Savvy Shanti is on lookout for local talent
Shanti Das has worked with Prince, OutKast, Ashanti and Erykah Badu. Tonight she will be in Bermuda giving advice to local singers.
The public is invited to watch Olivia Hamilton, Sheila Smith, Jesse Seymour and others, as they perform live.
“Given my background in entertainment, I thought I could help,” said the industry veteran who worked with LaFace Records and Universal Motown Records before forming Press Reset Entertainment in 2009.
“If we spot someone talented, I’ll be talking with them and giving them some advice.”
She is “excited” about her first trip here. She was invited by Savvy Entertainment, “a global entertainment solutions company” set up to link artists with experienced industry professionals.
According to Ms Das, the event at the Earl Cameron Theatre is an important step — industry professionals are looking for artists able to perform live.
Her best advice for entertainers hoping to make it, however, is do not wait to be discovered.
“Create a digital platform,” she said. “Get your music and material out there. Make sure you are utilising YouTube. Build an online following.”
The 46-year-old fell in love with the music industry as a child in Georgia.
“I would go to our local radio station in Atlanta because I knew someone there,” she said. “I became fascinated with what was going on behind the scenes.”
At Syracuse University, she studied television, radio and film, and landed an internship with Capitol Records.
“Sometimes I was getting coffee or getting lunch,” she said. “Sometimes I was faxing letters.
“But I have always taken any job I do, big or small, very seriously.
“Even with the smallest task you are showing someone your work ethic and ability to work well with others. I wanted to be the best I could be.”
She joined LaFace Records once she graduated, working with label founders Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “LA” Reid to develop campaigns for the likes of Usher, TLC and Toni Braxton.
“In my career I am most proud of doing the marketing for OutKast and being responsible for a major part of launching their careers,” she said.
“It was also an honour for me to work with Prince on his Musicology album in 2004.
“He was a total professional when he was working, but in his private life he was quite a jokester.”
It wasn’t easy for her to quit Universal Motown Records and strike out on her own.
“It was scary leaving that,” she said. “Any time you transition, there is always a little bit of hesitation and worry in the air.
“My faith got me through a lot of that. I left for personal reasons. My mother developed some health issues and I wanted to spend more time with her. It was also time for a change. It was about having a life outside of entertainment. When I was there, I was sometimes working 16 to 18-hour days.”
• Savvy Sessions runs from 6pm-8pm. Songwriter Anthony Blakey, entertainers Anthony Hamilton and Keri Hilson and Grammy Award-winning producer Blac Elvis will also offer advice. A limited number of tickets are available for $10 at ptix.bm. For more information: savvy-ent.com
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