"Who's Hot?" Interview
By: Omar Cook
This week's "Who's Hot?" Artist of the week is singer Shamba, a rising artist from Georgia! Shamba was born in New Jersey and raised in Georgia and comes from a family of musical creatives. She is the daughter of former So So Def recording artist Fundisha and the prominent DJ Shakim, (Bow wow, Da Brat, BBD, New Edition, Blackstreet), so Shamba was born prepared to take on the role of super stardom. Shamba has evolved into a multi-faceted entertainer who is beginning to create her own lane.
With a slew of live performances and soulful appearances, she’s carved out her own lane and is making her way to success.
While her debut project, Rainbows and Hurricanes, served as the official introduction to a distinctive sound with harmonious melodies and an unapologetic style working themselves in as key components, Shamba’s focuses are now centered around her upcoming EPs that will be geared towards her development and growth, concentrating on how she wants be heard. Determined to go all the way, Shamba has taken it upon herself to prove herself worthy of the prerogative to be considered the skilled artist that she aspires to be. This is definitely an artist to keep track of and add to your playlist. If you enjoy good vibes and originality, this is an artist for you.
We talked with Shamba in an exclusive interview, check it out below!
QUESTION: How long have you been making music and how did you get started?
Shamba: I have been making music since I could write. I started singing in church alongside my family. My grandmother was Pastor and the choir consisted of my aunts, cousins, siblings and mom. I was always singing solely due to the fact that it was around me 24/7. It was the most natural thing for me.
QUESTION: Musically, who has been your biggest influence in helping you along your journey and who are your favorite musicians?
Shamba: Mike has been my biggest influencer on this journey. I was so used to creating by myself so having him come into my life and encourage me to stay true to myself and my craft definitely sparked a confidence to a whole other level that I feel bleeds through every song we create. My favorite musicians change every so often due to the fact that new music drops. However, I definitely will forever love Brandy & Jazmine Sullivan, that love will never change lol.
QUESTION: What artists would you like to collaborate with and why?
Shamba: There are sooooo many artists I would like to collab with. Firstly, I want to collab with every artist apart of the Kalombo family. After that my top 5 is 6lack, Ty Dolla $ign, Drake, H.E.R and Masego.
QUESTION: What do you feel is your best song/project ever released and why?
Shamba: Every new song Mike and I create becomes my favorite so ultimately I feel as though at that moment it’s the best lol BUT if we’re speaking released, I’d say Breathless on Rainbows and Hurricanes is the best song of mine. If only you knew the story behind the song, it still amazes me how I was able to put it in words and add a melody then BOOM add Mike’s crazy dope beat behind it … breathless.
QUESTION: What projects can we look forward to in the near future?
Shamba: We have so many just waiting in the vault, but in the near future you can expect two more Eps following REFLECT as part of a trilogy project.
QUESTION: How do you generate new ideas for your music?
Shamba: My ideas or visions come at the weirdest moments you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. But there is no set formula though, I create when the urge comes and it comes oh so often. My everyday life and situations generate that urge.
QUESTION: What motivates you and how do you define success?
Shamba: My motivation comes from those in my corner and the people that I know my voice has not yet reached. I feel success can only be measured by happiness and love. It is the very difference in waking up to a job that pays well but you hate vs waking up loving what it is you do and the people you are surrounded by. If you have love and a smile in your heart you are far more successful than the richest man.
QUESTION: How do you describe your music to people and what separates you from other artists in your genre?
Shamba: If I had to describe my music, I’d just say it’s real. Real stories, real emotions. I feel the emotion behind it is what separates me from other artists. I spill so much of myself into every word and note, that I think it is close to impossible to not feel it when you hear it.
QUESTION: Do you believe there is a formula to being a successful artist?
Shamba: I’m sure there is a formula to becoming a “successful” artist in this industry of numbers , but for me it’s all about being organic. As an artist if you’re not creating for the enjoyment and for the love of your craft, you are not truly successful. Just be you and you’re successful.
QUESTION: Who is your greatest inspiration?
Shamba: My mother is my greatest inspiration. Her support of my music and both warranted and unwarranted criticism inspires me to push myself to new highs that I didn’t always feel I could. Her believing in my gift helps me daily to break through ceilings in efforts to reach the superstar she deems me to be.
QUESTION: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Shamba: I don’t really register with one genre but I will say Beyonce is the most influential and successful artist. Her work ethic and execution with everything is so groundbreaking that it would be wrong to not say B.
QUESTION: Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
Shamba: Whew, imma go with Passion. I am a passionate person on both ends of the spectrum. I love hard and you hear that in most of my music but on the flip side… I tell you it gets real. You will get every emotion from me but with all the passion that my body possesses.
QUESTION: What sacrifices have you had to make, to make your dream a reality?
Shamba: I’ve sacrificed time, friendships and approval of those close to me. I decided to pursue music full time, because I know in my soul that this is what God has me here to do. With that though, I don’t believe in plan B’s. Having faith in something is not having a back up plan, that just says that a piece of you doubts and doubt and faith can not coexist.
QUESTION: What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Shamba: Hearing or seeing an idea of mine come to life excites me most. Whether that’s through visuals, photography or musically … seeing anything I envision come to life gives me an adrenaline rush. Now when someone comes and tears that vision down, it discourages me or when they don’t get the vision. But that’s something I’m working on because like I said, my craft is for me.
QUESTION: Where do you see yourself and your music in 10 years?
Shamba: I can never put a timestamp on this journey, so I’ll just put it like this. I see myself being exactly where God has me to be and executing the hell out of that position.
QUESTION: What advice would you give to other up and coming artists or people looking to break into the music industry?
Shamba: Do not worry about what the next man is doing. Do you. Be you. Stay true.