UTH MAG interviews Shontelle, Dubai
Shontelle sat down with the guys from Uth Mag for an interview. They talked about Family, Rihanna, her last album No Gravity and law. You can read the interview below:
“Chillin’ with Shontelle at the Address!
She was nothing like what one would expect a popular R&B star to be. She seemed to have no Diva tantrums; instead she came across as someone who has their head on their shoulders and feet on the ground. Meet Shontelle Layne- who was in Dubai for the much awaited Dance2Lax event. Most of us know the Barbadian singer and songwriter from her popular, chart topping (and first ever) single, “T-shirt” from the debut album “Shontelligence.”
Even in the unforgiving evening humid heat by the pool of her swanky hotel room, she had no star studded glory to set her physically apart. Dressed in a simple bundee, jeans and a cute pair of bright fluffy bedroom slippers, we started what would on the outside have seemed a conversation with a new acquaintance.
Family first: When asked how she first got into the business, Shontelle spoke fondly of her aunt in Barbados, Kim Derrick, a Caribbean singer who encouraged her to pursue singing. Having grown up with music Layne said she was really just “Born into it.” Recounting encouragement from her mother, Layne spoke of several instances when she would sing in the closet- being too shy to sing out loud- and her mother once said “even the neighbors can hear you, Shan!” Layne recalls her mother teaching her “not to hide and sing.” At school, she would hang out in the music room all the time. One thing led to another, and before she knew it, Layne was asked to write for Alison Hinds, a local artist. The result was “Roll,” a 2005/2006 hit, which would go on to become a club hit in US, UK and even parts of Africa.
Rihanna and Layne: “Barbados is really so small,” said Layne when asked about her friendship with Rihanna. With hardly 300,000 people, it must be hard not being friends with a celebrity. There was not a hint of irk or annoyance at the thought of being compared with her fellow Barbadian singer, instead, Layne pleasantly recalled going to cadet camp, where
Layne later worked with Rihanna on her album Save the last dance 2for a track called “The Hotness“. Layne was also signed by SRP (Syndicated Rhythm Productions (SRP)/ Universal Motown Records), the same group led Rihanna to stardom.
No Gravity: Layne’s second album, “No Gravity,” released in 2010 gets its name from her philosophy of “putting things out” to the universe. Layne’s desire to go “higher and higher,” to “keep rising” and succeed was the inspiration behind the album name, to prophetically foretell her future success.
The album featured a song by the same name which voices the light and giddy feeling of being in love. Layne quoted a line from the song that best described that feeling as “walking on thin air in a bubble.”
Law and order: A lesser known fact about the singer is her law and philosophy degree from University of the West Indies where she was a straight A student with a concentration in entertainment and copyright law. Layne saw this as a fit choice because not only was her family in the music business which ignited her curiosity to further understanding the industry, but she says it also helps her in her day to day workings. “Every day is contracts, contracts, agreements agreements..!” Layne and her lawyers often work together where she can “notice something they’ve missed.” This provides Layne with an advantage- to better understand and have “insight” into the actual industry while still having law as a back-up plan. She feels fortunate to have been raised that way, and that “maybe one day” when “No one wants to see me shaking it” she would go back to law as a career option.
It was a pleasure to be in rendezvous with the wonderful, extremely talented and “very chill” Shontelle Layne. We wish her all the “no gravity” levitating success!”