Shannon Greene: It’s the Dawn of a New Day
Still full of that beautiful fire and zeal, Shannon Greene says she’s not Unsung yet, because she’s still performing; however, she’s humbled that TV One picked her for the Unsung feature to share her truth with the world.
Pegged as the trendsetter and frontrunner woman in music, Shannon Green led the way in R&B music during the early eighties and early nineties. She brought hits to the fold like “Let the Music Play,” “Give Me Tonight,” “My Heart’s Divided” and “Do You Wanna Get Away. The tracks received immediate acclaim, and liberated airwaves as well as the disco scene.
“IN THIS EPISODE: Bursting on to the dance scene with her 1983 breakthrough hit “Let the Music Play,” Brenda Shannon Greene, better known as Shannon, was at the helm of a genre-defining sound. Known as “The Mother of Freestyle,” her blend of Latin-inspired percussion, dance and hip hop paved the way for artists such as Lisa Lisa and The Cover Girls. Her follow up hits, “Give Me Tonight,” “My Heart’s Divided” and “Do You Wanna Get Away” dominated the soundtrack of the early ‘80’s club scene and brought her international fame. But behind the scenes, the pioneering artist struggled with warring record labels, touching off a 30-year battle for control over her music. Now, UNSUNG takes a deeper look into the life and career of a musical trendsetter as she steps into a new phase of an ever-evolving journey.”
Let the Music Play is a fun song for absolute sure. What inspired the track?
I did. You know what, it was a combination of so many things at the time. I will say that it spends back to some of the stuff that was out there already and we just kinda added our own flavor.
We should be encouraging people in these trying times, to steal let the music play, right?
Right! I want to encourage people to do something else in these trying times, because health is one of my things. It’s been so long for me. It’s been 37-years. I came close to 40-years. I want people to follow me at Shannon Let the Music Play on Instagram and Facebook so that I can share some secrets. If you go to my page and look at me, I’m in great health. The pictures that you see are me, today. You must be strong in order to fight the Coronavirus, the Ebola and all that stuff. It’s so much stuff out there. You have to be strong if you want to have a good life.
In having a good life, what else are you doing besides fitness?
I’m trying to share some things. I want people to learn. Do what I do, or go see what I do. Follow me on the Instagram page and make it yours so that you can be healthy. Another thing, I always talk to people about positive stuff. That is me; I want you to get it. You must share with your brothers and sisters so that we can all have it, because in unison, we are powerful. I also talk about knowledge. You have to get it for yourself. You must do your research and everything. Come out with the truth because you can listen to everything and you can read a lot of stuff, but you have to come out with the truth. Fight, and that’s the bottom line. Fight for what you want. I’m working on some other things. We have a new song coming out that’s going to releasing right after the Unsung episode called “The Good Life.” For me, that is the next chapter because life is good. I’ve been through a lot and I’m strong now. I’ve pulled myself out of many things. I am doing great. I am at a blessed part of my life right.
What compelled you to talk about your life and career at this point in your life, and what would you say was the highlight for TV One Unsung?
The highlight is that people are talking about it. They have to see it. The [music] business is crazy, and this is what compelled me to talk about it. I always wanted to talk about it but it was never the right time. I had to mature in order to seize the opportunity. The right time is when righteousness takes precedence. Truth takes precedence. You can talk about it anytime but you have to come to that, so when Unsung came to me, at first I was skeptical. Nothing is going to happen when you tell the truth, because no one can deny it. It is the truth. Right now, I’m glad that we were able to come to an agreement and I could talk about what I needed to talk about, and get it out there, because other people must know. Many people want to make it in this business, but you cannot make it by allowing people to run your life. You must run your own life. You must take control over your own life. You must know what is yours, and what you are giving away.
Do you think we are at a good time, where you can fight for what you want publically [in the music industry] and it not go against you-- Your career will still take off the way it’s supposed to, because there are no more Suge Knights in the world.
I have to say something about that. I can’t say that things have changed because things are the same. I believe it’s just like… I hate to be a philosopher but, King Solomon said “Everything that’s been done, will be done again under the sun.” I say that because, when you say something, there are consequences and there are rewards. You have to know within yourself, if there is a consequence with what you’re saying. That’s why you gotta keep it true. When it’s true, there are no regrets because you’re telling the truth; but you must be convinced to tell the story.
In this Unsung episode, what do you audiences will take away from your life and career?
I hope they will reach out and follow me on Instagram and Facebook. Follow me, [and] send me messages. I will address everything. Also, I want them to know that they are going to get really good secrets on how to be healthy because the Coronvirus is just one time, but we had a lot of stuff before that came, these bacteria’s. We had the Ebola, and we had so many things coming at you, so you gotta keep your body strong so your body can fight to live. I also want them to come back with that. You must know what you want and you must go out for it. Do your research, and don’t let anyone tell you something and you just receive it. Don’t receive anything just on face value. Go and confirm what people are saying. Fight and pay off all the bills, don’t be spending.
Although every moment is pivotal, what would you say is the most important message throughout this Unsung feature?
The most important thing is to know things for you. I cannot stress that enough. Don’t be caught up with bad things and drinking, trying to party. There is a time for that but don’t get caught up in it or you will lose focus. Don’t lose focus. I can’t stress that enough. You must know, I been my own trademark, I been my own contract, I write music, and I go beyond. Don’t be scared of work. People think that once they get into the business, they don’t have to do this or that. No, you work. I work just like everybody else and I work hard. I am not afraid to do anything…whatever it takes.
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would that look like?
Don’t be so trusting. I learned it for myself. They really have to watch this show, because, Unsung, it comes on March 22 at ten o’clock. It’s going to reveal many things and people I know are going to be blown away by it, but just know that you can come out of a lot of mess like me. I’m doing well, today. I’m okay. When we’re on stage, I’m still break dancing.
How was it working with the production to put you in that space where you were able to bare all and tell your truth?
I think at first, they didn’t believe it. I had already made up my mind that’s what I was going to do. I was going to totally open up. The same people that I’ve worked with are some of the same people. I think that it’s good for them to hear it, too. Don’t be afraid to speak, but I always say that if you are afraid to say something and you are afraid to go all the way, don’t say it because consequence is going to come behind it.
Was music your first love?
Yes, when I was young Shannon, when I couldn’t sing, I did not want life. That’s how much I love music.
What advice can you give other budding artist looking to make it into the industry?
Again, I need you guys to go on my site and send some messages. If you have questions, I can answer them to the best that I can answer from my own experience. It’s a long time, thirty-seven-years. To me, that’s cramming the forties. Go onto Facebook and Instagram, send me a message and I will respond. Always know that whatever you’re going through, it is just a test. You are going through. Fight it. Do the right thing. You can’t fight deception. You can’t fight it by running away from it. When you fight it, believe that you will have a new day. For me, it’s a new chapter, the good life. That’s my next single. You have to hear it, it’s just incredible. I gave so much dance music, and I’m still dancing. People loved it, and they enjoyed it. They were dancing to it in the clubs. They really enjoyed the stuff and we are still listening to it today.