Shontelle at the B96 Jingle Bash 2008
|Birth name||Shontelle Layne|
|Born||October 4, 1985 Saint James, Barbados|
|Genres||Pop, R&B, reggae|
|Associated acts||J-Status, Rihanna, Akon, Livvi Franc, Mr Hudson|
Shontelle Layne (born October 4, 1985), better known by her first name Shontelle, is a singer-songwriter from Barbados. Her first music venture is when she appeared in the music video for the re-worked "Roll It" performed by J-Status featuring her and Rihanna, from 2006. Shontelle is signed to Street Records Corporation/Universal Motown Records, Where she released her debut album "Shontelleigence". The album spawned the singles T-Shirt, Stuck With Each Other featuring Akon and Battle Cry. She also won the Barbados Music Award (BMA) for "Song of the Year" (2009) for "T-Shirt". Her sophomore album, "No Gravity" is set to be released during Spring 2010. Singles from the album include the lead US single, Impossible and Licky (Under the Covers) in the UK. Both singles are yet to be released.
Shontelle was born on October 4, 1985 in Saint James, Barbados, to Raymond and Beverley Layne. She has two younger sisters, Rayana and Rhea Layne. On the sports field she was highly competitive too. “I did track and field”, she recalls. As a child, Shontelle told her mother that she was going to a friend's house, but then sneak off to a recording studio.
Shontelle was a student at Harrison College and participated in the school's (#1 Unit) Cadet (junior military) program. She attended the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados (currently on hold), and was on her way to becoming a lawyer before SRC, the same label known for discovering her friend Rihanna, saw her talent. Shontelle wrote the song "Roll It Gal" for regionally renowned Alison Hinds. The song had big success in the Caribbean, New York, Miami and Europe. Her lyrical writing helped her to perform with Natahlee Burke (another artist from Barbados). Their hit song was "Colours" which was a song showing the pride of being Barbadian did so well, that a remix was made to represent the whole Caribbean.
Shontelle's debut single, "T-Shirt" was released on July 15, 2008, and peaked at Number 36 on the Hot 100, becoming a mild hit. It received lots of airplay in the UK and, in early 2009, became a top 10 hit as well as number 1 on the UK R&B chart. Speaking in February 2009 to noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning Blues & Soul, Shontelle explained the significance to her of the song: "I really like 'T-Shirt' a lot because, when you listen to the song, there's a lot of elements in there that will definitely appeal to girls. Like even the strongest women at some point can have that guy in their life who, if for some reason you can't be with him, is gonna have that effect on you - where you're not gonna feel like going out, hanging out with your girlfriends, partying, or doing ANYTHING. And, if you do miss that person, the best thing to have of theirs is a T-shirt! Because it usually smells like them and you can put it on, curl up with it - and kinda pretend that person is THERE!"
Although her debut album was scheduled for a September 2008 release, it was released on November 18, 2008. Her album Shontelligence was released to mixed reviews and reached Number 115 on the Billboard 200, eventually selling a low 18,000 records in the US. The albums follow-up singles, "Stuck with Each Other" and "Battle Cry" failed to garner even as much success. The album only managed to produce one top 40 hit on the Billboad hot 100, and A top 10 in the UK.
Shontelle performed at Hot 99.5's Bras Across DC Little Pink Dress  party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, DC on Friday, October 24. She also performed at the 18th Annual Kissmas Bash on December 9, 2008 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY at a yearly radio event on WKSE KISS 98.5. Shontelle performed her hit single "T-Shirt" at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on November 27, 2008. Shontelle was a drill sergeant in Barbados, in a training corps similar to R.O.T.C. Shontelle was interviewed on the music choice show "Fresh Crops" which is currently released for viewers to watch.
Shontelle toured as a support act for the UK leg of the New Kids on the Block World Tour in January 2009. She was added to the 2009 Springroove Music Festival lineup and performed across Japan in April .
Shontelle has so far proved most famous internationally in the United Kingdom. Her first release there, "T-Shirt" reached Number 6 on the UK Singles Chart and Number 1 on the UK R&B Chart, her second single "Stuck with Each Other" reached Number 23 and Number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and UK R&B Chart respectively as well. In the United States, "T-Shirt" peaked at Number 1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. Her third single "Battle Cry" has also reached Number 70 on the UK Singles Chart without any promotion besides the video for the single.
Shontelle is also the host of My Prom Style! and Universal Motown's 2009 Ultimate Prom fashion reality series. She performed at a high school prom in New York City on June 5, 2009, but first she lead three students in a competition to design the dress that singer Kat DeLuna, the headliner, wore at the Ultimate Prom concert.
In an interview on July 19, 2009, she said that although she had nothing done in terms of a future second record, she did know that it would be out in early 2010. She wants to work with Rihanna again, and she also wants to work with Beyonce, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Keri Hilson and Alicia Keys. As of August 2009, Shontelle has headed back into the studio to work on her second album, and she is working with many hit makers who produced hits by today's top artists, and as of now it is only known that she is working with Sean Garrett. There was a rumor that Shontelle would be working with Mr Hudson, but in a September 1, 2009 interview, Mr Hudson cleared it by saying they were just rumors, but he would love to work with her. On September 26, 2009, it was announced that the two had collaborated on a track entitled "Do It".
Shontelle later revealed in late August 2009 that she is planning a change of direction on her second album. Shontelle admitted that she is eager to experiment with a rockier sound. Shontelle stated in an interview that "I'm going much edgier. There is a rock chick waiting to come out of me". Shontelle later stated that she likes Rihanna's new Mohawk hair style, but also stated that she wants to distance herself from any comparisons. "It's a hot look," Shontelle stated, "But I don't want to be a copycat." Shontelle described her new sound as "dance rock" in mid-August 2009. The album will be very similar to work by Beyonce and Katy Perry. Shontelle is also looking for a new look for her new sound, and says she does not want to be a copycat and copy everyone else's look. She also said that she wanted a new look that not many people are doing. She has since then cut her hair to a shoulder length. Her second album is due for a release in March 2010. Shontelle has confirmed that there will be many collaborations on her second album and that although she will be working with Akon again, she might also be working with David Archuleta and she will work with many other people as well that she stated "are secrets" at the moment. Three songs that have been confirmed are "Do It" , "Licky" and "Impossible".
"Licky (Under the Covers)" will be released the lead worldwide single on January 26, 2010, and as the second US single in June of 2010. The video for "Licky (Under the Covers)" was filmed on November 18, 2009 and was directed by Ray Kay. Ray Kay is best known for filming the music videos for artists like Beyonce, Ciara, Lady Gaga, The-Dream, Cheryl Cole and other well known artists. The music video is due to be released in early January 2010 on her official fan site. The lead US single, "Impossible" will be releasecd on February 2, 2010, and will be released as the second worlwide single in June of 2010. The music video for "Impossible" will be filmed in late January of 2010 and released in early March of 2010.
Shontelle announced that recording for the album had been completed in January of 2010, and that the album would be released on April 6, 2010. An exclusive on the set video from her album photoshoot was premiered online along with the title "No Gravity".