Since the release of her He Loves Me EP London based singer/songwriter Shan Smile has been working hard on developing her writing, playing and performing skills. The result of this work is her brand new self-produced EP Prisoner Of Hope, a 5-track offering that covers topics such as love, hope, and life through feel good songs like “Shan Shan Smile” and love letters like “I Need You”.
Last year, she was privileged to perform at the MOBO Awards Pre-Show in London, as well as winning the Aloft Star UK competition – so it’s been a very busy year for her. Prisoner Of Hope has received a lot of support from the likes of SBTV, and Soul Tracks, and the new record has also caught the attention of the likes of Alicia keys, Lianne La Havas, Mali Music and Ledisi.
Shan’s career began around the age of 11, where she used to sing in local and school competitions, then went on to record cover tracks of songs, and showcase them to friends and family. She then graduated from BRIT school, where her love for music developed, with a music business and arts degree.
We recently caught up with Shan Smile to find out what is currently happening with her, post graduation, starting with the recognition and support of her newest project, the Prisoner Of Hope EP. Whilst also learning more about what motivates her as a singer, songwriter and musician.
“‘Prisoner Of Hope’ is a reminder of hope, we all hope for something. With hope comes belief, and with belief, comes love. I came to a point where I had to check myself and the things I was hoping for. But once I was hopeful about the right things, the rest of things fell into the right perspective“.
Once the EP was released, Shan received a lot of positive feedback from it, which was just as she anticipated, and expects to utilise the feedback given in her forthcoming projects. “It has attracted new and crucial people to the journey… I am just so glad to have accomplished this EP for people to hear where Shan Smile is at now musically“.
Prisoner Of Hope denotes how Shan Smile has overcome the obstacles she faced with self doubt/negative thoughts about her journey, and if that ‘big break’ is ever going to happen. “I overcame them by reminding myself of why I do what I do, that I have a purpose, and that no mans path is the same as another“.
Shan remains grateful and uses songs like “Shan Shan Smile” to encourage others, whilst taking everyday as it comes, with a positive outlook, planning and developing herself as a person. About her favourite UK artists at the moment, she says, “I am inspired by so many people especially those that make their dreams a reality. Nothing in life comes easy so it’s just inspiring to know that with hard work it’s possible“.
Speaking on the concept of hard work, Shan advises other rising stars to “keep working on your talent” and “be consistent with your artistry, it’s so important. The internet is a big platform with so much talent wanting to be recognised“.
So what’s next for Shan Smile? Well, you can expect good and positive things for sure, according to the London native. “New music, new shows, and spreading the word as much as possible“. The Prisoner Of Hope EP is out now, and available to purchase on iTunes here.
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Words by Chama Mulenga