Shontelle on Her Music, Performances, and Personal FAULT: An Exclusive Photoshoot and Interview

Shontelle on Her Music, Performances, and Personal FAULT: An Exclusive Photoshoot and Interview

Photography: Jack Alexander

MUA: Olly Fisk

In this interview, we had the privilege of chatting with the talented Barbadian singer and songwriter, Shontelle. Known for her international hits like “T-Shirt” and “Impossible,” Shontelle has been making music that resonates with audiences across the globe for over a decade. We discuss her recent performance at Titan festival in the UK, her songwriting process, and her new EP, Boomerang. Shontelle also opens up about the emotional toll of writing her song “Say Hello to Goodbye” and shares the key message she hopes to deliver with her music. Finally, she talks about the misconceptions people have about her and reveals her biggest FAULT, which is something many of us can relate to.

You were recently in the UK for Titan festival – how was that?

It was such a relief to feel like myself again after almost 3 years of a Pandemic and not touring. I felt like I could finally breathe again being on stage and sharing such fun and joy with the people. I really missed UK! I missed the energy.

How does it feel that songs you released 14 years ago still resonate with audiences across the globe?

It’s unreal sometimes. The one thing every artist wishes for other than awards and plaques is timeless classics. I’m grateful to have achieved it all. I recognize it’s a blessing to be able to touch so many hearts and have a lasting effect on successive generations.

Any plans to return to the UK?


You’ve released a number of standalone tracks over the past few years – can we expect a full project any time soon?

Yes it’s been a challenging, yet fun and rewarding journey doing things indie. I just released a new EP called Boomerang under a distribution deal with Ingrooves and Tight Music. But I’m already working on what would be my 3rd official studio album. It will be my most personal body of work ever released.

Has your songwriting process changed over the years?

Not too much but it’s gotten much easier. Kinda like second nature. Like breathing. And I tend to freestyle alot more these days. That comes with confidence over time. Sometimes I’ll just find myself freestyling around the house about anything random that’s just happened. Then I’m like hey! That’s a song! And I’ll pull out my phone and record voice notes until I can get to the studio and lay down a demo.

Emotionally what’s been the most taxing song to write?

The most difficult song to write was Say Hello to Goodbye. It took me 2 days to record it because I kept crying in the booth. It’s a true story about what was the worst and most unexpected break up I had been through at the time.

What’s one key message you want to deliver with your music?

Love tends to be the central message in most of my songs. Love is the answer. Love is joy and peace. It’s beautiful. But the absence of love by contrast is such darkness, pain and anguish.

What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Be yourself.

What’s been the worst?

Be like them.

What are peoples misconceptions about you?

That I’m all sweet and prim and proper. If they only knew! I have the mouth of a pirate! And a short fuse at times. Especially when it comes to tolerating the mistreatment of others. I’ll flip on your ass real quick if I think you’re out of line. I don’t let it slide. Zero tolerance.


What is your FAULT?

Overthinking and getting in my head. That can be a good thing because there such a thing as positive procrastination. It helps you avoid trouble and bad mistakes. But it’s also a major flaw because if you can’t control it,  you can be lead down a very dark path or talk yourself out of doing important things out of fear. It can be so crippling. It can lead to severe depression and disappointment. I beat myself up alot about it because I feel like I know better.  But it’s a viscous cycle that’s hard to break. I’m working on it everyday and getting much better.