Producers United is ecstatic to announce Shalom, from Lynn Massachusetts, as our breakout female artist choice for 2016! The award represents our prediction based on the artist we loved the MOST in 2015 – whom we think will have WORLDWIDE impact and recognition this upcoming Gregorian 365.
A very humble artist/person, her honesty and direct attitude is the first thing that stands out to you. She bleeds passion. And it shows on stage. That is why I wanted to interview her.
How did Shalomthepoet get to this point? Why does music mean so much to her?
I saw some fire in her to the point that I KNEW I had to get the answers and story behind. The most touching details I cannot share in this interview. I will just say that the life of & what this 37 year-young woman has had to endure – I cannot think of having to deal with. Music is her escape. Music has saved her. The movement has helped saved her, too.
More on that –> The fine MC & Poet of War hails from a buzzing group called the “Wreck Shop Movement” – whom will definitely be international staples by 2017. So it’s not much of a stretch to imagine her – one of their most talented artists to have a ridiculous 2016. But this article was penned before I had even realized in my head the rocket-paced rising potential the unit of a whole was undergoing. It was before a lot of the subway cypher hysteria. Before this subway video (watch here) with Shalom, Mr. PSA & J1K, shot by Justice Born, got 1948 shares (no typo), 134k views, and was posted on the infamous Team Backpack Facebook page. She had shoutouts and attention from Chile to Russia. Even a big hip hop Facebook blog gave love from somewhere called “Sofïa, Bulgaria” for the video! Nuts. Hip hop is DEEP overseas.
That is where I believe she should try to shine in ’16.
No, Shalom does not have videos with 80 million views or a co-sign via a legendary MC. This will certainly come with time, though, we guarantee you.
Our team has predicted the rise of Token, before anyone knew him, as well as others. Sometimes it is hard to put in words why we know someone will have success. It is easier to not believe in anything. We are willing to put ourselves out there as the first blog group to make this call. We have full faith in her and are behind her 1000%.
When you have Wreck Shop & ProU consistently behind you , it’s also going to be hard to fail. Wreck Shop represents the underdogs. Shalom had to rise up and live through many years of adversity before getting to this point. SHE is the epitome of the underdog – the person who by society’s limitations and roadblocks wasn’t supposed to be here. It was set up for her not to make it. We are here to rotate that notion into reverse motion. No rhyme intended.
Last, make sure to talk to her personally if you REALLY want to be inspired. Words on a page can only do so much. Relating to people in real life is what will have the most effect.
She broke out of her shell this year. Absolutely smashed it open. We could pin-point it to a good portion of the smashing to a specific moment. It was mid-August. At a monthly open mic competition called “Mind Spray”. The winner receives $100, studio time and headlines at the next month’s event.
It was apparent to people after her performance why we were all so confident in her. She received mass amounts of encouragement & reminders from Rob Alpert (who goes way back & even interviewed Eminem. Check the amazing story here on mingtae) to perform at the event, whenever he would see her around.
Myself and Lifewhyz also pushed her to perform – but Rob was the most persistent: Reminding her every time he would see her at Opus. We were both convinced that she would win in her first appearance if she simply left it all out on stage.
That she did. And after winning she was featured in a popular Lynn Magazine.
It was her first non-Wreck Shop headline set. And it wasn’t alongside just anybody.
She shared the stage for her winning headline set in September with legend Edo G.
A new chapter in her confidence building. It was becoming real to her.
The support from Michelle Richardson, Justice Born, and the entire Wreck Shop crew that cloudy August day was indescribable. I wouldn’t have been able to feel the moment without J.B capturing it on video. She could finally sense the tables turning – after so many years.
Tim Nihan and Mr. Fritz of ProU were two other members who won on their first appearance. The competition at the events are stiff, so it’s not an easy task to win on your first go-around. She snatched the headline spot that night regardless, wow’ing the crowd with her “Smooth Operator” joint.
Shalom and boring do not go together. She wouldn’t have it. That’s one positive side effect from us self-conscious artists. She knows what the people want and they want DIFFERENT.
to that end: You’ll often see her perform with an amazing band, i.e: Slam Kitchen (my favorite up & coming hip band). Or an instrumentalist, i.e Frye (guitarist/vocalist) – the duo specifically known to perform a great acoustic rendition at Wreck Shop’s Opus #LiveFromTheUnderground event & free open mic (every Wednesday).[Feel the amazing vibes & chemistry that Slam & Shalom have with this fire-emoji video back from Halloween when they held a massive improvved-beat cypher]
Her love of bands and understanding music stems of from being a drummer in her early career. She said if she wasn’t an emcee she would be doing what Jon Glass does. Being a producer and engineering all day and helping others craft their sound and projects. She is very confident with her ears.
The best way to describe her is this. When Shalom starts to rap, everything else in the world STOPS. And it’s ALL EYES on Shalom. That is why the name of the interview is called so. And no amount of words can convey it or her performance skills – you have to be there in person. She is the best female performer I know from our region. We hope you enjoy the interview.
1) How’d it feel performing at Mind Spray for the headline set? If you can describe your feelings before-hand (because I saw you were visibly nervous); it obviously meant a LOT to you: if you can go into why.
Performing at Mind Spray for the headline set was a surreal experience and process. Initially I wasn’t going to compete for the open mic contest, I’m not into competing. Although competing is an unfortunate and at times a great sense of self esteem, I choose not to approach my music in that way. Obviously I competed and won, but I chose to compete because I told Conor that I would and because others suggested that I do. After signing up, I was fourth on the list and tried to switch with someone else to be last or close to it. In retrospect, I am glad things turned out the way they did, not because I won but because it was yet another way to escape and release. Once I decided to look at it like any other open mic I have participated in the nerves lessened.
Of course I was nervous, my nerves were on fire. I wasn’t just nervous I was scared. In fact, I was petrified. I guess that’s why I perform with such passion, because for the most part I am a scared child. In one way, I’m a scared child and in another way it’s liberating and the safest place I have ever felt on planet earth.
If you’re a true performer and absolutely love performing there’s no greater high, especially when you are there in your zone. There is also such low and sadness that comes over such an artist, mainly because where do we go from there? How can we get that high again and again.
If you’re a true performer and absolutely love performing there’s no greater high, especially when you are there in your zone
2) Why do people gravitate towards you so much?
I believe that people gravitate towards me because I am NEVER afraid to be and show my vulnerability.
3) What do you want to do ULTIMATELY? What’s your plan to give back etc cause I know you’re very much about this.
Ultimately, I would love to travel and share my music with people. Giving back, I believe that I do that already in a daily basis. Giving back is not just a process when you have money. It’s about learning, passion, compassion, etc. Being good to people plain and simple, doing that to the very best of your ability. Doing right, simply because it’s right.
Doing right, simply because it’s right.
4) Where do you see yourself 1 year from now , beginning of 2017; what big things do you want to have accomplished by then?
In 2017, at least by the end of it I hope to have an album in the works or complete and traveling to share that music. I also just hope I’m better all around then I was in the past not just this year
5) Can you go into your confidence / transition of when your confidence started turning around to where you started believing in yourself?
Confidence is a fragile and strange thing. My “growing confidence” stems from trying to keep my depression at a stand still and have more control over it. I’m prone and addicted to depression, so I have recently tried to really use music as a way to fight it. That’s where my “growing confidence” comes from. Wreck Shop and Justice have played a huge part
6) When was the first time you had received REALLY genuine support?
The first time I was supported was when I was younger as a drummer in an all female band.
The real support, though has recently come from me. At the end of the day others supporting you is awesome but that means and meant nothing because I didn’t believe that I was possible, that IT was possible, that this was possible.
Amazing way to end it off, Shalom.
To summarize, I feel a little bit of sadness anytime Shalom may be planning to come through to an event, but can’t make it. THAT is the mark of a special artist.
If we had to give her a tagline : it would be this –> “Shalom: Would give any top male rapper in our region a run for their $“. I’m pretty harsh on artists, especially female rappers – for whatever reason. But there is something about her raps live you can’t explain. It’s like her poetry that draws you in just comes from another dimension, the way her voice connects with your soul. I know that sounds deep or ‘woo-woo’, but you won’t think I’m crazy after you see her live, too too. You’ll know exactly what I mean. She’s not a rapper. She’s a poet. That is, what separates her.
Shalom is one of the few artists when I see on a bill I get excited to tell my friends “come see her” – like you will on January 2nd (with Slam Kitchen behind her) , at the legendary Hard Rock freaking Cafe Boston (tix). It’s the first show ProU is throwing (w/ Xperience Creative) – and the famous Duck Down music partnering with us as well.
So make sure, after your hangovers are complete and you are ready to rock with us for Round 2 of New Years celebration to join us on Saturday at what will be a very packed show. It’s the farewell show for Alyssa Marie & Milez Grimez before they head out to L.A!
Stay tuned – as she’ll also be doing a show for Kyle Bornstein’s birthday too at Opus in Salem, MA on January 13th! (Event Page). The vibes there with the Wreck Shop events are ALWAYS incredible. It gets wild on birthdays too. The best thing about their events is everyone treats you like family. It doesn’t matter if you were the high school nerd. We ALL were. And we’re all flourishing now. And we want YOU to.
And January 23rd in Nashua, NH she will be performing with Slam Kitchen again. You can count on me being to both the 13th and 23rd shows, in addition to the big Hard Rock show.
Last, keep your ears peeled for singles from an album she is working on . Her only feature will be oft-collabed with singer Aisling Peartree (another must-see artist), and the producers – as she likes to keep it pure and authentic. One of the few producers selected for it will be our team captain J1K – as well as Jon Glass, our 2014 producer of the year winner!
#LETSGETIT #FWITHUS #KICKASSANDCHEWBUBBLEGUM