Blending R&B and dance pop with an 80s feel, Starshell is set to make a major debut with "Superluva." This isn’t her first taste of success as she wrote the massive hit "Love Lockdown" for Kanye West. Her debut CD will feature collaborations with Ne-Yo, Fernando Garibay, and Jeff Bhasker. With major support from Mary J. Blige who signed Starshell to her label, Matriarch Records, you know that Starshell is going to be one to watch.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: You wrote one of my all time favorite songs.
RS: "Love Lockdown" by Kanye West.
Starshell: Yes, I did.
RS: How did you hook up with that?
Starshell: Well, you know in this industry, it’s always about networking and the hook-ups of the hook-ups of the hook-ups and trying to get here, there, and the other. I was in Los Angeles in the studio and Kanye was like take out your pen and pad and let’s see what you've got. That's what came out of that.
RS: I’ve read that another song, "Superwoman" by Karyn White,
has a s very special meaning for you.
Starshell: When I was lfive years old and it was my mum’s favorite song, I used to sing it at every family event on camera. I used to do all the bells and whistles and the blows and the ad libs and I thought I was her. My mom used to make me sing it every day so yes, I love it.
RS: So this new project, is it dance or R&B?
Starshell: It’s dance, but I don't like to pigeonhole myself and say it’s either dance or it’s R&B or it’s this or that. To me, I'm a melting pot of things that inspire me, so it’s a good mix of everything.
RS: One of your producers, Fernando Garibay, has a really special
Latin sound in his production. Is that coming through on the music
you're working on?
Starshell: Yes, some of the tracks have a Caribbean feel twisted in to the dance and stuff like that. I think I did a good job of kind of making it a melting pot of a bunch of different stuff.
RS: Tell us about your first single, "Superluva."
Starshell: The song makes you think of girls just wanting to have fun, kind of reminiscent of the 80s and everything that inspired me, but 80s meets today. It’s a song that's like when you go in to a club tonight and you like a guy and you hope he likes you back and we're just going to have fun.
RS: And so is this your first time at the Winter Music Conference?
Starshell: It is.
RS: What's it like for you this time?
Starshell: It’s exciting because, as you know, you never get a first back. So it’s amazing meeting all the DJs and premiering my first single, I'm not going to get that back so it’s really exciting. I'm having a great time.
RS: Who’s your favorite DJ?
Starshell: Oh my god, you can't do that to me, that's politically incorrect, especially with my single coming out. I don't have a favorite DJ.
RS: Do you know who’s remixing your single?
Starshell: I have a bunch of different people with the tracks out right now. I'm not sure who’s going to send it back and whose I'm going to love.
RS: When you're working with producers do you usually start with
your own lyrics or do you write to a track, how do you compose your
Starshell: Well I write lyrics as I'm a lyricist first and I'm a poet. Sometimes I write and then I get a track and sometimes I listen to a track and it inspires me to write something, so it all depends.
RS: Cool. And I know Ron Fair and Fernando Garibay are on the
album, who else are you working with producer-wise?
Starshell: I worked with Martin Kierszenbaum. I worked with Fernando, I worked with Jeff Bhasker, he's great and I worked with him on the Kanye project as well. So we've just got a whole bunch of good stuff up our sleeve. I also worked with Ne-Yo and we co-wrote something that's really special to me.
RS: How did you meet up with Mary J Blige, how did she find you?
Starshell: A mutual friend introduced me to her manager Kendu (Martin Kendu Isaacs) who is also runs the company with her. Then we met at the studio with Mary and it was all history from then.
RS: What would you like to say to all your future fans out there?
Starshell: To all my fans, I want to tell them that the support that they’ve given me up until now and in the future means so much to me, and just rock with me.
Interview conducted March 2010.