When life gives you obstacles you can either fight through them and come out stronger, or you can let them bring you down. Recording artist Shae Williams (http://www.theofficialshae.com) has chosen to fight through, and without a doubt is on the path to becoming the Queen of R&B!
This Louisiana-born talent has not only topped the charts with her music, she has inspired thousands around the globe with her passion and charitable efforts.
The Levity Ball sat down with Shae to find out more…
How did you become interested in becoming a musician, and how old were you when you first recognized your talent?
“It was Greater St. Mary’s MBC of Lake Charles, Louisiana that first took notice of my voice and on-stage brilliance at age 5. Growing up in church, gospel music laid a foundation of my delivery and revealed an early passion for performing. Throughout my childhood, I took advantage of participating in every choir and theatrical production I could.”
Explain your type of music and what you feel makes it different than others out there?
“My type of music is powerful and soulful. I want people to feel that my music is genuine and authentic. I think this can be accomplished through expressing my feelings about situations in life through song. I have combined my gospel roots, classical training and sultry charm to mesmerize audiences in this competitive R&B circuit. What makes my music different from others out there is that I work hard on enhancing my own style rather than studying someone else’s style and indulging in today’s trends. I don’t want people to search for that one artist and compare my music to and say, “Hey she sounds like…” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my research and acquired new techniques to enhance my music. I want my music to be timeless and appreciated for generations to come.”
Who are your biggest musical influences?
“As a child I was exposed to trailblazing female artists, such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill and Aretha Franklin; which all became the influence behind my desire to be a champion of confident, sexy and always classy women. Most importantly, my children keep me motivated and up to date with the latest and aspiring artists. One in particular, Andra Day has been an inspiration to me because she is fiercely setting her own path with in this industry.”
Which other artist(s) have you enjoyed working with the most so far?
“I have enjoyed working with Calvin Richardson, Lil G from Silk and Alvin Garrett. As I grow in this industry I would love to have the opportunity to work with Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, and John Legend just to name a few.”
What are your goals in the industry and where do you see yourself in a year from now?
“One of my goals in this industry is to be able to set myself apart from other artists by putting in hard work and dedication. I want to show women how to never give up and always stay focused on your goals no matter what comes your way. In a year I see myself on another level as an artist inspiring all women by setting small goals to eventually reach my ultimate goal.”
How has growing up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now living just outside of Nashville influenced your sound today as an artist?
“I love my hometown and always want to make sure I represent them everywhere I go with my Southern Creole traits. I have incorporated my culture with the things I’ve learned in the music city of Nashville to fine tune my sound and embrace the geographical differences.”
You have experienced a lot in life: having your first child during your senior year of high school and also being married to a man serving in the United States military… do you feel all these experiences are reflected in your lyrics/music?
“Yes, I can honestly answer this with complete confidence because it’s been a long journey. Although, my journey isn’t over by far my faith in God and living by the motto “hard work and dedication” keeps inspiring me. I pour my emotions into every song I sing and I want everyone who listens to feel where I am coming from. We all have experiences I am sure we can all relate to in some way, but I think what is most important is what we learn out of these experiences we have in life. I am now a testimony of my experiences and I am working on channeling all of those things into my album. In my music you will find how I my experiences have taught me to be a better, stronger and wiser woman. This is where true artistry begins… from the heart.”
What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the music industry?
“The first tip I would give a young artist coming up would be that you can be the best singer in the world, the most attractive singer, but if you don’t dedicate yourself to the hard work the music business requires you may never reach your goals. Over the years I’ve learned this industry is 90% business and 10% talent. If you don’t learn the business, then you’ll just become just another pretty girl or handsome guy singing along with millions of others. I just wish someone would have told me about the business side of the music industry when I first started out. If you start with this in mind, then you’ll definitely know how to reach the world with your music and talent.”
What current songs of yours do you recommend newcomers to your music should have a listen to?
“I would recommend newcomers to my music to take a listen to my songs titled Ready, Beautiful and I’m Not the Same. The song Ready, one of my favorites, speaks volumes and simply explains being ready to come out of your shell and openly embracing new things in life. The song Beautiful expresses how a woman sometimes need to be open with a man to let him know how she should be treated. Sometimes a woman may need to hear you’re beautiful from her man. Last but not least, the song I’m Not the Same, expresses how we hold on to some things in life and it’s okay to let go when the time is right. We have to realize that we may outgrow some people that were once to close to us.”
And final question: What would you like to be remembered for?
“I would like to be remembered for making an impact on others through my music. I want to show people how to never give up even when everything around you looks like it’s against you. If I don’t do anything else in my music career, I want to inspire others to work hard for what you want most in life.”