Emcees are a dime a dozen nowadays – if you’re looking for regular, run of the mill punchlines and such. But superstars in the making? Well, that’s a whole other story. Meet Shanell Nicole, the East Coast’s best kept secret.
BET throws up a memorable cypher collection every year. Various hip hop awards shows host more than a fair share of cyphers. But the recent 2017 Shotsbury Cypher is one of the most notable in history, if nothing else because it has an appearance from Shanell Nicole. She’s beautiful, fierce and most importantly, a beast on the mic. She also recognizes the importance of hard work and how it translates to success.
Given that, we are confident Shanell Nicole will go down as one of the dopest femcees in entertainment history.
We caught up with Shanell Nicole recently and here’s what she had to say:
Tell us about yourself.
SHANELL NICOLE: I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina and relocated to Salisbury, North Carolina at the age of 15. Since a child, I have always had a niche for music. At the age of 12, I was writing my own songs and created my own dance routines to go along with them. Singing was and still is an outlet for me to express the trials and tribulations I've been through. As I grew older, I tapped into rap. I've always admired major artists like Lil Kim, Trina, Missy Elliot and Da Brat, to name a few. I felt like to be a true artist, I should be able to do both. So I started perfecting my craft in both areas. Here I am today, aiming for success in both areas.
Does being from North Carolina influence your style and art?
SHANELL NICOLE: Being from the North Carolina definitely shaped my image. It’s a different type of style, slang and presence we have in the South. I'm the mix of the sweet southern girl with a dope flow and witty lyricism and because of that, I am looked at as the unexpected. In person, people may only see the charming side until I open my mouth and it's like, wait it a minute, this little chic is nice on the beat. Although image wise I do get compared to big named artists, which I have no problem. That just tells me I'm heading in the right direction but still have some proving to do until there are no comparisons, just that's Shanell Nicole.
What sets you apart from other artists?
SHANELL NICOLE: I believe my creativity sets me aside from other artists. My music is influenced by R&B, rap, country, soul, jazz, and pop, to name a few. When creating a song, I channel all those genres into my lyrics and rhythm. A true artist is knowledgeable, not just about one or two areas of their craft. You should be able to compose music that represents multiple areas, while still staying true to yourself. I have something to say and I want the world to hear it. I want express myself, inspire others and change lives through my music. I want to be a voice for those who feel like they can’t be heard and I will not stop till I do so.
Who all have you worked with?
SHANELL NICOLE: Recently had the pleasure of working with Trapp Tarell on his Timmy Turner videos. I played a character by the name of “Wanda”. I also had the pleasure of working with two very talented up and coming rappers signed with music label MMM (Money Making Musiq), artists Faded and LZ Stunna's, formally known as Lil Zane, artist Dphlo in their new video 'Royal Flush'. As far as music directly, I have worked with other local artists who are trying to accomplish the same goals I am.
Where can we expect to see you in 5 years?
SHANELL NICOLE: In five years, I see myself being a successful entertainer. I want to leave my impact on the world through my music and photos. I want to be able to show there is more to the statistics of uneducated individuals and violence where I come from. There is talent and I am one of many. It’s time for North Carolina to be noticed for its gems that may have been overlooked or unnoticed.
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