Shawne MeniaQ is next up out of Fayetteville North Carolina! The 27 year old artist has been fully in love with music since he was a kid. He would first start singing, Later in life he would also fall in love with rap and would add rapping to the genres at his disposal. Shawne took action very quickly as a teen by saving up every penny he had. The reason for saving up all of his money was to one day buy a mic. After finally buying a mic from the money he saved up Shawne immediately started hiding in his room to do what he loved most…. Record music! Shawne would first start releasing music on soundcloud which was the most popular streaming service for underground artists at the time. Shawne also knew the importance of marketing his music in his teens and already somewhat had a plan in place to get the word out. Shawne knew early that social media was a great way to market so he jumped on facebook which was the biggest social media platform at the time. Shawne being very early to social media marketing is a very big plus for an artist and definitely still helps him when promoting his music to this day! He would promote on facebook by sending links to his music on soundcloud to his fellow friends and classmates. I found this technique to be very smart because at the time people were mostly just telling people to listen to their music. There are a lot of problems with this as people tend to forget things like the artist’s name or the name of the song and do not search for the song later. Shawne sending a link to his music ensures that the people he would tell about his music would have easy access to listen and follow up with everything that he was putting out. Earlier this week we had the chance to catch up with Shawne and decided to ask him about his upbringing and future in music.

How did you first start music? I got my start in my family church choir that’s what ignited my love for music to begin with.

What was your reason for starting in music? Watching the industry I always felt like there was something missing in regards to passion for the actual art behind music itself. Everything is about “popularity” now more so than talent so that motivated me to fill that void. I also decided to pursue becoming an artist professionally after the shift in the industry caused by social media. In the past I had minimal hope being from a small town to be heard NOW not so much using the power of IG, TIKTOK, and more so I took upon myself to actually put forth effort to be heard as now it was actually realistic to be.

Where are you from/based out of? I’m from and based out of Fayetteville, NC, but I enjoy mimicking accents of other places so at any given moment a weird accent may pop out of me. I’ve always been an animated person so on any given day I could be from here or there lol

What do you enjoy most about being an artist? What I enjoy most about being an artist is the free range to create whatever HOWEVER. I enjoy the ability of being able to use my art to make someone smile, laugh, cry, etc. I genuinely enjoy connecting with people who don’t regularly have a voice to be heard. I want to be their voice.

How was music through the Pandemic? Music through the pandemic was an “experience” whether positive or negative. I can’t really say it had its moments for both, but I will say I appreciated the time for self reflection.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations? Biggest inspirations are split in between Rap and RNB Artists For Rappers I’m in loveee with Missy Elliott, Nicki Minaj, Busta Rhymes, Iggy Azalea, And I’m in love with Doja Cat even tho she’s newer. For RNB artists definitely Beyoncé, Brandy, Toni Braxton, Jazmine Sullivan, and Jhene Aiko just to name a few.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In five years I see myself having released several EPs as well as an album or two, Touring, award shows, magazine covers, and completely changing the Pop and Rap categories as a whole. I aim to be the face of change in regards to the title of being a “RAPPER” there’s a huge debate going about whether pop artists that rap should be considered “Rappers” and I want to be the person who completely removes that stigma. Regardless of what “type” of rap I choose to align myself with I want to create change in that genre so they do see and respect “Pop Rappers” as lyricists as well not just Pop Stars

What makes you stand out most as an Artist? What makes me stand out most as an artist I would say is my vision in comparison to others. I would like all dope talents to be celebrated not just my own and if I can aid in making that a reality I’m for it in every way.

What do you want people to feel through your music? What I want people to feel through my music is to know they are not alone. I try to be as honest as I can in songs, especially ones that are emotionally driven. I want people to know they can make it through whatever storm they’re currently experiencing and use my music to help them through. Cry with me, laugh with me, dance with me.

Anything else you want people to know? Any other specifics? Hmmm just know I’m coming and when I do it I’m doing it BIG.

We, like everybody else, do not know what the future holds for Shawne. We hope that Shawne keeps progressing as an artist by releasing new one of a kind music and by shaking up the culture in the industry. We believe that the future will be bright for this young star!

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