Shanti Arielle
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Shanti Arielle

Baton Rouge, LA | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Baton Rouge, LA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Hip Hop R&B

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"Elephant In The Room"

Baton Rouge native Shanti Arielle Skidmore, 20, has filled her years with singing.

It began at 5 years old, when she would sing at her grandmother’s church. From there, she joined the school choir, and was eventually a part of the Baton Rouge Junior Chorus and Baton Rouge All Parish and All City Choir in middle school and at McKinley High School.

“It wasn’t anything to showcase my own abilities,” Skidmore said. “But I did learn from my choir mates.”

While years in choir might have ignited a passion, Skidmore said talent shows at school were places she discovered her ability, while singing cover songs in front of her peers.

After releasing her third album, Elephant Gun, Skidmore is well past singing just for talent shows and is a musician gaining steam in the Baton Rouge music scene.

At 14, Skidmore was writing her own songs, after receiving a microphone and a four-track recorder for her birthday. The recorder could build custom beats, but they had to be erased before she could record a new one.

“I was broke,” she said. “I couldn’t buy my own beats.”

In the coming years, Skidmore’s home life had bigger problems than being 14 and broke. Her mother, consistently out of town because of her work as a truck driver, didn’t pay the bills and was evicted. Skidmore moved in with her father, while her half-sister left with her mother.

“I wasn’t leaving,” she said. “If I was to leave with her, I wouldn’t have anywhere to go to school, to bathe, or to sleep.”

Skidmore’s dad, Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore, provided the home she needed and served as her musical mentor. Chancelier is a percussionist with The Michael Foster Project and works for Forward Arts Inc. The two work as a team on creative projects to move Shanti forward.

For her high school graduation gift, Shanti got the equipment she needed to build her dreams – a keyboard, a microphone, and an iMac loaded with Logic Pro.

“It took me a year to really learn how to use the program,” Shanti said. “But I could make my own beats, redo songs, and mix and match.”

Using the program, Shanti put out her first project at 18, an album called Pink Nail Polish.

“I was so excited about it,” Shanti said. “I was hungry for it and I had complete control over everything.”

Pink Nail Polish had five songs, all a fusion of hip-hop, pop, and techno.

“I burned some CDs, put my name and the title on them with a Sharpie, and would sell them for $5, and give them to my family for, like, $2.”

Soon after the release of Pink Nail Polish, Shanti got to work on her second project, again with no budget. Her second project was released in 2011, a six-song album called Charging, which took a year to produce.

“You can hear my growth in the second project,” she said. “It was a totally different sound. I do this to grow and to learn. Right now, I’m not really looking for a record deal or to blow up from this.”

Shanti has the vocal talent to be noticed, but said she doesn’t want to fall into a trap where she can’t be herself.

“I don’t think I’m prepared for a record deal. You don’t have time to grow as an artist,” she said. “I don’t have a problem doing everything for myself.”

Old school soul kings Stevie Wonder and Prince serve as inspiration for Shanti’s sound – an evolving take on R&B with powerful vocals.

“I want to be able to change the face of pop music,” she said. “I like pop music. It’s like water to me. But we don’t really hear much soul anymore, and I want to change that.” Just before Thanksgiving, Shanti released her third project, a 10-track CD called Elephant Gun.

“Big things can carry a big punch,” she said. “This is about me and my legacy. After I came out with Charging, it was about what kind of emotions I was having, and I wanted to show more personality.”

Shanti named “Cuttin’ Heads” and “Raise Your Hand” as two of her favorite tracks on Elephant Gun, singing, “Raise your hand if somebody gave you half a chance to rise.”

As her own producer, Shanti has learned how to edit herself.

“After doing a song 20 times, it’s probably the best I can do,” Shanti said. “At some point, you just have to be done with it.”

As far as her writing process, it varies from song to song.

“Sometimes I make the track first,” she said. “I usually take a topic from my life, or sometimes the lyrics start with a poem.”

Shanti is close to graduating from the Aveda Institute, and would eventually like to attend school in Los Angeles.

“I am excited about doing hair, but music is the ultimate goal,” Shanti said. “I would like to go back to school to further my education in music production.”

Shanti has worked and performed with several local artists, including Taylor Jay the Rap Goddess, AF THE NAYSAYER, Marz the Superior, DJ Pac Man, and poet Donney Rose. Her upcoming performance at Gallery Bohemia on Jan. 20 will be her first solo set.

Get Shanti’s album, Elephant Gun, through her website (www.ShantiArielle.com) and see her perform at Gallery Bohemia on Jan. 20 at 7:00 p.m. - Holly A. Phillips - Dig Magazine


"Shanti Arielle is “Right Back” With New Single For The Summer"

Attention, vulnerable music is in style right now, and Shanti Arielle throws out a great one to keep it going. “Right Back” takes us on a journey of emotions from the young singer. She speaks about the commonality of friends in a guy’s ear, promoting doubt about his girl. She stands firm in her position though, telling her muse, “if you love me, you know that I’ll love you right back.” A song about reciprocity. We all know that the concept of reciprocity in music, can be directly traced back to the great Lauryn Hill. With Shanti Arielle’s versatility, her amazing pen, her thought provoking lyrics, her vulnerability, but her strength, she’s definitely going to receive comparisons to greats as her career evolves.

“Right Back” has potential to bubble through the Summer. It can also be one of those records that transition well into August as the school year opens back up. We all know on campus relationships in college are filled with holes. Shanti expresses these holes in an eloquent manner on “Right Back”. Possibly using her own life story to convey such a strong message, maybe she just has a great pen, and writes lyrics that are easy to relate to. We all know that Beyonce has emerged as the world’s biggest artist from a similar practice. Whatever the practice is, Shanti Arielle delivered in a major way, and we’re looking forward to hearing more from her. - Shaq Cosse


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

   Music producer/songwriter/recording artist, Shanti Arielle, enters head-first into the music industry with a passion for turning emotional scars into auditory castles. The level of fulfillment she experiences when creating her own musical compositions is unrivaled by anything experienced; for her, it escapes description. She says, “I believe that music shapes the moods of its audience and has the power to bridge society’s many gaps.” So, she marries her desire to create and her desire to uplift. By doing this she hopes to create a sonic representation of love that is palpable, urgent, and healing.

   Already possessing a unique musical style Shanti just might be the next big trend-setter. With high hopes and a tenacious spirit, she seeks to acheive her dream of being one of the greats and maybe winning a few Grammys along the way. Be sure to keep an eye on this triple delight, as she sets out on a mission to bring some new treats to the table and give us a little of what we’ve been missing; heart.

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