Shontelle: "I Tease Rihanna About Her Hair!"
As if Shontelle isn't getting enough love from Us – she's the special guest for this week’s Usmagazine.com Hot Stuff video (where she sings her platinum hit "Impossible" acapella!) and the magazine's Us Musts Music Q&A -- I thought we'd devote even more space to finding out just what was in the Barbados waters that turned her and her childhood best bud Rihanna into music superstars. The 26-year-old voice behind the new CD, No Gravity (out now!) opens up to Us.
UsMagazine.com: What is "Impossible" about to you?
Shontelle: When I first heard the demo I knew that people could just really relate to what it feels like to put a lot of time or energy into something or someone, and you are just going along and one day you realize this is not going to last forever like you hoped for or you were expecting. So the song is just about coming to the realization and figuring out how to deal with it and move forward.
US: What was it like growing up with Rihanna?
S: Rihanna and I we were kids together. We grew up having a lot of fun together. And it's just so fun to see how we have come this far together. We finally just got back into the studio together again. It's some stuff we were working on for her album actually. So you all have to stay tuned with that too.
US: Has she given you any advice since she came out before you?
S: Yeah. I have definitely learned a lot from her. She is very supportive all the time. I remember when she reached out she was like 'oh my god, "Impossible" is going to be huge for you. I'm so happy!' She's always sharing any good ideas.
US: Back in the day, did you guys talk about ruling the charts? Like 'we are going to be famous one day'?
S: No. We were in cadets together and I was her drill sergeant at one point. As much as we grew up together neither one of us had any clue the other wanted to be a singer. I remember the first time we saw each other in New York and she had just gotten signed. I hadn't even been signed yet. We were just like 'oh my god, this is so crazy. I didn't know you wanted to be singer.' She was like, 'dude, I didn't know you wanted to be a signer.' But we're just so happy for each other.
US: Did you support her through the tough times, too, like the Chris Brown incident?
S: Of course. Myself and the whole team we were there for her as much as she needed us. We're just so happy everyone seems to be moving forward; she's been just doing her thing. I saw her recently at Jones Beach, so I am finally catching her show. I am just like a proud big sister.
US: Are you surprised about her success at all?
S: Oh no, not at all. Definitely not surprised. I know a lot of people tried to brush her off as a one-hit wonder. I was like 'they don't know this girl.' She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. She is very disciplined, very ambitious.
US: Exactly. What do you think of her red hair by the way?
S: And now it's red and long! I was like, 'you did not even tell me you were doing the long red hair!' When she had the short cut, I was teasing her, I was calling her Scarlet Beiber because it was the red Justin Bieber haircut. But now it's long!
US: That's hilarious. She's always rockin' out a different look.
S: She always does. That's my baby boo. I love her so much!
US: I also wanted to ask you about touring with Beyonce. Did B give you any advice?
S: Oh my gosh. That was the experience of my life. She is just epic. Being able to see such a dynamic performer for two months straight was unbelievable. So of course I was watching her, trying to get all the little tips, and I got to meet such epic people every single night. One night I got to meet Bono, George Michael, and Jay-Z. Katy Perry was there one night. So you don't get to see just Beyonce -- you get to meet all the cool people that you would look up to and aspire to be like. She actually took time out to spend with me and she was just to embracing and welcoming, she gave me a lot of advice and told me to just to just stay focused. It was just really great to have someone who you look up to come down to your level and come down to talk to you, and she's just a really good mentor.
US: What was it like to see her and Jay hang out? They have such a great marriage.
S: It was really cool. Everyone is just like one big happy family. Seeing her and her family and the crew, you can't tell the difference between who's who. When we are out on the road, the band was just like one big family, laughing all the time. It was all fun. It was just really great, a lot of practical jokes.
US: What about you? Dating anyone?
S: No. I had the best boyfriend ever when I was in Barbados, and we tried to make it work for a long time but I had to move to New York, and it just go so hard on both of us. We are still the best of friends though. I am literally living "Impossible" myself and trying not to put anyone else in that situation right now. I guess working on building a career and establishing yourself as an artist, you don't even really have time for yourself. There's not really not much time to put into relationships, to be honest.
US: Is there like a dream type of crush for yourself?
S: Who knows? I always tell people they can put me in a sandwich between the Twilight boys and that would be good. I'm Team Jacob. I'm Team Edward. I don't care. I just think that they are hot.
US: So what is it about Barbados? Is there something in the water that two big pop stars can come out of there?
S: Oh my gosh. I have no idea. Barbados is such a small island with a big community, and it's a musically driven country -- we sing about everything. Right now there is also Vita Chambers and she is like a pop rock artist from Barbados. She's on tour with Justin Bieber right now. So we got something clearly in the air or water. I am just glad I was born there.