Interviewed by Cesca Janece Waterfield
Two sisters in the local music scene are getting major attention for their talent. Shantale and Tyler Person grew up in Chesterfield. Shantale began writing poetry as a girl, influenced by her mother, LaTanya Monroe, who likes to write. As a teen, Shantale started rapping, and became known as “Ms. Proper.” In 2006, she started her own company to release her recordings, So Proper Entertainment. The 23 year old has performed throughout Virginia, as well as in Cleveland, Washington D.C., and Atlanta. Her song “Friday Night” won Russ Parr’s “Our Stage” contest. Mike Bivens of New Edition selected Ms. Proper’s song “What Would You Do” for a compilation he hosted and her song “Body Bag” was featured on a mix tape hosted by Hussein Fatal, from Tupac’s group “The Outlawz.” Ms. Proper will appear at Alley Katz, 10 Walnut Alley, Shockoe Bottom on Nov. 20.
3 Words for What She’s Got: “Original, lyrical, creative. Before everything became so bubblegum and commercial, you got a good feeling from Hip Hop and you felt the emotion from the artist. That’s what I’m like.”
“Even if Hip Hop was a 9 to 5 job, that’s still what I would do. That’s how much I love it. I wanted to have a label even before I wanted to be an artist. Even when I was in middle school, I knew it was something I wanted to do.”
“My mom is my manager as well. Like any kid, I think my mom’s the best mom ever. If I wasn’t good, I know she wouldn’t be so into it. She has seen me go from recording with a ten dollar mic in the living room, to doing shows and getting recognition. It’s kind of like a dream come true.”
Working for the Dream:
“Ultimately, like everyone in the business, I want to get that lovely major record deal. But I also want to get a distribution deal, a parent label for my label. We’ve been doing shows in Cleveland, Georgia and trying to get our name out there.”
“I’ve always been inspired by Jay Z, and Eminem is one of my favorite rappers. Kanye West, Pharrell. Even top R&B artists like Ryan Leslie. He’s just so creative. But honestly, I don’t listen to that much mainstream music. I listen to more unsigned Virginia artists. Kleos and Daby, Intalek – people who are my peers but I’m also a fan of their music as well.”
“If there is one independent artist that you should support, it’s me, because I work very hard. I’ve done shows in clubs. I’ve performed in front of little kids. I make music for everyone and I make quality music. I’m not ever going to change my sound for the mainstream.”
Younger sister Tyler “T*Starz” Person began by performing in talent shows. She auditioned and became the youngest member of Radio Disney’s group RD Frequency, and opened for Disney star Raven Symone at the Innsbrook Pavilion. Last October she was the youngest performer to enter the “Richmond’s Got Talent” showcase and still came away with the top prize. She’s performed at the Chesterfield County Fair and 2nd Street Festival in Richmond. At age 14, Tyler is now the youngest member of older sister’s roster at So Proper Entertainment.
Touring with Disney:
“I started performing maybe when I was 4 or 5. My great grandmother played piano and she was active in church. She would play when I was a baby. When I was 8, I started doing competitions. When I was 10, I got accepted into the [Disney] group RD Frequency as the youngest member. We would go around the East Coast. I really enjoyed myself. I think that’s where I got into being onstage.”
“This is what I want to do for the remainder of my life. But I have something to fall back on educationally. I’m an honor student because my mom would not let me do less than I’m capable.”
“My mom with her poetry, I think it was a big inspiration for my songwriting. My mom’s really intelligent. I acquired the writing skills [from her]. She drives me to want to do better. She’s always like, ‘You can do it.’ She’s always right behind me.”
“I’m very into different genres of music all the way around. I really like rock, Hip Hop, rap and I love techno. I like country too. I try to incorporate it into one. I think if you’re versatile, it creates longevity.”
30 Seconds with a Music Exec: “I would tell them that I am a very hard worker and that I’ve wanted this my whole life. Then I would stop right there and sing a song.”