Shanice Wilson was the little girl with a beautiful voice on Star Search that wooed music executives. Now she's all grown up and singing about things that concern women. With a successful early career, Shanice took a sabbatical, but now sheís back with Every Woman Dreams. Some wonder why she left the music scene when she did. She addressed some of those questions and more in a recent interview.
Shelia Goss: Are you excited about your new CD ďEvery Woman DreamsĒ?
Shanice: Yes. Iím very excited. This is what I love to do. I took time off to spend time with my family, but itís exciting to have both family and a career again.
Shelia: How are Flex and the kids?
Shanice: Theyíre good. Flex is actually in Canada now doing a movie with Danny Glover. The kids are just growing up so fast. My daughter just graduated from pre-school.
Shelia: You have a beautiful voice, so why did you take such a long hiatus?
Shanice: As most women know, having kids is a 24 hour job. I wanted to take the time to be with them first. I now feel like Iím ready to get back out there.
Shelia: What was the motivation for this album?
Shanice: I felt like it was important for me to talk to women and encourage women this time around. I lost one of my best friends. She was with the wrong man who took her life. I feel like if she would have waited for the right man and had more confidence she would still be alive today. I want to encourage women and let them know we donít have to settle for less. Thatís where I was mentally when I was writing. I was thinking of her. Also Iíve been married to Flex for 6 years, so of course I have songs about my husband. The album is about love, family, encouraging womenÖitís a little bit of everything.
Shelia: What do you want the listeners to walk away with after listening to your album?
Shanice: I want women to feel like they can be happy and not be in a relationship. I have a song on the album called ďSo Free.Ē Itís about if youíre not in a relationship you can still feel complete and still be happy. When they listen to this album, I want women to feel really good about themselves and I donít want them to feel like they have to have a man in order to feel complete. I want them to love themselves and to feel encouraged. For people in love, hopefully they will appreciate the love songs that we have on this album.
Shelia: Did you have a lot of creative control with this album?
Shanice: I had a whole lot. I didnít have an A & R person over me. When youíre on a major label, you normally do. I pretty much did it myself. I co-wrote 12 songs on the album. I co-produced half of the album. I had total control over the musicÖmy imageÖjust the whole direction of the album.
Shelia: Did you feel any pressure with this album or were you like Iím ready to come back. Iím going to do my thing?
Shanice: I didnít feel any pressure at all. I actually had fun making this album. I co-wrote some songs with my husband and my mom. The first single, my mom co-wrote with me along with one of my best friends. We were just having a ball. I never try to think about what the next person is doing. Some people are very competitive in this industry. Iíve never been like that. I just try to do the best I can and thatís just what I did.
Shelia: You sound like a very positive person. How do you stay motivated?
Shanice: Prayer. I pray all day long. This industry is tough. Itís a cut-throat businessÖmost of the people arenít very honestÖthat part of it is toughÖWhat keeps me sane is I stay in the word of God and I pray. My husband & I pray together.
Shelia: What advice would you give young ladies who want to pursue a music career?
Shanice: They have to stay encouraged. If it doesnít happen overnight, donít give up. You have to keep trying and keep pushing. Sometimes people think itís going to happen overnight. Look at my career. My first album came out in í87 and I never gave up. I kept trying, kept pushing and thatís what you have to do. If you know somebody that knows an executive at a label thatís the quickest way to do it; but if not, enter into a lot of talent shows. I did Star Search when I was 11. Now they have American Idol. You just canít give up.
ďWith Every Woman Dreams, I want people to follow their dreams and keep dreaming. Not just the women, but men too. Thatís what Iíve always done,Ē says Shanice. ďEvery Woman DreamsĒ is in stores now.