Shani Shanell

Welcome to The Watchlist: Conversation With a Vision where Straight Official’s own DJ Gea chop’s it up with a purpose. SHANI SHANELL is a songstress that’s singing her way into our hearts.


DJ GEA: Let our readers know where you’re from and how the city you lived in motivated and pushed you?

Shani Shanell: I’m from the country, a little town called New Iberia, Louisiana. Where I’m from you have to dream big so you don’t have that small town mentality. So being where I’m from motivated me by simply being the community that it is and i knew i had folks watching and routing for me even if they didn’t say it or show it. 

How did you get started in music? What was it about music that caught your attention?

I’ve always loved music and it all begin at church, and to this day you still hear me singing on sunday. I went through a lot at a young age so writing songs in the 3rd grade and singing was my escape. I really believe God gave me music to help me stay sane. 

Where did the name come from?

Well my real name is Shaniqua Shanell, so I went ahead and took the Qua off and shortened it up and Shani Shanell was born.

Shani Shanell

When you know you are destined for greatness you just know.

Shani Shanell


How long have you been doing music? What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

I’ve been creating music since 2007. I started to take it serious about 4 years ago. I believe my biggest accomplishment so far was getting a song placed in a movie called Clout and being able to tour last year. 

What do you bring to the game that no other artist is bringing?

I bring me! I’m not like anybody else, my personality is lit and my music feels good. I’m uplifting women and men, while making people think about love again, with a fresh sound that has a 90s RNB flair. 

In 2023 how do you plan to set the tone?
Simply by being seen. I plan to be in all the places where the moves is being made and drop plenty visuals. The unreleased music I have right now is out of this world and I want to make sure I allow people to not only feel my words, but see what I’m saying. 

Shani Shanell

It uplifts, makes folks want to be in love, and it also expresses relatable topics.

Shani Shanell


Describe your style of music?

I really sing whatever God gives me but if I have to put a name on it, I’d call it R&B with a real uniqueness. I take words very seriously, so whatever I’m talking about in these songs can’t just sound good, it has to make sense and it has to be a groove.

What’s your process to writing a song?
You know it depends, Sometimes they come quick and sometimes it takes days. But the first step is making sure God and I are aligned and then the next step is making sure the beat is dope. Then magic just happens.

What are some things you inspire to do with your music?
My main goals is to give God all the glory, create timeless music and help people love love again. It’s simple but it’s real.

Have you had any live shows and if so tell me about your favorite performance?
Yes I actually did a lot of performing last year. My favorite may have been my performance at The Collard Green Festival in Atlanta. The stage was so big and I think at that moment it was stamped, that I really wanted this.

Shani Shanell

What single are you pushing now? Tell us more about it.
I am currently pushing my single called All You Need. This one of them songs that took no time to write. It’s like God was singing the lyrics in my ear and I was just writing them down. It’s produced by Nino Beige. A visual is on the way. Will be out in the next coming weeks. 


So besides music, are there any other ventures you are currently sewing your seeds in?

I have a couple things in the works. I’m not at liberty to speak on them now because they are in the beginning stages and I like to talk about stuff when it’s at the stage where nobody can talk down on it because it’s done. However I can say be on the look out for merchandise and my YouTube channel. 

Where do you see yourself in the next 3 to 5 years?
I see myself flourishing in my creative career and effectively giving back and helping others. Have music out that will stand the test of time and be completely happy doing my job because it’s not really a job to me. It more like life. 

Let the people know how to get in contact with you

The best way to get in contact with me is by following on Instagram at @_shanishanell_ or by clicking this link and that way they can follow all my social media outlets and check out this dope music. @shanishanell | Linktree (

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