Singer and producer Shane Forrester is on a mission to touch people’s lives through the gospel and nothing is stopping him, especially with the release of two new songs.
He has described the response to his work, Life’s DNA and Heaven, as “great”. The artiste said that recently he has been the one putting in the work solely on his music. His first project, Shane, had input from other musicians and he enjoys collaborations from time to time.
“But for my recent music, I have been doing all the production, writing and everything else.”
Life’s DNA, he said, is his work 100 per cent but for the song Christ Chant, which had over one million views on YouTube, he would have worked with musician and teacher Lowrey Worrell and worship leader and singer Jaicko.
“To be able to write a song that connects with people, that connects with their heart and creates change is a huge accomplishment. Making a difference for eternity is where my heart is at.”
Heaven is a cover featuring Ria Simone, which was originally done by Bebe and CeCe Winans. Cherell Toe commented on YouTube saying it was the first time she was hearing this and described it as beautiful.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with Bajan Vibes, Shane said he is touring online as he waits out the passing of the pandemic. One of his goals is also to tour in person, to seal a publishing deal and become more involved in movies and commercials. He’s also looking to release more songs and music videos.
Whether or not he achieves those goals, he said his main focus is reaching people at the soul level. “When we leave this planet, we take the intangible with us – not the physical. So I think touching people’s lives is one of my greatest achievements.”
Shane noted it wasn’t always this way when he started music at age 12, singing and performing with Smooth Boys. One of the highlights during this time was being in a music video, travelling to New York and recording in a huge studio.
Shane also travelled with The Troubadours International, spent four months in Canada and was exposed to what he called a solid work ethic.
“They would rehearse from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and then from 12 noon to 6 p.m., just hearing the wisdom of the older musicians and their experiences.”
Shane then joined the five-member group FourPlay for The People where he travelled to Germany, France and most of Europe. The band was recognised for excellence in music and won the Caribbean Band Award.
They also opened for artists like MC Hammer, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Boyz II Men – their talent also earned them a performance with Chevelle Franklyn.
Recent highlights include copping the Gospel Artist of the Year award in 2015 at the Barbados Music Awards.
Some of the sweetest moments to be savoured include compliments on his songs. He said his single You Should Agree which shows on CBC from time to time caused people to stop him in public to tell him about it.
“They would say that they were filled with insecurities and that the song touched them. They would say they felt beautiful and special and I can’t really put a price on those things. That is my Grammy award.”
Shane said nowadays he refuses to accept any awards no matter the form and here’s why. “I want to be neutral and I don’t want to feel like I’m competing with my brothers and sisters of Christ for an award. I want to be able to love them and support them, not go against them for an award. So I’ve sought to remain abstract from awards since then.”
He further explained that he saw how it brought division amongst artists. “I want to be genuine in my art. I cannot afford to be distracted because what the Lord has called me to do is extremely important.”
Shane has lots of advice for young musicians and artistes. He is an advocate of authenticity and is quick to remind them to be the best that they can be. “God has given each and every one a unique fingerprint and we have to value it and explore it. There is something that you have to say that God has given to you and there is a way that only you can express and no one else can.”
What makes a person a great artist is authenticity, heart and relevance. “Don’t live in the shadow of anyone else. You should only live in the shadow of God.” Ultimately though, Shane said he wants people to feel God’s presence from his music.
He is also working on an album which is on pause because of COVID-19. The album, Frankincense and Myrrh, was inspired by a dream he had and by listening to a lady speak of heaven and her personal experience.
“I know it sounds weird, but I dreamed that I smelt his presence. He smelled so good and I passed out in my dream and ended up waking up,” Shane said. (MR)