Interview: Shauney Baby

During her college years, Shauney began touring with such artists as “Salt N’ Pepaâ€?, “Cree Summerâ€? and “Paulina Rubio.â€? She also became the music director for the likes of “112â€? and “Dr. Dre.â€?

Born in Washington D.C., Shauney Baby was exposed to music at an early age, thanks to the support of her mother and father who was a founding member of the R&B group “The Delfonics�. Shauney began to develop her singing skills in church, and expanded her horizons by training as a vocalist at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. There, she also studied musical theory, sight-reading, orchestral arrangement and drum rudiments.

Mastering various genres, including jazz, big band, gospel, and R&B, drumming and percussion became her primary focus. Subsequently, Shauney accepted a scholarship to the University of the District of Columbia where she majored in percussive studies.

During her college years, Shauney began touring with such artists as “Salt N’ Pepaâ€?, “Cree Summerâ€? and “Paulina Rubio.â€? She also became the music director for the likes of “112â€? and “Dr. Dre.â€? After moving to Los Angeles, she appeared as drummer for the FOX Television’s “The Keenan Ivory Wayans Showâ€? and BET’s “Lyric Caféâ€?.  Shauney even performed at the Presidential Inauguration of George W. Bush in January 2005.

Shauney played the drums for multi platinum recording artist Hilary Duff and is making a name for herself as one of the most talented and powerful young female drummers in the industry.  She is endorsed by Tama Drums, Pro-Mark sticks, Meinl Cymbals and Remo drumheads, and is currently completing work on an instruction video called “Fun with Drums,� which will be released in November 2006. In her free time, she serves as a young ambassador for “Kids with a Cause,� a non-profit charity organization for disadvantaged youth. Here, Shauney shares her thoughts on her career blossoming as an actress, model, and professional drummer.

BSN: First I have to ask you about your late father, because he was a
founding member of The Delfonics? I was a big fan of theirs. They had so
many hits, like “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind?” “La La Means I Love You,” and
“Ready or Not, Here I Come” which was sampled by both The Fugees and Missy Elliott. Which of the group’s songs was your favorite?
SB: “La La Means I Love you.”

BSN: At what age did you develop your interest in music?
SB: Music has always been a big part of my life ever since I can remember and I always loved it.

BSN: You sang Gospel music in church, and were also classically trained as a vocalist at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. So, how did you come to settle on drums?
SB: I wouldn’t say that I’ve settled. I’ve always enjoyed watching drummers while singing at church and it became an interest that I pursued and somehow dominated.

BSN: You also studied drums in college? Why did you do that, instead of going right into show business?
SB: I wanted to obtain my degree, and I had several music scholarships to different schools and I took advantage of it, although I would leave school for work and then return after the job.

BSN: Was it a difficult decision?
SB: It wasn’t difficult until my first job offer as a drummer came.

BSN: Aren’t female drummers a rarity? Why do you think that’s the case?
SB: Yes! It’s a very male dominated position and when you do see a female drummer, people are usually surprised.

BSN: Who are some of your favorite drummers of all time?
SB: Tony Williams and Art Blakey.

BSN: Do you play any other instruments?
SB: Yes, I’m classically trained on orchestra instruments such as marimba, timpani and other hand percussion instruments like the congas, etcetera.

BSN: You’re also a model and an actress. Which is your first love?
SB: I can’t really say but I love to perform and modeling was more of a
childhood career.

BSN: You’ve played many genres of music professionally, with bands ranging from Hilary Duff to Dr. Dre to Salt N’ Pepa. What’s your favorite type to perform?
SB: Anything that’s rhythm driven because I love to dance and to see other people dance.

BSN: What gigs and other work do you have on the horizon?
SB: I just completed my children’s drum instruction DVD called “Fun with
Drums” and I finally got my all female rock band together.

BSN: Where in live L.A. do you live?
SB: Do I really have to answer?

BSN: Nope, that’s just what I call “The Jimmy Bayan question.� He’s a curious friend from L.A. who wants to know where the stars live. To what do you attribute your success?
SB: The love and support of my mother and the spirit of my father.

BSN: What advice do you have for any young girl who wants to follow in your footsteps?
SB: You have to love yourself more than anything because that allows you to follow your passions in spite of your difficulties. Believe in yourself no matter what.

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