Monday, June 21, 2010


With roots wrapped in the rhythms of calypso and steelpan Shells musical ideology germinated upon the lands of her adolescent familys journey to the isle of Barbuda. Developing on the sands of an island coursing with African influence and Carribbean flavor, Shells came to know many island locals and flourished next to those who taught her the art of steelpan drumming. Privy to the drum-laden island tempo and beats, Shells was metamorphosed by the music. Yet back home in the states her early influences came by way of radio, rock n’ roll and the local neighbor who taught her, at the precocious age of eight, to play guitar. As well, an older sister with appreciation of music that came of a generation before hers aided in the propagation of an ear for bands and live instrumentation.

It was after this introduction to the core of US rock that Shells effloresced on her home terrain of music. She began certified instruction on guitar under Ken Volpe, who recognized her musical thirst and asked if she would like to aid him in the construction of a drum room in his studio basement. Shells obliged, and from the experience the topography of music once again morphed around her: she now nurtured an intense interest in soundproofing and recording, in percussion variation, in the studio atmosphere as an environment. Since Shells first pulled sound from the steelpans, she has nurtured a profound love of music. Stirred by house, breakbeats and jungle upon the inception of rave and club culture, it was here that rhythm and tempo again made upheaval upon her musical life. Hypnotized by the repetitive essence of breakbeat dancehall mixes, and the evolving world of dance surrounding them, Shells began dj’ing sets at the green age of 14 during a time when under-agers sprung up in the cracks of the scene at outlaws and no-age venues without recourse.

Further fed by the hip-hop, reggae and R&B which thrived on mainstream airwaves at this time, Shells became deeply intrigued by a foundational question of the music she both spun and was surrounded by in hip-hop culture: but how do the sounds get on the records? It was this very question that beat down the path Shells still walks today, the path of producer, with the steelpans and rhythms of her youth ever-inspiring the core of her profession, and with breakbeats as a stimulant behind her breakdown-heavy hip-hop, R&B and reggae productions. Influence never ceases with Shells, nor do her appetites for travel and culture, and the world music that has fed her experimentation since the days when she played steelpan at Barbudan dusk. Most recently Shells spent time working in Spain and backpacking the Mediterranean circuit to Greece, where she gathered world-perspective and the opportunity to allow flamenco, accordion ballad and the bouzouki of the Greek islands of her family lineage to inform her productions back home in the studio.

Today Shells finds sustenance in underground hip-hop collaborations, homegrown in her studio and cultivated on the streets. She believes in the integrity of individual sound, and ingests a healthy dose of the political, expanding the appetite of her influence and productions to include political spoken word and hip-hop steeped in the ideologies of sociological struggle. Shells' insatiable appetite for sound has allowed her to explore and record further varietables of music including hip hop, screambands, rock, pop, reggaeton, poet/post-production mixes and straight-up experimental.

She was Head Session Engineer/Production Supervisor at the NatCave Studios, Brooklyn, NY, from 2007 until 2009. Now residing in Chicago on her way to Los Angelas to set up shop for good, Shells is forever seeking the spices and flavors of an international, inter-continental sound.

Never shy to a challenge and always hungry to explode the underappreciated sound, Shells has worked with the likes of Twista Atlantic & Get $ Gang, Omarion, Empress ISIS of the Underground Reggae Awards, Bristal & Twan of Bootcamp Click, Papoose of Streetsweepers, SAB of Rhymesayers Ent/Hiero Imperium, Prof of Stophouse, Orikal Uno of Graff Roots Media and many other artists.

No Team In I (EXCLUSIVE) Orikal Uno - Missmewiddat
No Team In I (EXCLUSIVE) Orikal Uno & Prof - Rev It Up Share



Every mp3 posted here is legal and free. If for some reason, an audio file is not meant to be here and is, please email us and we will fix the issue immediately. Please support your favorite artists by visiting your local record store, or reputable online retailers like InSound. Another great way to support your favorite artists is to attend live shows.