An inner-city suburb is not the most likely place to discover the world’s next funk-pop superstar but, with a history to rival Australia’s best, Shaneal has shed his best-kept-secret title and has moved into the spotlight.
With top 10 hits in the UK and Asia, it’s time for his home country to sit up and take notice and Shaneal is doing it in style, launching his single Fancy Cars and Superstars at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills.
“[My music is] an ode to the late 70s and early 80s sound which I love. You know that early Michael Jackson and Madonna sound. I don’t care for any other style,” Shaneal said.
“This particular song is special because I wrote it, produced it, mixed it and sang it.
“I played it at a special gig at the Playboy Mansion alongside Michael Bublé, Mary J. Blige and Jon Bon Jovi. It’s called the Music Masquerade Ball and basically showcases new talent and new music to the industry. From there I was approached by TV producers and writers from TV shows in Hollywood who gave me the opportunity to film my clip in Hollywood.
“When I went to the USA in June to master my songs I met a guy called Chris Deringer who said I should check out a venue in New York called Butter,” he said.
“My management called Butter and arranged for me to do a showcase there. It was a Monday night and they said that we usually have a few celebrities come in and I thought, oh, whatever. We did three songs and an encore.
“I started with Fancy Cars and Superstars and when we had just got into the second verse who should walk down the stairs but Madonna and I thought I was going to die.
“When we had finished a waiter came over to me and said our special guest would like to meet me. He led me over to a private booth and there was Madonna and all her entourage. She said that that she really liked my music and was impressed I was doing my own thing.
“She then told me that I looked like a young Lenny Kravitz. A person with her was the promoter of the Playboy Mansion event so meeting her led to performing at the Playboy Mansion.”
Shaneal has been performing since he was just a child, as an actor, model and singer from the age of six. After working in Asia and the UK, he’s been sharing his time between Brisbane and LA and working on his debut album. Australia got a taste of what was to come in 2004 with the single Now which was used as the summer theme for cable station Channel V.
The first single Fancy Cars and Superstars from his upcoming album is out now.