I love introducing my readers to upcoming talent, and this young man Shinez Ashani has a special place in my heart. Not only is he an inspiration, he is also a talented Songwriter who overcame a speech impediment and is now pursuing his music career.
If you know me you know I love lyrics. A song has to flow and possess lyrical content to make me think, learn something, provoke my thoughts or make me smile. I simply love a well put together track, and Shinez doesn’t disappoint with his latest effort.
This artist is promoting his downloadable mix tape “One Drop Killa” and it is free; just in time for the holidays. I recently linked up with Shinez for one of my famous 1/2 dozen question sessions, and this is what the young artist had to say.
CP-Hey Shinez, how are you?
SA- I’m good empress. I’m blessed to be here in good health and to celebrate life and life’s music. It’s truly a pleasure. How are you?
CP-Me? I am most blessed thanks. Everyday is a good day. I am loving the mix tape. You are a really great lyricist. Tell us how this all got started.
SA-I have to credit my introduction to music to my older brother. Growing up he was a local DJ…when DJ’s had CD pouches before hard drives took over. He probably had over 2000 CD’s filled with music, and he would play music day in and day out. This went on everyday for years. He would play “Story Unfolds” by Sizzla on Sunday mornings, so that was my first outlet to knowledge of self. As my aspirations grew, over time I accepted that this [music] was something I had to do. Nothing else brought stillness to my life as much as music did, and I realized also the responsibility…I had a duty to inspire. With every song I aim to inspire. How I do it may vary, but the mission has always been solid.
CP-I know what you mean as I too have a brother much like yours. Good ole music all over the house. I love it. I can tell you write all your songs. What/who inspires these lyrics?
SA– Thank you. Honestly, I started out just writing before the mystics actually showed me that ultimately this is what I was sent to do. As a child I had difficulty speaking because I stuttered a lot. I spent a lot of time simply observing, so writing became an escape, you know; a way to express myself even after my speech developed. Writing had already became my default, my reflex. With all the music in the household and the culture in Jamaica, me being so musically oriented plus my love for reading, I developed a notch for wordplay on paper. I think I started singing because it was one of my greatest challenges when I was younger.
CP-This reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Zamunda. He stutters when he speaks, but not when he sings. Music is really a healer isn’t it? So you were born in Jamaica, but currently reside in the US. How do you stay connected to your roots especially as an artist?
SA-I mean I born and grow a Yaad, and migrated at age seventeen in 2009. The fundamental values and principles I have of life developed in Jamaica. It’s easy to stay connected to my roots because of the love I have for myself, my country and my culture. Living in the cultural melting pot of the world does force my perspective to transcend Jamaica; but my level of acceptance for who I am won’t allow Jamaica to transcend my perspective.
CP-Who are some of the artists you are currently listening to?
SA-I listen a lot of [Jr] Gong, Bob Marley, Sizzla Kalongi, Jah Cure an Buju Banton, but I probably listen more WSP music “word sound and power”, the umbrella organization with my friends. We all do a lot of music and someone is always dropping a tape or a feature so the work keeps my ears busy.
CP-Tell us about this mix tape you are promoting, and where we can get it to purchase.
SA-This tape is intended to showcase me as an artist to fans for the first time. This mix tape will give them an opportunity to listen to my music without a price tag. They have nothing to lose because it’s free to download. It’s centered around knowledge of self, but I made it very diverse to showcase versatility. I couldn’t just produce a single because I really wanted the listeners to see/hear the work ethic. Besides, this is only the warm up, cause I’m already working on another tape and singles for the new year. I just want to inspire whomever I can while growing my fan base.
There you have it. Support good music and talented artists. Download the mix tape…it’s free. What have you got to lose?