Representing in the concrete jungle where dreams are made, this Brooklyn, NY native, Shanelle Gabriel is holding it down as the multi-talented singer, writer, poet and actress.
In her own word she is "putting blood, sweat and tears on it… and is here to go the distance" with a voice that has a velvet street edge and can also transform to be as soft as a rose petal. An advocate raising awareness for Lupus (May is Lupus Awareness month) we can definitely sing the hook (from her remix Best I Ever Had) “Nell-E, you the best…Nell-E, you the best.”
Shanelle grew up in a musically inclined household ranging from her Trinidadian father playing steel pan music, her mother singing and her sister as a choir director at church. It was during this time her singing was showcased. She realized that she loved being in front of people. Over the years Shanelle has developed her artistic capacity while attending Utica College reading, writing poetry, singing, rapping and acting.
The essence of Shanelle’s influence remains favorably towards Hip-Hop and varies from some of the profound artists like McLyte, Rakim, Stevie Wonder and Maya Angelou. Although commonly compared to lyricist, such as Lauryn Hill, Marsha Ambrosius (half duo – Floetry) and Monica (brilliant compliments indeed). She has the ability to sing all three parts - soprano, alto and tenor. Shanelle definitely is an artist to be reckoned with! Her goal is to one day work with musical geniuses Kayne West, Quincy Jones or Faith Evans.
As a poetess she prefers a stanza format to add more lines to her work. She considers her unique poetry style conversational, relatable, approachable and understandable. This systematic trait has provided her with the ability to premiere as the opening act on the 6th Season of HBO Def Poetry with Jill Scott and DMX. A fan emailed her the information to submit an audition tape, but the poem that awarded her the honor was a second submission after the previous one she sent. So, maybe that cliché saying holds weight that it’s ‘better the second time around’? Ultimately, Shanelle felt the HBO Def Poetry experience was like one big family affair that was exclusive to her and the other artist on the show.
The performances she regards for her acting is being in Q-Tip’s video “ManWomanBoogie” and stage play “The Vagina Monologues.”
What is Shanelle About?
Noticeably evident it’s hard to find someone that “keeps it 100”and exudes a confidence the way this full-time artist does in her career. Her most recent work is a reflection of who she is and what she is personally going through by revealing immediate life experiences in her spoken word. Some of her topics evolved to include details regarding friends, dating or relationships. Currently, she is learning to play the guitar to serve as an outlet while performing. Shanelle has been acclaimed as a virtuoso for her ability and aptitude to provide an abstract lyrical style in her own words. Oh, I must share she delivers a great sense of humor to her work as well.
One thing that is a major part of her life is her Lupus condition. Lupus awareness is a focal point for Shanelle to provide individuals with encouragement and education that you can live a full life with the medical condition. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage joints, skin or organs inside the body. There are typically 11 symptoms of Lupus, but you have to have 4-5 symptoms to be diagnosed. At this time there is no cure. The disease is hard to diagnose because there are a lot of “hidden symptoms” that are common, such as fatigue, headaches and joint pain. Shanelle had ignored her symptoms for a period of time until one day while styling her hair she noticed two bald spots on her scalp.
Her titled track “Vanity” explains how this unfolds and prompted her to visit the doctor for a solution. Due to her busy schedule, Shanelle’s challenges with the condition is all about work/life balance. It makes it hard for her to tour on the road and be ready to perform when she feels ill. Stress is a trigger and can aggravate her condition at times, so she has to be mindful of when to slow down and when to rest. Being diagnosed with Lupus, although viewed as a malediction, has also been a blessing. As an artist she has been able to be more open, honest and unselfish to her own needs as well as to go beyond the limitations and burdens set by others. Shanelle recognizes that in this business a lot of artists are abusive to themselves by constantly focusing on what others demand.
Shanelle stays grounded by nurturing the relationships she has with family and friends. Sometimes her friends clown her because they have to be put on her calendar to hang out. Soon to be a household name, anticipate Shanelle’s second album scheduled to drop soon and view her upcoming projects at www.shanellegabriel.com or buy her music on Amazon, Rhapsody or iTunes.
Russell says it best, “Thank you, God bless and Good Night.”
For more information about Lupus awareness please go to: www.lupus.org
Contributed by – Pascha Black for Red Keyz Media