Musician, actress and model Shvona Lavette, released her first dance/pop EP album today on i-Tunes and Amazon.com, titled “3 Percent & Rising.” This includes her hit single “Drop Dead” and my personal favorite track “Always.”
As a native of Queens New York, she has made her dreams quite the reality in a short period of time. Shvona holds down the title as “First Lady” artist under Stampede Management on the roster with Snoop Dogg and Far East Movement. She is definitely a young, self-driven, and eye catcher on the acting scene as she has been successful in landing major acting roles in series like “NYPD Blue”, “Boston Public”, “Eve”, “Like Family”, “Miracle Boys” (where she worked alongside Pooch Hall), “Lincoln Heights,” “Brothers”, “Melissa and Joey” and “Brothers & Sisters.”
Check out our interview as we talk about Shvona pursuing her personal pursuit to happiness in life through her new “3 Percent & Rising” album, musical influences, acting, work ethic and so much more.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
Shvona Lavette: I’m an actress and I always dip and dab into music. It is my first love and talent. Industry wise I met with Stampede and we mutually felt the same way about each other. This EP is my start in the music industry.
Your new album is dropping today 3 Percent & Rising. What are your feelings right now?
SL: I’m excited! I’m really excited. You know that feeling you get when you finally have accomplished something you wanted for a while. I have been working on this EP for a while, like 9 months. For me to finally have it out there where everyone can enjoy it, it’s very exciting!
How did you come up with the title and what is your favorite song off the album?
SL: One of my favorite songs on the album is “Last Call.” It’s the first song on the EP and it’s also a club song. The song is very special to me because me and my producer Kanobby pumped that song out in one day. I enjoyed everything about creating and writing that song. My producer made music to that song and it took us 8 hours to come up with the song from start to finish. That song holds a special place in my heart.
Getting to the title, “3 Percent & Rising,“ I’m multi-racial my mother is a mixture of Indian and white. My dad is African-American. According to the 2010 US Census, 3% of the US Population is multi-racial, that’s why I thought it was important to give people a personal insight as to who I am. I titled it “3 Percent & Rising,” because that is something that is personal, near and dear to me.
The songs on my album range emotionally. I choose a title that shows you who I am and what I’m about. Hopefully, in choosing that I can get to a place where boxes don’t matter. For me when you look at the Census or fill out a job application it doesn’t matter what race you are. I’m putting it out there and hoping it gives people insight and awareness that those things aren’t important.
KT: I definitely dig the title, it’s pretty interesting and now that you have given me the background behind it. I definitely agree with you.
What is the overall message you want to send out with this first EP?
SL: The EP ranges in emotion. I wrote the whole album and it definitely touches on what I was going through in the entire 9 months. The message I want to send is to have fun. I think it’s a fun EP overall and be true to yourself. By me writing every song on the EP, I was pretty honest with a lot of emotions. Just kind of let it all hang out.
KT: I like that.
How do you personally define your sound and music?
SL: This EP is a dance/pop cd. My style musically I’m big on harmonies and melodies. My writing goes from ballads like in “Last Call” with a tell-tell emotional ballad. Then I have a hot and sexy song like “Secret Safe,” to kind of like a controversial track like “Drop Dead.” I kind of like to hit all the spectrums.
How did you figure out you wanted to pursue a music career over acting I see you have landed roles on a lot of great shows and series “NYPD Blue”, “Boston Public”, “Like Family”, “Eve”, “Miracle’s Boys”, “Lincoln Heights”, Brothers, Melissa and Joey?
SL: I always had a love for music and then I got into to acting. I went to an Acting Conservatory for college. They both hold different places in my heart. I’m still definitely pursuing acting 110% percent. I felt the need to revisit music and to actually to come out with something. I always had singles here and there and collaborations. I never really pushed into it to enjoy it. This is coming full circle for me.
Tell me about your video “Always” where did you shoot it and what is the overall message in the video?
SL: I did a little twist when it was time to shoot the video. When I wrote the song it was pretty much self-explanatory. You always think about someone or call upon them in your heart. That was the message and meaning behind the song. When it came time for the video I wanted to do something a bit different. I wanted to surprise people and give them something to talk about. Creatively I just wanted to go another way and show and whole new side of things, that’s why I chose the main character to be in a lesbian relationship, a thief and committing credit card fraud.
KT: It was really awesome I enjoyed it!
SL: I wanted to give it more of storyline and be creative. That how I think as an artist and actress as well when it comes to working with a director or storyboard for a video. My acting is theater based and storyline drama that always comes out. That’s how I came up with that video.
Would you say that you’re acting and everything makes you able to stand out among other artists in your genre or is that your signature?
SL: I think it definitely makes me different and that style of video has been a signature for me, but there will be performances with my next single. There’s a couple of club mixes that we shot in France like a week ago.
KT: Sounds like you have been doing a lot of work in these 9 months. You went to France!
SL: I’m trying to do more.
Who are some of your favorite musical artists and who would you like to work with?
SL: I will start with my favorite musical artist first that would be completely different. I would like to work with everyone but with the style of music I’m doing right now is completely different from people who inspire me. People who inspire me are Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, Donna Summers, Lenny Kravitz, Fiona Apple, and Bob Marley. They are all different writing styles. Patti LaBelle’s voice is amazing. In all different ways those artists kind of encompass who I am as an artist and gave me a lot.
Artists I’m looking forward to working with are Disco Fries and Kaskade. They have their own style and dance music. They’re really well known and good at what they do.
What is like to be under the same management with Snoop and Far East movement?
SL: It’s really cool. (We both lol.) Hopefully someday I can do a collab with all the artists on the roster. It’s really cool being the only chic.
KT: Ahh, you’re the first lady!
SL: It’s a cool family to be a part of and we are all different and everybody’s nice. I’m pretty excited because now I’m the one putting something out.
Where can we find your music?
You can find my EP 3 Percent & Rising on i-Tunes and Amazon. Hopefully I will be on a local regional tour in the next upcoming months.
Any other upcoming projects in the works on the acting scene?
SL: I just finished shooting an Infiniti commercial about 3 ½ weeks ago. Other than that Episodic season is coming back next month. I will be pretty busy next month. It’s a pretty epic commercial the Infiniti one it’s an all-market kind of a world commercial.
Shvona’s personal message to her fans on her new album “3 Percent & Rising” :
“Pick it up buy it! Purchase my album and press that button. Get an i-Tune account and enjoy it! Feel free to view my videos on my Youtube channel as well! “
For more information on Shvona Levette visit her website http://www.shvonalevette.com. Hit the “Like” button on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ShvonaLavette and be sure to follow her on Twitter @shvonalevette! Check out her videos on the left in the video section.