Give me a little bit about your background. Where are you from and how did you get started in music?
I was born at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, Ca, and raised in Oakland, Ca. I started singing in the church choir at the age of 2 years old at the House of GOD COGIC Church. I was the youngest soloist in the choir (Angel Choir) and started writing musical lyrics by age 9. By the time I was 14 I was singing professionally in-studio productions. I joined the music program at Mount Eden High School under Ken Rawdon. That program gave me the pallet to dive deeper into Opera, Jazz, Folk, and Country music. My musical journey continued through High School with summer music camps, and I started winning shows like the Governor’s medallion’s in 92 & 94. My growth in music continued through college musical theatre at Chabot Community College and the Cal State University of Hayward.
What was the most memorable moment in your music career?
Moving to Las Vegas, I connected with a lady named Faith Jessie who I met on a cruise ship a few years back in April of 2018. She introduced me to the CW News station and contracted me because they cover the Stellar Awards Show every year. In 2019 I was inducted into the Stellar Awards Souvenir book and swag bags as an Independent Artist. The network was so gracious and gave me the opportunity to perform Live on T.V. The station loved it so much the network requested an encore performance five months later. It was a personal victory for me to get exposure as an independent artist! The station has since then treated me like family and has invited me to come back whenever I want. The invitation to partner and bring other talent to the station has been a blessing. In addition, connecting with an online radio station (Anointed Radio) here, I was hired as their Marketing Director for the network. My 1st interview with Anointed Radio was with the great Pastor John P. Kee in December of 2019. My 1st big event was the Press Room and Red Carpet for the 51st Annual Image Awards for the NAACP in Los Angeles on February 22nd, 2020.
was your most challenging moment?
The fear of doing music on my own. As an independent artist, you do not have the business support you need to get your work out there. From the age of 9 until I was about 19 years old, I had always put myself in music groups that I formed. Even though GOD always showed me dreams of me singing and blessing people by myself, I had fear of doing this by myself so I kept putting my career in other producers' hands and leaving GOD out of the process of directing me to the right people. Eventually, I would lean on my own talents and skills and trust GOD and take a leap of faith to do this without a major label or other singers by my side.
Who are your musical influences?
I have so many influences like The Clark Sisters, The Winans, Bebe & Cece Winans, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Faith Evans, SWV, Lalah Hathaway, Ledisi, Brandy, Kim Burrell, Crystal Rucker, Jonathan McReynolds, Mary Mary Daryl Coley to name a few.
If you could do a duet and or have someone write a song for you from your favorite artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would have loved to do a duet with Lalah Hathaway and Rodney Jenkins.
Facebook: Shonte's Channel
Artist page: Shonte https://www.facebook.com/pg/royalpurplebutterfly/about/
Record Label page: Angel Voice Recordings https://www.facebook.com/pg/Angel-Voice-Recordings-384120885007090/about/
EPK: Album: Love Chronicles Artist: Shonte'
Record Label: Angel Voice Recordings http://epkshonte.info/shonte
Facebook : - Shonte’s Channel
Interview by: Samuel Thompson