Following the release of his brilliant new project Mr Shane, we caught an in-depth chat with artist and songwriter Shaney Poo, to find out more about his unique sound, his journey so far, maintaining and inspiring good vibes, and his hopes for the future. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hi Shane – thanks so much for the interview, great to be able to chat with you! The new album is jam-packed full of good vibes and optimism, which is a total pleasure to listen to right about now. Is this always your approach when making new music, or have the events of 2020 prompted you to lift the mood more than usual?
This is who I am, even before the events of 2020. Looking back to my first project I released in 2015, there was still similarities. It just hasn’t been organized and spoken as concisely like I did on Mr Shane. I like to see the world in an honest way with a tad bit of humor. Whether it’s good or bad going on in the world, I’m going to have my own way of expressing what I’m seeing around me.
Given the variety of styles on the project – dance-hall, RnB, Hip Hop – how would you generally describe yourself or what you do as an artist?
It’s simple, one of my jobs is to create. To be fearless creatively but still make it related to our life. I grew up listening to all types of music and I still do today, so I don’t limit myself. With my recent album Mr Shane it’s a blend of Zouk, Rap, Pop, R&B & Kompa music. As an artist I try not describe myself because I wouldn’t want to get stuck into a box I put myself in…freedom is everything.
Do you have a personal favorite song from the project, and if so – why this particular one?
It’s hard to have a personal favorite, all these song hit me differently. Like when I’m walking outside and I need that boost I throw on Dream House, when I’m kicking back to relax I might throw on Spring Summer Fall or Back Then Back When, it all really depends. I can say I had the most fun making Many A Moon. Besides me using a sample I crafted that whole song on my own. I went into detail with the lyrics, the production and making my message as blatant and honest a possible. I also had a lot of fun making Goldmine because that was the first song I made on the project, that song started everything.
What does Back Then Back When encapsulate for you, and how did the lyrics and the melody come about?
I alway say this particular song truly fell from the sky. I started the song in 2017 but I couldn’t finish it at first. I actually had 3 different women sing on the song but none of them were a perfect match. Then in 2019 I went to Atlanta for a music festival and I accidentally bumped into a singer by the name of Zakiyyah. We hung out for a bit then she told me she is from Boston, coincidently so am I. As soon as we both got back to Boston I asked her to be part of the song. She came by the studio and killed it with extra sauce on it.
A month later I traveled to LA and met a producer name Ruben from the Trackburnaz. I played him the song and he liked it, so he asked me if he can work on it. Of course I said yes and that was the best decision I’ve made yet. The song is about the memories we make with our friends and family when we’re young in contrast to who we are today.
Is live performance a big part of your plans, and if so – what does a live show from Shaney Poo entail?
I love performing live, the energy you get from that is hard to describe. As a nation, once we get back to a steady place with the Covid situation, God willing I hope to be back on stage better than ever. Until then we’ll find new ways to connect with the public on a real level.
The production on this album is superb – professional as ever, creatively refreshing, crisp. Is the music self-produced, or a collaborative effort?
Thank you, I’m glad you appreciate it. This project began with me chopping samples, producing & writing. Soon as I knew what I needed to do next, I just sought out the right people that would help take the sound to the next level. From there I just had to arrange everything the way I wanted it. The songs Dream House and Back Then Back When were specifically produced by The Track Burnaz x BLSSD. I like collaborating because you never know what the outcome will be, that’s exciting…the unknown.
Do you play any instruments?
Nothing perfect yet. My neighbor recently gave me a guitar as a gift. I’ve been playing it for fun and a way to relax, but it’s slowly turning into something I really enjoy doing. The bass line form the track Many A Moon came from me just free-styling for fun on the guitar, so it seem like I’ma keep playing for now.
Where do you imagine is the best setting for people to experience this collection, and what do you hope they take away from it?
Just listen to it with no expectations. Open mind and open heart…with some quality speakers too. No lie I really hear how the music sounds live, that’s going to be crazy.
What are your thoughts on the future of the music industry given all that’s taken place this past year?
Music won’t be going anywhere it’s just going to be even more digital than before. With all these online concerts and animated videos it’s forcing artists to be even more creative. Hopefully it shows us we can have more control over our product and output – the internet is such an unregulated thing, you can create what you want and just put it out. The industry is going to do what it does, hopefully we can do the same for ourselves.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given as an artist?
Best advice I’ve gotten was to learn an instrument and also pay attention to the details of music. Some people today just cook up music in a couple hours and in their mind the song is finished. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with that cuz some artists are actually that dope and efficient. But for the most part I feel it’s better to take time with music, no matter whether it’s a week or a month…make it worth your time.
If you could sit down for a chat with anyone at all, past or present, who would you choose, and what would you ask them about?
Probably somebody from the ancient world, like Jesus. That would be a once in a lifetime opportunity so I would have to choose Jesus over anyone else.
Is there anything else we should know?
Not right now, just stay tuned anything can happen
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