Hello Shawney, how are you?
Hi! I’m doing well, hope you are shining too <3
I’m great! Thankyou!
Congratulations on the release of Alter Ego”, how does it feel?
Thank you! It feels really good to finally start my music journey and share a piece of myself. This has been something I’ve wanted for a long time, but had been unable to convince myself to be vulnerable and open to the journey.
What’s the story behind the EP?
ALTER EGO Is a representation of my main two personalities.
Shawney and JADE. Shawney is sweet, introverted, an entrepreneur, and through her spiritual and healing journey is focused on connection with her inner self and others. Jade is sensual, eccentric, bold, the center of attention, and celebrates her feminine energy loudly. Both are me, but I had to give myself permission to be the version of myself that I was taught to hide and suppress. Alter Ego is the beginning of me showing both sides of me. From Daddy Issues to Feel you, I am on a mission to be both Shawney and Jade…together they make Shawney Rainne. Future releases will reflect either Shawney or Jade.
What’s your favourite track from it?
This is definitely a difficult question to answer because each song is uniquely special. I think Feel You would have to be my favorite, as it takes me back to a time when I was in love. Although that connection didn’t work for us, it is a precious moment in time that I will cherish forever. So far, it is the only love song I have ever written.
You are from Nashville, how did it all begin for you?
I am actually from a small farm town about an hour outside of Chicago IL. I was fostered and later adopted by a farmer and a teacher. I grew up under strict conditions, really wasn’t permitted to participate in anything considered “worldly” or “ungodly” …which turns out was a suppressant of my natural creative energy. I moved to Nashville on a whim in 2017 when I had a bit of a premature quarter life crisis. I wanted to sing. I wanted to pursue my purpose. So I dropped out of school (I had about a year left) and moved to Nashville. Nashville wasn’t an easy transition for me, as I still needed time to understand myself and find my voice.
What did you listen to growing up?
My parents definitely had a tight hold on what we were exposed to, and when I was homeschooled, I really didn’t listen to much outside of talk radio and preaching. However, my parents had a soft spot for country music, and usually when we were working on the farm, we’d be listening to country music. I think this is where my love for storytelling was born. Even though I don’t really listen to country music anymore, I will always have an appreciation for it. Eventually I got a taste of top 40 type music on the bus ride to school, but still had limited access to music outside of Christian and Country.
Tell us about EBCM.
Well, on the topic of country music….EBCM is an acronym for Everything But Country Music. It is not meant to be malicious or vindictive, but Nashville has a massive platform for country music in the city. I wanted to even the playing field and create opportunities for non-country creatives in the city. We launched in 2021, and curated different experiences in Music City such as artists showcases, mini festivals (including live on the cumberland, and the Unapologetically Black Festival), poetry nights, and fashion shows. The mission was to highlight the underground community in Nashville, and give a voice to those that aren’t typically given the space to be heard.
You have a love for lyrical storytelling. How does a typical writing session begin for you?
Most of my writing sessions actually start in my car…or at 3a on my bed.
My creative process is all over the place, but there are a few constants. When I am really struggling to process my feelings, or when I feel like I’m REALLY messing up my life, I start writing. I’m not entirely sure how my car became my sacred writing space, but it seems to protect me from the outside world. I guess when I’m in my car I feel invisible to the outside world, and it’s me vs myself. My car writing experience begins with playing an instrumental beat, listening for the message in the instruments, writing mostly gibberish, crying…more gibberish … .and eventually a story, a message, or a feeling will come to me in the form of. If something stays with me, I’ll either finish the song in the studio or take it to a co-write. Some songs will sit for years though before I decide to revisit them and bring them to the studio.
COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way, what kept you motivated?
2020 is when I did the most self work. I was by myself in my apartment, and it forced me to ask myself some tough healing questions. Ultimately, I’m not sure if I really stayed motivated through COVID, but it definitely was the birth of several ideas (including EBCM) and the beginning of my spiritual journey as Shawney Rainne.
The last three years have been a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
I could write a book with this question and it feels a bit tricky to summarize. Ultimately I learned that I still have trauma I need to work through and this healing journey is not easy but it is crucial to my purpose. I learned that we all, myself included, are powerful, impactful, and connected. I learned how to access my voice. I learned that authenticity and vulnerability are superpowers. I learned to love my inner child, and give myself grace to learn, heal, grow, and fail up. I am still in a reflection period and will constantly be learning and evolving, but the past few years have been foundational and monumental. Most importantly, I’ve learned to love the journey and appreciate the process.
Did you pick up any new skills?
Yes and no. I spent time taking courses mostly focused on marketing, branding, and social media. All skill sets I had experience in, but I definitely strengthened some skill sets I already had.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I have been diving into a book called “Unblocked” on audible. It has been an awakening experience for me as I work through unblocking my Chakras. I also am listening to a lot of
Janelle Monáe lately as I really connect with her message and spiritual journey.
What are you looking forward to doing next?
I am looking forward to continuing building my brand, artistry, and career. Alter Ego was the first step for me…but I am going to keep building, keep evolving, and continue putting out music and content.
Special thanks to Frances @ Quite Great PR