Shamora Crawford has made her mark in the music scene by penning hits for artists such as Monica ("Hurts The Most", "Breaks My Heart", "I Wrote This Song"), Jennifer Lopez ("Can't Believe This"), Maria ("Lonely", "Miss You"), Blu Cantrell ("10,000 Times"), Victoria Beckham ("L.O.V.E", "Into My Heart"), and Teairra Mari ("New Shit"). Her powerful singing voice can now be heard on the critically acclaimed debut album, "How It Feels", which was released independently via Striker Records. I caught up with the singer/songwriter to talk about her career in the music biz, working with several accomplished producers, collabos wish-list, future projects, and so much more … Enjoy reading, and don't forget to post your thoughts :)
Hamada: - What inspired you to become a songwriter? And who was the first artist you worked with?
Shamora: - This is a hard question because I never dreamed of becoming a songwriter. It kind of happened by accident. I was singing at a wedding when I was 16 and this producer/songwriter named Artie Hoyle asked me to come and demo some songs for him. When I went to his studio I was intrigued to find out that he was making money by writing songs. I was interested. I had written a little before, but hadn't formally put anything down yet. He played me J Dubb track, and I wrote a song and the rest is history.
Hamada: - I got to know you through your work with Maria on the tracks "Lonely" & "Miss you", and till this day I consider them two of my all time favorites. What do they mean to you? And how was it like working with her?
Shamora: - Thank you so much. Those are two of my favorite songs as well. At the time I was dealing with a tough breakup with an ex boyfriend and the constant push and pull between us was a strain. I was reminded how sometimes I took him being there for granted and I didn't realize how much I missed him until he was gone. Perhaps that's what those songs were all about. :) Working with Maria was really great though. She's one of the nicest people and a great artist, her voice is very true.
Hamada: - Were you surprised when Maria's album – "My Soul" - didn't sell as well as expected? And are you still in touch with her?
Shamora: - I was a bit shocked that her album didn't do better as far as sales. It wasn't her fault though, unfortunately her album dropped just before Dreamworks decided to drop all of their artists. Once again another great artist and a great album suffered because of it. Unfortunately I haven't spoken to Maria in a few years. I pray all is well with her.
Hamada: - Tell us about your debut album, "How It Feels", and what can we expect from it?
Shamora: - "How It Feels" is a representation of what we girls feel when going through the ups and downs of relationships. Finally guys get to really hear our side of things, and understand how we are truly affected by the joy, the pain, etc. Check it out; I'm sure you'll love it.
Hamada: - What do you think of the increasing trend with regards to songwriters turning to singers?
As far as other singer songwriters, there are quite a few that I absolutely adore. I'm a fan of real songs, so the obvious would be: Sting, Babyface, Roberta Flack, Prince, Sheryl Crow, Shania Twain, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, etc. I could go on and on with that one forever. How much time do you have? LOL :)
Hamada: - Which artists would you love to write songs for? And why?
Shamora: - Wow! I pray to work with Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, Mariah Carey, etc. That list goes on and on too. I would love to work with them because they are true artists. Most artists nowadays aren't. These people have real talent, and no matter what they sing, you believe it. They move people through music, and their music is timeless, and I feel like those are the kinds of songs I write.
Hamada: - Are there any producers that you haven't worked with yet, but would love to collaborate with soon?
Shamora: - I would love to work with Warryn Campbell, David Foster, and Rick Rubin.
Hamada: - Do songwriters develop friendships with the singers they work with? Or is it always strictly professional? And are you friends with any of the artists you worked with?
Shamora: - Sure we become friends. I have become friends with a few artists, but it's just like any other job. Some of your colleagues you click with better than others.
Hamada: - Is there any song that you wish you've kept for yourself instead of giving it another artist?
Shamora: - Ummm, I'd have to say that one song that is really close to me and have always wanted for myself is "Hurts The Most". Monica did that song on her "After the Storm" album.
Hamada: - Which album have you recently bought and liked very much?
Shamora: - J Moss "V2…"
Hamada: - I'll ask you about some of the artists/producers you worked with, and you tell me what that experience was like:
o Soulshock & Karlin (producers):- Always a challenge. I learned a lot from these guys. They are incredible. I admire their work very much!
o Peter Biker (producer):- One of the nicest people I've ever met. He's also one of the most talented. He truly doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
o Kwame (producer): We never actually worked together in the studio. The track was sent to me.
o Monica: She's very nice and easy to work with.
o Jennifer Lopez: We actually never met when she recorded my song.
o Victoria Beckham: She's also very nice.
o Teairra Mari: We never met either. Again I wasn't there when she recorded the song.
o Blu Cantrell: This was a challenging session. The song turned out great though!
Hamada: - What are your future projects? And whom can we expect you to be working with soon?
Shamora: - I'm working on some stuff for Universal Music and Jive Records. I have recently finished writing a duet for Keke Wyatt and Raheem DeVaughn, Bad Boy recording artist Cheri Dennis, as well as 3 songs on the new Angie Stone album, "The Art of Love and War".
Hamada: - Last but not the least, is there any message you'd like to give to your fans all over the world?
Shamora: - Thank you for constantly supporting me. Great things are about to happen. Soon more than just us will know how great I really am. I thank God for all of you and his many blessings that we have yet to see!!! God bless!!! Love you all!
[Visit] Shamora @ MySpace
[Listen] Shamora - Betcha
[Purchase] Shamora - How It Feels