Shae Mill, born Shannan Miller, is a Singer/Rapper/Producer who resides in St. Ann, Jamaica. Growing up in a musical family, Shae started out as a member of her church’s Youth Choir then moving on to singing at concerts, weddings, and school events. Despite taking the college route via the Northern Caribbean University (N.C.U.) in her later years, it never stopped her pursuit to have a musical career. Upon meeting a college friend Jermaine “Tone” Hamilton, she learned Audio Engineering and started producing for herself and others along with showcasing her other talents. Over the years Shae has done backup singing for top acts like Tiana, Spice and Macka Diamond, and has performed at events such as the Red Star Concert and the Negril One Love Reggae Concert. Her first major release came in 2013 with the single “If Yuh Think Yuh Bad” and since then has released others including “A You Mi Love” and “Sweet Love (Even If A Lie)”. Mechanical Dummy recently caught up with Shae Mill to talk about her influences, taking the college route, challenges faced as a female artist, and where she sees her career in the next few years.
Words by W. Haye
Mechanical Dummy: Who is Shae Mill and what do you create?
Shae Mill: I’m a Songwriter, Singjay (Singer/Deejay), Producer, mainly a Jack of all trades. I’m so deeply involved in music I tend to play many roles once they’re available.
MD: How did you get your start in your musical career?
SM: I got my start during my time in College. I participated in a few talent shows and caught the attention of many and was encouraged to pursue musical studies along with a professional career. I started to get a small buzz after I recorded my first song “It’s Over” and from there I never stopped making music until I got my first major release.
MD: Describe your sound, who are your influences?
SM: I consider my sound to be smooth no matter the genre I tackle. I keep my music tasteful although there will be signs of edge especially when I’m doing Hip Hop or Dancehall Music. There are too many influences to name because I’m open to many genres and is influenced by any artist performing.
MD: It has been said that you should always have a “Plan B” just in case something doesn’t work out. You took the College route, what did you study and why are you pursuing music more than the career you studied for?
SM: At first music was a hobby for me so during High School I was a very artistic student where I made paintings, designs and got involved in other activities. After High School reality kicked in and I didn’t want to be a bum so I had to take the school route where I attended N.C.U. to pursue a Psychology Degree. Funny enough during my College years I was more in the studio than I was in class but I made up for both.
MD: You’ve recently released two singles, “A You Mi Love” and “Sweet Love”, how has the feedback been for them so far?
SM: The feedback has been great so far. I’ve started to see people crawl out of the woodwork and show support. I’ve also gotten great support from the media for my efforts as well as they described them as something fresh and they love my personality behind the music. This is what I live for, being able to create something and hear myself on the radio, see myself on the television and getting good support for it. It has been fun and i’m finally stepping away from the mixing board and being on a TV set or a Radio studio.
MD: As a female in the music business, what challenges have you faced?
SM: The challenges I’ve faced include people underestimating me. I’m 5’3” in stature and people would think I’m a little girl and not take me seriously. I’ve been in situations where artists would come to the studio where I’m handling engineering duties and question my skills because of my gender and refuse to work with me. Another big challenge is my content. When I write, I don’t aim to sound like every other female act but when I create songs I’m always suggested to make songs similar to them. I’m not about the cookie cutter life, I aim to be different in creating and delivering my content.
MD: Where do you see your career in the next 5 years?
SM: Over the next few years I plan to establish my label, Diphrent Shaedz, focusing on production and management and help my label and upcoming or established acts. I love to help people so when I see talent I use my skills to better them so that will be a focus in the next few years.
MD: What does Shae Mill do in her off time?
SM: In my off time I take a trip to Negril and be a beach bum. I love the beach and I usually chill there with a few friends or be by myself and get some peace and quiet. Family is very important to me so I also make efforts to spend time with them in my down time.
MD: Any advice for upcoming artists?
SM: I advise all upcoming acts to read and research this music business. Whether you read books or watch YouTube videos, aim to be well rounded when handling music business or you’ll just be wasting your time. Learn the tricks, the pros, the cons, don’t get swindled and don’t swindle anyone. Always stay focused and get the right people in your corner who have your best interest at heart.