Shan Smile is a singer/songwriter from South London. Having attended the famous Brit School, Shan is now studying Music at Middlesex University.
CC: Can you tell us about one of your first memories of singing?
SS: When I was at my Secondary School at a talent competition. I sang 'I love your Smile' by Shanice, which is who I was named after. My sister was also in the competition and it was such a great experience and from that is where my love of music started to grow.
CC: What made you decide you would like to take your training to another level and attend a music school?
SS: I suppose it was going to Chestnut Grove Secondary School and from taking part in competitions and pretty much anything to do with music - I was involved with so much musically, even playing the trumpet in the orchestra, from there I felt like I had reached a limit musically at Chestnut Grove so someone suggested I apply to The Brit School and that's how that started.
CC: What influence has your training at The Brit School had on you as an artist?
SS: A big influence! It's encouraged me to do things for yourself. Taught me about how to work with people and working as a team. It's also made me enjoy it so much more.
CC: Who are your biggest influences music wise?
SS: I have so many. I am influenced by a lot of things and people and artists. I can't really put a finger on it because I have such a big play list. There are so many artists on there. I would say at different times, different people influence me. My dad has definitely introduced me to so many artists; Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson and those types of artists.
CC: How do you go about the songwriting process?
SS: I always sit down and just play my guitar and so much can come from that. Or if i see something happening, or someone going through something, or if I am going through something, I will sit down with my guitar, write and let it flow.
CC: How did you go about finding your own sound?
SS: When I started at the Brit School, I started guitar lessons and it took me about 4 years to learn to play properly and be able to accompany myself. So from that, gigging, writing with people etc, that's where my sound developed. In fact it's still developing.
CC: Describe one of your favourite performances so far?
SS: My launch was on the 22nd of May that was an amazing experience.
CC: How do you get ready for a performance?
SS: I pray and I try to stay happy. I try not to be nervous. I analyse my surroundings to work out how to perform in that space. I rehearse and then just try to enjoy it. You have to enjoy it. That's the most important thing.
CC: If you could collaborate with any other artist dead or alive, who would if be and why?
SS: I would say Michael Jackson or Sam Cooke. Sam Cooke's voice is so touching, I find his voice amazing. The soulfulness of it is just amazing. Michael Jackson? I would have loved to be able to go into the studio and write a song with him.
CC: Musically what’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
SS: No one else can invest in your dream more than you can.
CC: What advice would you give to an aspiring singer/ songwriters?
SS: Practise, practise, practise!
CC: What do you see in your future?
SS: I see more projects being released. Me collaborating with more people. Songwriting and touring I hope.
CC: What was the last track you listened to?
SS: The gospel song 'I Trust You Lord' by Donnie McClurkin or it could've been Chaka Khan!
CC: Describe your perfect day?
SS: In the sun, in the park, with my loved ones, with my guitar, jamming and having a laugh. Oh and food of course!
It was a pleasure to be able to get to know more about this budding talent and we are very excited to see Shan Smile perform at the next showcase! Tickets are available now on the website, we look forward to seeing you there!
Article By: Claire Cripps