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Shontelle

“Shontelligence” merely defines the knowledge that I have acquired throughout my life, the knowledge yet to be absorbed and ultimately the product of all my experiences which I then translate into my music. Singer, songwriter, rising star and aspiring lawyer? Not the combination that one would normally expect. But then again there is nothing ordinary about Shontelle - the 23 year-old Bajan singer-songwriter who’s set to take the world by storm after signing with music mogul Steve Rifkind’s SRC records. Shontelle’s unique story begins in the West Indies on the beautiful Island of Barbados.
The oldest of 3 sisters, Shontelle has always been an over-achiever who excelled academically while competing in several sports. However her true calling as a prolific songwriter and talented singer would draw her away from both the field and classroom and onto center stage. Shontelle’s fate seems to have predestined her to be a star. Her aunt Kim Derrick, a popular and celebrated artist in Barbados, saw her drive early on and encouraged Shontelle to pursue her dreams – despite her family’s concerns that becoming a musical performer would not be the best career choice. While in high school Shontelle attended “Cadets” camp - where she served as drill sergeant over a newcomer named Rhianna. “She was a good cadet, though there was one occasion when I had to make her drop and give me ten push-ups. We laugh about it now…I think she’s forgiven me.” Little did either of the teens know that they would remain friends and both follow the same dream of becoming international stars in the music business.
When Shontelle made the decision to attend the University of the West Indies she chose to pursue a degree in entertainment law. She has reaped the benefits of this decision to this day and credits her time studying law with opening her mind to different subjects and ultimately feeding her creative process. As Shontelle says “The next couple of years moved really fast”.Barbados-based music manager Sonia Mullins took the young writer-performer under her wing at this time , and Shontelle began to carve a reputation in the Caribbean music world by crafting songs for a number of top artists, all while attending the University.
Fast forward to 2005, and the up and coming talent scores a hit heard far beyond the Caribbean as the writer of the girl-power anthem “Roll”. Producers Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken of SRP Records, who had discovered Rihanna in Barbados and brought her to the world stage, heard the song on a Bajan radio station and felt that it had international hit potential. They sought out the writer of the song to license it for a cover version, and had a pleasant shock; “We couldn’t believe that she was such a great singer and so young and beautiful, and hadn’t been discovered yet” says Rogers. They signed her immediately, and spent the next six


Barbadian pop singer Shontelle (born Shontelle Layne) gained notice as the songwriter behind Alison Hinds' "Roll It Gal," a hit in her native country. The SRC label, home to friend Rihanna, offered a contract, which prompted her to put her studies behind to focus on a music career. Shontelligence, her debut album, was released in November 2008 and stalled out of the gate, despite input from the likes of Stargate. It was given a second push the following February. The album peaked at number 24 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart; somewhat surprisingly, for being such a pop-oriented album, it failed to appear on the Billboard 200 chart. She had greater success with the lead single to her second album. The regretful breakup song "Impossible," a preview of her second album, was released in February 2010 and hit the Top 20 of the Hot 100 by July. No Gravity was released in September.


Shontelle was born on October 4, 1985 in Saint James, Barbados, to Raymond and Beverley Layne.
She has two younger sisters, Rayana and Rhea Layne.
Shontelle was a student at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados (currently on hold), and was on her way to becoming a lawyer before SRC, the same label known for discovering her friend Rihanna, saw her talent.
Shontelle wrote the song "Roll It Gal" for regionally renowned Alison Hinds. The song had big success in the Caribbean, New York, Miami and Europe.
Her lyrical writing helped her to perform with Natahlee Burke (another artist from Barbados). Their hit song was "Colours" which was a song showing the pride of being Barbadian did so well, that a remix was made to represent the whole Caribbean.

 

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