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The Shindellas: Excellence, Elegance & Empowerment

Updated: Jan 16


Shindellas
The Shindellas

With their latest LP, Shindo [Weirdo Workshop], released last October, in tow, Stacy, Kasi & Tam, collectively known as The Shindellas, continue their mission in taking over the music world. And, who said R&B is dead? 


Muzikscribe: Let’s hop into one of my personal fave singles / videos, “Ooh La La” — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition? 


The Shindellas: This song was written and produced by Louis York, who have been cultivating a beautiful sound for The Shindellas over the last 6 years, utilizing the inspiration of our individual voices and experiences. This song was the last piece to the Shindo puzzle. The last song written and recorded. It’s so beautiful, fresh and feminine. It’s our “soft girl era” anthem. 
 


Muzikscribe: Of course “Ooh La La” comes courtesy of your sophomore collection, Shindo — Conceptually what does this title represent both to and for you? 
 


The Shindellas: Shindo is the basis of our entire mission. The energy we want to bring into the world. It’s a made up word we use in the studio to describe that overwhelming feeling of inspiration. That feeling that sends chills through your body. We named the album Shindo because it’s what we’re named after, and it’s what we want our music and energy to evoke. 
 


Muzikscribe: How then does Shindo either differ and / or compare to previous The Shindellas’ efforts? 
 


The Shindellas: Shindo is absolutely a tour de force and a beautiful evolution of our sound. Just like our previous works, Shindo is a reflection of the times but we got a little deeper into our personal stories, and that’s also reflected in the fact that we co-wrote a few of the songs on this album. But those ‘hits are still sticking!’ Make sure to get that pre-order now! 
 


Muzikscribe: Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music -- When did you all first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for The Shindellas? 
 


Stacy: My musical inception started with a family owned production company on the north-side of Chicago called Joy Art Music. Here I sang for the first time. I was mentored and encouraged to express my myself creatively. I learned how to write and release music, play the guitar, perform; I even began singing jingles for commercials such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Mc Donald’s, and for radio personalities like Tom Joyner. I fell I love with music and knew this was the perfect creative path for me. 


Tam: My introduction to music came by way of the church. Both of my parents were ministers, so I literally grew up in the pew. My Mom’s side of the family led the music ministry at our home church, so I basically fell in line. I had my first public solo performance at 7 years old, and the rest was, honestly, history. I became a Gospel recording artist at 11 years old. I traveled the country performing! Music and singing was all I ever knew, and I’m grateful.


Kasi: For me, Kasi, the first musical experience I remember is watching Carmen Jones, starring Dorothy Dandridge, when I was 4 or 5 years old. I remember having a moment when she was singing “Dat’s Love,” and thinking I want to do THAT; act, sing, dance. So it’s no surprise that I ended up in L.A. at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, studying Musical Theatre and honing my writing skills. Between school and becoming a Shinnie, I worked in L.A., Las Vegas, and Tokyo, writing and performing original music and in theatrical productions.   



“The Shindellas came together in 2017 in Franklin, Tennessee. We were brought together by the songwriting and production duo Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony a.k.a. Louis York. We formed a bond over a collective vision to exemplify love, the bond of sisterhood and the need to see women come together in music. To carry this vision we aligned ourselves under the tenets of excellence, elegance and empowerment. We found a way to fuse our individual backgrounds and experiences together to create this incredible landscape of sound and visual experience.”
 


Shindellas
The Shindellas


Muzikscribe: Now where exactly do you all hail from? And growing up there, who all did / do you all consider to be your strongest musical influences? 
 


Stacy: I grew up in Chicago, IL, with my Jamaican immigrant family. I’ve always had a thirst for discovering new sounds and “Shindoes” in music. But, I was definitely immersed in the Caribbean culture with Reggae, and Soca music. Bob Marley is a huge influence! 


Tam: I grew up south of Houston in a little country town called Wharton, TX. My parents didn’t really allow me to listen to anything, but Gospel music. So, everything from The Clark Sisters, Kim Burrell, CeCe Winans, John P. Keenand Yolanda Adams, stayed in rotation. Every now and then, my sister would sneak in some ‘90’s R&B and I’d get my little rebellious LIFE. Or, Pops would have The Tom Joyner Morning Show on when taking me to school, and they played all the old school and new school jams. 


Kasi: I grew up in Bellevue, Wa (it’s just outside of Seattle), during the Grunge movement, and when Death Row had taken over the West Coast. So, outside the house it was Rock and Hip Hop. But inside the house was The Pointer Sisters, Gil Scott-Heron, Barbra Streisand and ALL the ‘90’s girlies. I grew up with a lot of different musical information coming my way, but the artists that keep hold of me are always the storytellers. 
 
 


Muzikscribe: Now from an individual standpoint, what do each of you bring to the table both personality- wise and creatively? 
 


The Shindellas: We’re so blessed to have such a great balance of energy and strength. We really offer 3 beautiful and diverse perspectives on the black woman experience. From an individual standpoint, we have Kasi who is the communicator / networker / outreach connoisseur of sorts! She doesn’t know a stranger and always sprinkles what we call her “fairy dust” because the people can’t get enough. She was born to be on stage and brings that theatre charisma to our shows. Kasi’s got BIG showgirl energy and has the vocals to match! We have Stacy who is a creative force! A visionary who uses her hands to create incredible art and also has an eye for design. She’s actually designed the art on a few of our single releases! Sound-wise, she brings the sexy, sultry realness and has a smoky vocal tone that makes ya quiver. A GIFT. Then we have Texas Tam, who takes lead on our finances and business relationships. She is an actual whiz with numbers and can balance a budget in her sleep. She has this beautiful ability to keep empathy and kindness the Center of all her interactions. She’s Tammy full of grace! And vocally? That girl gone take you to the tabernacle every time she opens her mouth. That R&B flow with that Gospel  background will save your soul. 
 


Muzikscribe: In having said that, how do you all classify your overall sound and / or style? 



The Shindellas: We call it New American Soul! It’s everything you’ve ever heard, and everything you’ve never heard. 
 


Muzikscribe: Where does the group’s moniker originally derive from? 
 


The Shindellas: From the word Shindo. We are named after how we want to make people feel. 
 


Muzikscribe: Switching gears here... What do you all feel will be the ultimate key to your longevity? And what will it be then that will continue to sustain you all in this business? 
 


Stacy: Staying humble, keeping the music first, keeping God in our hearts and minds, and empathy and love for each other. 


Tam: I think what has sustained us and what will continue to sustain us is our love for God, one another and people! Our vision is selfless. We’re doing it to inspire change in the world. Our lives changing is a bonus. 


Kasi: Excellence and love of craft. 
 


Muzikscribe: What do you all want people to get from your music? 
 


The Shindellas: Our music is a safe space for our listeners; we have a mantra that says, “You are allowed to be yourself without fear.” Meaning come as you are, be as you are. And, I believe our music builds confidence, the kind we all need when navigating life’s unpredictable terrain. 


Muzikscribe: If you all could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why? 
 


Stacy: Ray Charles, his music ability would compliment our vocal agility beautifully. 


Tam: I’d have to say Babyface. Because that PEN. 


Kasi: JUST ONE?! It changes, but today I say Fela Kuti. ‘Cause, just imagine it! 



Muzikscribe: If you all could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why? 
   


Stacy: I would want to play at Zenith Paris, a big arena with so much potential to build our own world. And, I just really want to play in France. 
 


Tam: I’d have to say Red Rocks would be such a dope venue! Can you imagine our couture costumes and glam, with nature as the backdrop, and our anthemic songs echoing throughout. ICONIC. 


Kasi: “One Night Only - The Shindellas, Live at Carnegie Hall!” Iconic. Elegant. And, inclusive since it’s foundation. Andrew Carnegie said, “Here all good causes may find a platform.” I just feel that it really fits who we are and what we’d like to contribute to humanity. 
 And, of course, “The Shindellas Live at Madison Square Garden” has a nice ring to it, too! 
 


Muzikscribe: On a more serious note, are you all happy with the current state of R&B? And, even more specifically, why do you all feel that we, the masses, don’t see the group dynamic like it was back in, say, the nineties? 
 


The Shindellas: We think R&B is right where it needs to be! We’re grateful to be leading the charge in the resurgence of vocal groups! We’re trying to preserve the recipes that made R&B music Pop. 
 


Muzikscribe: Do you all have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music? 
 


Stacy: Yes, I am an artist and artisan who studied design. I love to create things, such as painting, crafts, fashion. I have a few entrepreneurial ventures like handmade accessories boutique and work as an illustrator. 


Tam: I’m a huge advocate for mental health and financial literacy, especially for minorities and Creatives. I’d love to build a platform that offers mental, emotional, spiritual and financial support, to aid in them overcoming on the road to becoming. I also want to get in my acting bag! 


Kasi: Yes. Writing in all its forms. A big goal is to get a piece published soon. Larger goal is finishing a poetry project I have been working on for the past couple of years. 
 


Muzikscribe: To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?
 


The Shindellas: OMG, there are so many!! Playing Essence Fest always feels so major, and we’ve done it twice now. Getting our first movie placement in A Nashville Legacy on Hallmark, and then getting to actually BE in the film! Dream come true. Playing Black Music Honors and meeting THEE Missy Elliott in person, along with so many of our faves. Playing the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting! How can we choose?! 
 
 


Muzikscribe: What’s an average day like for you all?
 


The Shindellas: Pray, meditate, work out, figure out how to take over the world. 
 


Muzikscribe: Please discuss how you all interact with and respond to fans... 
 


The Shindellas: Our fans are our fuel! They inspire and motivate us! Cleverly named “The DELLAgation,” our core fans get all the Shindellas’ tea first! Also, we love it when our fans chat with us online. We try to respond to every comment, but not gonna lie it’s getting harder now that our music is getting out there to more people. The good thing is we always have a direct line to our mailing list, so if you are signed up there we always know how to reach you! Anyone can join at: theshindellas.com


Muzikscribe: What is your favorite part about this line of work? 


The Shindellas: Like Stacy says, “making something out of nothing.” Creating something beautiful to share with the world is a gift that we don’t take for granted. 
 


Muzikscribe: What advice would you all have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps? 


The Shindellas: Be fearless. Stay true. Be selective in all things, and surround yourself with people that inspire your greatness! 
 
 


Muzikscribe: Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention? 


The Shindellas: We just want everyone to know that we are on all social media: @theshindellas, and to come say hi! 
 


Muzikscribe: Any "closing" thought(s) for our readers?
 


The Shindellas: We like to end with our mantra, “You are allowed to be yourself without fear!”


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