Shaniel Muir making wavesFriday, October 16, 2020
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Despite the downturn in entertainment due to the current pandemic at least one Jamaican female artiste is making a name for herself thanks to social media.
The name Shaneil Muir may not be strange to some persons. During the 2016 season of the televised talent show, Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall, she was one of the finalists and made an impression on the judges and audience before being eliminated from the competition.
Fast forward to 2020 and her tracks such as Yamabella, Same Guy featuring Denyque have amassed more than a million views since posted on YouTube, and there is a buzz surrounding this young act, with many contending that she is dancehall's female breakout star for 2020.
Shortly after being eliminated from Magnum, Muir migrated to the United States to live with her father. She admitted in the interview with the Jamaica Observer's Splash that the move delayed her breakthrough, but never diminished her passion for the music.
“I was always doing my thing on social media, through Facebook and Instagram mi always a put out mi tune dem and stayed in touch with my fans. But once I got to California music was not that at the forefront. I had to adjust to living in a new society. I realised that having a good credit score was important and began working and just started being an adult. In addition my father was not in favour of be going into the music business. He just saw it as something to do as a hobby and not a career, but I thought otherwise.”
Muir noted that California does not have a vibrant dancehall music community, so she thought in order to make a career she had to move and in March of last year, drove herself from California to New York in search of what she wanted from the music industry.
“From the moment I got to New York, I knew it was going to happen for me. There was just an energy in that city. Plus there is a larger Jamaican community than in California. I began going to studios and began doing a few small shows… everything was better. But New York expensive. So I decided to move again and in September last year drove to Florida, and that's when it all shifted,” said Muir.
She renewed her links with management team at Good Good Productions, whom she had met by chance while campaigning on Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall. By the start of 2020 they had all plans laid out but COVID-19 had other plans.
“The pandemic left me without a job and things just didn't look good for entertainment. I just drew on my faith and took to social media to start pushing my ting. I would go live and 20 people would join me on my Instagram feed, but me a sing fi dem like a 20,000. Friend start to tell a friend and each time the numbers just grew. The followers would tell me about competitions and I would go on other people's live. Mi start write a bag a song and release independently. Once we dropped 3D, and Blessings, we started getting a bit of traction and once Yamabella and Same Guy then the fans and the recognition just grew.”
A central theme in Muir's music is female empowerment. It is something she is passionate about and takes her role as a budding public figure and possible influencer seriously.
“As women we simply have to lift up each other. There is strength in unity and women if we come together we can overcome so many of the little things that face us. So if I can be that pinch of change in someone's life as a result of my music, then I believe it is my duty and something I should do,” said Muir.
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