Meet Shontelle Layne- who was in Dubai for the much awaited Dance2Lax event. Most of us know the Barbadian singer and songwriter from her popular, chart topping (and first ever) single, “T-shirt” from the debut album “Shontelligence.” She was nothing like what one would expect a popular R&B star to be. She seemed to have no Diva tantrums; instead she came across as someone who has their head on their shoulders and feet on the ground.
Beautiful, bright and incredibly easy to talk to, it was but a pleasure chatting with Layne.
Even in the unforgiving evening humid heat by the pool of her swanky hotel room, she had no star studded glory to set her physically apart. Dressed in a simple bundee, jeans and a cute pair of bright fluffy bedroom slippers, we started what would on the outside have seemed a conversation with a new acquaintance.
When asked how she first got into the business, Shontelle spoke fondly of her aunt in Barbados, Kim Derrick, a Caribbean singer who encouraged her to pursue singing. Having grown up with music Layne said she was really just “Born into it.” Recounting encouragement from her mother, Layne spoke of several instances when she would sing in the closet- being too shy to sing out loud- and her mother once said “even the neighbors can hear you, Shan!” Layne recalls her mother teaching her “not to hide and sing.” At school, she would hang out in the music room all the time. One thing led to another, and before she knew it, Layne was asked to write for Alison Hinds, a local artist. The result was “Roll
,” a 2005/2006 hit, which would go on to become a club hit in US, UK and even parts of Africa. Read the full interview here