Archives For shontelle

Any good singer and/or songwriter says that a hit record that resonates with people has real emotion in it. And if there’s one thing pop star Shontelle Layne does not lack, it’s real emotion in her songs. For example, there was an actual guy and a “T-Shirt” which inspired her first hit. The Bajan singer’s biggest single to date, “Impossible” – was also relatable at the time she recorded it. Now, comes “Say Hello to Goodbye,” Shontelle’s next single from her sophomore LP, No Gravity. Apparently when she went in to the booth to cut this one, the emotion was almost too real.

“I was going through something at the time, and it was so real to me,” said Layne of the track during an interview on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” “It took me over two days to record it, because the producer was like, ‘Dude, okay, I get it about being real, but honestly, you’re crying so much we can’t even understand what you’re saying.'”

Layne took the rest of the day off and ordered room service before hopping back in to the studio. Martin Hansen produced the power-ballad, which is a slight departure for Shontelle’s R&B/pop sound in that it does mix in some heavy guitars.

“When I first thought about doing, ‘Say Hello to Goodbye,’ everyone was like, ‘Are you crazy? This sounds like a pop/country/rock ballad. What are you doing? No one is gonna get this from you,'” she recalled. “I just feel it… it just feels right.”

Shontelle can only hope that her audience feels the same way about “Say Hello” as they did about her platinum-selling single, “Impossible.” Funny thing is, that song almost wasn’t even Shontelle’s to sing – Leona Lewis turned it down first.

“Maybe (Lewis) just couldn’t relate at the time or what, but it worked out for me,” Layne said. The singer knew of the rumor of that “Impossible” was offered to Lewis first, but didn’t receive confirmation until a recent trip overseas. “Thank you Leona! You’re my home girl.”

Shontelle was overseas touring the UK with Jason Derulo. She believes the two will link up sooner rather than later in Miami to collaborate on a track. Meanwhile, Layne is preparing for her own tour across the U.S. – which she hopes to kick off later this year.

Shontelle Layne sounds like she is on “Cloud 9”… can you blame her?

“I am such a happy girl right now. Things have been going really, really well,” said Shontelle, who called in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” on the day her sophomore album, No Gravity, hit stores. “I mean, I’ve been in the studio with Rihanna as well.”

The two songstresses go way back – to the days when they were both cadets in their home country of Barbados. Shontelle will now collaborate with Rihanna on Loud, which is due out this November. Layne noted that her and RiRi wanted to link up for a while now, and was happy that their schedules finally synced. Despite other reports, the “T-Shirt” insists she cleared it with Rihanna before announcing the news.

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“I was very careful, I was like, ‘Ri, you let me know. If I’m not supposed to say anything, tell me,’” she recalled. “I literally didn’t say anything until I got the ‘all-clear’ and so, it’s all good.”

While Rihanna just finished up the “Last Girl on Earth” tour, Shontelle has been touring the globe promoting her new album and it’s first single, “Impossible” – which has sold over a million copies to date. Layne also found time to indulge in New York’s Fashion Week a little, thus missing the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles.

“I love fashion, so you know… I’m so sorry VMAs, yeah I put fashion before music videos,” joked Shontelle. “I actually left London… and I literally hopped off the plane and went straight to Alexander Wang.”

While in London, Layne linked up with boy band JLS. No Gravity is in stores now, and features collaborations with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Asher Roth, and Bruno Mars.

Sure he warns that he’ll break (break, b-break break) your heart on his hit single – but what Taio Cruz didn’t tell you is that he’ll spoil you first, with sweets galore.

“The only vice I have is sugar,” admitted Cruz, calling in to “The Ralphie Radio Show” from his hotel room in New York on the day his album Rokstarr was released in the states. “I just love things that are sweet… girls love me because I love chocolate, cake, sweets.”

Lure them in with candy, stomp their hearts into a bunch of itty-bitty pieces. Cruz created quite the formula there – but only the former happens in real life. The latter is only sung about on his chart-topping song “Break Your Heart” – however women seem to look past the potential heartbreak and on to the honesty of the record.

“I guess women kind of like a bad boy to an extent,” noted Cruz. “I’ve had loads of messages saying, ‘Will you please break my heart?’”


Although I didn’t press about any personal heartbreak – I did bring up the troubles his song brought to Train, who couldn’t find the top of the iTunes chart with “Hey, Soul Sister” for weeks because of Taio’s debut in the states.

“(Laughing) Wow, that’s cool, that’s the first I’m hearing about that,” responded Cruz when I informed him of Train’s Twitter plea to the singer to relent the top spot on iTunes, if even for a minute. “I mean, I guess their call was answered somehow.”

The two may find themselves in a battle again soon – Train is headed back to radio with “If It’s Love” while Cruz follows up his first single with “Dynamite” and the Ke$ha-assisted “Dirty Picture.”

Check out what you missed from PROM DATE 3.21.10 at Bentley’s, Route 309 in Ashley.


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Barbados-born Jaicko stopped by “The Ralphie Radio Show” to chat and perform an acoustic version of his new single, “Fast Forward (FFWD)” – off his forthcoming LP, Can I.

Someone does her hair, someone does her makeup – and the British-born artist admits her total prep-time can ring in as long as two hours. She’s a Grammy-award winner, and is probably coming to a red carpet near you soon, if she hasn’t graced it already. But despite all the commotion, it seems singer/fashionista Estelle Darlings is still pretty modest.

“I think it will happen,” the “American Boy” songstress said on the prospects of one day creating a fashion line. “I just don’t want it to be like, because I’m me. I want it to actually be a good line, yunno, something great. So, I think I’m going to have to go and do a real internship.”

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For more on Estelle, click here.

Perhaps she could intern at People’s Revolution? She did appear for a few seconds in an episode of Kell On Earth. Somewhere in the lower 48, Ryan Seacrest and MTV are scrambling for the production credits on this one.

Anyways, Darlings does have a bit of a start on her fashion line – a jewelry line with Rachel Roy. Pieces range from $30 to $195, and can be found at some Macy’s. Estelle was conscience of the retail prices.

“I’m very much in to quality, but I still like my cheapies,” she admitted. “The whole point with (the jewelry line) was to do something with great quality that was quite cheap at the same time.”

Darlings also revealed that she tries not to spend a lot of money on “eye-lashes and product-things,” while noting that she is sent a lot of items based on her look.

Her third studio LP, All Of Me, is scheduled for a fall release. The first single, the David Guetta-produced “Freak”, features Kardinal Offishall and is available online now.

Yes, another talented pop singer, from Barbados, on “The Ralphie Radio Show.” Meet 18 year-old Jaicko, who checked in to “The RRS” to chat about his new track, “Fast Forward (FFWD).”

Part 1: “Fast Forward (FFWD)”

Part 2: Barbados, Valentine’s Day

Universal Motown/SRP Recording Artist Vita Chambers swung through The RRS to talk about her Thanksgiving Day performance to celebrate 50 years of Motown, as well as her new track, “Young Money”, which is available now on iTunes.

Part 1: Barbados, Thanksgiving Performance

Part 2: “Young Money”

In the days of Web 2.0 – you know you’ve made it when someone attempts to imitate you on Twitter. Bajan singer Shontelle fell a brief victim to an identity thief – or should I say, twief – on Wednesday evening. Coincidently enough, Ms. Layne stopped by The Ralphie Radio Show on the following day.

“This was not the first time,” revealed Shontelle. “We literally had to call the Twitter people and freak out, ‘cause we’ve like, submitted for verification so long ago. I guess it takes a minute, ‘cause there’s so many people they have to verify.”

The impersonator used the Twitter username “ShontelleLayne_”, simply moving the underscore from the real Shontelle’s handle of “Shontelle_Layne.” When Layne looked at the fake account’s timeline, she was shocked to find that this person began “tweeting” at Solange Knowles (singer, Beyoncé’s sister) and Rorrey Fenty (Rihanna’s brother) amongst other people.

As of late Sunday evening, Twitter had yet to verify Shontelle’s account. By “verifying” an account, Twitter places a notification in the upper right corner of the page, so that visitors know the account belongs to the person who they claim to be.

Of course, Layne didn’t need the Twitter incident as a sign that she’s making it in the entertainment industry. Surely opening up for Beyoncé overseas could help that argument. Layne opened for Jay-Z’s husband for about a month on the “I Am…” tour overseas. Shontelle entered the trek with the expectation that she wouldn’t even meet Beyoncé face-to-face, however the headliner proved the opener wrong on that thought.

“I just get this message, ‘Shontelle, go to Beyoncé’s room’” she recalled, noting that immediately she believed that something was wrong. “When I got in there (Beyoncé) was like, ‘No, I just wanted to like, hang out for a bit, because you know, you’ve been on this tour with me, and I haven’t really gotten the chance to tell you thank you for being on the tour, I haven’t really gotten the chance to tell you how talented I think you are.’”

Shontelle’s feelings immediately switched from scared to shocked – one of the biggest pop stars in the world went out of her way to pay Layne high compliments on her singing, stage performance… even videos. From the sound of Layne’s recollection, “stunned” may be an understatement.

Part 1:
Twitter, Beyonce, Thanksgiving Day

Part 2: “Licky”, Rihanna, New CD

“I’m like, ‘You’re Beyoncé, why are you telling me this?’” said Shontelle. “Like, is this real? They couldn’t even get me in the room at first… because I was shaking,” she admitted, although Layne insists she wasn’t star struck as much as she was nervous about the meeting’s purpose.

Shontelle also admitted on The Ralphie Radio Show that she’s nervous about an upcoming event – the “T-Shirt” singer will take part in the halftime show in Detroit at the Lions/Packers game on Thanksgiving Sunday. Layne, along with other Universal Motown artists, will perform classic Motown hits in Motown. Shontelle would not divulge which song she is covering.

“If you watched Sister Act 2… you can take a hint from that,” she teased.

In addition to the performance, which will air to a national and international audience on FOX, Shontelle is preparing a new LP. The album is slated for a 2010 release, and Layne will only confirm collaborations with Mr. Hudson and Akon. The first single is a dance infused record called “Licky” – which Layne insists is inspired by desserts.

“Licky” isn’t the only new track from a Bajan artist – as Shontelle’s friend, the aforementioned Rihanna, is back with “Russian Roulette” and “Hard.” A week and a half ago, Rihanna appeared on 20/20 with Diane Sawyer to tell her side of the story. Layne told me that the interview was tough to watch.

“Honestly, it was like watching your little sister do a piano recital for the first time,” she said. “I was nervous. I was a wreck.”

The singer thought her former Cadet partner handled the situation on camera well.

“I thought she did great, actually,” remarked Shontelle. “And she said a lot more than I even thought she was gonna say. I’m really proud of her… I just want, them both really, to grow from this.”

The following can be read in this Wednesday’s edition of The Weekender.

Surely while growing up in Barbados, neither Shontelle Layne nor Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty pictured how their careers would eventually shake out.

Rewind back to a time when both Bajan teenagers were enrolled as “Cadets”, a young Army program in the country. Rihanna may be the current pop music princess, but at the time the roles were reversed. Shontelle was in charge as a drill sergeant, even at one point ordering Fenty to drop and give her 10.

“It was a whole group, and they were late,” explained Shontelle, who is still friends with the “Umbrella” singer. “As drill sergeant, there are people above me who are expecting me to discipline people who are straggling.”

But Layne insists, the incident was isolated.

“Funny enough, Rihanna was a really good cadet. Real good. Super sharp. But that day was just not a good day for her.”

Certainly RiRi’s ups and downs have been well-chronicled since – the latest set of events related to the alleged abuse by R&B singer Chris Brown on the night before the Grammy’s. The Barbados natives have spoken since the incident.

“She is doing good,” says Layne. “She’s looking super-fly. I’m really happy.”

Meanwhile, the 23 year-old songstress isn’t doing too bad herself. Shontelle gained global notoriety with her smash hit, “T-Shirt” – which leads off her debut LP, Shontelligence.

Turns out there was a specific shirt to ignite the song, and the singer still owns it. But she would not reveal the shirt’s original purchaser.

“He doesn’t matter anymore. Music is my boyfriend.”And music treats Shontelle well – affording her black diamonds, a couple pairs of the now infamous Jimmy Choo’s, and a Louis Vuitton bag or three.

Layne told me this – but she’s also told countless others using Twitter. Many celebrities allow both fans and journalists unprecedented access in to their inner lives and thoughts with the micro-blogging service. But in a growing trend, reporters are now integrating a person’s tweets in to questions and stories. So of course, I asked Shontelle what inspired tears of joy a few nights ago.

“I cannot believe he has a list of my tweets!” she exclaimed before attempting to change the subject by pointing out that not all of her posts are personal – some are meant to inspire.

“Right now times are hard and I feel like yunno, if I’m in a position where I can make someone’s day or make them feel better or make them smile or give them some hope, I’m totally down for that.”

Her intentions are well placed within the Twitter-verse, but I continued to inquire as to the source of the crying.

“Well, you see… well, uh, I mean…”

So much for that 140 character limit.

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