Written by Brittany Shawnté
I have a lot of spotlights coming up, and even more submissions to look through soon. I plan to
hopefully have at least one spotlight a week for a bit, while I catch up (*fingers crossed*).As always, if you or your client is an upcoming singer, rapper, actor, designer, etc., please email me at BrittanyShawnte@gmail.com (Please give at least two weeks for response).
Today on The Spotlight, we have singer/songwriter Constance Renoir! Raised in Brooklyn, NY, Constance got into music at a very young age. “I would say, by 9 years old, I had written my first song, and I knew that I could really sing,” she said. In junior high, the singer had what she called “sort of a life changing experience,” when she was asked by her music teacher, Ms. Christie, to perform in a talent show. “I had never performed before, and so I didn’t know which song to sing, so she recommended to me that I perform Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero,’” Constance recalled. “Once I grabbed that mic, and sang those specific lyrics, I knew that was what I wanted to do.” From there on, she started following Mariah’s music, trying to match both her vocals and songwriting skills.
In addition to Mariah, she’s inspired by some of the great artists that also call NY home, including the Notorious BIG, Jay Z, Lil Kim, Mary J. Blige, and Aaliyah. “My sound is a fusion of all those people,” the singer said. “I call it hip hop soul, or ‘soul pop.’” Her music has a fun, 90s’ chill vibe, which is definitely inspired by her Brooklyn roots. “I believe that you can make mainstream music that still has some meaning. It doesn’t have to sound fake or forced,” she said, expressing that when she makes music, she makes it with a purpose. “I mean what I say in my lyrics. They are things I’ve seen and experienced,” Constance added.
In our interview, I asked Constance specifically why she thought it was important to bring back that hip hop soul feel from music back in the day. She gave a honest answer. “There is no real distinction between hip hop and R&B on the radio. Rappers sing and singers rap,” Constance said. “When I sit with kids my age (16-21), all they do is complain about how much trash they hear on the radio. They want to hear music that doesn’t aim to disrespect women, or make them want to do negative things. They just wanna vibe.” Taking “Can’t You See,” by 90s R&B group Total ft Biggie as an example, the artist continued: “That first line makes me jump out my seat. ‘Give me all the chickenheads from Pasadena to Medina!’ That line is fun without being over done. Simplicity needs to make a comeback.” I definitely agree. It’s clear that Constance is doing just that with her own music!
In November of 2013, Constance released her first single, pop/R&B track “Rain,” which was originally sung by Brooklyn artist Razah. The song got great feedback, and was featured on several urban blogs. In February of this year, Constance released her first original single, “Still Lonely,” on Valentine’s Day. Telling the story of being caught in a love triangle, Constance’s vocals and raw emotion truly shine on the track, letting her true experiences shine through in her lyrics.
When Constance emailed me her most recent track, “Around The Way Girl,” over to me, I immediately was jamming. Inspired by her own life and how she likes to have a good time partying with her friends, being “the baddest girls in the building all for fun,” the singer decided to make a song for the girls “who aren’t too stuck up to hang.” The track was recorded at Brook Brovaz studio with Constance’s favorite engineer Kia. Check out the fun track below!
Currently, the singer is working on a 2 part demo called R and Beat, which will be released sometime later this month. “Around The Way Girl” was the first single from the “Beat” side of the demo, while Constance will release her newest single “You and I,” from the “R” side, which will “feature a softer side and focus on vocal harmonies.”
In terms of what makes her stand out from other artists, Constance believe it’s her edge that puts her above the rest. “I’m not cutesy or super polished,” she admitted. “But I think that’s what my fans will love about me. Everything I sing about is really from me.” She has dreams of really making an impact on this industry, make exceptional music and growing as an artist. Many artists, of course, have dreams of getting signed, sell records, winning awards, and going on tours, and Constance doesn’t count herself out from that. However, she also wants to “inspire, spread love, and be inspired.” The singer is truly working towards her goals solo, and doing a great job so far. “All I have is music right now and I’m just trying to bring my visions to life while staying true to myself. I know if the world gives me a chance, I won’t disappoint,” Constance said. It’s only upwards from here!