Get To Know Shanae, A Rising Name In R&B

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Words By Kenfo

In the world of R&B, there is nuance, and within that, there is Shanae. Introducing Shanae, the sultry essence of sonic hybridization, leaning into her foundation while embracing the sounds of her lifestyle. We see the ascension of musical intuition that ignites spaces and evokes emotions.

Shanae has found alignment in the genres of Jersey, Amapiano, and R&B to elegantly tell the origin story through the lens of her debut EP – Reset, as she welcomes listeners into her world for the first time. Reset is the starting point by which the world bears witness to Shanae’s distinctive cadence, serene melodies, and satin-like vocal range. It serves as a message to all in the art of resetting, realigning, and growing forward, letting go to make way for newness—an ego death if you will.

As the narrative is only in its infancy, Shanae delivers a 7-track ode to starting again, with the initial singles “outside” and “leave It” setting the pace for the record. Both songs are injected with masterfully curated visuals that intensify the relatability and realism of the moment. Serving as visual diaries, with fun and playful rollouts showcasing the lighthearted and creative nature of Shanae’s personality.

The creation of this project saw Shanae spending time overseas in London, New York, and LA, writing and perfecting her craft, only to stress that every element of the introduction to her career be intentional and delivered with purpose. Born of South African parents, Shanae grew up in a musical household surrounded by those with a kinship for music, whether singing songs in a church choir or putting on performances for family at the monthly get-together. From a young age Shanae has been aligned with music at every touch point.

With tracks that encourage introspection and growth, “Reset” is more than just an EP — it’s a mantra for embracing change and moving forward. Shanae’s artistry shines through in every note, inviting audiences to join her on a journey of self-discovery and musical exploration.

We held a listening party for the release of Shanae‘s debut EP, this allowed guests to be first in the world to hear the project in full live and direct. Opening with track one, an anecdotal voice note from Shanae’s uncle layered over a beautiful sax solo was the moment we needed to cleanse the room, as the space went silent and all attention was immersed in the frequency. This made for the perfect segue into ‘essence of us,’ one of my favorite records from the EP. The dance floor lit up with energy as the percussion entered the room, and the sound of that ultra-distinctive log drum and Amapiano cadence made people get lost in the music.

Next, we entered the world of ‘favourite song,’ my personal top pick from the EP infused with so many rewarding percussive elements and stellar lead and backing vocals from Shanae. This caused an instant elation in the room; passion was high, and the audience could not help but dance. This made me feel as though it was an instant hit as the reception was so candid and honest through movement and feeling. Following was ‘leave it,’ the second single to be released from the EP. This record put the room in sing-along mode as most of the audience was familiar with the song.

We then transitioned to ‘cloud 9,’ which although new, caught wave so swiftly as the room was chanting the infamous words of Big Freedia: ‘you better shake shake, shake shake, shake shake.’ As soon as cloud 9 ended, we began to play ‘outside,’ a crowd favorite, as the song embodied the feeling of the night with the audience shouting ‘I’m outside’ every time the hook would come around. A true moment of fun sonic romance. With the EP finishing on ‘now u wanna,’ a track I find so magical and truthful in its narration, one that too many would find relatable.

Reflecting on the inception of Reset, I recall a pivotal studio session at Common House Studios in West Sydney. Collaborating with rising talent Sollyy, we crafted Shanae’s debut singles and built a foundational sound for the EP in the making of ‘essence of us’ and ‘now u wanna.’ Two of my personal favorites not only because I helped write these records with Shanae but also because they reflect real-life moments, key time periods, and encounters that we have both lived through and shared respectively.

Shanae confidently asserts her place in the R&B scene, promising a blend of innovation and authenticity that resonates deeply with listeners, paving the way for her promising future.

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