Princess Shaw is an unique case for the R&B world.
For now she’s resting on the laurels of Kutiman’s viral orchestral collage “Give it Up” which centered on Shaw’s vocal performance. However, unlike most of the people featured in Kutiman’s videos, Shaw has developed a strong artistic relationship with the youtube star. Currently, Shaw is out promoting the release of a documentary detailing her discovery and early collaborative process with Kutiman but once that’s over, her energy will be redirected into creating music.
I had the pleasure of stopping by Shaw’s hotel to have a few words about her quick spike in success that capped off years of unrecognized passion. I was also curious if jumping the ranks had any pull over her artistic process. To that, Shaw assured me, “I don’t think anything has changed. I don’t really write either, I kinda just freestyle…but to be in the studio with Kutiman, the person who started this dream for me, it’s beyond words. I try to get the feeling across to people but it’s hard. It’s like your wildest dreams coming down and hitting you in the face.”
Shaw’s struggles and modest beginning have kept her level headed through all the turbulence, emphasizing how she doesn’t want to turn into a hot-headed diva. Instead, Shaw’s decided to move the weight of her focus on music, using the release of the documentary Presenting Princess Shaw as a form of showcasing her story, and her early musical processes.
Some of the most pressing vignettes were captured in Shaw’s constant vlogging while she was still in New Orleans. The documentary gathers a number of these videos that have Shaw raw and vulnerable, airing out her frustrations. When I asked her about how it feels to look back on the state she was in, Shaw had this to say,
“Now I have self love, I have self worth, and back then I didn’t have that. I really had to fight my demons, you have no idea how hard it was. I would be walking around work smiling but on the inside my spirit was on the floor crying. I’m so happy and thankful I’m not there anymore. That’s a horrible place to be. One time I cried for three days, and I felt so sick when I was done. Thank God I’m not there.”
She also shared some contention with me in regards to what people expect from an artist who draws from their darker emotions. Shaw hopes that fans don’t want her to stay in such a mentally defunct place, rather accept that she can draw from her past without having to be in the same situation.
Sadness aside, Princess Shaw is definitely giving music her best side with the help of Kutiman, and her ambitions reflect that mindset. When asked who she’d love to collaborate with, Shaw immediately let out, “John Legend”. It made more sense as we spoke further on what separates John from other singers, that is his ability to make any track his own. Shaw echoed that desire, adding that she wants to have a voice that commands a listener’s attention and is undoubtedly recognizable.
Going forward, Princess Shaw plans on releasing an album produced entirely by Kutiman which, according to her, is the album she’s always wanted to make. Now that Shaw has the resources, her plans are coming to fruition.
The documentary hits theaters, VOD & Amazon on May 27.
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