The Shindellas

Meet The Shindellas, the soulful group made up of Kasi Jones, Stacy Johnson, and Tamara Chauniece. In our interview with the talented trio, we learn how they came to find one another, their new single “Last Night Was Good for My Soul,” the possibility of them starring in Disney’s Hercules, and what the future holds for them.

We love an origin story. Where did you meet and how was the group formed?  

Stacy: This is so fun. We all three were together for the very first time in February of 2017! We will never forget because it was Superbowl Sunday and Lady Gaga did the most EPIC halftime show. It was love at first sight!

But the origin story goes much deeper! In 2015, Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony aka Louis York approached me and told me that they felt there was something missing in the music industry and about this idea they had for a girl group that was all about musicality, and empowerment and had no lead singer. I was immediately sold because I had always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. Something with a purpose. So I, along with Claude and Chuck started searching for the women who would fully embody this vision. It took a few years, but God brought us the perfect pair! 

Kasi: Oh, absolutely. Chuck actually knew me, from a networking event in LA years before and reached out to me while I was on tour in Japan and asked me if I was interested in being a part of a “girl band” I was like, “If Chuck Harmony’s name is on it, I have got to know more” so a few months later they flew me out to Nashville and I met Stacy and Claude and the whole squad and was totally in. The only thing was, in between him reaching out, and the time I flew to Nashville, I had booked a musical theatre show on the Las Vegas strip! So as soon as my contract was up, I packed all my bags, flew to Tennessee, and never looked back!

Tamara: I was living in Dallas, Texas, working on solo music when I got the call from Claude Kelly about joining The Shindellas. It had been a few years since my Top 20 run on NBC’s The Voice in 2013 and since that time I’d been posting clips of myself singing online and a good few went viral. Claude happened to cross one on Instagram and slid into my DMs. We set up a conference call to have a preliminary chat about the vision. Then, in November of 2016, I was flown out to Nashville to meet the team, tour Weirdo Workshop, and hear the ideas and excitement about the mission. I fell in love and packed my car in January of 2017, made the drive to Nashville, and never looked back. 

How have your personal stories informed your creative contributions to the group?  

Stacy: One of my favorite things about us is our range of backgrounds and diversity. I am a Jamaican descendant who got started singing through the jingle business. Tam from the small town of Wharton, Texas, started her career in the church as a young child singing gospel. Kasi’s love for stars like Dorothy Dandridge influenced her musical theatre path. All of these experiences give us such originality in our music. From the harmonies we sing to the stories we tell, to how we perform, our backgrounds are with us. We also know that the personal stories that make us unique are also what help us to identify with our fanbase and ultimately impact more people as they see themselves in us. 

You have some very famous fans (Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, SWV, Kelly Rowland). Why do you think so many major artists have gravitated towards you? 

Kasi: Talent loves talent. We work hard. We sing down. And we just get better everyday-I think they just love that. Like Missy said about us on Twitter “No studio tricks, just singers singing.”

Let’s talk about Hercules. Rumour has it that you are in talks with Disney to portray three of the Muses. What would joining the movie mean to you? 

Tamara: It would mean EVERYTHING. We had the opportunity to sing for the Disney Dreamers Academy in 2022 and they gave us VIP access to Disneyworld. It was the ultimate Shindo! To be a part of the magic that has touched so many lives would be the most incredible gift. Also, our musical theatre Shinnie, Kasi worked for Disney some years ago! 

Kasi: Yup, and when I first heard the music and concept of being “truthtellers” I literally said to Claude and Chuck, “Oh, so like The Muses.” So it would be a very full circle moment in SO many different ways. 

Your new single, “Last Night Was Good for My Soul,” is doing very well on US radio. Can you tell us about the song’s journey? 

Stacy: Well, our art is a true reflection of the times and it was time for us to feel good! This song was made for us by Louis York. We sat by Chuck at the piano and listened to Claude sing the melody and at that very moment, we knew we had a hit! We planned to release it immediately. We shared our plan with our new partners at Thirty Tigers who love the song just as much, they advised us to take the time to set it up and make a bigger impact. They were right!  This song is a great way to introduce The Shindellas to the masses. We created a dance that everyone can learn, “The Shinnie Step”, and our video for the song is literally us dancing poolside with our community here in Nashville. DJs love it! And it sounds great on the radio! We want it to go to No. 1!  

Are there any plans to tour with your next record? 

Stacy: Yes! The Shindellas to the world! 

What does the next year hold for The Shindellas?

Tamara: If all goes to plan, touring the world and sharing our story all year long. Magazine covers, appearances, and awards! Blessings on blessings!