As the Grand Prize winner in the Ourstage (MTV Partner) Artist Access Competition in July, Shining Rae’s hit song “Dreaming” has landed her an opportunity to perform live in New York City and meet music industry giant Bruce Tyler. Her blend of acoustic, pop, and soul music has made this Magnolia, AR native’s music stand out amongst artists across the nation. After fans voted her song to #1, Rae was hand-picked by music industry experts as the recording artist deserving of the opportunity to “experience what so many strive for but so few accomplish in the music business,” according to Ourstage Magazine. Bruce Tyler, former EVP of both Sony Music and Columbia Records, currently uses his expertise to advise some of the most influential artists and companies in the world. As stated in Ourstage Magazine, “Shining Rae is about to join the ranks of artists privy to his highly sought after advice, including Beyonce’, John Mayer, John Legend, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, The Fray and many more.” Most recently Shining Rae has appreaed in Bronze Magazine NYC (www.bronzemagonline.com) as the Artist of the Week (September 26,2011) and again in Ourstage Magazine (September 29, 2011).
In an exclusive article published in the 2008 November/December issue of Baltimore's Name It magazine, CEO Shawnise Kearney stated, "Shining Rae truly has a gift from God. Her voice is amazing." Evidently Shining Rae’s captivating lyrics, musicianship, and vocals of her pop single “Dreaming” (released in 2010) caught the attention of Andre Harrell as she was selected as a semi-finalist in his National Superstar Soul Search competition in July 2010. In May of 2011 Shining Rae caught the attention of (MTV partner) OURSTAGE Magazine in which journalist Emily Cassel featured Shining Rae’s single “Dreaming” as the “ Breakup Anthem” for every girl to “unleash her inner diva.” It is evident that Shining Rae is a true lyricist in her own right that resonates with all demographics.
Shining Rae, born Shannin Rae Watkins, defines music as an extension of her soul that she plans on sharing with the world. With influences such as Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, and Anita Baker, Shining Rae writes music that paints pictures with words and makes one feel empowered. Her distinctive voice is sultry, yet smooth and angelic. Her versatility adds flavor to any genre of music. She often refers to her genre as “Soul/Pop” with the “life’s lessons” of Folk music.
Since the age of 12, Shining Rae has won many talents shows, been booked for professional gigs all over the South and Midwest regions, and had her own song copyright by age 17. Growing up with parents that are musicians/songwriters made music an inevitable love of Shining Rae. With such multifaceted musical inspirations around her, she’s had time to hone her skills in preparation for a successful music career. She is a self-taught guitarist, pianist, and trained flute and piccolo player. Throughout high school, she represented her hometown as a vocalist and dancer for Arkansas's State P.R.I.D.E. (Parents and Resources In Drug-free Education) team and was also selected as 1 of 4 National vocalists. Shining Rae has been featured in Banner News and the Ruston Daily Leader for her philanthropic efforts utilized her music to motivate kids to go for their dreams. The launch of her new website www.shiningrae.com features a section called “Shining Rae’s Shining Stars of Tomorrow” that is dedicated to talented kids.
During college at Louisiana Tech University, Rae became a household name in northern Louisiana. She was the most requested student artist on KLPI FM and most requested vocalist for the National Anthem at numerous sporting events. For the past 5 years, the LA Tech Athletic Department continues to book her to sing namely, an ESPN aired basketball game in 2011.
In 2006 after graduating from college as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Shining Rae left her Southern roots to follow her dreams and moved to Baltimore, Maryland. There she worked as a Scientist at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 4 years and with little sleep she mastered the art of juggling her science and music careers. From November 2008 to May 2009, Shining Rae was a background singer for TMG Records artist Nisha Hester and performed at President Barack Obama’s 1st “Lighting of the National Christmas Tree” in Washington, D.C. She has also collaborated with and opened up for Hip-Hop artists such as Baltimore's own Huli Shallone and subsequently performed as a featured artist in lounges located inside the historic Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore and Eden’s Lounge.
Shining Rae has released a digital EP and five singles (Sugar, Dreaming, Pushin Whips, Tell Me Whatcha Want, Beautiful Day) on Itunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc. & created a nice buzz through YouTube that gained fans all over the world. With an “old soul & heart of gold,” it is clear that Shining Rae is well on her way to becoming the music industry’s hottest female singer/songwriter/musician/producer that makes music that resonates with people from all walks of life in the new age of music.