When I have conversations about music with people close to my age, I usually avoid topics about new music and musicians. In those conversations I speak about older music, industry issues or music production techniques. Writing for Weekly Music Commentary means that I must stay aware of new music and the growing audience of young fans. Why feature a musician that only the young audience will appreciate? Music is a language that is universal and available to everyone regardless age, race etcetera. This week Weekly Music Commentary features Kodie Shane, another of the young female artists breaking on the scene via R&B and rap. One of the artists I believe will become big stars in the industry. Why is Kodie Shane indefinable?
Kodie Shane is a rapper/singer/songwriter born October 28, 1998 in Atlanta GA., but moved to Chicago, Il. as a toddler. She got her start in music very early at the age of thirteen writing songs and has not looked back. Now the young artist is poised to break out and become a major recording star.
Shane got to this place in life after following a familiar pattern. She is surrounded by family members who have enjoyed varying measures of success in the music industry. Her older sister Brandi Williams was part of the girl group Blaque, best known for the Hot 100 Top 10 hits, 1999’s “808” and 2000’s “Bring It All To Me.” She explained the time in an interview with Billboard Magazine. “Well, a long time ago, before I was actually a thought, my sister was in a group, Blaque, that was signed by [industry veteran] Tommy Mottola, but it was Left Eye’s (of the group TLC) group. When my mom and dad were dating at the time, they were doing this whole group thing with his daughter, my sister Brandi, so my mom helped develop them and they stayed at her house. She helped them become a group because [the members] didn’t really know each other. They were put together. They had to learn how to gel and just be one. After my mom helped develop them, Left Eye took them to the office and they got signed. It was pretty fire.” Her father, who’s now a hair stylist, sang background vocals for her aunt, ’80s R&B singer Cherrelle (“Saturday Love”).
From my viewpoint, the young artist is interesting because I realize what she is experiencing today is only the beginning. I’m sure it’s difficult for young Kodie Shane to think about her life ten or even twenty years from now, but of course I can. That’s what makes her life fascinating to me now; realizing that the future can be very bright.
I became aware of the young budding star late last year. Shane has recorded enough music to make me know she is unique and quite good. I listened to the Zero Gravity EP entirely. That’s the point I knew that Kodie Shane was, in a word, indefinable. Call her presentation unique, special, different, all would fit. This is not a bad thing in the entertainment industry. Every artist wants to be unique. Kodie Shane certainly is that and more.
One important aspect about Kodie Shane’s rise might be that she has a well-developed musical style and sound. Many times young artists spend years seeking a particular sound that identifies them immediately. This happens because they might work with various songwriters and producers while developing musically. She started working as a writer for the Atlanta production studio Greystone Park, overseen by D.Clax and Matty P, two local rap vets. Shane has worked with the production pair exclusively thus creating her artistic continuity. Matty P showed her music to his friend and associate Coach K, the stylish Atlanta bigwig who manages Gucci Mane and Migos. He became something of a mentor to Shane. A couple of years later, he introduced her to Lil Yachty. Last year, Shane contributed a verse to Lil Yachty’s posse cut “All In,” marking her formal introduction as a member of his band of collaborators, the Sailing Team.
In her Billboard interview, Kodie Shane provided some insight about why I, and possibly a few people my age might be drawn to her music. “I just feel like I’m ahead of my time as a teenager. My music is a little ahead of its time. “Sad” is old and it’s just catching on. I have very few real friends because I don’t really feel like I fit in with a lot of people. I never really be with people my age. I just naturally like to be with older people, like [having] more intense conversations. I don’t want to just talk about Instagram.” I wouldn’t expect a fifty year old to readily listen to music from and eighteen year old Rapper, but it’s possible if that young artist feels like he or she has a connection with older folks.
Kodie Shane might be described as unique, quirky, talented, interesting and my favorite, indefinable. Meaning it is impossible to place a label on her. So true! Kodie Shane said further, “I just want people to listen to the music and get something from it, whatever it may be. Whether it’s a catchy lyric or a whole situation. I feel like I just want kids to look at me and be like wow, she’s really not even scared to just be whoever she wants to be. I feel like that’s possible.”
Maybe more than kids will be watching and listening.