Vice Spotlight Shanae
Shanae shot by Mia Andre (@_miazaki_)
VICE spotlight

VICE Spotlight: Shanae

Like dreamy R&B? What if it was over infectious Jersey club drum patterns? Listen to this.
Adele Luamanuvae
Sydney, AU

Dulcet inflections, silky croons and R&B, jersey and amapiano soundscapes introduce an evocative and enticing Shanae. 

Music is Shanae’s bread and butter – the foundation of her entire body and soul. You can feel this through every riff, run and harmony: Shanae sings like it’s the last thing she’ll ever do. 

Thankfully, what we’re witnessing right now is only the beginning.

Born Shanae Jade Masters, Shanae first found her voice through her church kid’s choir. Church allowed her vocal and stage presence to soar, and acted as the first leap she took towards perfecting her craft while adopting a classic, soulful cadence.


“I was about 7 years old and truly thought I was the conductor,” she told VICE.

“There’s actually an old family VCR recording of me scolding my cousin singing  next to me, in front of 300 people, because she wasn’t hitting the note right. This was then followed by me clicking my fingers up high towards the sound guy at the back to increase the volume of the music.”

“Needless to say I was never shy in and around music, I felt quite comfortable.”

From as early as she can remember, Shanae has always wanted to make music. Much of her childhood was spent dedicated to musical expression, through movement and through song.

“I’ve wanted to do it since I could breathe,” she said.

“I have been doing choreographed performances for my family since I could walk.”

Much of her journey was put on her hold when she decided to study psychology. After university wrapped, she was hit with a revelation about the kind of life she wanted to live and the kind of person she wanted to be.

“I found myself in London and it was in that city that I was like ‘Nah, damn, I’m trying to live an extraordinary life so let me take a risk and do some extraordinary shit’. Lucky for me my purpose aligned, and here we are.”

Drawing on the alluring theatrics, professionalism and aptitude of artists like Michael Jackson, Sade, Norah Jones, Nina Simone, Brent Faiuyaz and SZA, Shanae has been able to sculpt herself into an artist that encompasses the spirit of her influences. Simultaneously, she aims to create a sound that is purely and wholeheartedly hers.


“I grew up listening to each of them almost every day,” she said.

“As I release more music you will hear the foundations of my melodies emerge from artists like these. It’s been a complete subconscious process, and that's the beauty in it.”

Shanae describes her music as real, transitional, true, heaven-like, elegant, honest, sweet, and sexy. All of this is reflected in her latest double-single drop “am I dumb? am i done?”.

Through these songs, we see Shanae dive into the complexities of a toxic and equally intoxicating relationship. She contemplates her boundaries and questions her internal conflict over jersey club drum patterns, wistful melodies, and lyrics that trigger imminent soul-searching.

This chapter of her journey shows Shanae at her most vulnerable. When you think you’ve seen all facets of a person, Shanae unveils fragments of herself that can only be translated, felt and understood through art. 

Shanae first made her rounds on the Australian music circuit throughout 2020, collaborating and creating under a different stage name that she’s eager to keep in her past. Since stepping away to reflect on who she really is and what she wants to reveal about herself, she’s been utilising her resurgence as a proclamation of her truest self.

“It’s definitely been a reset,” she said.

“I took time away to learn, grow and realign with my truth. This was a necessary yet extremely hard process. Authentically resetting oneself takes an ego death, many tears and good friends and family to hold you up,”


“I changed my artist name to Shanae mainly because that's my government name but also because Shanae has always been a little superstar in her own world, and I don't want to change anything about that -  I just want to share it.”

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So far, her word of advice is to: “say no to shit that won’t help you achieve your goals or fill your soul”.

In the long run, Shanae hopes to continue riding out this path.

“If an arena world tour and a new car – because my Toyota Corolla bumper is literally dragging right now – come out of this, then amazing,” she said.

“When I'm 70 and rocking back in my chair with my kids, grandkids and hopefully a farm full of animals - I hope to look back and just be proud of who I was and am.”

While the support and backing from finger-pointing, suited industry heads is what allows you to break through in this country, Shanae is eager to see both artists and industry professionals revolutionise “the biz”, so that it is self-sustaining, freeing, and bountiful.

“I want the Australian music industry to be invested in timeless long term careers, not just quick flips. It’s easy to pimp a butterfly but can we nurture a caterpillar?” she said.

“I want the people working around artists to protect, nurture and believe with their whole damn chest. Once we start consistently doing all of this and so much more, it will really be up for everyone.”

Follow VICE Spotlight on Spotify for a weekly rotation of some of Australia’s best upcoming artists.

Adele is the Junior Writer & Producer for VICE AU/NZ. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter here.

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