blackwomen

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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Plain Jane

I’m always lurking for artists and other ideas on Instagram and in 2015 I found this woman named Donna Baxter. This is when Kid Jumper was really new, I had one shirt, the Midwest Hustler tee, and I was wanting more designs. So I come across her page and most of her illustrations are kind of watercolors, and lots of glitter. Definitely not the aesthetic of my brand and totally not Streetwear. But I still wanted to hit her but I just NEEDED a design from her for some reason. So I sent her a DM and she was super nice. We came up with the idea of the red lips with the gold tooth. I was like yesssssss this is bomb! And I sat on this design for years, not knowing what I wanted to do with it or how I would incorporate it into my brand. Fast forward a few years, A$AP Ferg and Nicki Minaj have a remix called “Plain Jane”. I’m like mfn BINGO that’s it! So now my design has a name, now how do I put all this together? I hit my lead graphic designer, Rich, and I drew a picture of the lips, and I drew the words “Plain Jane” around it, and I told him I wanted to use the same font as my “Kid Jumper” watermark. He said not a problem. 

So that’s done and it’s dope.  But now I have to put some thought behind it. Because what does “Plain Jane” even mean? And furthermore what do I want it to mean to me and other women? We live in the society of social media, and there are a lot of women on there that have these perfect bodies, they going on vacations, they living it up, and they make it possible for a regular degular woman like myself to maybe feel some type of way. They are constantly dressed up, heels on, face beat, weave, the whole nine. We all are not like that, so I wanted to make a shirt that represented us. I wear Jordan’s and Timbs, I work a 9-5, I hustle my ass off when it comes to my clothing line, I take great care of my children, and I pray.  So now I have the design, the meaning, but what’s the movement behind it? I decided I want to use “Plain Jane” as a platform for women to speak and tell people something about them because otherwise they wouldn’t. So, when you order a shirt, I’m asking women to take a bomb ass selfie and send it to me with a few words to explain what makes them a “Plain Jane” and the response has been really good. When we create something it has to be for our culture and if you’re a woman it must have something to do with us. I have big plans for this vision.

I’m definitely pushing myself. 

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The Creativity Is Sold Separately

How do you know if you’re creative? In my opinion, you see things in a way nobody else does. You notice a picture, a circle, a line, a crack in the wall and you wonder what you can turn that into. My mind is constantly turning, because as I get more heavy into fashion and design, you have to stay a million steps ahead of everybody else. Some people might ask me what do I design? You don’t know how to draw. And naw, I don’t. I get an inspiration from something, and I’ll play off that, or, I will scribble something that I want onto a piece of paper and show it to my graphic designer and he makes it happen. I have a small collection of tees and hoodies right now, and in a few months I will have NEW designs so I have to constantly pay attention to trends, color ways, pop culture, what I see on runway shows on Instagram, I’m so into it. The whole boycott of Gucci made me think, well, I can’t afford Gucci right now, and some of the people I know can’t afford it, so yo, this is the perfect time to be a Black owned clothing line. Dapper Dan made a comment along the lines that being a designer doesn’t just mean you’re just putting a logo onto a shirt, and he’s absolutely right. My goals are so far past South Bend, IN. They have to be, because how many people in South Bend will continue to rock with me and buy my shirts? What if nobody in my city buys another shirt from me again? I HAVE to think that way. I have to think towards the future, I have to think bigger. And not just have the vision of being bigger, I also have to put a plan of action BEHIND my thoughts. I used to be trash at setting goals and now I can tell you where my line will be a year from now, it’s all mapped out. Kid Jumper has a blueprint, and I work on it every single day. I have to clap for myself, why wouldn’t I think my brand is bomb as fuck? I can’t be afraid to say, shop with me now, because soon my hoodies won’t be $38 they will be $75. My creativity and my thoughts are all I have, and I have to stay true to who I am, or nobody will believe in my brand. And thank you to those of you that do.  

Kid Jumper Family hoodie $38  

Kid Jumper Family hoodie $38