“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
It’s the feeling of sitting on the edge of your chair listening to one of your favorite songs, while trying hard not to reach for the repeat button before it ends. Being hung on every word, melody, and hook that is sold to you because you feel it to be no other way, now that’s music! We long for those old souls who melt us, persuade us, and capture us with their heart felt vocals and lyrics speaking of love and life. Singer-songwriter Shona McNeill, is, and does just that.
A voice defined by a musical melting pot, Shona exposes her audience to a fusion of the Blues, Jazz, Country, Gospel, and many other musical styles all in one package. Often compared to the likes of Bonnie Rae, Corrine Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, India Arie, Lizz Wright, and Joss Stone, she embraces her musical freedom in her three song appetizer The Demo. Her soulful voice sooths you with ease in songs such as 2 Years 2 Late, while uplifting you as she belts out words of revelation and love in The Curse and I Woke Up. A young mind with wisdom far beyond her years, she is able to entice the attention of a broad range of listeners. Perhaps what makes her a guilty pleasure is not only her vocal range, but her ability to tell a story, and naturally be herself. A journey just beginning with a chapter still unfolding, I present to you singer-songwriter Shona McNeill and her introduction The Demo.
“I’ve always had a hunger for music and wanted to be a sponge and absorb all that I could, explain Shona.” A graduate of UAB’s Music Department, she has had the honor of taking part in studying vocally in both Classical and Theatre music. “Although that was not my main genre of music to sing, states Shona, it opened my eyes to a lot and I have a great appreciation for it.” Upon completing college Shona continued lessons while participating in plays such as The Depot, with the Southern Broadway Theatre Company. “My main focus was getting my music out there, adds Shona, so I began to write songs and ended up choosing three to record for my demo.” With her demo complete she began to contact anyone she could to listen, but it wasn’t until she reached out to a longtime friend that a door opened. “I use to perform for Charlotte Cain at The Sweet Auburn Festival in Atlanta, Georgia when I was in my mid-teens. It had been a while since we talked but I wanted her to hear my music, and was pleased when she did.” With Charlottes help, Shona was introduced to the Artist Development Program which is an opportunity that has helped further mold her. Upon completion of the program Shona auditioned for “Song of My Heart”, with Southern Broadway Theatre Company, and received the role of Mimsy Jackson, in the 2012 production. “There were only four characters in the entire production, and how intimate the setting was for the audience as well as the actors, made the audience feel part of the show. To me this was a great way for me to exhibit not only my singing ability but my acting ability as well, and I gained so much, explains Shona.” Never to be defined by being placed in a box, Shona McNeill pushes herself to be more than just a singer- song-writer, but a well-rounded talent, embarking on Theatre and so much more.
“I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.”