Shannon Penn is a music artist from Los Angeles, California. He is the founder of Peer Passion Entertainment and a recent 1st place winner of the Coast2CoastLive Bay Area Edition competition. Despite all the moves he's making, Penn took the time to speak with CSUITEMUSIC. Check out his exclusive interview below:
1. What inspired you to start making music and how long have you been in the business?
My mother’s passion for music was passed down to me. Karaoke was her thing and she would get compliments that she sounded and looked like Gladys Knight. I can say I am a person driven to tell my mother and I's stories. Upon college graduation, I was pursuing inspirational speaking. I felt I was gifted enough and talented enough to inspire through music. I chose to do music, because it fits me ever since my first rap performance at 5th grade graduation went smooth.
2. Your new single “All I Want” gives us LIIIIIIIIFE! What inspired you to create this slap?
ALL I WANT is a reminder to many and also is a banger to drive or sing along to. I wanted to create an opportunity for the listener to see themselves receiving what it is in life that will fulfill their desire. A reminder that in the midst of life's hardships, struggles, and experiences; we have needs and we have WANTS. Be driven and inspired by listening to my new single, ALL I WANT.
3. “Hell Yeah” is another one we love, can you explain it’s conception?
When I wrote HELL YEAH I was thinking of YOLO by Drake. HELL YEAH is a mindset. In the song I am reminding myself and encouraging the listener to approach life and what ever else comes with our interest with a HELL YEAH attitude. My new years resolution was to have haste in 2018 and move with HELL YEAH type energy, effort, and enthusiasm. I wanted to encourage but not leave out the younger generation. This explains my best choice and pattern for the hook. I imagined a high school student or young adult walking to class singing HELL YEAH.
4. We know that you got fired from your job, because of a situation that occured. Can you explain to us what happened and how you turned this negative moment into a positive?
I got fired from Shoe Palace for wrongfully (without) permission shooting the HELL YEAH music video in the store location. The company had to take actions by letting me go, this was their way of handling all legal/liability concerns. It hurts after putting in so much to consistently be #1 in the company. All year, I was complaining that I spend my whole day at work for others dreams and never have time to push PENN and plot on making moves because I’m always at work. I turned this situation into thinking positive that God opened up my schedule so I can focus on my dream. Definitely, this experience has strengthened my passion and desire to win in this music business. I have a story to tell, this situation has made my story more interesting.
5. Since you are an artist we have to ask… if you had a chance to bring back either Biggie or Tupac who would you bring back and why?
Much love and respect to both legends who created a gateway, an alley, a path for others pursuing music. I would bring back Tupac. I see myself more in Pac. To me, Biggie is a story teller, party vibes, kick back, master with the lyrics. Tupac, on the other hand makes meaningful with a purpose type music. I like to say I see how his music is for the people, When I started PPE and decided to run this race I wanted to be sure I reach the inner person of all listeners. Tupac's music did that. While at the same time you can jam and bounce to Tupac's music too. I love both legends music and persons. RIP to Biggie and Tupac.
6. Besides music, what else are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about building a life and a relationship with my two little boys, Shannon and Sy’Mhir. When I finally get to where I’m living comfortably, earning income from music and God positions me, I swear imma give the world to my babies. My dad wasn’t there for me. My mom was single grinding for 5 kids. I want to make sure I’m developing young men and also giving love, comfort, and most importantly show them what fun is. I’m pushing so hard so I make it for them.
7. You are a college graduate. Is there anything you learned in college that has helped you progress in the music industry?
HELL YEAH! Haha. Wow, when I say so many lessons and classroom projects come to mind when I’m interacting or making moves to enhance my music career. Take for example, in the communications department the focus is preparing the students how to communicate on paper, digital, in person, and most importantly body language. Humbly speaking, when I meet people I wow them. When I email or discuss anything regarding music in very sharp. Also I'd present a lot of speeches and debates in front of class. Those experiences have prepared me to present myself, my brand, and music with confidence and enthusiasm. I graduated in 2015 with a bachelor's in Communications Studies.
8. How do you balance focusing on your dreams and taking care of your family?
With Sy'mhir being the newest addition in my life, I am still adjusting and growing to take on the responsibility. As far as Shannon Jr. man he is a pure reflection of me. We make music together, we eat, we hoop when he is allowed in the gym. Haha….. he tells me dad I want to go see the OW OW's (my Iota Phi Theta brothers). My life is not where I want it to be right now, especially my sons situation, but I’m sure GOD IS GOING TO MOVE in due time.
9. What is the roughest experience that you have had in your life?
Mid 2016 close towards the end of the year I lost sight of what was important. I allowed work, Star and I's relationship, temptation, weed, and bills to drive me into a depressed f**k everything oh well attitude. I was working at Footlocker, homeless living out of my car and Star was sleeping with Shannon at MoMo house in East Oakland. I was working at the airport as well working like 20 hours out of the day. Working at Footlocker, Lowes, and the airport wasn’t enough money to provide for Star, Doodie, my self, and bills. After being homeless for 8 months sleeping in the car with my family barely having food to eat. Seriously, I was sick to have to look at my lady and son in the eyes being asked what we gone eat. This was worse than being homeless in college sleeping from couch to couch. This time I had a family to support and comfort. A lot during this time of struggle is when I f****d up and lost my lady. I wasn't careful anymore, I was rude, I hated people, I was evil. It was a hard time.
10. What was your childhood like? Are you close to your family?
A lot of what I talk about in my music is my child hood and the experiences I shared with my family. I'm close to my mom and I would say I love my siblings. However, there is a slight distance for them and I due to me always being the star child or positive/different one.
11. What was the challenging thing about college? Do you feel like it was an easy experience?
I’m so happy I went to college. The challenges I faced were being free with time on my hands that was mine and not my mother’s or coaches. I was given a chance to make decisions with an I don’t care what happens at the moment mindset. College changed my life and helped me figure out who I am, what’s my limits, showed me how to maneuver and stand strong against challenges. I spent 5 years growing into who I am today. I joined Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated and was able to live the football dream.
12. In what ways do you promote your music and grow your fan base?
I find time to rehearse live at Bayfair bart, Bayfair target and any other open locations where people are listening. I can be reached on Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and Soundcloud.
13. What do you hope to accomplish before the end of 2018?
When this years chapter is written I would love to have dropped 20 mind blowing singles. I hope to star in at least 10 music videos out of those 20 singles. I wish to be see PPE growing as a brand and create different logos and designs for the brand. I recently started what is dear and near to me PPE. PEER PASSION ENTERTAINMENT will be my brand and my lifestyle I push along side my music. I hope to gain a following big enough to live solely off my brand and music and open my schedule for my kids and their mother.
14. What advice can you offer aspiring artists?
Find yourself. I would tell a young inspiring artist to love themselves. Your sound was given and can not be taken. I would express the importance of you name it, you gain it. I will stress the fact that confidence is key; it is the difference maker between lyric reciting and performing.
15. Are you working on any new music or projects? If so, what can our readers expect?
The pen is always moving. I am always making new hooks thinking of the next song no matter where I am at. I could be hooping on the court, or at the park with my son and think of the coolest line. Later that night I will end up writing that song. I recently put three news songs out on soundcloud which can be found under PENN PEER PASSION ENTERTAINMENT; same goes for YouTube. My #SUPPORTSQUAD and the #PPE fan base can expect more hit singles and more music videos. I wish to dig deeper when it comes to building with my fans telling my story. I’m excited to run this race.
Michaela P. Shelton is Managing Editor of CSUITEMUSIC.com
Read more from Michaela at Darealmichaela1.com