Shawndesha “Shawnee Jay” Johnson is a modern day singer/songwriter with an old soul and a story to tell. As a vocalist who prides herself on creating topic-driven music, it comes as no surprise that singer/songwriter Shawnee Jay is the breathing result of someone who spent their childhood being exposed to genres of thought-provoking themes. Between her time spent in various children’s choirs, and growing up listening to her foster parents’ playlist of disco hits and oldies, it was nearly impossible for the Harlem Heart to go through a single day without a melody. During her school career Shawnee would write songs religiously, first trying her hand in Hip-Hop and then refocusing on singing as it was her true passion, however, with no means of recording at the time, her efforts would seem like no more than a hobby– at least until graduating her senior year of high school.
“It wasn’t until my foster father passed away in ‘09 and I went to college that I decided to really do something with my talent and be heard. My father never got a chance to hear me and I didn’t want that to be a Constant.”– Shawnee Jay
Since then the persistent dreamer has enrolled herself in the Performance Arts School: “Five Towns College” to educate herself on the world of recording, Music Business, and maturing her voice. In the two short years that followed, Shawnee Jay gained regular access to professional recording, song wrote a jingle for the all-girl group, “The Amazons,” performed as back-up in Five Town’s 2011 “Hip-Hop Showcase” (the school’s biggest annual music event) and similar school shows where she played more prominent roles such as the “the Christmas carol remix competition.” In addition to all of her triumphs so far, she also makes up 1/5th of “Ugly Soul,” an Alternative Hip-Hop group that she named herself. With a past and present rich with music and motivation, Shawnee Jay is bound for a future of success. With the release of her first EP entitled “Flirting with the Red”, only time will tell what a longtime admirer of Earth, Wind and Fire, The Delfonics, James Brown, and many more will bring to the table in a world where, “music with meaning” is rare.