It's unconfirmed if she's related to the popular Knowles family (Beyonce, Solange, etc), but for Shanica Knowles, that's not a concern as she works on creating her own story in the entertainment and retail world. Known for her role on Hannah Montana and various other TV spots, the singer/actress has been tapped to be the face of the revived Kenya Doll (the first black doll). Check out our conversation with Shanica as she discusses being a role model, creating music & her style, and what’s to come in the future.
Preparing to Be a Role Model …I think basically being on Hannah Montana helped me understand what it is to be a kid and a teenage role model. We had to be very careful on what we did and how to be relatable to young girls. I think watching Miley Cyrus gave me a great example when she was playing Hannah Montana. I learned from her and from my own personal experience how to be that role model kids gravitate to.
Relating to The Kenya Doll …With Kenya, she's a rockstar by night and a bookworm by day. She loves to absorb knowledge; she loves to learn different things in life as she gets older. That's exactly how I am too, I love educating myself and by night, I’m a rockstar, I’m in the studio recording and writing music, playing my guitar; we're the perfect fit. In the end, I’m basically playing myself, not a character.
Songwriting For Kenya …The first single No, that was written by the Frontrunnaz. For the next single, I want to contribute to the songwriting. You will definitely see some songwriting from me in the near future.
Writing Experience …There are some situations where I take it from my own personal experiences and there are some situations that I take from others. There are also situations were the concept is made up; kind of a fantasy life. There are many different ways that I write; there isn't one single pattern, more of a variety.
Choosing Music …My dad, he always loved music. He started playing guitar at the same time I started playing guitar at seven. We are a musically inclined family and all my mom’s side played an instrument. It was just a natural progression that I should play also.
Role Models …Definitely, my mother and father … they are both my role models. I am the only child and I had no older brother or sisters to look up to or down to. My parents created my passion… my pride for any subject I wanted to get involved in. If it wasn’t for my parents, I wouldn’t be the girl I am now or well rounded if it wasn’t for them.
Musical Style …It’s really hard to explain, every person I talk to, they have a combination of four different people and then you get Shanica. I like to describe myself as the black Taylor Swift, in a country sense, meaning that I would like to gravitate toward the fan base with a very girl next-door image. I am a little more edgy then Taylor, I have an Avril Lavigne type flow to me. I always looked up to Avril, I write songs with similar melodies. Some people compare me to Alanis Morissette because I have that twang to my music. It's kind of all in the same genre like Shanica.
On The Road …The tour schedule fluctuates everyday as of today we will start touring multiple states throughout the United States in November through mid December but that could all change tomorrow.
Future Plans …Outside of Kenya, I plan to release a three song EP in January, but we are working on a deal for me right now for the Shanica project, outside of the Kenya project. The Kenya project is going to rebuild my personal fan base and develop new fans around the world. Hopefully the people who appreciate Kenya will appreciate my music as well.
Check out the first promotional video for the Kenya Doll featuring Shanica and Lil J (That's So Raven).