Shantaia tells us all about her ‘authentic’ new era, starting with “What I Wouldn’t Do”


Credit: Andrew Scholz

Her music is as unique as her name, leaving a lasting impression upon her millions of fans, followers, and fellow collaborators. Last year, Shantaia not only released her debut album, Exes and Friends, but was named the 2023 SCMA Female Artist of the Year and won the 2023 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. She is currently nominated for five SCMAs, including Female Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Country Album of the Year, Single of the Year, and Video of the Year. Outside of awards and showcases, Shantaia is touring, playing festivals, and working with coveted artists, songwriters, and producers who help turn her visions into a reality. Recently, she teamed up with Ryan Sorestad, Curt Chambers, and Brad Hill on her new single “What I Wouldn’t Do,” which marks the start of her next era. We had the chance to chat with Shantaia about this new single, learning more about its conception and how it will influence her sound going forward.

Hi, Shantaia! It’s nice to (virtually) meet you. How are you doing? Are you ready for summer?
Hi! Nice to virtually meet you as well! I can’t believe summer is here already, but I’m as ready as I can be!

You just released a new single called “What I Wouldn’t Do,” which debuts a new sound for you. I read that this new style/sound was something you always wanted to do but didn’t know if you should. What made you decide to finally step outside the box?
I think after releasing my last project and spending three years in Nashville, I just realized it was time to be my most authentic self musically and really tap into my true sound and create something unique to me!

Were there any challenges you experienced in creating this single?
Honestly, no. It felt like the easiest, most freeing experience I’ve ever had with writing and recording new music!

This track focuses on a powerful kind of love, where you would do anything for this other person. Is this something you have felt for someone before?
Of course! I’ve been with my fiancé for 10 years, and I can’t imagine not having him. He’s my person!

Do you have a favorite lyric from it?
“I’d fly to the moon, steal you a star, no nothings too far” I think is my favorite! Or the opening line, “It’s the way that your lips / Send me off like a rocket.”

There is an intriguing blend of country and soul on “What I Wouldn’t Do,” so will we hear more releases like this going forward or is this just a one-off?
This is the beginning of a new era and chapter for me, so you will definitely hear more from me like this song!

Last year, you released your debut album, Exes and Friends. Has that album influenced your next era in any way, or are you going into this new chapter with a fresh mind?
I think it was a huge part of my growth and musical ability! The new music won’t sound sonically the same, but I think lyrically I’m still writing stories and staying true to my songwriting!

What were some highlights of Exes and Friends for you? I read, for instance, that your song “Damaged Goods” went viral on TikTok with over 2 million views!
That was definitely a highlight! As well as “Broke to Brand New” being my first Top 35 song at radio in Canada! The album also just received a nomination for Album of the Year at the SCMAs!

If you could describe yourself to your fans in three words, what would they be?
It would be “Edgy, soulful country”

What do you have going on for the rest of the year?
Lots of shows! Living Skies Music Fest, SCMAs, Cavendish Beach Music Fest, Boots and Hearts, and more! You can go to my website to see tour dates!

Thank you so much, Shantaia. And congratulations on “What I Wouldn’t Do.” Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the great questions! Please go check out the song and the performance video for “What I Wouldn’t Do”!

Credit: Andrew Scholz

You can listen to “What I Wouldn’t Do” on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.

Keep up with Shantaia: Instagram // Facebook // X // TikTok // YouTube // Website

Christine Sloman
Christine Sloman
Writer for Melodic Mag since 2018. Music lover since always.

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