Posted: Tuesday – May 18, 2010

Young Money’s Shanell remembers her days before she got signed to a major label. After dancing backup for her sister and former member of Danity Kane, D. Woods, Shanell happened to run into singer/songwriter Ne-Yo who gave her the opportunity to show off her writing skills on their song Say It which appeared on his second album Because Of You.

“It was really a great learning experience. Ne-Yo listens to all different types of music. I know he sat me down one time and was like, ‘That’s great, but try to say all that in three lines.’ I was like ‘a challenge.’ So my writing has been influenced a lot by him.”

Shanell became attracted to Young Money after she felt the comforting atmosphere that Lil Wayne provided viewing her as both a writer and a performer.

“Wayne was kinda like, ‘You do this. Keep your music for yourself. You have the talent, I see what you do. You can come over here with Young Money and do what you do over here.’ Which was the best situation I can be in. My music is a little bit different. It’s not R&B, it’s not pop, it’s not rock, it’s not alternative. It’s a fusion of everything. A lot of labels don’t let you do that, but at Young Money, they let you do that.”

Shanell doesn’t expect to be releasing her debut album until sometime next year but until then fans can listen to her recently released mixtape titled Shut Up and Listen which displays a playful cover which is meant to symbolize the rumors of her and Lil Wayne being sexually involved.

“I’m trying to take a negative thing and make a positive. That’s another reason I put this mixtape out, because a lot of people haven’t heard what I do. It’s all these rumors flying, that’s all they hear. So it’s here, this mixtape is my baby, this is what I’ve been sitting in the studio every night working on. This is my baby. This is what I’ve been pregnant with for the past nine months. So we’re just trying to take a bad rumor and turn it into something positive.”

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