Small town girl takes on Music City.
It sounds like an industry fairy tale and anything but believable, but for up-and-coming singer/songwriter Shantel it is the truth. Let’s be clear: fairy tales don’t actually come true without a lot of humility and hard work, and though Shantel’s Nashville coming of age starts with a stroke of luck and the singer being in the right place at the right time, this young woman has certainly given all the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to make it in Music City. From Clarkston, Michigan, Shantel moved to Nashville with a big dream and an even bigger voice. Now signed with producer Kent Wells, known for producing Dolly Parton, the young songstress has just released the first single from her debut album, titled “Break My Heart”.
Having only relocated to Nashville from her hometown in Michigan in the fall of 2017, Shantel hit the ground running as soon as she landed. “Back in January of 2017 I came to Nashville for the very first time in my life with some girlfriends. I remember being downtown on Broadway and walking into one of the honky tonks and getting this overwhelming feeling of happiness. It completely flooded me. I was mesmerized by the talent in front of me, by the crowd, the atmosphere. I remember a girlfriend I was with saying “you only get one shot, just go for it. Ask if you can go up there and sing.” I asked the lead singer to let me up for a song or two and to my surprise he did. I wound up with an audition for a full time singing job that night. I came back, auditioned, got the job, and six months later my husband and I moved to Nashville.”
Landing a job wouldn’t be Shantel’s only stroke of luck; three weeks after she and her husband, Daniel, moved to Nashville she made the acquaintance of Kent Wells, who signed her within a week of meeting her and is producing her current album. “Working with Kent has been a dream come true. I met Kent three weeks after I moved to town. It’s been the greatest honor to have his name on this album as my producer. We laugh, we crack jokes, and we have the best time together. He welcomed me in like family and gave a small town girl an opportunity she could have only dreamed of.” Though Shantel’s journey is just getting started, hard work and dedication to her career have been the backbone to her success.
Raised in a Christian church, Shantel has always depended on her faith to see her through. A main motivator in her career is sharing the same hope and faith she seeks from songs that touch her heart with her fans. “I was raised in a Christian church and that’s where I really fell in love with music. I believe that music has a way of captivating you; it can make you happy when you’re sad, uplift you when you’re down, and make you feel like you’re not alone. I want to share those feelings with others through my own music. I want to sing to spread hope and love.”
Having grown up on Christian Country and Southern Gospel, It was a natural progression from singing in church to singing in Nashville for Shantel. The singer incorporates the notion of strength and positivity throughout several songs on her upcoming album, most notably in her newest single, “Break My Heart”.
“I wrote “Break My Heart” with my husband, Daniel, and our co-writer Liz Anne Hill, on my living room floor with a couple of guitars. I knew I wanted a song to reflect the strength of a woman. “Break My Heart” is one of those strong woman anthems. We don’t need anyone in our lives whose purpose is to bring us down and that was the inspiration behind it. Sometimes we may think that we’ve experienced a heartbreak and it ends up just being an important stepping stone to happiness instead. I think it’s crucial to highlight that; the importance of recognizing growth and strength in ourselves, even when we think we’ve got a broken heart.”
Shantel is working on the rest of her album with Kent Wells and her husband, who has written nearly ninety-five percent of the composition for all ten songs. “My husband is an amazing guitar player. He came from a metal band, so having that influence combined with his newfound appreciation for country music has given his compositions a really cool spin. He can grab a guitar and come up with the most powerful and unique melodies, and that’s just what he’s done. I am so thrilled I get to work with him and watch him grow alongside me throughout this season of our lives.” One may call it luck that got Shantel to Nashville, but it’s talent, hard work, and determination and, as Shantel would say, “a whole lot of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus” that will keep her here.
You can stream or purchase Shantel’s new single “Break My Heart” on Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, Google Play, and iTunes and is available for purchase as a digital copy on her website, www.shantelmusic.com. To keep up with Shantel follow her on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
Keep your eyes peeled for more releases later this year!