Thursday, February 11, 2021

Shantel C. Visits Section 36 Music!

Section 36 Music has another visitor! Shantel C is an incredibly talented singer, and I was so excited she was willing to visit with us and discuss her recent music, her future, and more. I’m sure you’ll love everything she has to say.

So, let's see what happens when Shantel C visits Section 36 Music!

I really enjoyed your latest single, “Mostram”. What can you tell me about it?

Firstly, thank you so much for connecting with my music! I’m so glad you enjoyed this most recent project, which was a very unexpected and different experience for me! I say unexpected because the song started as only a small collaboration piece between me and my good artist friend Santos Silva. We initially planned to put together just a quick clip for Instagram after having virtually met during a live-streamed event in which we were both guest artists. Little did either of us know that this tiny collab would turn into something more professional! Him being based all the way in L.A., I was so surprised to hear that he was planning on flying over to Boston, and it was then that I got the idea to get us in a studio and started to get all the logistics situated. In the span of a week, we had a fully fleshed out song and production that completely exceeded our expectations! In terms of the experience being different, the genre itself was completely brand new for us both. As a Cape Verdean-American artist myself, I had been sticking to the more traditional sound of the culture while Santos, who’s also Cape Verdean-American, has never had the chance to explore his Cape Verdean identity through music until we embarked on this project. We really wanted to use this opportunity to blend our cultures using bilingual lyrics on top of a Kizomba/Afropop production to represent our identities.

“Mostram” is actually the first song I’ve ever written completely on my own in terms of lyrics along with the support of Santos’ beautiful melody. Not having much prior songwriting experience, I was nervous and yet so excited to finally fulfill that role! While I promised myself I’d never write a love song in my career as an artist, Santos and I both agreed that we could find a way to write something romantic that still strayed away from “the cliché”. We drew from our thoughts on the modern dynamic between people romantically interested in one another. Society often places pressure on the more masculine figure to make the first move and mask emotion while creating an expectation for the feminine counterpart to need to wait in order to be pursued. We wanted to make a song that would influence people to chase after love without fear or hesitance. After all, the nature of something as powerful and brilliant as love should never be limited or controlled by outer forces; all that matters is that pure and authentic connection and feeling–one of the most beautiful forces to exist between us as humans. 

You’re currently attending Berklee College of Music. What’s the most important thing you see that doing for your career?

Apart from equipping me with the tools I’ll need in order to navigate the music industry successfully, I think the most important thing attending Berklee will provide is exposure to the vastness of possibility. Though I’m currently only a second semester student at the college, I already feel like I’ve been introduced to so many different types of music, ideas, and people within such a short period of time. Having that exposure has definitely opened my mind even further and will provide me with such a unique perspective as an aspiring figure in the music business, allowing me to be able to open new doors and really make the most of future collaborations. One of the best parts about Berklee’s student body for me is the fact that so many people come from all over the world, bringing all these different experiences and backgrounds with them. Having the opportunity to learn just as much from your peers as you would from a professor is truly rewarding and will bring my own creative aspirations to new heights for sure. In the same light, the faculty are all incredibly skilled in their areas and not only have so much wisdom to offer but also prioritize students being able to explore themselves and delve into those possibilities.

At Berklee, you’re a member of the phenomenal a cappella group “Treble Threat”. What is that experience like?

Yes! I am so humbled and honored to be part of Berklee’s only all-women a cappella group, and the experience has been so incredibly rewarding. I didn’t think we’d be able to accomplish nearly as much as we have due to the barriers of the pandemic, but the whole team has just been so dedicated, driven, and supportive throughout. The amount of work that our board members put into the group and the projects we release is so motivating and impressive–from the outstanding arrangements to the insanely creative video editing and vision boards, they really make sure Treble Threat is constantly putting our best foot forward and always improving from the last. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the members and creating such a special bond with so many talented and passionate musicians! Despite the fact that our rehearsals have been conducted virtually since the start of the semester, we’ve been able to remain productive while also making time to check-in with each other and connect on a more personal level. Though being completely remote certainly has its challenges when singing in a group, working with Treble Threat this semester has taught me so much about recording vocals and using music production software more comfortably and efficiently. We’re currently working on our submission for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and have some more exciting projects lined up later this year! I’m looking forward to continuing to grow with the group and, hopefully, meeting my family on campus once we’re able to gather in-person!

You’re one of the soloists on Treble Threat’s recent single, “Nice to Meet ya”. What was that like to put together?

Photo by
Khai Boa
The fact that we were able to release a whole single whilebeing miles apart from each other still shocks me. “Nice To Meet Ya” was the very first arrangement I worked on with the group, and it definitely came a long way since our first early takes of the song in the beginning of the semester. One thing that I’ve loved about Treble Threat’s arrangements is how diverse they all are in terms of genre and feel–our amazing arranger Snehal Pandey took a heavy pop song and kept a lot of those pop influences while also fusing them with a jazz flavor. In addition to being the group’s first arrangement, the song was also my first solo with Treble Threat! I was hesitant to take up Nicki Minaj’s rap solo because I wouldn’t call myself a seasoned rapper at all but I’m glad I took the risk! I’ve always respected Nicki for the way she’s contributed to black music as one of the top black female artists of her era. Taking on an alter ego and channeling my inner Nicki energy during the recording process was too much fun, and I absolutely lived for the sass, flair, and attitude that the song brought out in all of us! “Nice To Meet Ya” is available now on all platforms, and we can’t wait to release more music soon!

Who/what would you consider your biggest musical influences?

Photo by
Khai Boa
This question is always a bit of a handful because I pull inspiration from two different markets. Given my dual identity as a Cape Verdean-American, I listen to music from both cultures and am constantly inspired by artists from both music industries. In terms of American artists, my top influences are Lauryn Hill, H.E.R., and Alicia Keys. I greatly admire the authenticity with which they all bring to their artistry and craft and hope to model that same example. I believe the strongest work comes from channeling the truth and bringing your whole self to the table. In Cape Verdean music, I look up to Gil Semedo, Elida Almeida, and Mayra Andrade most for musical inspiration. I absolutely love how these artists have explored within the boundaries of Cape Verdean music and experimented with fresh sounds while maintaining the cultural roots. In the same way, I want my music to represent the bridge between my American and Cape Verdean identity, fusing genres from both cultures into one sound. 

What are your immediate career goals?

As of right now, I am focused on gaining as much as I can out

Photo by
Paulo Monteiro
of studying at Berklee while both finding time to explore myself as a young artist and continuing to discover the stories I want to tell through music. Looking toward my most immediate career goals after college, I hope to get affiliated with the music business and use my internship opportunities at Berklee to propel me into those environments and relationships. While I don’t foresee making music and performing being my main goal in the future, I do wish to keep my career as an artist on the side and continue to work on original music and perform once the live industry returns. Most important, I plan to keep learning and stepping outside of my familiarities while prioritizing my wellbeing and appreciating the present moment to the fullest extent–something I’m always reminding myself of when looking toward my next steps!


That sounds like a well thought out plan!

As always, I want to thank Shantel C for visiting, and for sending along the pictures to accompany the interview.

I know you’ll all want to follow along with her to see what she's up to. The best way is to follow her online on Instagram. It's a great way to make sure you don't miss a thing! 

You can also visit her Section 36 Music page. There you'll find more links, music samples, and pictures. It's a perfect way to enjoy everything she has to offer all in one place.

Thanks again Shantel C, and good luck reaching your goals!

No comments:

Post a Comment