We checked in with Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter India Shawn just before her release today of “Movin’ On,” a groove-filled single and visual that examines the road to recovery from a painful break up.
The song features the Grammy Award-winning Anderson .Paak, who also made his directorial debut with an appealing visual making clever use of special effects to express the head games we play with ourselves as we attempt to move on.
The release is a follow up to Shawn’s release of singles “CALI LOVE” and “NOT TOO DEEP” featuring 6LACK back in April. Last year, Shawn opened for .Paak during the second leg of his “Andy’s Beach Club World Tour.”
While the Epic Records-signed Shawn is having a noteworthy year as a solo artist, she’s been getting busy in the music industry for over 10 years. In addition to the drop of her first solo project in 2012, an EP titled “ORIGIN” (with a track selected by Solange Knowles for her Saint Heron compilation album), Shawn was member of the Full Circle writing team boasting credits with Usher, Justine Skye, Chris Brown and Keri Hilson to name a few.
Snobette got the exclusive from the captivating r&b songstress about bouncing back from a breakup during COVID-19, positive representations of Black love in music and the messaging behind her ‘Movin’ On’ release. Check it out below.
SNOBETTE: What is the message behind your song, “Movin’ On,” and why was the timeliness of this song so important?
India Shawn: “The message of ‘Movin On’ is to realize your power, own your power, and release yourself from whatever may be keeping you from operating as the highest version of you!
“Though I wrote this tune back in 2018, inspired by a breakup, I was also really motivated by social events at the time to create something anthemic for Black people. I wanted us to affirm ourselves and celebrate ourselves through song, which is why I wrote the lyrics ‘We gon shine like Gods today, look down on the stars, look what WE made.’ We need to be empowered through unity, art, through song more now than ever. We gotta keep moving through it all.”
SNOBETTE: How did you link up with Anderson .Paak for your new track, “Movin’ On”? What did he add to the song that made it that much more powerful?
India Shawn: “I began singing with AP last spring. It gave me the opportunity to study the craft on a level that I hadn’t seen up close before. We worked on some ideas while out on the road.
“I signed a deal that same year and was determined to get him on my album. He hit me in the first weeks of the lockdown and was like, ‘Anything you want me to hop on?!’ Apparently all I needed was a global pandemic to get an Anderson .Paak feature! He added energy and charisma as he does to everything he hops on! Someone recently tweeted that he’s like the hot sauce of musicians (laughs). You can put it on anything and it makes everything better.”
SNOBETTE: Because of COVID-19, a lot of people are quarantined with their romantic partner. How do you believe music should be pushing forward conversations about realistic narratives of Black love?
India Shawn: “I think we need more love and truth in music in general. We needed it before the pandemic, and we’ll need it after. I believe all the events of 2020 have caused us to reflect on our art and challenged us to create something more meaningful, more substantial, more loving.
SNOBETTE: In 2020, the mental wellness of the Black community has most certainly been challenged in more ways than none. What do you believe are some ways to manage your mental health and bounce back after a breakup during COVID-19?
India Shawn: “Speaking from my own personal experience, I’ve found that it’s very important to surround yourself with loving people. Therapy has been so key for me; it’s good to have a safe place to get it all out. Stay active! Make a playlist of empowering songs. Read something enlightening. Get out in the sun, move your body, drink water! Sleep, sing, dance, eat your favorite foods! Focus on yourself and on the things you want to grow. Whatever you do, don’t give up!”
SNOBETTE: How do the visuals for “Movin’ On” accurately depict the mental health, self-love and the role of social media when it comes to breakups?
India Shawn: The video introduces me totally devastated, chugging a bottle of liquor and scrolling through ex-bae’s insta. Haven’t we all been there? Just me? (laughs) It’s real life!
“We find ways to temporarily escape our issues while still totally engrossed in our situation via social media. At some point we have to make a conscious decision to choose better, or life will choose for us and we’ll find our backs against the wall. I came to that point in this video, but then I awoke to a new day, filled with new possibilities. I still couldn’t get him out of my head, probably because I was hypothetically insta-stalking him the night before (laughs), but, I was determined to move on and inevitably found my happiness and freedom.
“It was really important for us to make it about me and not have me riding off into the sunset with another man. You have to choose yourself. The answer is always self-love.”
Check out the visual for Shawn’s “Movin’ On” featuring Anderson .Paak below.