Detroit-bred, Chicago-based rapper Shantel Giselle is poised to take rap by storm with a signature “conscious-trap” sound that finds its footing in the age-old interplay between light and dark. Beginning with a rhythmic foundation of brooding, industrial percussion, her forthcoming debut examines the dualities of the human experience through a hyper-realist lens. Influenced by the gritty streets and characters of her youth in the Motor City, where she was orphaned as a child, Shantel Giselle is a storyteller steeped in its tradition of lyrical dominance whose bright timbre and vocal dexterity lend an ethereal quality to the music.
Recording at Soundscape Studios in Chicago, Giselle begins with the hard scrabble foundation of life in The D but eschews the upbeat club production that dominates popular trap. Instead, she utilizes juxtaposing sounds to achieve an aesthetic that is angular, expansive and cold. A sharp contrast to the radiating warmth of Detroit’s renowned soul tradition or the frenetic pace of its electronic scene –– both of which have deeply influenced the city’s hip-hop sound. Pairing that with the ebb and flow of her bubbly performance on the mic, she is poised to pioneer a unique, new Motown sound.
“I think I’m most concerned with doing things that haven’t necessarily been done or finding ways to elevate the existing approaches to music that really inform what I’m doing. When you think about the trap sound with respect to women in rap, a lot of people have this expectation that the music is going to be sexualized and I’m coming from the standpoint of reality and talking about darker things that most people aren’t talking about. I have songs about police brutality and the underbelly of America. I try to tackle subject matter that isn’t necessarily common to encounter within the framework of trap.” - Shantel Giselle