Young Money’s Shanell Begins Recording Debut
She may be Lil Wayne's favorite punked-out badass, but Young Money's resident chanteuse, Shanell Woodgett -- aka SnL, is ready to introduce the world to the sexier side of the squad. The 26-year-old Atlanta native, known for rocking a signature chain connecting a pierced ear to her nose ring, made her grand entrance to the mainstream world as the featured guest on Wayne's top-20 single, 'Prom Queen,' in early 2009.
Now, after dropping her viral mixtape 'Shut Up N Listen' in April, the buttery-voiced songstress has officially begun work on her untitled debut, which she hopes to have in stores by spring or summer of 2011. "I started to work on some stuff," she told The BoomBox, having recently wrapped up a tour with her Young Money associates a few months back. "It's a slow process. I don't want to rush anything. I think creativity has no time limitation on it, so I'm taking my time and I'm coming up with some great, great ideas."
'Shut Up N Listen' was only a taste of Shanell's eclecticism, touting her remixes of originals by Ryan Leslie, Simian Mobile Disco, Groove Theory and Eve. Now that the mixtape has slithered across the internet and clocked upwards of two million downloads, Shanell plans on using her debut to bring her sound to the next level, focusing the album more on rhythm by building each track with a percussive foundation.
"I'm a rhythmic person because I am a dancer," she explains. "And I feel before I sit down and actually listen to words, so I know I want it to be kind of a rhythmic album or a feel-good album."
While Shanell has worked with everyone from Melanie Fiona to Lil Wayne to Ludacris, she plans on keeping the collaborations to a relative minimum on the LP, noting that most classics showcase the artist at the helm. "The albums that I think are classic and last the longest have stories and some kind of theme," she says. "Nowadays, you buy an album and it's almost like a compilation. There are so many features from different artists on one project; I kind of want people to really get into me, so I'm going to do a lot of it by myself, but I'm probably going to collaborate with a few people."
The debut might be a ways off, but in the meantime, the Universal Motown recording artist doesn't plan on idling. Shanell recently shot a few videos, including one for 'Runnin'' off Lil Wayne's 'Rebirth' album, as well as for a couple cuts off her mixtape, including the dance track 'Hair Down My Back.' Once the raw footage is edited, she plans on rolling out the clips every two weeks to build up anticipation for the album. And the buck doesn't stop there. "I'm working on my show. I have a band and dancers and I put that all together myself, so I wear a lot of hats," Shanell explains. "I'm in rehearsal a lot, and hopefully will be coming to a city near whoever's reading this soon."