Airing The 411With Shana Williams

Leroy - Posted on 19 February 2013

Shana Williams/Leroy Moore

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Krip-Hop Nation (KHN):  I’ve been dying to get this interview!  We met on MySpace and I heard your music and read your story about your radio career and your disability.  Give us the full picture.

Shana Williams: Let me try and make this short. Lol.. I’ve been acting, singing and rapping since the 5th grade, and I was tired of knocking at record labels doors so I decided to become a radio personality and I did, then after 2 years I had a spinal cord injury and spent 3 months in hospitals & nursing homes. After about a year and a half to 2 years of feeling sorry for myself I decided to try and go after my passion then I discovered that its hard if you’re disabled to get into radio. In California all of the radio stations are downtown and in buildings that are 20 plus stories high-they say that they are equal opportunity jobs but in the descriptions they say u must be able to walk up a flight of stairs and be able to hold 30 plus pounds so that exempts anyone who is physically disabled which is sad and that’s what I'm trying to currently change.

KHN:  You use to live in LA now you are in ATL.  What attracted you to ATL?

 Shana Williams:  Ever since the 6th grade I've wanted to move to ATL , I just looked at a map & said I'm moving there and when I got my money up I did just that. It’s funny because I've never visited Atlanta before I moved here, and everyone said I was crazy to just up and leave to a place I’ve never visited.. also they have a wonder hospital called the Sheppard Center, they do a lot for those with spinal cord injuries, MS among others and the doctors are great..

KHN:  You have been in broadcasting for some time now.  What is the difference when you started out and now?

 Shana Williams: Technology has really taken over the radio industry since I first started. Now in the radio industry many of the on air personalities are celebrities and that increases the competition between those like myself who are earning or have a degree in communications. The internet helps radio personalities like myself to expand my brand between Facebook, YouTube, twitter, and myself.  Now I can control my image and do my own networking.

 KHN:  In the days of internet where do you think traditional radio is going or needs to go?

Shana Williams:  This is a great question because I was just talking to my father about this the other day. I listen to XM radio and Am/FM radio and the only difference is internet radio doesn’t have a censor, you can do or say whatever you want, traditional radio has regulations you have to abide by.  In order for traditional radio to expand it needs to expand its playlist and stop playing the same 5 songs every hour and become less about advertising and more about the music, but advertisements are what keep traditional radio alive so it’s a blessing and a curse.

KHN:  Would you ever go back to singing/raping and if not/or yes why or why not?

Shana Williams: I have been getting asked this question a lot lately and I have a different answer each time I’m asked this.. lol…  my love for music will always flow throw my veins. I do continue to write music but my focus is radio, writing and producing at this time, but I may spit a rap verse here and there just to let u know that I still got it.. 

KHN:  What do you think about Krip-Hop Nation and do you think the Hip-Hop industry is ready for a mainstream physically disabled Hip-Hop artist/s?

Shana Williams:   love krip-hip hop… I think-no in fact I know that it’s the next big thing.. I believe the doors are opening up for those disabled to expose their talent. On TV rapper Drake’s character was a wheelchair user, on the biggest show on TV glee someone is using a wheelchair and on 106 & park a young man named blind fury won the rap battle… the only issue I have with TV is they hire actors to play someone who uses a wheelchair instead of actually hiring someone who is disabled. Really all we need is one rapper who a wheelchair user to make it big then it will open the doors for others… all we need is that 1 big break and I believe that it will happen within the next 5 years.

KHN:  Whom have you interviewed in the past?

Shana Williams: Wow that’s a long list but the artist vary from independent to artist who are known overseas, I have had the pleasure to interview a Jamaican artist Jerri ghetto,  big speech, syrenz, mila j, nina shaw, swanni swisha, tripz, young tage, dolla, and many others..

KHN:  What do you think about Hip-Hop today?

Shana Williams:  I love hip hop, I love all music, but hip hop has evoloved into a business where you don’t have to release an album, to can release one hit record have it sell 1 million ringtones, and have 1 million downloads on iTunes and u could retire. No we don’t have artist  that could spit like 2pac or flow like biggie, but we have artist like jayz & nelly who have ownership in nba teams or Nicki minaj & cee-lo  who has a multi-million dollar soda deals. These days we have country, pop, and rock artist who ask hip hop artist to flow on their tracks. Yes hip-hop does have some songs that some may consider lame, but if you're making music that u love, and that’s one more person who’s off the streets I’m happy with that.

KHN:  We have found it hard to find disabled women in Hip-Hop who are willing to be open or just support what we do.  What do you think about that?

Shana Williams: it’s too bad that in 2013 women are still afraid to speak out and project there experiences,. as woman we are supposed to be strong and stand by our men, or be the rock to our households.  Some women don’t want to be the face of reppin being a woman with disabilities. I was in radio before I became injured and all those other djs I thought were friends were nowhere to be found, and it forced me to reexamine my purpose in life. Some woman are afraid of being judged, and have a fear of telling their story because they’re still trying to comprehend it themselves. Ladies speak up! Our voice must be heard!!!

KHN:  What are you working on now and how can people hear you?

Shana Williams:  Well I just lost over 140 pounds so I’m currently revamping my website to upload new mp3s and photos so u all can see the new me & hear the new me.  Just follow @djshazz & ill be posting the link to myn new website very soon!!!

KHN:  You have a song called Shazz Da World that I love.  Please explain that song for us.

Shana Williams: thanks.. in my song da world I wanted to make a song that will grab your attention once u heard it, and made u think. This song talks about everything from us being at war, sex and drugs.. what’s crazy is I wrote this

Song in 2001 after the terrorists attacks in the United States and its still relevant now, which shows that I was before my time. I just wanted to be the voice for woman who actually had something positive to say, who didn’t have to open their legs to get your attention.

KHN:  What is your advice for Black disabled/non-disabled women who want to get into radio?

Shana Williams: I’m going to tell u what I was told- if u want to be a singer u must sing everyday, and radio is no different.. if u want to be in radio study your craft,  listen to the radio, practice reading out loud so when you're on air u don’t flutter your words. The radio industry is a business so learn the ins & outs of how radio works.. also networking . the more people to know in this industry the better…there are books in any library or online so study, study, study… & good luck!!

KHN:  If you had control of the Hip-Hop industry what would you do  different?

Shana Williams: I would change the image of the women in the industry. In this industry woman have to sell sex before they can sell there music, the men can wear jeans and a t-shirt and jump on stage but us women need 3 hours of hair & makeup & a flat stomach.

KHN:  How can people contact you?

Shana Williams:  Follow me on @djshazz on twitter, MySpace djshazz and my email is and I’m also starting my own website called  that’s going to spread positivity in music, health, relationships and lifestyle.

KHN:  Any last words?

Shana Williams:  Just continue to follow your dreams, what some may consider your weakness, make it become your strength. Keep your head up and stay ready so you don’t have to get ready!! Remember that I love u but most important god loves u!!!


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