While Lil Wayne is the engine, and Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Twist, and Chuckee are the tires, Shanell is the steering wheel that keeps the Young Money Maybach on the road to success.
Over the years we have seen cameos of Shanell at concerts, in interviews or in videos, but little did we know she has been around from the beginning and is the woman who helps keep Young Money’s momentum strong.
“I’m a writer so when it comes to putting together Wayne’s projects I do a lot of writing on those and when it came to putting together the ‘I Am Music’ and ‘We Are Young Money’ tours I did all the choreographing and lighting for those tours,” explained Shanell. “Anything with putting together the show or adding spices to any of their songs, I’m down to make it happen.”
As key writer for Wayne and mastermind behind Young Money’s polished shows, rumors have begun to swirl that Shanell is Wayne’s chosen child and his “in-house” main chick.
“I thought it was funny at first but when it started getting serious like girls being mad, I was like, ‘Wait a minute, ya’ll believing this?’ But at this point I try not to address it because it’s so much more going on,” said Shanell. “We don’t even talk amongst each other of the rumors about any of us – people are going to hate and you can’t give that energy any energy.”
While Shanell may not be planning to have Wayne’s baby anytime soon, she definitely admires his work ethic.
“I met Wayne [while] dancing for Ne-Yo and at the same time I was writing songs for other people and I did that as a hobby but he [Wayne] gave me that opportunity that a lot of labels didn’t – just be my own artist,” said Shanell.
She is prepping to move from behind the scenes into the limelight and show the world why the hottest rapper in the game right now was instantly smitten by her.
“My first single is called ‘My Buttons’ and the response from my [fan] crew, the ‘lil gypsies’, has been ridiculous. It’s a great song, a great story and a small sign of what’s to come,” said Shanell.
As for her debut project, the artist said she’s selecting the best music for her fans.
“We take baby steps, I mean if Wayne would let me I could give ya’ll three or four albums right now, that’s how much music I have, but I’m trying to put the right collection of songs together for ya’ll,” said Shanell. “And I’m ahead of my time and I don’t want to force feed people with stuff they aren’t ready for.”
Shanell describes her style as eclectic and hates to be constrained to one clear genre.
“I’m a collection of music, I listen to rock, pop, R&B, hardcore rap— hell even folk music when I want to. I think the only person that did a great job of putting all those kinds of music out is Prince. You couldn’t really say he was one thing in particular,” said Shanell. “I think, no I know, my project is leaning towards that. I want to be eclectic without it being such a thought process – [I] want it to be listened to and enjoyed.”
For more information, follow Shanell on Twitter @Shanell_SnL.