Shanaaz Talks About Her Song 'Ill Be The One', Relationship Advice, Culture & more
Toronto born recording artist Shanaaz, creates smooth R&B/ Neo-soul music infused with aspects of trap. She’s released five singles to date including “Somehow” (2017) and “Come Through” (2017). Shanaaz is actively working on the writing and recording of her debut album, expected to be released in early 2019. She just released another incredible track called 'I'll Be The One', alongside lyrical visuals created by the most fly Digital Tee: @teetrx
“I’ll be the one” is a love song made for a partner I was seeing at the time, who I could tell was insecure due to trauma from past relationships. This song was a way for me to get my thoughts out, and reassure them my love was true and unconditional.
We got the chance to ask her a few questions about her music, relationships, and how she incorporates her culture into her visuals.
1 After everything you’ve already experienced, what do you think of relationships and love now?
I think it’s so important not to rush into a relationship when the feelings aren’t there. I’m a big believer in feeling energy and a connection right off the bat and if that is missing, it’s possible that being friends would be a better route. It's important to love someone and to be there for them, but you have to be able to step back and not get too involved when they're not looking for help.
Personally, I'm someone who becomes too invested into people's lives. I care too much and devote too many emotions, leaving myself way too caught up in situations that I can't control. I’ve learnt that's important to always be careful who you chose to spend your time with, to try to emit positivity and be a good role model for those around you; to inspire people through love and positivity, rather than being drained with negative situations.
2 How does it make you feel releasing this piece with others?
This song is a little different compared to some of my other work. I don’t usually write love songs because I tend to write when I'm in a sad and emotional mood. But, for this song, I really wanted to express myself romantically. I felt that the best way to do so was through poetry, which I was then able to turn into a song. Im so lucky that through this platform, and especially through this song, I have the chance to inspire people to love and accept those around them who are in a similar place as I was.
It’s not very easy to be in a relationship with someone who is insecure, as a lot of support is required for your loved one ion that time. I'm also very grateful for all the love and support I've been receiving from my fans and community - for all the shares and great feedback. I create art for myself but it makes me extremely happy to know that other people fuck with me and see my vision.
3 I love the way you incorporate your culture into all your visuals. Why do you think that’s so important and what are some main messages you’re trying to convey?
I was going for a simple video with this song, which is why I chose to create a lyrical video. My vision was to mimic an old style Indian film, which is why I chose to record it on VHS. The song itself reminds me of beachy vibes and warm weather, which is why I added the plants and waves into it. It makes me so happy to finally embrace my culture and be able to express my cultural differences through my art after oppressing it for so long.
I was conditioned into to hiding it when I was younger due to the bullying and the negative stereotypes I was told were associated with being South Asian. I'm tired of hiding my identity, and proud to finally be able to show my true colors without any sense of embarrassment. I hope that younger girls and boys can see my videos and the way I use my culture, to be proud of themselves and see me as a role model into loving where they come from, despite the unwelcoming opinions. We are all beautiful and our cultural differences make us interesting, unique and special in our own way.
“My music is my mind, body and soul, I’m planning to incorporate poetry, storytelling and visuals to create something fresh and more musically creative and emotional than my previous releases.”
4 What else do you have in store for us later?
I’m currently working on a few projects that are secrets for now, but my main work is the album that I'm aiming to release mid-year 2019. This will be my first big project with about 7 or 8 songs, and it will be a whole reflection on myself. I'm trying to stay as true to my sound as possible to create a cohesive collection. My producer, Akeel Henry, will be producing most of the songs on this album because he completely gets my sound and style, and we make a great team. This will be the next big step for me, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with everyone.