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Shontelle spills secrets

Leigh-Ann Worrell

Shontelle spills secrets

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First, she flaunted her Shontelligence.
As she spread her wings, nothing could hold her down – for Shontelle, there was No Gravity.
But as she carefully prepares the release of her third studio effort, the Impossible singer realizes that number three is the one which could “make or break” her five-year efforts.
“Third time’s the charm, right? It’s gotta happen!” the self-confessed optimist declared in a recent interview.
Serenaded by the sounds of waves and sunset entertainment at the Hilton Barbados on a Friday evening after a question and answer session with the ladies of Honey Jam 2013, Shontelle Layne seemed a bit hot and bothered by her hometown’s temperature, but exuded the cool confidence of a down-to-earth girl from “just ’cross de road.”
More than aware of the music industry, filled with artistes who will do just about anything for a chance to be in the spotlight, Shontelle still prefers to be known for good music.
And so she plans waiting until the time is right. But don’t be fooled: she can still name-drop like the best of them – boasting writing credits for Kelly Rowland, Kelly Clarkson, Ne-Yo and R. Kelly, among others.
“Sometimes you schedule . . . but you know the time is not now, and you shouldn’t just throw an album out there just because, because you will lose. You have to have a strategy, your PR has to be in place, the right collection of songs that make sense together [and] . . . tell a story. When [artistes] get on album three, it gets like that. They keep changing, because this is make or break right now. It is not just fun anymore; there are serious expectations,” she said, honestly and emphatically.
“ . . .You may not get another chance so it is like walking on eggshells; you have to be extra cautious . . . and that is where we are right now.”
Known locally for Colours, the evergreen hit made in collaboration with Natahlee, Shontelle admitted there was no time set for the release of her third album, even though a new single, Put It On Blast, will be hitting airwaves in a few weeks. She revealed summer or Christmas of 2014 were possible targets, with more singles out before the big release.
“Your album may have a schedule and they may feel you have momentum and they are just trying to go, but you don’t feel like you are ready to put out another album,” she continued, adding that notable names on the entertainment scene, including Beyoncé had pushed back their albums by months.
However, some artistes, like Rihanna, seem to be an exception to the rule.
Shontelle lays down a bit more of that 2008 intelligence: “Rihanna is a different type of artiste. There is the people’s artiste and then there is an artiste artiste. [With artistes like Rihanna] it is a specific machine and you are not a person anymore. Once you start making over a certain amount of money . . . they tell you [when] to go [and] you cannot stop.”
This is amplified, she said, when there are no other billable skills in the Louis Vuitton bag.
“Those who are also on the creative side tend to take more time and more care and don’t rush them out. [Adele’s] 19 came out so many years ago and Amy Winehouse’s albums were almost six years apart. Lauryn Hill put out an unplugged version of an album but there is a reason for that. When you are an artiste artiste, it takes so much time to put out an album.”
And for the face of Cat shoes, that kind of pace she believed she can keep up with, admitting she preferred Adele’s pace where she can put out the music she loved but still take a break “to be a person” and pursue other interests, like a possible foray onto the silver screen.
Without saying too much, she revealed the movie focused on a teen girl from a small island who moves to a big city (sounds familiar?). It starts filming in July 2014.
“I think the movie was inspired by Rihanna . . . and I am hoping the movie actually happens and sees the light of day, because with movies and music, anything could happen.
“But it is still exciting to be called and some pretty big names [are involved] and it might be the beginning of my career moving to a new level.”
Shontelle’s lease on the North American entertainment industry comes from years of experience – and as much as she was happy to share her tricks and tidbits with the ladies of Honey Jam, she wished there was someone like her to do the same when she was trying to make it.
“There were certain contracts I wouldn’t have signed or I would have read more. It is a blessing to be able to survive things like signing the bad contract and keep going. That doesn’t happen all the time. Even if there is no Honey Jam, get on the Internet,” Shontelle advised like an honest big sister we all wish for, “It is better to be prepared if you want to be successful.”