Shellie Sweets started her journey in music on the Eastside of Atlanta and has provided her listeners with the type of music that gives off a soul vibe, but also talks about the streets and being in the struggle. As many would call it, Shellie’s sound is definitely trap soul. Shellie has had experiences that could’ve brought her down, but she continued to get stronger through every step she took and tell her story through the music.
Shellie spoke with rolling out about her love for music, her musical style, and why she wants to tell her story through her music.
Where did your love for music come from?
I started in elementary school, and then I auditioned and got into the Dekalb School of the Arts. I got a chance to just practice and hone my voice and figure out how to use it. I actually auditioned for acting and singing, and I did “Change is Gonna Come” as my audition, but I got into video. So everybody knew during School News Friday, that you were going to hear some Goodie Mob, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu, and Outkast. That’s basically what built my musical art.
What do you remember about the first song you made?
My first song is so crazy. This is the song that everyone loves. I’m talking about the first song I ever recorded and wrote from scratch, and I was just in a mode of “Alright, I have to step on out.” I’ve been rubbing shoulders with all types of people, and they’re not going to give me a chance, so let me just come up with something that is true to me, despite [who] people know me as. The producer was like “No, I don’t like it,” and I cried in the car. But then I said I was going to take it to somebody else and we’re going to redo it. I took it to one of my friends from high school, and she helped me with mixing it and the background.
How important is it for you to tell your story in your music?
It’s kind of like a catch-22 because the things that I’ve been through are just so heavy, that you almost want to be ashamed of it. But at the same time, it’s the victory of it that I feel compelled to share, so I find a way to hide it in there. We might talk about the trap, but we’re going to throw in how folks are locked up right now and people are dying, just for people to understand it’s good and bad and everything, but God is in everything first.
How would you describe the style of your music?
I would say kind of like grungy soul, so the things that you would never expect a singer to talk about such as the street life and struggle. Then you hear it over something real smooth, so you can take it down easier.