Tuesday March 23rd, 2021
This Saskatoon Country recording artist has not only recently being nominated for her first Saskatchewan Music Award in the Country Artist of The Year category, but also is the 2019 SCMA Emerging Artist of the year winner and has shared the stage with Kane Brown, Chris Lane, Ryan Hurd, Emerson Drive & Charlie Major . She’s just released her latest single she calls “ijust that feel good, carefree song that I think the world needs right now”. In this special Q&A interview, Rudy Blair Entertainment Media rudyblairmedia.com speaks with singer/songwriter ‘Shantaia’ https://www.shantaiamusic.com about her career and how the Covid-19 has effected it, where her love of Country music began, her achievements that began when she was very young, how collaborating with multi award winner Crystal Shawanda helped shaped her music, plans for 2021 including new music releases and live/virtual performances and the story behind her latest release “Had A Good Weekend” https://tinyurl.com/2h3dmkdn
Rudy Blair Q&A Interview with ‘Shantaia’
- Hello Shantaia. Thank you for doing this interview with me. First I want to ask right off the top, how you are doing during the Covid-19 pandemic (what part of the country are you living)?. How has it affected you personally and professionally(and what have you done for to have mental wellness?) I’m doing well, I’m currently in Nashville. I moved here at the beginning of October from Saskatoon, Sk! Musicians have so affected during this time, and I think we’re all just hoping we can get back to doing what we love sooner than later. Writing A LOT of songs has been therapeutic, and has made me feel a little more in control of the situation.
- What part of Saskatchewan did you grow up and why the love of Country music? Seems like your career began at the age of three. I grew up in north of Saskatoon in Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. I think country music was mostly what my parents and grandparents listened to, but I also had an older cousin who was pursuing a country artist career and really looked up to him growing up. He taught me how to play guitar, and I guess thats where I really started learning some country music and classic rock (of course!)
- Could you talk about writing your first song because you were young and it was a very important/emotional time in your life. Yes, the first song I really remember writing was about my Great Grandpa getting sick. We knew he wasn’t going to get better, so I remember pouring my heart out foreshadowing his passing in a song I called “When You’re Gone”. When you’re only 9 years old, the only real heartbreak you experience is losing someone like a grandparent.
- You did something very important in your career with Rawlco Radio at age 13 . What was that great achievement? When I was 13, I was the youngest recipient to receive a Rawlco Radio 10k20 grant. They gave 20 artists a year I believe, 10k to record an album. They did this for a few years which was so great for Saskatchewan artists, and it really was a turning point for me because it was the first time I spent a lot of time and effort in a studio recording vocals, and watching that whole process. I absolutely loved it and knew that I would be pursuing music as a career for the rest of my life!
- You traveled to Nashville and recorded with Crystal Shawanda, what was that like working with a CCMA winner and also you had one of television’s biggest reality music competitions want you to compete not one but twice. What was the program and what became of it? Working with Crystal was such a cool experience. She was so full of advice, so humble and really took me in and mentored me for many years. I’m still in contact with Crystal and her husband Dewayne, and look forward to seeing them here in Nashville when gathering is acceptable and safe! The Voice has scouted me a couple times, but it’s always been bad timing! But it is always a confidence booster when a casting producer comes across your videos and thinks you’re good enough to be on such a major show!
- The accolades continue as you’ve become the Emerging Artist of the year in 2019 at the SCMA awards and also nominated for the first time Saskatchewan Music Award in the Country Artist of The Year category. What has this done for your career? Any nomination is totally humbling and helps with alot of things, such as applying for my O-1 visa that got me to Nashville! Winning the Emerging Artist award as well as all nominations are huge industry achievements and are recognized in ways I would have never imagined! I’m extremely grateful!
- You released your EP “Chapter One” and it’s done very well. How has your writing changed over the years? I think my writing has just gotten better and better, especially since moving to Nashville. You have to continue to level up when you’re writing with hit songwriters. It’s like exercising that muscle every single day, it just keeps getting stronger! I also think my style as a writer changes often, which I love because I never want to be stuck in a box with my music!
- You have a new single called “Had A Good Weekend” . What’s the inspiration behind this song? Had A Good Weekend is just that feel good, carefree song that I think the world needs right now! I wrote it with fellow Sask Native, Nashville based writer Ryan Sorestad on a rainy day when he was back home in Sask a little over a year ago. I had the melody and the first verse written, and Ryan helped me really pull it together! He is such a monster songwriter, and always knows where I want to go with a song. With all the rain that day, we really needed a “pick me up” tune and now I think the whole world is in need of that!
- What are your plans for 2021 when it comes to new music and live(virtual) performances? New music with the current single coming out, livestreams as they come, a few live shows (socially distanced) here in Nashville, as well as a new music video coming out for the single and a partnership announcement coming soon! So many things to do, so little time!
- Tell me something about yourself that no one knows (could be a fun skill, quirky habit , hobby or something you have overcome? Something a lot of people don’t know about me is I was very active playing sports from junior high through highschool, but I also used to Ref Hockey and was actually really good at it! My ref employer/mentor used to joke that I could sing the national anthem at the olympics AND ref the game! Haha!
Thanks Rudy!! Always a pleasure! 🙂
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