blackexcellence

Felicia Kid Konversations//Shannon Clay

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I did a live podcast last Fall with the Black Beard Bastards, and what they do is go over local talent. They invited me to their show, and even though I’m far from a music critic, I agreed to drop by. So as we are listening to music, they come to this girl Shannon, I was like WHO THE FUCK IS THAT SHE IS BOMB! If you’re a woman and you on your shit I’m already a fan, period. So fast forward to now, I asked her to do an interview and I was hype that she said yes.

I have to ask you first, rapping or singing?

As much as I enjoy rapping, I prefer being a singer. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t do songs with rapping included! In fact, I have many songs where I am singing and rapping on them; I call that Sapping! (LOL) For me, everyone wants to be a rapper and that’s cool.  But being a singer/songwriter is a different place for me. I get to colorfully, melodically tell stories of my life’s experiences or of the experiences of people that I know!

The first time I heard you I was like yesssss how did you get into the music industry?

I grew up writing.  I have been writing poems, songs and short stories since about 1993 or 94. I used to get on punishments, long punishments all the time for the stupid shit I used to do like putting  my rodded ponytail in the family’s microwave, not putting the dishes, missing curfew or climbing out the window or stealing the keys and sneaking outside to be with all the other kids on the block…oh and those couple of times I snuck my (then boyfriend) baby daddy in the house. Since I was stuck in the house all the time I would spend that time writing. When I was about 17, I wrote a song for a friend and I for a talent show that was held at the Golden Dome on the West Side of Chicago. We won, third place I believe.  After that I started writing more songs and raps. I used to hang with my buddy, Brian Geans (RIP) of the block (Division & Menard) and he and his friends used to rap. So, my lil goofy ass started writing raps and oh my goodness they were so hardcore. Like a dude.  Hell, I wrote a bogus rap because I was mad at my mama! LOL At that age though, music wasn’t fruitful for me even though I dated a producer. Years down the line, I began a job working for Illinicare and I met this woman who happens to be the mother of a fellow classmate from Rezin Orr High School in Chicago. At that time, I had just finished writing a screenplay. She was telling me that her son does videography and maybe we could work together on something. We started working on the movie and we were going to have former Death Row artist, Danny Boy Steward as the starring male role. Danny move to ATL so we didn’t get the movie off the ground. BUT I have that script copy-written with the US Gov site thingy. So how the music began now…though I had been singing in the church and school choirs forever…It wasn’t until my videographer/High School buddy took me to the studio with him one day. That was the day that I met my manager DJ QBALL (CEO of The Control Room Studios Music Group, DJ for Crucial Conflict, Core DJ). When I met QBALL I still had the songs that I had written back in ’97. I got inspired to start back writing music. Anthony Gordon, my high school buddy/videographer, was the first and only person to show me how to find beats on YouTube and it was on from there. My first single, “HOLLYLOO”, was released on all streaming platforms on 4/11/2016 and the doors started swinging open from my first release. I joined QBALL and CRSMG and we have been making music since!! I have taken my musical performances to Chicago, Illinois; Elkhart, South Bend and Kokomo, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia (twice), Miami, Florida and I will be going to perform in Las Vegas in August. But stay on the look out for more dates and places too. I have appeared on IHeart Radio’s: Drive at 5 with Roman Morrow, Power 92 Raw Radio with Seandale, Power 104.3 Kokomo, IN. w/Core DJ ABREEZE and DJ JCUTTA, WSMK 99.1 with Danny Mac and numerous internet radio shows, even being put in rotation! Shannon Clay is HERE!

For the people that don’t know, tell us where you’re from..and what is it like being an artist in your city.

So I was born and raised in Chicago. Being an artist in my city, hmm…I guess its ok, but you gotta remember everybody in Chicago is an artist (rolls eyes).  Its different for me being a singer so it’s easier being excepted especially having good/real music to offer, plus I’m cute, sexy and friendly but I’m also not one to be toyed with. I am my biggest defender and my main priority is to make sure I’M GOOD in all instances. But being a singer in Chicago is pretty cool but I get so much love from people everywhere! I have shirts and music in two different parts of Australia!! I’m Shannon Clay OF/FROM Chicago, not an “Chicago Artist”. My gifts are INTERNATIONAL! 😊

Is it true that this business is male dominated?

When it comes to domination, do I think its male dominated? Hmm. I think I will agree that it is. As with anything else, men tend to be more assertive in the music business. I think, sometimes, women may be seen as objects in music. Men run the music business, even independently, only because more women are not stepping out starting their own thing (though some boss bitches have). Musically though, I would love to see the RIGHT KIND of female presence in the music world.

So, Shannon what do you have coming up?

On April 30th I released my latest single titled “Yeah”! Yeah is available on all streaming media as well! It debuted in Miami at G5IVE and the stripper clapped her ass like THUNDA…BUCKED NAKED all over me while my song played and everyone watched in excitement and anticipation!! So yeah, my next move is to come up with some HOT ASS visuals to match this twerk song! Its for the ladies AND the fellas, YA HEARD ME!! DON’T STOP, GET IT, GET IT!! I’m currently touring the country with Core DJ KING ROBB and the Small Town Big Dreams Tour. As stated earlier, we just returned from a weekend of performances in Miami/Hollywood, FL and our next stop is Las Vegas in August…which is my birthday month (in case you haven’t figured out that I’m a Leo). There are more dates and places scheduled such as North Carolina and NYC just to name a few. In between time, I am working on rolling out my next designs for my single “YEAH” (stream it!) I’ve began pressing the different variety of “Yeah” merchandise. I have created hoodies, tees and even a dress that I can’t wait to rock! Next, I will be printing bandannas, hats…hell, maybe some panties that say “POP THAT SHIT” and towels that say “WASH THAT SHIT”. *Inserts shrug…hell, I don’t know what I’ll create next…but for now….Shannon Clay, OUT!



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Felicia Kid Konversations//Yon James

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I recently decided that I wanted to give people in my city a chance to promote their businesses, and what better place than my platform, which will become OUR platform. As we all know, having a brand in South Bend is hard. We are in a city with very little resources, so its up to us as being creatives to reach out to one another on some for real shit and show support. Felicia Kid Konversations came to me because I wanted to possibly make videos, but people are so on the go I realized that my blog would be a better way to go. The first woman I want to showcase in this summer long series is Yon James. She started her very own company called “The Prominent Delivery” and I interviewed her to get more insight on her brand.

What made you get into the entertainment business?

Art holds a huge place in my heart. I appreciate all forms of art, from writing, drama, costume design, music, painting, makeup etc. Out of all these different embodiments of art, music is my soul. I love all genres of music. Everything about music excites me, and since I’m no longer on the entertainment side I decided to tap into the business side. I’ve seen so much talent go to waste because they don’t know the business side. They have no idea how to get to where it is they want to go. Because believe me posting videos on Facebook is not going to do the trick. And since I already have a little background knowledge of how the industry works along with my schooling I have the proper foundation to be the vessel that takes these artists where they want to go. That along with the fact that I like to be in charge of things lol. I’m a natural born boss.

You had your first professional gig recently with Lucci and Plies in Indianapolis, explain that experience..

If it wasn’t anything else, it was definitely a learning experience. Plies didn’t even show, and Lucci was nearly five hours late. So this definitely gave me some insight on the standards I am going to hold my artists to, because this is beyond disrespectful to your fans; as well as, everyone on the business side who work so hard to put these events together. I will work overtime to make sure my artists keep their word. Anything other than that is just not acceptable.

What do local artists have to do to be apart of your team?

I am seeking dedicated individuals who have a unique sound. People who are going to LISTEN and FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS, because if they’re going to do my job they don’t need me. All my artists sign a three-year contract with me. Some people feel three years is too long, but these things take time. I can’t promise anybody fortune and fame overnight. I don’t know how long it will take, but I can guarantee that after three years if you haven’t met your goal, you will be in arms reach. I am also seeking models, so it’s not just musicians.

So, what exactly does working with you include?

I do everything from marketing and promotion down to booking studio time. I’m booking shows and events that I think are beneficial. I help financially when necessary. I motivate. I do all the networking, planning, and concept support. I try to do everything that way my artists can focus solely on perfecting their craft.

Ok ok, good shit Yanni! Now where do you see your business 6 months from now?

In six months, I hope to have a larger staff than just myself. I also hope to have found a female rapper by then. I will have done a few more shows, some traveling, and hopefully a music conference. Some more trial and error and learning the business. I will have my degree by then so maybe even some

office space outside of South Bend.


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I’m A Blogger

I have been talking to God and paying attention to signs and I have come to the realization that I am a blogger, I’m a writer, I’m a storyteller. True enough, I don’t have to write about celebrities all the time, but that’s what I enjoy doing. You can’t really dive too much into your personal life because people will always try to judge you but shit, I think I’m way past that phase, I don’t give a damn what anybody says about me. I love fashion, I used to get laughed at on Facebook because I love fashion so much, never understood that one. So, I said to myself, what are all the things you love to do, and what are you good at. Kid Jumper was first. I’m fuckin dope at Kid Jumper. I design all my own shirts, I market them myself, I post them myself, the direction of my brand is all my idea. I paid $1,500 for a website that is MINE, I did that. I reach out to people, my customers trust me, you guys SUPPORT ME, I don’t have a “team” or a “machine” behind me but imagine if I did sheesh! All concepts are MINE. I’m no longer saying I want to do that, I AM doing it. Second thing is blogging. Writing comes so natural to me. I’m one of those people when I talk (or write) others pay attention. I got some shit to say, I might not express myself in a conventional proper way but you get wtf I’m saying right? Right. I love branding. I branded my own business. I market my own clothing line. We all do things through trial and error, and right now I’m on the fence about podcasting. I don’t know how I feel about it. I’ve changed the direction of “Meet Felicia Kid” so many times I don’t even know what it is anymore. What does my show even stand for? Me sounding crazy as hell hollering about some random shit? Because I would rather prefer to have a boyfriend I can complain to all the damn time instead of yaw. So for now, my show is up in the air. I might can it. I might not. I asked myself WHAT DO I WANT. I want to be taken seriously. I want to be seen as a black woman with three kids and a full time job who is basically winging this shit but at the same time I smoked this shit. My brand is bomb I don’t give a fuck! I refuse to let somebody tell me it’s not. Period. So I prayed. And I visualized. And I think about the word consistency and my lack there of. And I came up with an answer. I’m not trying to build a personal brand, that shit is exhausting, and not very realistic in South Bend that’s something a lot of us have to face. I had to figure out what I was or I was gonna go crazy and knock all this shit over, including Kid Jumper. But nah, that would be too easy for everybody else.

It’s about to be Summer.

Kid Jumper about to come so hard.

I’m a blogger.

And I got time. 

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