By Thomas Mulgrew
Shanell Red Destiny Fulfilled
Coming out of Paterson, New Jersey, Shanell “Red” Irving knew from an early age that music was something that she wanted to devote her life to without hesitation. “I heard Angie B, whom we all know as Angie Stone, she was a rapper that also sang and I said, ‘Wow, I want to do that.” After a short stint as a member of the all female group ‘Thik’, Irving teamed up with fellow Thik member Tenesha Black to form Big Drawz Music, a songwriting team that would soon make history as the first female songwriting duo to be signed to a deal with Warner/Chappell Music Group. “The name was crazy, but it really helped to get us through a lot of doors. People wanted to know who we were.”
The name might have gotten Shanell through the door, but it is her talent that has kept her there. She has worked with and written for a long list of artists from Jaheim to Trey Songz to Faith Evans among others. Her work with R&B artist Charlie Wilson, however, marked a high point in her career. “Being the first female to ever record him and vocal produce him was a monumental moment for me. And he let people know it too.”
Shanell’s connection to Big Drawz resulted in a major placement on the Destiny’s Child album Destiny Fulfilled, understandably a special achievement for Shanell, “When we met them, our chemistry was amazing. We actually only had one song on the album but after hearing the first, they wanted another one.”
Never one to settle, Shanell has expanded from songwriting to helping other artists and songwriters realize their dreams. “Tenesha and I started Phatt House Entertainment because we were already helping people get deals, so why not do our own thing?” Her latest venture is producing a reality show called ‘The Writerz Rumble’, which takes young, up and coming artists and songwriters and teams them with award-winning writers to turn the aspiring talent into A-list talent. “It’s a combination of “American Idol” meets “X Factor”, but also reality. We go behind the scenes so people can see who make artists famous. People might see a name on the back of an album but don’t know the struggle it took for that person to get there.”
Another goal of the show is to enlighten the young writers on the business side of the industry. “A lot of times writers get shafted and we want to educate these men and women on publishing deals and getting with the right lawyers and so forth. “
From songwriting to A&R work to creating and producing an all new reality show, Shanell Red continues to prove herself as an uncompromising artist and entrepreneur. And with an unbridled passion for art and business, hard work and creativity, hers looks to be a destiny fulfilled.