“Shanii”, is an American rapper, writer, & lyricist whose rise to stardom, began in her first footsteps.
Born as Kamilah Shani Anderson in Plainfield, New Jersey with her five siblings, mother and father; this soft-spoken Jersey girl is everything short from wary and is as honest as they come, when she’s on the mic.
Her journey through music descends from the earliest of her childhood memories, schooling, and mother—who was her most influential figure during her earlier years of writing as a child. A lover of all things history and its controversy, Shanii always took to the pen as her form of escape from the world around her.
Her mother, both a writer and poet, always embraced her special talents from a very young age. “Music saved my life”, were words spoken from the depths of where her lyrics are birthed – her heart.
Ranking in as the fifth out of six children and youngest of four daughters, Shanii never shied away from expressing herself and taking on new challenges.
Her mother and siblings have always been her biggest push and motivators. As rappers, creatives and writers; themselves, Shanii took on to the same pathways of self-expression- drawing pictures and writing stories as early as age three.
Crediting a lot of her writing style and ability to her mother, who passed when she was just nine years old, Shanii never lacked support for her creativity. Her mother even allowed her to draw on the walls in the house, as a means to express and create without limitations and barriers.
“My mother was the realest woman I knew,” she exclaims, as she thinks back to early memories alongside her mother. She gained a deeper understanding and love for the art of writing, through studying her original works. Shanii admits she got to know her mother on a much deeper level through her poetry.
One of her most noteworthy early childhood accomplishments was learning to ride her pink Strawberry Shortcake bike without training wheels by the age of three. “I didn’t even know training wheels existed, my older brother took them off as soon as I got the bike so I had no choice but to learn how to ride without them“, she explains. A true defining moment in the early developmental stages of this artist’s courage, drive and ambition to not only succeed- but never fear to fall and pick yourself back up.
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At age 17, Shanii dropped out of high school and got her GED. Shortly after, she traversed back and forth between Central Florida and New Jersey, in pursuit of her dream.
In September of 2004, Shanii was featured in The Source Magazine: “Unsigned Hype” spread.
She has also been featured on several Artists/DJ’s mixtapes such as DJ Envy, DJ Enuff, Big Dawg Pittbull and worked with rap artists Saigon and Ali Vegas.
Shanii knew if she was going to pursue music, it was going to have to be compelling and different. “I always want people to feel something through my music.”
In 2017, Shanii established her company “Royal House”, her very own music label, in which she slowly began the startup stages back in 2013, where she began releasing her mixtapes and other projects.
The label’s name; symbolic of her grandmother’s house where she first started creating music, symbolizes the importance of carrying ourselves as kings and queens, without fear of judgement or disapproval.
“I didn’t feel the need to fit in, so I created my own path- to my standards. I’m a free artist and I’m not afraid to go against the grain.”