometime a melody would come in my sleep, over and over again and I’d get up and play it on my guitar and slowly words would just come to me. My life and friends’ experiences could turn into lyrics– I would type it up on my laptop with my other logs of songs. And sometimes I could be sitting down watching TV and a concept of something would just pop up in my head and I would just start creating a song. My best songwriting occurs when it’s not planned.
PM: What are some of the unseen aspects of being a touring musician that people may not always recognize?
SK: Well, mainly how crazy it can become. Spending all that time on the road and away from loved ones is crazy. Sometimes you can lose or forget items and have to buy them at the next tour stop. Planning can get crazy as well. You always have to have a backup plan! Communication is always key on the road. Something else that’s very important is resting, finding when to get it and actually sleeping.
PM: What are the obstacles in the industry that you have faced? Do you think that there are still racial biases or expectations when it comes to being an artist of color?  What about the element of sexism or having the pressure to have your image “sexed up”?
SK: Obstacles, wow! Knocking on doors and getting turned down, you start to second guess yourself at times. Some don’t like my style and some don’t like my look! Staying positive and faithful helps me a lot. Artist of color? Somewhat, I try not to buy into all of that. I feel as long as I continue to believe in who I am my time will come, just being myself.
Shanica in concert. Image courtesy of Shanicaknowles.com
PM: Who are you hoping to affect most with your music, as well as your position as a successful musician?
SK: Well, most would be my age group, being 20 we go through a lot of changes, physical and mentally, and if my lyrics can help and change someone else’s life then that’s what keeps me motivated. I love making a difference in someone else’s life. This is my gift from God.
PM: What awesome stuff can we look forward from you in the future?
SK: Definitely more viral videos. I love singing! I have a lot of upcoming projects on the acting side of things, and some summer touring as well. We’re also working on a high school tour. Follow me on Twitter (@IamShanica) and I’ll keep you informed step by step. :)

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