Album: Fish Out Of Water
Label: New Sun Records
Release date: Oct. 21, 2016
Born on the Wikwemikong Native Reservation on Canada’s Manitoulin Island in Ontario, music was almost as integral to the community as food and shelter. Storytelling came easy through song. It told the history of the people, the stories of their natural surroundings and kept alive the traditions of her First Nation tribe.
Her father was a truck driver and it was early in her teens when Shawanda accompanied him on a trip through Nashville and was hooked permanently on the music scene there. Multiple trips back and forth from home resulted in several independent albums and eventually, a permanent gig at the famed Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Broadway in Nashville. While working at Tootsie’s, she met her future husband, met her future producer Scott Hendricks (Faith Hill, Brooks and Dunn) and was signed by Joe Galante to RCA Records/Sony Music Nashville. Her first single, “You Can Let Go,” reached the top 5 in Canada, the top 20 in the U.S. Her debut album, Dawn of a New Day- a direct translation of her surname- went on to sell 400,000 copies. She’d go on to be nominated for several awards, winning the Canadian Country Music Association’s Female Artist of the Year in 2009 and a 2013 Juno award.
But her island home is never far from her mind and continues to shape her musical direction and chart her course according to the values and traditions she learned as a child. She’s home frequently these days doing charity work and proudly representing her people wherever she goes. And now she's releasing her fifth album.
"So excited today is the day, my new album Fish out of water, is now available everywhere, and live on iTunes! When we first started working on the new album, I didn't know what direction to go! Having musical influences of all styles, I am a bit of a hybrid! When I was singing country, they said I sounded too bluesy, when I did a blues album, they said I sounded too country, and it left me feeling like a Fish out of water trying to learn how to fly, like I didn't fit in anywhere! I think everyone feels like that now and than though, and we're all just trying to find that place where we belong! So I embraced that, and rather than trying to fit in, I just recorded songs that I loved singing, that meant something to me, and felt others could relate to as well! I ended up finding a happy medium of country, blues, and all soul, and very Crystal Shawanda! This new album will make you smile, cry, sing and dance, and there's something for everyone!"