India Shawn is a name that rings bells in the music industry and with R&B fans for several reasons. The Los Angeles born singer has written for Chris Brown, Keri Hilson, Diddy-Dirty Money and El Debarge, just to name a few. She has been featured on BET’s hit show The Game, she was featured on Solange’s Saint Heron compilation album and her Outer Limits EP with James Fauntleroy has created a nationwide buzz for her. We talked to India Shawn about her new project #ReWerc, what to expect on her next R&B album, pursuing your dreams and if she believes R&B is dead.
Artist Name: India Shawn Twitter: @IndiaShawn
Hometown: Born in Los Angeles, CA, currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
You’ll love her if you’re a fan of: Aaliyah, Solange, Bridget Kelly, Jhene Aiko, Keri Hilson, Ciara
You’re approaching year 10 in the music industry. You’ve written for Chris Brown, Diddy-Dirty Money, Keri Hilson & Monica, just to name a few. What gave you the motivation to go from behind boards with the Full Circle writing team to singing as a solo artist?
“What most don’t know is that I was an artist before the writing team came about; a very confused and dewey-eyed artist, but an artist nonetheless [laughs]. I will say that working with and being around artists like Chris Brown and Diddy gave me a new outlook. It was an opportunity to learn what it really takes to do it on a professional level.”
On Origin you worked with Hit Boy and James Fauntleroy, then you and Fauntleroy worked together for the Outer Limits EP, who can we expect for your next EP/LP?
“I’m in the thick of it right now, still exploring sounds and figuring out where I want to go with this one. I’ll likely have a collaboration with producer/writer Childish Major, I really love working with an artist 6lack who’s here in Atlanta, and I’d love to get some rap features on this one; Chance the Rapper comes to mind.”
Recently you’ve released the project #ReWerc, on your website the project is described as “the inevitability of a handful of Atlanta’s best music makers joining forces to put a spin on some of your favorite songs,” how did this project come about?
“Simply put, the music scene in Atlanta is poppin. There’s a nice community here of artists, DJs, and producers. The DJ’s/producers of the WERC CREW are like family to me. They’ve watched me blossom here. We’d never really worked on anything, so we decided to collab on a remix project. We didn’t just want it to be a cover project, so we collectively chose songs, and they went in on the production and the mixes to make it something special.”
What’s your process of creating a dope song?
“The process varies with the day, the time, the environment, and of course my mood. My most preferred process is sitting down with a musician and coming up with melodies and lyrics. It feels more natural that way. From there, a producer can flesh out the production with drums, etc.”
What comes to mind when you hear some say “R&B is dead?” How does it make you feel?
“It used to really suck because no matter how I tried to change my genre to fit the industry changes, I couldn’t avoid the fact that the voice coming out of me was an R&B voice. I felt like what was natural for me was played out to the industry. I’ve been giving this subject a lot of thought as of late, and I’ve come to the conclusion that R&B isn’t dead at all. Meghan Trainor is an R&B artist. The girl has a duet out with John Legend for God’s sake [laughs]. Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato are all making R&B records under the guise of “pop”. Do you see what I’m getting at here? — R&B is alive. It’s just a matter of seeing more diversity in female R&B.. that’s the issue.”
Right now there’s a girl somewhere, probably singing “I’m Alive,” performing in her full length mirror, wanting to become a singer and songwriter. What advice would you give her, or any girl about pursuing their dreams?
“All things are possible. Work hard, commit to your goals, and believe that you’re worthy of all that you desire!”