Vixen Chat: Shanell Talks ‘Midnight Mimosas,’ Life Lessons from YMCMB and Being a Musical Multitasker


When you’re making your music, what comes first: the idea or the melody?
I’m definitely a very vibe-y person. I’m all about what I feel. So I have to hear the music and have a feeling. Most of the time, the feeling comes out in a sound, a melody. Then I’ll tell a story with the melody I like. I could put an album together right now of music and melody with no words.

What can listeners learn about you when they hear your album?
I’m not really making my album about me; I’m just trying to give people an escape. I listened to Michael Jackson, Madonna and Mary J. Blige and I never thought about it really being about them, just wherever they took me.

Fast-forward five years, what goals will you have checked off your to-do list?
I want to get a really large female following. On my twitter and Instagram that I have a lot of young girls that follow me because they need a leader, or an answer to whatever they might be going through and are too scared to tell somebody else. I want to create some kind of place, school, summer camp, organization that gives the support that they need just to be a woman in the world. It’s just so hard right now. The music right now is so male-heavy. It’s all about, “I wanna do this to her, I wanna make her do this.” It’s not “I love her and she’s my everything.” I want to create something sound for young females to be a part of.
How do you feel the music climate is in terms of the females? How do you think girls are progressing in 2013?
We’re not. I And I support any female artist. The breakthrough is going to be a little difficult because it’s just hip-hop right now, which is really male dominated, and it’s dominating the radio stations. I don’t know what’s going on, but I feel like every woman has a buck-er side to them. I don’t think we’re giving the industry that buck side. Yeah, we can be sensitive and emotional, but it’s like ‘aye, open the door.’ I got something to say.