Shan Smile – Holding On To Hope, The Journey Of A Life (Interview)
“Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can.” – Nicholas Sparks
“There will be sunshine, though the forecast is grey” – Snoh Aalegra
“I’ve learnt to hold on to hope” – Shan Smile (Prisoner of Hope)
A breath of fresh air is blowing, while her positive mind is overflowing with inspiration.
Her smile shines so bright, she’d bring back the sunshine on a rainy Sunday in London
And when you’ve got the Blues, her voice helps you picture a blue sky with no more clouds;
Even better, her guitar riffs and melodies shall make you feel you’re flying into Cloud 9, joyful an cheerful again.
That’s the Shan-Shan-Smile side-effect: communicating joy and hope.
Shan Smile is that 23 year-old singer-songwriter from London, that we’ve already discovered some time ago, and that we’ve been following these past three years, since her EP He Loves Me.
Tomorrow is the D-Day for the release of her second EP, titled Prisoner Of Hope, on Itunes.
With this EP, Shan comes back even better than the she was the last time.
The concept of the EP is well-thought and loyal to Shan Smile’s identity and mission, which is encouraging her surrounding
And spreading a message inspiring and empowering enough through her music, attitude and personality.
An EP aslo personal, as it’s been standing as a mentra for her: being a prisoner of hope,
Desperately waiting for the answers to your prayers, for your release from your hardships, having the patience to grow and pop out of your own bubble…
Finally, an EP featuring a Shan Smile grown up yet still running for growth and wisdom at the time.
This EP, out this September 9th 2016, is a new accomplishment, among all, counting her many concerts and previous projects.
And now, we have the opportunity to dig more this new project with her, along an in depth interview, before its release.
The title of your EP, Prisoner Of Hope, also refers to the Bible, in the Book of Zechariah.
It also recalls the Book of Job, where we see a nice person going hardships after hardships, but gets restored twice as much in the end.
Besides the biblical reference, the message is about locking yourself up in a prison of hope, which could be illustrated by:
Locking yourself in a bubble, floating over the negativity that surrounds you;
Locking yourself into a never-ending expectation for better prospects, until it happens [pops].
1) How much would you relate to this analysis?
This analysis is great! I can absolutely agree and relate. I had been studying Job a lot and learnt that although things went wrong for him, kept a hopeful attitude and it all turned around for him, for the better. This story also correlates the Zechariah scripture.
2) Prisoner Of Hope is not only a personal and heartfelt track, but seems to be a honest EP too. You sound honest with yourself, and when you sing “I do the Shan Shan Smile”, we acknowledge you’ve found yourself, and embrace who you are.
With this project, how have you evolved as a person?
I have evolved so much over the last year or so, leading up to the EP.
I have gained a lot more experience not only in life but in music. Everyday I am learning and growing & I am enjoying every part of it.
I have learnt over the years to embrace me and work on being the best version of myself as we only have 1 life to live.
3) From the He Loves Me EP to the Prisoner Of Hope EP, giving tributes to Whitney Houston, producing, writing…, how do you think you’ve grown as a musician?
I have been practicing, writing and performing so much more than I have ever been over the last year.
I guess the more you do something the better you get. So I can say I have grown and still am.
When I listen to my older Youtube videos of previous EP’s I certainly hear a difference. Which is a great thing.
4) You were also involved, managing I think, into a Reggae project, called Reggae Icons. What’s your best souvenir from this project?
Reggae Icons! I love what we’ve got going on! It’s so much fun and so different to what I usually do. I am also a big fan of Reggae Music. Seeing us put on successful shows e.g. at The Hootananny or Pop Brixton.
Its great to see the members working and being there for each other, like a family! Also we get such a buzz and a great response from the audience.
5) Talking about Reggae, your name being Shan Smile, have ever consider singing this song, Smiley Culture – Shan A Shan?
Hahaha! I’ve not considered it. But If I was to, I’d have work out how I’d get all the words out lol.
6) Going back to Prisoner Of Hope EP, what’s been one of your greatest challenge, and greatest satisfaction along this project?
My greatest challenge would be just starting and never giving up along the way.
I had some challenging times and sometimes you can get a little discouraged but you have to remind yourself to stay positive and that everything will be alright. Which is what I did and now we’re here! 🙂
My greatest satisfaction has been the support from everyone! It’s overwhelming sometimes to know people really like what I do and are always there to support.
7) As a positive person, always sharing positive content on your social media, what are your motors to keep up and not giving in?
I remember I am God gifted and I have something positive to share with a world that needs positivity.
I want to encourage other to never give up and that they can do what they put their minds to. Those are my main motos.
8) A lot of your fans know you for your covers, from Alicia Keys (In Common), Beyoncé (Run The World), Mali Music (I Believe), etc. Among all, which song has been your favorite to ever cover?
Hmmm this is a hard one!
I tend cover my favorite’s at that moment in time. So which ever is my latest cover, tends to be my current favorite. I love all the songs I’ve covered. The all have their own thing about them, that I love.
9) You seem to appreciate what’s fashionable, so how would you define your style?
I certainly do appreciate fashion!
I love to be able to express myself visually. I never used to. So it’s something I am getting into.
I’d define my style as confident, current and vintage.
10) Finally, what should we expect for your EP launch?
You can expect a night of live music, from myself and live band with performances from the talented Bea Anderson & Sean McDonagh!
I am very excited!
Thank you for this conversation! Keep it 100% (Natural 😉 )