Mohawk Two-Spirit Singer Shawnee Talks About her Latest Summer Hit, and more

We chat with Mohawk two-spirit singer Shawnee about her summer hit.

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With her music, First Nations two-spirit pop singer Shawnee (Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River) advocates for LGBTQ2S+ issues as well as the youth. Known throughout Canada as a rebellious, passionate, powerhouse female and award-winning vocalist, Shawnee surely created a buzz when she dropped a brand new track from her upcoming album.

Shawnee’s newest release, titled “Don’t Go,” is a fun and upbeat 80’s style song. “The song is a fun dance track that is different than anything I have done previously. It’s got an 80’s vibe,” she explained excitedly. Shawnee released it during the Pride month of June. This is just a taste of her next album, which is set to be released later this year. 

Her newest single reflects her signature style of music: emotional and personable. When asked where she finds inspiration for new music, Shawnee answers, “I find inspiration from what I have overcome, from my journey and path, and from what is going on around me in the world.” Shawnee also finds inspiration in knowing that music is medicine and a powerful tool that can be used to change someone’s life by inspiring them, the same way it has done and continues to for her. 

Shawnee’s music, including music videos, frequently features and focuses on youth. This is because the youth are the future, and it’s important for youth to feel honored and valued. “Any opportunity I have to give to youth to feel empowered and inspired, I will.”

In case you didn’t know, Shawnee’s had a musical upbringing. She grew up playing instruments, singing, and writing music. When asked what music she listened to, she answers mostly classical music and Melissa Etheridge. Her first singing performance was when she portrayed a Shania Twain impersonator at the age of 12. It wasn’t until graduating high school she began performing original music.

What can we expect from your next album/new music coming up later this year? 

The next single release is a fun and upbeat 80’s vibe. I am working on an album set to be released later this year. 

Your newest single “Don’t Go” from your upcoming EP dropped earlier this Summer. Tell us all about this track!

I was excited to release this track in Pride month! the song is a fun dance track that is different than anything I have done previously. It got an 80’s vibe.  

Your music is very emotional and personable. What’s your writing process like? Where do you find inspiration for new music? 

I find inspiration from what I have overcome, from my journey and path, and from what is going on around me in the world. I find inspiration knowing that music is medicine and that it is a powerful tool that can be used to change someone’s life by inspiring them, the same way it has done and does for me. 

Your music videos seem to feature and inspire youth. Why do you involve youth in a few of your music videos? 

Youth are the future and it is important for youth to feel honored and valued. Any opportunity I have to give to youth to feel empowered and inspired I will. 

Follow Shawnee on Instagram at @shawneemusic.

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Native Max is a brand and publication which features positive talents and stories of indigenous peoples of Indian Country.

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